Destination Joy: 9 Tips to Identify Perfect (for you) Tamarindo Vacation Rentals

Casa Ventanas Tamarindo vacation rentals

When only an ocean-view pool will do, we call that a “must” in your search of Tamarindo vacation rentals. Pictured: The lovely Casa Ventana, a luxury vacation home set on a hillside in Tamarindo’s premier gated community.

Tamarindo vacation rentals are not created equal.

That’s not to say that some are better than others, but rather that some homes are suited to some guests and other homes are suited to other guests. Okay, and some are not suited to anyone. (We don’t list any of these, thankfully!)

This post is about all those lovely, sometime spectacular Tamarindo vacation rentals that might be suited to you: How can you pick from Luxury Home A and Luxury Home B, or Ocean-View Condo A and Ocean-View Condo B? How can you assess the possibilities and then identify the perfect vacation home for you?

Let’s start with what this: We’re going to leave out the super-obvious bits, like being sure to read every listing, in full, paying meticulous attention to the amenities list, and studying each photo in detail. Because we know you’ll naturally do those things.

What we will cover are some of the most important, yet not always considered details. They may look obvious – see Tip 1: Price Point – but we promise, there’s more to each than meets the eye. Here we go:

Tip #1: Choose Your Price Point

Villa Pacifica Tamarindo vacation rentals

You can find “perfect” at (almost) any price point. | Pictured: Villa Pacifica in Hacienda Pinilla, starting at under $250 per night

Why is it that cost is such a sticky subject? Numbers are numbers – right?

Well, yes, but money is often a point of contention, even between a couple. Add other paying vacationers – other couples, your family, family friends, etc. – and everyone has a finger in the pie. Do yourselves a favor and establish a budget before you start trading links of your favorite Tamarindo vacation rentals. That way, you won’t raise expectations to unrealistic levels.

Additionally, before you really start the formal home hunt, do search Tamarindo vacation rentals for your basic parameters, so you can get a feel for what’s available at what price. Even in a market as small as ours, weekly rates vary. Knowing that 4-bedroom homes start around $330/night and can eclipse $2,900/night gives you a better understanding of how widely-ranging vacation rental costs can be. Note : When you search, be sure to add your dates; weekly rates swing widely from peak season to low season.

Tip #2: Dial in on Location

When you look at Costa Rica on the map, it looks pretty small. And when you look at Tamarindo, well – we’re like a grain of sand on the beach of the world.

How could you everpick the wrong location ? Not possible, right? This place is too small!

That’s where you’re wrong. Greater Tamarindo – Tamarindo, Langosta, Avellanas, Hacienda Pinilla, Conchal, and even out to Flamingo – is one of Costa Rica’s most popular destinations. And, in many guidebooks, on many websites, and in many minds, this area is all “Tamarindo.” And yet, it’s not. (Note : Read more in our free Tamarindo travel guide.)

A local expert – and here at Stay in Tamarindo, we’re all local experts – will tell you that these towns are very different, each with a flavor and personality all its own. For example, downtown Tamarindo is a beachy mini-metropolis, filled with hotels and restaurants, bars and nightlife. It’s social, it’s fun, and it’s the place to be if you crave the place to be. But, if you’re after more chill-with-nature, views-for-days kind of Tamarindo vacation rentals, then you’re looking into the hills outside Tamarindo, down to Hacienda Pinilla, or one of greater Tamarindo’s quiet ocean-view and oceanfront communities.

Put simply, location, location, location! It’s not just for real estate purchase; location is king, when it comes to fulfilling your dream of the perfect vacation. So, do your research. Be specific about the vibe of where you want to stay. And then, be sure double-check with someone who knows.

EASY BUTTON!  Have questions? Want to dial-in on the best area for your group or family? If you’d like some guidance (or just some friendly advice), we’re happy to help. Just get in touchand our friendly in-house concierge, Cristina, will be happy to help.

Tip #3: Hash Out the Sleeping Arrangements

Casa Verano Tamarindo vacation rentals

Know your sleeping arrangements, before you begin the search. | Pictured: Casa Verano, a sleek and modern villa with private pool

If there’s any one concern that doesn’t get enough attention, it’s this: bedroom and bathroom arrangements. Because, it’s not just about the number of bedrooms, but also their bed arrangements and bathroom access.

For example, if you’re a family of four – two parents, a 14-year-old daughter, and a 10-year-old son – then you’ll probably look for a three-bedroom vacation home. But, if you can’t find one in the location you desire, at the price you require, then you’ll begin considering two-bedrooms: two-bedrooms with a total of three beds, specifically. And two bathrooms, most likely.

We know – that seems obvious. But, while many vacation home search filters allow for searching based on the number of bedrooms, few account for the number of beds. Or, when they do, sofa beds and air mattresses are included in the bed count. You’ll have to decide whether that works for your group, but the point is, be aware. And if it’s not immediately obvious, ask. That’s what the Inquire button/Contact Us page is for.

However and wherever you do your search, start with the basics: required number of beds, preferred number of bedrooms, and a minimum number of bathrooms.

Tip #4: Make a Must-Have List

We just espoused upon bedroom/bathroom arrangements for four paragraphs, so it should come as no surprise that your must-haves are important. Really. Vacation comes but once a year (if that): You shouldn’t have to compromise your needs when you’re on holiday.

So, now’s the time to enumerate your must-haves. And by you, we mean your entire group (anyone with voting power): What must your short list of Tamarindo vacation rentals have?

