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“A hidden gem and superb value for adventurous families” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Casa MarBella

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Casa MarBella
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125 meters east and 25 meters north of Super Ronny's, Santa Teresa 5361, Costa Rica   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 26 Hotels in Santa Teresa
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
69 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 180 helpful votes
“A hidden gem and superb value for adventurous families”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

We spent five nights here with our 5-year old son and infant daughter, and loved every minute. Although Santa Teresa can be a tough destination for little ones - it's hot, dusty, and located at the far end of a long, bumpy day's travel - Casa MarBella was a comfortable, charming oasis and base from which to explore and enjoy the surfers' vibe that we came to experience.

In terms of location, this hotel is located at the commercial end of Playa Carmen, near the main crossroads, which means that it's convenient to services, but a good 10-minute drive away from the fancier lodgings, restaurants, and Playa Santa Teresa proper. Two banks, two grocery stores (with diapers, formula, and baby food), plus a small handful of restaurants and shops, are all within walking distance of the hotel, but having an ATV or SUV would be ideal. Casa MarBella is located at the top of a very steep slope and driveway, which can be a bit of a hike with kids and surfboards in the sun, but also means that once you arrive, you're far above the dust and noise of the main road.

This is a small, intimate, and private hotel that is lovingly tended, and we quickly came to know both the owners and some of the other guests that were staying with us. We had no qualms letting our son roam around the property with his new friends, or hiring the wonderful housekeeper to babysit. Our two-bedroom suite was comfortable, clean, and spacious enough for the whole family - including a large portable crib - and we especially appreciated the well-equipped kitchen, essential for family travel.

The pool area is small but pretty, with a lovely infinity edge that peeks out across the treetops to the ocean. There is also a beautiful yoga deck that cantilevers out from the hill, to make the most of the breeze and sunset views. The view from our master bedroom was also to die for, with double french doors opening out to a small private deck overlooking the Pacific. Be aware that this property is very compact, so the basic studio rooms clustered around the courtyard, while comfortable, are nowhere near as nice as the larger accommodations. In terms of space, privacy, and view, it's the 2- and 3-bedroom units that offer superb value for Santa Teresa.

The owners, Jim and Stephanie, were friendly hosts, helping us set up surfing lessons, rentals, babysitting, and restaurant reservations without any fanfare. On the subject of restaurants, dinner at the adjacent Brisas Del Mar was one of the highlights of our stay, with excellent food, big tasty drinks, and a festive outdoor dining area overlooking the town.

Santa Teresa isn't for everyone - it's hot, dusty, miles from anywhere, and a bit rough around the edges. But for families seeking a little adventure, mixed in with creature comforts like cold beer, air conditioning, and great sushi, you'd be hard pressed to find a better value than Casa MarBella.

Room Tip: Absolutely spring for the 2- or 3-bedroom units with a kitchen. They're worth it.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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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356 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 (87)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Tallahassee, Florida
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

I'll make this short and sweet. I would not stay any where else than here if I was you. Stephanie and Jim are awesome! It's in a great location and you can't beat Santa Theresa. We stayed 3 nights in Jaco at twice the price before coming here and were so relieved to arrive at this hidden pearl for 5 days of paradise. BOOK IT. NOW. You can thank me later

Room Tip: There's all good and 5 steps from pool. The suite is especially good for families.
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  • 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.
Kamloops, Canada
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

We stayed at the Casa MarBella for 5 weeks and enjoyed every minute. Staff is amazing, very helpful, anything you want to do they can help you with; massage to practising your Spanish. Close to many great eating places and within a short walk to the beach. Whether its surfing or yoga the owners Jim and Stephnie can assist you. The pool is lovely, the view incredible. We feel very lucky that this spot was recommended to us.
Cathy and Bob

  • Stayed January 2013, 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.
Seattle
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2013

A wonderful vacation in Costa Rica! We stayed at Casa Marbella in Santa Teresa for two full weeks and loved every second of it. The hotel is beautiful, clean, & comfortable. Jim & Stephanie are excellent hosts and will help you with everything Costa Rica! Everything is close but far enough up the hill to be away from it all at the same time! This was our third stay at Casa Marbella & we have been all around Santa Teresa. We wouldn't think of staying anywhere else!

