I made a very last minute decision to go to Santa Teresa on my own and contacted Canaima Chil House to make a reservation. Juan Carlos replied immediately, offering a room and transportation to get me to the hotel (Santa Teresa is almost an hour away from the small regional Tambor airport. The hotel works with a wonderful transportation company – punctual, honest and kind - ask for Yorgan!)).
I arrived at Canaima where Juan Carlos greeted me warmly. He showed me to my room and offered his help with organizing any activities I wanted to do. I was meeting someone in town, so he offered to drive me down on his Quad after I had a chance to shower and settle in. The hotel is just a short 5 minute walk from the main “road” and beach, up a hill.
Walking to my room, I could not believe my eyes or senses! The hotel is built right into the mountain/jungle, and you must walk outside through a beautifully landscaped garden to get to the rooms. The value of this boutique hotel is incredible! For $60 (low season), I had a HUGE terrace with a dining table and swinging “chill out” bed. Also the doors to the room swing open so you can have the whole space as an “open concept”. There was a full kitchen: gas stove, dishes, utensils, fridge and a beautiful comfortable bed with mosquito nets wihch give the room a very romantic feeling. The shower is gorgeous, made from stone and glass and there is a small opening at the top of the glass wall which makes you feel like you are “outside” in the jungle taking a shower. Also, each room has a hand made book that includes the story of how the hotel was built (a dream come true for Juan Carlos), activities you can enjoy in Santa Teresa and the surrounding area, and menus of some excellent restaurants in the area. They also offer a juice bar and breakfast if you so desire.
The entire hotel is SO tastefully decorated and the structure was made with the natural elements surrounding it in mind. I had to pinch myself for finding such an incredible place!
The staff are wonderful and helpful. I was going to leave after two nights and checked out, reserved a taxi, but in the last moment decided to stay and when I called Carolina who works at the front desk, she said it was no problem and when I returned to the hotel that evening my bags were back in my room. On a few occasions I was out and about in town or on the beach and ran into members of the staff they all greeted me warmly; it was a very nice feeling for someone travelling on their own! Juan Carlos and his girlfriend live in the hotel, so there is always someone on site. On my last night my friend and I made pasta but I didn’t have any salt, so my friend asked Juan Carlos and he generously offered us some!! Oh and if you want to practise your spanish, everyone is VERY patient...they won't automatically respond to you in english (unless you are having a hard time!)
What I liked best was the location and the atmosphere: right in the jungle, beaaauuutiful surroundings and decor, waking up to the sounds of nature, space (I could lay out my yoga mat and practise in the room or on the terrace), clean, and especially the kindness from the staff. There is nothing I did not like about this magical place and recommend it to anyone who travels to Costa Rica.
This is the perfect place to have a romantic get-away or a gathering with friends. Even on your own, it is a very safe and secure place (there is a security box in the room and there is always someone on site if you need help).
Thank you Juan Carlos, Carolina and the rest of the team! You have created something soooo special and beautiful at Canaima....I hope to return very soon!! Hasta prontooo!