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“Loved it!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Casa MarBella

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Casa MarBella
Ranked #1 of 26 Hotels in Santa Teresa
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Burlington, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Loved it!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 February 2012

Just got back from a great trip to Costa Rica where we spent 5 nights at this charming spot. The drive to get there was quite interesting along miles of curving dirt roads but it was well worth it when we arrived at this lovely destination. Stephanie and Jim are wonderful hosts of this intimate hotel where you feel like you are staying with family. Stephanie taught us yoga, my husband learned to surf and we all went zip-lining. Fabulous restaurant just up the hill where we ate breakfast (banana pancakes were divine) and the dinners were some of the best we have eaten. I recommend this spot to vacationers who want to get off the beaten path and have a new experience.

Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank DougandChris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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468 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (111)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Moorpark, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 January 2012

I have never stayed anywhere in which I felt like the place was mine until we stayed here. Jim, the owner of this beautiful (what I call) mansion truly made the experience here twice as nice. He made my fiance and I feel so comfortable and sets up the hotel amenities like it's a home instead. Jim also gave us great recommendations to the best spots in Santa Teresa, including a terrific restaurant next door to this hotel that has amazing ocean views similar to views from the hotel.

Our room was very clean, the pool was nice, and enjoyed the free magazines and books that were available for the guests.

Although I have no complaints about the stay and would highly recommend this hotel to everyone who wants to stay in Santa Teresa, the area of this hotel and most of Santa Teresa is terrible for walkers who eat dust from bypassing traffic.

If you are going somewhere, make sure it's not a long walk. Rent an ATV and have a blast like we did on our last day. We also don't surf, but if we did, I am sure we would like Teresa a lot more.

Room Tip: All the rooms seem to be nice.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Zareh G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 January 2012

I can't say enough wonderful things about this place. We actually extended our stay by a couple extra days because we were having such a great time and didn't want to leave.

Stephanie and Jim are fabulous hosts and made extra efforts to help us enjoy our time in Santa Teresa. We stayed in the condo and the room was fantastic and a ridiculous value. Jim gave several members of our group surfing lessons - awesome. We especially enjoyed the yoga class Stephanie taught on the resort's own yoga platform. Relaxing in the infinity pool as we watched the sun set was breathtaking and the restaurant next door was the icing on the cake.

We travel to Costa Rica regularly and this place was outstanding, on the top of our list. Our friends had stayed there the year before and told us it was great. I think it must get better with time.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank edrev
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Albany, New York, United States
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 January 2012

Staying at Casa Marbella is like staying with very generous friends of the family and having your own suite (or condo depending on which room you have).

The hotel itself is beautiful. Everything made locally on the premises under the guidance of Jim and Stephanie. We had one of the 2 bedroom suites for the majority of our trip and the 3 bedroom condo for our last night.

Our rooms were very comfortable with comfy beds, A/C in bedrooms and balconies that open with a view of the fantastic Pacific sunsets. What more could you ask for?

Coffee was ready for us every morning when we got up and an honor bar fridge was stocked always (no price gauging here - just pay for what you use).

Jim and Stephanie (and Amaline) helped us with reservations and gave us some wonderful restaurant and activity suggestions as well as advice about Costa Rican culture and information (good and bad) about the area. They are, again, like visiting with friends and we also enjoyed spending time and chatting with them.

Tips for your trip -

Get an ATV and explore.

The food in the area is diverse and great! Try some of the "sodas" and don't be afraid to try something new and different

Brush up on some basic Spanish - most people in Santa Teresa speak at least some English but not so much in surrounding areas.

Don't pack much and be prepared to get dirty. A lot of roads are not paved so dirt and dust happens!

At the end of every vacation, you are almost always sad it is over and the "I wishes" start. "I wish we had done this or that". My only wish on this trip was that it was longer.We will be back and are counting down the days.

Tell Stephanie, Jim and Amaline "Hola" from the Ibbetson's when you go!

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Mary I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 January 2012

Casa Marbella is the best! My girlfriend and I had never been to Costa Rica and based on the ratings from Trip Advisor, we picked Casa Marbella. Jim and Stephanie are fantastic hosts and really nice assets to have while in a foreign land. They are also extremely knowledgeable on the different activities and restaurants in the area, and will gladly walk you through all your fantastic options. They also booked our reservations, called us a taxi, rented us an ATV and provided many helpful services. Be sure to ask Jim for a private surf lesson and get a private yoga lesson from Stephanie as well.

Casa Marbella is unbelievably beautiful & clean and makes for a 5-star experience at a very reasonable cost. It was perfect for our specific needs/expectations. We didn’t want the resort experience. We wanted to explore Santa Teresa on our own terms, experience the culture, visit local hot spots, attempt to speak Spanish ;), eat great food and have an adventure… Consequently, that is exactly what we did at Casa Marbella, while at the same time enjoying a very comfortable, friendly and safe hotel to post up at.

