Aaaannnnd now I see why I hear of so many people who visited and just decide to stay forever. I want to be them someday! I was here for 2 weeks, wanted a more authentic experience and to remove myself from over-touristy areas like Tamarindo. Santa Teresa itself is a sleepy town that values its quality of life and doesn't attempt to be something it’s not. FM had a fantastic website with amazing photos, so they made it very easy for potential guests to see the ENTIRE grounds and know what to expect. I found some other lodges were skimpy on this end, leaving me to question what places were like upon arrival. Gabi was also extremely prompt in replying to my (many) questions about booking/availability/flights, etc.
I was greeted right away by Marcos, one of the hotel staff and he showed me around and helped me with my embarassingly huge suitcase. I misunderstood the way bungalows/dorms were booked, and since I was travelling solo, the only room available was the suite. I decided to splurge and it was GORGEOUS. Huge room with two ceiling fans, a pull out sofa bed, a desk/chair, 2 large closets with a lock safe inside, outdoor shower and *drum roll please*...PRIVATE (private!) covered balcony with chairs and hammock, complete with candles for some dim mood lighting! This would have been an amazing room for a couple/honeymooners, and I felt a little weird being in it by myself but invited friends to have drinks on the balcony a few times to share the love.
Staff is all fantastic: its run by Gabi and Emilio, and their little boy who is the cutest and became my little buddy. Tina, Mary, Gustino help run the grounds/kitchen (in addition to putting up with my attempts at Spanish) and Juan is the best cook ever. I have a small stomach, and cursed myself every night because I could never finish his glorious meals. Freshest seafood imaginable, and they usually offer 4-5 options (including beef/pork/chicken) on the regular non-specialty nights. Other nights we had grilled pizzas, amazing sushi and homemade pasta – all unreal. Breakfast was hearty with eggs, french toast, amazing banana pancakes and delicious fruit. Tina's coffee was also phenomenal!
I went during the dry season, so I was fully aware that water was scarce and guests were to use it sparingly. That being said, you never felt like you were roughing it, always had plenty of water to shower with, and use in the bathroom - this is life down there, and for me it was not hard to "get on board". Speaking of, I went down mainly to surf, and immediately was able to set up lessons with Marcos, but Fran and Jose (also in the staff) taught as well. So there was no seeking out instruction if you wanted a lesson - everything was literally at your fingertips! They also helped us set up Canopy Tours and ATV rentals and can help with the many other activities you can do.
There were a few places in/around the area, but some were a bit of a walk away. Coco Loco and Kika were 2 of our major haunts, CL was more bustling and Kika had a mellower live music vibe. I also had drinks one night at a gorgeous beach bar called Rocamar. Nothing like digging your toes into the sand and enjoying a mojito at sunset. Speaking of Mojitos, if you stay at FM you will be lucky enough to have a great bar in addition to the restaurant right at your drunky drunk fingertips. Bruno, the bar master, was a major staple around the property and kept everyone entertained and fully liquored up if they wanted. And who doesn't want one of Bruno's mojitos or special secret cocktail? I want one right now and it’s not even NOON. Plus he's got friends, and they came around quite a bit so there was always a fun party vibe that wasn't too crazy. There’s also a pool AND ping pong table to help keep you busy on lazy afternoons. And if you're bored at all, you can play with Gabi and Emilio's 2 dogs, Pepe and Baine, both BIG, chocolate colored, canine balls of love.
The pool is lovely and a nice escape from the beach (a few minutes from the hotel by foot), plus is surrounded by lush plants/flowers and a few friendly iguanas. Next to the pool is an amazing outdoor studio where Gabi teaches AM yoga and silk classes. The entire hotel is set a little back from the road; so there is no street traffic/ATV noise, only the calls of roosters, monkeys and iguanas. They can get a little loud in the morning, but you don’t want to sleep late anyways because there’s a lot to do. When you’re extremely sad to leave a place that has a family vibe like The Funky Monkey, you know you picked an excellent place to rest your head. I’m very grateful for my entire time spent among awesome people, and really hope to return someday soon. Experience this place. Experience it NOW.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.