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“My favourite place in Costa Rica ever”
Review of Rancho Margot

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Rancho Margot
Certificate of Excellence
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Reviewed 30 August 2014

We stumbled upon this little magical ranch almost by accident. My aunt, Uncle, cousin and I were traveling from Quepos to Arenal and we decided to stop at a restaurant in Jaco, the name of which I don't remember. My aunt and uncle began to chat with the waitress(an American ex-patriate), who, when she she learned we were traveling to Arenal and La Fortuna, recommended we stay at Rancho Margot, a little self sustainable eco resort about 30 minutes from La fortuna.
After five hours of the bumpiest roads I've ever experienced, we arrived at Rancho Margot around 5:30 pm with no expectations at all. We literally didn't know what this place was. It was dismal weather, pouring rain, and quite chilly for CR. We walked from the parking lot towards the little pathway labeled "recepcion" and I could see fairy lights emanating from the hotel.One thing I've learned while traveling: if there's fairy lights, it's probably an amazing place.
The four of us walked to the reception and were greeted by a receptionist and Juan, the owner. He greeted us kindly and then took us to see the bungalows. Almost instantly a beautiful golden retriever called Ginger began following us. This trend remained our entire stay here.
When we saw the bungalows we knew we'd be staying here. Light and airy, with a hammock hanging and a stunning view of the rain forest. Another thing; if there's also a hammock, it's without a doubt, an amazing place. Juan told us all about why and how he started Rancho Margot. It's a pretty awesome story. I don't want to spoil it so you should go there just to find out.
We booked for one night, planning to leave in the morning after breakfast. Everyone working there urged us to stay for lunch and a tour. We insisted we had to be in Liberia for the afternoon; we had a plane to catch the next day.
We then got ready and went to dinner. It was amazingly delicious. I loved the pizza and salads and the soup for the starters. I didn't think it could get any better than that. Then i ordered a pineapple juice. This wasn't any normal pineapple juice. It was cut from the tree and made that day. It tasted like heaven. Our meals came, after a bit. Wow. wow wow. It was some kind of chickpea and spaghetti pasta, that I loved. After came desert; a little sour chocolate ball thing. It tasted excellent. What a truly lovely evening. Ginger the dog stayed by our table the whole time.
Afterwards we went back to our rooms for the night. The beds were comfy and honestly, that was one of the best sleeps of my life. Ginger slept outside our room the whole night. I think it was my uncle, all animals seem to gravitate towards him. Another thing about hotels, if they have dogs, they're gonna be one of the best hotels you ever go to. Dogs+fairy lights+hammocks=perfect.
My cousin and i awoke early for 7:00 am yoga. We were the only two that morning and it took us ages to find, but when we did, we were so glad. It's situated by the pond in a big open air room. The yoga instructor's name i can't remember, but it was awesome all the same. I love yoga and i am so happy i got this experience. It was incredibly serene and peaceful. You must do this.
After, my uncle and aunt found us for breakfast, which was rice, beans, eggs and fruit. It was tasty and refreshing. We then did the ranch tour, which was exhilarating and fascinating. I loved the ethical, sustainability of the place. The tour guy, i can't remember his name either, was knowledgeable and educated. The conditions of all the animals was pretty good and i liked how they make their own energy and fruits and veggies. I am a vegetarian and my aunt is vegan, so if we're satisfied, that's how you know this place is a good choice if you're also interested in ethical eating. The pigs and cows have lots of time to walk around outside and be free. They're not locked away and unhappy. This is a wonderful place to be.
The grounds here are stunning. It shocked us all to know that just 10 years ago, the whole place was rainforest-less and barren. It's so lush and magical now. The gardens all smelled divine. It was such a pure place to be. We loved the pools, they were so pretty and interesting to look at.
After the tour, they made us early lunch since we had to be on our way. This was a squash chickpea meal. I guess they had a lot of chickpeas. i enjoyed it especially the squash soup and the salad. It was insanely fresh. None of us wanted to leave.
We had to go afterwards, saying goodbye to everyone who made our little vacation so wonderful. I will 100% percent be back here in the future, whether with my parents or as a volunteer I don't know yet, but i do know I have to come back. Thank you to everyone again!

