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“A Gem in the Rough of Puerto Viejo”
Review of Hotel Guarana

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Hotel Guarana
Certificate of Excellence
San Diego, California
Level 6 Contributor
223 reviews
169 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 223 helpful votes
“A Gem in the Rough of Puerto Viejo”
Reviewed January 7, 2011

I must start off by saying that after traveling to over 80 countries, I have never been so nervous for my safety/personal valuables as I was in Puerto Viejo. I was there in October 2010 and it seemed every other person I talked with, expat or traveler, had been robbed in some manner. While I was there two American's were shot dead...one was walking on the beach at 9am and was shot in the head from behind. With that said, I really wanted to find a place where I felt somewhat secure and I found it here.

Pros: location, friendliness of staff/owners, free wifi, kitchen use, tropical grounds
Cons: wifi access from room/patio (depends on which room you have)

I stayed for nearly a week and found the place to be terrific. The owners son was running the place at the time and I had several long conversations with him regarding tourism in Puerto Viejo. The woman at the front desk was also wonderful. I found the clientel to be well seasoned backpackers or flashpackers and very friendly.

Location: The hostel is located a very short walk from where the busses drop you off. It is off the main road so it is quiet but close enough that you can walk to the bars and "beach" in a few minutes. There is a large grocery store on the corner of the street the hotel/hostel is on at which you can get food to cook in the communal kitchen.

Rooms: Spartan but clean and nicely spaced. I had the chance to see several rooms and there are differences between them so choose accordingly. I am a complete sucker for hotel patios and the patios here are perfect for lounging and doing some writing on the computer. Most of the patios have a hammock as well as a desk for writing. I also had a long sitting bench and chair. Quite spacious/quiet/secluded.

Security: The family who runs the place lives upstairs from the main reception area. I have read a review about one incident there and asked the owner about it and he explained that they had a problem in the town with a group of kids. Be prudent. I did feel safe overall in this place considering the town in general I felt very vulnerable to attack/robbery (there is no other place on earth that I have been that I have felt this unsafe...all of the east coast of Costa Rica I felt this way and stories abound kept reinforcing this perception). There are safes with key locks in the rooms...use them.

Wifi: Wonderful access. The only problem is that if you get a room the farthest from the reception area you will likely not get reception. After a few days I asked to change to a room up front near reception so that I could access the internet from my patio.

Social: It is a place for more chilled seasoned backpackers who are not up partying all night. It is very quiet after 8pm thus if you are looking for a place to party, this is not it. The main open area in front of reception is great for socializing but unfortunately with the small number of rooms it seems most people head out most of the time.

If you have the chance to stay here, please do. In a town that is quite unsavory in terms of safety, this is one place where you can relax and feel somewhat secure.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank wanderingtheworld200
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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321 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2011

I stayed for 9 days and overall, had an excellent experience. The manager was very pleasant and helpful, the room was pretty good, the front porch looked out onto a lush tropical garden, and the hotel was in a good, quiet, but very convenient location. Overall, the hotel was attractive and quiet, but not isolated-feeling. The value was good although the prices in many hotels increase by 50% or more during the high season, which started about half way through our stay. Overall, a good place for a family, couple, or anybody who wants a laidback atmosphere. I would likely stay here again if I return to Puerto Viejo.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Seth R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vashon Washington, USA
Level 6 Contributor
92 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed November 10, 2010

With all the warnings in travel guides about not being able to get a good night's sleep in PV town, I beg to differ in the case of Cabinas Guarana. This place is a deal and a value. The first impression always happens with me at reception, and Alma did not disappoint. A smile (yes!) and offer to show us a room had us quickly registering. The rooms are humble- mosquito net, sidetables, small desk, double and single bed, private bath all for just roughly $30 us nightly in cash (low season).
Although food service is the guest's own quest, Bread and Chocolate is just steps away and a great breakfast can be had there for 2500 colones. The Cabinas offers laundry service for just 1200 colones for a small load, and they'll arrange all travel needs like any other hotel. There is a definite backpacker vibe to the clientele, but clearly it's a worldly place where you'll hear several languages spoken in the lobby if you stick around a few minutes. The guestbook shows US, Canada, Israeli, German, Spanish, Swedish, Italian, and Brazilian travelers who all loved staying there. So did we.
The beds are spring, but firm for a good night's sleep. Pillows are fiberfilled and fluffy. Blankets are wafter thin, totally appropriate given the very warm nights we were there. I appreciated Alma's setting up our Interbus reservation (they arrived early--be ready!) back to San Jose. The jungle garden setting of the place and communal kitchen gave it the touches of a home--a definite b&b feel with an enclosed, plaza like layout. You don't realize your room neighbors at all thanks to the layout. Our room was close to reception and we still slept like logs. One other bonus: guests are welcome to use a communal desktop computer, wired and working to communicate with loved ones while traveling. This saved us a trip to the Internet cafe and made it very convenient for quick check ins with family.
Thank you. We will return someday and I hope to see the warm staff again.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Skrzypeks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, Costa Rica
1 review
Reviewed August 15, 2010

