<span>La Paila</span> Raves

La Paila Raves

What Our Visitors are Saying …

La Paila is spectacular! We had an incredible week with our kids, ages 7, 9 and 11. It was the perfect balance of luxury, authenticity, adventure and relaxation! The house and grounds are beautiful, lovingly cared for by Luz and Gilbert. The views of the Pacific and surrounding teak forests are breathtaking. If the clouds cooperate, you will witness an astonishing sunset. We spent our time enjoying the pool and the beaches of Playa Carrillo and Samara. We went zip lining, hiking and kayaking. At the house, we enjoyed ping pong and lazing in the hammock. The kids loved keeping track of all the critters — geckos, iguanas and howler monkeys to name just a few. Luz cooked delicious meals and kept the house immaculate. It was a true vacation — the best we’ve ever had!

—Mary Kate, (Delaware), November 2012

La Paila is one of the most beautiful places I have ever had the pleasure to visit. The villa is open and enviting high up on the mountainside overlooking the Pacific. The view is spectacular. The villa comes not only with a lovely woman, Luz, who prepares your meals, her husband Gilbert, who attends to everything else, but also a charming black Laborador Retreiver named Bella===all of whom made us feel right at home. There are a gazillion things to do. We rode horses to the waterfalls. You will fall in love with the ponies…they are part monkey! We zipped through the jungle with Wing Nuts and soaked in the sun and sand. This is a treasure. Don’t miss out!

—Margot, (Arden Delaware), November 2012

My family and I had a wonderful vacation. Our house was beautiful, the view spectactular! The staff was friendly and did EVEYTHING possible to make sure we were having a great time! We would love to go back to the same place next year and enjoy this beautiful paradise again!

—Nancy K, (Philadelphia Pa), September 2012

Our stay at La Paila was wonderful! The view of the ocean from this house was breathtaking. The home was very clean and the staff was very friendly. I contacted the owner several times before leaving on this trip. He was very helpful and sent a packet of useful information prior to our departure. The beach at the bottom of the hill was beautiful and secluded. We felt like we had the entire beach to ourselves on most days. We drove into Samara for groceries and shopping. There we found a beach bar called Gusto Beach (formerly Shake Joe’s). The food and drinks were great and the view of the ocean was phenomenal. We ate dinner one night in Samara at Casa Esmerelda. The food was delicious and the drive was only a short distance from the house. In Playa Carillo we ate at an Agentine steakhouse called El Colibri Cabinas. The food was great and the atmosphere was intimate. We found that the people of Costa Rica are friendly and we never felt unsafe. I would highly recommend a stay at La Paila if you are looking for a relaxing stay in paradise!

—Jersey Girl, (Wilmington, DE/USA), February 2012

LA PAILA is a beautiful hacienda-style home with a HUGE open living room area and lovely bedrooms with private baths and balconies. We just returned and it was ALL we had heard and hoped it would be. We woke each morning to the sounds of birds and an occasional howler monkey. The view of the Pacific from the pool and home are outstanding. Christina, the housekeeper, is warm and accommodating and the home was clean and orderly. Her English is very good. It’s relaxing, fun, inspiring, gorgeous. Play backgammon, ping-pong, and chess; swim; read; paint; watch birds; swim some more! We enjoyed local cafés and the beach at Playa Carrillo, the drive to Punta Islita and Nosara. We highly recommend visiting the Cloud Forest Biological Preserve at Monteverde–a long drive but well worth it. We had a guided hike and did the Original Canopy Tour zipline the next day. See Mt. Arenal also. A MUST: Rent a 4-wheel drive vehicle for your stay in Costa Rica at LA PAILA!

