reviews for: listing #322801ha - Jaco, Costa Rica rental

'Casa Sammie' - Very Private Oceanfront Bungalow with Private Pool!
  • bedrooms  3
  • pool  yes
  • type  House
  • baths 
  • hot tub  no
  • rates (USD)  $ 110 - $ 160 / night
    $ 694 - $ 995 / week
    $ 2,599 - $ 3,900 / month
  • sleeps  7
  • pets considered  yes

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Visit #6 - still as exhilarating as visit#1

Review submitted: January 25, 2014   Date of arrival: January 5, 2014

We have just returned from our 6th visit to Casa Sammie - now feels like home but never grows old! #6 was as memorable as #1, already looking forward to #7. The Casa Sammie pool is still the highlight of the visit. A dip in the pool with a full moon directly overhead - an experience you should not miss. Feeding the iguanas at the end of the pool (they love papaya) is still great fun. Scarlet macaws put on afternoon performances in the big tree near the pool. A new birding highlight at Casa Sammie on visit #6 - a pair of gray-necked wood-rails passing through the backyard and across the pool deck at 6:30am. A thrill to see this elusive bird. For the first time we got to eat bananas from the backyard - bananas from the grocery store will never be quite the same even if they are from Costa Rica. Hoping that on the next visit we will get to eat a pineapple from the backyard. Fresh fruit from the stands along the highway north of Tarcoles was excellent - already miss our daily fresh fruit smoothie for breakfast. The watermelons were exceptionally good this trip - going to be hard to enjoy an Ontario grocery store watermelon. And finally, the lobster dinner prepared by Maria - words can't describe it, you need to experience it! Maria you are a wonderful cook! We re-visited our favourite Costa Rica excursion - Discovery Horseback Tours (www.horseridecostarica.com). Enjoyed the Jungle Spa ride again and an awesome new early morning ride along a deserted beach. If you have never been on a horse before but would like to try it Discovery Horseback Tours is the place to go. Now for the new excursions on visit #6. Big thank you to Patri for suggesting a new location for zip lining - Vista Los Suenos at Herradura. The tractor and wagon ride up the mountain was different and the 12 cable flight down was amazing. The second last cable was the steepest and fastest zip line ride we have been on. Doka Estates coffee tour (www.dokaestate.com - 2 hour drive northeast) was interesting and educational - learned how coffee gets from a cherry-like fruit to your cup. Tour at Villa Vanilla (www.rainforestspices.com - 2 hour drive south) was also a great outing. Learned amazing things about vanilla (the seed pod of an orchid), cinnamon and many other spices.
As I write this at 11pm on a very cold, wintry Saturday night in Ontario the memory of the moonlight swims in the Casa Sammie pool makes me feel a bit warmer. We shall return to refresh that memory.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Owners response: Thanks so much for this wonderful review. It's great to hear that you're still finding new activities to do and experience, even after many visits. We're at Casa Sammie about three times a year and, you are so right, every trip brings something new - a different bird, a new friend, an exciting tour - it never gets stale. We look forward to having you back anytime!

Helpful votes: 1 / 1

 

Pura Vida !

Review submitted: May 14, 2014   Date of arrival: April 30, 2014

This was our first time travel to Costa Rica and Casa Sammie did not disappoint. It is so peaceful and relaxing. Patri, the manager, was very informative and helpful throughout our stay. It's a great central location to take day trips such as Manuel Antonio National Park, local beaches and Jaco. The property is beautifully maintained and very comfortable. For a dinner out, Steve and Lisa's has great pizza and the fresh fish at the Cooperative is delicious on the b.b.q. I definitely recommend this vacation rental to friends and family.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Owners response: Thanks so much for taking the time to write this great review. We'd love to have you return anytime as Patri tells us that you were wonderful guests!

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

Paradise - Exceeded our expectations!

Review submitted: January 5, 2014   Date of arrival: November 29, 2013

Continued - Part 2
Another unexpected little gesture that was very warming and gives us a feeling of acceptance. We certainly were not regulars at Chepes Bar but did have a few meals there and spoke with the waitress and owner. On our last day the waitress sent down a plate of fish appetizers to the house, again another totally unexpected act of kindness that added to our overall love of the area and people.
Casa Sammie was perfectly located and the house was clean and well equipped for everything you need. The many locations at the house to sit and enjoy your surroundings from the pool side, gazebo, or the front sitting area. Quite frankly it was hard to read a book with so much to look at from the macaws and other birds, plants, flowers, lizards, frogs, absolutely breath taking.
We were so sad to leave and definitely plan on returning.
Thank you Lynne and Larry for sharing your little piece of paradise with us and for entrusting your property to Patri to manage any affairs in a friendly and professional manner. Pura Vida!!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, girls getaway, pet-friendly, sight seeing, tourists without a car, romantic getaway

Owners response: We are so very excited to get this wonderful review. You are exactly the kind of guests that we try to attract, and love to have stay at our home away from home. Getting to know the local Costa Ricans and participating in the village life is what it's all about when you stay at Casa Sammie and that's also what can make your holiday such an enriching experience. You've given future guests a really good idea of what life is like in Tarcoles. As you stated, we try to make sure that our guests get as much information as possible before leaving so that they know exactly what to expect and hopefully will not have any unpleasant surprises. However, as you said, it's great to have some pleasant ones! We are very happy that you had such a good time and that you took the time to let others know about it. You are certainly welcome back any time. Hasta pronto, Lynn and Larry

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

Paradise - Exceeded our expectations!

Review submitted: January 5, 2014   Date of arrival: November 29, 2013

Part 1
We (2 couples in our fifties) arrived at the airport and were greeted by our driver (arranged by Patri), he shared useful information about the local culture and pointed out landmarks along the way. Immediately after entering Casa Sammie any inhibitions we had were quickly drifting away, the accommodations were exactly as we expected from pictures and information on the website. Even arriving after sunset we still were overwhelmed by the tropical beauty of the property. We had made arrangements with Patri to have some groceries when we arrived so we were all set for a couple of days to just sit down and relax and take in the absolute beauty of the flowers and plants, the grounds were intoxicating.
Our first day we walked around the town and felt very comfortable and quickly made acquaintances with the locals at Chepes Bar and the grocery store. A bond with the resident pet Sammie (dog) was made and she soon accompanied us for walks down the beach. We had brought some dog treats from home so it wasn’t hard to become a hit with the local dogs.
Early in our vacation we met Gino and took his hiking, fishing, snorkeling, and lobster on the beach tour. This was definitely one of the highlights of the trip and we had a delicious meal prepared by Gino’s wife Maria. We quickly connected with this hospitable and lovely family.
Patri arranged a crocodile, Jaco beach and zip-lining tour for us, all the tours she recommended were provided by reputable operators and we definitely appreciated her coordinating this for us.
One day when out for our daily stroll we suddenly were right in the midst of quite the down pour, as my husband and I took shelter under a banana tree we were beckoned over by a family who provided us shelter until the rain subsided. The family couldn’t speak English and our Spanish is very limited. We had an enjoyable experience and it was the little unexpected events that added to our holiday. My husband would mix up a beverage each night and head to the water for sunsets, two locals would be fishing for their dinner off the shore each night and offered the fishing pole to my husband.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, girls getaway, pet-friendly, sight seeing, tourists without a car, romantic getaway

Owners response: As there are two parts to this outstanding review, we'll respond at the end of "Part 2" shown above.

