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.
- 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