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“Best hotel in Puerto viejo by far”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Kaya's Place

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Kaya's Place
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Best hotel in Puerto viejo by far”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 22, 2013

I stayed in Kaya's place for two months. I chose the cheapest room with shared bathroom, while the hotel has much more luxurious room if you are looking into that. My room was clean everyday with detergent (I saw it happen anytime I stayed late) while my sheets were changed and my towel was folded into a little animal (I had an elephant looking towel, it was cute).
The room gave out on the ocean, so I had the chance to fall asleep to the waves crashing on Playa Negra. The reason for that is that the only thing separating the hotel and the beach is a little road. Every morning I would wake up to the fresh ocean air, and I could go downstairs to have a hearty breakfast of bacon, eggs and potatoes (or granola, depending on my mood).
The restaurant downstairs has excellent food (Italian american). The pizza are wood oven, and much better than Dominoe's or Papa john's. The restaurant always tries new things, don't forget to ask if there is anything that isn't on the menu that they can make.
On Saturday and Sunday morning, they have brunch where you can order any brunch items (such as delicious eggs benedict. Yum!)
The bar also recently got Belgium beers. Screw Imperials, and have deliciously cheap beer. Luke's taproom has also its own brewery, Bri Bri springs, that has some refreshing Ginger mead for extremely cheap and honey mango beers which is very tropical. But once again, they have belgium beer. Really, the only place in Costa Rica where you can find draft Belgium beer.

The staff is incredible. I have never encountered such friendly and helpful staff in my 5 years of travels. Anything I needed they would have the answer right away. When I needed help booking a shuttle to Panama, they not only did it for me, but made sure I was going to the right place, and was not getting screwed over by the price. Whenever I had problems with my bike, they fixed it within the day, and the security at night would always call me a taxi if I needed one. Never did I feel in danger at Kaya's place, and never did I feel like I was treated with a dollar sign above my head.

The place is clean (it was scrubbed from the ceilings to the walls the day dry season started, and they remodeled the showers). The room is more than what I expected. My friends in town are jealous and I get to eat well!!

Room Tip: The hotel has single rooms, to cabins fully equipped with hot showers and kitchenette. Just ask for...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank allison_90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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220 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (34)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 23, 2013

Cleanliness: Average
Safety: Average
Food: Excellent!!
Communication: Poor
Comfort: Below Average due to futon mattresses
Cost Efficiency: Excellent for our needs

The cabin I rented had five beds, but a few weeks prior to the trip, Kaya’s Place tried to sell me a more expensive cabin, telling me it would be more comfortable. I declined, since the new cabin had only three beds. They then sent me an email saying that due to a double booking, they had to upgrade us, there would be no additional charge, and that an extra bed had been placed in our cabin.

The kitchen was fine, though they don’t provide coffee, bottled water, sugar, or mugs so you have to walk to the store and get those things in order to use the coffeepot. The fridge and microwave work great, as did the tv, and the screened windows were much appreciated. There were two bedrooms and a futon in the living room. The bedrooms also had only futons. No real mattresses. I went to the front desk with a copy of the email that promised me four beds. They said another bed would be provided the following day and it never was so I had to double up with my daughter.

The a/c completed failed to respond, and the unit was only located in one room anyway. There were fans in both bedrooms. One didn’t work at all. When I turned on the one in my room, it worked for awhile, and then it just stopped. So I pulled the cord a couple more times, and—I am not exaggerating here—sparks flew out of it and black smoke billowed into the room. After screaming momentarily, I went to the front desk to address this issue. They removed the fan.

I was glad I brought shampoo and conditioner because it was not provided. The bathtub is this very rough surface that reminded me more of a fountain than a bathtub (you can see photos of it on Kaya’s Place website under “Guava House”). There was always plenty of hot water, but the water temperature would never stay constant. As soon as it was just right it would become too hot (but not scalding hot, just uncomfortably hot) and then you would turn it down, and then moments later it would be too cold, and then you repeat the process until you’re done showering. I was happy to be in Costa Rica at a beach in January. It didn't bother me.

