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“Amazing” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Casa Viva Beach Houses

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Casa Viva Beach Houses
New York, New York
Level Contributor
32 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Amazing”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 9, 2011

My boyfriend and I stayed at Casa Viva for the entire month of April, 2010. This was one leg of a six month trip, and I have to say, this place was by far the best place we stayed during the entire tirp. The location is perfect, although definitely a good walk into town. There were a few restaurants in the area that we enjoyed eating in, and the small fridge and kitchen that was located in the bed/bath duplex was perfect for storing extra food. The gardens were 100% the most beautiful in the entire area (we had a full month to explore the surrounding area, and we can say with certainty that nothng compares). Jeanie was a fantastic host. She was always generous and helpful, offering great tips and advice for things to do. She was extremely hospitable, and made sure that we were always set with what we needed. The access to the beach also far surpases anything in the area. Overall, I would recommend Casa Viva to anyone looking for a wonderful beach vacation, without all of the glitz and glamour of a resort. This place is truly a gem.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank love2travelworld01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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62 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
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Detroit, Michigan
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2011

We stayed at Casa Viva from October 10th through the 21st. No better 64th birthday and 30th anniversary present could have been asked for, than to stay at a tropical paradise owned and operated by Jeannie, a perfect hostess, and long time friend. We were 2 couples, also long time friends, and this was our first stay in Costa Rica, Punta Uva in particular.
Casa Viva’s accommodations are terrific. If you are wishing for a venue of relaxation and comfort, this is it. If you wish to be impersonally pampered at a 5 star hotel with pool and rid yourself of as much of your disposable cash as you can, go elsewhere. Try the Pacific side.
Casa Viva offers 3 two bedroom casitas, 1 one bedroom casita and a duplex casita which consists of an efficiency bedroom/living/kitchen area and a private bath in each of the 2 accommodations. The one and two bedroom casitas have an open kitchen/living room plan and have an ample kitchen area and eating counter with stools. We usually ate at the large table for 6 out on the porch. There are also full sized appliances (refrigerator & stove), toaster, blender and dishes, pots and pans and utensils. Everything you need to cook in if you choose not to dine out or are stuck inside due to a rain. Keep in mind, this is the tropics, so it does happen.
We stayed in Casita #1, the first built by Dave (Jeannie’s late husband) & Jean and nearest to the ocean. As an Architect, I commend David on his craftsmanship and attention to detail. The bath had a large shower, hot water (electric point of source), toilet and single lavatory counter. Casita #2 & #3 have larger bathrooms, but basically the same amenities. The one bedroom’s bath is the largest and nicest of all, with a double headed shower and a bidet, for you continental types.
The bedrooms were nicely sized, had doors to the three sided porch (windows in lieu of doors at Casita 2 & 3), ceiling fans and very comfortable queen sized beds. Although the beds had mosquito nets, we experienced no mosquitoes. Use the nets though, these are open air casitas and there are other bugs which could hamper your sleep. Oh, another note, be prepared to arise early whether you want to or not. The Howler monkeys inhabit the trees just outside your casita and go off at 5:30 in the morning like no rooster you’ve ever heard.
Jeannie provides you with a 5 gallon size bottled water and then replacements as you need, at her cost. She can also sell you beer and coke, coke light, ginger ale and other soft drinks singly or by the case as you require, also at cost. No fuss, no muss, the beverage truck stops at the front entrance.
As said by other reviewers, the grounds landscaping are beautiful. Many varieties of specimen quality plantings enhance each casita and fruit trees and pipa palms provide for your daily gardeners delivery.
The beach is a stone’s throw from Casita #1 which also enjoys the ocean breeze, even through the planting break. Casita #2 & 3 receive less breeze, but are still great accommodations, each removed enough from the next to provide privacy.
Casa Viva is removed from Puerto Viejo but there is a store on the road 5 minutes in the direction of Manzanillo, and a few restaurants 15 to 20 minutes walk in either direction. For seniors like us, walking on the hot asphalt road took a lot out of us, so renting a bicycle is encouraged. The bike ride from Casa Viva to Old Harbor takes about 20 minutes and is enjoyable... do watch out for cars! Otherwise, Jeannie has a number of cost reasonable cab drivers that can pick you up and take you just about anywhere you want to go. If you shop in town for foodstuffs, Kale drives the nicest Taxi (extended cab pick-up) in town and will give you a great rate. He’ll even turn on the A.C. if you’re not fully acclimated to the heat.
Casa Viva is a great value and a rare find in a world of travel rip-offs. Do give it a try, you’ll not be disappointed.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Wingnutgoalie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 25, 2010

