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!
- Also Known As:
- Gumbo Limbo Villas Hotel Santa Teresa
- Gumbo Limbo Villas Hotel
- Gumbo Limbo Villas Costa Rica/Santa Teresa
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Gumbo Limbo Villas is a boutique hotel set atop the hills of beautiful Playa Santa Teresa on Costa Rica’s lush Nicoya peninsula. Each luxurious accommodation overlooks the Pacific oceans vast expanse and possesses commanding panoramic ocean and jungle views. Relax and scan the horizon from this unique hillside hideaway for migrating sea life, feast your eyes on a magnificent sunset, check the surf conditions from the best perch on the Nicoya peninsula or simply enjoy a refreshing beverage in the resorts elegantly designed infinity view pool and surrender to the beauty of the nature that surrounds you. Whatever your vacation interests are, be it catching the next pumping pacific swell, exploring the wonders of Cabo Blanco Absolute Reserve or just unwinding from the everyday stress of a busy lifestyle, Gumbo Limbo Villas is ideally situated and designed to ensure that you get the most out of your visit to Costa Rica. ... more less