Room Tip: Bungalows are great for families and bunkhouses are good for youths or travellers.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank olivia p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Travis D, Public Relations Manager at Rancho Margot, responded to this reviewResponded 17 November 2014

Thank you so much for your incredibly thorough, kind and honest review. It was such a pleasure to have you here with us and Ginger was so sad to see you leave! Wishing you all the very best :) ¡PURA VIDA!

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119 - 125 of 320 reviews

Reviewed 8 August 2014

Rancho Margot is a special place in a unique area of the world. I visited upon recommendation of some ex-pat friends from Guancaste and was not disappointed. Our group was two kids (ages 6 and 8), me and my mother in law. All had a great time, even with the constant rains due to El Nino (I have taken to calling El Nino "El Bastardo"!). Some specifics:

1. Food. Food is served cafeteria style, and prepared as much as possible with RM's own produce, dairy, eggs and pork. Some dishes are very creative, some are average, but there is plenty of food for all, and very kid-friendly. Mine found a new favorite in their cabbage salad! If there are groups of students there when you are visiting, try to get in line ahead of them because they are like locusts, these hungry teens! But cute. As a mom, I particularly loved seeing young people embrace the rustic environment with enthusiasm.

2. Wi-fi. In the office only, but strong.

3. Rooms. Typical for mid-to-higher end eco-lodges. Rustic, simple, and during the rainy season, damp. Supplied with their own soap made onsite (if reviewer who noted with disdain the "unwrapped" soap had bothered to take the ranch tour, he/she would have known this). Beds comfortable, supplied with mosquito netting, porches very relaxing, complete with hammock.

4. Warm pool. Cute, fun, small, covered (nice during rain!). We did not experience the cold pools due to the rain issues, but they look nice. This is not a resort, do not expect an acre sized turquoise clorinated monster. It's rustic and mysterious, my kids LOVED it.

5. Grounds. Charming (green roofs on buildings), well marked, well laid out, minimalist. Small playscape next to dining area was a nice surprise.

6. Yoga. Complimentary with your stay, I appreciated the "restorative" style and location (covered open air space some distance from the main lodge, next to a small lagoon and river). One of the highlights!

7. Ranch tour. Don't skip this! It's complimentary, and very educational. A must do, especially if you have kids. Mine learned about hydro-electricity, methane gas capture, soap making, and other things important to an integrated farm (gardens, composting, chickens, pigs, cows, all in excellent condition). We met some volunteers in the greenhouse, and also met a man who was making pottery in the local style and let my girls try their hand at it.

8. Horseback riding. We rode uphill to the lookout and while the ride was a rainy slog in the mud (my poor mount was heaving and needed to take breaks), it was worth it. One of the best views I've experienced in Costa Rica.

9. Value - I felt that, particularly given the included tour and yoga, as well as food, Rancho Margot was a great value.

Overall notes and tips: don't come here if you are a "Four Seasons addict." There are plenty of posh resorts for you where you can be pampered and comfortable at all times. This one is for people who want a more integral experience, complete with moderate challenges like clothes not drying quickly. I also would not bring toddlers here unless you are of the Hippie Adventure Family variety. Lots of rocky paths, steps, porches, natural hazards, etc. Great for kids 4 or 5 and up, though. Bring more clothes than you think you need, and of the quick dry type if possible, also a light rain jacket. Keens/water shoes are helpful. Flashlights also a good idea. Bug spray a MUST.

All in all, a great experience, and I hope to return!

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank LauraMAustin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Travis D, Public Relations Manager at Rancho Margot, responded to this reviewResponded 22 August 2014

Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to write such an extensive report of your experience at Rancho Margot. We so appreciate your kind words and thorough information about your experience here. We sincerely hope to see you again in the future, and wish you all the very best. ¡PURA VIDA!

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Reviewed 5 August 2014 via mobile

My husband and I spent four days at Rancho Margot. We participated in a number of activities offered at the resort including kayaking the lake near the volcano and hiking to the waterfall. We were the only two on both excursions. Our guide was fantastic about stopping to show us wildlife such as glass wing butterflies, toucans, and
monkeys.

The food was delicious and prepared fresh each day. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Rancho Margot as it is a small resort. If you want quiet paradise, this is it!