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

A Perfect Private Little Piece of Paradise

Review submitted: December 28, 2013   Date of arrival: November 10, 2013

My partner and I and four friends spent ten days living in paradise at this lovely cottage. Our goal was to experience Costa Rica as the locals do and everything worked out beyond our wildest expectations. We ate fresh shrimp ceviche in the local open air bar/restaurant watching local life. We saw macaws daily among the almond trees out front of Casa Sammie. On a rainforest tram tour we saw toucans. The crocodile tour in Rio Tarcoles was fascinating. But the best tour of all was Tico-Tours trip out in a fishing boat down the coast.
The accommodations were everything promised and we were well taken care of. The place is kept clean and very well maintained. The pool is divine! And the gardens ... oh the gardens. Hard to find words. We'll definitely be back for more of this. Highly recommended.

Owners response: Thanks so much for this great review. We love having guests who get right into the village life and experience the "real" Costa Rica instead of the "tourist" view. You're welcome back anytime!

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

Our Time we Cherish; Chapter 3 at Casa Sammie

Review submitted: October 20, 2013   Date of arrival: September 25, 2013

Our dream to return to this slice of Paradise came true as we made our way back to this beautiful casa for our 3rd year. That says a lot about how much we love Casa Sammie and what it has to offer. There are tours you can take nearby, but at Casa Sammie; it's at your doorstep....from the Macaws to Iguana's, natural wildlife, the sounds of the rainforest; the stunning beauty on the property itself is beyond words. We have fallen in love with Casa Sammie, staying longer each year. It was warming to see our amigo's again, Patri, Ramone, Gino - as we pulled up to start our life in Paradise; Sammie greeted us :-) The pictures you see are what you get, beautiful sunsets, magnificent landscaping; we made sure we were "home" each day to enjoy cerveza and light bites on the gazebo and watch the sun set over the Pacific. We love the life we are able to live here. We eat our breakfast on the gazebo, enjoying the Pacific breeze while listening to the squirrels gnaw into coconuts until they can get their little heads inside to eat the fresh insides. This year; we saw literally hundreds upon hundreds of butterflies migrating. We bought fish from the cooperative and grilled by the pool almost every night. Mango's (a local soda) has great pizza and Chepe's will offer your meal to take home with you if you wish. I woke up early as many mornings as possible to catch the break of day and listen to the sounds of the morning. As last year, we lived the simple life, we explored almost every day the area around the casa. Going north towards the highway to Orotina there is a truck stop and across the highway on the Pacific side; there's a eatery; Congo's; we stopped there only to find that there was a family of monkeys! We got plenty of great pictures. We visited Orotina (the city of fruit) and brought home chicken roasted on the street-side. Patri also arranged a great Zip-Line adventure for us. As we have done every single year; cerveza and appetizer’s at Villa Caletas for spectacular views of the Pacific. Our last night; we ate at Steve and Lisa's just up the road for delicious Pollo; our only night we ate out. You can not go wrong with a visit or 3 or 4 or more to Casa Sammie; it's Pura Vida in Costa Rica. We didn't want to leave and we are already planning a Chapter 4!. Lynn and Larry, thank you for sharing your beautiful Casa; we enjoy it to the fullest and we will be back!! From Felix and Vaun - Pura Vida

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, pet-friendly, sight seeing

Owners response: WOW! What can we say but thanks, yet again, for another fantastic review. We really hope that our potential guests will take the time to read your 1st and 2nd installments also, as you really give an excellent view of what it's like to stay at Casa Sammie and be part of life in a small Costa Rican fishing village. Pura vida to both of you and we certainly look forward to your return. Hasta pronto, Lynn and Larry

Helpful votes: 3 / 3

 

WOW!!! Just left and ready to go back to Casa Sammie

Review submitted: September 18, 2013   Date of arrival: September 9, 2013

Just returned yesterday from Casa Sammie which provided a most memorable 35th anniversary trip for my wife and me. From the lush vegetation throughout the property to the very private pool, Casa Sammie is an oasis of pleasure. We cooked some at "home" and ate out some as well, with most meals up in the gazebo. It has a beautiful view of the water and the sound of the waves is just very peaceful. When you visit you will no doubt meet Patri who is a wonderful representative for the owners and a great source of information about the local culture and great places to visit. We saw a diversity of wildlife right on the property. We could not have stayed in a nicer place for our first trip to Costa Rica and will no doubt look to return as soon as we can plan another trip.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Owners response: Thanks so much for this wonderful review. We're very happy that you had such a good and relaxing time. Thanks also for your comment re: our manager, Patri. She's an invaluable resource for us, as well as for our guests, and we couldn't do this without her. We're looking forward to having you back!

Helpful votes: 1 / 1

 

Beautiful gardens create privacy & quiet!

Review submitted: August 15, 2013   Date of arrival: July 28, 2013

Private, quiet, beautiful and clean! Thank you to Patri and Ramon for their kind attention to our needs. We all fell in love with our Sammie! What a special girl! We would definitely recommend Casa Sammie to friends and family! In hindsight, we should have added housekeeping & laundry service to our package since clothing soils quickly in the humidity and heat. We would also recommend a Tico Tour with Gino. What a great way to spend a day for a very reasonable price! And then to top it off, Maria cooks you dinner! We also zip lined at Los Suenos. Great fun! We spent most of out time in Lynn's beautiful gardens or the pool! What a variety of trees and plants! Everyday I would find a new flower, herb, fruit or tree. Thank you, Lynn and Larry, for sharing your slice of paradise with us! We hope to be back next year. Lana, Bailey, Linda and Gina/Eaton, CO

Owners response: We are delighted that you had such a good time and also that you took the time to share with future guests. I'm so pleased that you enjoyed the garden. We live in Canada and so the garden season is quite short. I was so excited to have a chance to garden in a climate where plants and flowers flourish year round. We're very lucky to have found Ramon's son Frankie to take care of it when we can't be there. We also know that without Patri and Ramon we wouldn't be able to rent out the house and for that we're very grateful to both of them. We certainly second your comments on Gino and Maria. They're a wonderful couple and can give our guests a truly Costa Rican experience! Thanks again and we'd be very happy to have you back. Remember that returning guests receive a 10% discount :-)

Helpful votes: 2 / 3

 

OUTSTANDING!!!

Review submitted: June 19, 2013   Date of arrival: June 5, 2013

This was our 2nd trip to Costa Rica and was just outstanding we had a grat stay at Casa Sammie and hope to return. and just a quick shout to Patri, "Thank You" she was very helpful with our needs

Owners response: Thanks for taking the time to submit this. We're happy you had a good time & hope to have you back in the future!

