reviews for: listing #21246 - Manzanillo, Costa Rica House rental

La Bella Sirena
  • bedrooms  3
  • pool  no
  • type  House
  • baths  3
  • hot tub  no
  • community 
  • sleeps  8
  • pets allowed  yes
  • rates (USD) $110 - $200 /nt
    $660 - $1,200 /wk
    $2,300 - $3,900 /mth

sort by:

Guest Comment entered by owner

An idyllic vacation spot at the end of the road

Review submitted: May 27, 2011   Date of arrival: April 16, 2011

We spent a week at the Bella Sirena and had an incredible time. The house is beautiful. We woke up every morning to the sounds of howler monkeys howling and birds chirping. The grounds around the house are beautifully manicured, a feast for the eyes and for the ears. Almost every day we were visited by a hummingbird and a blue morpho butterfly. We saw a sloth high up in the tree and watched two sets of howler monkeys playing in the trees. We all loved the town of Manzanillo. It is tiny and is in no way your typical tourist town there are three small grocery stores and three sodas (cafes) and an ice cream store. I'm sure there are other things that we missed, but it's small and quaint. The beach is long and beautiful. If you walk south of town, there is a reef that comes up to the shore so you can see lots of sealife, including lots of sea urchins so make sure you wear your shoes.
La Bella Sirena was a perfect place for a vacation that was a mix of adventure, relaxation (in incredibly beautiful surroundings) and feeling like you are a part of another country, not just a tourist. We ate several meals at the sodas in town and bought groceries to make some meals at home. My son made us one of the best smoothies I've ever had. The fresh mangoes and pineapples were abundant and cheap.
We went snorkeling in several different sports in town and at nearby Punta Uva, We went ziplining (not for the feint of heart) and on a walk in the rain forest with a guide. We went to the jaguar preserve which is a great way to see native animals up close and to learn lots about them.
It was really great having Bibo, the caretaker, around. His brother is a tourguide so he took us on a walk through the rain forest. Bibo took us to a waterfall one day that was incredibly refreshing. We had his mom cook for us two nights her garlic shimp was superb.
We went to Puerto Viejo, a much bigger town about a half hour away, one evening for dinner. We had a good dinner, but were happy to return to our quiet home in the jungle and glad not to be staying in the midst of so many tourists.
I want to return to La Bella Sirena when I can stay longer. I could have spent much more time in the hammock reading and watching for new forms of life to pass by. A near-perfect vacation- can't say enough good things about the house, the location and the country truly an idyllic vacation spot!
For: Age 55+, Adventure Seekers, Girls Getaway, Sightseeing, Families with Teenagers, Romantic Getaway

Helpful votes: 1 / 1

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

Absolutely Amazing!

Review submitted: December 24, 2010   Date of arrival: September 27, 2010

Guest: Padge(Arkansas, United States)
Date of Stay: 09/27/10 Review Submitted: 10/07/10

I just returned from our stay at the "La Bella Serena," and it was one of the most picturesque places I have ever seen or been to. I traveled with my girlfriend and another couple that we work with and stayed for a full week. I was a little skeptical at first, considering we went during the "rainy" season, however, the weather was absolutely beautiful throughout our entire stay...It was Sunny and warm everyday, and it only rained at night which just made for a better nights sleep as the rain hit the tin roof of the Villa...We would wake up every morning to the sound of the Howler monkeys roaring in the trees above. We experienced fantastic food at many restaurants throughout the local towns, went snorkeling, took jungle hikes to the hidden waterfalls, rented bicycles for a day, went to the Jaguar Rescue Center where we were able to play with the monkeys and hold sloths, and not to mention, enjoyed many of the beaches nearby...Manzanillo is a very small town, as well as the other close-by towns, but it was nice to not be overrun by other tourists...The beaches are absolutely beautiful, and also very "non-touristy." The locals are very nice and welcoming to everyone...Bibo is also a very nice guy that takes care of anything that you need at the place...I would definitely reccommend "La Bella Serena" to anyone that enjoys the beauty of nature and serenity...I'll also throw in that it was actually nice to not receive any phone calls or texts, b/c wifi is few and far between...This was my first trip out of the United States and its going to be hard to beat a trip like the one I just took with my friends...Two thumbs up!!!

Recommended for: Adventure seekers, sightseeing, romantic getaway.