—Suzanne, (Chadds Ford PA, USA), May 2011

Read more from our visitors! (click to open)

One of the best family vacations we’ve ever had!!! Wow! A house with no walls, or at least half of the walls aren’t there by design. To allow the guests like us, this amazing view over multiple bays below from the living room couch, or while playing ping pong, and definitely while having dinner at the dining room table from within the house! In under 5 minutes down the mountain you are literally at the beach, and no one else is there! We bought a hammock in town and brought straps from home. Choosing any spot (a new spot each time) on the beach and picking any two of the thousands of coconut trees that line the beach to hold the hammock was just unreal. Awesome beach for anyone, and we have little kids. My husband and bro-in-law did a ton of body surfing as well. More on the house: The rooms kept very cool at night which was great, and everyone slept very well on the beds which were also in very good condition. You don’t see any neighbors while swimming in the pool or walking around the yard picking mangos and coconuts. You feel as though you are on the top of a mountain by yourselves. There are some crocodiles that live at the very far end of the beach in a stream. You can see them from the bridge. That’s not something you see everyday, and you don’t even need to have a guide to show them to you! We’ve been all around Costa Rica now and Carrillo beach is one of our favorites. If you’re up for a quiet, beautiful and secluded beach and area, this is it!

—A., Utah, April 2011

I don’t know what I’ll miss more, this beautiful country or the beautiful friends I’ve made in Ursula and Rolf, Anna and Freddie. This vacation, unlike any others we’ve ever taken, has given my family and myself a new viewpoint on life. Good health, family and friends are what is important in life. Costa Rica has made us appreciate the saying “take time to smell the flowers.” Thank you for making us feel so special.

—C&DC, Chadds Ford, PA, 5/2002

If ever in need of another word for Paradise, call it Costa Rica, and La Paila is a workable substitute for Heaven. The view, the weather, the people, the bugs, the food, the beaches, the ocean, Anna, Freddie, Allison, the birds, the food, the monkeys, Anna’s tender care, the food, Anna’s cooking – all but the roads could not have been better! We had an awesome ultralite flight at a place called the flying crocodile two coves north and productive fishing 5 km out. The most difficukt chore was tearing ourselves away from this house to see and do all the area has to offer. We’ll be back… is next year open?!

—P&DT & family, 1/2003

The views, the weather, the people, the house, the food, all contributed to the most restorative and memorable trip of our lives. We have never before had nothing to do, yet we didn’t have enough time to do it all!! Anna and Freddie, Allison and Tigre, were wonderful. Thank you!

—E&RG, Wilmington, DE, 4/2002

Enjoyed the beauty and tranquility of this magnificent place.Have never laughed so much. Swimming on the beach was some of the best beach swimming in the world. Will never forget our first canopy ride – what a rush! Anna and Freddy – a beautiful couple who handle their jobs most professionally.

—G&JS, Wilmington, DE 8/2001

Our journey to La Paila was extraordinarily adventurous. We were dropped off at the airstrip without our rental car in sight and no idea where we going! Faith previaled and a car appeared and we took the interesting drive up to the beautiful and luxurious La Paila… The frogs were funny; we bagged a 175 lb., 10 ft sailfish; Anna was, and is, muybonita and muybueno; ping pong is loads of fun; as is everything else. Problema? Nada! Enjoyed the openness of your beautiful home, so different than typical daily life.Very much enjoyed horseback riding with Luis – well-trained horses and beautiful trails.Finally, enjoyed the peace and quiet – the ability to hear the sounds of nature around us. Good times! This was exactly what a bunch of us gringos like us needed. We read, laughed, danced, drank and slept. The view was obviously God’s handiwork. The breeze was as soft as a kiss. The rain, at times, was unbelievable. I will always remember La Paila.

—M&LH, K&BW, K&AB, 5/2001

Thank you for providing a perfect first leg of our honeymoon journey. While the rainy season lived up to its name, it managed to only rain at night, leaving us with 7 days of perfect weather to watch birds, enjoy the view, play in the pristine waters and even spy o a group of monkeys with some new babies. We’ve traveled quite a bit, from chintzy resorts to Africa to the backwaters of Asia, but this has provided us with the perfect balance of luxury and adventure. And to think we found you over the internet. The again, that’s how we found each other. Don’t be surprised if we call soon to arrange a visit next year!