Helpful votes: 1 / 2

 

Perfect place for family gathering

Review submitted: June 16, 2013   Date of arrival: May 25, 2013

Located in the relaxed fishing village of Tarcoles, we found Casa Sammie to be a perfect place for my husband and I to spend a week with our two adult children and their significant others. The howell kept, and clean, and all necessary amenities were provided. We enjoyed the gazebo and spent many evenings there looking out over the ocean, playing games/cards and relaxing after busy days. And we really appreciated having a pool. Surrounded by beautiful and lush landscaping, one or more of us would be in it at all times of the day. It's a quick walk to the ocean, and the beach is great for walking, watching birds (early mornings), and beautiful sunsets.
People in the community are friendly, and we enjoyed eating at the local restaurant a few times during the week. Patri is an excellent caretaker, and was very helpful in identifying and making arrangements for activities prior to our arrival as well as during. She was always available but not at all obtrusive. Take advantage of Gino's Tico Tour while you are there. A local fisherman and tour guide, he customizes tours to meet your interests. Ours included snorkeling, hiking, fishing, and the best grilled lobster eaten on the beach during the day. The stories he tells and insights into the community he shares deepen your experience. The house is in a great location, not far from Jaco, the crocodile river (take a tour), and other interesting activities. If you like horseback riding, sign up for one of the Discovery Horseback Tours. We did the Jungle Spa Adventure, and owners Chris and Andrea made it so interesting and fun that it was high on our list of favorite activities. we would recommend Casa Sammie to others and would come again

Owners response: Thanks so much for taking the time to let others know of your experience and of some of the activities that you enjoyed. We really appreciate it and are very pleased that you had such a good time. You're welcome back!

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

Costa Rica Adventure

Review submitted: May 16, 2013   Date of arrival: May 6, 2013

Lets being with how helpful Lynn and Larry are! I called and they answered and helped me over he phone and through email. We were a group of 7 friends that embarked on a 10 days CR Adventure with lots of different parts of our trip.

From Mar Y Luna in Golfito to Finca Bellavista to Casa De Sammie. And lets just say Casa de Sammie was the perfect way to end our adventure and relax. The property is amazing. They have before photos and the work Lynn and Larry have put into the house is unbelievable.

There are lizards all over, frogs at night, Macaws that fly over the house all day and of course Sammie the dog :) Plus many other local dogs.

The pool is wonderful, the rooms are really nice all had working air co in the bedrooms. The tiki lounge had a wonderful breeze in the morning with a great view of the ocean. The ocean is not really a place you go to get in though the river runs into it so it is dark depending on the time you go.but during summer months is clearer. But have Gino take you to some beautiful beaches and or drive to Jaco and you will get your fix.

They have a book with all kinds of must do's and Patricia the house manager is there to help you with everything as well. If you rent the extra side house it does not have air co but is perfect for a couple. It does have a fan and with the windows open it does cool down.

The pictures are exactly how the property looks except they have had more updates. Wifi works great. The town is fun to walk around and of course to eat some fresh yummy food. Casa de Sammie is a must stay if you are looking to stay with locals and truly enjoy Pura Vida

Casa de Sammie is also very close to the famous crocodiles which is a must see. They are usually on the left side of the bridge.

If you drive somewhere make sure not to leave anything in the car. We had no problems and the roads were great and we felt very safe. 1 1/2 hours to the San Jose Airport and super easy to get to. If you have a chance go to Jaco and walk the town on the right side of the street there is a coffee shop. Get an ice coffee with chocolate..... omg!

Casa de Sammie will be place where we will return, we made great friends and loves the small fishing town.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, people with disabilities, families with teenagers, girls getaway, pet-friendly, sight seeing, tourists without a car, romantic getaway

Owners response: We are so pleased that you had such a good time and that everything went well. Thanks so much for taking the time to let us, as well as future renters, know about some of the features and activities that you enjoyed the most. As we spend time there throughout the year, we try to keep our finger on what needs to be repaired or up-dated and we're pleased that you noticed the improvements. We'd love to have you return any time, and remember that return renters receive a 10% discount (as well as senior citizens!). Thanks again, Lynn and Larry

Helpful votes: 2 / 2

 

Wonderful time!

Review submitted: May 6, 2013   Date of arrival: April 20, 2013

Casa Sammie was just as advertised. My wife and I enjoyed a wonderful 7 days / 6 nights there. After a couple of days, it felt like coming home in the evening. The gardens are very lush and private, as well as the pool. The raised gazebo is a wonderful place to enjoy the morning's cup of coffee, overlooking the Pacific. It was very nice staying in the fishing village of Tarcoles, as opposed to Jaco or Los Suenos resort. It gave a real Tico feel to our stay. Will stay again soon!

Owners response: Thanks so much for taking the time to post a review. We really appreciate it and are hoping to see you back at Casa Sammie in the future! We also appreciate the comments that you sent us by email - "It was exactly as advertised, and it was very peaceful to stay in Tarcoles, away from the bustle of Jaco and the insulation (for lack of a better word) of Los Suenos. Patri was great and our trip with Gino was wonderful as well. We look forward to returning."

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

Our Vacation of a Life Time - Part 2

Review submitted: September 16, 2012   Date of arrival: August 22, 2012

I don’t know where to begin to describe how fantastic our return to Casa Sammie was!!
We love your beautiful casa and all that it brings us in happiness and joy to see Patri, Sammie, Ramon, Gino – to visit Chepe’s again, to mingle with the locals and just enjoy the Tico life.
Casa Sammie is by far the best way to spend time in Costa Rica. Lynn and Larry, I thank you so much for the way you have landscaped your property. Anyone considering a stay at Casa Sammie – look no further; it’s the best. With zip line close by, Horse back riding, parks and surfing all close by; it’s an ideal location and a fantastic home to choose.
We, being “second time rounders”, enjoyed just living on this trip. We had no itinerary, no game plan except to surf a couple of days. Each day we just enjoyed the village of Tarcoles, sat and chatted at Chepe’s with the locals; bought fish at the co-op and grilled and danced by the lightning of the evening storms. I fed the Iguana every day. We enjoyed the most awesome bat watching from the Gazebo at dawn, it was spectacular!!! We visited the area of Orotino where local fruit stands and street-side chicken is being roasted. My husband surfed in Jaco and we enjoyed a surf competition in Playa Hermosa. We love the village of Tarcoles and Patri has become a friend to us and always made sure we were happy and she is always ready and willing to make plans for you, suggestions for you and will help in any way to make your stay a memorable one.
Thank you for making my birthday, celebrated at Casa Sammie, my most special one ever!! A trip to Villa Caletas is a suggestion by Patri last year that was so phenomenal in beauty that we went again. To sit 1,150 feet above the Pacific Ocean and look out over the Pacific, have a beer or wine and enjoy a light bite; we would recommend this to anyone as well. The views are fabulous!!
Staying at Casa Sammie will allow you to experience Pura Vida as you should. We can’t wait to go back, and go back we will!! There will be a chapter 3 to my reviews as it is our dream to go back again and to Casa Sammie. ¡gracias Patri for all you do and ¡gracias Lynn and Larry for opening your casa to people like us who verdaderamente amar (truly love) Casa Sammie and the Village of Tarcoles!!! To be continued…..
Vaun and Felix :-)

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, pet-friendly, sight seeing

Owners response: Wow! What can we say except a big thank-you, for taking the time again to let others know how much you love Casa Sammie and Tarcoles. It's great to have guests who enjoy the local culture as much as we do - that's why we decided to buy in that area in the first place, rather than a gated community. You've obviously made many friends and feel at home and we're certainly looking forward to hosting you again in the future. Guests like you are always welcome :-)

Helpful votes: 6 / 8

 

My Dad, Sister, Brother and his wife, and especially my son and I.....