Tax on the room is 13%, so after taxes and the fee I paid due to cancelling one of our nights with less than 14 days notice, I paid $107 per night for four people for a cabin with full kitchen and bathroom, so all in all it was not a bad deal. The other guests seemed happy and mellow and we had a great time in Costa Rica. We visited the beach right across the street several times and we got a cab for $6 to the other end of town where we were able to visit the beach right across from Hotel Totem, which is a white sand beach with big warning signs about currents. We also took a tour with Aventuras Bravas which provided transport from Kaya's.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with screened windows if you are concerned about mosquitoes.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank wildprecioustribe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 18, 2013

Mattresses and pillows are dirty, damp and stinky. We had to put an extra sheet over the bed, and a towel over the pillow so we could try to keep the smell down. The bathroom has black mold. The back of the fan was filthy. The rooms are dark, dirty, damp ,musty, and gloomy. The hammock stunk.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Dinagarnett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
kayasplace27500690, Owner at Kaya's Place, responded to this review, March 24, 2013
Dear Dina,

When you brought your complaints to my attention while checking out I was very surprised. You and your friends looked like you were having a great time during your stay with us. I personally inspected your room after your departure and I have to say that you are right. We had three separate issues working against us resulting in your dissatisfaction. The first issue was the weather. We had three weeks of straight rain before you came to visit. In a place with 90% humidity when the sun is out, it gets much worse when we receive day after day of rain. The second issue is that both our washer and dryer were broken at the time of your visit. We were washing by hand and drying in the laundry room or outside when we had a few moments of sun. The third issue is a lack of deep cleaning on our part during a time when we needed to pay extra attention to the overall damp conditions throughout the area. We live in a place where mold grows on everything and rapidly. Due to you bringing your concerns to our attention we have started to do a weekly deep cleaning and wall scrubbing of the rooms and halls rather than leaving this on the monthly list of deep clean chores.

I spoke to you personally in regards to all of these issues and promised you change. I invited you back in a few days to personally inspect the differences. I never got the chance to see you again, so I would like you to know that life is much better with a new washer and dryer. Linens smell and look fresh. The walls look much better after a good scrubbing with water, detergent, disinfectant and bleach. My offer to you still stands if you want to take us up on a free night stay, dinner invitation or one of the honey mango brown ales we are brewing on site. Thank you for voicing your complaints to us. Through receiving your feedback we have had the chance to improve the conditions for our future guests.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 8, 2013

I have stayed in many other establishments on my trip and this is easily one of the best. Great staff and friendly owner. The bar area is great for socializing. Location is perfect and the building and rooms are extremely spacious. I would stay here again if I ever return to Puerto Viejo.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Global_Limey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
kayasplace27500690, Owner at Kaya's Place, responded to this review, March 24, 2013
Thank you so much for your review of Kaya's Place. We have recently implemented several new cleaning and maintenance policies. I can see from your positive review that they are working and that we are moving in the right direction. Thank you again for your review. I hope to see you again during your next visit to Puerto Viejo.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, MA
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 4, 2013

As others have said Kaya's place is situated about a 5 minute walk out of town directly opposite the beach on the main road into Puerto Viejo. I was shareing with one other as part of a tour (so can't comment on the value, as I didn't pay). The room contained a bunk bed with double size beds and a private bathroom. There wasn't room for much else in the room, even walking around was quite cramped. The room was dark and hot and of acceptable cleanliness. Only the bottom bunk had a fan and the light pretty much only illuminated the top bunk. There was no glass in the "window", but there was probably the only un-ripped fly screen I came across in CR. Contrary to what some might say, you can get hot water from the shower as long as you keep the water pressure down to a trickle.

The common areas really were very nice. Lots of big chairs, wooden sofa's and hammocks. The food and drink were reasonably priced and pretty good quality. The vibe was chilled, and most nights people were in bed pretty early. However, the lack of glass in the windows meant that if people did stay up on the upper floor balcony they did keep the whole floor up. The staff were very friendly and helpful.

Finally the place is built near a body of stagnant water and as well as the occasional whiff, bugs were also plentiful.

In summary think hostel with no dorms and only private rooms.

