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Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Villas Kalimba, Playa Samara, Costa Rica - Page 2

Written by Cheri Lucas
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It was a wet November afternoon in Arenal, Costa Rica, and we were driving from the lush, dense jungle of the Northern Lowlands to our next stop: Villas Kalimba in Playa Samara, a beach town on the northwest coast of the Pacific.


I’ve experienced my share of basic and characterless accommodations, eschewing comfort and stylish décor for more affordable options, because I’ve mostly traveled as a solo backpacker in the past. I’d stayed in hostels throughout Europe and no-frills guesthouses in Southeast Asia, but I wanted my lodging in Costa Rica to be a step up from those establishments — I was slightly older, after all, and my traveling preferences had matured. To my surprise, I now wanted a tinge of luxury.


Internet searches initially led me to cheaper choices in Samara, like one of the treehouses on stilts on the beach at the Samara Treehouse Inn, or one of the three quaint, quirky casitas, or small cottages, at Las Divaz. While both had their perks, I had decided to splurge the extra thirty-or-so dollars for one of the six private villas at Villas Kalimba.Villas Kalimba, Playa Samara, Costa Rica


Nancy, the woman with whom I had exchanged e-mails about reservations, was responsive and friendly, which encouraged me to book a villa. When we arrived at the gate after our five-hour drive from Arenal, Nancy greeted us and led us through an oasis of tropical plants. We approached a crystal clear pool, surrounded by rocks and a waterfall-fed hot tub. We quickly noticed that Samara was quite different in climate and ambience than Arenal, but it was a welcomed change.




Villas Kalimba, Playa Samara, Costa Rica

The entrance to our villa was nestled behind leafy palms and, like the other villas, surrounded the pool. Styled with New Mexican flair and splashes of color, our bright yellow villa had its own terrace, complete with a patio table, rocking chairs, and an inviting rainbow-striped hammock. Inside, Nancy led us through our fully stocked kitchen, two bedrooms — a master bedroom with a king-sized bed and another with two twins — two bathrooms with colorful-tiled showers, and an extra room for storage. Armed with cable TV, efficient air conditioning, a CD player, and a cordless telephone, the villa felt like home (Actually, it was probably nicer than my home).


We met Roberto Carrer, the personable Italian owner, as he strolled to the Rancho, the outdoor kitchen and dining area. He invited us to sign up for dinner if we were interested. I had read positive reviews online about his dinner nights, where he cooks for and entertains his guests with Italian wines, desserts, salads, and barbeques.


We signed up, and during dinner on the patio, we asked how often he cooked for his guests. “Whenever I feel like it, which is a lot,” he said, smiling. That night, he cooked a divine dish of pasta with jumbo shrimp for us and another couple, and served a tasty assortment of bruschetta appetizers.


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Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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