There are a lot of questions you probably have, especially if this is your first Costa Rica vacation or better yet first trip to Santa Teresa Costa Rica.
The questions can go on and on but in the end, it really amounts to knowing just a few important details and facts so you have a safe, fun, enjoyable and stress free Costa Rica vacation, honeymoon or holiday.
Even after 6 years our Costa Rica Resort continues to field new questions from travelers as well as many they always ask.
On your first, second or even third Costa Rica vacation it’s important to gather information specific to the Costa Rica Hotel or resort you will stay at, as well as tours and restaurants you will visit and beaches you plan to stay on.
Things to know about our Costa Rica Resort
Always there is a Million Dollar Question…and for our guests, the million dollar question is, are The Red Palm Villas and Suites are right on the beach? YES! We are right on the beach, our homes are literally just steps away from the waters edge. So if you are searching for a Costa Rica beach front hotel, these ARE beach front villas and frankly, there is no better place to be than on the beach when you come to Costa Rica because we have one of the 7 most beautiful beaches in the world according to The Conde Nast Traveler.
So, let there be no mistake, The Red Palm Villas are TRULY beach front villas and furthermore, we have the best views in the entire area, we are clearly without competition when it comes to location and views.
The safety question
Children are always welcomed at The Red Palms and this is a safe place to travel with your children.
In front of The Red Palms Villas we have amazing natural tide pools, all very interesting and child safe. We also hold the record for having the youngest surfing student, 3 years old, she caught her first wave in front of The Red Palms. Our property is a safe haven to bring your children and loved ones.
And, when it comes to overall safety, very few resorts or properties can boast the way we can. We have a perfect safety record for over 5 years now. We can proudly and honestly say, not one of our guests have ever been robbed. We have a staff that has been here years and years. They are the best paid in the community, they are well tipped, so they’re not going anywhere. Most our staff have been here more than 5 years, so in the end, not constantly changing out our crew makes a huge difference.
And, for your additional security, each room comes with a safe.
We’ve been told The Red Palms Villas is the safest place you could ever stay in Santa Teresa, maybe even all of Costa Rica…I guess the fact that we have rescued a few dogs also helps as we have 5 of the sweetest, nicest, smartest, most protective dogs you ever met. For most they are one of the highlights of our resort, minimally one of. If you like dogs you can bet these guys will know it and they will take walks with you, come into your home if you invite them and basically just present you with an overall sense of well being knowing no one would dare come onto this property unless they were a guest because for some reason, our pets know the difference between who belongs here and who doesn’t.
The most obvious question
Sometimes the most obvious is the least obvious, here’s an example, you would think, if you are staying in a luxury BEACH FRONT resort, that there would be swimming out front. I would expect that but, the truth is, MANY resorts do NOT have that possibility in front of their establishment. You pay $500 or more per night, you rent their number one ocean front villa, you check in, get in your swim suit to discover the water out front is dangerous and full of rocks and reef and you can NOT swim in front of your amazing beach front villa. Actually, you’re told to take a walk down the beach several hundred yards if you want to go in the water.
I’m not sure about you but when I buy beach front or rent beach front, I want to be able to swim out front. If I can’t it’s sort of a HUGE inconvenience. It means you have to drag everything down the beach when you want to go in the water and then lay around. Most likely you will not have a beach chair or hammock to swing in, if you decide you forgot something or want to have something back in your room, you got it, ALL the way back to your amazing beach front villa with NO swimming out front.
So, here’s an important question to ask when you reserve your room, suite or villa, can I swim directly out front? It’s valid, you’ll be glad you did especially if they sort of stall you for a second and then begin to explain how it’s really not that inconvenient, just a few hundred meters down the beach you can do all the swimming and surfing you want.
By the way, you CAN surf, swim and relax in front of The Red Palm Villas, from your villa its 20 steps to our chairs, hammocks and secluded, pristine Blue Flag beach.
A not so obvious question
Next, this is a big one, many small hotels do not have AC, in the end, depending on the design of the hotel, you may be able to escape this luxury. Still, there are some very exclusive resorts who do NOT have AC. $500 a night or more and honestly, I’m expecting AC. I’m not accustomed to searching and reading all the tiny fine print when I reserve a villa or suite, there are just things you come to expect such as linens with pillows with pillow cases, hot water and yes, AC in my bedroom.
What a shock when you arrive, it’s hot and you start looking for the control and realize, $500 a night and NO AC, so ask, and yes, the answer is YES, all our master bedrooms have AC and our homes are built and designed like no other homes anywhere that we know of.
Both our AMAZING, UNIQUE and incredible two story beach front villas have been built with open overlapping roof designs.. What this does is it allows the hot air to rise, which is what hot air does, and then it allows it to escape with no restriction or obstruction, this causes a smooth flow of hot air going out the top while cold air get pulled in from below. It’s a nice affect you can only accomplish if you do NOT close the ceiling.
