Guest Reviews

Fantastic Apartments and Great Location!

Howler monkey crossing the road in front of Smilin' dog!

Howler Monkey crosses the road in front of Smilin’ dog!

I stayed at Casa Smilin’ Dog Tamarindo Apartments for almost 6 weeks and the entire experience was a great one. From the initial communication with the hosts (which was always prompt) and then staying there, I only have very good things to say. I stayed in the Howler room at first for 2 weeks and then moved to the Smilin’ Dog room when it as completed. All rooms are well furnished, brand new and have everything you need for an enjoyable vacation. Plus, they are very secure!

The location is perfect, the beach is only 3 minutes walk away, the closest restaurants/bar is one minute away and the center of town a leisurely 5 minute stroll to everything. The gardens are lush, birds love to visit, so too do the Howler Monkeys and an Iguana or 2 . . . which just adds to your overall experience.

If you were considering a private room at one of the hostels in Tamarindo . . . forget it, do yourself a favor and contact the hosts for a very pleasant stay. They can even book your transfers and tours and recommend great places to eat. Their rooms are private, clean and avoid the party goers and backpackers.

– Trevor Crook, perpetual traveller, Brisbane, Australia. 

Girls Vacation

My cousin and I chose Tamarindo, Costa Rica for our yearly girls’ vacation. Usually we do the all-inclusive thing but this year we wanted to be more independent, so we chose to stay at the Smilin’ Dog where there is none of that. It’s a quaint Villa with only four units in a gated area, just 5 walking minutes from downtown Tamarindo and the beautiful Playa Tamarindo.

The unit we had was clean and self-sufficient. It had an outdoor kitchen with pretty much everything you need to do your own cooking in it, overlooking a beautiful flower garden. Inside, we had a fairly large bathroom with large shower stall and the bedroom with one queen size bed, TV with cable and WiFi access to the internet in and out of the unit. One rarely has to eat out, especially if you go to the Saturday Market and buy fresh fish, meat, cheese, veggies and pretty much anything you need. Supplies that can’t be found there are again just a three minute walk to a grocery store where the prices are pretty much comparable to US/Cdn prices or there are plenty of beautiful and delicious restaurants to choose from in the downtown area. Average cost for restaurant meals could vary from $5.00 US onward to $25.00 US for something fancier. It’s like a little heaven home away from home without the cold and the odd howler monkeys crossing the back yard.

The owners Richard, Andy and Rowena who also have their own units, are some of the nicest and helpful people we’ve ever met out of all the places we’ve travelled to. My cousin and I would go back in a heartbeat. As a matter of fact, we might just do that again next winter.

Pura Vida

Louise Lagace, Sturgeon Falls, Ontario, Canada

My Grandparents loved Casa Smilin’ Dog

A few months ago I saw a listing on one of the Tamarindo Groups for a studio apartment available for short term and I logged it into the back of my mind as a place that someone that comes to visit me can stay. About a month later I received word that my grandparents will be coming to visit my family in Tamarindo and they need a place to stay. I contacted Andy and he invited us to come see the place before we rented it. We met them and checked it out. Not only was it an awesome place with peace, quiet and everything else that was needed for a short stay but the caretakers Andy and Roe were such nice people!

When my grandparents came to visit they loved it right away… Especially the garden in the back and the outdoors kitchen. The place was really clean, and the hosts really and truly cared for their guests. My grandparents are two tough people to please when it comes to real estate but they loved Casa Smilin’ Dog and said they only want to stay there from now on when they visit. The beach is a few steps away and monkeys come to visit every morning. The supermarket is nearby and everything is close but not in the loud center of Tamarindo.

Now I am confident that I have a great place for guests to stay and it makes the whole process of people coming to visit us very easy and without stress. Thanks Casa Smilin’ Dog and thanks Andy and Ro!

Rome Za, Playa Tamarindo, Costa Rica

5 stars in our book

In February 2015 we were privileged to stay at Casa Smilin’ Dog in Tamarindo. We arrived at the airport in Liberia and were greeted by a shuttle service that took us directly to Casa Smilin’ Dog. Richard Whiteman welcomed us as we arrived and showed us to our lovely, clean, air conditioned room complete with ensuite, internet, and television. It also had an outdoor fully equipped kitchen with dining and living space on a patio overlooking a mini jungle filled with lovely flowering tropical plants.

We soon settled in and decided to explore the area. We were a 3 minute walk to a gorgeous beach that went forever and later found we were about the same distance to the supermarket. Within minutes of that, we were in a hub of shops and restaurants complete with live entertainment.

We could stay out all night enjoying the night life but once back at Casa Smilin’ Dog, it was quiet, serene and secure.

Mornings were spent drinking delicious local grown coffee on the patio or combing the beach. We ventured not far off and found a multitude of howler monkeys lounging in the tree tops. We also saw plenty of large gentle iguanas and colourful tropical birds.

Evenings were spent enjoying the beautiful sunsets on the beach. On Saturday, just a short walk from home, we explored a full-on market with organically grown produce, spices and meat. The market also had beautifully hand crafted jewelry and souvenirs.

We totally enjoyed our stay at Casa Smilin’ Dog and would highly recommend it to anyone. It was the perfect tropical villa style accommodation. 5 stars in our book.

Jon and Eda Warren Orr Lake, Ontario, Canada

Perfect for those who want to experience a real Costa Rica holiday.

We have stayed at Casa Smilin Dog two years in a row the first time for 4 months and this year for 4 weeks. It is a beautiful spot right in the heart of Tamarindo walking distance to everything, perfect for those who want to experience a real Costa Rican holiday.

Let me start with your hosts Richard, Andy and Rowena. They will make you feel welcome and are always willing to provide information on the area, restaurants, beaches, anything you need to know to enhance your trip to paradise!! Their warmth, hospitality and humor will make it hard for you to leave and like us you will be looking forward to your next visit as they wave goodbye to you in the driveway.

The rooms are beautiful, two have outdoor kitchens which look out to the garden, the other two are self-contained apartments, all units are fully stocked with everything you need to cook that mahi-mahi you caught earlier that day. The bedrooms are clean, comfortable with A/C, wi-fi and hot showers.

Casa Smilin Dog is located on a quiet street about a block from downtown, there is a market at the end of the street which has everything you need. It is right across the street from the beach so you are guaranteed to never miss any stunning Tamarindo sunsets. The monkeys stop in everyday and if you are lucky you may see the parrots fly by!!

Casa Smilin Dog is the place to go if you want a holiday filled with all the conveniences in a perfect, safe location. You will come away with wonderful memories, new friends, and lots of great photos.

Melanie Levert, Huntsville, Ontario, Canada