Where to stay in Puerto Viejo in Costa Rica – Totem Hotel Beach Resort
During my 3 weeks in Costa Rica I decided to spend a couple of days on the Caribbean coast and have a proper holidays where I could relax and not just run from one place to another every second day like I always do.
From the 2nd to the 7th May 2012 I stayed in Totem Hotel Beach Resort in Playa Cocles which is just 2 km from Puerto Viejo town where all the shops, supermarkets, travel agencies and banks are situated. There are all sort of hotels and hostels in Puerto Viejo, all inclusive holidays and along the coast but I chose Totem Hotel because of many reasons and I am glad I did.
What I liked about Totem Hotel Beach Resort:
- nice staff – from the receptionists to the cleaners, all of them are smiling and saying hi to you. I was welcomed by Adrian, the receptionist who is a real sweetheart and it was nice to see him there every day.
- location – not in the hustle and bustle of Puerto Viejo town, in a quiet area of Cocles Beach, but still close enough to the town if you need anything. Totem Hotel Beach Resort is situated only a couple of metres from the beach, just across the road.
- swimming pool – as you all know I am the biggest lover of water so having a swimming pool is a huge plus for me. I could work on getting in shape every day and swim in the pool while there was no one else but me. The pool is clean and set up in a pleasant place, surrounded by the trees and totem statues.
- breakfast from 7.30 am to 9.30 am – after staying in so many hostels where the only ”yummy” (how they usually call it themselves) breakfast is nothing more than white bread with marmalade and a cup of tea, breakfast in Totem Hotel beach resort made me think of it already the night before. Everything is freshly home-made, including the bread and you have a big variety of food which I so appreciated! Obviously, I didn’t even touch the marmalade, but I enjoyed the cereals with milk, scrambled eggs, different kinds of rice (traditional breakfast here in Costa Rica), cheese, tomatoes, fruit, salads, tea, and many things I don’t even know the names of. I will miss this breakfast!
- wifi – we all know that in the 21st century good wifi is a must in the hotels now already. Being a digital nomad I used the wifi 24/7.
- relaxing zone next to the jacuzzi with hammocks – many people love to read or just relax in a hammock and there is no better place than being surrounded by trees and flowers with butterflies and humming birds flying around!
- jacuzzi – in the garden there is a big jacuzzi where a bunch of people can fit. There are 2 different settings for it so you can choose if you prefer a stronger one or a smoother massage. I could get the massage on my back in the jacuzzi for hours!
- Italian restaurant Mediterraneo – after living in Brindisi in Italy for a year, I fell in love with Italian food and I don’t think I will ever get enough of pasta and pizza. So having Mediterraneo restaurant just a minute from my room was something I could get used to very quickly 🙂 And Nicolo, the chef, together with Rebecca and the other people working there are very cool and they just make up your day with their smile 🙂
- table tennis – there is one in the reception with the balls and rockets. I so wish there was someone to play with me when I was there!
- safe deposit box – yes, I like to be safe and leave the hotel without spending the whole day thinking if my valuables still will be in my room when I get back.
- clean – for being literally in the heart of the Caribbean jungle, the hotel is very clean which for me is one of the most important things. Cleaned daily and left with a nice flowery smell.
- big shower with hot water, shampoo and shower gel – to be enjoyed each time after the beach, jacuzzi or swimming pool.
- night security – at night there is a security guide walking around the hotel so you can get a good sleep without being worried.
- private parking – for those with a car it is good to know that the car is being watched from the reception all the time.
- money exchange at the reception desk – no need to go out of the hotel if you need to exchange money.
- tours – at the reception you can reserve any of the tours that are offered in the area and they will come to pick you up to the hotel.
- observing crabs – there are hundreds of big crabs around, also those beautiful blue ones.
- surf school – with the owner Adrian and the local instructors it is the best place to get surfing lessons. It’s possible to rent Banzaii and RRD surfboards to surfers of all levels.
- souvenir shop – offering the best brands of shoes, clothes and swimming suit for both men and women.
- quiet at night – nothing is going to interrupt your beauty sleep.
- rooms for the disabled – very practical and I think all the hotels should have them nowadays.
- A/C and fan – rooms are equipped with both air conditioning and ceiling fan which in the heat of the Caribbean is a must.
- private bathroom – all rooms have it.
- telephone in each room – to contact the reception, order a meal in the restaurant or to make any local calls within Costa Rica for free.
- beach towels – can be rented for free at the reception
- laundry service available
- a sitting hammock and a table with chairs outside each room.
- possibility to choose from standard rooms or better suite rooms facing the swimming pool
- decoration made with the towels and flowers on the bed – different every day, it’s so sweet!
- totem stone statues – according to the name of the hotel, there are totem statues scattered around the tropical garden of the hotel, also at the swimming pool and jacuzzi which gives a bit of mystery to it all.