It’s sort of like a natural convection fan, something we’re sure Frank Lloyd Wright would have done if he had designed these homes, that’s why we did it. So, if you’re not a big fan of AC, we built a home that you can sleep comfortably in without and, if you just have to have it, we have a room with a silent split AC unit you can make ice cubes in if you really like it that cold but we suggest you try an upstairs bedroom first, both are cool and have amazing views when you wake up in the morning.
The basic questions
And then, there are all the basic questions, we’ll try to cover most but I’m sure we’ll miss a few, whatever you don’t see here, just ask, we’ll be glad to give you our best answer promptly.
Can you drink the water, yes, but I don’t, I buy water in California, New Jersey, France, Switzerland, I’m buying it here too.
ATM’s, yes, we have two in town, banks as well.
Credit Cards, about 30% of the business do, the rest don’t, we are part of the 70% who do NOT accept credit cards.
Bank Checks, Travelers Checks, not widely accepted. If we deposit one, the bank will hold either of these for a minimum of 6 weeks, as a result, no one wants them. You can use them, go to a bank and cash them immediately but a hotel will have to hold it for 6 weeks before the funds are released.
CASH, YES, we all love cash. Dollars or Colones, we accept them gladly.
Small bills are best, today, there are counterfeit $100 bills as good as the mint, not even the banks can detect a counterfeit $100 bill so everyone is sort of leery.
Insects, YES, we are in the tropics, there are insects here but actually, not many, it’s sort of an oddity, still, if you don’t like them, bring a repellent.
Can you bring your surfboard…yes, just, BEWARE!!! It’s not cheap, it’s a real hassle, unless you just have to have your quiver here, rent something local and leave your boards home. Today most airlines charge over $100 each way, they get pretty beat up sometimes or worse, lost, and then if they are over 6′ 6″ they may not fit on the plane if you fly from San Jose to Tambor, so, best to leave them home if you can bear it.
Directions, go to our map section. Ferry schedules change almost daily, so always call the day of or one day before travel to see the latest schedule.
Rent a 4 x 4 if you are driving.
The electricity here is 110, the same as the states.
We have hairdryers
We do laundry, $10 a load.
Again, we are RIGHT on the beach, there is no better location or view to be found, we have it, we promise.
Rainy Season, the only time rainy season is really rainy is Oct and maybe September, otherwise it’s typically a nice rain in the morning or evening keeping everything alive and green and happy. Sadly, it’s only 4-5 months a year.
Jaco, Tamarindo, two words, don’t go unless you want to party, be bothered by drug addicts and prostitutes because that’s the big attraction. The beach is dirty, overcrowded, the town is mayhem, the element can be dangerous. Just like the US has places you should not go as a tourist, so does Costa Rica and these are two of them.
Restaurants, we are surrounded by great dining choices, all a 3 minute walk on the beautiful beach or less.
Markets, there is a nice one,10 minute walk up the beach.
Do you need a car, NO, not if you stay here. Almost everything you need you can walk to and a taxi is usually less than $10 anywhere in town. If you stay OUT of town, like Hermosa or Manzanillo, you WILL need a car! Any money you think you saved staying out of town will be quickly gobbled up in car rental or taxi fees every time you want anything. Here you survive without a car, we’re just close enough yet far enough away, still, there are a lot of sights and attractions to see, you will see and do more with a car.
Pets, we have a few, no more please.
There’s plenty to do from horseback riding, fishing, snorkeling, kayaking, zip lines, nature walks, yoga, surf as well as just swinging in one of our really amazing hammocks.
Surf, ALL year, more than 300 days of knee high or better, it’s endless.
Suck Rock is directly in front of The Red Palm Villas.
Rainy Season is not SO rainy season, just Sept and Oct can get you, otherwise, typically, showers several times a week usually at nights.
Getting here, from SJO, you can fly Sansa or Nature Air to Tambor and taxi it in from there or have a rental car waiting for you and drive from Tambor, it’s 30 minutes by plane and another 45 by car to our estate.
Or, you can drive from SJO, it’s about 6 hours start to finish, you have to take a ferry, it’s a beautiful boat ride across a peninsula and a nice drive through the farmlands.
Cell phones, some work, some don’t, check with your carrier.
Our land has free high speed Internet.
You can Skype back to the states for about 2 cents a minute on your Skype account.
Plenty of places to rent surf boards
We have snorkel and boogie board gear here for rent
We have an iron
There is no hospital here, that means, its best you don’t get hurt, it’s a long way back to SJO, we can have a helicopter in our yard usually within an hour, there is a clinic here in town good for stitches and shots but anything serious and it’s San Jose.
I’m sure there are many we missed, one we want to be sure to mention, NO quads on the beach please, thanks, the beaches are public beaches, not highways, it’s dangerous and it ruins the atmosphere when someone drives past your child a few feet away at 40 miles per hour.
Enjoy our little paradise. We really love it here. It’s unlike most places on the planet earth.