  • Stayed: March 2014
    • Value
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3  Thank Big-Texas-Family75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Travis D, Public Relations Manager at Rancho Margot, responded to this reviewResponded 6 August 2014

Thank you for your recent visit to Rancho Margot and for taking the time to write about your experience. We are so glad to read that you enjoyed your time with us and saw such an abundant amount of wildlife with one of our guides! It is quiet and it is paradise, and we are so happy that we got to share it with you and your husband. ¡PURA VIDA!

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Reviewed 30 July 2014

Unless you're part of a high school or college tour group or writing a term paper on sustainability, this is not the place to spend precious Costa Rica vacation time. As previous reviewers mentioned, the online photos paint a beautiful picture, but reality is completely different. We went expecting the experience to be rustic and authentic, but we didn't expect constant power outages, no hot water, never enough food for all guests (get to the buffet first--it won't be good, but at least it's filling). Everything was damp from the minute we arrived to the minute we left--the floors of our bungalow, the "dry" towels, our clothes hanging in the closets, the hammocks, and the windows and walls inside our bungalow were running with condensation. And you know what all that dampness means, right? Mosquitos and lots of them. The foul-smelling mosquito nets over the beds won't make any difference. They're everywhere, and we were all covered with bites within hours of arrival. As there's no store on the premises or nearby, if you're out of bug repellant, you're out of luck.

The "hot" pool was in dank, poorly-lighted area with an empty, broken pool bar next to it. The cold pool, which is a basin to catch river water, as 4 inches of water, and plenty of silt. We were told it was closed for cleaning, but we never saw anyone tending to it, and it never got any cleaner or filled up. The yoga classes were excellent, thanks to Jocelyn, and the Ranch tour is not to be missed.

Yes, the staff was welcoming, but nobody seemed to be older than 25, and there was certainly no one in charge. I love the mission the Ranch fulfills, but unless you're looking for the most basic conditions, it's not the place for a relaxing vacation. At 45 minutes from the nearest town, you're going to be spending a lot of time at the Ranch, and you need to know what you're really getting into. And don't go without your waterproof jacket, galoshes or hiking boots (you'll slide all over the muddy, slick floors of the common areas without them) and an umbrella.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank PureVida214
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Travis D, Public Relations Manager at Rancho Margot, responded to this reviewResponded 1 August 2014

Thank you for taking the time to write about your experience at Rancho Margot. As difficult as these sometimes are to read, we understand and appreciate your feedback and would like to take a moment to address a few aspects of your review.

It is true that during your visit we were at the absolute height of student travel season. This is the case with the entirety of Costa Rica during the month of July. We totally recognize that it changes our guest experience which is usually tranquil and serene here at Rancho Margot, and this is why we address this about the month of July on our website. After this last month, we have already made decisions to minimize the number of student groups we work with next summer to eliminate any further problems. That said, it will forever be a very important aspect of the Ranch to educate and explore sustainable with young travelers. We are sincerely sorry if you felt neglected or uncomfortable amidst the mayhem of the student groups who were here during only one night of your three-night stay.

As was just now addressed in a previous post, it is worth noting that in 2014 that we received 4 meters of rain during the month of July. We typically receive about 8 meters of rainfall each YEAR. It was a deluge. It could be compared to hurricane type conditions for most businesses, during which we dealt with every problem, trying to keep our guests comfortable and safe. The soil was so saturated that water was actually going UP pipes that effected electricity over the course of two days. Two days that you were here, we are sorry to say. During that timeframe it was on and off a few times, but never absent for more than an hour and we were constantly working to fix it. We are completely off-the-grid and at times, that means we have to deal with the natural elements ourselves because there is no electricity company coming to help us.

With 5 consistent weeks of rain in the rainforest, everything is wet and/or at the very least damp, no question. With the excessive rainfall, it also brought with it for the first time in 10 years, an insect (Anthocoridae: Minute pirate bug) that we were previously unfamiliar with. It bit and it hurt. We didn't like it either. It is part of the rainforest, which must be understood and on some level, welcomed and accepted. We realize how this can impact our guest reviews, but we also recognize that we live, all the time, in the middle of the rainforest.

