Santa Teresa: Hotel Playa Cielo and Koji’s Restaurant

It’s 7:30am and we are heading to Puntarenas to catch the 75 minutes ferry ride to Tambor.
Santa Teresa, a beach that is visited by Hollywood artists year long, is our final destination. Oh yeah! it’s so pleasant to arrive only 15min before the ferry departure time as opposed to weekends or holidays when you must arrive at least an hour before departure.

11:30am we arrived at our destination: Hotel Playa Cielo in Santa Teresa. I wanted to visit this hotel for quite a while but it was always booked.  Playa Cielo has only four well equipped villas with a little kitchenette and a nice terrace. One of the Villas has two bedrooms and a separate seating area with kitchenette and a sofa bed, here you can live for ever! They also have a wonderful restaurant and a swimming pool right on the beach.  This is my other type of favourite hotels, where I don’t mind the simplicity along with little imperfections; it’s not the Four Seasons and I’m not expecting it to be a 5 star hotel, but the service is very personalised. Etty, Adele and Sol greet us with a smile and make us feel at home…. Which we did right away.

View from the Ferry

View from the ferry

View from the Hotel

View from the Hotel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By 12:30pm we are sitting at Habanero, the hotel’s Mexican restaurant that offers great seafood, tacos and a nice food variety. Habanero is right on the beach with the waves splashing only 10 meters from our table. From the daily specials we chose the whole grilled Red Snapper which came sizzling on a cast iron plate along with different salads and  sauces. A cold Costa Rican beer goes perfectly well with our meal. My husband and one of my daughters are sitting next to me, and so I wonder…. Should I ever need to go back to San Jose? This is paradise. No wonder why Matt Damon just spent over a month in Santa Teresa.

Yummy Guacamole at Habaneros

Yummy Guacamole at Habanero

Artisanal Costa Rican Beer

Artisanal Costa Rican Bee

Grilled Whole Red Snapper at Habaneros, Playa Cielo

Grilled Whole Red Snapper at Habaneros, Playa Cielo

 

 

 

It’s 2pm and we are so full after that amazing meal that we take a walk on Santa Teresa endless beach, where few people, dogs and some horses pass by. The ocean is a bit rough for me, so a little splashing fulfils my desire for the ocean.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By 4pm I gladly see a black cloud and some rain coming, so I head to my room’s terrace where a strong black Costa Rican coffee keeps me company while I write.

Room's terrace at Playa Cielo

Room’s terrace at Playa Cielo

Bedroom at Playa Cielo

Bedroom at Playa Cielo

Indoor/outdoor Shower

Indoor/outdoor Shower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7pm is dinner time.  Never expected I would have a such wonderful culinary experience!  Looking for a place to dine we choose by chance Koji’s, a Japanese restaurant that deserves all the accolades. If “Mr. Michelin” came to Santa Teresa, Koji’s would capture all the possible stars! Superbly fresh seafood prepared by chef/owner Koji, a tall good looking Japanese who runs his kitchen like a pro. The service is casual perfect as is the restaurant setting: wooden tables with recycled bottles as candle holders, 2 large boards serve as menus and a group of international girls work efficiently as waiters. Everything was so good, if you could smell the pictures… maybe one day, you’ll be at awe. Don’t even think about skipping this restaurant if you are in Santa Teresa. After this great meal we headed back to our hotel for a good night sleep and of course felt obliged to come back the next evening… it was just as good!

Simply perfect green salad at Kojis

Simply perfect green salad

Crunch roll at Koji’s

Crunch roll at Koji’s

Red Snapper Carpacio

Red Snapper Carpaccio

Grilled Octopus at Kojis

Grilled Octopus at Koji’s

Banana Flambé

Banana Flambe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second day in Santa Teresa:
A fresh fruit plate was delivered to our room’s terrace. This was followed by breakfast at The Bakery, yummy!!!

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Across the street from The Bakery we rented an ATV ($70/day at Toyota Rent a Car) and went around town, beaches and the mountain. The ride is bumpy but fun.The views are amazing.