—M&MK, Washington DC, 9/2000

The Leisurian Club was all turning 40
Mark, Bill and Al. Kevin and Kurty
An adventure was needed to celebrate the event
Jeff joined a bit late, his alarm never went.
Arenal Volcano all fiery and red
To Tabacan Hot Springs the water was fed
Then rafting the rapids, better hold your breath
Several members were tossed, the result was near death.
Then Gauchipelin Lodge for the canopy attraction
Invigorating challenge – big breast distraction
Rode horses and hiked, pretty tough on the knee
Then Tamarindo we went to fish in the sea.
A morning departure, then Samara bound
We arrived at La Paila, paradise found
The hovering hawks as they glide through the sky
Set the mood of the scene, one cannot deny.
With gracious décor and beautiful art
This home soothes the soul and warms the heart
The silence only broken by the call of the wild
The sun is bright, the breezes are mild.
We drank, we swam, played cards and we read
With our freshly caught fish, Anna made sure we were fed
To Jeff and the Durhams, our deepest of thanks
We’ve traveled the world, but this place really ranks!

—MShneider, 6/2000

If anyone wonders if there is a creator, all they need do is see this beautiful country, its people, its mountains, rain forests and animals. It has been a quick two weeks here – memories to last a lifetime! We visited two national parks, discoed at Tooty Fruity in Samara, went horseback riding, played in the ocean, caught tuna, snorkeled and so much more. Thank you to Anna and Freddy and little Allison for their hard work, wonderful care and gentle souls. You are truly what made this house fin for me…I am a different person from the experiences I have had – may all those who encounter this place be changed as well.

—GS, Minneapolis, MN, 3/2000

My stay here has been such a treat. True paradise. The house and surroundings are stunning. Favorites of the week: #1 is the beautiful company I have shared such special times with. Loved horseback riding with Luis. Boat trip was phenomenal. We saw 20-30 dolphins, sea turtle, each caught a yellowfin tuna and then snorkeling with a great swim to shore. Great times at the patio table, laughing and crying and bonding. Also all the sights, sounds and smells are unimaginable. Wow! Thank you for this special experience. Peace and love to all guests, past, present and future!

—KB, Minneapolis, 3/2000

The “Anniversary Group” from Eugene, OR, This has been ten of the most restful days. What a blessing to be surrounded by the wondrous creation of an Almighty God. Been to Nicoya twice, bought pottery in Guantil, went deepsea fishing on the “White Magic” catching five yellowfin tuna and 3 sailfish. Anna says we brought too much back – we have had tuna sandwiches three times, grilled tuna, baked tuna, grilled tuna again and tuna-stuffed tomatoes. We are writing a cookbook “101 ways to eat tuna”! Anna has been so much fun and so gracious– she is an artist when it comes to food preparation, and a professional when it comes to food presentation and just being there in a way that makes you feel special. She is one in a million. We are happy we found this place on the internet – it has exceeded our expectations. The garabo’s have felt their way around, the frogs go “clunk” in the pool at night, the howler monkeys have howled, the birds have awoken us each morning. We are each so thankful that we personally know the creator of this beautiful land.

—D&BB and J&DP, Eugene, OR, 4/1999

We were promised a wonderful vacation but return home with so much more. We treasure the experiences we’re taking back to Chicago. Anna and Freddy are terrific people. Thank you, Doctor, your prescription cures all ills.

—JS & MKS, Chicago, IL, 2/1999

Again, another relaxing and peaceful stay in this heavenly slice of earth. Anna and Freddy continue to amaze with their friendliness and consideration – not to mention incredible culinary skills. The stay was great, replete with many laughs among good friends, some calamity (mini-bus towing, sunburns, poor ping-pong playing and, even worse, volleyball rallying in the pool). All told, the laughter, scenery and hospitality make “La Paila” an incredible experience.

