reviews for: listing #62760 - Manzanillo, Costa Rica Villa rental

Amazing Congo Bongo house steps from lovely beach
  • bedrooms  3
  • pool  no
  • type  Villa
  • baths  3
  • hot tub  no
  • community 
  • sleeps  7
  • pets allowed  yes
  • rates (USD) $165 - $265 /nt
    $990 - $1,590 /wk

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Guest Comment entered by owner

BEAUTIFUL, private rental on the Carribean coast

Review submitted: May 14, 2010   Date of arrival: May 2, 2010

Reviews are very subjective, so let me first explain who we are, so you can better estimate your likelihood of enjoying the place as much as we did. Our party was two 30 something couples, no kids, from Missouri, USA and are all nature lovers. We enjoy traveling, camping, fishing, hiking, swimming, etc, so we are not afraid of bugs, animals, sweat or getting dirty. We do know how to clean up and enjoy metropolitan activities as well, but we are not "sissified". We work hard, but we also play hard.
Congo Bongo was a great choice for the Carribean coast of Costa Rica. It is several miles south of Puerto Viejo, but this proved an asset for us. If you want to be in the middle of constant activity with other people surrounding you, this is not the place for you -Puerto Viejo may be a better choice. But, if you want natural beauty and privacy Congo Bongo was the best choice we saw in the area. We lucked out.
Daan, the owner, is from Holland and speaks English well (which was good for us, since we're sadly your typical English-only Americans). He and his family also live on the property.
The grounds are beautiful with great walking paths between the houses and the beach. Parking is near the houses and was very adequate. There is a gate that is locked each evening at 7 p.m. that leads down the road to the property, which gives you an added sense of security.
Many beautiful native flowers and plants all over the grounds. Wildlife we viewed from our porch included tucans, howler monkeys (if you've never heard these guys, it's a real treat), sloths, the BEAUTIFUL morpho butterfly, paca, crabs everywhere, many other birds and lizards, and your expected rain-forrest sized bugs.
We traveled in late April/early May and had the beach solely to ourselves the entire time. The water was a bit rougher than we're used to at other beaches we've vacationed at, but certainly didn't spoil the fun.
The TINY village of Manzanillo is just around the cove. There is a small grocery store there, but we prefered a larger grocery store on the road between Congo Bongo and Puerto Viejo. Manzanillo has a couple smaller restaurants. Maxi's was pretty good and served dishes true to native cooking, but also had some familiar items to us.

We LOVED Congo Bongo and can't wait to visit Costa Rica again. Any questions - let us know. We'd be happy to answer.

Helpful votes: 4 / 5

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

Jungle Paradise

Review submitted: May 14, 2010   Date of arrival: January 20, 2010

Congo-Bongo is a perfect retreat for the traveller that loves the outdoors. Hidden in a jungle between Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo you have all the privacy you could wish for. If you are a nature lover or just want a vacation were you actually see the country and wildlife not a hotel that you could have stayed in that looks the same as the one around the corner from your house then this is the place. We saw howler monkeys within 30 minutes of our arrival as well as numerous other animals from crabs to butterfiles to some animals I was not sure what they were but did not have much fear of us. With the open porch design you may come out in the morning or night to critters standing on your counter looking at you. Right down the street is a corner grocery store for meals and snack foods and a little past that is a restuarant called Maxi's that has some great food.

Puerto Viejo is a quick 15 minute cab ride. (I do not recommend renting cars or scooters here because of the condintion of the roads) If you want good food go to Cafe Rojo and if you just want to hang out and have a drink and listen to music go to Tex-Mex. This is a very laid back relaxing town where everyone seems to be your friend which is reflected in the owner Daan and his family. So if you want to get away from everything and just slow down this is the place for you just remember you are literally in the jungle so dont forget the bug spray!!

Helpful votes: 4 / 5

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

Getting away to Congo Bongo

Review submitted: May 14, 2010   Date of arrival: October 5, 2009

Every October we like to escape the heavy rains on the Pacific side of Costa Rica..
This time we chose Congo Bongo - recommended by friends.
Tranquil setting - close to beach - tucked away from the road - lovely landscaping.
With our own house surrounded by trees and flowers we could have our morning coffee while watching & photographing the birds.
We are avid bird watchers and found Congo Bongo a perfect spot from which to branch out each day to find new species - different to waht we have on the Pacific side.
The proximity to Manzanilla park is a plus. Overall an enjoyable stay.

Helpful votes: 3 / 4

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

Getting away to Congo Bongo

Review submitted: May 14, 2010   Date of arrival: October 5, 2009

Every October we like to escape the heavy rains on the Pacific side of Costa Rica..
This time we chose Congo Bongo - recommended by friends.
Tranquil setting - close to beach - tucked away from the road - lovely landscaping.
With our own house surrounded by trees and flowers we could have our morning coffee while watching & photographing the birds.
We are avid bird watchers and found Congo Bongo a perfect spot from which to branch out each day to find new species - different to waht we have on the Pacific side.
The proximity to Manzanilla park is a plus. Overall an enjoyable stay.

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

One of those places you'll prefer to keep secret

Review submitted: May 14, 2010   Date of arrival: April 28, 2010

There's a place for everyone and this one is for all those of you who love Nature, simplicity and tranquility. A personal favorite, find it a few years ago looking for a hideaway. Been there several times since.. with my dog, with my family and with my friends. Always a great time surrounded by the -magic- of the caribbean jungle. Just a handful of houses built from local wood by Daan and his crew, you'll always feel at home and a few steps from the beach.

Helpful votes: 1 / 1

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

A Great Place to Relax

Review submitted: May 14, 2010   Date of arrival: March 8, 2010

Stayed at Congo Bongo for about a week back in April. We had the Root House and spent a good deal of time sitting on the porch just relaxing and listening to the sounds of the jungle. The beach connected to the property is basically deserted and to get there you walk through a lush, Alice-in-Wonderland like forest. With no TV or phone, would recommend CB to anyone in need of a truly relaxing vacation away from it all. Came back to my New York law firm more relaxed than I have been in ages.

Helpful votes: 1 / 1

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

Comfort and complete jungle seclusion with beach

Review submitted: May 14, 2010   Date of arrival: April 19, 2010

We thought we'd treat ourselves to something a cut above the usual budget accommodation for a couple of nights to celebrate my wife's birthday, and we ended up spending almost a week- very reasonable rates for a dramatic rainforest setting, with a wealth of wildlife in the surrounding jungle, and excellent caring hospitality from Daan (the owner) and his staff. Stay in Congo Bongo for a very different and unforgettable experience- great paths through the woods for kids to explore too.

Helpful votes: 1 / 1

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

Relaxed Jungle Seclusion

Review submitted: May 14, 2010   Date of arrival: May 20, 2009

My wife and I visited Daan and his Family in May. This was a great end of our visit to Costa Rica. Each bungalow has a different feel. The stay is like luxury camping in the Jungle. We could hear the Howler Monkeys every morning and evening. Lots of Humming Birds and Parrots. We did a lot of our own cooking and Dann even shared some fish he had on hand.
While you can walk to Manzanillo, you need a vehicle to get anywhere else. This Hotel is for people who want to get off the beaten path, yet still be within 20 minutes of tourist areas.
If you have a little explorer spirit in your soul, you will love this place

Helpful votes: 1 / 1

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

Paradise found! Everything a jungle/beach retreat

Review submitted: May 14, 2010   Date of arrival: April 19, 2010

My boyfriend and I had the Palm House for four days of bliss!

The grounds of C.B. are extremely well kept and blend in effortlessly with the surrounding refuge; While the palm lined beach just outside is pristine and virtually empty, with calm clear water perfect for swimming and sunning. Exactly what you expect when you think of 'beaching it' in the Caribbean.

Our house was just as beautiful as the website’s photos- extremely well crafted and one of a kind. Generally I expect a difference between a seductive ad and reality; but this time the reality was better! I was hesitant initially about the openness of the layout (i.e. my serious bug aversion), but the place was so well maintained there were virtually no bugs.
Granted, you are in the jungle so you will see a few, but nothing like I imagined (especially at night).

The best evening activity was laying in the hammock watching lighting bugs and bats battle it out above. We were also visited by a couple of friendly dogs who made themselves right at home. (I had no idea the rental came with a pet!?..) They even escorted us to town when we ventured out past dark, and next day, came to play at the beach.

The town of Manzanillo is just as the guidebooks describe- a sleepy surftown that runs on Caribbean time. You can walk along the beach from C.B. to town in five minutes.The houses at C.B. come quite well stocked with kitchenware so you don’t have to eat out for every meal during your stay. However, Manzanillo's market is basically a corner bodega. We made out fairly well for breakfast goods just because we couldn't bring ourselves to leave town, but if you plan on cooking much it would be worth a trip to the market in Puerto Viejo. Actually, the furthest from Manzanillo we got was about ten minutes down the road to El Refugio for dinner one night. (Highly recommended! Great atmosphere with a sophisticated menu, run by great people!)

Of course I must give a shout out to Daan. He's a lovely guy- helpful, friendly, clearly talented- and lives on the property with his family. He has created a jungle oasis, to which I cannot wait to return!!

Helpful votes: 1 / 1

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

Rustic, modern, natural jungle experience

Review submitted: May 14, 2010   Date of arrival: October 28, 2009

I stayed for a weekend in Congo Bongo with my wife and friends and it was really cool. It is more a set of hip, modern houses each set apart from the other in the middle of the jungle. The architecture of each house is different. We were in the long house which was spacious and surreal. It is completely open air and to our surprise (in Nov) there were no mosquitos and no creepy critters to worry about. The monkeys hang out in the trees above which added to the nature experience. Each house has a full kitchen and we had a lot of fun cooking our own breakfast and dinner while we explored during the days. I biked to a closeby market and was able to buy fresh fruits and food. The property is set beautifully in the wilderness and the short hike on a natural wooden path to the beach, through the jungle, was really cool. The bedrooms all have mosquito nets for peace of mind. Beds, showers and bathrooms are not luxurious and pretty basic compared to the design of the houses, but it didn't matter because we were looking for a rustic experience. Don't expect hotel service at your beckon call. This is the kind of place you can get away from it all and do your own thing without anyone checking in on you. Really laid back! Daan, the owner, was super friendly and can help arrange anything you need. Thanks for a great experience!

Helpful votes: 1 / 1

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

Back to basic with Pure Luxery!

Review submitted: May 14, 2010   Date of arrival: November 10, 2009

When we visited Congo Bongo, it was after reading an amazing
article in a Dutch Magazine called Happinez.
The purity, back to basic setting yet still tasteful and beautiful accomodation
inspired us so much that we decided to go.
If you want to experience a true into the nature feeling, sleeping in the middle of
a safe jungle, have a wake up call with natural monkeys, a private bounty beach as from
famous post cards but with no touristic spoiled entourage, enjoying the fresh fruits and coconuts, you must go.
Daan, his wife and child are splendid owners and will make you feel safe during your stay, They are very helpful and open people, you wont feel lost.
This was one of my most remindable holidays, i would love to go back one day,
im glad such pure and beautiful spots still excist and make you feel precious about
how important nature and consciousness is for us, to keep this places alive.
Dont doubt, just go!!

Helpful votes: 1 / 1

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

It's not for everyone but I had a ball

Review submitted: May 14, 2010   Date of arrival: February 18, 2010

It's in an unspoiled (underdeveloped) corner of the country. You have to overcome bad roads and arrested infrastructure to enjoy the excellent hospitality and service of this jewel in the jungle, The unspoiled, beautiful, private beach is a short walk thru the jungle. There are acouple of excellent restaurants within a half hour. Dan will grant your every wish. Service is excellent

Helpful votes: 1 / 1

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

My Congo Bongo Experience

Review submitted: May 14, 2010   Date of arrival: January 26, 2010

Congo Bongo is a great place if you love nature and being in a jungle. The houses at Congo Bongo are well maintained and beautiful. Staying at Congo Bongo feels like living in a real jungle. Since they only have a few houses and they are all spread out you feel all alone in your house in the jungle. The houses are very open wooden huts. You get a lot of bugs but thats part of the nature experience. Its so different since the houses have no tv or no internet access. If you cant live without a computer or tv make sure to bring your computer and you can play some movies on it. You can also get to see all crazy insects and the howler monkeys wake you in the morning. There is a little town about 5 mins from the property with a great clean French resturtant to eat. They serve just a few things (mostly crepes) but the owners are very friendly and the place is so clean. We also went hiking in the national park. If you walk along the beach towards the little town you will run into the park. Be careful.. Beware of SNAKES!

It was a very different experience for us but we loved living in the jungle! Congo Bongo is the place to stay if you want that experience

Helpful votes: 1 / 1

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

Jungle Fever!!

Review submitted: May 14, 2010   Date of arrival: March 11, 2010

Unbelievable spot if you want to get off the grid! Congo-Bongo was the highlight of our trip to Costa Rica, which also included Monteverde and Arenal. The lodges are spectacular and unique in their design. The owner Daan is incredibly hospitable and lives on site with his family. This place is very kid friendly. You have miles of beach to yourself and the town of Manzanillo is an easy walk by road or the beach. Make certain to get a guided tour of the wildlife reserve from Omar! Do this on your first or second day, because you will learn a lot about local plants and fauna. We also did the Jaguar Rescue Center, where you can hold howlers and sloths. The kids liked this a lot. Daan can set this up for you. Maxi's in town has great food (Fish platter) and nightlife. There are two small grocery stores in town, where you can buy sundries (and mosquito coils) for your house. The lodges at Congo-Bongo have coffee makers, refrigerators, stove, etc. We made lunch and breakfast every day. We did not have a car, which was OK. There are buses that run daily to Puerto Viejo, but I wish we had rented a scooter or bikes in Puerto Veijo, so we could have explored more of the area. I did not find the bugs to be bad. The humidity was very high and things did not dry at all (including your bed sheets), unless you put them in direct sunlight, which is hard to find under the tree canopy. This along with a 5:30 AM wake up call from howler monkeys made sleeping hard, but by the second day we became acclimated to the climate and missed it when we left. We will definitely go back.

Helpful votes: 1 / 1

 

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