We’re moving beyond bedrooms/beds/and bathroom requirements here. We’re not even talking about a fully-stocked kitchen, because any quality vacation home will have that. We’re talking your bottom line ; what is of the utmost importance, to you ? It’s okay to have high expectations. If you know you can’t survive without air-conditioning and would forever regret not having an ocean-view swimming pool, then whole-home air-conditioning and an ocean-view swimming pool make the must-list. #NoShame

Tip #5: Now, Add Your Wants

Okay, so technically , air-conditioning and an ocean-view pool are not strictly needs. But, for the sake of finding narrowing down the many lovely Tamarindo vacation rentals, we’re sticking those in the needs column. In other words, if the home didn’t meet your “needs,” your vacation dreams would remain unfulfilled.

Wants are your lower-tier needs: these arethe amenities you’d really love to find, if possible. Again, your wants depend largely on you and your group, but often extend to items including high-speed WiFi, hot tubs, walking-distance to restaurants/bars, bedroom layout, private balconies, outdoor living space, and more. What amenities, features, and extras will add to your joy ?

Tip #6: Check for Annoyances

Villa Concha Tamarindo vacation rentals

Seclusion is the dream of many. | Pictured private beach path at Villa Concha, a beachfront vacation home

We love this tip, but maybe not for the reasons you think. Sure, yes – definitely check to see if recent reviews mention nearby construction noise or cracked pool. But, that’s not exactly what we’re talking about.

Have you ever heard the expression, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure? It’s definitely true, when it comes to Tamarindo vacation rentals. Let’s put it this way: If you’re in Tamarindo to enjoy the nightlife, you’d probably enjoy being just two blocks from eight restaurants and six bars. If you’re a honeymooning couple seeking total seclusion, that doesn’t sound so fun.

And, it’s not just about location : While a multi-generational family may love having a second master-bedroom on the living level (no stairs!), a young family may balk at having to sleep on a different level than their young children.

Unfortunately, annoyances are not always easy to suss out from a mere online listing. While it’s not impossible to do on your own, this is another reason a local property management company can be a big help : We’ve been to these properties and can help excavate the details, to discover whether any hidden annoyances are lurking behind a beautiful listing.

Tip #7: Consider the Reviews

A lot of advice will tell you to read all the reviews. We agree with that – to a degree.

Let’s start with why we agree: Reviews can be fantastic, if you read them . Don’t look merely at the star ratings, but really drill down on the reviews for Tamarindo vacation rentals that make your short list. Reading the full review – the five-stars and one-stars alike – can be one of the best possible indicators to whether the property delivers on what is promised. Remember, photos can be post-processed and words can be massaged, but traveler reviews are rarely either.

But, don’t base your entire decision on reviews. Well, at least, not on a lack of reviews. Because every home began somewhere; all vacation rentals were once unrated. What’s more, some negative reviews are very personal in nature – example: one reviewer dinged a home two stars because they didn’t like feeling isolated, but you may crave a secluded getaway! – so don’t bank on stars alone.

Tip #8: Bank on Reputation

Flamingo Blu Tamarindo Vacation Rentals

Reviews aren’t everything. (But they are something.) | Pictured: Flamingo Blu, set on a hillside that reaches down to the sand of Flamingo Beach

With a name like Stay in Tamarindo , it’s not hard to guess that this is what we do. We’re not going to plug ourselves for very long, but we do want to say this: As a local property management company, we’re in the unique position to vet every property on our site.

We visit the properties we list. We look inside drawers and peek under the beds. We speak with home owners. And we have [high] standards. In other words, the homes we list are hand-picked and curated Tamarindo vacation rentals. Even if a home is new to our site (and has zero reviews), we can assure you: It’s a real home. That’s really what it looks like. It meets our quality standards. We’d be happy to answer any questions you have. And you can rely on our reputation, if not on the home’s years of reviews. (Note: Many of our properties do have years of reviews. We’re just sticking up for the ones that don’t.)

Tip #9: Add Peace of Mind

The best Tamarindo vacation rentals include concierge services, transportation, and other add-ons. Why? Not only because we know most guests appreciate these things, but we also know that many guests need them.

Picture this: Your flight was delayed so you’re a few hours late arriving at Liberia International Airport. You’ve made it through Immigration, you’ve collected your luggage, and you’ve successfully passed through Customs. It’s been a long day and you’re tired. Are we there yet?!

Well, no – Tamarindo’s still 75-90 minutes away. And, here’s the catch: Due to your delay, your rental car is no longer available. Maybe it was rented to someone else or maybe you were so delayed, that the rental car pick-up is now closed. Either way, it’s now been a long day, you’re tired AND now, you’re frustrated. Now what?

Chances are low that this exact scenario will present itself upon your arrival to LIR. But, we savvy travelers know – the more you travel, the more likely it is you’ll run into snags. Avoiding those snags is key: Booking private airport transportation (they have your flight number, know when you’re delayed, and will wait!), having a rental car delivered to your home, making dinner reservations for your first night – this is what we call peace of mind.

FYI: Complimentary Concierge Services with our Tamarindo Vacation Rentals

When you book a stay with Stay in Tamarindo, you’re reserving more than just a great vacation home; your booking also includes FREE and full travel concierge services.

Cristina (aka Cris) is our wonderful, knowledgeable, and friendly in-house concierge. She not only knows greater Tamarindo like the back of her hand, but her job is to get to know you that well, too.

Here’s how it works: When you book with us, Cristina will soon get in touch. She’ll send you our welcome packet, which includes an intro to many of the most popular Tamarindo activities, tours, and attractions. Have a look. Get a taste of what Tamarindo has to offer. Start building your must-do and would-like-to-do lists.

Then, it’s time to get personal. Because Cris is not your standard travel agent: she doesn’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach. Her job is to get to know you, and know you well, so she can build your custom itinerary and suggest activities, tours, and attractions tailored to your specific interests, activity levels, and wish lists.

Even better? Our concierge services are absolutely and always free  for our guests. Relax, dream, and plan. We’ll take care of the details. Please get in touch for more information!