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“Wonderful Place to Stay for the Adventuresome Family” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Santa Teresa Surf Vista Villas

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Santa Teresa Surf Vista Villas
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150 Meters North of Super la Hacienda in Santa Teresa, Santa Teresa, Costa Rica   |  
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Ranked #10 of 25 Hotels in Santa Teresa
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1 review
“Wonderful Place to Stay for the Adventuresome Family”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2011

We stayed at Surf Vista Villa for 5 nights, Feb. 24th until March1st. We had our two young boys, ages 3 and 5 with us. Surf Vista Villas is at the top of a very steep hill in Santa Teresa on the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica. The view of the ocean is breathtaking with wonderful sunsets in the evening. We heard and saw howler monkeys off the deck and many pretty birds. Being at the top of the hill is great because you get away from the dust in Santa Teresa (no paved roads) and it is quiet. On the Nicoya Penisula you must have a 4-wheel drive with high clearance to enjoy going on any drives. The drive to Surf Vista Villa is no exception...you must have a 4 wheel drive because it is a very steep hill. The beaches in this part of the Nicoya Peninsula are the best in Costa Rica. All you have to do is drive down the hill from Surf Vista Villa and a great beach is right there. The location on the Nicoya Penisnula is for adventuresome people only because of the road conditions. Now about Surf Vista Villas itself. The place was being cleaned when we arrived but we went to the beach and returned and it was ready for us. The caretakers, Joy and Drew, brought in an extra twin bed in for one of our little boys so both did not have to share a bed. The kitchen was lacking in a few necessities for everyday cooking, but Joy was able to get a few things for us and was extremely helpful and friendly. There is no hot water in the kitchen sink, but the bathroom sink and the shower had great hot water so we carried water over from the bathroom sink to the kitchen to do dishes. If you are picky bring your own dish clothes because there were only sponges. It did make me wonder at the cleanliness of the dishes that were setting out, but I washed before I used them. This place is set up for cooking with enough pots and pans, a nice propane stove that worked great and a nice big fridge. We cooked every meal here instead of going out with young children. It is best to go on a big grocery shopping trip in San Jose before heading over to the Nicoya Penisula because food is more expensive in their smaller grocery stores. The bathroom is large, with a very nice hot shower. The large bathroom window did not have any private window covering and there was a stairway outside it. At night I never did feel very comfortable with that. The beds were very comfortable here, all in one big room. We stayed on the lower level on the left side, which is a great apartment because there is more privacy than the units nearest the parking area. The place is tastefully decorated and very comfortable with an air conditoner if you need it (we only used it at night). There are no hand rails on the lower level and only a basic rail on the top level of the villa so I would not recommend this place for children under 3...too dangerous. We have a very adventuresome 3 year old and I was worried about him falling off the edge when he was running. The top level is not for small children because of the lack of appropriate railing. There are wonderful hammocks in all the common areas and on the side we stayed on. Every morning we enjoyed a cup of Costa Rican coffee we made in their coffee maker and twice we made smoothies in their blender with fruit we had purchased and fruit Joy gave us. Yum! Surf Vista Villas would be a great place to stay for a large group of people (like 2-4 families that know eachother) because of the common areas and the feeling of togetherness when you stay here. You can't help but meet your fellow travelers...all who were friendly people. There isn't a whole lot of privacy in each unit because the shades are basically more decorative than private. The first two nights there was a group of young surfers that were staying in the unit next to us and they were noisy at night. Our unit and the one above us probably were the most private. Sometimes we felt like we had to keep our boys subdued so they wouldn't bother others, but then again, I would want someone with children to do the same. The owner, Andy Weinstein, was out of town during our stay, but the caretakers, Joy and Drew, were a delight. They were both friendly, helpful with map drawing and other advice and our kids loved them. The only big concern we had was with one of the dogs on the property, Cubaya. We have a big dog at our home so our boys are used to dogs but this dog lunged at our 5 year old on our first meeting. We never did trust him and I was afraid of him biting our kids or myself. Because of this dog I never felt comfortable letting my boys explore without us. I think if someone has a property to rent then they either shouldn't have dogs or only have ones that are totally mellow. Dog aside, we did love this place and will come back someday. It was an exceptional deal and a great experience for all of us. I would recommend it to friends and family that wanted a bit of an adventure in their lives!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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104 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2010

We spend 4 nights here in a villa on the ground floor and there is few things to say except: Thanks Andy, Thanks Joy! For making our short stay so great!

The rooms were clean and spacious with lots of character and love. The view from the bed was simply stunning, the howler monkeys coming for breakfast to the near tree a fantastic feature, the sound of the forest and the waves the perfect lullaby. The buildings are in excellent shape with a beautiful garden all around. And we were able to have an awesome dinner for 24 people right there with the help of Andy and Joy!

