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“Gorgeous place, very courteous service, but very remote” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Flying Crocodile

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Hotel Flying Crocodile
Ranked #6 of 15 Hotels in Playa Samara
Certificate of Excellence
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Gorgeous place, very courteous service, but very remote”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2012

Hubby and I just got back from a two-week stay in the Flying Croc's largest guest house, the "Picasso"-- or, depending on the website you look at, the "Family Scheidt House". This was the owner's original home on the property, and wow, the photos don't do it justice. Lovely art, huge closet spaces, and an awesome shower ROOM that is larger than our master bedroom at home. It was a bit decadent for the two of us, but a treat to come home to after long days exploring CR. The owners and staff were also very accommodating, and fixed minor problems expediently (half the power in the house went out the first day, but was fixed within hours). The upper half of the house is open, so the great room gets very hot w/out air conditioning. The owner supplied us with a fan which helped a lot. (Be sure to request one if you rent the Picasso house! You'll need it.) Other perks were the lovely grounds, the nature (saw three troupes of Howler monkeys feeding, lovely birds, iguanas, opossums), and the pool, which hubby used every day. There was no restaurant or pool bar in evidence, though the new GM Pietra told us they were going to reopen the restaurant in October. However, just behind and to the right of the Croc. is a charming little hotel, the Paraiso Cocodrilo, which served some very tasty, freshly prepared meals. One of the biggest pluses to the Flying Crocodile is the gyrocopters. Hubby took a one-hour flight, and I went for 30 minutes; plenty of time to see the gorgeous beach cliffs around Nosara, circle Mel Gibson's estate, spy on the surfers at Playa Guiones, and spot two giant sea turtles mating. Would never have seen these things otherwise-- highly recommend the flight; it's andrenaline-pumping, but worth it! Main concern we had with the hotel was the distance-- to anywhere. The drive to Samara may be "only 7 km" (as advertised), but takes 20 minutes minimum, and you'll need a 4WD to cross the river. If it rains too hard, the alternate route over the bridge takes 45 minutes. Costa Rican roads being what they are, it takes a long time to get anywhere from here. (It took all day to get to Playa Flamingo and back, and the trip to Monteverde was a good six hours each way.) Also, Playa Buena Vista is at least 10 min. away by foot, and is basically a small spit of land not suited for swimming (though the view is nice). We drove 45 min. to Playa Carillo and up to Juanillo instead; lovely beaches. We were also unable to visit some of the wildlife parks, La Fortuna, etc. because of distance. However, if you want a serene, quiet place to just relax, this hotel is perfect.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Anita W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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212 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Palma de Mallorca, Spain
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2011

I came across the Flying Crocodile just before I left Costa Rica and wish that I had found it before. An interesting and different place. As a fellow pilot, the private airstrip and gyro flights were a definite plus. I went for a flight round the area that was stunning.
The hotel is well maintained and has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Beautifully clean rooms and lush gardens. The little bit of local exploring turned up some amazing beaches and endless nature.
Friendly and quite unique. More than worth a visit. Thanks to all the staff and other guests for making my short stay so memorable.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank VALERIA T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
palma
Level Contributor
49 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2011

Fantastic
We spent 3 nights in a family bungalow, all tastefully decorated, beds very large. Waking up in the morning with the sound of birds. Full of nature.
The owners of the hotel, a German couple were very nice and friendly.
Theyalso have a school of Gyrocopters and you can rent flights. We fly half hour and it was amazing. A unique experience. my boyfriend repeated next day for an hour.
The delicious breakfast, served by a very nice girl.
Very close to the beach.
Lovely place, amazing people.

  • Stayed November 2011, 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
Helpful?
Thank Sarasararara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
64 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2011

It's that age old question. How do you keep a family (or group) comprising a wide variety of ages happy? For us, the answer lay at the Flying Crocodile. To start with there is a range of accomodations on offer to suit everyone's tastes and budget: from 4 bedroom houses to simple rooms all individually designed, finished to a high quality and cleaned throughly everyday.

The resort is set out over a wide spacious area and connected by thoughtfully designed and well-tended, landscaped tropical gardens which bring nature to your very doorstep so you can see (and hear) Howler monkeys, iguanas, parakeets and the occasional bat or two. Talking of wild animals, the kids were kept occupied from dawn to dusk, thanks to the swimming pool complete with water slide, trampoline with safety net, table football, billiards/pool, table tennis and hammocks - with plenty of available shade to relax under.

The delicious, inclusive breakfast was enough to fuel us until midday and the evening meals offered a menu to satisfy everyone. Overall the service was good without being intrusive, even the gardeners greeted us with a smile and were happy to stop and chat to the children. For the green tourist, the Flying Crocodile has been built using natural materials, they recycle all their waste and use solar panels to heat the water (the only downside being that you have to wait a few minutes for the water to heat up and on cloudy days it hardly heats up at all.)

Samara beach is only a couple of miles away and the slightly larger more commercial Nosara beach also just a short car journey away, but for us the jewel in the crown was Playa Buena Vista, just a few minutes walk away not only was it completely devoid of hotels, bars, restaurants, houses and tourists, but is also a nesting beach for endangered turtles. (Incidentally the beach/cove behind Buena Vista is owned by none other than Mel Gibson!)

