Oceanfront 5 BR/6 BA, Sleeps 2-26 (with Casa Mirage #78040)
Why julie gordon chose Playa Grande
We are a family of 'water babies' born and raised on the beach shores of Santa Barbara, CA. (Of course the grand kids also have this ocean gene). Once my children (Julie, J.C, and Mark) became of an age when we could all travel my husband and I would take them during summer vacation on a surf safari to an exotic destination somewhere in the world. This was not only for fun, but to spend quality time with each other as well as to expose and educate them about different cultures and customs. On a surfing safari to Costa Rica in '91 we instantly fell in love with the country, the kind and hospitable people, and the natural habitat. It was a paradise!! Long story short after returning to the States and raving to family and friends about this oasis a friend said he had the perfect property for our family in Playa Grande. My husband flew down a month later and purchased the property for me as my 50th B-Day present! Over the past 17 years both my family and friends lives have been significantly enhanced by the beauty of the 'Tico' people, the natural wonders that surrounds us and the 'Pura Vida' lifestyle. This means Pure Life, an expression of contentment, happiness, and satisfaction with ones life. It's this philosophy that ranks Costa Rica as one of the happiest places in the world!! We invite you along with your family and friends to visit and enjoy the surf, sand, sun, & experience the 'Pura Vida' life.
What makes this Villa unique
Playa Grande is a magical beach, for thousands of years the prehistoric leatherback turtles have come to nest and the ancient Chortega Indians performed ceremonies. Immersed in the peacefulness of the surrounding beauty, the' pura vida' life is easily attained.
100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
We absolutely enjoyed our stay at the house. The location is perfect - right on Playa Grande, which is huge, and this section is not busy at all. The beach is full of seashells and it’s a very pretty beach with nice waves for boogie boarding. There are tons of crabs on the beach and some make it near the house - some kids could be scared of this (my kids were fascinated).
The house has tons of space, comfortable beds, and each room/bathroom is a little different design/layout. The AC worked amazingly well in all rooms and is much needed at the beach. There’s a big porch facing the beach and an upstairs balcony. Several hammocks to relax in. The layout of the home would not work for small children - each room has its own entrance around a courtyard - but for extended families, friends, older kids - it is great.
The house was well equipped and very comfortable. Just a lovely relaxing beach house and we would be happy to stay here again.
Lovely beachfront villa
We had a great stay at Villa Olivia. Loved the location. Beautiful beach. Plenty of space for everyone to hangout together or chill on the hammocks. Plenty of sitting areas. The beds were comfortable. Extra fridge was helpful to have for drinks. This is minor but we didn't have enough beach towels considering we had 15 people. Another minor item was the lack of a kettle to boil water for the tea drinkers. We used a pot to boil water so not a big deal.
Our cook Kimberly and her helper were very kind and prepared good food. So were the rest of the house crew, from the gardener to the security guard. Lovely people.
The only bad experience we had through our process from the time of confirmation through the checkin was the lack of communication from the property manager. The property manager was just not good at replying to emails or messages through out the process. And even when she did reply after severals days or weeks, she didn't answer all the questions we had. Our cook Kimberly was more helpful with our questions after checkin.
Julie, the property owner was pleasant to deal with and was much more attentive and responsive than the property manager.
Having said that, we all had a great time and kids had a blast swimming in the ocean and cooling off in the soaking pool. We would definitely consider staying at Villa Olivia again.
I would highly recommend staying here to anyone who's considering this property. Just keep in mind the communication challenges with the property manager.
Pure Paradise at this Beach Oasis!
I rented Villa Olivia for an extended family vacation (8 adults and 2 kids- 4 families total). The layout of the Villa, rooms and ample bathrooms was perfect for our group! Everyone had their own private space and also enjoyed the many public spaces for relaxing and having fun.