This was exactly what we needed and the worst thing was that we had to leave after only 4 short nights.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 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.
Austin, Texas
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2010

The views are breathtaking. I never tired of just sitting outside our villa, or swinging in a hammock, and watching the ever changing panorama of beach, ocean, sky and jungle. You could see whales surfacing off the coast, lightning storms out over the ocean, monkeys swinging through the trees, and parrots and countless exotic birds among the nicely landscaped grounds on the mountainside. Inside, the villas are large, comfortable and well equipped. With the many ceiling fans and the remotely controlled air conditioner, we were always comfortable inside. We usually cooked breakfast in our kitchen with food we bought at one of the five small grocery stores in the town. For other meals we tried several of the many small restaurants serving fresh fish and local Tico food. The beaches and the waves are magnificent. We were there in the rainy season so there were fewer visitors and we often could have a one kilometer stretch of beach to ourselves. Santa Teresa is not a place for people who like the comfort of large luxury resorts. But if you have a sense of adventure and want to escape to a place that has not yet been invaded by American chain restaurants and stores, you will love this beautiful, peaceful stretch of Pacific coastline. It's not easy to get to. The roads are awful, but adequately marked. I read many comments from people who said not to drive at night. But we caught the 5 p.m. ferry from Puntarenas to Paquera and drove from Paquera to Surf Vista Villas in the dark without any problems. It wasn't easy since some of the roads were unpaved with enormous water-filled pot holes but with 4 wheel drive we made it. In one place, a small bridge was closed for repairs but we found a well worn path down the bank, through the stream and up the other side. And that final stretch, up the mountainside to Surf Vista Villas, will make you wonder if you will ever find it. The road is steep but nearly all of it is paved. Just keep climbing and you will get there eventually and it will be well worth the trip. And I haven't even mentioned Andy yet. He was the perfect host. He was there nearly all of the time with helpful advice and recommendations on everything such as restaurants, day trips, activities and directions. He has a wealth of knowledge about the area, the people and local culture. He took care of everything we needed. Our ATT cell phones did not work at the villa but Andy had a land line when we needed to make a call. When we went down into the village, we had phone service and there were many places with free wi-fi. We were there for a week and wish we could have stayed for a month. We will definitely return and stay longer next time.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Munich, Germany
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2010

In June, I stayed with Andy, the owner, at Surf Vista Villas for 2 weeks.

Reservation:
Was done via e-mail and PayPal as a 50 % deposit was required to secure the reservation. Andy was quick to respond, everything went smoothly and reliable.

General:
Surf Vista Villas has an amazing view from its hillside location in the middle of the jungle which is perfect to enjoy the sunsets.
I initially planned to stay in Santa Teresa for a month and requested quotes from about 20 places. Surf Vista Villas offered the best rate for a long term stay.

Surf Vista Villas is actually Andy's house which he built for himself with additional apartments he rents out. He designed and built the house himself which explains the great architecture and the house's features such as "real" hot showers.
At the same time this means it is not a hotel or service apartment so it doesn't offer any of the services you'd usually expect. It had rather the feeling of staying with a friend's friend.
If Andy is around he's happy to help out but 75 % of the time he's gone surfing or going about his own business around town which sometimes makes it hard to get a hold of him if you need anything or have a question.

Location:
Surf Vista Villas is located at the northern part of Santa Teresa where it's a bit more quiet and there are fewer restaurants and stores. It's a 45 minute walk to the center of Malpais/Playa Carmen.

The place itself is located up the hill with a private access road. It is very, very steep (approx. 45 degree angle) and a motorized vehicle is a must, not just recommended as stated on the website. By foot it takes you about 15 minutes to walk up the hill and you'll be dripping with sweat when arriving at your room. You better not forget anything as you don't want to make the trip more than twice a day.

Check-in:
Was unspectacular and quick. Andy was there to say hello, showed me my room and gave me my key. It would have been nice if he had taken a bit more time to show me around and explain where everything was, the kitchen, laundry room but the place is not the big so you can figure everything out yourself.

Cleanliness:
Think surf bachelor without a cleaning service. The house and apartments aren't dirty but aren't really clean either. My apartment's floor had been swept, however, only the visible place. Behind the fridge, below the table, chair and bed it was still dusty and you could find the occasional dead bug.
My bathroom seemed to not had been cleaned in while as the former tenant's empty shower gel bottle was still on the shelve. Also, spiders and a mouse seemed to have made it their new home.
The outdoor kitchen's equipment was also full of spiderwebs so I assume the apartment or at least kitchen hadn't been used and cleaned in a while.

I recommend to stay at Surf Vista Villas for a few days for its great view and peaceful atmosphere under the condition that you have a vehicle, don't expect high end service and don't mind the occasional bug.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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 Santa Teresa Surf Vista Villas

Address: 150 Meters North of Super la Hacienda in Santa Teresa, Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Santa Teresa
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
#9 Romantic Hotel in Santa Teresa
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Teresa
#12 Family Hotel in Santa Teresa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Santa Teresa Surf Vista Villas is a new resort consisting of five luxury villas all with panoramic ocean/wave views. Each villa is complete with a fully equipped kitchen, large bathroom with hot water, a/c, new beds with posturpedic mattresses, ceiling fans, wireless capability and a huge deck with breathtaking views. Sunsets can't be seen from a better location and mornings are peaceful and serene with daily visits from exotic birds and howler monkeys. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Santa Teresa Surf Vista Villas Costa Rica

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