Helpful votes: 1 / 1

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

The Best Place to Stay

Review submitted: December 24, 2010   Date of arrival: December 28, 2009

Guest: slothclub 5(Vancouver, Canada)
Date of Stay: 12/28/09 Review Submitted: 06/10/10

This was our first trip to Costa Rica and we are so pleased to have chosen La Bella Sirena for our one week stay between Christmas and New Years 2010. The drive from San Jose was enjoyable and it was fun to view the many beaches along the way. The pictures of the house and property on VRBO had created some high expectations and we were not disappointed. We spent hours lounging on hammocks, rocking chairs and couches watching for monkeys, sloths and birds. We saw them all! The nearby beaches had many locals enjoying family picnics and a few tourists like us.We appreciated having Bibo the caretaker on site to answer some questions. He offered to take us on a hike to some "out of the way" waterfalls which was well worth the trip. His mother is an excellent cook and she was available to provide the evening meals. What a treat it was to enjoy local cuisine at very reasonable costs. Reflecting back on our vacation we are glad to have a chosen an area that was a little off the beaten path (but not too much) La Bella Sirena is a great place to experience Costa Rica

Recommended for: Age 55+, adventure seekers, sightseeing, families with teenagers, families with young children.

Helpful votes: 2 / 2

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

Amazing Experience

Review submitted: December 24, 2010   Date of arrival: May 9, 2009

Guest: Kristi27(Washington, DC)
Date of Stay: 05/09/09 Review Submitted: 05/09/09

We stayed at Bella Sirena in June, 2008. We were two adults and two twelve-year-old girls that we mentor. It was an amazing experience! Our city kids from DC certainly had never seen anything like it, and being surrounded by nature was amazing. We also tracked down some howler monkeys by their howels, and saw lots of wildlife. The nearby beaches were beautiful and peaceful. We fully recommend Bella Sirena!

Helpful votes: 1 / 1

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

We had an AMAZING time!

Review submitted: December 24, 2010   Date of arrival: December 20, 2008

I can't even begin to say thank you for renting us that absolute paradise property. The house took our breath away as soon as we stepped out of the car. It was quite dark and the porch was lit up just like in the photos we'd seen! The grounds keeper was great! He arranged tours for the other couple we were staying with and was always able to answer any questions we had for him. I also wanted to mention that we had the housekeeper cook for us one night (on the suggestion of the greeting card on the coffee table) and we were thrilled with the meal. It was hands down the best dinner we ate the whole time we were there (and that's saying quite a bit). The experience was one that every guest should take advantage of. For the price, it really couldn't be beat and we had the luxury of sitting on the porch with our glasses of wine, surrounded by nature throughout dinner without ever having to leave the house :) I have already had several people ask me for the link since seeing my photos and I'm sure there will be more still. Andy and I are thinking of when we can go back and will probably make the Bella Sirena a yearly get away if schedules permit. Between the two of us, we've seen every part of Costa Rica now, but Manzanillo has been our favorite by far. We'd set out to find a quiet and romantic hidden paradise, and we found nothing short of exactly that. Please feel free to use me as a reference if anyone every wants a testimony. I'd also be happy to share any of my photos. Thank you again and I hope to be in touch quite soon. Kindest Regards, Vanessa Tilley

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

Wow!

Review submitted: December 24, 2010   Date of arrival: March 24, 2008

We stayed at La bella Sirena the week of Feb. 2nd. WOW!! What an amazing place!! "Pura Vida" as the locals would say. The house was all we expected and more. The insects were virtually unnoticable in all bedrooms. The wildlife was plentiful, we woke up every morning with countless howler monkeys in the trees right over our head. The staff was great. Bibo, (we miss you if you read this), was soo helpful in setting up day trips and activities for us. The town of Manzanillo is a must see for people of all ages. The hospitality is second to none and the people are so friendly. And the beaches...Costa Rica is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Be it family or friends, La Bella Sirena is a perfect getaway. It was our first trip to Costa Rica, however will not be our last vacation to this "Island in the Sun"

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

Loved Everything about it!

Review submitted: December 24, 2010   Date of arrival: March 1, 2008

We loved, loved, loved everything about our week's stay at Bella Sirena. The setting was amazing--howler monkeys waking us up in the morning and parrots coming in later in the day. Toucans, over 50 species of birds seen--completely amazing. The caretaker was friendly, helpful, warm, and welcoming. The setting was perfect. We definitely would go back.