While we were happy to spend most of out time at the resort, there is plenty to do for the more adventurous. Aside from the usual offerings of fishing, horseback riding, yoga and surfing, the Flying Crocodile offers its very own microlight flying tours and flying school.

If you are looking to get far from the madding crowd, yet like your creature comforts close by, then the Flying Crocodile is the place for you.

  • Stayed October 2011, 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
Helpful?
2 Thank NickStClair
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich, Switzerland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2011

We couldn’t have been luckier with choosing the flying crocodile. I went there with my 8 year old daughter and we had a blast. The hotel is very quiet and in the middle of a beautiful park. The nature seems to be so close. We saw all kind of wild animals and the beautiful and lush vegetation was an eye-candy. My daughter loved to play in the little pond and catch fishes and frogs – or chasing possums around the garden. The close beach is nice and not crowded at all. There is a little bar between the hotel and the beach which serves fresh coconut milk – and of course a beer for the thirsty dad once in a while.

Although very quiet the hotel has its own runway for ultra-light sports planes. Of course I couldn’t resist making a tour and seeing the crocodiles and sharks from a high up. It is for sure one of the best ways to experience Costa Rica in one of the hotel owner’s light-weight planes. My daughter enjoyed the flying session a lot as well. The attention and service my daughter and I got was phenomenal. We felt like part of the family and after a few days we forgot this is our vacation and not our daily life. We will be back! :-)

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Andreas S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brampton
Level Contributor
26 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2011

This hotel is one of the 89 Adventure Hotels in Costa Rica. The prices were good, the continential breakfast was delicious with fruit, coffee, juice, cereal, toast, jam and we also had eggs. The rooms were clean, the pool area lovely with shaded areas that offered hammocks and lounges. They also offer lessons to obtain your gyro-coptor license as well as for a fee will take you for a ride. I took advantage of the ride and Frank was a wonderful pilot. I was somewhat hesitant but he explained how the gryo-coptor worked, we wore headsets and were able to chat and provided a wonderful tour of the coast. Yes this location is guiet, beautiful and a hidden gem....but....since my husband and I are both work in a customer service based industry we got the distinct impression that this location was either in the process of being prepared to be sold, waiting for a buyer or was having staffing issues. Mike, the manager at the time was somewhat curt and we didn't feel overly welcomed. Upon arrival he said "Well it's 1 p.m., I'll show you your room, my lunch is ready, I must eat now and we'll check you in later". We later inquired as to whether the restaruant was open for dinner and he replied no. What we found interesting was that there was no signage indicating this, nor did he mention it upon check in. Fortunately for us we were going into Samara so it didn't inconvenience us. As much as we loved the location, the rooms, the pool, the flora and fauna...we're not sure if in good faith we would recommend this to our friends.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Cibm6423
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La Canada Flintridge, California
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2010

The Flying Crocodiule is at the end of a long Costa Rican road and so part of the fun is getting there. When you arrive, you'll find that the Crocodile is a one-up kind of place. Each cottage is unique and handmade. The grounds are magnificent and beautifully kept. It's walking distance to the ocean and a beach you will have to yourself. You will be well taken care of by manager Freddie Barrios and his beautiful family. There's a great pool, and hammocks all around. It's quiet except for the howler monkeys (who just might parade through the breakfast area in the morning...), and other assorted fauna. There is no "nightlife" (disco, etc) which is one of the best things about the place. It's not like you can't get a drink; you can! As many as you want. If you want an adrenaline rush, do not miss taking a ride in one of the Crocodile's gyrocopters. You will be in GREAT hands (former airline pilots), and you'll see CR from the air. It is a thrill, NOT to be missed!

  • Stayed August 2010, 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
Helpful?
Thank bevfeldman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Flying Crocodile

Property: Hotel Flying Crocodile
Address: Codico 5235, Apdo. 99, Playa Samara, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Samara
Amenities:
Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 Family Hotel in Playa Samara
#6 Romantic Hotel in Playa Samara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Flying Crocodile 3*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Flying Crocodile Lodge is nestled in a nature reserve and surrounded by mangroves. Not far away is situated the untouched beach of Playa Buena Vista (about 10 min. by foot) located on the Nicoya Peninsula, 6 km north of Samara. Our Lodge offers ten individually designed rooms, each equipped with a bathroom, air conditioning, fan and fridge. The bungalows are colorful and attractive with attention to special details (inspired by the architecture of the Mexican "Casa del Pacifico" and the art of Antonio Gaudi). We are surrounded by approximately 2 acres of tropical gardens with a swimming pool, where many animals have found their home. The garden invites you to stay, relax and enjoy. Additionally, there are table tennis, table football, pool table and a trampoline. For our younger guests a playground and a children's pool with water slide is available. You will find yourselves well taken care of by our chef, who serves complete breakfasts, luncheons and specially prepared dinners, every day. We offer a complete program of excursions and other adventures you might like, as well as laundry service. Also for group travelers, we offer our full services. We are happy to cater to special procedures and requirements, and also rent out the entire hotel, in order to preserve the calm and friendly group dynamics. Similarly, we support you in seminars, conferences, workshops, presentations, antistress training and much more. It is our intent that we will provide participants and speakers a pleasant atmosphere. Our hotel is connected with an Ultra-Light Flying Center. The experienced pilots offer you a flight adventure of a life time. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
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