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“Amazing location!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Casa Don Tomas

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Casa Don Tomas
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Playa Santa Teresa, Santa Teresa 1000, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #29 of 31 Santa Teresa B&B and Inns
Bergen, Norway
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
“Amazing location!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2012

We just returned from our stay in Santa Teresa at Casa Don Tomas. The cabin is very comfortable and charming, full of wall murals and clean and comfy beds. It is as expected at the shore in Costa Rica (I am Costarrican), some things get rusty due to the salt. But all in all, we found everything we needed and had a great time.
(I read the last review and found it exaggerated and ill meaning. For example: 1. Tsunami warning, nowhere in Costa Rica will you find that. 2. Potable water: nowhere in Santa Teresa should you drink water from the tap, always buy bottled, and this isn't Don Tomas' fault, 3. I have found scorpions in my house in San José, at fancy hotels and anywhere near the coast, this is part of the charm of coming to the Tropic, 4. We had a few problems with the internet connection, nut as soon as we reseted the router, it worked again, I had a Skype job interview, and the connection was perfect for that). The house needs some tiny repairs but nothing that would prevent me from coming again. The swimming pool was amazing, always with sun and some parts with shade from the trees so that we could enjoy with our baby the whole time without worrying about being in direct sunlight and getting sun burned, but able to sun tan too. It looks straight to the beach (which is no more than 30 seconds walking from the house). The bedrooms are very comfortable, Don Tomas even found us a baby crib because we were travelling with our small baby. It would easily fit 6 people (2 adults and a child in each room) as it has a double bed and a single in each bedroom).
Chepita is an ANGEL! She manages and takes care of anything and everything and always has time to smile and be charming. She is a bomb of energy and is there for anything we needed. She even had coconut water for us while we were at the pool! Don Tomas is very charming and easy to talk to, he had many good recommendations for us and knows the area well, he pointed us to the new bakery which was very good. Also to some nice places to eat.

All in all, Santa Teresa has everything we needed, restaurants, many supermarkets, bank and pharmacy, so, no need to go anywhere else! Bring cash because almost no restaurant or cafe, or shop will take them (not even at the closest gas station), but supermarkets take cards. There is an ATM at the crossing.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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8 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Woodstock, Il.
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2012

Location is everything and Casa Don Tomas has that in a 5-star bag, located near the quiet northern end of Playa Teresa's powdery sand beach. We enjoyed the pool daily and just adored Chepita's diligent care of us. I would rate her service as 5-star but Don Tomas lack of communication drops the whole experience to 2 star.
Don't even think about sleeping more than 5-6 people in this unit as it would be very difficult.
But let me address the drawbacks first, before you start dreaming. You cannot drink the WATER, which means about $5/day/2pp for bottled water and the need to make ice cubes, and have bottled water for brushing your teeth. We didn't find out that there is a central grill to use until our very last day, because there ISN'T A WELCOME BOOK in the unit to inform clients or to advise on emergency evacuation. (There is an APP for your computer/phone for tsunami warning in Costa Rica.)
There must be a LEAK IN THE ROOF, because the back section is covered in black plastic, ensuring a dark place for scorpions and other critters to hide. They sometimes get into the house. Two of the three chaise lounge chairs at the pool are BROKEN. We reported this to Don Tomas at the beginning of our full month rental, and they were never repaired or replaced. In fact, he ignored me. Two of the screen doors are BROKEN from people walking through them. The kitchen is very DIFFICULT to cook in. Two of the 4 burners on the stove don't work. The grease splattering the back wall is awful + I suggested that it be partially tiled for easier cleaning. The louvered wood cabinet doors are dirty. The cutting board and toaster oven should be thrown out and replaced. There isn't a measuring cup, a single sharp knife, or a cookie sheet. The Teflon pans are all scratched + should be replaced—very unhealthy.
I communicated all of this to Don Tomas, but I don't get the impression that he cares as he didn't respond to the notes I sent him. We had a few other blips with ant infestations ( no "raid" available--we went and bought it) and something dead on the roof that dripped body fluids into our air conditioner. That's another thing---the air in the master bedroom takes a very long time to cool down. This whole thing reminded me of being a kid and vacationing in the North Woods in a cabin. Hot water is tricky, and my husband assured me that the exposed wires wouldn’t cause a shock. But don’t touch them, please.
Ask Chepita for the fish man’s (Alexi) phone number for fresh fish to be delivered to you at the Casa. (Ahi tuna $7/lb, lobster #10 tails for $24, big shrimp--$9lb.—but all items sold in kilos.) She is your advocate, as she kept on Tomas's case regarding the poor connection for internet, and made the necessary phone calls. She is a gem. Wish Tomas would buy her a leaf blower so she wouldn't have to work with a rake and machete keeping the grounds clean. (an endless endeavor). If you are driving in, I suggest that you shop in Cobano at the big super Market with better prices (not Pali). There’s a butcher shop across the street and closer to the main intersection, but beef isn’t the greatest in Costa Rica. Other than that—fresh fruit and produce is available at the Saturday farmers market down south on the beach from 3-6…but get there early as the stuff goes fast. Walk the beach for errands instead of the dusty road. The trip all the way to the intersection in Mal Pais takes about 1.5 hours, but you don’t need to walk that far for groceries or a surf board rental. Best restaurants are Brisas Del Mar and Alma. Ambrosia is an overpriced hamburger place with a bar. We went to the Italian bakery several times and always got hot bread just out of the oven.

