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“Wonderful place and people”

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El Pequeno Gecko Verde
Ranked #3 of 32 Playa Samara B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Chicago, Illinois
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
“Wonderful place and people”
Reviewed January 11, 2013

We spent 4 wonderful nights at Gecko Verde. This place is absolutely amazing. Our cabin was lovely and very clean, and the pool area gorgeous. Breakfasts served by the pool were delicious. Local staff and owners were professional and smiling, very helpful to set up our tours and cabs, still looking for the best options for us. They recommend also good restaurants in town, so thank you to everybody for making our stay so comfortable, we really enjoy our time in your little Gecko and we will be back!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank thelenkim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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313 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (37)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Seattle, Washington
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 10, 2013

We were so fortunate to find El Pequeno Gecko Verde (EPGV) when booking our holiday trip to Costa Rica. I have never stayed somewhere so beautiful and relaxing. I have traveled extensively in Mexico and Hawaii, but this being our first trip to Costa Rica, I was not sure what to expect. After seeing all Samara had to offer during our 12 day vacation, I knew my first impression at EPGV was accurate: PERFECT!. To be removed from the pueblo of Samara just enough to feel like we were in the tropical jungle, yet be able to walk to the store, many cafes, the rodeo and the beach, was wonderul. The secret beach behind the property is well worth the short hike. The Bungalow was beautiful, comfortable and had everything we needed. The staff who cook, clean and do everything else to make your stay simple, were just great. Dana and Lady did a fabulous job at Recepcion answering our many questions and helping us plan our daily adventures. Natalie and Pierre, the owners, are very special souls who brought their passion for the simpler life with them from France to CR, and made their dream my vacation reality. I would stay nowhere else when returning to Samara, which we will definitely do again and again. I miss the Howler monkeys!

Room Tip: We loved Guanabana, but the complex is very quiet at night so any bungalow I am sure is just as love...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank rhianaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed December 3, 2012

Fantastic place - the best i've stayed in Costa Rica so far!

The bungalows are not huge, but beautifully decorated and very comfortable. The partly outdoor shower (with hot water, and only open to the outside above a 8 foot tall wall, so completely private) are a great touch, and there's wifi internet and sky tv for those who don't want to feel too cut-off!

There's a private little beach just a few minutes walk away through the jungle - bring some trainers or something similar for the walk. Samara beach, which is stunning, is a 25 minute walk away, which is not ideal, but its a very pleasant and flat walk, or you can call a taxi from the hotel, or get a taxi back from the beach.

The breakfasts are excellent by the way, and the staff all very friendly and helpful.

If I'm ever lucky enough to get back to Samara, I'll definitely stay at the Gecko Verde again :)

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank MT101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 30, 2012

We booked 3 nights at El Gecko verde at the end of a 10 day vacation. We'd stayed at another hotel in town the previous 3 nights, which was okay but fairly small and noisy, so when we got to El Gecko verde and were told because of a booking misunderstanding we'd been upgraded to a private bungalow without extra charge we were beyond stoked. The cabin is beautiful, roomy, with a fully equipped kitchenette (large fridge, stove and oven,utensils and plates, pots and pans, coffee maker, and a blender!), an outdoor shower (imagine washing your hair while looking at the stars or the trees!) a porch with a table and chairs and a hammock, surrounded by beautiful plants and flowers. The hotel has a gorgeous swimming pool and a small bar area they use for breakfast and for cocktails, but since we had a kitchen, we didn't need to use either. Right behind it is a path through the forest that takes you to a "secret beach" (yes, it's rocky and not good to swim but worth checking out) and up to various view points and the beach of Buenavista (where turtles nest). We saw coaties, armadillos, racoons, hummingbirds, iguanas and of course Geckos while sitting at the porch, and awoke to Howler monkeys in the morning.
The hotel is about a 12-15 min bike ride (Dana at reception can point you to a very affordable rental place: $25 per week per bike, and they'll pick them up from the hotel when you leave) from town and the beach in Samara, maybe 25-30 mins if walking. There's a good grocery store about 7 mins away. Sure the road to get to it is bumpy, as are most roads in Costa Rica, and there were a couple of mosquitoes and centipedes in the room (you're in the jungle after all, if you can't take that, go to a resort in Cancun instead!), but overall the place was super clean (they cleaned the room and changed towels every day) and beautiful and quiet and affordable.
I'd definitely stay here again if I go to Samara

Room Tip: We stayed at Cabin Guayaba
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Anna A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jackson, New Jersey
Level 6 Contributor
77 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed November 20, 2012