We stayed in Puerto Viejo last time we came to Costa Rica, and it wasn't our cup of tea. Looking for lodging close by but not in PV, we settled on Punta Uva. So glad we did. It's remote but close enough to a few stores and restaurants (we did not have a car.) Casa Viva is simply paradise. The owners have built incredible craftsman style cabinas, lovingly constructed down to the last countersunk dovetailed joint out beautiful woods. The landscaping is a wildly diverse selection of bromeliads, orchids and tropical flowers, and splendidly maintained. The beach is much closer than we expected. The rooms are spotless, well appointed and comfortable. Tips: at least at the moment, the WiFi is only available in the common area of the main house, not in the cabinas. The beach is either good for snorkeling or for body-boarding, depending on the weather and surf conditions. The least expensive units in the "double" don't have a kitchen, just a small fridge and coffee maker.

Highly recommended. You will be amazed at the beautiful flora and fauna and the friendly, helpful staff.

Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank nahenahe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 8, 2010

Genie was wonderful and very accommodating. The bungalow was very clean and comfortable. We could hear the sounds of the waves, that's how close we were to the beautiful beach! Gorgeous gardens and natural landscaping. This is paradise and I will be sure to return with my family!

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Cassandra P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Providence, Rhode Island
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 8, 2010

go here if you are looking for privacy, quiet, good views from the wrap around porch, hosts who leave you alone but help when asked, a quiet isolated beach. leisyrely breakfast (make yourself) on that great porch.
not so hot if you want to scrimp, want to be close to food and retail. or meet and socialize.
We went with out two teen agers and somewhere between the gardener who gave my wife a fresh coconut and a straw and limes every morning and the dusk scenes on the beach, it was just right for us.

Things we did - swim (very mild surf). walk to the point, walk down coast towards manzanillo, tour of gandoca refuge (local guides are great,- jeanne knows them) walk to dinner at selwyn's (cool!), jaguar rescue center

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank TravelinRIers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Venice, CA
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 10, 2010

We stayed at several inns and drove around and looked at many others in the area but we settled here because our friend and local surf instructor Hershel introduced us to Alaine who was managing Casa Viva in the owners absence. What we liked best about Casa Viva was the hospitality of the management, proximity to our favorite beaches (100 mt. away) and quality of the cabins which were more like small individual homes, crafted elegantly and simply from local wood. The gardens and grounds are beautifully kept and Frank, one of the groundskeepers, brought us coconuts every morning. Alaine helped us arrange horseback riding on the beach and other tours guided by our favorite guide Raul. We are hoping to return to Casa Viva and stay for a month or more next time. It is truly paradise. -Jason and Shelly

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jaypop70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, Canada
Level Contributor
24 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 30, 2010

I spent a relaxing three days here with my two adult children. Our solid wooden cabin was beautiful with full kitchen, a large living area, two bedrooms and the covered wraparound porch complete with dining table and two relaxing hammocks. We had a (distant) view of the water but could hear the soothing waves in the background.
The beds were comfortable, with mosquito netting ( unfortunately with a few holes!) The walls do not go all the way up to the vaulted ceiling.There are only ceiling fans, thus It was admittedly a bit warm for sleeping.... just be prepared. And be prepared for the middle of the night howler monkeys doing their thing! Not a sound you will soon forget.
The grounds were lovely with a short walk to a very safe beach.....even with the constant waves while we were there there was no undertow that we could feel. And you can walk for miles along the beach including a great, albeit muddy, walk up to the top of the nearby point.
The owner was extremely helpful, and even arranged for another vacationer to drive us into town on our departure when the local cab driver failed to show up on time. She lent my children two bikes to go into Puerto Viejo one afternoon for free. And she has a supply of cold beer at a reasonable price!
We didn't have a car, so getting groceries was a bit of a challenge, but there was a small grocery store about a fifteen or twenty minute walk towards Puerto Viejo. Bring a flashlight if you do this after 6:30 as the road is not well lit and there are numerous pot holes, often full of water.
All in all , a highly recommended lodging.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Travellingdoc-7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casa Viva Beach Houses

Property: Casa Viva Beach Houses
Address: Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Hotel Style:
Ranked #32 of 101 Specialty Lodging in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Number of rooms: 3
Also Known As:
Casa Viva Beach Houses Hotel Puerto Viejo
Casa Viva Beach Houses Costa Rica/Limon

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