On one of our favorite days, we woke up in the morning, had coffee & read our books on the balcony of the suite. After soaking in the beautiful Costa Rican morning, we got dressed and headed up the private staircase to Brisas Del Mar (an amazing 5-Star restaurant located right next to Casa Marbella) and had a delicious & relaxed breakfast. We then hopped on our ATV and took a 25-minute joyride to the zipline facility at the edge of Montezuma. The ziplining was a huge adrenaline rush as we zoomed through the treetops of the beautiful rainforest. Halfway through the course, we stopped at the top of the Montezuma waterfalls, where I proceeded to jump off a 60-foot waterfall into the water below (An unbelievable and pretty dangerous Bucket List experience for me… Definitely something I will never forget!). After zip-lining back, we had a nice lunch at a café in Montezuma and then headed back through the lush green hills to Santa Teresa. Once back at Casa Marbella, we took a dip in the beautiful infitinty pool and had some Imperial cervesas before getting ready for dinner. A few nights before, Jim and Stephanie had called in a reservation for us at Vistas De Olas, so we headed down the road to Mal Pais to see what they had in store for us. When we arrived at Vista De Olas, we discovered another beautiful hotel resort with an absolutely incredible infinity pool that looks over a cliff into the bright blue ocean (be sure to bring your swim gear). That night, we were joined by an international surf camp for girls and proceeded to party up a storm while self-cooking our specially ordered cuts of meet on a huge flat top grill. (The drinks, pool and service are excellent there, be sure to go during the day as well, so you can enjoy the sun and some fruity tropical drinks in their awesome infinity pool). On the way back to casa Marbella, we grabbed some ice cream, turned on the air conditioning and called it a day… Now, that’s how you do it!

To sum up our Costa Rican vacation… It was like an Indiana Jones adventure during the day, and an evening with James Bond every night. We loved going out and having thrilling adventures during the day, then getting dressed up and eating at a nice restaurant every night. We had an amazing time and it was largely thanks to Jim & Stephanie and their excellent hotel. We will definitely come back to visit some day. I just hope they’re still there when we do, otherwise we would probably just pick another tropical location all together… That’s how much we respect their hotel and the experience they provided in Santa Teresa. It just simply wouldn’t be the same without them ☺

Other Notes:

• We never had any crazy experiences with bugs in our room.
• The maintenance staff were absolutely wonderful.
• We went during the beginning of rainy season, and we didn’t mind at all. In fact, it was nice to get cooled down during the afternoon. Plus, you get to see the multi-colored land crabs migrate down the mountains toward the ocean when it rains. I’m not sure why they do it, but it’s pretty cool.
• Get familiar with the money conversion before you go to Costa Rica, also make the effort to change money before you get there. Tell your credit card companies that you are going there, so they don’t put a hold on your cards.
• Watch the cab drivers in San Jose, they’ll nickel and dime you, especially if you look like a tourist.
• Bring some sort of water shoes
• Bring Pepcid AC, just in case you have an adjustment period with food/water etc…
• Get an ATV or a Car in Santa Teresa, trust me on that.
• The coffee in Costa Rica is out of this world, bring some back home.
• There’s no shortage of cool places to eat at in Santa Teresa/Mal Pais, but you’ll probably find yourself eating at Brisas Del Mar A LOT! Their food is seriously some of the best grub I have ever had in my entire life.
• Casa Marbella has a security guard at night, even though it’s so safe they probably don’t need one.
• Jim & Stephanie have a really cute daughter, who you’ll come to envy just because her home has always been Casa Marbella.
• Jim & Stephanie have an awesome dog and little kitty as well. I usually hate cats and are allergic to them, but this one is a huge exception.

Room Tip: Get one of the suites, it's not that much more and you get a balcony & hammock.
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank BCSmith52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Athens, Greece
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 January 2012

Was visiting the area for the first time from Athens, Greece and I did a thorough research before my pick, so I decided to book the suite as we were 2 couples. When we saw Casa Marbella it was even better that the photos! The best value for money by far in the greater area ! friendly staff, great surf lessons by Jim, location, everything ! This place has a positive energy and transmits perfect vibes... would definitely go back !

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank MikeLS199
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 January 2012

I know all the reviews out there, have already gone over the beautiful views and great hosts but what separates this place from others is the community that these two hosts and visionaries have created at Casa Marbella. In the 4 days that we stayed there we met people from NY, Florida, Canada and Costa Rica. Some of whom we will continue to keep in touch and travel with for years to come. The combination of friendly staff, infinity pool, breathtaking views, yoga deck and comfortable clean rooms make this place a must in Santa Teresa.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank adrockny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Casa MarBella

Property: Casa MarBella
Address: 125 meters east and 25 meters north of Super Ronny's, Santa Teresa 5361, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Santa Teresa
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Green Hotel in Santa Teresa
#3 Family Hotel in Santa Teresa
#4 Romantic Hotel in Santa Teresa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Casa MarBella is a boutique hotel situated on a mountain slope in Santa Teresa. The property provides a spectacular panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean and is a five-minute walk to the beach, restaurants, and stores. Being surrounded by rainforest, it offers a unique opportunity to watch wildlife in their natural habitat. The area is renowned for its consistent surf breaks, some of which are walking distance from the property. The Casa consists of eight units with four different typologies of rooms for your different needs and group sizes. It is an ideal venue for those seeking the privacy, services, and comforts of individual hotel rooms, yet the intimacy of a private villa. The décor of the rooms is a minimalist approach with a tropical touch. The amenities of the hotel include free parking area, Wi-Fi in the common areas, infinity pool, ocean view yoga deck, sun terrace, and reception. All of the rooms have ocean view and air conditioning. Services we provide include house keeping, massage, babysitting, and concierge where we can schedule an array of activities for no extra charge. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Casa Marbella Santa Teresa
Casa Marbella Hotel Santa Teresa
Casa MarBella Costa Rica/Santa Teresa

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