The open-air “warm" pool (per website) is covered and dimly lit in an attempt to make it invisible from wildlife in the area. At times of the year, you can lean against it’s edge and see congo monkeys in the trees of the mountain across the pond. The bar within is actually not broken in any way, but is simply used only for groups and events. Given the immense amount of sand and debris coming down the river that actually fills the cold pool, if we were to plug it and let it fill, it would become a sand pit within hours. As such, it makes sense only to keep the lower drain open so that everything flows directly through it.

We would also like to make other readers aware that we completely understand how weather can affect the attitudes and experiences of our guests. You’re on vacation!! It was raining every day… and after a few days, you want to get out of here and go to the beach. We get it. When you stopped by the Front Desk to inquire about leaving one day early, we completely understood and offered that we would refund you completely for that last night. You later decided not to leave.

Maybe one day you’ll come back and visit us not in July’s student zone, and not in the middle of a time that we’re dealing with the ramifications of El Niño and weather over which we have zero control. We have a pretty amazing eco-lodge here as is realized in the 170+ reviews over the last several years, and it saddens us that not everyone gets to experience that.

Best wishes to you and your family.

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Reviewed 29 July 2014

My family travelled from July 16th-28th. We wanted places to stay that would capture the authentic costa rican experience and Eco-friendly lodges. I decided on RanchoMargot for a three night stay in the middle of our 13day trip. I knew it would be more rustic than our other more higher end Eco-lodges that we were staying in but I really liked the website pictures, other reviews, value (food included, onsite tours), CNN video, and their commitment to the environment.

Once I arrived I realized that the website, facebook, newsletter world that they promote is far from reality. I stayed one night as that was all my family could deal with and checked out the next day by 11am to stay in another location in Arenal. Here are the specifics:

Upon check-in at 4pm we were greeted at the front desk by two older teenagers, basically kids. I knew the ranch had many volunteers but to have "kids" running the front desk seemed odd. The head one, Steve, basically told me at the outset he didn't know why he was in charge up there since he was new to the ranch. Steve takes us to our bungalow without giving us an introduction the common areas, buffet, bar, eating area, so-called pools, ranch map, etc.. It's a pretty big place and an introduction to the physical space would have been welcomed. They do offer a ranch tour but that is more based on ranch operations, they needed to do a quick 15 min introduction to what I will be utilizing during my stay.

We get to the bungalow and very pretty from the outside, just like online pictures. Once we get inside it smells like grandmas cedar closet with a major touch of mildew. Just gross, especially when we learn there are no screens on any doors or windows so you cannot get fresh air at night. He specifically said to keep close or bugs/creatures will invade. Great....I knew the conditions were rustic but this felt like a barrack from WW II. We had a queen bed set up with two separate twin beds. No separate lights for the twin beds, no little night stand between the two beds. Once I saw the bathroom, I understood why there are no pictures of it online. Below average at best. Needs a major renovation for sure. Soap wasn't even wrapped, previously used Maybe it's being recycled for use between room occupants? No shampoo, just a used bar of soap. Each bed had one thin pillow, and mattresses were old and well past life expectancy. Again, rustic and value do not have to mean this low level of accommodations.

We try to make the best of it, and head down to dinner buffet. It's takes awhile to figure out the place but we make it to the common areas and there's about 25-30 young teen travelers (know I see how having the "bunkhouse" can work against the other ranch occupants) by bringing in these young student groups. When we were there, Steve told us that they had 2-3 groups like this staying over. They were taking up almost every seat in the areas using the Internet on their cell phones. Some are over heard swearing, acting like fools oblivious to the other ranch occupants. At 6:30 they all race to the buffet, and my family and I grab a seat in the bar that when emptied looks pretty charming. The problem is the location is right next to the stables, and yes, like an other reviewer did mention (I wish I listened) you do smell horse poop as you are trying to enjoy your favorite drink. Second gross out. Just when you think your relaxing all the students cone rushing back with their food to the bar area where none of them can have a drink anyway. There are common tables set up for eating. Why are they not using them? Because the bar (without the smell). Is probably the best place to be in the whole place. To get away from the madhouse insanity we go to check out the hot and cold pools. The hot pool was ok but this is costa rica who want to be inside a building to swim. The cold pools use the muddy river water and were not even filled with water. They were filled with silt, vegetation, and sand. Disappointing for sure.