We enjoyed the beach daily, walked to the turtle beach and to Taco Star several times. Marianela arranged for us to have massages on the second floor terrace overlooking the ocean, we enjoyed the pool in the afternoons and read several books in the hammocks. We hired Kimberly to cook all but 3 meals for us our entire week there (she cooked us 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 3 dinners) and her food was FABULOUS!!! She and Sandra took such good care of us and made us all kinds of delicious dishes including Gallo Pinto, empanadas, chalupas, fried shrimp, grilled items (chicken, steak and mahi mahi), guacamole, chimichurri, mashed potatoes, plantains and so many other local cuisines! We called it our culinary Costa Rican excursion. I would highly recommend hiring Kimberly to cook meals during your stay as her food is divine but you can also stay and eat on the amazing outdoor dining table. Super relaxing to walk up from the beach to a delicious and complete meal!
For the meals we didn’t have her cook we walked to Rip Jack Inn (twice) and got takeout from Huerto (delicious and huge pizzas!). Rip Jack has AMAZING cocktails and a delicious menu including gluten free items. I would recommend walking the beach to Rip Jack in order to have a more scenic route and enjoy the beach breezes.
The entire staff at Villa Olivia was so friendly and we were sad to say goodbye. Kimberly, Sandra, Yebri, Don Tito, Marianela and the rest- THANK YOU for making our week in Costa Rica so perfect. We loved every minute and look forward to returning sometime!
The house was nice, but there were some things that should be noted. I would mention that having a car is a necessity if you plan on leaving the house at all. It’s a lovely area, but definitely secluded. The "5 minute walk" to food and "the village" is if you are fit enough to walk the beach or dirt road and the heat isn't knocking you down. $75 round trip to get 5-6 people to Tamarindo added up. $100 to get fro Liberia airport.
In the master bedroom, the a/c was overflowing/leaking but still works - messy. We had one room swarmed with some kind of flying insect which made that room unusable until Kimberly (or her team) came to clean it out. The bugs didn't return. Several of the lamps seem to not work. One I know was in the living room. In the master bedroom the light would turn off if you set anything on the nightstand. The extra weight adjusted the electrical wires enough that the lights would turn off.
The beach was fantastic. Plenty of places to lounge and relax. The pool was comfortable and often a lifesaver from the heat. Amazing view. Yes I enjoyed my stay! House was cooled and appreciated as it was hot!
The people are amazingly friendly. The food delicious - if maybe too much food. We had 2 dinners and had left overs 5 days later! Oh the shrimp was to die for though. Meals are cash only, pay as you go. We found ourselves scrambling for cash on the first night to pay her. Oops
Bottle water in the house - no one told us it was $10 per bottle (multiple gallons per bottle). We were fine paying the price as it was worth it, just one of the little things we didn't know in advance.
Crabs and birds and some flying objects attracted to lights at night - all that you would expect and more. LOL Very few of the biting types though. Between the 6 of us I think only 2 got any mosquito bites at all. Crabs and bats did a good job LOL
So, all and all the property was as gorgeous and comfortable as advertised and I would stay there again in another season (we were there at the end of the dry season when it was hot and brown - our mistake).
Thank you for your review and pleased to know you enjoyed your stay, it was a pleasure hosting your group. You make a good point about cash for the cook, I will add that to our information doc. Apologies for the insects fumigation occurs monthly and keep the premiss clean as a deterrent. I'm here at the villas now and addressing the lighting, did you notify Marianela of the issues? As part of our staff, a maintenance man on-site daily to remedy these concerns during your stay. We have decided to offer water free of charge.
Thank you again for choosing to stay with us,
One of the BEST vacations I ever had
I stayed at Villa Olivia for my 50th Birthday with 8 others and it was FANTASTIC! The house is beautiful (just as it is shown in the pictures) and the pool was fabulous! The beach is literally in your backyard! The air-conditioning in each room was VERY COLD, which helped me sleep after a long day of excursions and being in the sun. The security staff were AWESOME and were always around so we felt very safe (not that we ever felt that we needed them but I slept soundly knowing they were there at night).