Review submitted: August 6, 2012   Date of arrival: July 14, 2012

I rented Casa Sammie for 3 weeks in July/Aug 2012 and must thank Lynn (owner), Patri (Mgr), Gino (guide and friend), Maria (Gino's wife and our friend), the bunch at Chepe's Bar & Grill and so many others in Tarcoles.
My son and I stayed the entire three weeks and were joined by my family for one week during our stay. In mine and my family's humble opinion, the house was phenomenal, it was exactly as I envisioned prior to arriving. The location was quiet, peaceful, and private. The gazebo was tranquil and beautiful and the pool was clean and refreshing, providing hours of enjoyment. Patri was readily available with tour recommendations and handled making all our tour arrangements.
If you do not book a tour with Gino and have Maria cook dinner, then you have not "experienced" Costa Rica. Gino and Maria and their 3 boys are now extended members of this family. Maria's cooking will keep you begging for more. Gino welcomed my son and I to play soccer with his team, making our trip even that much more memorable.
Chepe's is a wonderful soda near Casa Sammie. Aside from the entire menu being great, Marea makes the best chalupas I have ever had the pleasure of eating. Waitresses, Veronica and Dilania made my son and I feel right at home and were so friendly (as anyone in Tarcoles was). We frequented Chepe's at least once a day while we were there.
Casa Sammie was perfectly located for us to use as a "hub" and travel to different areas and experience all Costa Rica has to offer. Deep sea fishing from Los Suenos, SCUBA and white water rafting near Quepos, waterfall rappelling and white water rafting (again) near La Fortuna (Arenal Volcano). Costa Rica is full of beauty any direction you look. Gino's "two beach" tour is one you must not pass up. Hiking, snorkeling, hand fishing, fresh caught lobster lunch on the beach and finish it off with Maria's delicious supper, served under Casa Sammie's gazebo. YUM!!!
Lynn, thank you for sharing Casa Sammie with my family, Patri, thank you for working hard to ensure us an enjoyable vacation. Gino, Pura Vida, mi amigo! We WILL return!!!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, people with disabilities, families with teenagers, girls getaway, pet-friendly, sight seeing, tourists without a car, romantic getaway

Owners response: This is a great review and we really want to thank you for taking the time to do it. It gives people an excellent idea of what to expect if they stay at Casa Sammie. We really love the fact that you got so involved with the community and the wonderful people of Tarcoles. We feel that anyone who does that gets a much better idea of what life in the non-touristy areas of the country is really like. Thanks also for your compliments on Patri's help to make your stay enjoyable. She's invaluable to us and we know we'd never be able to do it without her. We also take Gino's tour every time we're there and Maria cooks for us on a regular basis. Yummy!! Best wishes to you and your son. We're so happy you had a good experience. Lynn and Larry

Helpful votes: 3 / 3

 

Pura Vida...'Life is Good' in Costa Rica

Review submitted: January 1, 2012   Date of arrival: December 1, 2011

If you really want to experience Costa Rica then Casa Sammie is where you need to stay. It is located in the fishing village of Tarcoles. Every morning you wake up to the roosters, macaws and cows not the noise of traffic. As you open the front door you will find Sammie the house dog jumping up and down eagerly awaiting his morning pet. Outside the front gate you will see Ramon across the road milking his cow. You then walk down the road to watch the fisherman mending their nets or pushing their boats out for a day on the water.
If you like bird watching then the scarlet macaws were right out front of the house. At times you would see over twenty of them in the trees. It was great for taking pictures. The noise they create is something you must experience.
There are a number of places around the house for morning coffee depending on how much sun you want. The pool area is absolutely beautiful with the fan palm at the far end and the plants surrounding it to create your own little oasis.
The house has everything you need for a comfortable stay. It quickly starts to feel like home.
At the end of a perfect day in Costa Rica you sit in the gazebo and watch the sun go down over the Pacific.
To make the stay even better you have Patri ,who manages the house, to help you plan outings or just make your stay more comfortable.
A must is the Hotel Vista Golfo zip lining. It was an incredible experience zipping down the mountain over water falls. It was very safe and a lot of fun. Patri made sure we were there on a day that was not overrun with people from the cruise boats.
Gino and Maria live in Tarcoles and make you feel very welcome. Maria cooked us several great meals and we spent a day with Gino on his boat and hiking some local trails. We had fresh pacific lobster caught by Gino's cousin while we were exploring the rain forest which were then cooked over a fire on a deserted beach. One of the highlights of our trip!
The pictures show the property perfectly. Ramon is great at keeping the pool and property pristine and Patri is a valuable resource to ensure you have an exceptional vacation.
Thank you Lynn, Larry and Patri for a wonderful experience.

Recommended for: age 55+, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Owners response: Wow! What a wonderful review. Thanks so much for taking the time to write it. It certainly gives future guests an excellent idea of what to expect, as well as giving them many ideas on what to do. We also appreciate your comments on how helpful our manager Patri was, as we know we wouldn't be able to keep our guests as happy as they've been without her help. Again, we really appreciate your review and hope you'll be able to return some day. You'll be most welcome. Lynn and Larry

Helpful votes: 6 / 6

 

Beautiful Memories,

Review submitted: December 4, 2011   Date of arrival: November 1, 2011

We really enjoyed out stay at Casa Sammie for the month of November. The home is exactly as we viewed it on the VRBO site, no surprises. Located in a very small fishing village it is a very unique vacation spot. The house is very clean, very comfortable and very safe. The pool and gardens are spectatular and the sun sets very memorable. The location is a little remote from the normal tourist resorts but thats what makes a vacation here so unique. You will probably want your own vehicle to explore and see the sights, although Patricia is very attentive and can arrange any trips you wish. We found having the car enabled us to do things on our schedule.
November is the end of the rainy season...usually...but this year was unusual and we had a little rain every day but two. However, the sun came out every morning from 7AM to noon...some times even until 3 or 4PM, enabling us to do the things we wanted before the rain. And our time spent at the house was very comfortable even when it rained...lots of protected outdoor areas to stay dry and still enjoy your time in this paradise.
The outstanding things we most enjoyed were zip lining at Los Suenos, a round of golf at La Iguana at Los Suenos, the Arenal Volcano Tour with a stop at the hot springs (take camera and swim suits) and the day at Quepos and Manuel Antonio Park. Patricia will arrange all the tours for you. For the Tour to the volcano she will ensure you get a good English speaking guide who knows the Country, the history and the area, and the guide really makes the trip since there is so much to see on the Tour.
When we return, not IF, we would definitely return to Casa Sammie for part of our vacation, and probably split our time in Costa Rica between Casa Sammie and a location further north near Liberia. Casa Sammie was a great central location for seeing the sights in the south west half of Costa Rica but with the road system in the Country it is not an easy commute to the destinations further north. Our day tour to Arenal was 14 hours in total.
Many thanks to Lynn and Larry for sharing their beautiful little piece of Paradise with us. Thanks to Patricia for her guidance while at Casa Sammie, to Roman our pool caretaker who was always watching over us, to Sammie our night watchdog and daytime companion, and to the whole cast of support people who do the gardening and housekeeping. It all accumulates to a wonderful experience chocked full of BEAUTIFUL MEMORIES!
The Wright's from Stratford, Canada

Recommended for: adventure seekers, families with teenagers, pet-friendly, sight seeing, tourists without a car

Owners response: Thanks you so much for this fabulous review. It was very honest and gives people an excellent idea of what to expect, especially during rainy season. We hear from Patri that you really made an effort to fit into the local scene, which certainly enriches your experience and gives you a very good idea of what life is like for the people who are there year-round. Thanks again - we're looking forward to having you back! Saludos, Lynn and Larry

Helpful votes: 3 / 3

 

Wonderfull, fantastic!!!!

