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Playa Negra Guesthouse 3.0

Cahuita, Province of Limon, Costa Rica

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Gorgeous secluded grounds with lush vegetation and tiled pathways
  • Spacious, charming cottages with full kitchens and huge outdoor patios
  • Standard rooms with kitchenettes, patios, and garden views
  • Large freeform pool with loungers and barbecue area
  • Playa Negra beach right across the street
  • Free Wi-Fi and parking
  • Free loaner swim gear available

Cons

  • No restaurant, bar, or any food or drink served on-site
  • No air-conditioning in any cottages or rooms
  • No TVs or phones in rooms
  • Few public spaces for guests to gather
  • No spa or gym

Bottom Line

The quaint, mid-range Playa Negra Guesthouse -- located in the sleepy city of Cahuita -- is a leafy oasis with convenient access to the beach, which is right across the street. The six cottages and standard rooms, all of which come with ample space, kitchens or kitchenettes, and sizable furnished patios, look out over the hotel's well-maintained gardens. However, they all lack air-conditioning, phones, and TVs. But the biggest downside is the hotels lack of on-site dining. On the plus side, the property does offer a spacious pool and a little outdoor barbecue spot. Travelers looking for Cahuita seclusion with food service could try the neighboring Coral Hill Bungalows, which includes an extensive free breakfast.

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Scene

A closed-off oasis with lush, green gardens but no public gathering spaces

Like other hotels in Cahuita, Playa Negra Guesthouse gives travelers a serene, laid-back atmosphere with a cocoon of jungle vegetation and greenery. Once inside the Guesthouse's wooden gates, a picturesque scene of towering bamboo shoots, calabash plants heavy with fruit, bright blossoming flowers, and leafy shrubs unfolds. Grassy gardens with paved and tiled pathways snake through the grounds, leading to quaint, colorful cottages, and a central pool. The front desk is a little freestanding cabin with tan walls, a terri-cotta-tile roof, and rich wood trim, but it's not a space for lounging, and there isn't even a single seat for travelers to rest their feet. Beyond that, there's little in the way of public gathering spaces and no on-site dining options, which translates into little activity going on within the grounds and minimal noise save for the shuffling of jungle animals and bird calls.

Location

On a quiet road in Cahuita, across the street from its namesake beach

Playa Negra Guesthouse is located on a quiet main road in Cahuita, a sleepy city along Costa Rica's Caribbean coast in the province of Limon. Cahuita is a 30-minute drive outside of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, a popular tourist town. As the hotel's name implies, Playa Negra is housed directly across the street from a beach of the same name, which surfers frequent for its prime waves. Cahuita's main village, which is a three-minute drive or a 15-minute walk away from the hotel, offers a few restaurants, shops, and bars despite its laid-back nature. There are certain noted points of interest in and right outside of Cahuita, including Cahuita National Park (15-minute walk), Tree of Life Animal Rescue Center (five-minute drive), Sloth Sanctuary (13-minute drive), as well as several guided tours for hiking, snorkeling, surfing, bird watching, kayaking, zip lining, rafting, and more. Juan Santamaria International Airport is a three-and-a-half-hour drive away.

Rooms

Charming cottages and standard rooms with furnished private patios and full kitchens or kitchenettes

Playa Negra Guesthouse maintains an air of quiet seclusion thanks to its limited amount of units. The property has just six accommodations with plenty of manicured garden space separating them. The three standard rooms have either single or double beds, and three quaint cottages are categorized simply by exterior color -- Blue, Green, and Yellow. With their pastel colors and lacy white trim, the cottages are charming and homey. Inside, beige-tile floors, pitched white-wood ceiling, and white wainscoting surround the spacious bedrooms and fully-stocked kitchens. (Standard rooms have kitchenettes.) The furniture and appliances don't quite live up to the setting: Beds are topped with unfashionable patterned bedding; furniture is mismatched; and some kitchen appliances look dated. There's also no air-conditioning, but rooms are topped with ceiling fans. Guests can also catch a breeze on the furnished private patios that includes wicker furniture for lounging and dining. Bathrooms are tidy and bright with shower stalls, but some of the shower tile and fixtures are looking a bit tired. There's also a safe located under the sink beside the extra bars of soap, washcloths, and toilet paper. Some cottages have backyard access with an outdoor sink and a clothes line for laundry.

Features

A lovely pool and barbecue area, but no on-site food or drink 

Playa Negra Guesthouse's biggest and most glaring downside is its lack of food: There are no meals served at the hotel. Instead, guests must rely on nearby restaurants or cook for themselves using the kitchens/kitchenettes found in each unit. But the property does offer a gorgeous pool and barbecue area. The freeform, turquoise pool has both a shallow and a deep end, making it ideal for families with children in a range of ages. It's surrounded by a paved deck and manicured grounds, making it a lovely spot to sunbathe in one of the coffee-colored loungers under an umbrella. There's also a roofed lounge area right beside the pool with cushioned seating, a cooler, beverages, a bookshelf, and a grill. Additionally, free pool floaties, goggles, and other loaner swim gear are stored here. Freebies include Wi-Fi and parking near the Guesthouse's entrance. Hotel management will help arrange external services like tours and spa treatments on request.

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Address

Metre North Of the Football Field 100, Playa Negra, Cahuita, Province of Limon 70403, Costa Rica