We stayed here for the second time in a year. We love the Condo and Samara. This time we shared a 2 bedroom condo with our daughter and her partner. The condo has everything you need and is beautiful! My daughter and her partner were astounded by the condo, views and of course the amazing beach. The beach is really a 2 minute walk from the Condo. We stayed over during the Rodeo which was such a fun and unique cultural experience. We absolutely will return, hopefully, next time with our sons. Pictures: Sunrise from the balcony, monkeys hanging out, Rodeo action shot and a waterfall close by.
Lovely modern condo, short walk to the beach and about 1 km. walk to Samara town itself. The condo we had had 2 bedrooms and a dining room, working kitchen next to small sitting room. Immaculate. Would go again.
This was our third stay at Condo Begonia and it will not be the last visit. Our last visit was in Nov of 2017. The staff was as helpful, attentive, and welcoming as they were in the past. The improved wifi speed was a great add-on as it allowed us to stream from our DVR at home much easier than in the past. We had a few power outages that lasted just a few seconds which is the norm in this area and it was a quick recovery. We have no complaints except we wished we could have stayed longer. Your staff is outstanding and I hope to see them all next Nov again. Continue doing what you are as it's working! Pura Vida!!!!!
My husband and I recently stayed at Alta Vista's Condo Catalina. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay. The condo has amazing views of the ocean as well at the jungle and horse farm. The condo was very comfortable and we had everything we needed. The property manager Laura was lovely and helpful and Dennis the caretaker was very friendly and took great care of the property. We had awesome daily sightings of howler moneys and coatis. We will definitely be back.
First the pro’s: This is a clean, well-maintained, and well-equipped apartment. Everything works the way it is supposed to. The floor plan feels European in its efficiency. Closet space is ample and well-positioned, and beach chairs and towels are thoughtfully provided.. It is on the west side of Samara, which means a chance for some beautiful sunrises, and also away from the touristy part of town, in the midst of the real Costa Rica. It is a very safe and easy 2 block walk to the west end of the superb half-moon shaped Samara Beach, which stretches about a mile from one end to the other. You can actually walk into town from the apartment at low tide, and it’s faster than walking by the roads. (At high tide, you would have to wade through waist-deep water.) It’s also a very easy walk to two good family-owned café’s, a pretty public park, and a very decent grocery store. The owner, Patrick, makes every effort to prepare you for your stay, even sending a little guide about 30 days in advance, that acquaints you with the property, the staff, and the town. You know exactly what to expect. The property manager, Laura Thomas, is excellent, courteous, and attentive, and the maintenance man, Dennis, who speaks practically no English, is also very pleasant, helpful, and competent. His mother lives two doors down, and his daughter works at the Enterprise/National car rental agency in town. The building is 4 stories, and has 3 or 4 condos for rent. We stayed in Condo Amapola, which is on the lowest floor. Condo Catalina is two flights up, and has almost the identical floor plan as Amapola, and there is a tiny apartment on the top floor with an enormous patio (called the Congo Lounge), that is shared by all the residents, but few make the climb all the way to the top. Catalina and the patio of the small top-floor condo command a sweeping, unobstructed view of the beach. Amapola’s view is low-angle, and partially obstructed by trees, buildings, and power lines. Now the con’s: I noticed a slight odor when we first walked in the door of Amapola, but didn’t think much about it. A day later, when we returned to the apartment from a romantic dinner at the beach, the entire place was filled with an odor of sewage. Needless to say, that killed any romance. Looking for the source of the smell, I discovered it was coming from the toilet in the main bathroom, which is centrally located, even though the toilet was clean and empty of anything but water. The odor wafts gently but relentless up through the pipes. We decided to open up the apartment and run the ceiling fans to drive the odor out, only to discover that the window at the back of the unit, which is the only cross-ventilation opportunity, will not open. It has been rigged so that it will only open a crack. No doubt this is partly because on the other side of the window is the housekeeper’s area. So if you are going