Cabinas Tropicales Puerto Jimenez2.5 out of 5.0
Recent guest reviews
This was my second stay at the Cabinas Tropicales. It was a quiet stay and I enjoyed conversation with Mark. He is a great host and the rooms are cozy and comfortable. I love the outdoor shower. See ya next time :)
After reading a number of reviews, for me it all comes down to expectations and desires. My girlfriend and I were planning to spend one night in Puerto Jimenez before finding a place in Cabo Matapalo. We were wandering down the main street, got into a discussion with a local, and he recommended Cabinas Tropicales. I wasn't sure what to expect, but Cabinas Tropicales perfectly meet our needs. Like PolarBear 777, the room we stayed had an outdoor shower and small courtyard. Both my girlfriend and I loved the outdoor shower! The rooms are small and basic but clean. For me, a room is just a place to sleep. The common area was perfect for us. Being able to cook and eat is a critical factor for me. I want to have breakfast and especially coffee when I wake up, not when the kitchen opens. Its also great when your host knows the area, and understands the needs of his clientele. We wanted to buy local fish and cook them, and Mark was able to point us in the right direction, and we negotiated with a local fisherman for some great fresh fish. I've kayaked a lot, and wanted to rent a kayak on our own. Mark pointed us to where we could rent brand new kayaks, and kayak both the mangroves and the ocean. We wanted to rent surfboards in Cabo Matapalo, and Mark not only knew the right place but the manager. We wanted a nice jungle hike, but didn't want to drive all the way to Corcovado National Park. Mark was able to recommend a nice half day hike. As I said in the beginning, we planned to stay for a night but instead spent a very happy and enjoyable week there. I highly recommend it.
I stayed 4 nights at Mark's place where Rufus, the hummingbird, an iguana and several birds feel at home as well. You can watch them from the cozy outside kitchen-/dining area. The place and rooms are very clean and Mark knows the area for over 20 years and can help you with all your questions. I totally recommend Cabinas Tropicales which was recommended to me as well.
I can't recommend this hotel enough. Mark is a great host - really friendly and helpful. He makes you feel welcome and relaxed. He gave us effective restaurant recommendations as well - both Marisqueria Corcovado and Soda Pura Vida were great. Common areas and the kitchen are very clean and well equipped. (Note that while there is a shared kitchen, this is not a hostel - Mark just has this amenity as an extra for guests). The room are small, but this is clear on all the booking sites so I don't understand why some reviews complain about this. Ours had an amazing outdoor shower and small courtyard with sitting area. Free bike rental was a great way to explore the town. Tons of security cameras everywhere and restricted access at night. Only small problem was the A/C situation. It randomly shuts off, seemingly related to power surges, but it is actually an internal wiring issue as only the A/C units are affected. Unfortunately that happened 3 times to us in 2 nights, including once in the middle of the night. It is still quite humid during the night, even if the windows are open. Mark always goes and fixes it when informed, but it's awkward to ask him to fix it at 2 AM, so that time we didn't. It'd be better if a permanent solution could be found (installing a surge guard is what most people do in areas where this is common). Alternatively, Mark or his son could proactively inform guests about the issue and teach them how to reset the breakers themselves upon check-in. When the A/C has proper power, it works perfectly. I wouldn't let this deter you from staying here, but just want to make future guests aware so you aren't wasting time trying to fix the A/C! Mark also offers a tour booking service, but unfortunately this didn't work out well for us for our Corcovado day trip. Mark is actually just a middleman between you and the guide, and not set up similar to the agencies in town. You have to meet the guide the day before at 6 PM to pay him, and he goes to Mark's house to hand him his commission. Mark isn't able to help you in case anything goes wrong. In our case, unfortunately, while our guide was a really nice guy, he wasn't effective at basic things you'd expect a guide to do, and this led to our Corcovado hike being the low point of our Costa Rican trip. There were many issues: -He struggled with English communication. We met a number of guides in town, in transport, and at the park. All had better English skills and were really easy to understand. Our guide struggled to communicate with us (and it's clear from his web site that his English is awful). -He was able to point out animals as expected, but couldn't explain anything except for their names (which sometimes were given to us in Spanish, which we'd have to ask other guides along the route to translate). The other guides were providing much more context, and some that we met on the trail noticed that our guide wasn't doing this and thankfully tried to offer this to us as well. -He showed up earlier than the agreed upon time of 5:30 AM (which was also written on the receipt), and tried to rush us telling us our transport was going to leave without us. I had specifically asked him the night before if we needed to be ready a bit earlier as the minibus (actually a van) needed to pick up more people, and he said no. No problem with him arriving early (in fact, I initially was impressed by this as usually in Costa Rica guides would run a bit late), just don't start threatening to leave without us! -He misled us about the extent of hiking through water, despite specific questions the night before based on my research, and clearly communicating that I could not walk through large bodies of water without proper footwear due to previous injury. The guide said this wasn't needed, yet all other guides and hikers either had footwear, or their guides had brought it for them for the water portion. I then could not proceed when we reached a fairly wide river, which meant we couldn't complete the planned hike. All the hikers we met on the trail said their guides had given them good information in advance, while ours didn't despite clear and direct questions. -He had us head back way too early, causing us to wait for an hour at the end for our transport rather than enjoying more hiking. -He left his phone somewhere along the trail, and told us to walk back alone while he went to find it - yet we had seen him using his phone just before he said it was gone. We lost 2 hours of our guide time as a result. We have a feeling that our guide was tired, as it seemed he had a park employee bring him back via motorbike. Mark's rates are the same as in town, however, we could negotiate nominal discounts in town. Mark said he doesn't discount (understandable), and that we weren't going to get a good guide if we didn't pay at least $60 per person. We spoke with a few other hikers, and it seems they were all paying the same or slightly less for their guides, so this was an inaccurate statement. Given how excellent the accommodation was and our interactions with Mark, we felt it was worth paying a bit more by going through him, but this ended up being a mistake. When Mark learned of everything that happened afterwards, he mentioned he would speak to the guide, but neither he nor the guide ever got back to me. This reflects poorly on Mark and how he runs his tour booking service, and suggests that this wasn't just a one off. Additionally, when you book through the agencies in town, they include the process of acquiring a permit for the park. Booking through Mark, we had to do this ourselves. This is an annoying process of running back and forth between the park office and the bank, taking over an hour due to long lines. When on a short visit, this eats up a chunk of your day that would be better used for exploring the town or relaxing. I had done research prior to arriving, but wasn't really familiar with this process - the reason why I didn't find much info on this is because most tourists never do this themselves, as the agencies sort this out by email with the park office on your behalf. Overall, the accommodation piece rates a 5/5, and the tour piece a 2/5. I highly recommend staying here, but book tours elsewhere!
