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“RELAX AFTER OUR COSTA RICA TOUR”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Villas Kalimba

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Villas Kalimba
Ranked #1 of 33 Playa Samara B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Antwerp, Belgium
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“RELAX AFTER OUR COSTA RICA TOUR”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 1, 2011

After 2 weeks of touring through Costa Rica we booked El Gaucho a private villa , belonging to the hotel Villas Kalimba. As we were 2 couples we had plenty of space inside as it could take up to 6 people. A nice spacious kitchen with a large fridge and each bedroom had its own bathroom.
The terrace and the private pool were all we needed. Bakery, small supermarket,laundry,...were all within walking distance. A somewhat larger supermarket (Pali) was only two minutes away by car .The only disadvantage of our lovely villa was that it was just next to the main street of Samara and thus very noisy until 5pm when the noise of buses, cars and motorbikes faded away.The beach was at the end of this main street . it was more a beach for backpackers cause one couldn't find a nice cosy little restaurant to enjoy the sunset. The beach and the surrounding islands was lovely but invaded by(stray ?) dogs NOT on the leach and pooping all over this nice sandy beach.
The 2 dinners we had at Roberto's (owner of the villas Kalimba) were relaxing and delicious . A good service overall was what we got .

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank marcdens19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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763 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (89)
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English first
Bend, OR
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2011

Perfect home away from home. Travelled to Villa's Kalimba with my 3 kids. Stayed the first 10 days with my kids and my husband joined us for the next 10 days. The villa's are well equipped with all you need to make meals at home, right next door to a grocery store. A short walk into town to restaurants (really short walk). It's right across the street from the beach (literally you cross a street and walk thru the fabulous surf school and you are there. Villa's Kalimba had the same two cleaning ladies that cleaned our villa each day, same groundskeeper who brought us fresh coconuts to drink from. It's safe and clean and beautiful! Roberto is very friendly and is present if any questions should arise, and he makes an incredible meal for dinner. Samara was the a great destination to go with kids as the water stretches out a ways and is so safe and easy for kids. But, seemed like a great destination for couples too, good mixture of kids/families and couples.
Amazing vacation and would go back in a second!

Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank kmh75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manassas, Virginia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 28, 2011

This summer I traveled with my family to Samara. We stayed at Villas Kalimba and it was perfect! Roberto and his staff took care of our every need and we couldn’t have asked for more. The Villas were immaculate and the lush tropical landscaping was so relaxing. There were plenty of outlets that don’t require converters or transformers, wi-fi and super A/C. The beaches were beautiful and perfect for kids. Roberto is an awesome cook, so if he offers to cook one night I would highly recommend dining poolside. There are also some terrific restaurants in town and the people were all very friendly and helpful. I hope to go back some day—it was a wonderful, relaxing vacation.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kim C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
El Segundo, California
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 25, 2011

Our 5th year staying with Roberto and staff at Kalimba, and of course we thoroughly enjoyed our time there. Always feel safe and comfy, the pool is very nice (my son of course loves it), and Roberto has his barbeque skills down to a small science. Ever consistent !! Even the howler monkeys came down to visit the villas. Thanks again, and we'll see you next year.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank cagey444
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Naples, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 21, 2011

For my first trip to Costa Rica, I opted to stay in Sámara at Villas Kalimba, based on TripAdvisor reviews and the Villas Kalimba website. I was traveling with my wife, our daughter and 18 year-old granddaughter. The two bedrooms, two bathroom option seemed to be a perfect fit. I exchanged emails with Roberto and was delighted to find a Villa was available for our planned six-day stay in July. Roberto informed me Samara was a two and a half to three hour drive from the airport in Liberia and offered a van to meet my group and get us to Samara, which I accepted immediately. The logistics and concerns of visiting a new country for the first time began to melt away.
Our six day stay at Villas Kalimba produced one of the most memorable travel experiences I have encountered in a very long time. The charming seaside village of Samara and its inhabitants have been thoroughly described by other reviewers as has the beauty, tranquility and convenience of the Villas Kalimba themselves. I’ll not repeat their descriptions, but agree most wholeheartedly with all their superlatives!
The engine that makes Samara village and Villas Kalimba the Perfect Place is the owner, Roberto and his staff. He and his staff are intent on making their guests as comfortable, carefree and feeling at home as possible. They succeed remarkably. Jose, one of the groundskeepers, occasionally appeared at our Villa early in the morning while we sitting on the porch awakening to the exotic sounds of the local bird population. He had his arms full of green coconuts and proceeded to slice the tops off with a few deft strokes of his machete and show us how to drink the coconut water with a straw. Agua de Pipa! Very good for you. In addition to caring for guests, Roberto has a passion-- gourmet cooking, a passion I share. When Roberto gets the urge and when his time permits, he will announce the occasion and menu with a small wooden sign by reception and in the pool area. If you are lucky enough to be in house when one of these opportunities arises, do not miss it!
We were very fortunate to be able to sign up for several of Roberto’s extravaganzas. I am veteran of enough cooking schools and classes to have recognized by the second course that I was in the presence of an accomplished chef! His presentations are artistic, a feast for the eyes, as well as the tongue! I photographed virtually every dish he served, including breakfasts. I plan to shamelessly steal his presentation ideas and hope to duplicate some of his dishes. Don’t worry, Roberto, I will give you full credit and recognition!
When I travel, there comes a point when I am ready to return to the comforts of home. I did not get this feeling at Villas Kalimba. When Joel, our designated driver, arrived to take us to the airport, I felt a very unusual tinge of reluctance. I hope to visit Roberto and Villas Kalimba again in the not too distant future. In Samara, I wouldn’t even think of staying any other place.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank TresComales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chandler, Arizona
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 11, 2011