to stay in this apartment, I highly recommend that you KEEP THE TOILET LID DOWN AT ALL TIMES WHEN NOT IN USE. That was all it took to solve the problem, and we had no further difficulty the rest of our stay. The beds are on the firm side of average. This was a small problem for me, because I prefer a softer-than-average bed, and that is what I am used to. Nevertheless, I got a decent night’s sleep with only a little stiffness and soreness in the morning. Finally, I hope you will not have any problems with Patrick, the owner. We did. I found him reasonable, but opportunistic. Allow me to explain. As required, we put down half the price of our stay at the time of making our reservation for Condo Catalina (about 70 days in advance). At $127 per night, my wife was a little concerned about the cost, but I considered it well worth the extra money. 30 days before our stay, like clockwork, we got a reminder to pay the other half. So I paid up. Practically the VERY NEXT BUSINESS DAY, I got this message from Patrick: “There is a bit of a mix-up on my end I take responsibility for, are you okay switching to the 1st floor condo, Condo Amapola? It is also a 2bd/2ba unit, with a queen in each bedroom. Because this is my fault I will offer a $100 cash back credit. Let me know! Best regards, Patrick” As you can see, this was phrased as a politely worded request, and he pretends to be offering a discount if we would switch. If the two apartments were of equal value, this would have been reasonable. However, in fact Amapola rents for about $35-$40 per night less than Catalina ($127 versus $89), and since our stay was 4 nights, a $100 discount would leave us renting Amapola for $102 per night, which is about 15% ABOVE market value. Not a discount at all, but an upcharge! As I was considering whether I wanted to make this change or not, I got a disconcerting message from some place in Nicoya saying my reservation had been cancelled! It didn’t seem to apply to me, but I contacted Patrick to see if that notice was from him, and it was. Patrick had just collected my rent a day or two before, and now was cancelling our reservation without notice, and without refunding my money. It was not a polite request at all. Our stay in Samara was to be the start of an 8-day visit to Costa Rica. All the arrangements had been made, and now they were all being thrown up in the air, no fault of ours. My wife and I went back to the drawing board, and reviewed all the housing options still available at that point. (Pickings were getting slim, since it was less than 30 days before the trip.) We decided that Amapola was probably the best value still remaining in Samara, so we called Patrick and told him we would accept the switch of apartments, and that all we needed to do was agree on the price. Homeaway was showing the price as $93 per night. Another source showed it as $89. Patrick’s “discount” would have charged us $102 per night. He readily agreed to rent the unit to us at the regular market rate of $89, and was all ready to seal the deal, but we did not agree to that. Since the problem was caused by his own error in double-booking Catalina, and since he was promising to “take responsibility”, and since his mistake had cost us considerable time and additional stress, we proposed a $100 discount – the amount he had offered – off the regular price of Amapola. To his credit, he was completely reasonable about this, and readily agreed. We got “a screaming deal”, in his words, effectively renting Amapola for about $65 per night. So on the surface, Patrick is courteous and reasonable, but underneath, he is a bit of a shark. He says this was an unusual circumstance, and I will take his word for it. Mistakes happen. We are all human. No other reviews had mentioned a problem like this – which is part of the reason I am writing about it in my review – but he was certainly trying to play the situation to his advantage, to increase his occupancy rate and rent us a less desirable unit at an above-market price, while presenting it as a “discount.” He even made a show of checking to make sure he wouldn’t “lose money” on the terms we proposed. (Let’s not forget, with less than 30 days to go before our stay, there was no guarantee he would rent that unit to anyone. So even though we paid less than market, it was still well above the $0 he might have made otherwise. And this could provide the incentive for an unscrupulous owner to pretend to a double-booking, in order to increase his occupancy rate.) Nevertheless, when we put our case to him, Patrick was completely reasonable about it, so bottom line, he is not a crook. He is an opportunist and a little-too-shrewd business man, but the net result was, we got a great deal, and our 8-day visit to Costa Rica went off as planned from there.…