The beach was beautiful, clean, and warm. We all had a really good time boogie boarding (but we had to pay $5 per day per board) as they were not included in the rental payment.
We wanted to have Kimberly (the chef) cook for us so we had her do a breakfast meal on our first morning. The food was delicious but be ware that if she shops for you there is an added $25 fee for shopping (which we had no idea about). It would probably be a good idea if you shopped for your food and then had her cook it for you. We also cooked a few dinners for ourselves on the grill, which worked out great. We sat outside and enjoyed our meal and it was fabulous! We cooked our own breakfasts as the kitchen was well stocked with everything we needed. Our group went deep sea fishing and brought back a lot of fresh fish which we grilled one night for fish tacos; it was AMAZING!
Since the house is about 1 hour and 20 minutes from the airport in Liberia we rented a van, so we could all be together during he trip. We also wanted to go on excursions without having to have all the added time with picking up and dropping off other people. It was a really good idea. When you rent a car in Costa Rica understand that you have to pay for government insurance on the car, which is more expensive then the rental of the actual car, as not everyone in Costa Rica is insured. We paid about $60 per person for the rental of our van for 8 days. I felt that was completely worth it as Playa Grande is rural and you will need a vehicle to get around.
I can't say enough about how fantastic this vacation was. It was relaxing and the house was just so amazing. It was very comfortable and all of us felt that we had plenty of room to be together and also to sneak off to a quiet spot to be alone or snuggle with your partner. I would recommend this house to anyone who wants to visit Costa Rica.
Thank you Julie! Your house is AMAZING!
Our first impression of the villa was a little dated and in need of some updating.
We had on amazing stay at villa Olivia !! The staff always very helpful and chef Kimberly made us 2 fantastic meals that satisfied even the fussiest eaters. We are Costa Rica supplied us with the surf boards rentals for the week and were very helpful in guiding us through playa grande. The only communication I had with the manager was through email. She was not available to us throughout our stay. The villa was quite tired looking but the location on the of the ocean was pure paradise which made up for it . We did not rent a car for our stay but had a driver for most of our transportation for excursions and to tamarindo. The walk to the water taxi is much further then described in other reviews. The locals are very friendly and always willing to help you out.
Hi Debbie, wonderful to hear your family enjoyed the vacation and what's not to love about Kimberly's cooking! Please let us know what areas of the villa could be improved. Last year we remodeled the kitchen, living room, room 5 and 3 bathrooms, as well as both interior and exterior were painted and hardwood sanded and varnished. Yes, primary communication with the property manager is via telephone or email.
To explore Tamarindo, I'd give at least 45 min to walk from the northern end (2 miles) to the water taxi.
Only an hour drive from the Liberia Airport (LIR,) Playa Grande is centrally located between Playa Tamarindo and Playa Flamingo. Truly one of the most unique, unspoiled vacation spots in Costa Rica, its 2 mile-long crescent shaped coastline, of warm blue waters and honey colored sand forms the Las Baulas Marine National Park. A sanctuary for the nesting giant leatherback turtles.
Go explore the estuary in a canoe, spotting birds, iguanas and crocodiles basking on the sun-drenched riverbanks. Snorkel Playa Conchal made up of billions of crushed shells. Attend a weekend fiesta, featuring bull riding, traditional food, marimba music, and dancing. Tee-off at the course designed by Robert Trent Jones which meanders through a rolling terrain with breathtaking ocean views. To end the day sail along the shoreline as dolphins frolic beside you.
For thrill seekers and nature lovers alike enter the realms of the forest via a canopy tour. Get your adrenalin pumping inner tubing or riverafting on the Rio Negro. Visit Rincon De La Vieja to enjoy great hiking, waterfalls, boiling mud pots, sulpher vents and a large diversity of wildlife species. Get in the action of deep blue water fishing, targeting sailfish, marlin, yellowfin tuna, dorado, wahoo, roosterfish, and snapper. Experience the rich Guanacaste folklore and ancient Chorotega Indian traditions of pottery making in village of Guatil.