We stayed in the "Kamar" which is the largest home available at Villa Kalimba. This was the best option for us because we have 5 boys. The home is very nice. The rooms are spacious, clean, and the air conditioners work exceptionally well. The staff is very friendly and attentive. The private pool and proximity to the beach made this the perfect choice for our family. I would recommend this property to anyone planning on staying in Samara.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AZRoyce
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 8, 2011

When my wife planned our spring break, she searched Trip Advisor for many weeks looking for just the right place, and when she came across Villas Kalimba, everything looked amazing, including the near-perfect ratings from past visitors. As a matter of fact, it almost seemed too good. However, we really wanted to travel to Costa Rica, so we contacted Roberto, the owner of the property to find out whether there was availability during our spring break. From the very beginning of our contact with Roberto, we knew we had made the right decision. He's was friendly, helpful, accommodating and responsive. We probably asked some dumb questions, but he always provided us great answers and did everything possible to assure is we were making the right choice. Even down to the last few weeks, when some problems jeopardized our ability to get our daughter's passport, Roberto assured us that if we needed to postpone our vacation, he would help us to change our arrangements without penalty. Fortunately, we got the passport with two days to spare and we were on our way.

After a five hour flight direct flight from Chicago to Liberia, we faced what was probably the worst part of the trip... the two and a half hour taxi ride to Samara. We knew up front that it was coming, but after spending five hours in the plane, we were anxious to get settled in, so the long ride through the mountains, while scenic and interesting, was also tough, especially for a seven year old.

When we finally arrived in Samara, I have to admit that we were a little surprised at the town and our initial impression of the street leading to the Villas. While we did a fair amount of research on the town, it was quite a bit more rustic than we had expected. My wife's first reaction was, "what have we done?", and was starting to wonder, myself. Even when we pulled through the gate to the Villas, we realized that this was not a five star resort, which is what we had in our heads, I think,

After we checked in, we got to meet Roberto in person, and he was even nicer in person. What a great guy! So hospitable and accommodating! It was obvious that his #1 goal was to make sure we had a great stay.

When we got to our Villa, we still hadn't shaken our concern that we had made a mistake, mostly because we had entered into this with false expectation. But we decided to make the best of it and get unpacked and explore the town. When we arrived at the Villa, all the doors and windows were wide open, so we left it that way while we explored and looked for a place for dinner (more on the food in a minute, but dinner was excellent). When we returned after dinner, our villa was filled with mosquitos, and there was no way that we could clear them out, so all we could do was shut all the windows and doors and hunker down for the night. It wasn't the greatest first night of sleep and our daughter and my wife woke up looking like they had the chicken pox from all the bites, but otherwise, no the worse for wear. One lesson learned, close up the Villa when you get there, run the air conditioners at night to cool the place off, and keep the villa closed up tight during the day and the bugs will stay away.

At this point, all of our feelings questioning whether we made the right decision melted away with the amazing atmosphere, food, weather, beaches, people and hospitality that are Samara Beach and Villas Kalimba. Since we are up tight, city-dwelling Americans, we just had no clue how to relax and experience the culture of Costa Rica, but it didn't take long to get used to Roberto's breakfasts served by the pool, the lush green foliage that surrounded our villa, hours in the pool for our daughter, and the lifestyle of the surf town of Samara.

The beach, which is a short 50 yard walk from the villa, is lined with authentic restaurants, surf schools and quaint little resorts. And early in the morning, it's perfect for a run along the surf... we got up most mornings at 5:30, which is when it gets light due to the proximity in the time zone, and ran a few miles. I could get used to running like that!

Lunches and dinners were primarily at the beachfront restaurants and all were very good! Don't let the appearance of these places fool you; they serve fresh, local food, prepared with a Costa Rican flair! I don't think we had a bad meal. One night, Roberto cooked a feast of lobster and shrimp at the little ourdoor kitchen/dining area by the pool that was wonderful. He seems to only do one large meal a week, but if you get the chance, go for it. It was great. Also, the outdoor kitchen is always stocked with cold beverages that Roberto have set up on an honor system. Simply write down what you take and it will be added to your bill at the end. The prices were very reasonable.


While it took us a day to really understand how to relax and fit in with the lifestyle, once we did, it was pure heaven. Roberto runs a first-rate resort in an excellent location. The individual villas are spacious, always clean and well appointed. The staff is excellent... friendly, efficient and always there to help. The pool is always clean, and very refreshing. The beach is close, clean, vibrant, great for people watching, surfing and swimming, and beautiful to look at. The town of Samara is so laid back, that it's hard for fast-paced people to settle in, but once you do, you will absolutely love the lifestyle.

If you decide to take any side trips or excursions, Roberto will take care of all the arrangements for you, including payment and transportation. It will all be added to your bill, which saves you from having to tote a bunch of cash, or your credit card to remote locations. That was a very nice service and convenience.

We absolutely recommend Villas Kalimba and we will go back again. Just plan to go without any preconceived notions of what it's like, becasue you just can't know until you actually get there and assume the Samara lifestyle!

Room Tip: Most of the villas are poolside, so try your best to get one of those. We loved #4.
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ggraeff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Villas Kalimba

Property: Villas Kalimba
Address: Playa Samara, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Samara
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 33 B&Bs / Inns in Playa Samara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are just steps away from one of the most beautiful beaches on the Pacific Ocean and within easy walking distance to restaurants, bars, shops, grocery, and other services. Our villas feature fully equipped kitchens, air conditioning, cable TV, telephone, internet connection, in-room safes, and 24 hour security. We offer a perfect and safe place from which to explore the many attractions of the area, or for relaxing in the swimming pool and inviting jacuzzi. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Villas Kalimba Hotel Playa Samara

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