Room Tip: Make sure that Don Tomas repairs the items I've listed above. He shouldn't rent with his pro...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Don T, Owner at Casa Don Tomas, responded to this review, March 7, 2012
Santa Teresa, March 7, 2012

Dear Traveler:

After meeting several times with neighbouring beachfront home owners to share and discuss not only this lady's bad review of my house but also the impact generated by the latest tourist boom to the area, it was clear to all of us that an effort should be made to improve the conditions of our own tourist offer. This meant that if we wanted to continue to attract and please the most sophisticated traveller and continue being the best vacation choice in the area and avoid bad reviews, we should invest not only in the safety and security of our homes and beaches but also in keeping our homes beautiful and well equipped.

Taking into account the suggestions and comments left by my last tenants and those of previous guests and with the help of fellow home owners and friends, I decided to undertake a major maintenance and renovation effort to keep Casa Don Tomas competitive and among the leaders of the area in comfort and beauty. I am very pleased with the outcome of this valiant (expensive) undertaking and happy to assure you that you have nothing to worry. Today Casa Don Tomas it’s by far the best vacation value for your hard earned money in the area.

Let me point out for the record some of the changes that took place in the house and pool areas during this mayor renovation:

Casa Don Tomas: The house was painted in and out with a new coat of high quality paint. You will love the new colours.

Pool Area: A new set of pool side and beach lounge chairs were acquired.

Kitchen area: A new cupboard to store dishes was installed and new cooking utensils such as cooking knives, cutting boards, measuring cups and can and wine bottle openers were purchased.
A new Oster blender was put in as part of the kitchen upgrade.
The old gas stove was replaced with a brand new one.
A new 12 piece Non-stick Cookware set was bought to replace the old pots and pans.

Master Bedroom: The a/c unit in the master bedroom was replaced with an 18.000 BTU mini split u capable of cooling down the entire house if you leave the bedroom door open.
New bed covers are in place in both bedrooms.
A new hand free telephone was put in place.

Bathrooms: New bath towels have being acquired and all the electrical wires have being covered from sight making the bathroom and shower areas more pleasant to the eye.

Screen doors and windows: All screen doors and windows were checked and fixed when it was necessary.

Roof: The roof was checked for leaks and painted in anticipation of the rainy season that begins in late May.

Internet: Internet cabling was replaced and a new modem was brought in to replace the old one. It is working like a champ.

Regarding the Internet connection: If you are planning your vacation around being able to stay connected with the outside world at all times, then please consider the possibility of having to go to a cafe internet (there are several in town) when the system is down or the electrical power is out. This is a small rural community and all of these technical advances of the most industrialized nations of the world not always work here. So keep this in mind and do not let this issue spoil your vacation.

To recap: The maintenance and the daily up keep of a beachfront rental home are not easy tasks. The tropical weather, the sun and the salty breeze blowing in from the ocean are contributing factors to the fast deterioration of all surfaces exposed to the elements.

So there you be the judge, in a big way I am thankful for calling to my attention some things that needed to be done to the house. I want to thank my good beach neighbours, they all helped out and contributed with their moral support, with their ideas and clever suggestions to make good of this unpleasant situation. My beach home is now a better place to stay.

Proud to say that Casa Don Tomas is up to par and meets the standards of comfort and quality expected by my guests. So come on friends, how about making some reservations, I need to pay the bank for all these goodies.

Many Thanks,

Don Tomas
Casa Don Tomas
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, Costa Rica
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2011 via mobile

I was in the smallest house/bungalow on the property! It was a very nice, good size room with a kitchenette, great size refrigerator and bathroom! It was somewhat rustic with no A/C and an open air concept! Along with open air came many spiders and bugs, but that is part of the costa rican charm. The beds were not very comfortable but it met my needs for the value!
The property was gorgeous with 2 larger houses and a pool. It sat on a great part of a sandy not rocky part of the beach! A number of surfer were in the water all day. One house had 2 bedrooms w an incredible view and A/C. The other home had 3 separate rooms w a shared kitchen concept.
The property was very close to many restaurants and even better was directly across from a market which had all the necessities one would need. Josephina was the very helpful hands-on caretaker of the property. Her English was limited but we seemed to communicate just perfectly!
Don Tomas worked with my changing schedule.
Hints to fellow travelers, Costa Rica requires your passport to not expire within 3 months of entrance so make sure your passport is current! We had 2 people in our party not get entrance to the country! No one knew this rule and I never saw it posted any where!