Room Tip: Get a suite if you like to cook your own meals!
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  • Stayed January 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kelowna, Canada
Level Contributor
115 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2013

This review is not the usual review because I didn't even get to stay here. The reason why I am giving a 5 star review for this hotel that I didn't even get the pleasure to stay at is because of the customer service. I made a reservation for 2 nights for February 13 and 14 for myself and my husband for valentines day. I was emailing back and forth with Stephanie about a few questions for tours and such because I wanted a special day.

My husband and I drove from Playa Grande to San Miguel, and little did we know, we had to drive 20 kilometres on a gravel road in our tiny Suzuki Celerio. We didn't even know if we would make it to our hotel. It took us over 1 hour to get to San Miguel. We were supposed to leave on the 13th for Santa Teresa, but we ended up finding out from the hotel owner in San Miguel that it is a bad drive for our little car. We would have to go over rivers and such. I unfortunately had to cancel our trip to Santa Teresa, and we were quite upset. Anyways, Stephanie ended up giving back my deposit. Thank you so much for understanding!

Angelique

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockholm, Sweden
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

We just came back from an amazing vacation in Santa Teresa and already miss the pace and the beautiful surroundings this little village has to offer. We stayed 11 days at Casa Marbella and really enjoyed every second. Having explored Santa Teresa quite a lot during this time, we found no other place we'd wish to stay at. The rather small hotel is located up the hill and has very beautiful and spacious rooms (we stayed in one of the standard rooms) which were cleaned every day. There is a very nice pool with a breathtaking view over the ocean. It's a tranquil hotel offering e.g. yoga classes, massages and, of course, surf lessons (party people should choose a different location). The owners Jim and Stephanie are very relaxed and helpful to whatever you might need. The neighboring restaurant Brisas del Mar has excellent food.

/Andreas & Erika, Stockholm, Sweden.

Room Tip: The standard rooms are very nice but have no kitchen/-ette. The bigger 2 bedroom apartments have a p...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Dortmund, Germany
Level Contributor
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

I visited Casa MarBella in November/December 2012 with my boyfriend. We had a truly wonderful time! Upon arrival I thought I was stepping into paradise!
This was my second visit to Casa MarBella and I didn't expect the hotel to be even more beautiful then a few years ago, but it was! With all the new additions like a sun deck, the yoga deck and all the overflowing greens around the hotel, I never even felt like I even wanted to leave the hotel and explore the surroundings ;) It is just a five minute walk to the beautiful beach and within two minutes you are on the main road with shops, a great variety of restaurants and everythings else you might need. Still, up at the hotel you don't feel any of this. It is super relaxing, peaceful and quiet. The view is amazing and I saw the most beautiful sunsets of my life. Also, what is better then hanging out in the lounge chairs on the yoga deck and watching monkeys and Iguanas climbing in the trees right in front of you?
Jim and Stephanie make you feel very welcome and are really taking great care of the place. Everything is well taken care of, nothing looks worn down and you can tell that a lot of love and thought it put into everything. Both have tons of suggestions for great activities in the area and can help you with everything you ask for. From day trips to waterfalls, zip lining in the near forest, fishing, snorkeling, sailing, quad tours, surf lessons, board rental, yoga, massages, restaurant suggestions...you name it, they have it or can organize it for you!
AS you might tell, I could go on and on about the beauty of this hotel but I will stop here and will only add, that I have been to quite some places in Costa Rica and especially the area around Santat Teresa but I haven't been to a place that offers such good value! If you go to Santa Teresa/Mal Pais, you HAVE ro stay there! I truly believe, there is no better place for your perfect vacation!

  • Stayed November 2012, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casa MarBella

Address: 125 meters east and 25 meters north of Super Ronny's, Santa Teresa 5361, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Santa Teresa
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Santa Teresa
#4 Romantic Hotel in Santa Teresa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Casa Marbella is a boutique style hotel centrally located in Santa Teresa, across the street from the beach on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Our guests can enjoy all that Santa Teresa/Mal Pais has to offer in comfort, style and security. It is a place where visitors can hear howler monkeys while watching the immense blue Pacific with a cool drink in his hand. After relaxing, it is just a short stroll to the beach, shopping, night life, restaurants, etc. We offer ocean view rooms, suites and condominiums with A/C, kitchen, in-room safe and more. Right in front of your door you will enjoy our refreshing pool with infinity edge. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Casa Marbella Santa Teresa
Casa Marbella Hotel Santa Teresa
Casa MarBella Costa Rica/Santa Teresa

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