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All reviewsliving roompunta uvadirect access to the beachtropical gardenbeach houseporchparadisebeachescostarentnature
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Reviewed 10 February 2011

This was out dream vacation. We planned to spend 1 month visiting several areas of the country to try to get a feel for where we liked best.. The intention being to return another time and know where we preferred to spend our vacation...(.this time in one location.)

Out of 6 vacation spots (La Fortuna, Monteverde, Dominical, Manuel Antonio, Alejuela, and Punta Uva) Casa Viva gets our unanimous vote for our favourite spot.

We prefer vacation spots that are not crowded or "touristy ". These cabinas are beautiful, roomy and great value. We loved the jungle setting and the sense of privacy on beautifully landscaped property.

The beach was very nice. We walked it every morning and afternoon. We were able to access the Internet freely from the communal area of the main house. We had a constant supply of bottled water supplied (the tap water had a strong iron taste). We found the owner (Jeannie Waller) and her staff VERY friendly and accommodating... The gardener brought us fresh coconuts every day, which I really miss, BTW

It is very hard to get back into gear after a week of lying in the hammock on the porch and listening to the waves crashing, the howler monkeys communicating in the almond trees and just contemplating life......

The only drawback would be the drive/ride to Punta Uva from San Jose. The road is not the best for about the last hour of the trip. Having said that...we are already planning out next trip to Casa Viva. I am sure it will be within the next 12 months. The sooner the better.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Marj S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 January 2011

I will keep this short. Everything stated in the previous reviews is 100% accurate. I am still in San Jose as my flight leaves tomorrow. Take other traveller's advice and stay overnight upon your return unless you have a late afternoon departure. I was on the interbus van with 3 others that had 2pm flights. Wen left Puerto Viejo at 6:30am. They did not get to the airport until 12:45. Probably ok but they were panicked. They roads are so unpredictable. We had fabulous weather but they were putting new yellow lines on a strtch of highway and also some paving was being done.......better to be safe than sorry. I am poolside sipping on a cervasa and will have only a $3.00 cab ride to the airport. No worries in the world. Any questions please feel free to send a reply. i will get back to you! Pura Vida!

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled solo
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1  Thank slyone1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 January 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, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank love2travelworld01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 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, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Wingnutgoalie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 December 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, travelled as a couple
4  Thank nahenahe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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