  • Stayed November 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Los Angeles CA
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2009

Santa Teresa is one of the nicest places in Costa Rica. I loved the beach house and the service. Chepita, who is the caretaker and administrator is wonderful. One afternoon she brought us some home made tortillas and they were delicious. The owner Don Tomas, is friendly and very easy to work with. We learned that he is a former US Marine and we swapped stories about our military service.

The service here is great, the accommodations were excellent and the beach is the best! Just outside the property there is a nice supermarket so we often went there to buy groceries. Because we could cook part of the time we saved quite a bit on meals. While I am not a surfer some of our friends were and they said that it was a great place to surf. For us, the beach was heavenly. We had a wonderful time.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2009

Don Tomas and Chepita we want to thank you for an incredible vacation. The perfect location, perfect accommodations and perfect hospitality. What more could you ask for? You both went above and beyond our expectations to make sure all our needs were met. We started each day eating breakfast with an incredible view of the ocean. We shared the view with monkeys, iguanas and Perona the dog. Santa Teresa was absolutely the perfect location for our 3 week stay, with great restaurants, surf and activities. The supermarket right across the street was perfect for our ice cream runs. Our afternoons were spent playing games and reading books in the Hammocks. Our children spent all their time either in the ocean or pool. To say we were relaxed is an understatement, we did no housework -- Chepita did our laundry, dishes and made our beds, she spoiled us and always had a smile on her face and a great story. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. We will be back.

Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
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Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
137 reviews 137 reviews
90 hotel reviews
Reviews in 87 cities Reviews in 87 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2009

The post about everything being stolen is easy to avoid, dont bring laptops and ipods and gizmos to a developing country unless you can afford to loose them.

Its not home, its CR, and any guidebook would tell you about petty theft and crime in CR and the region.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casa Don Tomas

Address: Playa Santa Teresa, Santa Teresa 1000, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Santa Teresa
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #29 of 31 B&Bs / Inns in Santa Teresa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 2
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled amid the tropical forest but just a few walking steps from the ocean, Caa Don Tomas enjoys the privacy of its three acres property. It is gated, fully fenced and landscaped with abundant gardens with thousands of flowers and thick grass lawn including a wide variety of tropical hardwood trees, Croatian, bamboo, bougainvillea, amapolo, cactus, cocos, various palms, lemons and guava trees, plumerias, and flowering tropical plants such as hibiscus, jasmine, heliconias, bromelias, tabacones and more. Howler Monkeys, White faced Monkeys, iguanas, squirrels, racoons and parakeets are just a few of the creatures you may see and hear right from your terrace. This two bedroom, two bathroom, swimming pool beachfront villa is located right on the beach, directly in front of the best beach break in all of Santa Teresa - Mal Pais area and in the most pristine white sandy beach of the tranquil and exclusive North-end Santa Teresa, a quiet and exclusive residential neighborhood a little bit over 1 km from the center of town and close to award winning and internationally renowned boutique hotels and restaurants such as Latitude 10, Flor Blanca and Milarepa. Top model Gisele Bundchen's home overlooks Playa Santa Teresa and Matthew McConaughey, Leonardo DiCaprio, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are but a few celebrities that are frequent visitors to this piece of paradise. Casa Don Tomas borders to the North with architectural magnificent Casa Yin Yang and to the South with another great home: Sandy Lane. The combination of location, ambiance and beauty makes Casa Don Tomas in North-end Santa Teresa, the natural choice. A long driveway that extends from the gate to a large circular private parking area located just off the entry to Casa Don Tomas takes you inside the Estate grounds. Casa Don Tomas comes with a wireless Internet connection, a full kitchen, refrigerator, stove, oven, coffee maker, blender, large electric griddle, cloth washer and dryer are available as well as a safe to store valuables. Daily maid service is included, except on Sundays at no extra charge. Josefa the house keeper will sweep the house, make the beds, do dishes and tidying up the place so that you can relax, feel comfortable and take a break from house chores. The two bedrooms of Casa Don Tomas are a/c with ceiling fans. Each bedroom has a double and a single bed. There is a sofa-bed in the living room area that sleeps two additional guests. Need more sleeping area? In addition to the two bedrooms forthmentioned a separate bungalow with a double and two single beds, ceiling fan, private bathroom, refrigerator and a fully equipped kitchenette, will give you the option of lodging 4 additional guests and can be made available as part of the rental for an additional fee. Casa Don Tomas has free wide band Internet connection, local telephone calling. Incoming long distance calls are allowed and International calling can be made from the house using a pre-paid phone card ready available in all the stores in Santa Teresa. Casa Don Tomas employs a full time groundskeeper and cleaning staff to attend to your needs. No other house in North Santa Teresa has a swimming pool with the view and the proximity to the ocean shore as Casa Don Tomas. Swimming pool is for the exclusive use of guests of Casa Don Tomas only. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Casa Don Tomas Costa Rica/Santa Teresa

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