We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Great place to stay”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 6 more sites!
Casa Zen Guest House & Yoga Center
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level Contributor
36 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Great place to stay”
Reviewed May 26, 2009

My boyfriend and I stayed at Casa Zen for a few days in May 2009 and were very happy with our experience. We had a first floor room right next to the kitchen which was clean, spacious, cute and quiet. The bathrooms and showers were always clean and available. Everyone at the reception/kitchen area was helpful and friendly, and the food was really good. Casa Zen employs some talented chefs. We especially loved the second floor hammock area!

As much as we loved Casa Zen, it isn't for everyone. Guests tend to be younger backpackers/surfers. Everyone staying at the hotel was delightful, but may not be suited for older travelers. There were no screens on our windows and I'm really creeped out by insects. However, we only had a few flies and one crab get into the room, so no big deal (the crab got in because we left the door open for awhile). While we didn't have any noise issues, I'm not sure if one could sleep in really late just because noise will travel into the rooms. Finally, there was not hot water, but it's sooo hot and humid that the cool showers felt wonderful.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Brenda M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

198 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    108
    46
    25
    9
    10
See reviews for
12
54
55
1
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Toronto
Level Contributor
23 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed March 25, 2009

We stayed at casa zen in jan 2009 after reading great reviews we were expecting a great place. We ended up getting a room on the ground floor near the hammocks and kitchen. People tended to congregate around the hammocks at night even sitting on the floor right in front of our room. The door had an opening above it which meant we could hear everything going on outside. However the people outside did not stay up very late or disturb us too much. The same cannot be said about the staff in the morning who started blasting music from 6am onwards as they were cleaning the kitchen, this was done each morning we were there. In addition the shared kitchen was very sad with minimal utensils or space to cook.

The good points are the proximity to the beach, which is absolutely gorgeous, the bathrooms were not bad (although no towels are provided), and the restaurant served good food. If you are looking for surfing lessons I do recommend booking through casa zen the guy from there who teaches is awesome.

I would probably not stay here again unless I could get a room on the second floor where the noise is not an issue. Valuewise I do think it is a good deal for the area.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LK14Toronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
nj
Level Contributor
22 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed January 14, 2009

i visited santa teresa last february and had unfortuntely booked a room eslewhere before stumbling upon casa zen (although my room up the road was just fine . .) . i came for yoga daily, my first time practicing in the outdoors, it was awesome. i think my flexibility was helped along by the heat of the day . . . first time ever to fully execute bird of paradise. :-)
topped off my daily practice with a smoothie from the restaurant downstairs. many days i returned for lunch and/or dinner as well.
on top of fabulous yoga and delicious food, the staff was great, very friendly and accomodating to a mere "visitor" not spending the night with them. i could tell by the vibe of the place that it is somewhere i would like to return and i am actually working on booking my room as we speak . . .

  • Liked — yoga was awesome, food some of the best i had while in costa rica
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank yoginitraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed April 3, 2008

casa zen is one of the few places in mal pais that offers a really solid "middle-ground" in terms of price and atmosphere. the single family ownership have made a point of keeping prices down while also making sure the place is well staffed, clean, and comfortable -- with some style. you're experiencing a labor of love here, run by people who have repatriated to costa rica to stay -- not some real estate developer's detached idea of a boutique hotel.

you could pay 2x + the price elsewhere easily and NOT get 2x the value. there's not much middle ground around in the immediate vicinity-- prices nearby jump to $70/$120 night for private cabinas at nearby itauna and tropico latino during high season, and the budget options nearby are... uh... well, muy rustico. casa zen still offers hostel-style bunks in addition to private rooms (shared bath) and an apartment with private bath + kitchen that can optionally connect to additional bedrooms for larger groups. there's also a communal outdoor (covered) kitchen downstairs for everyone else.

and, then there's the restaurant. the food's excellent, thai dishes for dinner and typical/traditional breakfast and lunches.

its true, due to the surfer/backpacker presence you may encounter some people hanging out at night and they'll be audible if you're turning in early to sleep and get a jump on the surf in the AM, but i just spent a month there, and in fact the staff DID make a point of asking folks to tone it down after 9pm or so on the few occasions it was called for, and a few semi-polite words like "hey dudes, keep it down", or "por favor, amigos" also does the trick. people who stay here aren't rowdy, they're just happy, and its a pretty tranquil place in general.

for me, a major plus at casa zen is that it is centrally located but still away from most of the development in the area. you don't have to walk on the main road to get to the beach (its beachside), there's a fully stocked market a block up and over, and its equidistant from both playa carmen (beginner surf mostly, apart from the outside peaks near the reefs) and santa theresa (excellent and occasionally heavy beachbreak waves for experienced surfers when there's a swell -- and if you want to score it good, just get up EARLY instead of drinking that last shot of tequila the night before... you'll get glassy and quite possibly hollow waves in return, with only a few other people in sight. you want a mid-tide usually, coming up... unless the swell is small, in which case, plan around the low tides... this place yields tubes.... FREQUENTLY... more often right, but also left on a few peaks).

the staff here is excellent, all the way around. it isn't a barcelo, mind you. if you're looking for a turn-down and a chocolate on your pillow, you're in the wrong place. but the people here are all nice and good at what they do. the yoga classes are both solid yet non-intimidating as are the spa treatments & massage.

there's also internet access here (2 newish computers with a printer), and since it isn't shared with 10 other people trying to use it at the same time its pretty fast -- so if you need to check in with the "fake world" on a regular basis, you don't have to hike to some place up the road. its all right here.

if you come here, you're going to make friends, and want to come back.

