We've received lots and lots of questions about the rental house we stayed in during our vacation to Costa Rica, so I'd like to share a little tour of the house as well as talk a little bit about our experience renting while abroad.
It was really important to us to find a house that could comfortably fit our entire group (four couples), and we also wanted a space that was near the beach and also had a pool. The infinity pool at the Casa Blanca house was absolutely perfect. I also loved all the seating on the deck as well as the outdoor hammock just steps away from the pool. I spent time reading in the hammock and plenty of time swimming in the pool!
The house also had a great outdoor grilling area. We never ended up using the grill, but we did spend lots of time hanging out with each other in all the outdoor spaces. Costa Rica is just too beautiful of a country to spend all your time indoors. The house also had an outdoor shower that came in handy for rinsing off after returning from the beach or after getting out of the pool.
I have to admit that the floating staircase is probably the feature that pushed us all over the edge about this house (pun!). We looked at lots of different rental options while researching for our trip, but the architecture of this house was just stunning. It was easily the most beautiful (and fancy) house I have ever stayed in. I mean, look at the view from the stairs! The views around this house made the trip feel even more epic.
Here you can see the dining area and kitchen. One thing I love about using rentals like this is they often come with fully-stocked kitchens. This means you can cook dinners together if you want to stay in for a night, and you can save money by cooking your own breakfast or lunches and only going out at night. I much prefer making my own French toast to most hotel continental breakfast options. Just saying.
This house had three bedrooms with another room that could be used as a bedroom (which we did, since we had four couples). The master bedroom had this cute little deck attached to it. We drew numbers to see which couple got this room, and then switched halfway through the week. :)
We found and rented this house through HomeAway. It's a very similar service to Airbnb. I've personally rented through HomeAway while on group trips three times this past year (and I've booked one for a short trip to Seattle this July), and I've had a good experience every time. This was my first time to book one in another country, and at first I was pretty nervous about it. While researching for the trip, I had asked our friends at Mucho Mucho Bueno Bueno for any Costa Rica tips or hotel recommendations, as I knew they had been there before. They said they had used HomeAway to rent a house, and it was a better experience for them than any hotel, so I decided to give it a try. I am SO glad we did.
In case you're curious, our Costa Rica house was about $500 a night (I believe the price varies some based on what time of year you visit). Since it was a group trip, this cost got split up, making each couple's price per night $125, which is a pretty similar price to a standard hotel (maybe even a little cheaper than a hotel, depending where you are). So, for the price of a standard hotel, we all got to stay in an amazing house, have access to our own private pool, and have plenty of space to hang out together. This is why, for group trips, I just love rental houses over hotels when the option is available. If you're planning a group (or family) trip any time soon, I would highly recommend checking out rental houses in your destination's area. Thanks for letting us share. xo. Emma
Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman and Michael Solinger (the home owner). Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.