My family and I recently returned from a month-long stay at Casa Roja. It is as beautiful and interesting as the pictures and description state. We are a family of four with two small children and had guests join us on and off throughout our stay. I believe the house will appeal most to well traveled folks who appreciate and like being off the beaten path a bit.
The five stars are given because of the lovely grounds, pool, great staff, stunning views (on clear days) and the remote wildness which appeals to me. The house does have some draw-backs and they should be noted, not to discourage visitors but to have a better idea of the pros and cons and if this is the best fit for you as a traveler. There are bugs, lots of them and this is coming from a very non-squmish women who has lived in Africa. My only advice is to get over it. You are in the jungle and this is their territory. Buy a book of native insects and let budding entomologist do their thing. There are four dogs on property, all are sweet and loving but you must like dogs to enjoy your stay here. At night when the world around you gets very dark and the chorus of wild sounds emerge I enjoyed having the dogs around.
The house is a good 15 minutes from town, a car is a must and you will enjoy your stay more if you come with a bit of a food plan in mind. San Juan has lots of bars and restaurants and many have nightly specials and happy hours, early in your stay get to know the best deals and work your evening plans around them. Sanchez is a little corner store in town (two locations) and you can pick up most of your groceries there (you will pay slightly more than at the big super market, but the super market is a bit sparse).
We took a few side trips and it was a real treat to pack a small overnight bag and leave the big suitcases at Casa Roja. I highly recommend Ometepe (Hotel Villa Paraiso) and Granada (La Gran Francia), 2-3 nights in each location should give you a good look around.
We loved our adventure in Nica and hope to return!