  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank fxct
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
california
1 review
Reviewed February 8, 2008

i almost don't want to write this. insofar as you know -- when you find a good thing, you don't want to see it get over-publicized, but...

places like this -- in areas like this -- are harder and harder to come by. and the more they get written up and acknowledged, the harder it is to get a reservation and the more likely it is things will change, faster.

but kelly and the staff here deserve to be recognized.

this is a little bit of the old costa rica backpacker vibe, but grown up and packaged up in a location and setup that can accommodate both random walk-ins on the cheap, and honeymooners looking for something authentic but comfortable. its a tough combination to find, and thankfully kelly and her family+staff have maintained the place and its aesthetic while rolling with the changes of a growing destination.

the food is good. the staff is good. the vibe is good. its ALL good. come for a day -- stay for a month. people have. i'm about to go back for my fifth visit to the area and there was no question about where we were going to stay.

you're away from the major development of mal pais/sta theresa here, but close enough to the market/internet cafes etc to stay stocked and connected without listening to traffic and breathing atv fumes all day, and having to hike more than a few blocks to stock up or check mail.

its freaking perfect, or as close as you're gonna get, here, today, given what is happening in (and to) the area. the surf remains stellar and if you can situate yourself in a good place like this with the right attitude and some time to appreciate it, you're not gonna want to leave.

Stayed June 2007
Helpful?
Thank _benjamin01101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed December 6, 2007

Stayed here for the last 3 nights of our 11 days Costa Rican vacation. We were staying at the MalPais Surf Camp but were looking to move to a nicer hotel and better location for the last few days.
Kelly, the owner is very down to earth and available for questions. We hadn't planned to stay here but stopped by for lunch one day and decided to just see how much the rooms were. Only $30 for a 2nd floor room with a double and single bed, ceiling fan and safe. We said yes! Of note:

Movie night each Sunday
Need to have or buy your own lock for the safe
On-site laundry service
6+ hammocks to lounge on
Yoga twice a day on the open air 2nd floor (I didn't participate but it looked good and was packed with people)
I'm pretty sure they had surf board rentals there but not 100%
Location is right across the street for the largest super market in Santa Teresa/ MalPais area.
Cash only
No pool
Shared baths - but they are nicer than most I'd seen, clean and private.
They did not provide bath towels.
On-site spa - offering deep-tissue massage and reflexology. $40 for an hour, and $25 for 1/2 hour. I did the hour deep-tissue and loved it - especially for the price.

NOTE: it can be very noisy, as the walls are thin and our room had a partial open ceiling that appeared to connect to about 4 other rooms - you could easily hear what's going on in the other rooms. At night people party and they are LOUD. This happened 2 of 3 nights we were there and no staff made the people quiet down.

They are not right on the beach but very close.

Overall, I'd go back because for the price of $30 a night it was worth it, even without warm water.

Stayed November 2007
Helpful?
1 Thank ZingerSF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Santa Teresa hotels
0.4 mi away
Hotel Tropico Latino
Hotel Tropico Latino
#2 of 26 in Santa Teresa
4.5 of 5 bubbles 547 reviews
0.5 mi away
Beach Break Surf Hotel
Beach Break Surf Hotel
#21 of 26 in Santa Teresa
4.0 of 5 bubbles 65 reviews
1.6 mi away
The Red Palm Villas
The Red Palm Villas
#18 of 26 in Santa Teresa
5.0 of 5 bubbles 234 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.9 mi away
Otro Lado Lodge and Restaurant
Otro Lado Lodge and Restaurant
#5 of 26 in Santa Teresa
5.0 of 5 bubbles 326 reviews
2.6 mi away
Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat
Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat
#15 of 26 in Santa Teresa
4.5 of 5 bubbles 290 reviews
0.0 mi away
Casa del Mar Surf Destiny
Casa del Mar Surf Destiny
#16 of 33 in Santa Teresa
4.5 of 5 bubbles 80 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Casa Zen Guest House & Yoga Center? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Casa Zen Guest House & Yoga Center

Property: Casa Zen Guest House & Yoga Center
Address: Casa Zen Beach Acess | 50 mts West from Super Costa, Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Santa Teresa
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 65 Specialty Lodging in Santa Teresa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Casa Zen Guest House & Yoga Center 3*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Santa Teresa and Mal Pais are rather remote beach towns, and that is what makes them so special! Thankfully, even though we are a little off the beaten path, there are still quite a few services available to visitors. This is a excellent area to relax practicing of Yoga and Surf.On the first floor, we have six private rooms, ideal for single travelers, couples or pairs of friends. The rooms have either a double bed or two single beds. We also have two larger private rooms on the first floor, each with beds for three people. Scroll down for photos and prices for our private rooms. Upstairs you will find the apartment plus three additional rooms with varying capacities, featuring exterior doors as well as interior doors connecting to the apartment. An abundance of shared bathrooms are also located on the first floor (there are many to choose from and they are always clean!).We also have two well-equipped communal kitchens, including our signature chef’s kitchen, complete with a professional quality stove, microwave, blenders, and a giant stainless steel refrigerator. We offer a amazing Yoga deck with every day class. Our helpful, bilingual staff is always ready to help plan other tours and activities in the area, including surf lessons, canopy tours, stand up paddleboarding (SUP), visits to nearby waterfalls, fishing, sailing, snorkeling, horseback riding, ATV rentals and more. We can also assist you with restaurant recommendations, reservations and travel planning, so your trip can be totally relaxing and worry-free! ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Hotwire, Orbitz, Priceline, Expedia, HostelWorld, Hotels.com and Cheap Tickets so you can book your Casa Zen Guest House & Yoga Center reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Casa Zen Hotel Santa Teresa
Casa Zen Guest House & Yoga Center Costa Rica/Santa Teresa

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing