reviews for: listing #81363 - Playa Grande, Costa Rica Villa rental

Casa de La Vida Grande: A Tropical Paradise in Playa Grande
  • bedrooms  4
  • pool  yes
  • type  Villa
  • baths  3
  • hot tub  no
  • community  Palm Beach Estates
  • sleeps  12
  • pets allowed  yes
  • rates (USD) $270 - $420 /nt
    $1,600 - $2,500 /wk

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Great family retreat

Review submitted: February 15, 2011   Date of arrival: February 2, 2011

Casa de la Vida Grande was home away from home for all 11 of our family members: my husband & our 9-mos old (in the studio), my sister & her husband & their 4 kids (4-14), and my parents (65 & 78). There was enough room for everyone & the house was clean, comfortable, quiet, well-maintained, and very pretty.

Colin & his property manager Alyssa were great, answering all of our questions before & during our visit. The house definitely lived up to our expectations.

We all very much enjoyed the pool, especially the kids - it's small, but big enough to do some lap swimming. It's about 4.5' deep at the deep end. 1 caveat - there's no barrier preventing pool access so you have to watch the little ones anytime they're outside.

The veranda was where we all spent most of our time - it's a great place to sit in the sun or the shade, to eat, & to lounge.

There were mosquitoes in the evening tho we didn't really have a problem inside. The AC was welcome as it was above 90 degrees for most of our visit. The beds were comfortable. Having in-house laundry was great.

We did have a few little issues come up (broken toilet seat, ran out of gas in the stove, lost water pressure) but Alyssa addressed them all quickly & I think this might be par for the course in rural Costa Rica.

We only had a car for 3 days of our stay & I think it would have been better to have one a bit longer. There are lots of things to do without a car:
- Estuary tour is GREAT
- Playa Grande is beautiful & totally pristine & undeveloped thanks to its Marine park status. It's pretty rough water for swimming but playing in the surf is doable.
- There are a handful of restaurants in the area - some a few minutes' walk & some more like a 45-minute walk either along the road or the beach.
- Other beaches are close enough to walk or cab for snorkeling, surfing etc.
- Seeing the turtles nest is incredible.
- Tamarindo is very close by boat for groceries etc. but it's kind of a hole.
- The house itself has quite a variety of bird life. We also saw bats, lizards, & tons of cool insects, & we did see howlers nearby once.

But with a car there are lots of good day trips:
- Lots of beaches & beach towns to explore (Playa Potrero is very sweet!)
- small farmer's market on Fridays en route to Playa Flamingo
- Rincon Volcano
- Llanos de Cortez Waterfall
- Liberia
- Zip lines, monkey park, butterfly house, etc.

If you do an overnight you can also visit Monteverde or Arenal.

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

Helpful votes: 5 / 5


One of our best vacations ever

Review submitted: January 21, 2011   Date of arrival: December 18, 2010

This was the first trip to Costa Rica for myself, my wife and our accompanying grad student son. On this trip, we were more interested in simply relaxing and hitting the beach. This property was ideally suited for both of these of the best beaches (Playa Grande) I've ever seen is within a 5 minute walk out the front door. The location of the house (in Palm Beach Estates) is in a small residential community (with just enough resources for visitors but not touristy).

The house itself is attractive and has excellent furnishings and amenities (incl. gas BBQ grill). My wife loves eating outside, so when we ate at the house, we ate every meal on the outside covered patio. The weather (late-Dec) was perfect every day and in our collective opinion, eating breakfast outside with a warm breeze and a mug of brewed Costa Rican coffee can't be beat. Likewise, returning after a day at the beach, sitting on the couch/comfy chairs on the patio or in the pool, with an Imperial (Costa Rican beer) in hand - what's better than that?

All of the descriptions of the property were accurate...there is land-line telephone, and connectivity to internet which worked flawlessly. Electric is same as American, water is safe to drink and use, and everyone takes US dollars.

In the time period prior to our vacation, I was in periodic email contact with Colin (property owner) who took great care and time to answer all of my questions. His property manager in Costa Rica (an American, Alyssa, "Senorita Casitas") was super-helpful and friendly: she arranged airport pick-up at Liberia airport - 1 hour to house (BTW - airport pick-up is ALSO available for flight into San Jose...4 hours, I'm told); she went grocery shopping for us; she arranged activities (zipline canopy tour). Colin had a cleaning crew in every couple of days for general house cleaning and fresh linens; and gardeners/pool people as well.

The busy touristy town of Tamarindo is located across the river and there are water taxis that take you across during daylight (cost us $3 USD per person) way to do this is to go to the bar at Bula Bula and ask them to call you a taxi...we had to wait around ten minutes at the little dock there.

There are several restaurants within easy walking distance (I mentioned Bula Bula above) and also, a small grocery/general store. We didn't have a car for the week we were there and did fine.

In conclusion - we liked it so much we've already booked another stay!

Recommended for: age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, pet-friendly, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 9 / 9


Exceeded Our Expectations!

Review submitted: December 14, 2010   Date of arrival: November 27, 2010

Casa le La Vida Grande is all that you can ask for in a vacation home. Less than 7 minute slow walk to the beach, 3 restaurants, and a market. It is everything you see in the pictures. The wraparound porch was especially nice; all our dining was outdoors with accompanying jungle sounds of monkeys, birds, and crashing waves.

I typically perform surveillance when staying a new place, to compare for alternative places for future trips. But I did not do that this time – I don’t see how you could possibly upgrade from Casa le La Vida Grande.

All our future trips to this location will be at Casa le La Vida Grande.

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

Helpful votes: 0 / 1

Guest Comment entered by owner

Guest Review

Review submitted: July 15, 2010   Date of arrival: July 10, 2010

Casa de La Vida Grande is everything the pictures show brought to life. The grounds are kept immaculate, the pool is exactly the way to relax after the Coast Rican sun comes up, and it is so close to everything. Spend your day at the secluded beaches only steps away from the house, enjoy the variety of cuisine from the eight nearby restaurants, or take a short boat ride into town for anything you might need. Senorita Casitas stocked our house with beer and fruit after our long flight and the trip just took off from there. Everything you need is within reach from Casa de La Vida Grande, and we will certainly be back.

Helpful votes: 0 / 0


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

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