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“Best vacation ever!”

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Casitas de Punta Uva
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Best vacation ever!”
Reviewed April 7, 2012

This was our first visit to Costa Rica, and first vacation experience outside an "all-inclusive" hotel. This private property is perfectly located in the lush jungle, with the sounds of wildlife to keep you company (especially the hords of howler monkeys!), within a 5 min. walk to one of the nicest beach in the Costa Rica. My best memories of this vacation are of long walks on this beach, with only a few people in sight, the magnificent nature, untouched by man, almost touching the pristine waters.

We slept for the first week in casita Toucan, perfect for 2 couples or for a family of four. The house was impeccably clean at our arrival, and Jessica waiting for us, even if we arrived later than expected. We took the long road to get there, from San Jose to Puerto Viejo, and, with no GPS, got lost a few times... but... beautiful sceneries! About the house, I can add that the bed was incredibly comfortable (a king bed!) and the linens brand new. The house is fully screened and you can lock it completely if needed. But there is always someone, and a nice dog, on the property so you can always feel safe. The open air kitchen is fully equiped, and it is pleasant to cook fresh food that you can easily buy at the markets. If you prefer to go to restaurants, you have plenty of all sorts of restaurants near by... I would defenitely recommend Selvin's, 300 meters away, as a great quality-price choice!

We thought that, from Punta Uva, we would move to another vicinity for our second week but... we were so comfortable at the casitas de Punta Uva, that we decided to stay...Furthermore, Jessica offered us their biggest house, Casita de Monos, at the same (already low!) price as the smallests houses, for our second week (the smallest were rented...)... We couldn't refuse! And didn't regret it! The casita de monos is much bigger than the other two, with a big terrasse, with hamac, and kitchen on the first floor, a nice salon, with 3 bedrooms, and bathroom, on the second floor. Again, bedrooms are fully screened, with ceiling fan, and we always were comfortable sleeping because the temperature goes down to 20 degrees celsius at night...

My only, and it is really my ONLY complaint, and it is not our guests fault, was that a neighbour's dog decided to bark, and howl, all night... for 3 nights in a row... For me, it was very disturbing, as I have very sensitive ears, but my boyfriend was able to sleep... But, you have to know that, in Costa Rica, the sun sets early... and rises early too (as the birds do!)... so, the best is to follow the natural rythm of the forest...

I haven't told you yet what is the best about Casitas de Punta Uva: our guests! Jessica and Juan are really...perfect! They completey respect your intimacy, are always present to help you with your every needs, to answer every question you have, to recommend you nice things to do, or where to go... They really put all their hearts into what they do and we found us very lucky to have met them!

At last, do not miss the occasion to have a guided tour of the forest with Tino (Fiorentino), at Manzanillo-Gandoca's reserve! The only way to really discover this incredible jungle! It was worth every penny!!

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Martinedemontreal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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18 reviews from our community

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  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
4 reviews
Reviewed March 23, 2012

This could have been a really amazing place to stay if the casitas were better maintained. The location is beautiful, set in the jungle with fruit trees (guava, plantain, banana, lychee) and loads of wildlife (monkeys, hummingbirds, butterflies, lizards, agouti), the beach is a 10 minute walk away, there are tasty restaurants within 5-15 minute walking distance, and bicycle rental is within walking distance. The howler monkeys are very vocal, especially when it rains. The on-site property managers are kind people who were helpful with arranging activities and they have a 3 year old son who was a sweet playmate for our 4 year old daughter.

Unfortunately this property was pretty rustic and poorly maintained. Our group stayed in the Casa de Monos and the Casita de Sloths. The furniture cushions inside and outside were mildewed and torn, the mattress on our bed had a chunk of foam missing (like an animal had gotten to it), there was a leak in the roof in the kitchen, the kitchen knives were really dull, and the shower water was, at best, tepid (if you could figure out the right flow rate to get the tankless water heater to kick in)...usually we ended up taking a cold shower. Furthermore, contrary to the previous reviewer's experience, there was no washer/dryer at either Casa de Monos or Casita de Sloths. There are no laundry facilities available for guests. This turned out to be a significant issue because it rained several days of our trip and our clothes just wouldn't dry.

We've traveled to many developing countries and enjoy backcountry activities so we are not strangers to meager accommodations but it was clear from the outset we would be doing so on those trips. With this place, the pictures and descriptions don't really reflect the reality of the facility.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Xploreworld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Casitas Punta U v, Propietario at Casitas de Punta Uva, responded to this review, August 20, 2012
Thank you for your review, its been very helpful to know all what you went through and you opinion really means a lot to us. In July 2012 we took over the houses again, (us the owners) and saw a lot of things weren't working out as they always did. But now the houses have their proper maintenance, laundry facilities for our guests, we had to buy everything new, so this wouldn't happen again.
The pictures you see on our website are exactly what we offer, the houses are in perfect conditions for every need our guest require.
Again we are ver sorry you had to go though everything you mentioned in your vacation, I hope you will come visit us in very different circumstances.
Thank you
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laguna Beach, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed January 9, 2012

Getting There
We were a group of 8 flying in from East, Middle and West coast of U.S. via Miami to San Jose, C.R. The trip from San Jose to Puerto Viejo took about 6 hours, as we stopped for dinner along the way and bought groceries, restroom breaks, etc. Though the smiling private shuttle driver didn't speak much English, we "communicated" nevertheless.