—ML, Toronto, 2/1999

Nine tired souls seeking relaxation
Traversing wild roads and streams
Found beautiful, agreeable people
Delicious food by Anna
Windy nights to cool us off
We basked in fun and friendship
And we’ll dream of coming back.


Arrived in Playa Carillo with sunshine. We loved driving through Central Valley seeing Cartago, Poas, Iruzu and Arenal Volcanoes – 400 some miles, and we were ready to unwind. What a great house this is – the view, the open great room, our secluded bedroom, the pool and hot tub. Sublime enjoyment. We appreciated the amenities – the entertainment system, the ping-pong and other games… Deep sea fishing was fabulous – 15 dorado, 1 wahoo (excellent eating) @15-20 lbs. Each. No tuna this time. Anna’s cooking is so delicious. We liked “El Delphin Bar/Restaurant for excellent pizza/pasat and the best ceviche. The Mirador restaurant/bar in Carillo is very good for SopaMariscos&casados and the view is fantastic. We enjoyed the monkeys 2-3 times daily and the Tico people are so friendly even though we speak only a little Spanish… We have been to Costa Rica twice and will be back many more times. Carpe diem!

—J&NF, Harvey’s Lake, PA 12/1998

What an adventure this trip has been! We certainly didn’t spend our time lounging around the pool soaking up the rays. Instead we ventured out each day, unveiling each and every road, river and trail on this side of the country. We’ve been exposed to an incredible, beautiful peace. We were in awe over the wildlife here which required many rolls of film….Anna and Freddie were very pleasant! We certainly never went hungry! Thank you for the wonderful accommodations… a true pleasure!

—V & LV, Maple Grove, MN

We have enjoyed this holiday at La Paila – the view is outstanding as is the house. What an experience. Thank you for sharing! The cloud show has been spectacular. You have built a very fabulous retreat – open for so many to enjoy – thank you!! Anna and Freddie have been invaluable- through rental car troubles and every fabulous meal – grilled red snapper included. We look forward to a return visit. We are so relaxed and appreciate all the careful attention. One day in the Deep Blue Sea brought us a 95 lb. Yellow fin tuna! Beautiful home – never to be forgotten.

—SGB & crew, Jackson, MS, 8/1998

Ah! This is God’s Peaceable Kingdom! We thoroughly enjoyed our visit here. Everything was perfect. Anna and Freddie were gracious hosts… We’ll tell our friends and treasure these memories always!

—EW & MSW, Wilmington, DE, 8/1998

What a great experience here in Costa Rica. La Paila is simply breathtaking, the food Anna prepared was very delicious. We’ve enjoyed the beautiful people and exploring the beautiful beaches along the way to Playa Nasara. Our trip to Nambi/San Antonio was quite an adventure but very worth the beautiful ceramic pieces we collected. We plan to visit again soon.

—P&GG family, California, 8/1998

Well our week has finally come to an end. My whole family is not ready to go. We have had a wonderful time. We think the house and Anna are a piece of paradise… my whole entire family will always remember our visit to Costa Rica as long as we live. Wonderful. We hope to return someday.

—J & RR & children 7/98

Wow! Went to Arenal then to Monteverde… Upon arrival at La Paila, I decided this must be paradise. The view is awesome! I loved waking up to the sound of howler monkeys (congos). We have seen many monkeys, iguana, bats, birds, ridden horses in the hills with Luis, and had a “scorpion experience.” Photographs will not do this view justice. Had a great time and Anna is great.

—LB, 7/98, Texas

Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful home. We came with 3 kids and worried they be bored. We had a blast! Swimming, ping-pong, fishing – the kids caught ten snapper in twenty minutes, saw dolphin, sea turtle, howler monkeys, parrots and birds. Anna and Freddie are wonderful people – so gracious and friendly. We were spoiled here and will never forget the views! Hope to visit again. Thank you!!

—S&PF, Houston, TX, 7/2/98

La Paila Photos (Mini Gallery):

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