Review submitted: October 11, 2011   Date of arrival: February 14, 2011

Thanks so much Lynn and Larry, it was wonderful meeting you Lynn. There are no words to describe the wonderful time we all had at your amazing place. The resident dogs were wonderful and very obedient, and very enjoyable. To Patrice thanks for all the wonderful service and advise, it was very much appreciated. To Gino and Maria, also thanks to you for everything it to was great, hello to all the children.To describe the place is to hard, the pictures do not do it justice, the grounds are beautiful and wonderfully kept, the scenery amazing, the animals fantastic, Mackaws gorgeous, even the sticky frog and the frog snake, wow. Villa Calenta awesome nothing like it...To many wonderful things to list them all. Once again Thanks to all and for anyone reading this go for it, it was the most amazing vacation ever!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, sight seeing

Owners response: Sherry, we really appreciate you taking the time to write this glowing review! It was so nice to have the opportunity to meet you and the rest of your group and we're delighted that you all had such a good time. We hope to see you back sometime in the future! Saludos, Lynn and Larry

Helpful votes: 2 / 2

 

Our Vacation of a Lifetime!!

Review submitted: July 31, 2011   Date of arrival: July 15, 2011

We just returned from our 2 weeks at Casa Sammie and our only wish is that we could have stayed longer!! The casa and landscape is beautiful; we spent hours upon end in the Gazebo, enjoyed the pool and people. We could not have had this special time without Patrice. She is the most gracious host and became a true friend. Whatever we asked, wanted to do; she was there with suggestions and made arrangements for us at any time. Our vacation plans included surfing; a dream to surf in the Pacific for my husband and he enjoyed the surf in Jaco. However having breakfast in the Gazebo one morning we watched as 3 horses grazed in the frontage; we decided we wanted to go horseback riding. By noon, thanks to Patrice, we had a time to go and went to a fantastic horseback riding adventure that included mud bath, waterfall, landscape...it was a special time. Zip line too, within hours we had choices of where to go and when. Thank you Patrice for everything you do to keep everyone happy; we certainly appreciated it and looked forward to seeing you when you came down our little road. This property is at the edge of the rain forest and with that said, we were blessed with good weather. Although rain it did, we did not experience rain at any time that interferred with our plans. We enjoyed going to sleep to the sounds of a real rain forest and light rain, people only dream of things like this. I would suggest to anyone that chooses Casa Sammie to take the time to visit a few places we did and were suggested by Patrice, Villa Caletas has the most stunning views!!! We had a couple of beers and ordered a light bite but you don't have to eat there to walk around and enjoy the beauty. El Coral was very good and Chepe's Bar was a regular stop for us, they make the best rice and hand made tortilla's. We bought fish from the local co-op and Chepe's rice and it made for a 5 star dinner in the Gazebo watching the sunset!! Our last night was at Tico Tico and was so lucious. We miss Casa Sammie so much and fell in love with resident dog Lizzie and loved all the resident dogs. It's so nice to go away on a vacation and have happy smiling (they do smile) dogs greet you upon your arrival. Thank you Larry and Lynn for allowing your Casa to be visited by guests and thank you so much to Patrice who made our stay personal and one that we will always remember!! We will be back :-)

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, pet-friendly, sight seeing

Owners response: Thanks so much Vaun and Felix, for taking the time to write such a great review. We're so happy that you enjoyed yourselves & hope to have the opportunity to host you again sometime. We're very lucky to have Patricia in Costa Rica, managing things for us and taking care of our guests. Couldn't do it without her! Lynn and Larry

Helpful votes: 6 / 6

 

Casa Sammie

Review submitted: February 1, 2011   Date of arrival: January 21, 2011

I don't know what I could add to my review that others haven't already said, but we all agreed that we had a fantastic time. We loved Lizzie, Jackson and Sammie, the resident dogs, and they took excellent care of us. Patri was always available for information and assistance. We spent hours in the gazebo-catching the ocean breezes, enjoying the sunsets, eating and reading. It was almost torture to extricate ourselves from the gazebo to walk into town for dinner. We had dinner at Chepes Bar twice and lunch at the "soda" cooperative twice. Both had great fresh fish and inexpensive meals. The "soda" in town was a big disappointment; the food was okay but the prices were twice what they should have been. I also felt that the taxi ride to The Coral restaurant a couple of miles down the road was very expensive. The food at the restaurant, however, was very good. Overall, Casa Sammie was paradise and I would return in a minute. Thank you Lynn and Larry for all of your hard work making Casa Sammie such a delightful vacation home.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, people with disabilities, girls getaway, sight seeing, tourists without a car, romantic getaway

Owners response: So glad to hear of your experience at Casa Sammie. Cheers, L & L

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

Will miss Casa Sammie!

Review submitted: November 24, 2010   Date of arrival: November 13, 2010

The property and grounds are beautiful and very well maintained. Patri was very helpful and I don't know what we would have done without her, certainly we would not have seen so much of the beautiful Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. The people in the village couldn't have been more kind or made us feel more welcome. Gino offered a beach tour by boat and we visited w waterfalls and glorious sandy beaches. At the end of the day we dined on lobster dived for from the boat and ate at Gino and Maria's home, she is an awesome cook. The Canopy Tour at Adventure Park was something we will all never forget.
I recommend a trip to Hotel Villa Caletas to view the sunset and dine in a 5 star resort with 3 star prices.
I certainly hope to return here one day.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, girls getaway, pet-friendly, sight seeing, tourists without a car

Owners response: We're delighted that you had such a good vacation. Thanks for taking the time to add this lovely review to our site!

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

Paradise Found

Review submitted: November 8, 2010   Date of arrival: September 23, 2010

The pictures and descriptions at the web site were dead on. The Gazebo was wonderful for sitting and relaxing every morning and evening. We always felt safe - especially with the watch dogs (Lizze, Jackson and Sammie) on alert! Patri was a wonderful hostess and assisted with any needs. All the recommendations (Chepes, Sea food co-op, etc.) were exceptional. Thanks for the wonderful vacation and memories!

Recommended for: age 55+, tourists without a car

Owners response: Thanks so much for this wonderful review. We're so pleased that you enjoyed our small slice of paradise! Lynn & Larry

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

A true "Tropical Oasis"

Review submitted: September 18, 2010   Date of arrival: August 2, 2010

Casa Sammie was a beautiful "Tropical Oasis." I especially enjoyed lounging in the pool - absorbing the sounds and sights of the variety of birds and wildlife surrounding me. This serene environment was critical since my son got very sick on our stay and had to be hospitalized for half our trip in Clinica Biblica, San Jose. Thanks to Patri, the local doctor, and some beautiful, caring neighbors, he received the right care and treatment. Despite my son's illness, we were able to enjoy surfing in Jaco, Esterillos, Hermosa, and Playa Bejugo. The 4 hour ATV tour by Adventures in Jaco was amazing - beautiful views of Hermosa, Jaco, an amazing waterfall, pueblos, and a Costa rican lunch at a local restaurant.
Looking foraward to returning to Costa Rica again to continue our trip to Manuel Antonio and the Isle of Tortuga.
Thank you again Patri for all your love, support, and care in dealing with my son. Words cannot express my gratitude!
Adios,
From Florida

Recommended for: adventure seekers, families with young children, families with teenagers, pet-friendly, sight seeing

Owners response: Thanks so much for submitting this lovely review, Charlene. We're very happy that you enjoyed most of your stay and hope that your son has completely recovered. Patri has always come through for our renters and we're so fortunate to have her. Lynn & Larry

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

Gread Place and Great Owners

Review submitted: September 9, 2010   Date of arrival: August 27, 2010

due to unforseen circumstances, we had to cut our trip short but if you want a real taste of Costa Rica with the food and town people this is the place to stay. If you have a car you can easily visit the more tourist locations that are 15 minutes away. Very comfortable felt right at home. Very private place. with no one to bother you. highly recommend it. Thank you for making our first trip to Costa Rica an extremely please one!!! Hope to see you again sooner than later...Leslie and Alex!! from CHICAGO!!!