We looked at a couple of rooms, those away from the court yard would be quiet if people stay up late. We chose the one with the outdoor bathroom which was by far the best. This is a nice little place and is good value for money. It has air con and hot water and the rooms are simple and clean. We would stay again.
We stayed for 1 night prior to travelling to Corcovado. Booking was easy, by e-mail and no deposit asked. We left our bags and car in care of Mark and had no problem. Very close to the airstrip, which was convenient for us as we were flying in and out. For our family of 4 the deluxe room was quite good size with plenty of storage space. The A/C was in one room only but it was strong enough to cool both rooms. Bathroom was clean, spacious with good hot water and forceful shower, probbaly the strongest in whole of Costa Rica. Bed firm and the sleep was sound. The outdoor showering area was also very nice. The common dining area is also nice and plenty of utensils to use, a fridge to keep your food and sit down and relax and watch birds and interact with other guests. Scarlett macaws were right in front of the house. We had a mix of fellow guests. Some were nice and happy to interact, some not so. But no one was causing any trouble or noise. When we were there Mark just had an accident and had almost sliced open his Achilles tendon. He was a naughty patient and did not follow my advice to get that stitched but on our return I was pleased to see him healing nicely. The other staff have limited English but they were nice to us. Wi-fi was a bit intermittent but not too bad. Mark was a nice person to chat with and he gave me good advice about driving to Lapa Rios. He may come across as loud but he is not really. On our return from Corcovado he kindly allowed us to use the bathroom/towel to freshen up before travelling to cabo matapalo. Payment only in cash. I have no hesitation in recommending his place.
+ Beach cruisers available for exploring (free) + Large open kitchen with grill, aux cord & speakers, fridge, and two sinks for dishwashing + Warm shower + Friendly and helpful owner, super chill vibes across the board + 5 stars on cleanliness
Three of us arrived at Cabinas Tropicales after randomly following the signs in town. Marc promptly welcomed us with a warm smile and thorough information on anything we could possibly want to know about how to explore the area in the best way. Cabinas Tropicales is safe, clean, and beautiful with spacious rooms, warm water, wireless internet, and a/c for a great price. The hostel has an open air kitchen with a refrigerator and stoves to use, surrounded by beautiful green plants and trees so a lot of beautiful birds come here to feed, including Rufus the hummingbird! Marc's attention to detail with the fresh-picked bouquet of flowers added to the charm of the space.
We spent one night here in July, the off season. The rooms are arranged around a central courtyard with picnic table and cooking facilities. Another group staying there was up late cooking, drinking, and being very loud. Good management would have asked them to quiet down. At least post signs. We were also unhappy with the checkin process. No one we met introduced themselves, smiled, or welcomed us. A young boy showed us the rooms and gave us the keys. An adult who I presume was the owner blurted out to us later in the day that he usually took payment when guests checked in. Ok. But no one asked for payment when we checked in so how were we supposed to know. And if you wanted to be paid, why not say, "would you mind paying now? we usually collect payment at checkin." Internet was broken most of the day. There is AC but it needed to have the circuit breaker turned on. When I went looking for someone to help figure out why it wasn't working, the same adult male helped me. He did ask if I needed help. I told him the issue. After that I don't think he said anything, just went and turned on the circuit breaker. Again, I think he was the owner, but he never introduced himself and never smiled. The rooms are clean and basic. The mattresses are poor, though not for this budget in Costa Rica.
My friend and I stayed here the night before our hike to Corcovado and the night after our hike. Mark and Lee were accommodating, friendly and extremely helpful. I felt comfortable and loooooved the outdoor shower. When I go back to Puerto Jimenez, I will definitely be back to the Cabinas Tropicales. Gracias amigos!
Reviews from Trip Advisor
98% of guests recommend this hotelTotal of 181 reviews