The Casita
After a long drive we finally arrived at the house in pouring rain (December = Rainy season in eastern C.R.); so the house was a welcome sight. However we were not able to fully appreciate the house until the next morning. The property is located off the main paved road that runs from Puerto Viejo to Manzanillo with a couple of ominous 'Inca-esque' looking statues, 30 foot tall 3 story Tiki-hut that houses the host's vehicle with a surfboard banner and is situated against a thick jungle backdrop where howling monkeys vocalize your invasion into their territory every morning.

The Casita is clean, open and large. The first floor houses a full kitchen with both hot & cold water (we cooked for 8 for couple of weeks using the kitchen), a large dinning room table and a lounging area complete with chairs and a coffee table. The full-size fridge is functional, the stove (6 burners) and oven is propane driven and washer/dryer is just behind the kitchen.

The second floor is secured with a lock, has another common area with chairs, table and 2 sofas (one of which, I believe, was a pullout bed, but we didn't use it). There are 3 good-sized bedrooms; two of these bedrooms had a king size and a single bed, the third only had one king size bed. The amenities are consistent with what you'd typically find in a "jungle-resort". There are built-in amours, night tables, ceiling fans and mosquito netting on windows in each room. However, despite the mosquito nets, don't be surprised to find a lizard or two sharing your casita. DO bring insect repellant - you WILL want it, as it's a JUNGLE out there.

Bathroom is fairly large with shower (hot & cold water), vanity, sink and mirror. The toilet is to be used like a typical Central/South American country standard - no papers in the bowl.


The Hosts (Juan & Jessica)
There aren't enough superlatives in English language to describe these folks. Jessica held my hand from the first email in June (i think) until we arrived at their house. I asked entirely too many questions both frivolous and stupid, but she answered them all immediately, explained patiently and with smiley faces. She not only arranged all of our transportations from/to airport, but all our excursions to various adventures, where to go, what to eat and who to see for the best experience possible. Juan took us to town nearly everyday, which otherwise would have cost us $15 taxi fee for each way. Took us to the local farmer's market for fresh produce, where to buy locally raised organic chickens prepared just that day, arranged to meet the most knowledgeable man on Costa Rican rainforest (Tino) and even made us fried plantains and fresh Ceviche that you'd normally pay through your nose! While over the holidays we've shared many tequila shots, rum and cokes, numerous glasses of wine and most importantly the laughter with Juan, Jessica and friends, the most memorable of is how warm and friendly they were to people they have only met a few days ago.

Sharing Christmas and New Year's Eve with Juan & Jessica at the Casita was an incredible experience for all of us. If you're visiting Costa Rica, do yourselves a favor and meet my friends Juan and Jessica.


Miscellaneous
Lastly, there are plenty of electric outlets (same standard as U.S.), but bring extension cords, as they come in handy from time to time. Also, if you have an unlocked cell phone (standard quad-band), bring it. You can buy a prepaid SIM card at the airport for $25, which will allow you to make local and international call back to your country - much cheaper than U.S. based phones with foreign country roaming charges.

We were told that there is a bus that runs from SJO to Puerto Viejo for less than $10. So, if you can arrange your flight accordingly or stay a night in SJO, you may be able to save the cost of private shuttle service.

Everyone takes dollars, but bring small denomination bills such as $5, $10 and $20s. Many small shops will not take $100 bills and changes are always given in Clones (C.R. currency).

Thank you Juan & Jessica from all of us

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank ShuttreBug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casitas de Punta Uva

Property: Casitas de Punta Uva
Address: 300 meters past Selvin's on coastal road to Manzanillo, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #37 of 52 B&Bs / Inns in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Casitas de Punta Uva are comprised of one large (Casa de Monos) and two smaller rental houses (Casita de Toucans and Casita de Sloths) perfectly located to enjoy a five minute walk to the famous Punta Uva Beaches on the Caribbean Sea. Our affordable rental houses are equipped for a clean, comfortable, unique and earthy Caribbean Costa Rican vacation. Each house has a fully-stocked kitchen, cozy living spaces, large beds, and relaxing porches. Open air living and fans ensure a constant coolness to your stay.Enjoy cooking for yourselves (if you desire) in the large, fully-equipped kitchen (fridge, oven, stove, large countertop, pots/pans/cutlery/dishes) and hanging out comfortably while eating, drinking or talking the night away. Casitas de Punta Uva is perfectly located about 10 minutes outside of the busy and exciting Puerto Viejo "town". Close enough to visit all the restaurants, art galleries, bars and shops, but far enough away to enjoy the pure nature that surrounds us here in the jungle. We are located in the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge (rainforest) but are just across the street from the famous Punta Uva beaches. Casitas is on the main coastal road and while not as "busy" as Puerto Viejo, we do have plenty of bars, restaurants, grocery stores and tours right in our area. We truly are perfectly located to be in the center of the whole area for a great adventure based vacation. Our property is large, manicured for beauty and is full of fruit trees including starfruit (carambola), guayaba, limon de dulce, bananas, plantains, and manzanas that we love to share with our guests. My husband, Carlos, and I live on property to make sure each of our guests gets what they need when they need it. English and Spanish is spoken here. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Casitas De Punta Uva Costa Rica/Limon

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