Room Tip: Although the rooms on the ocean side sound attractive, the bungalows at the back are probably lighte...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank IanSudbery
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bremen, Germany
Level Contributor
101 reviews
82 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 27, 2013

I stayed at Kaya's Place for three nights on a tour with gAdventures. The location is brilliant, right across from Playa Negro, a beautiful beach. The hotel itself is has a nice Caribbean flair, but is very rustic and quite basic. I was luckiest of all our group, as I got a two bedroom bungalow by myself. But it was at the very back of the property, so I did not feel safe as a single lady alone out there. Plus I had to walk through a dark garden to get to my bungalow. The bungalow itself was spacious with a kitchen, but it did not feel very clean, which probably had to do with the fact that it did not have sealed glass windows and you were close to nature at all times. So there were quite a few bugs and mosquitoes in the place. Breakfast was not included and Wifi only worked in the lobby area for me. WhatI need to point out is that the staff were amazingly helpful and friendly, specially Rachel! The staff and the fact that I like the vibe in Puerto Viejo made my stay a great experience, not the hotel itself.

Room Tip: the bungalows are a lot better, brighter and bigger than the rooms in the main building
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank dulin38
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
53 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 27, 2013

I stayed at kaya's for three nights with two persons in the 4-bed room with a shared bathroom for 30 dollars/night.

First start with the positives:
- great location, on a few minuten walking from town, right on the beach
- WIFI
- cool big balconies with big hammocks

Sounds great huh? Well unfortunelately not;
- our room was not only musky (like lonely planet said) but Very dirty and everything smelled of dirty feet. The curtains had horrible stains and the cushons smelled really bad.
- there was one working shower (cold) for a lot of people. Lots of fungus around and was not clean.
- the service was really bad. After three days i Asked for a new towel (had to use the Same all the time) but didn't get any. Also, constantly the toilet paper was out. I was given a few paper napkins when i Asked about it. The second night there were not even paper napkins.
- it's terribly over priced. We paid 30 dollars but Spoke to a lot of people in town who had better rooms with private bathroom and paid less.

Kaya's place probably was a great place 20 years ago. I guess They didn't invest any in it (Come on guys, some new curtains and pillows - what are the cost?!). I would not recommend This place.

Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
Helpful?
Thank Chris_ToscaAmsterdam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kaya's Place

Property: Kaya's Place
Address: In Front of Playa Negra | Before Last Bridge Into Town, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #22 of 101 Specialty Lodging in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Kaya's Place 2.5*
Number of rooms: 26
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Door is Always Open at Kaya's Place... Kaya's Place is a 26 room lodge on the stunning Black Beach in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. Built in the Afro-Caribbean "Rustico" style, the hotel is artistic and unique. Local woods and materials have been used in their natural state, making each room different and beautiful. Every space you encounter will be a pleasurable experience. The sound of the waves is always in the background, soothing and tranquil, guaranteed to take you away from the stress of everyday life. Inside the hotel, you will find many places to relax. The reception area is more like a living room, with a gigantic sofa, television, people to chat with and view of the ocean. The large deck upstairs has a wonderful ocean view with hammocks and sofas - perfect for reading or taking a siesta. In the back, gardens line the walkway, filled with local plants and flowers. A covered sitting area in the garden offers another opportunity to meet and enjoy the company of others while you stay with us. Our restaurant is spacious and open with view of the ocean and a small creek with fish, water lilies, crab and other water life. Located in Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean Coast, the area is blessed with natural beauty in the form of dense jungle with impressive flora and fauna and some of the world's most beautiful beaches. Kaya's Place is part of the growing eco-tourism industry that supports the preservation of almost 2 million square meters of primary rainforest. Taxes from this industry support the many national reserves and efforts to maintain the natural resources. We are dedicated to preserving these resources while sharing it with all the people that come to know this amazingly beautiful part of Costa Rica. Our recent renovation of Kaya's Place was completed with the same philosophy. No lumber or materials were taken from the primary rainforest. Much was recycled wood or dead fall from local farms and lumber that had washed up from the ocean and rivers. With these natural and renewable materials, we achieved a unique character with rustic and artistic designs. Also all the walls are painted by hand, with many details and awesome drawings. BE OUR ECO-GUEST Our Door is Always Open at Kaya's Place - We Hope to See You Soon! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kaya`s Place Hotel Puerto Viejo
Kayas Place Puerto Viejo
Kayas Place Hotel Puerto Viejo
Kaya's Place Costa Rica/Limon

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