We checked in at the hotel and upon arrival we were greeted by Felicita at the front desk. She knew it was our honeymoon and she made us welcome drinks of Cuba livers, delicious by the way. She was extremely friendly and patient and she took us to our villa. We set our bags down and took off to dinner. Upon our return there were giant ants in the living room just coming in through the door. We tried looking for security at the station we were told he would be in, but I believe he was making his rounds walking the hotel grounds and we didn’t have much luck. This was our honeymoon so at no fault to the hotel I just knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep here through the night so we decided to leave. We did send an email to the hotel to let them know (we didn’t really have service so we were only able to communicate when my husband or I had WiFi on our cells). The hotel staff made great efforts to try and remedy the situation. They invited us back and Javi at the front desk gave us some beers, the owners came over to personally apologize and meet us. They even gave us our money back even though we were not expecting it because we knew by deciding to leave we were pretty much forfeiting our stay. I’m writing this review to let others know that army ants are common in Costa Rica. I’m just a chicken when it comes to bugs which is an oxymoron knowing we were visiting and staying in the jungle. These people work hard to provide the best service they can possibly give their guests which is why their reviews are crazy good. The villa was beautiful and we wish we would’ve stayed, but we will definitely return. By the way because of that situation the hotel upped their service once again and now has the guard carrying a phone in case a guest has an issue and needs to reach security. The service was impeccable and the people were beyond nice. Javi even offered to help book tours for us even though we had already left the hotel grounds. That’s just how nice they are! I am rating them at five stars even though we ended up leaving because our situation was at no fault to the hotel. They can’t control nature.
We had a lovely stay at El Pequeno Gecko Verde. The room was comfortable and clean, although could do with a mosquito net. The pool and tropical grounds were lovely and the staff and owners are so friendly and helpful. It is a bit outside Sámara but if you’re happy to walk 20/25 minutes or get a taxi and like quieter vibes then this may be for you. :-)
My husband and I stayed 5 nights at El Pequeno Gecko Verde and it was absolutely beautiful! We had a one bedroom bungalow which had a very relaxing outdoor seating area where we would often sit either in the morning or at the end of the day. The staff were amazing and so were the owners of the hotel. Very welcoming and attentive. Our daily breakfast was fantastic and sitting by the pool side on the comfy lawn chairs was so relaxing. Lots of wild life could be heard including the howler monkeys. Beds were comfortable and room were cleaned daily. The grounds of the hotel were kept immaculate and really gave you the feeling of being right in the jungle. Highly recommend this place for a relaxing vacation!
What an absolutely charming place to stay. Clean, and exquisitely beautifully placed in the jungle with paths to each cottage. Lush and tropical. A mouthwatering swimming pool and the room itself was adorable. Everything felt very safe and well taken care of. Extremely friendly and helpful staff and our breakfast was delicious. Not far at all to a beautiful beach and there were plenty of great dining options in nearby Samana.
If you want the jungle experience while feeling safe at the same time, you will fall in love with this place as my sister and I did traveling together. Truly a gem.
- Stunningly beautiful jungle setting where you’re a good few meters away from the nearest neighbor cabin. Never stayed in such thick greenery before!
- Friendly, helpful staff
- Pool area is like an oasis in a jungle, great for a dip n’ read by the pool
- Location - it’s outside the town which is great - complete jungle sounds at night and not bar music. Cheap, delicious local restaurant on your corner, 7 min drive to Samara town
- Cabins are very clean, spacious and secure. Felt safe at all times with security on site.
- Pay cash and you’ll save a few %
- So far Samara (Castillo) beaches are the nicest I’ve seen in CR
- Beds are uncomfortable which takes away from the relaxing experience (Zapote cabin). I like a firm mattress but this is ultra firm like a summer camp bed with some plasticy sheet between you and the mattress for some reason?
- TV channels didn’t work in our room, in evenings all you can really do (away from mosquitoes etc that come out at night) is chill in room, reading or struggling to get wifi. Kids might get restless unless prepared!
- Would love some extra bug repellent/spray/candle in room or for use on veranda so you can make better use of it without being eaten alive!
- No glove for ovens or trays otherwise kitchen seems fully stocked with everything you’ll need
- No smoke alarms (from what I could see)
- no signs to tell housekeeping to come back later, woken up one morning to our shutter doors being unlocked and opened with the bed right in front of the door!
- WiFi signal is weak inside, need to be on veranda with bugs to get reliable speeds in the evenings
Good to knows:
You’re in a jungle, expect bugs! Mostly ants. On average we squished 6/7 a day so nothing too rampant
Outdoor showers are a fun experience, you won’t be washing alone!
Plenty of geckos and birds around the place alongside the insects. We were visited by family of raccoons one evening and watched a family of monkeys in the trees above us just outside the hotel.
Jungles make noises at night, bugs, animals, wind on leaves. Try enjoy the sounds otherwise earplugs