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

Fabulous!

Review submitted: December 24, 2010   Date of arrival: February 1, 2008

Just arrived back from la bella sirena. had a fabulous time. would most certainly return in the future!

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

Lovely Vacation Rental

Review submitted: December 23, 2010   Date of arrival: January 30, 2005

A group of us spent a week at La Bella Sirena in January and loved it! The incredible natural beauty of Costa Rica was perfectly enhanced by our comfortable and modestly elegant lodgings. We had everything we needed and then some, yet we never felt out of place in the wildness of the rainforest. Howler monkeys, sloths, toucans - they're all right there in the yard. The nearby communities of Manzanillo and Puerto Viejo are both welcoming and relaxed, offering anything a traveler might need: restaurants, markets, shops, and gorgeous Caribbean beaches! We enjoyed the great restaurants, and also had a fabulous time cooking in the all-inclusive kitchen. For a little extra fun we created a different "drink of the day" every day to take advantage of the abundance of exotic fruits (and tasty Costa Rican rum). We slept soundly in the comfortable bug-free bedrooms, the gentle sounds of the rainforest providing a relaxing sonic background. I can't think of a better way to have had our first Costa Rican experience, nor can I offer enough praise for this lovely vacation rental. Take full advantage of its beauty!

Helpful votes: 1 / 1

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

Truly Authentic Costa Rica Experience!

Review submitted: December 23, 2010   Date of arrival: January 20, 2005

My family and I stayed at La Bella Sirena this past January and had a wonderful time!!!! The location is so perfect for spending time with loved ones and exploring the abundant nature surrounding you. Each morning we looked high in one of the tree tops next to the house to see if "our" sloth was still there. We would always see it and even once watched it come down to the ground (Quite a sight!!) My son was just over a year old at the time and loved watching and hearing all of the animals in the rainforest. We really enjoyed our room, it was all screened in which we appreciated as it kept the mosquitos outside so we were able to sleep well. The kitchen is really wonderful to use, we would go to the market make fabulous guacamole and fresh fish on nights we felt like staying in. The beach is dreamy, fairly soft waves, but enough for body surfing, I felt totally comfortable to have my son in the shallows to teach him to swim. I would highly reccomend this rental to anyone. Especially those who want a truly authentic Costa Rican experience!!!!!

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

Highly Recommended!

Review submitted: December 23, 2010   Date of arrival: June 1, 2006

Guestbook Comment
Guest: Anonymous
Date of Stay: 06/01/06 Review Submitted: 06/25/06

Each day while enjoying early morning coffee on the upstairs deck, we watched howler monkeys swing through the trees and flocks of parrots fly over. From the downstairs living area, we had close-up views of hummingbirds, our first ever sighting of chestnut-colored woodpecker (spotted by one of my granddaughters) in the banana tree at the bottom of the steps, and scarlet-rumped tanagers, among many others. Preparing meals or washing dishes in such surroundings was pure pleasure. A sloth hung out in a cecropia tree along the path to the beach. The close-in reefs in nearby Manzanillo drew us back each day for snorkeling—even the 5-year-old donned her mask to enjoy the fish in tide pools. The water was calm and clear in June, tropical fish abundant and the coral amazing. We discovered a gourmet supermarket between Manzanillo and Puerto Viejo on the last day—fresh baked bread every day, wonderful cheeses, plenty of fine choices if you are cooking in. Interesting small restaurants are along that road for an evening out. Ceiling fans kept the bedrooms cool at night, and we draped the beds with the mosquito netting more for the romance of it than necessity, because the bedrooms are screened. In the evening in the open areas, we did use repellent, but there were not many insects. The big showers are great, the tropical hardwood floors beautiful. We had happy hours playing cards, listening to the sounds, going over the day’s adventures. The biggest problem was deciding which hammock, couch or chair to enjoy—plenty for the six of us to choose from. The caretaker came by every day to see if we needed anything. Our four days sped by—we would love to have had more time at La Bella Sirena. We highly recommend it.

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

Reviews are the subjective opinions of VacationRentals.com travelers and not of VacationRentals.com, Inc.

  vacation rental details         write a review