12pm. time to have lunch again, we simply copied lunch from the day before at Habanero since it was exceptional, great combination of food right on the beach. A long walk on the beach, an amazing sunset with surfers enjoying the big waves and no rain…As good as life can get.

Habanero’s tables at the Beach

Habanero’s tables at the Beach

Sunset

Sunset

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By 8pm we are getting ready to head back to Koji’s again, sorry for not giving you more options, but ones you discover places like this, there’s no need to look for anything better cause you probably won’t find it! I promise to check the other highly rated restaurant alternatives and share them with you during my next trip in a few weeks.

Saturday was a morning for another long walk on the beach, a quick swim in the ocean and heading back to San Jose.

I leave paradise behind, knowing that I’ll be back soon. Santa Teresa is definitely one of my favourite destinations in Costa Rica. Make sure to add it to your next travel plan.

Hotel Playa Cielo
Tel: (506) 2640-1105 / (506) 8889-6900
E-mail: info@playacielo.com

My Restaurants Ratings:
Habanero at Playa Cielo Hotel:
Great food and perfect location.
Food: 4/5
Service: 4/5
Ambience: 4/5
Decor: 3/5
Cost : $$ ($20-$30)

Koji’s Japanesse Restaurant:
Best Japanese Food
Food: 5/5
Service: 4/5
Ambience: 4/5
Decor: 3/5
Cost : $$$ ($30-$50 pp)

The Bakery:
Great for breakfast and lunch.
Food: 3.5/5
Service: 4/5
Ambience: 4/5
Decor: 3/5
Cost: $-$$ ($10-$20pp)

10 Comments On This Topic
  1. PatriciamaK
    3 years ago

    It’s difficult to find knowledgeable people in this particular subject, however, you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

    • nataly
      3 years ago

      Well Im glad you found my blog helpful!
      enjoy Costa Rica!

  2. online
    3 years ago

    …A Friend recommended your blog

    […]Wow, marvelous weblog structure! How lengthy have you ever been running a blog for?[…]

    • nataly
      3 years ago

      hello
      I’ve been writing for almost 3 years

  3. sc501240
    3 years ago

    Hello, I came across your site as well be heading to Santa Teresa in September. We’ve been there once before, but in April. I was wondering if this post was written during your travels in September as well. If so, can you tell me how the weather was? We’ll be there the first week of September and I’ve read a lot of different perspectives on the rain. We’re hoping for sunny days and don’t mind a spring Kyle in the afternoon or rain in the evening. Also was curious how the roads would be at this time. I know every year can be different but would appreciate your insight! Thanks 🙂

    • nataly
      3 years ago

      Hello, sorry for the delay in my response….
      September was great, i loved it! Cloudy and less crowded. Not as rainy as I was expecting it to be, maybe an unusual year since its supposed to rain…
      We took the ferry to Tambor and drove from Tambor to the hotel, not bad at all.
      Hope this answers your questions… Im more available now through my Facebook page same costa rica by nataly!
      wish you a wonderful trio to costa rica and if I can help you with anything else, Ill be happy to do so

  4. sc501240
    3 years ago

    Hello, I came across your site as well be heading to Santa Teresa in September. We’ve been there once before, but in April. I was wondering if this post was written during your travels in September as well. If so, can you tell me how the weather was? We’ll be there the first week of September and I’ve read a lot of different perspectives on the rain. We’re hoping for sunny days and don’t mind a spring Kyle in the afternoon or rain in the evening. Also was curious how the roads would be at this time. I know every year can be different but would appreciate your insight! Thanks in advance!

    • nataly
      3 years ago

      Im so sorry I didnt get back to you on time for your trip to Santa Teresa, how was it? I just came back from Santa Teresa and had a wonderful time again, actually a new post will be out in the next couple of days. Hop you had a splendid time

  5. Ms 45
    3 years ago

    …Awesome website

    […]The overall look of your website is excellent, let neatly as the content material![…]

    • nataly
      3 years ago

      Thanks for your comments!