Recommended for: age 55+, families with young children, people with disabilities, families with teenagers, pet-friendly

Owners response: Thanks Leslie & Alex. We were sorry that you weren't able to stay for your full time but hope to see you back in the future.

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

Amazing Trip

Review submitted: September 3, 2010   Date of arrival: August 12, 2010

My entire family had a fantastic time at Casa Sammie. I highly recommend this house for your next trip to Costa Rica. Patri, the property manager is amazingly helpful and nice. We loved everything about the house, from it's charming location in Tarcoles to the beautiful loving dogs at the house. We miss the dogs terribly. On the trip was my mother, my husband, and his parents. We cooked most nights at the house, buying fresh caught fish from the fish cooperative just down the road. It was amazing how quickly we felt at home there. The pool and grounds were very well maintained and felt like a private bit of paradise. We would definitely stay at Casa Sammie again.
Thanks for all the amazing memories Casa Sammie- we miss you!!

Owners response: Thank you so much, Deborah. We're very pleased that you enjoyed yourselves and also that Patri was so helpful. We certainly couldn't do it without her. Hope you'll be able to return someday!

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

We want to go back! And we didn't want to leave!

Review submitted: August 8, 2010   Date of arrival: July 27, 2010

Pictures do not do this place justice! It was amazing. The pool in the back with magnificent garden, and birds, the different foliages, the gazebo with a breeze blowing, and you could sit up there even if it rained! And then the ocean! Right in the front yard!!! We spent a week there. Everyone was wonderful and we saw lots of birds and wildlife. Everything was clean, beautifully maintained, and near many wonderful sights. We loved the Mangrove Birding river tour, the waterfall and gardens, the boat ride up the coast with Gino and Mario, visiting Haco, and going up the mountain for a drink with a view of the sunset! The property manager was able to keep us busy and took care of us the entire week, making sure we got where we needed to go. And the resident dogs! We loved them and didn't miss our K9 family at home quite as much because of them! We'll be back!! Thank you!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with teenagers, girls getaway, pet-friendly, sight seeing, tourists without a car, romantic getaway

Owners response: Thanks for the great review, Pat! We'd love to have you back anytime. Lynn & Larry

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

Casa Sammi

Review submitted: May 17, 2010   Date of arrival: April 27, 2010

We had a wonder holiday at Casa Sammi. A very relaxing place made more enjoyable by the wonderful help of Patri who was always available for our innumerable questions .Ramon and Franki kept the pool and garden immaculate but did it all very "invisibly " so that our family time was very private. Our family of six adults and one 5 month old were well cared for and felt very protected with the help of Liz, Jackson and Sammi!!!
Peter enjoyed a day fishing with Gino and his wife Maria cooked up the "catch" to provide us with a great meal . Maria also paints beautiful cards of the local birds.
Many thanks to Larry and Lynn for sharing there home & truely a home away from home. All so convienent for local sight-seeing but so lovely to relax in our own "space".
Olwen & Peter

Recommended for: families with young children

Owners response: Thanks for the great review, Olwen & Peter. We're so happy that all went well & that you enjoyed yourselves in beautiful Costa Rica and especially at "Casa Sammie"! Lynn & Larry

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES

Review submitted: March 3, 2010   Date of arrival: January 30, 2010

From the moment we arrived until we left one month later, we knew we had found a little bit of True Paradise. The home was everything that was advertised and more. The grounds were cleaned daily as was the pool. We ate star fruit from the trees on the property, and waited with anticipation for the bananas and pineapple to ripen. The gardens are beautiful, with flowers of every colour and description. We spent countless hours in the pool. The resident dogs, Jackson and Lizzie were our companions for our daily excursions on the beach. The gazebo was our favourite place of refuge with several hours spent relaxing from the heat of the day. We watched cruise ships and other vessels make their way up the coast, a wonderful spectacle at night as they glide past with lights shimmering off the water. The almond trees that are in Tarcoles and surrounding the property are feeding grounds for the Scarlet Macaws which come in early morning and late afternoon to feed. The property manager was very helpful, assisting us with transportation and reservations to the hotel and thermal waters at Arenal volcano. She also made dinner reservations at Villa Caletas, a 15 minute drive from the house. Villa Caletas is a fine dining facility. Plan your meal to coincide with the sunset, as the Villa sits high above the Pacific Ocean. Chepes Bar in Tarcoles was also a great place to eat local fare. We would recommend Carara Restaurant as another fine place to eat. Trips to Carara Park and Manuel Antonio Park were spectacular. Many indigenous animals were spotted on the trails such as green and black poison dart frogs, two and three toed sloths, nesting scarlet macaws and white faced monkeys to name a few. Other adventures enjoyed nearby were zip line excursions and bike riding. We caught the local bus to Jaco Beach and Orotina to visit the open air markets and shops. We would highly recommend this home as a great place for a family to enjoy Costa Rica as it really is, in all its beauty.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, pet-friendly, sight seeing, tourists without a car

Owners response: Thanks so much for taking the time to submit this glowing review. It does a wonderful job giving future guests a picture of what a stay at "Casa Sammie" will be like. We'd love to have you return and remember, repeat guests receive a 10% discount! Lynn & Larry

Helpful votes: 2 / 2

 

Guestbook comment

Review submitted: September 2, 2009   Date of arrival: August 8, 2009

Larry, Lynn thanks for having us at Casa Sammie, the web site, pictures and videos are very close to what your house is all about, Patricia and her crew are very good at keeping the house, pool and grounds in great shape, also very good at responding when there was a need ( she even has people that can help if transportation is needed and is safe) so you felt there was someone there you could trust. It is also a good place to be close to ammenities but away from the noise of Jaco. So many things to do around that it was difficult to make decisions but it was always nice to come back home at Casa Sammie and be welcome by Sammie and the gang ( Negro & Lizzie). I will come back next time that we go to Costa Rica and would recommended to anyone looking for a place to make your own for a few days.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, pet-friendly, sight seeing, tourists without a car

Owners response: Thanks for the great review Luis! You're welcome to come back any time and, as a returning guest, will receive a 10% discount.
Lynn and Larry

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

Truly Beautiful

Review submitted: August 12, 2009   Date of arrival: July 29, 2009

Casa Sammie is just as it is pictured on the web (surreal). Sammie, Lizzy and Neigro welcomed us home each day and kept guard for us each night, we will miss them. The house is nicely decorated and has a well equipt kitchen. The pool was always refreshing and the entire property is well mantained. Thank you Lynn & Larry for a wonderful stay.
JRR

Recommended for: families with young children, romantic getaway

Owners response: Thanks John! We're really pleased that you and your family had a good time.
Lynn & Larry

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

Review submitted: August 12, 2009   Date of arrival: August 12, 2009

We had a wonderful time at Casa Sammie. We , a family of 2 adults, 3 kids, 10,5,5, and 2 adult friends,visited after a whirlwind week at Tortugero, Tropicales Jungle Lodge on the Pacuare River. CS was a wonderful place to relax and enjoy small town Costa Rica, put in some time at your beautiful pool, enjoy some fresh fish and fruit right off the tree. The kids loved it, and after a week in the forest, it was REALLY nice to be able to wash the jungle funk out of our clothes! Patri was a great help with car rental and general information. Thank you for making your home available for us!

