Where do I start??? From the second we drove up we were amazed by how beautiful the house and surroundings are. We came for a secluded, romantic and adventurous 40th birthday trip and hit the nail on the head! The house is incredibly large. It has plenty of room to let you spread out and get comfortable. The shower is enormous, and nothing feels better than a cold shower after a warm walk on the beach. If you're traveling in a large group Casa Bella can definitely accommodate you. And if you're like us, (just two) we loved the room. The kitchen was big enough to host a party, and the two hammocks on the front porch make a perfect place to relax and take your afternoon nap :). The beach is literally 30 seconds outside the front door. And talk about secluded!! I think in the whole week we were there that we only saw one other person on the beach. Now that's private!!! Every afternoon there are dozens of white faced monkeys in the trees literally 10 feet away. The Scarlet McCaws are around every corner waiting to greet you with their gorgeous colors. We even had a Tucan eating berries on our front porch. It has simply been an amazing and unforgettable experience. Town is just a 10 minute drive, and there are dozens of hole in the wall restaurants with cheap delicious food. The BMA is a local grocery store that sells pretty much anything you could need from water to beer. We strongly suggest bringing some Off Deep Woods mosquito repellent. After a good rain you'll be glad you have it.
The owners Giovanni and Tracey greeted us upon our arrival to give us a tour of the house and grounds. I've got to tell you that these are probably two of the most amazing people we've ever met. They were so incredibly kind and genuine. We came looking to rent a house by the beach, and ended up with 2 new friends! If there is anything you want to do, all you have to do is let them know and they arrange everything from the taxi (which was NEVER late) to the nicest tour guides you'll ever meet. We sat around and they taught us about the area, the animals and the history. If you're looking for privacy and Costa Rica, you can't go wrong getting in touch with these guys. Bring your bathing suit and plenty of sunscreen. Then get ready to kick back and enjoy the most incredible vacation you could ever dream of.
We loved our stay at Casa Bella and Giovanni was the perfect host for our group of 7! He was friendly and helpful at every opportunity, and had a rich knowledge of the area and Costa Rica in general, and made us feel very welcome. We’ve stayed in vacation rentals in Costa Rica, Yucatan, Corsica, and multiple locations in the US, and we’ve never had a host that was as welcoming and helpful as Giovanni before! Among the various things he did to make us comfortable and enjoy our stay to the maximum were arranging 2 trips (fishing trip and a terrific birding/snorkeling trip); providing the perfect restaurant recommendations in Puerto Jimenez, cooking a delicious breakfast for us on our first morning, and teaching us how to identify and pick coconuts!
The beach was so close and so clean - - our daughters and their friends swam every day, and we loved the fantastic birding and wildlife. The hangout factor on the upstairs deck was great, as was the hammock and front porch. The ambiance was fantastic. Casa Bella is only about 10 minutes’ drive from Puerto Jimenez, but the location has a beautiful remote feeling. On the other hand, 2 eco-lodges are each about a 5 minute walk, and we enjoyed drinks, appetizers, and even a meal or two in the Iguana Lodge when we didn’t feel like cooking.
The rooms were all spacious, the kitchen was large as well, and the open layout was a delightful space for us to read, play board games and congregate for meals. The beds were in excellent condition, exceptionally comfortable for a vacation rental in our experience. We were disappointed to find the upstairs and downstairs floors are only connected via an outside walkway, but we became accustomed to this factor.
There are several smaller items we hope Meghan and Giovanni will consider to make their guests even more comfortable.
• Upstairs windows had no screens - - a bat came in one night, and it made using lights upstairs more difficult at night if you wanted to have the windows open for the cooling
• Light bulbs were far too dim – we could barely read in the dim light they provided
• Toilet hardware needs replacement – challenging to flush without the flapper staying open - - causing the well pump to run continuously
• Bed pillows were really in poor condition
• Bed linens were not consistently in good condition, one or more of our beds had holes in the sheets
• No hooks or closet to hang up clothes in the bedrooms
• # of bath towels inadequate for the number of guests – only one towel per guest for a week; no beach towels were provided
• The awnings were great but didn’t fully cover the stairs/walkway between the 2 floors, so that in a rain storm, one had to run thru a waterfall while going down a step
• No microwave in the kitchen; kitchen lacked amenities such as hand towels and oven mitts
• No written instructions for the house and it’s systems
• Noisy well pump – if it were contained in a soundproof box, it could be a lot quieter
Overall the important items for us were so positive, we would definitely consider another stay at Casa Bella – it’s such a wonderful retreat.
|How easy was it to book the property?||How helpful were the directions to the property?|
|Overall condition of the property||Bedding & mattresses|
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|Friends getaway||Large groups|
We loved our stay at this home, and the owners help really enhanced our trip. The experience was the perfect balance of jungle/wildlife, quiet beach just a few minutes walk down a path, and activities that the owners arranged for us (deep sea fishing and zip lining). Josue made it easy for us to maximize our vacation time by dealing with all the logistics for us, and he cooked for us twice - amazing chef! We saw beautiful birds every day and troops of monkeys on the path to the beach - we were sad to say goodbye to this wonderful place and gracious hosts!