I've been travelling to Costa Rica once or twice a year for fifteen years. In the past, I've always travelled with buddies, usually on surfing missions and have explored the better part of the Pacific side of the country. Now that I'm married with a 3-year old daughter, I was looking for accomodations that were clean, hospitable, safe for children and romantic for my wife and me.
I've been opting for the Santa Teresa/Mal Pais area for the last few years, due to it's plethora of good surf, proximity to Montezuma's waterfalls and culture and it's decidedly cosmopolitan feel (i.e. There are more Argentinians, Italians, Spaniards and Israelis than Americans in this area, which is a good thing in my book).
This was my first stay at Gumbo Limbo Villas, a new "boutique" hotel operated by an American (Sonny Redding) and his Italian partner Michaeli (sp?). Perched in the hillside above Santa Teresa, Gumbo Limbo not only has a commanding view of the oceanfront (and surf breaks) along this stretch of coast, but is also seemingly immune to the heat and dust found amongst the numerous hotels along the town's main (and only) road.
We stayed in the master villa, Villa Indio, a two-bedroom suite with a private outdoor shower and bathroom and a beautiful infinity pool overlooking the town's soccer and baseball field. All of the doors in Villa Indio fold open to maximize the indoor-outdoor feeling. A flat screen TV on the wall with built-in DVD player kept our daughter occupied before bedtime and although there was no A/C, we never found it necessary, due to the cool breeze on top of the hill (I'm guessing that the air is cooled as it moves through the dense foliage on the way up). Both rooms had fans and the master bedroom had a large and comfortable bed, while the "living room" had a comfortable futon couch and another couch that you could easily sleep on. The master bedroom also featured a safe big enough for a laptop and my Canon EOS 20-D, as well as wallets, passports, iPods, etc.
The in-house restaurant, Nona Teresa was a daily hangout and the boys served up some wonderful meals, including fish tacos and pasta bolognese.
In short, we had a great experience at Gumbo Limbo and I will be returning to stay in December. Guests should be aware that Gumbo Limbo is on top of the hill up a private road, so although not necessary, a rental car or ATV is recommended (both can be rented in town or nearby Cobano). Also, the property is terraced and I counted 65 steps from the restaurant to Villa Indio, so be prepared to get a little quad workout (I was huffing and puffing on day one, but by day three I was clambering up the steps as if it was old hat).
I'd encourage potential guests to visit Gumbo Limbo's website at http://www.gumbolimbocr.com or to contact Sonny by phone at [--] or email at [--]. He was truly one of the nicest, friendliest and most hospitable proprietors I've ever come across.
p.s. The reason that I only gave Gumbo Limbo 4 out of 5 for cleanliness is that this is, after all, Costa Rica. Bugs and lizards are the true locals!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Gumbo Limbo is a unique bed & breakfast located in the hills of Santa Teresa, just 2 minutes to Santa Teresa beach and town. Along with stunning ocean views, Gumbo Limbo's central, hilltop location provides seclusion- a nice break from the dust and bustle of town, while being only a 2 minute drive to the beach and main road. A 4x4 vehicle, which is generally better for Costa Rica roads, is recommended to reach our property. Each of our villas is surrounded by lush, tropical nature, giving total privacy, comfort, and a real feeling of being in the jungle. From every corner of our property, you can find amazing ocean and mountain views. Our beautiful infinity pool is the perfect spot to relax and watch the best sunsets Santa Teresa has to offer. A full breakfast is included in your stay. It is served each morning in our ocean view dining area. Some of our breakfast options include granola and yogurt with fresh fruits, eggs with gallo pinto, or pancakes, all served with fresh Costa Rican coffee. Our guests are our priority. It comes natural for us to host people and make new friends, so it is our pleasure to cover every small detail and accommodate our guests' needs so that they have the best time while staying with us. Many of our guests have told us that their experience visiting Gumbo Limbo felt more like staying with old friends, than staying at a hotel. Whether it's sharing a surf session or an Argentinean asado together, we look forward to having you!! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Gumbo Limbo Villas Hotel Santa Teresa
- Gumbo Limbo Villas Costa Rica/Santa Teresa