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

Review submitted: July 28, 2009   Date of arrival: July 28, 2009

Casa Sammie is well-situated for ziplining, for birding, for crocodile viewing and for an incredible fish market in walking distance. Patricia is a treasure indeed and her advice and planning made all the difference in our trip. Do not miss the sunset at Villa Caletas. Or the day visit to Tortuga Island in the Bay of Nicoya.

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

Review submitted: May 19, 2009   Date of arrival: May 19, 2009

My husband, two children(age 10 &11)and I , along with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law and their son(age 3), ventured to Costa Rica in April '09, and we found Casa Sammie to be an outstanding experience for our family. The house, itself, was clean and comfortable. Additionally, the pool was wonderful and was checked daily. We enjoyed going on daily walks through the small village, and we found the local people to be welcoming after a few Hola's! We took a couple of excursions that Patrice, house manager, recommended, and we found them all to be satisfying to our entire family(3 year olds are not always the easiest to please, but Patrice always took this into consideration.) In addition, Patrice would book the excursions which helped to save us money(Always a good thing) She was very friendly and went out of her way to make us feel comfortable.

We did venture out to Jaco Beach, but we found the peace and quiet of sitting by the pool or strolling on the beach to be more of our kind of vacation. Jaco Beach has a lot to offer, and it is quite close, but it is not our cup of tea. The quick walks down the street for fresh fish, fruits and veggies were just the ticket for us. Also, if you are there on a Friday or Saturday, make sure to have pizza from the restaurant near the center of town. It was excellent!

Next year, we are planning another trip, and we look forward to returning to Casa Sammie. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful place with us!

Owners response: Thanks for the great comment, Angelique! We'll look forward to having you back.

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

Review submitted: May 7, 2009   Date of arrival: May 7, 2009

This was our choice for a 1 week of bliss in Costa Rica. What a great spot and the house had all the ammenities we needed. There were 4 of us and it was very comfortable. A rental car was set up for us and any activities we were interested in as well. Highly recommended! You will not be disappointed.

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

Guestbook Comment

Review submitted: April 16, 2009   Date of arrival: April 1, 2009

My grandfather, boyfriend and I just spent a week at Casa Sammie. After living in Costa Rica for nearly 3 years I can honestly say it was one of the best experiences we've had here! The house was so charming and comfortable with all the amenities (even that most-important blender for pina coladas!) The pool was a big hit and a quiet, private paradise. Patricia was absolutely wonderful, very friendly and so helpful with all our needs, and relaxing in the gazebo watching the beautiful sunsets was a great way to begin an evening.
We highly recommend Casa Sammie to both visitors to Costa Rica and to Ticos wanting to escape the busy Central Valley.
Pura Vida!

Owners response: Thanks Jaime! It really helps to have a recommendation from someone who actually lives in Costa Rica.

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

Guestbook Comment

Review submitted: March 12, 2009   Date of arrival: March 1, 2009

We are a French family with three kids aged 7 to 14, and we've been living in Casa Sammie for 2 months. Casa Sammie is a wonderful place to stay. The small village of Tarcoles is a very typical fishermen village, and the people are really nice. It's very close to the park Carara and the "Crocodile-bird" tour. We also recommend the market in Orotina every Friday morning.
The house is really neat, with a great swimming pool in a tropical garden, and an upper deck from where we can sea the sunset on the sea while eating.
All the services provided are very good, for a short or long stay, it's a perfect choice.
Caroline and Laurent
Pura Vida!

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

Guestbook Comment

Review submitted: January 27, 2009   Date of arrival: January 1, 2009

Casa Sammie is now at the top of our list for accommodations in Costa Rica. We have stayed at aparthotels, beach resorts, and beach bungalows and Casa Sammie is the best. It was clean and we felt as if we were at home immediately. We loved the pool and the large yard. The gazebo was a great added touch. Watching the scarlet macaws in the almond trees was a thrill.
The location was very good, with the Pacific almost a stone's throw away and the little river nearby. The little village was nice and secluded, but Jacó was close enough for an easy visit.
Patricia was very helpful and never far away. I would welcome a direct inquiry via email.

Helpful votes: 2 / 2

 

Guestbook Comment

Review submitted: January 3, 2009   Date of arrival: January 1, 2009

We recently returned from an absolutely great 2 weeks at Casa Sammie (Dec 6-18/08). Weather was great, sunny and hot with very little rain.
What makes Casa Sammie such a great vacation destination?
First is the backyard pool, which is well kept (good job Ramon) and very private. No sharing the pool with dozens of other people as you would at a resort hotel. A night swim under a full moon is not to be missed.
Second is the new raised gazebo. The breeze and view are excellent. Breakfast in the gazebo at 7am wearing only shorts made an Ontario winter seem very far away.
Third is the abundant bio-diversity you see every day in Costa Rica and also around Casa Sammie. Banana trees in the backyard and a profusion of tropical plants throughout the yard (some are plants that you struggle to keep alive in a pot in your house back home). Then there is the iguana sunning itself on the pool deck, geckos on the house walls and birds everywhere.
Lastly, and by far the greatest thrill, is seeing scarlet macaws while they munch on almonds in the almond trees directly across the road. Though macaws make quite a ruckus at times they are very quiet while they eat. If you hear or see bits and pieces falling from the almond trees then there is sure to be several scarlet macaws having lunch. Grab your binoculars or camera for a good close up view.
Another great advantage to Casa Sammie is the number of outings within easy travel distance. Patri, the property manager, is very helpful in arranging your adventures away from Casa Sammie.
Here are our top adventures from our stay:
1. Zipline adventure at Hotel Vista Golfo (2 hour drive). Road north from the main highway to the hotel is an amazing uphill trip. Be sure to do the horseback ride to the start of the zipline.
2. Canopy tour at Villa Lapas (15 minute drive). This adventure is a guided hike down a mountain side and across suspension bridges at tree canopy level. Our guide spoke English well and had good knowledge of Costa Rican ecology. Lunch at Villa Lapas was excellent.
3. Cruise to Tortuga Island - Calypso Tours (use the transportation provided by the tour company). Don't miss this adventure if you like snorkeling and an excellent lunch on a white sand beach.
4. Manuel Antonio Park (2-3 hour drive). The hiking trails and beaches are spectacular and the whiteface monkeys at the main beach are immensely entertaining. Getting there can be half the fun, I am sure you will long remember your drive across the old railroad bridge at Parrita.
5. The Jungle Crocodile Safari at the end of the main road north in Tarcoles is the best way to see crocodiles up close.
Be sure to dine at the small family run restaurant in Tarcoles near Hotel Carara and across from the police station. Lunch and souvenir shopping at the Crocodile Bridge restaurant is also great.
As you can see, a stay at Casa Sammie provides rest and relaxation and/or grand adventure which will make for a memorable vacation!!

