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“Paradise within Paradise” 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 #5 of 25 hotels in Santa Teresa
Kansas City, MO
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Paradise within Paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

Three of my sisters, my young daughter and I stayed at Casa Marbella for 4 wonderful nights/days. Set on a hillside above Sta Teresa, it was an oasis from a town bustling with surfers and full of dust during the dry season.
The infinity pool was just what the doctor ordered after being out and about all day and was such a great spot to socialize with the others staying in this boutique hotel. With just 8 rooms (we had 2 of them), we quickly made friends with others at the pool swimming or watching the glorious sunset (or while marveling at the fact a howler monkey had taken up temporary residence in the trees on the property).

Jim and Stephanie were so helpful and their daughter Naia provided a great playmate for my daughter.

Drinks on the honor system and free, delicious Costa Rican coffee were some of the perks of this wonderful hotel.

Would go back in a heartbeat.

Room Tip: We loved the room with 2 bedrooms and a wee kitchen. Fridge was great to house cold beverages and th...
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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
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313 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 (73)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Upstate, NY
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

We are a New York family of five (three teenage kids), and we stayed at Casa Marbella from February 16-23, 2013. We arrived around lunchtime on a Saturday, and were greeted by Amaline (spelling?), our wonderful Austrian concierge, who walked us through the beautiful hotel property nestled in the hills less than 0.5 km above the main drag in Santa Theresa. The hotel was built by the New Smyrna, Florida-native husband and wife team, Jim and Stephanie, back around 2006, and every inch of it is a Zen-inspired gem of design, comfort and beauty. The ocean views from every window are breath-taking, and the blue-tiled infinity pool set in the center court-yard was absolutely blissful. We stayed in the front villa (#8), which is a duplex suite with a large balcony, full kitchen, a master bedroom and one guest room with a full-size bed with a shared bathroom on the first floor, and another bedroom with twin beds, and another full bathroom on the second floor. The balcony was equipped with adirondack chairs, a full dining table which sat 6 easily, and a hammock. We had three "pet" iguanas who came to visit the roof below our balcony every day for fruit scraps, which made our kids laugh. Much of the furniture and the fixtures were designed by the owners using local materials. Stephanie is a certified Vinyasa flow Yoga instructor, and you can see her goal to create a calm sense of oneness with the surrounding, natural environment is present in every detail. The hotel provides arrangements for every activity you could dream of participating in, and we took advantage of a wonderful private Yoga session with Stephanie right on the hotel's gorgeous yoga deck, and a private surf lesson with Jim (who's been surfing for almost 30 years, and was - gratefully - very patient with us newbies). Our friendly hosts also arranged excursions to nearby destinations for zip-lining, horseback riding, and deep sea fishing. They also set up our day-trip to snorkle near Tortuga Island. The hotel is right in the middle of town, so you really don't even need a car if you want to veg out by the pool, walk to restaurants and the Playa Santa Theresa or Carmen surf sites. However, many people rent ATVs (which we did for one day) to get around. Tip: if you go by ATV or motorcycle, expect to wear goggles and surgical masks - the unpaved roads are very dusty. I can't say enough great things about the hotel, it's owners, or the location in Santa Theresa. We had the trip of a lifetime, and having seen the other lodgings around the town, we absolutly know we picked the best place!

  • 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
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Québec, Canada
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013

We stayed at this hotel for 3 nights in february 2013 and it was perfect. We arrived really early in the morning and our room was not ready but they took care of us and our luggage and gave us some towels to enjoy the pool. Room perfect (#4) with a kitchen, frig and a king bed. Amazing shower and the decoration of the room is really beautiful. We took their honeymoon package wich consist of a canopy tour, a one hour massage each (Amelyn is a really great masso and it was a perfect moment of relaxation - there was some noise from the others clients from the pool but that was not really a problem because the massage was so good.... and it's part of the game when you have a massage outside or on the beach) and the last part was a bottle of champagne and a basket of fruits that we enjoy on the upper gallery with the sunset in front of us. Womderfull!!!! Thanks to Stephanie and Jim, the owners of this perfect place.

  • Stayed February 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.
Vancouver, Canada
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
46 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
166 helpful votes 166 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 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
Reviewer
4 reviews 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
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:
#2 Family Hotel in Santa Teresa
#5 Romantic Hotel in Santa Teresa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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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