My first though on going to Cost Rica, came to me on January 2009.
I am not a surfer but, still, I wanted to go to this country and enjoy some time at the beach. 'Doing something close to nothing' as the Prince song goes.
Searching the Internet, I came by Cabinas Las Arenas and initiated some contact back then with the owner, Mr. Arnold Flather who was very kind to reply not only to all my e-mails himself but in an also very detailed manner to all of my questions and worries (I am not a surfer, I am a girl travelling on my own, will I enjoy myself there or should I head to another place? etc, etc, etc.).
I did not go to Costa Rica on 2009 but instead, I went in February 2010.
Again, I contacted Mr. Flather and "bombarded" him with quite a few concerns of mine and, again, he was even kinder in his manner and in his detailed and prompt answers.
Since he was out of the country, he also was more than kind enough to give me his home number and he specifically made clear: "Feel free to call me in any case you need more details.". He also wrote that I can call him collect!!! since he knew that I lived in Europe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Clearly, I was astonished and more than anything, wanted to get to Cabinas Las Arenas asap and enjoy this kind of hospitality in person.
Things in life do not always end up as they appear, but in the Cabinas Las Arenas case, they more than did!!!
My experience was more than perfect!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It was a 'fairy tale' come true!!!
I arrived to Cabinas Las Arenas in Playa Hermosa on February the 15th 2010.
My flight had a 4 hours delay from Madrid, and while I was on the shuttle bus they had arranged for me, the manager of Cabinas Las Arenas, Roger, even called the driver to check up on us and if everything was o.k. and if I was on my way there.
The moment we arrived at the parking of the hotel, Roger came and greeted me.
I saw a hardcore Tican surfer in front or me with the nicest of manners.
He showed me my room, explained everything to me and made clear that in case I need anything, I can find him either in the hotel office or his room or anywhere in the surrounding areas of the hotel since he is always around and available.
And, he truly was!!!
Any moment I searched for him, he was there, extremely helpful and kind.
I left my room and headed to the beach. It was pitch dark but still, I could get a clear view of the beach.
A-ma-zing!!! Huge, no people, and with THE most INCREDIBLE night sky someone can EVER EVER EVER imagine!!!
I never knew the sky had SO MANY stars and galaxies.
Yes, I have seen the night sky and all over the world and in pure darkness BUT the night sky in Playa Hermosa is a WHOLE different ball game and only if someone experiences it, then, they can see what I mean.
On the following morning, and after checking out the truly wonderful empty of people and only with a bunchfull of avid surfers beach, Roger called me a cab to head to the bank in the nearest town, Jaco, to change some money.
Jaco is right before Playa Hermosa, heading North.
It is the closest "fully equipped" "town" to Playa Hermosa. It has some banks, ATM's, super markets, all kinds of restaurants, surf schools etc and it is growing fast.
Having a look around Jaco and not being a surfer myself, I decided that it would be more convenient to me to move over there.
Mr. Flather, had already mentioned on one of his e-mails before I did the booking that, in case I decided that Palya Hermosa was too hard core for me and wanted to leave, I was free to do so, no questions asked.
I went back at night, after having spent the day at Jaco, and told Roger of my plans.
He was totally cool and told me we can call Mr. Flather in the morning and arrange for me to leave. He also noted that since the swell is too big in Playa Hermosa, in case I would want to learn surfing, Jaco was a better place for me.
We did call Mr. Flather and he was as kind as always and I did move to Jaco.
After I had packed the few things I had taken out of my suitcase, and the cab Roger had called for me had arrived, I was even more pleasantly astonished by him.
Since I was a solo traveller and a girl, he made it very very clear to me that in case I need something in Jaco or in the worst case scenario that something went wrong, all I had to do is say his name and, since everybody knows him there, they would call him and he would come to my rescue.
His voice and his manner, was as kind as always and in that precise moment he showed genuine care for someone who he obviously considered as a friend.
And, that happens, because, in any case a person stays at Cabinas Las Arenas and is in the cool freestyle and easygoing easyflowing wave length of surffers, then, he or she, immediately becomes a friend and is considered a friend.
I more than appreciated Roger's true caring for me and, his manner at that moment was, if I may say so, touching because I was only a client that stayed there for 2 days.
As I knew Mr. Flather would head back to Cabinas Las Arenas while I was still there, I wrote him in an e-mail that I would go and meet with him in person.
I did, but, as I went without notice, I did not find him.
Coming back to my country, I wrote him that in my next trip, I am planning to go find him again.
Needless to say I GOT ALL OF MY MONEY BACK the moment he was notified I was leaving and moving to Jaco.
Even before I went ot Cabinas Las Arenas, I had read some not so nice reviews about the hotel on this site.
I cannot say they are false sinve I am not the person that wrote them or had the experience.
But, I can say this:
Believe me and, please, trust me since I have travelled in many many places all around the world and have stayed in all kind of places from the most luxurious ones to the most simple ones to the most remote ones and to the most crowded ones:
Cabinas Las Arenas is THE destination place for someone who wants to surf in the most amazing tide (no wonder the World Championship is ALWAYS held there), for someone who wants to stay in THE most relaxed surfer orientated environment, eating great food, feeling right "at home", having a whole endless beach by himself or hanging out in the restaurant of the hotel exchanging surf stories, travel stories and all kinds of life stories in the most of relaxed manners.
Book a trip to this hotel- YOU WILL NOT REGRET A MOMENT YOU SPEND THERE.
Arnold (Mr. Flather), and Roger, Thank You from my heart even though it was too short of a stay.
Clio!, a VERY VERY satisfied customer and above all friend of Cabinas Las Arenas.
Surf, Surf and Hand Loose!!!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.