The Gecko, as it is affectionely called by return guests, is wonderful. We stayed in the bungalow called Espavel. It was the only room w/o TV which is what we wanted! It was furnished beautifully and we were greated with fresh towels made into the shapes of swans using real flowers! Room is small but extremely clean and cozy. The outdoor patio is awesome. There is a ceiling fan which made sitting outside verycomfortable. The grounds are beautiful. The pool is beautiful and kept immaculate. We had so much fun with the visiting racoons and chuckled at their boldness to search for crumbs we may have dropped. There were 2 pizoytes (coati-mundi) that were shy at first but became friendlier for picture taking! They are so cute! Howeler monkeys kept us amused on afternoon with their non-stop calling! One day we had a lot of wind and owner, Nathalie, offered to move us into a much larger bungalow at no extras charge in case the wind was bothering us but we were fine. But curiousity got to us and we did check it out and it was lovely! It had a full kitchen and really cool indoor/outdoor shower. We feel that not many places would be so accommodating and concerned about our comfort as The Gecko did! The town of Samara is a short drive away and has a lot of good places to eat. Dana was great at recommending places to go and things to see. Nathalie told us all about the hikes around the Gecko. We recommend the hike to the"Secret Beach" - the sunset is gorgeous! But not recommended after dark. We also hiked to the top trying to find The Giant Tree but somehow did not find it but instead had the most awesome ocean view! We thought it was very thoughtful that the trees and flowers are numbered and correspond to a list that Nathalie gives you so you know all the names of the flowers, etc. The breakfast that was included was good. Basic CR food and with the most delicious fruit and ah, the coffee! The overall feel of The Gecko is calm, peace and serenity! I would highly recommend it!

Room Tip: Although I loved the coziness of our bungalow Espaval, I would recommend getting one with the kitche...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank April58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Antwerp, Belgium
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 14, 2012

We stayed here for 2 nights at the beginning of our holiday to relax and the place couldn't have been more perfect. The Espavel bungalow we stayed at was very clean and cosy, the hammock by the deck was great and the owners were very helpful. They helped us a lot in figuring out our itinerary. You have to take a car or cab to the beach (10 minutes or so), but we were actually happier by the beautiful pool.

Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Evelien D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brentwood, TN
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed September 27, 2012

We stayed at Gecko Verde for three days while in Playa Samara and would highly recommend it to anyone lookling for a unique lodging experience. Three of us stayed in the Ylang Ylang bungalow. One bed (queen I think) and a sofa bed. The shower is open to the outside. I know it's not for everybody, but I thought it was awesome to be able to look up into the jungle canopy while showering. The last day we were there it started raining a little and a group of howler monkeys started shrieking while I was out there. It startled me a bit but what a great story to tell! :).

Each bungalow has it's own a/c unit and they cool the room very quickly. The hammock on the porch was nice and Ylang Ylang's proximity to the pool/reception area was very convenient. All of the ladies there were super accomodating and made us feel very welcome.

I cut my foot while on a snorkeling excursion and the attendant on duty at Gecko Verde was kind enough to track down a bottle of betadine that a previous guest had left behind. It was brand new and unopened and she offered it to me to clean up the wound. I know she didn't have to do that but it really personalized our experience and felt like one of those "above and beyond" things you hear about.

The taxi ride to the beach area is about $4 each way and the attendant is happy to call one for you. You can walk into town as well, but it takes about 25+ minutes and feels like FOREVER at night after a couple drinks. haha

The gardens around the property are exquisite and everything has a tiny numbered sign next to it. You'll find a list in your bungalow of what each variety of flower or tree is called. Can be cool to wander around a bit. My favorite was a flower that looked like a strawberry softserve ice cream swirl. The "secret beach" that you may have read about here in other reviews is definately worth your time. It's just gorgeous, especially at sunset. Be very careful though. There are some stone steps that lead down to the beach that are VERY slippery. If you go at sunset, be sure to leave before it gets dark so you can find your way back to your bungalow safely.

I hear that Gecko Verde books quickly in the high season, so book early if you'll be visiting the area then. Then come back here and leave a review about how awesome this place is.

Room Tip: The Ylang Ylang bungalow is the closest to the pool, reception area, and dining area where you'l...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank BJ47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El Pequeno Gecko Verde

Property: El Pequeno Gecko Verde
Address: Camino Buena Vista | Cantarrana, Playa Samara 50205, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Samara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 32 B&Bs / Inns in Playa Samara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
El Pequeño Gecko Verde is a small Boutique Hotel in Sámara beach, at the edge of the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. The hotel consists of beautiful villas, luxurious bungalows and romantics rooms, arranged to maximize privacy, in the middle of a beautiful tropical garden. Located 5 minutes by car from the central village of Sámara and its gorgeous fine sand beach, El Pequeño Gecko Verde is far from the crowd and the noise, immersed in the most tropical and the most quiet and serene part of the area. This privileged location in Sámara makes the hotel a unique oasis and the perfect compromise between beach and nature. It's also the ideal starting point for discovering the beaches of Buena Vista, Barrigona, Carrillo, San Miguel as well as numerous activities in and around the hotel and surrounding area. El Pequeño Gecko Verde is a small Boutique Hotel in Sámara beach, at the edge of the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. Nestled in the midst of centenarian trees and a lush tropical garden, the property is home to more than one hundred species of trees and tropical plants. As the flora and fauna occupy an essential importance to our setting, you will without a doubt witness some of the numerous animals which live all around the hotel, such as: monkeys, coatimundis, armadillos, raccoons, anteaters, squirrels, jaguarundis, agoutis, amphibians, iguanas, as well as many birds and butterflies... ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Pequeno Gecko Verde Hotel Playa Samara

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