Great time in Costa Rica!

Old Sep 2nd, 2007, 03:09 PM
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Great time in Costa Rica!

Tully, Volcanogirl, Shillman et al, Thanks for all your advice before leaving. We ended up having a terrific time! We did decide to do the malaria pills and hep A shots. Buena Vista Villas and Casas in Manuel Antonio was gorgeous (better than the pix on the website even) and the Ticos were wonderful especially the two Fernandos, Guillermo and Allan in the Tulecafe. We had a 2 bedroom villa up high with amazing views of the Pacific and of course the jungle. Monkeys played on our veranda and I swear they posed for our pictures! The zip-line canopy tour was fabulous and we did a long hike in MA national park where we saw sloths actually moving. We stayed at the Marriott not far from the airport in San Jose on the way back. While the hotel is currently having some renovations done the place is very beautiful and has the best breakfast buffet we saw in costa rica. Wow is all I can say. The tapas restaurant was great too. What a trip! If anyone has any specific questions about the Buena Vista I'd be glad to help out. Thanks again, everyone!
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Old Sep 2nd, 2007, 03:25 PM
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Welcome back - I'm so glad you had fun!
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Old Sep 2nd, 2007, 10:25 PM
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Good for you! Sounds like a great time!
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Old Sep 3rd, 2007, 06:12 AM
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Good to hear you had a great time. How did your weather pan out?
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Old Sep 3rd, 2007, 07:06 AM
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It did rain every day as we expected but on most days it was sunny until about 2 or 3 and then poured for a long time. This did not get in our way but we are pretty sick of our ponchos! The kids swam in the rain and we did the zip-line in a downpour but it was fun. Rain in the rain forest- isn't that the way it's supposed to be?! We were able to do the beach too. All in all there was a decent amount of sunshine and lots and lots of monkeys, sloths and iguanas...The rain also was good for sleeping. We loved the sound of it coming down on the roof of the villa. Very cool. Great vacation. Costa Rica really rocks.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2007, 01:22 PM
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Glad to hear you had such a great trip! Welcome back!
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Old Sep 3rd, 2007, 02:57 PM
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Thanks. Oh, yeah I forgot to tell you all that we decided NOT to do the long pants, long shirt thing in the rain forest. It was soooo hot. We just sprayed ourselves and hoped for the best. I got some sort of weird bite but I think all's well.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2007, 05:01 PM
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NRPSYDOC: Please tell me / us more about Buena Vista (BV). We're a family of 4 and trying to decide on staying at the Tulemar part of the property or springing the extra $$ for BV. We're considering a one bedroom at BV as the 2 bedrooms go up to $400 a nt 1/1/08. Would love to hear about the beach area and any other suggestions/recommendations you might have!
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Old Sep 4th, 2007, 05:13 AM
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Hi Pumpy, The BV villas are very beautiful. If you are getting the one bedroom one you will have the whole top floor of the unit. I did not see any of the Tulemar bungalows so I can't comment about those. The beach is shared by both and is nice. It's small and the feel is private. They have a little beach bar and can get you food there too. The BV pools are really nice- warm and beautiful. You can use any of the 3- the adult pool, the casa pool or the villa pool. Maybe you can see if you can negotiate a better rate for the 2 bedroom villa. I liked having the kids in a separate area. Our villa was way up top and while some have steps inside connecting the top and bottom ours did not. We just got extra keys so the kids could come and go and we didn't have to keep answering the door. The view from the villa was terrific! Let me know if you have any other questions. I love talking about this place!
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Old Sep 4th, 2007, 01:29 PM
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nrpsydoc: Welcome back and thank you for the details. We will be staying with our kids - 7 and 9 in November. We too will stay at the Marriott near the airport and when in MA at the BVV. A couple of questions: Did the Marriott have a shuttle from the airport? How did you arrange this? At BVV the breakfast is included, correct? Was this at the restaurant? How was it? Will BVV allow you to request a specific building? Suggestions? Thanks for any tips!
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Old Sep 4th, 2007, 02:33 PM
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Hi Campjulie,
The San Jose Marriott does provide a free airport shuttle service. We only took it TO the airport when leaving San Jose and it left the hotel I think every half hour. Not sure how to access it from the airport but it's probably similar. The hotel is very beautiful. You must make sure you get the buffet breakfast. Very delish. At BVV you get breakfast at the Tulecafe (10.00 value per person). It's a buffet and was pretty decent but after about 3 days it did get a bit old. The view from the restaurant is too great and servers very gracious! BVV does not allow you to request specific villas but they may for the casas. We stayed in villas 306 (top) and 206 (the bottom part). The best view EVER is all I can say! Try asking for it if you can. It is, however, a bit of a trek upward but I thought it was good exercise and didn't mind it at all. It is way too gorgeous to complain about. Keep in mind that some of the villas do have stairs in them that connect the top and bottom but this one did not so the kids got an extra key so they could let themselves in and out of our level. Also, not a problem. Any more questions? You are going to have a great time in these places.
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Old Sep 4th, 2007, 04:27 PM
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Thanks for the additional info. We are staying in a one bedroom to save some $ for our Bosque del Cabo splurge the third leg of our trip.
A few other random questions:
Did you cook in your villa? Could you charge things to your room at the beach (food)? What do you recommend for tipping? Any great packing tips?
Thanks again. We are getting so excited.

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Old Sep 4th, 2007, 05:12 PM
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We didn't cook in our villa. One night we arranged to have dinner brought to us at the beach (it's a prix fixe thing they do) but it rained and we asked them to bring it all to the villa and we ate it on the veranda. They don't normally bring food to the villas and they were so nice to do it. It was pouring out and Allan from the Tulecafe was so wet when he got to us with so much food on a big old tray all wrapped nicely. We gave him a really big tip for the effort. Food at the beach cannot be charged to the room- you need cash for that. Tipping is a matter of personal preference and we tipped at the end of our stay for the shuttle drivers, the two concierges who were so nice and the housekeeping staff. As far as packing is concerned we brought nothing very nice. Really we roughed it the whole time. The rain ponchos were the single most important things we had. In November they may not be as much needed. Bring bug spray, sunscreen and at least one hat. And...just have so much fun.
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