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“Flawed paradise” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Playa Cielo

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Playa Cielo
Main Street, Santa Teresa 5361, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #7 of 25 hotels in Santa Teresa
Suffolk/London
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Flawed paradise”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2013 via mobile

This is difficult. We had the two bed villa which is expensive - more than $400 a night so maybe my expectations were too high. Here are the pros and cons:-

Pros

Amazing beach and loads of places to drive around and explore and great bars and restaurants
Fab scenery
Friendly, informative and welcoming owners
Nice beach bar with fab margaritas and surprisingly good food
Once you get used to the dusty surroundings and accept that it's ok to do nothing it's really relaxing. If we'd stayed a couple of days longer we'd have got the balance perfect between relaxing by the bar, going exploring and finding great places to eat.

Cons

2 bed villa is not as charming as the one beds and looks directly out over the other villas so it felt a bit like we were on a seaside housing estate rather than in a beach house
Vibe is definitely self-catering rather than hotel. Coffee and sugar is supplied but even if it's not a hotel (and it says it is) then most self catering places supply a welcome pack of milk, juice and bread which would have made a huge difference to us at minimal cost. We arrived hot and bothered and had to immediately go to the supermarket in the dust (it's REALLY dusty). Also minimal toiletries means that if you were expecting hotel toiletries you have to go and buy shampoo and conditioner.
We were there at the end of the season and some things were looking tired - broken hammocks by the beach and a less than sparkling pool. However we weren't paying end of season prices!

So we really liked it but it would have been easy to get at least one more star from us with minimal expenditure.


Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (36)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Warren, New Jersey
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

This was my second trip to the Santa Teresa area and my first stay at the Playa Cielo. I only wish I had found this place earlier. I traveled with my wife and two daughters (13 and 9) and everyone had a great time. Sol and Adele were wonderful hosts and made sure we had everything we needed. The grounds are beautifully maintained and our villa was always kept clean. The little things they did were nice, like always having clean towels for the shower and beach, a beautiful, fresh fruit plate every morning, and help with whatever we needed. The Habanero restaurant was not only very convenient, but also very tasty. The location of the hotel is perfect. We like to surf and one of the best breaks is a 50 yard walk south on the beach, so it's very easy to get in as many sessions as you can take. The kids had a ball at low tide exploring the many tide pools. All of the restaurants and other beaches are easy to get to, however, I recommend renting an SUV to get around, as you will have a lot more fun this way. I really can't say enough about what a great time we had. I can only look forward to my next visit.

Room Tip: villa #4 is only six months old and has 2 master bedroom suites.
See more room tips
Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013 via mobile

Our whole family found something unique to love about Playa Cielo. The entire staff was always available and helped to organize and make our two weeks perfect. It's very rare that you find a place this special.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

There is no doubt that the setting and accommodations at this hotel are among the most beautiful in the world. And since there are only 4 guest houses, the attention you receive from the staff is plentiful. The beach is gorgeous and the pool is pleasant enough. Santa Theresa is what it is....a surfing village. The dust, the heat, and the difficulty driving might be a bummer for those who are not there to surf.
A couple of complaints about the hotel though. The restaurant is mediocre at best. We stayed two nights and had a rather unpleasant experience at the restaurant, which is too bad because it is the ideal setting right on the beach. But the music was too loud, the omnipresence of barking dogs and a table of 7 or 8 six year old girls made us feel like we were intruders at someone's house party rather than guests at a hotel.
A platter of fruit was delivered every morning. Delicious and very welcome! The hammock and porch are perfect for relaxation.
Overall though, a beautiful hotel and a very comfortable and relaxing stay.

Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013 via mobile

I normally don't write reviews but this place must be notable as a perfect getaway destination.
This is my 3rd consecutive year in Santa Teresa. I couldn't find any reason to choose a different hotel. The proximity to the ocean, one of the best surf point, the rooms, design, landscape, amenities and Habanero restaurant all made me go back every year.
I think the price is reasonable and justified (I have looked in many other places).
Hope to come back again next year!!!

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 5 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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Hong Kong, China
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

I can't begin to describe the beauty and tranquility and service at Playa Cielo. We returned to Costa Rica for our 3rd time, our 2nd stay at Playa Cielo and it exceeded all expectations, even on the perfect last visit. This jungle paradise nestled into the trees yet with the beach at your doorstep is a place not to be missed should you explore Santa Teresa. It is not only homely, classy and chic, it is rustic, real and full of smiles and joy. I can not find a button to recommend PC highly enough. I visited many other hotels in the area, and none come close to the welcoming and comfort I felt with Adele and Shlomi and their gorgeous helpful staff at Playa Cielo! Love you guys and miss you and am returning in June! Besos Babies! xxx

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, ON
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
74 helpful votes 74 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013

Stayed for five nights at this lovely beach front cabana style accommodation. The other reviewers were quite accurate in describing the grounds and cabanas. The location is perfect - right in the middle of santa Teresa. A small grocery store is within walking distance, however, having a car is suggested for even slightly further distances...it is HOT for walking and that main road is not pleasant! I love this area and have visited several times, but I cannot get used to that dusty road!

But I digress...it was wonderful to be able to walk down to the beach so easily..as others have said, the best swimming is to the left or right...about a 5 to 10 minute walk. The tide pools are fun at low tide though!

The outdoor showers are spectacular! Huge and clean with good water pressure. The large terraces were perfect for getting out of the sun and enjoying a sunset drink.

A few negatives for me; I really hated the plastic mattress protectors! I get their utility, but they are so noisy and sweaty! How about putting a nice, soft mattress pad on top? A good reading light on each side of the bed would be great as well. I do recognize that this is not a 'hotel' type accommodation, but it might be nice to have some info in the rooms ( how to connect to wi fi, list of restaurants, emergency numbers, etc,). While the staff were friendly, it was not always easy to find people or get information quickly. When you only have a short time,you do t want to waste it! Finally, for some reason, I thought this was 'adults only', not so. There were a lot of kids! Children of other guests as well as children of the staff. One day I counted about 6 in the pool! I avoided the pool in general, largely for this reason. I always enjoy the sound of the monkeys and birds while in CR, but this trip the sounds of the jungle were frequently interrupted by a screaming child. No one's fault of course, but my tolerance for this is pretty low...if you want to have a more quiet, adult atmosphere, this may not be the best choice! That said, perhaps it's just luck and timing...sometimes it might be only honeymooners! Overall, this is a great property and would definitely be worth a return visit ( if I could get around the kid thing). ;)

Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Additional Information about Playa Cielo

Address: Main Street, Santa Teresa 5361, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Santa Teresa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Family Hotel in Santa Teresa
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Teresa
#6 Romantic Hotel in Santa Teresa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Beautiful, luxury beachfront villas each with amazing ocean views. Centrally located to supermarkets and restaurants.Relax by our beachfront pool or lounge in any of the available hammocks by the ocean. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Playa Cielo Hotel Santa Teresa
Playa Cielo Costa Rica/Santa Teresa

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