In Sámara, the action is at the beach, but those interested in an escape from the pumping music of Sámara’s bars and discotecas need look no further than Hotel Entre Dos Aguas.
Located just outside of town, a mere 400-meter walk from the beach, the hotel is like a private tropical oasis, complete with a sizeable pool and a lounge area full of hammocks and comfy chairs, the perfect place to get away from it all.
Former New Yorkers Brandon and Lilah Park moved to Costa Rica in 2007 looking for a hotel to own and manage. After scouring the country for locations they decided on Sámara, a beach town that charmed them with its authenticity and relatively small size. The couple bought the already established Entre Dos Aguas, intending to preserve its reputation of quality and value.
“What we have to offer for the price range is extremely competitive,” Brandon said. “The place is very unique and tends to offer just a little bit more.”
Rooms with a double bed start at $40, larger rooms with two double beds or a queen are $45, and the treetop suite, with a kitchen and balcony, is $75.
Because of the pricing, the hotel sees a huge range of travelers, from backpackers looking for a break from hostels to wealthier travelers looking for a deal.
“We get people who are looking for value,” Brandon said.
Tropical plants cover the front of the property leading up to the handmade, wooden spiral staircase. The rooms were designed with nature in mind, from the hardwood furniture to the conch shells lining the shelves. The rustic theme continues into the bathrooms with the incorporation of cave-like, stone showers that make guests feel as if they are showering in a waterfall.
The rooms are simple but small touches, such as reading lights and candles, give them a cozy feeling. Though it gets hot at night, the well-placed fans compensate for the lack of the air conditioning in the building.
In addition to the pool and lounge areas, the hotel’s main lobby also features a shared kitchen and self-serve drink fridge stocked with beer and soda, which operates on the honor system. “We get a lot of long-term and repeat guests,” Brandon said. “I think the main reason for that is that you can be very self-reliant here.”
While not comparable to a high-end hotel, Entre Dos Aguas seems to elevate simplicity to an art.
“We are just happy when our guests are happy,” Brandon said. “We like it when people say that they want to come back.”