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“A week spent in a green paradise”
Review of Casa Del Mar

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Casa Del Mar
Certificate of Excellence
Banska Bystrica, Slovakia
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“A week spent in a green paradise”
Reviewed March 27, 2014

I highly recommend this place to all nature lovers who want to get out of the city and enjoy time without TV and internet (there are some places with wi-fi though). A beautiful beach is just a few meters in front of the cabin. Water was calm and warm, sand is fine and the shore is descending slowly. You can go for a walk along the beach and see beautiful places. There are lot of palm trees everywhere and the vegetation is very rich and green.
Cabins were really nice, comfortable and decently clean. There was a good privacy and great atmosphere. The owner - Amanda was very nice and caring, she has a beatiful well kept-garden around the cabin which you can enjoy while relaxing in the hammock. We also enjoyed having fresh tropical flowers as a decoration in the cabin. Amanda was around quite often asking if everything was OK and she organized some nice trips for good prices for us: we went to the Jaguar Rescue Center, on a dolphine tour (including a visit of Punta Mona beach and organic permaculture) and for a guided hike to the jungle where we also climbed to a tree house and enjoyed a wonderful view. All of the trips were amazing.
Manzanillo is a small village not too busy which I consider as an advantage. There are few shops and there is also a truck with fruits and vegetables passing by every day. We were eating mostly fruits and guacamole and we also ate out in restaurants around. The food was really delicious and I could find vegan options which I really enjoyed. We really liked the restaurant called "Cool and calm".
Overall it was an awesome experience we would certainly love to come back. Falling aslleep while listening to the sea and cicadas and waking up hearing tropical birds is priceless. It is my favourite place in Costa Rica. If you love wildlife, relax and "pura vida" you should certainly visit this place with its unforgettable relaxed atmosphere.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank ms_izzzy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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75 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Oskaloosa, Kansas
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2014

Would highly recommend!! In fact, we have already booked two weeks next year. Amanda is a wonderful host. Not only did she make sure the casita was what we expected, but also provided information on many activities in the area. She can also help with any arrangements for those activities. The casita was clean, comfortable beds, fully equipped kitchen, hot water shower,and plenty of room. Great porch with the beach only a few meters away. We already miss being there!!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank BruceAimee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 14, 2014

A clean and very nice wooden cabin with a well equipped kitchen, just the right size for our family of four. The cabin is right in front of a nice beach with good snorkeling spots and the sea is quiet enough for 6 year-olds to swim easily. We loved the tiny village of Manzanillo and its friendly people, and enjoyed our walks on the beautiful coast of the jungle (Gandoca-Manzanillo reserve, 500 meters form the cabina). We had fresh fish from the local fisherman, a very nice man who lived close and took us to see dolphins. We highly recommend this place. No need for a car, you can take the bus to Puerto Viejo (or elsewhere). You can also bike there (heard it was very nice), but we did not find small bikes to rent for the children in Manzanillo (there were some available in Puerto Viejo).

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank 607mimi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Smyrna Beach, Florida
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 28, 2014

The lovely Amanda is the most attentive and conscientious hostess ever! She was very ill the day I checked in and still had the place spotless and ready by 2PM. The cabina was very clean, very spacious and comfortable with lots of windows and superb ceiling fans for ventilation. My stay was enhanced by meeting the locals , my neighbors next door, and visitors in the park during the day. But by 9PM all is quiet in Manzanillo and there is only the surf, the wind and the night creatures to foster the most relaxing sleep I've had in years. This is a gem at the 'end of the world'. Only beach and jungle to the south, all the way to Panama! Ahh...just the escape I needed!! I will be back, Amanda...gonna take you up on your offer to go snorkeling again!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Thomas S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed September 2, 2013

This wooden cabin is a stone's throw from a beautiful quiet beach. We really enjoyed the atmosphere of Manzanillo, the snorkeling, the chilled out people and the sloth up the tree. The cabin itself was superclean, spacious and comfortable. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Zozolaki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed June 30, 2013

