Just returned from a 6 night stay here with two of my best girlfriends and we received an amazing experience at Canaima.
We went to Costa Rica on a girls trip with the goal of wanting to learn how to surf. Canaima Chill House had the perfect "surf experience" package for what we were looking for at a great price. Five nights, five days of surf lessons, breakfast, yoga, and a massage all in one package... yes, please!
Upon arrival we were warmly and enthusiastically greeted by Juan Carlos and Marta who showed us the grounds and escorted us to our rooms. They made sure we knew where everything was in our room as well as on the property. We were also told when the surf lessons would be and given the time option of when to have breakfast served on our deck.
The grounds and atmosphere:
Beautiful, serene, lush as it is up in the jungle. Perfect size pool for a dip to cool down and relax as well as meet and have conversations with other guests. The communal deck was perfect for enjoying the breeze and lounging around reading and listening to music as we all did.
Clean, functional, spacious and nicely decorated. nice large window behind the bed as well. Also, nothing beats a swinging bed on the large deck either! That was the ultimate place to take your afternoon nap. It is very open plan with outdoor shower and the tops of the rooms are open screens so you can always catch a nice breeze and listen to nature. We fell asleep to the sound of tropical rainfall and heard howler monkeys and various kinds of birds in the morning. No need for an annoying alarm clock or wake-up call. A couple of nights did get very hot (you are in a tropical zone after all) but the ceiling fan and fans in the loft beds was an easy fix for that. Kitchen was equipped with everything you need. This made it nice to buy food from the local supermarket and cook at "home" and have outdoor dinner on some nights.
Service and Experience: This was the best service I have had at a hotel. This is because you are treated like a friend and it all feels very personal. Beds were made and room was well cleaned each day. Alexia brought us breakfast on time and with a smile every morning and always asked how we slept. Marta, at reception, inquired about how our surf lessons went after each one and was genuinely responsive and interested in how we were doing. We were always able to have friendly chats and conversation on our way in and out and also were given proper directions when needed and had recommendations on drives and places to go . Juan Carlos' love for his hotel and his work are reflected in the way you are treated. It shows through him as well as everyone who works here. You always see him working on the place himself and tending to guests.
Many good restaurants, cafes, and grocery within walking distance. Staff has great recommendations and they will even order in for you if you like from a restaurant that delivers.
Can't say enough about how great the surf lessons went. We were taught safety and surfing etiquette from the beginning. We were always carefully watched and instructed for corrections at each wave we took on. With that, we were all able to stand up and ride a wave! A very knowledgeable, patient, and encouraging instructor.
The hill: Yes, it's intimidating. Thank goodness we did as the hotel website stated and got a four wheel drive... you will need it to get up but we had fun doing so. All part of the excitement. We all walked up and down many times but being from San Francisco, we're used to the hilly walks. We all just jumped into the pool to cool off after the walk. For those who are not physically active on a daily basis it might be rough to walk up.
Highly recommend this hotel and this town.