Full breakfast buffet includes omelets, home fries, and quiche
Individually decorated bungalows can house couples or families
Live music and performances in restaurant are open to the public during dinner hours
Playa Cocles, Puerto Viejo's only lifeguarded beach, is across the street
Rain umbrellas, beach towels, umbrellas, and chairs to borrow
Bike rentals and boogie boards for rent; surf lessons available
Sophisticated spa offers massage and beauty treatments (discount for guests)
Happy hour at the bar
Toucans, agouti, and sloth sightings
Free coffee, Wi-Fi, and parking
Laundry available on-site (for a fee)
Free welcome drinks on arrival
There's no pool on the premises
Bungalows lack air-conditioning and TVs
The mid-range Hotel La Costa de Papito is located across from Cocles Beach in the jungle area of Costa Rica's coastal Caribbean town, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. There are just 12 wooden bungalows and one budget cabin, with (some) cave-like bathrooms, scattered through lush grounds home to toucans and sloths. After the free daily breakfast buffet, most guests spend their time exploring the beach or town center, as there isn't a pool on-site. One unexpected perk is a full-service spa. On weekends, live calypso bands attract locals and guests for nightly entertainment.
An intimate yet spacious jungle escape locally known for its evening entertainment
Don't be fooled by Hotel La Costa de Papito's seemingly quiet ambience and extensive jungle grounds; the intimate, family-owned hotel is known for adequately balancing peace and quiet with quality evening entertainment. Since the hotel is only comprised of 12 bungalows and a budget cabin, it isn't a daytime hub of busy activity. Thick, high greenery borders long paved and unpaved walkways and creates distance between living spaces, guaranteeing privacy. However, when entering the huge main rancho complex -- which contains the front desk area, the bar and breakfast counter, the restaurant, a pool table, small lounge area, and public restrooms -- for evening meals, the energy pleasantly shifts. Weekly calypso bands, aerial ribbon dancers, and Caribbean barbecues open to both guests and outsiders bring a welcome liveliness to the space. At a certain hour, the bar and festivities shut down so that tranquility can be restored and the sounds of breeze and jungle critters are the soundtrack for the night.
Along Playa Cocles, a mile outside of Puerto Viejo's busy town center
La Costa de Papito is located along the lifeguard protected Playa Cocles (or Cocles Beach), right off Puerto Viejo's main road. There's no direct access to the sand by the hotel, but the beach entrance is the equivalent of one city block away. The town center is a quick mile away -- about five minutes by car or 10 minutes by bike -- where there are plenty of restaurants with varying cuisines, craft shops, bars, and nightlife options. Puerto Viejo is a four-hour drive from the main airport in San Jose, Juan Santamaria International, and a one-hour drive from the smaller Limón International Airport. Nearby attractions to La Costa de Papito include the Jaguar Rescue Center, Manzanillo Wildlife Reserve, and Cahuita National Park.
Hotel La Costa de Papito is comprised of a budget cabin and 12 private bungalows with garden views. Each space is crafted to mimic the natural surroundings it's housed in. Interiors are individually designed with polished wood plank walls, branch window decor, and tree stump tabletops bearing their natural curves. Beds, all canopied with mosquito nets, are topped with earth-hued green and brown sheets as well as one flannel blanket. Leafy floral arrangements accentuate side tables. Wall artwork is bordered with wooden frames that seem to blend into the wall. Rooms at La Costa de Papito don't have any air-conditioning, but ceiling, wall, and floor fans are provided. Most bathrooms are stony and rustic or feature vertical wood panel walls, wooden countertops, and multicolored mosaic floor and shower tiles to add a splash of energy. The most impressive bungalow bathrooms are entirely fashioned to resemble a jagged cave, from the stand up shower right down to the sink and ceramic toilet. Each bathroom is equipped with both soap and shampoo dispensers. Roomy patios are set with hammocks, cushioned wooden deck chairs, benches, tables, ceiling fans, posters, and ashtrays. Bungalows may not have their own TVs, but the bar area has large flat-screens that staff uses to show major sporting events such as the Super Bowl.
Much of the jungle hotel's charm comes from their trademark live entertainment and cuisine. On Fridays, the huge restaurant -- which has it's own stage area and mini fish pool -- is open to the public for a live calypso band. During calypso nights, the hotel deviates from its international menu and serves Caribbean barbecue. On other nights, dancers perform aerial silk acrobatics in the midst of tables and chairs. The bar closes and showtime festivities come to an end early enough in the evening so that guests can return to their bungalows for peace and quiet.
In the mornings, the free breakfast buffet serves omelets, banana pancakes, cereals, quiche, home fries, and other daily specials. Freebies include coffee, Wi-Fi, parking, umbrellas (both rain and beach), beach towels, and beach chairs. Guests can rent bikes, boogie boards, and snorkel gear. Hotel staff can arrange various culture and adventure tours and the hotel's host family provides surf lessons. Laundry services are available for a fee.
Indulgence Spa, which is located on a separate bungalow-style building with it's own front salon area, is an impressive addition to the hotel. It has a cave-style bathroom, waxing room, and two treatment rooms. Massage and skin treatments offered here, and Indulgence also functions as a full service hair and nail salon. Nature-inspired elements of the space create an overall serene experience. The spa is open to outsiders, but guests of La Costa de Papito receive a discount.
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