I had a spectacular stay at Cabinas Guarana in Puerto Viejo. For one week I traveled alone on the Caribbean Coast and I spent six nights at the Guarana. The owner, Paolo, is truly a sweetheart. He was very kind and welcoming, as were the rest of the staff-- Alma and Noemi. Everyone that I came in contact with was so helpful.The Guarana is a basic hotel- very, very clean, great strong coffee in the mornings, beautiful garden in back, and fantastic WI-FI that worked all the time. There is a kitchen for everyone to use and this can be very helpful as there is a grocery store right next door! If you get a chance to go to Puerto Viejo, you must take a bicycle ride to Manzanillo beach, take sturdy shoes and go hiking in the park-- we saw so many monkeys!! This was a fantastic trip and I recommend Guarana to anyone!

Stayed August 2010, traveled solo
Helpful?
Thank seamonkey_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Catania, Italy
Level 2 Contributor
1 review
Reviewed August 5, 2010

Hotel Guarana is a beautiful , quiet and friendly place to stay in Puerto Viejo. We stayed at Guarana for a week . When you arrive there don' t you expect such beautiful decorations made with lot of love and so nice garden where comes a lot of colibris .....The beautiful room have a new confy bed , a great bathroom with warm shower and when you stretch out yourself on the wonderful hammock ,in your private terrace ,you will feel the most happy in the planet !
The equipped kitchen is a great added bonus . The hotel does have WIFI and a nice , relaxed lounge area. Location is great , next a Mega market , in a quiet street , only 3 minutes walking distance from the main street. Very very friendly staff, the owner Sandro spended a lot of time explaining me about tours and restaurants.
Definitely was one of the nicest hotel I have stayed in Costa Rica . I highly recommend it !

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank giuvil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed July 22, 2010

Traveled here solo last summer and was happy I booked Cabinas Guarana. The staff was very nice and helpful. Rooms were spacious, with high celings and large ceiling fans that really worked well in place of A/C. No hot water in the showers, but who wants hot water when you're in Puerto Viejo in June? Rooms were about $32 per night for 1 person. It was easy to book via e-mail beforehand, the ladies are very professional and they speak good English as well if you need it. A bit off the main drag, and there are no streetlights so walking home in the dark is a challenge. Pretty quiet at night, though you will hear some wildlife!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank traveltheworld3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sassari, Italy
1 review
Reviewed July 21, 2010

Hotel Guarana is a wonderful place to stay ! I think is the best option to stay in Puerto Viejo village. I stayed there in June and had a great time! The owners are more than helpful , very , very friendly guys and the staff are knowledgeable and always happy to assist with information and recommendation. The decorless rooms are very nice and the porch are surrounded by a small jungle , there is a hammock and a confortable chair on it. The property is kept very clean and the equipped communal kitchen is a great option to save your money and a really nice sitting room . There is a Mega Super grocery store rigth next to hotel .
I highly recommend hotel Guarana , you feel at home there !

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank danilo81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Guarana

Property: Hotel Guarana
Address: Avenida 69 | 50 m. from Megasuper, Puerto Viejo Center, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca 41001, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 52 B&Bs / Inns in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Guarana is a small hotel full of colors and good energy. We have 12 rooms individually ,uniquely decorated. We are situated in one of the most quiet and central streets in Puerto Viejo, 200 m. only steps to beach and restaurants. The hotel is safe, private and set in a lush tropical garden of flowers and fauna. Services include; Wireless, Laundry, Safe in room, Parking, communal kitchen totally equipped. English, Spanish, French & Italian spoken. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Guarana Hotel Puerto Viejo
Hotel Guarana Costa Rica/Limon

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