Hotels in Cahuita
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Cahuita offers lots of options; most are in the budget category. Hustlers hang around the bus stop with the intent of guiding you to a hotel where they receive commission; they’re not above lying (such as telling you that your preferred hotel has closed or is full). Many hoteliers are as laid-back as their clientele. There are many more options than listed here.
In the village, Cabinas Palmer (tel. 506/2755-0435, fax 506/2755-0340, $15 s or $20 d low season, $20 s or $25 d high season) has 20 rooms (13 with hot water); they’re mainly small but clean, and include fans. The friendly owner Rene accepts credit cards. There’s parking, and a sunny garden out back.
Cabinas Smith (tel. 506/2755-0157, $15 s, $20 d) offers a similar bargain, is nicely kept, and has secure parking. And Cabinas Jenny (tel. 506/2755-0256, www.cabinasjenny.com, $30 s/d downstairs, $35 s/d upstairs low season; $35 s/d downstairs, $40 s/d upstairs high season) has two simple downstairs cabins with ceiling fans and small hot-water bathrooms; and four larger, nicer cross-ventilated upstairs rooms with balconies with hammocks.
A good option is the Hotel National Park (tel. 506/2755-0244, $40 s, $45 d), directly in front of the park entrance. The 20 pleasant air-conditioned rooms are clean and bright, with cable TV, safes, and private baths and hot water. Oceanview rooms have larger beds and more facilities. An Internet café was being added.
On the east side of Cahuita are several reasonable options, beginning with Cabinas Arrecife (tel./fax 506/2755-0081, http://cabinasarrecife.com, $25 s or $30 d standard, $35 s/d larger units), whose 11 rooms have breezy verandas and are clean and roomy, if gloomy. Bathrooms have hot water. Newer wood-paneled units are larger and have shady verandas with swing chairs. There’s a delightful open-air dining area and small pool.
The simple Hotel Belle Fleur (tel./fax 506/2755-0283, www.hotelbellefleur.com, $8 dorms, $25 s/d rooms, $30 s/d cabins, $50–70 suite) offers cross-ventilated wood-paneled rooms with small modern bathrooms above Super Vaz, and colorful air-conditioned cabins with TV. It also has secure parking and free WiFi.
I like Kelly Creek Cabins (tel. 506/2755-0007, www.hotelkellycreek.com, $55 s/d) for its location beside the park entrance. Run by a Spanish couple, it has four large, simply furnished rooms in a single handsome all-hardwood Thai-style structure with heaps of light pouring in through tall louvered windows. Each has two double beds with cheap mattresses, and uninspired bathrooms and dribbling hot water.
A romantic gem where I often choose to lay my head, the private and peaceful Austrian-run Alby Lodge (tel./fax 506/2755-0031, www.albylodge.com, $50 s/d) has four beautiful thatched Thai-style cabins sitting on stilts amid lawns and hibiscus. All have tons of character, with high-pitched roofs, screened and louvered windows, hardwood floors, bamboo furnishings, mosquito nets, safes, fans, WiFi, nice bathrooms with hot water, and private patios with hammocks and marvelous tables hewn from logs. There’s a common kitchen in an airy rancho (good for watching the howler monkeys that pass through daily) and a natural pond attracts frogs. Rates include tax.
Nearby, “quaint” suitably describes Cahuita Tours’ pastel-hued gingerbread air-conditioned cabins at Ciudad Perdida Ecolodge (tel. 506/2755-0303, www.ciudadperdidaecolodge.com, $84–168 s/d), 600 meters inland of Kelly Creek. Choose from one- or two-bedroom units, each with mod cons such as ceiling fans, safes, and cable TV. (But it’s overpriced.)
In 2008, Cahuita acquired its first real two-story modern hotel, the Italian-owned La Casa de las Flores Hotel (tel. 506/2755-0326, www.lacasadelasfloreshotel.com, $70 s/d low season, $80 s/d high season). This handsome modernist boutique hotel centered on a garden courtyard makes good use of hardwoods and ocher color schemes and is the class act in town. At least 10 lovely air-conditioned rooms have platform beds and contemporary bathrooms with small hot-water showers. It has free WiFi and one room has a full kitchen.
© Christopher P. Baker from Moon Costa Rica, 8th Edition