Helpful votes: 3 / 3

 

Guestbook Comment

Review submitted: December 4, 2008   Date of arrival: December 1, 2008

I stayed with my kids (ages 4, 6, & 9), wife and mother and we really enjoyed it. The house was nice and comfortable and the kids especially enjoyed the pool and having Animal Planet on the TV. The adults appreciated the gazebo, sunset views and especially the scarlet macaws.

The town of Tarcoles is small and walkable and I felt it was a good experience for my kids to see what a non-tourist town was like. Just to set expectations, it isn't a neat and clean town (although the house and property certainly were) but we didn't feel unsafe.
I would definitely recommend it, especially if you plan to enjoy Carara and want to get to see average life for many Costa Ricans.

Owners response: Thanks Jonathan! We try to encourage guests who want to see the "real" Costa Rica and how the average person lives.

Helpful votes: 3 / 3

 

Guestbook Comment

Review submitted: October 14, 2008   Date of arrival: October 1, 2008

We just returned from a too short,5 day vacation to "Casa Sammie" (10-8 to 10-13-2008). Patri is a wonderful host with so much knowledge of the ares & assistance when needed. Her employees were excellent in taking care of the pool & property. I looked forward to seeing Ramon every morning just to say, Ole. I could have stayed at the house everyday enjoying the pool and peace & quiet, but we had to play the tourist game. We went Zip-lining, drove to Jaco & Quepos and turned on to many roads just to see where they would take us. Every day was a different adventure. There is so much to do in Costa Rica that 5 days went by too quickly. We'd like to see Northern Costa Rica on the next trip and have already decided to stay at "Casa Sammie" again and just take a 1 day/night trip to the north. If you just stay in "Tarcoles", we highly recommend the Crocadile tour, fresh fish & shrimp at the corner market, Steve & Lisa's restaurant, & having a beer with the locals at Chepes bar. All of our expieriences were fun & memorable and we will go back. KEITH & KAREN MATTIS & family from Texas, California, & Pennsylvania.

Helpful votes: 2 / 2

 

Guestbook Comment

Review submitted: September 6, 2008   Date of arrival: September 1, 2008

We just wanted to say thank you so much for the wonderful stay at Casa Sammie. It was absolutely perfect from the early morning Macaw sightings right through to the spectacular sunsets over the water.
Patricia couldn't have been more helpful setting up activities and helping us with restaurant suggestions. We highly recommend the horseback riding right down the road and finishing the day with a meal at Steve 'n Lisa's.
Anyone who wants a little taste of Heaven should consider staying at Casa Sammie!!!

Helpful votes: 2 / 2

 

Guestbook Comment

Review submitted: August 26, 2008   Date of arrival: August 1, 2008

Dear Lynn and Larry,

Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful home with us. It offered a wonderful balance of privacy while still being able to feel a part of the neighborhood in Tarcoles. The locals were charming and respectful and made a great effort to speak English when we struggled in our broken Spanish! We enjoyed eating at the many small places close to your home and loved the traditional fare they served.
Casa Sammie was also central to many of the tourist attractions and was certainly a beautiful refuge when we wanted to stay in and enjoy what the property offered. We just had to step into the front or back yard to hear and see the many species of birds, not to mention frogs, bats, lizards and crabs. They were all very charming and unobrtrusive.

We wanted our children to get a true taste and appreciation of the Costa Rican culture and we certainly achieved that in a fun, safe and exciting setting. Thanks again.

Helpful votes: 1 / 1

 

Wonderful experience

Review submitted: August 19, 2008   Date of arrival: July 31, 2008

We loved our stay at Casa Sammie only wish we could have stayed longer.
The house is very comfortable, clean & private. The pool & gardens make this area special. The presence of the Scarlet Macaws in the morning & evening added greatly to our enjoyment.
Everything was as described, including views from the gazebo. Sammie & Lizzie did a wonderful job of guarding the property at night.
We found it very easy to get around Tarcoles without a car as we enjoy walking to experience the ambience. We walked to Villas Lapas for the canopy zip line tour & Skywalk.
It was great to be so close to the river and a nearby marsh for birdwatching and to be able to purchase fresh fish from the co-operative.
We enjoyed breakfast at Hotel Carara, fresh bread from the
bakery & groceries from the mercado beside the bakery.
Patricia, Ramon & the gardener do a wonderful job of looking after everyones needs.
We will be back in the near future.
Thank you for a wonderful experience.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, people with disabilities, families with teenagers, girls getaway, pet-friendly, sight seeing, tourists without a car, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 1 / 1

 

Guestbook Comment

Review submitted: May 17, 2008   Date of arrival: May 1, 2008

Hi Lynn and Larry;
I wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed our trip. When people ask us what the highlight of our trip was, I always say, “The place we stayed”.
You have managed to make your property into a little paradise. It is obvious that you have spent a lot of time and effort making your place so special. Every day was a treat as we walked around the yard, inspecting all the flowers and plants. It was such a privilege to share space with that huge tree in the centre of the yard.
We were enthralled by all of the lizards, crabs, toads and other creatures that hang out around the pool. Of course, we became fast friends with the one large female lizard that lives under the pool and comes out to bask every morning.
We loved the Macaws and all of the other birds and the little bats that slept in the coconut tree.
My husband and I slept in the bodega, and we loved it. There were many times when we would wake up and go for a swim in the middle of the night. The tiles you picked out for the pool are lovely. And the new lanai you just added is also lovely. What a great place to sit to get a little breeze and read a book or just gaze out at the ocean.
Casa Sammie was as private as I had hoped. We loved our place near the end of the road.
Ramon is great and you are so lucky to have Patricia. She was always available to answer questions and look into anything for us. She was professional but very personable, as well. She has a lot of connections and knowledge of the surrounding areas. We have a special bond with her because of our mutual love of animals.
Sammie is so cute with her little tail that wags so fast. We got such a kick out of her and King patrolling the area with Ramon.
We have fallen in love with Costa Rica. Don’t be surprised if you find us as your “neighbours” sometime in the future. Tarcoles is about the pace we like, by the ocean but not too touristy.

Helpful votes: 7 / 7

 

casa sammie

Review submitted: January 22, 2008   Date of arrival: December 1, 2007

My husband and I just got back from staying here,we loved it, the house was very clean and comfortable,the pool was very nice ,lots of privacy,the only thing that I would say that I found uncomforable was the bed,it was very hard,other than that we had a wonderful time,you do need a car to get around,the beech is rocky,but the sunsets are unreal got lots of pictures,also Patrica the lady that looks after any of your needs was so nice and very helpful,she went above and beyond the call of duty,we are planning to go back next winter and bring the kids,we would book this home again.

Recommended for: families with young children, families with teenagers, sight seeing, tourists without a car, romantic getaway

Owners response: We've changed the mattress since this review, so hopefully future guests will find it more comfortable!

Helpful votes: 14 / 16

 

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