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“Just ok” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hostel and Cabinas Secret Garden

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Hostel and Cabinas Secret Garden
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Ranked #18 of 44 Specialty Lodging in Cahuita
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Just ok”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

Hostel has a lot of potential - cute and cosy - but let itself down on a few fronts.

Kitchen is gross, really dirty. Cockroach poo on utensils. You don't want to cook there. We ended up eating out as we didn't want to use it.

Our room was disappointing, it was dark and depressing. The only natural light was from a sliding door that opened directly onto the communal outdoor area. You would lie on the bed with other travellers literally a few feet away at tables eating their dinner. Is also a problem if you don't want to be up late into the night as it is the only shared space for people to gather . A few other rooms were in the same position. Be careful.

The communal area itself is lovely with comfy hammocks but shame it gives travellers in those rooms no privacy.

We moved to Sol y Mar which was cleaner, much better location directly by beach/national park and same price. It is run by a local family of a famous Calypson musican, now advanced in years. Support them instead.

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

Traveler rating
    23
    23
    7
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    3
See reviews for
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Business
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Montreal
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2012

If you are used to 4 stars hotels this place is a bit dirty and not that nice. If you are a seasoned backpacker this place is heaven. When we arrived the hostel was empty so we had the opportunity to briefly visit all the rooms, they are more or less all the same. Big room, bathroom, hot shower, all in a quiet garden with hammocks. The biggest con was the deficient mosquito screens. For $20 this is an excellent deal. There is also a dorm but we did not visit. The owner is a nice lady from holland, a kind person who will really help you if you are a kind person...

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank wotomo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
30 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2012

We had only planned to stay 3 nights here but ended up staying 5. The owner Willeke is friendly and helpful; she will give you helpful advice if you ask but doesn't try to pressure you into any tours etc. The room we stayed in was big, clean and comfortable, with hot water and a tv for $20 US a night - a real bargain. It is a very short walk to Playa Blanca and the shops and restaurants, and a 20 minute walk to Playa Negra. Make sure you do the 8.3km walk through the national park - it is beautiful. We found the Secret Garden extremely relaxed, liked having clean towels and our room cleaned each day, and we enjoyed our stay very much. Only thing to be aware of is that the rooms close to the courtyard do tend to get some of the smoke from people sitting outside. Kitchen was helpful - averagely clean, not as spotless as the rooms were!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank K18281
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Level Contributor
96 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2012

We stayed in Secret Garden for several days last week. Overall we are satisfied with our experiences, but several things could be done to significant improve our stay. I would probably rate this a 3.5 and not a 4 star, but since the owner was so nice, the rooms big and clean, the shower warm and pressurized, towels changed daily, the internet was consistent and fast, a pleasant common area, good location, usable kitchen, and mossie nets were included we were overall more happy than not and I prefer to give the place the benefit.

However, the owner would be wise to follow two suggestions.

1. New mattresses and pillows. The sheets are clean, but the mattresses are gray and kind of musty. After a few days I was keen to move somewhere with a clean mattress.

2. Thoroughly clean the kitchen. The shelves holding dishes were filthy, with copious cockroach droppings and cockroaches both dead and alive. The dish rack was gross. The table top was gross. The fridge full of old stuff that hadn't been cleaned.

I understand that people should clean up after themselves, but ultimately its up to the hotel owner to make sure the kitchen is a clean and sanitary place to cook.

I will stress though, that the size of the rooms, some with TV's, shelves, and full length mirrors and all with floor fans and of a good size with private bathrooms are good and quite clean.

If the owner took the time to scrub the kitchen down on a weekly basis and get new mattresses, this would be an EASY excellent choice and she could probably charge more!

Room Tip: ask to see a few rooms. Some have TVs and full length mirrors. Also choose one away from the commons...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Thriftydrifter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
61 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2012

Big rooms, nice relaxed hostel..
Friendly staff ,very close to the national park

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Chiefsullivan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Olympia, Washington
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2012

Cahuita is so worth your while..the reef snorkeling, national park...island vibe small town...I had a pleasant stay here! Simple yet colorful, clean and friendly!

Room Tip: The great outdoors is your gym and the Caribbean your pool!
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank lavidaenviaje
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Switzerland
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2012

I stayed here in April 2012, travelling alone. The hostel is located very near to the National Park, the "center" of Cahuita and the bus stop. I got a single-room for 15$/night. The room was good, with a big bed covered by a moskito-net (which you need!). The bathroom was part of the room, a bit unusual, but nothing to complain about. I felt absolutely safe here. The rooms are tidy and are cleaned daily.

The owner named Willeke, a Dutch hippie in her 50s, is absolutely helpful, she even picked me up at the bus stop, The hostel in general seems very well managed, the community area is lovely and the garden very colorful. However, Secret Garden is not really a hostel, with lots of the guests being couples. So don't expect to meet a huge party happening- well, there is not much to party in Cahuita anyways. If you want to cook a lot in the community kitchen you might want to choose another hostel, because the kitchen is small and was a bit dirty.

All in all I would recommend Secret Garden to everyone visiting Cahuita!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank pazifico
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hostel and Cabinas Secret Garden

Property: Hostel and Cabinas Secret Garden
Address: Cahuita, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Cahuita
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 44 Specialty Lodging in Cahuita
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are located 1 minute from the National Park of Cahuita, also the centre. This is a peaceful place to relax, watching the humming and other birds and butterflies in our garden. We have a terrace with roof, so when it rains you still can sit outside. The howler monkeys come very close in the backyard. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Hostel And Cabinas Secret Garden Costa Rica/Cahuita

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