I had a calling to rent a little place in the caribbean and have some days spent doing little more than walking the beach and sitting in a hammock..... This was my 5th visit to the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. I have typically always stayed up towards Puerto Viejo/ Cocles/ or Playa Negra. I had been down to Manzanillo a few times before for day trips ( hike or a trip to Maxi's for lunch, etc.). Typically I am traveling solo and with loose plans...... On this trip I felt like getting outside of the busier tourist areas, and went down to where the road ended in Manzanillo. When I came across Casa Del Mar, it was as though the universe had heard my vision for a little house on the beach:) I was driving around looking at different accommodation options, and nothing felt quite right.... I was hoping for a comfortable, affordable little house on the beach. Nothing too dingy....nothing too commercialized feeling..... authentic, but comfortable. Casa Del Mar was not only the perfect house- but the only one I could find that matched everything I was looking for :)
The house was large enough to easily have a family or few friends stay ( there is a big bed in the main bedroom, and two twin beds in the front room), but also small enough for a solo traveller. There are two small grocery stores in town so you can cook at home (cooking supplies were limited and basic). There are also a few different sodas to eat at. Overall, Manzanillo is very quiet. If you are looking for a bar scene or shopping, you are better to stay up in Puerto Viejo. If you want to have peace and quite, and a mellow place to relax and get away from it all, Manzanillo is perfect. You can definitely stay busy snorkeling, hiking, swimming, and walking the beach ( note: the bugs on the beach can get really intense at certain times of days.... I think it may have been just before sunset and in the earlier morning..... I didn't notice it mid-day). I enjoyed going for some morning runs through the town, walking the beach ( it is a decently long walk to go down the entire beach.....and really nice!), playing frisbee, and laying in the hammock :) I wanted to go on some hikes ( there are some great ones in the area), but I was feeling a little lazy :) I know that there are also a tours led by guides if you want to explore the area better. Renting snorkeling gear is easy and convenient in town..... there is also kayak rentals. So, you can being as active or inactive as you like.
I was super pleased to find out that Casa Del Mar is a locally owned property as well! I love to support local businesses; however it seems like the vast majority of the accommodation options are ex-pat owned in CR. Amanda, who manages Casa Del Mar, saw the houses un-used and approached the owner to help him get the properties in use. She has lived in different international destinations for 14 years and has years of hotel management/hospitality experience. She exemplifies someone who has a true appreciation of where she is at. Amanda's general kindness and attitude made a lasting impression, and certainly contributed to the overall good vibe.
I always tend to have a rental car, but it would have been easy to come here by bus. The town is very small, so it is better to explore on foot or bike. If you have a car, it will just sit. I would probably tell someone to just catch a bus from San Jose (I only had a car because I had specifically needed it for another part of my trip, and there wasn't an office to return the car to in the Caribbean).
I stayed 5 days; however I think a week would be a perfect amount of time to stay here (if you are the active type, you will be able to find something new to try each day- kayaking, snorkeling, different hikes, tours, etc...... but it is also enough time to feel like you got a feel for the area).
For a solo taveller or couple looking to get away from it all, this is the perfect place to stay. There are no noisy bars or backpackers here.
It is also a great place for a family looking for a trip off the beaten track.
Note: there are two small houses next to one another, so if you are thinking of a multi-couple or multi-family trip, it would be a great idea to rent both together :)
What to pack?: swimsuit, sunglasses, hat, a couple pairs of shorts, a few tank tops, flip flops, tennis shoes, toothbrush, toothpaste, sunscreen, bug repellent, book :)...... totally pointless to pack make-up, fancy clothes, etc.
I don't think there was WiFi, but you do have cell phone reception (if you travel with a phone,you can purchase sim cards and cell phone credit at the small supermarkets). There was not a TV.
I am not sure if there was an ATM machine in Manzanillo (there is one in Puerto Viejo up the road), so you probably want to bring cash.
Remember to buy bottled water, as you should avoid drinking tap water in the Caribbean parts of Costa Rica. And...if you leave food out on the counter in the kitchen, you will get ants:)
I think that sums it up :)
Hope you have a great trip!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
10 Thank JJtravels2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 17, 2013

With a love for wooden cabins, we couldn't help but notice this very attractive and spacious beach-view accommodation with a great terrace. If you fancy going to the end of the road and chilling in your own little corner of Caribbean paradise, this is definately the place.

Our highlights included snorkeling the nearby reef (briefly saw a turtle), chilling in the hammock, lazing on the beach, spotting wildlife in the jungle (howler monkeys, birds, butterflies), cycling to various beaches, bussing to Punta Uva (eating a delicious lunch at Arrecife restaurant) and walking home along the beach, visiting the nearby animal sanctuary (for close up's of sloths, toucans, snakes etc and a cuddle with a baby monkey!), visiting a fruit farm/botanical garden, buying fresh fruit/veg and eating the locally baked Johnny cakes. .

Not that we wanted to leave but the fact that we could catch an early bus from Manzanillo to San Jose made onward travel very easy. Last, but by no means least, a special mention to Amanda and Santiago. In our opinion, people bring a place alive and are a large part of the experience. Amanda was welcoming, friendly, helpful as well as fun to be around. She is attentive to keeping the cabin, and the garden, well looked after and is generally a wealth of information.
Santiago, the friendly caretaker, made our day when we were able to buy his freshly caught fish off him. Our fun chats with him were the.'icing on the cake', to a wonderful and memorable stay in this beautiful, unspoilt corner of Costa Rica.

Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank Dominique S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casa Del Mar

Property: Casa Del Mar
Address: Calle Principle | 150m past Maxi Restaurant, Manzanillo, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Manzanillo
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 15 Specialty Lodging in Manzanillo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 2
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Casitas with a tranquil Pura Vida Caribbean beach front vista in Manzanillo Costa Rica. The Casitas are designed and built with an open planned Caribbean vibe. Casa Del Mar -- is actually 2 separate small houses. Casa Del Mar 1 is equipped with a double bed and 2 single beds catering to 4 people and Casa Del Mar 2 has two double beds and a single bed with a maximum of 5 people. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Casa Del Mar Costa Rica/Manzanillo

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