We head back for eats thinking the madness of the buffet must be over. The buffet is almost devoid of food (vegetables, fruit, rice, dessert) The hot trays are still full as the product sits and steams, and steams, and steams....you get the point. What was available was overcooked. I thought they had all these ranch volunteers helping manage the situation. Some things were replaced, but most were not. Now I understood why the students all went rushing when it opened. The buffet drinks included the most watered down juice ever and water. There famous pizza was slightly edible but the 14 in size pizza was replaced maybe every half hour, and most kids grabbed the whole thing, bringing out to other friends in bar area. Our dinner consisted of waiting to go see if more food was brought out, which usually resulted in someone in my family coming back and saying no. I didn't think vacation would turn into a survivor show. The breakfast the next day was laughable. Grey scrambled eggs, toast that became moist sitting in the steaming pans, and rice and beans. Same old watered down juice as well. No meat was served. I thought they have pigs on this farm.

After our first nights sleep in the mildew-cedar closet smelling bungalow, we woke up with a tremendous amount of bug bites. Remember, this place is locked up tight. You can't open up anything at night. Were the bugs flying, crawling, living in the linens, Who knows?? We had been in costa rica for five days and hardly had any bites, hadn't needed to use bug spray at all. At this point we said, let's take back our once in a lifetime vacation and get out of here. I had my travel agent book another spot pronto. We told Steve we were out and he acted like it's happened before that people had left. I knew I would lose the money I spent on the other 2 nights, but that shows you how bad I couldn't stay at this place.

In summary, actually could be a ok place if service went up a couple of levels, better food, a server who watches and fills buffet as needed, screens on bungalows, new bathrooms, soap that's not used, adults managing the younger workers who don't have a clue concerning hospitality. I ignored the couple of bad reviews thinking the the good reviews tilted it much more in favor of a good place to stay. Don't you make my mistake. If you love backpacking on a small budget and are just happy to be in costa rica so nothing else matters then this place maybe for you.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank JazzyJay76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Travis D, Public Relations Manager at Rancho Margot, responded to this reviewResponded 1 August 2014

Thank you for taking the time to write about your experience at Rancho Margot. We empathize with your situation and experience, especially because we completely understand the conditions during the time that you were here, all of which were not outlined clearly in your extensive review. In explaining, we may shed some light on the situation for people unfamiliar with Rancho Margot Eco-Lodge. In doing so, we will gladly address every aspect of your email to minimize any margin of misunderstanding.

During your one-night stay at the Ranch, the conditions (thank you, El Niño!) were akin to a business staying open during a category 5 hurricane. In fact, we see that in early June you wrote on a TripAdvisor forum inquiring about the effects of El Niño. To point out the obvious, you witnessed some of those effects during your stay at Rancho Margot.

Please understand that on average, we receive approximately 8-meters of rain each year. During the month of July 2014, we received 4-meters of rain. It rained every day for 5 weeks. Everything was wet, and if you combine that with the humidity of the rainforest you have a drastic increase in insects and mosquitoes. As I’m sure you can understand, we are unfortunately not able to control the weather and this is quite clear on our website and really, any website search as it relates to visiting any part of Costa Rica.

For the first time in our history (nearly 10 years) we were swarmed with Anthocoridae (Minute pirate bugs) which are just now starting to disappear. They bite, and they hurt. They get into your room by day and wait for you until night. They do not carry dengue, luckily, and are not harmful. They are just a nuissance! You must please understand that this, too, is not something that we have control over. Insects are a natural, and sometimes inconvenient, part of the rainforest, which we do not deny whatsoever on our website. In fact, at present we are working on a thorough inventory of the insects, snakes and wildlife that you may encounter while at our property.

In an effort to minimize these pesky insects, and has been outlined in a previous review, we use organic mountain microorganisms as a natural insecticide in the common areas. This spray has a certain fragrance, but it is far preferable to harsh and harmful chemicals. The smell of microorganisms is often mistaken - especially by those who don’t learn about it during a Ranch Tour - as barn odor. It is not. You may have noticed that our stables were empty 99% of the time because all of our horses live at pasture. They are only in the stables for less than 10minutes at a time (and even then, only if it’s raining) to get tacked up before a horseback adventure tour.

The minimum age for volunteers at Rancho Margot is 23 years old - college graduates. None of the people that you encountered upon check-in or working in Reception were volunteers. Our volunteers, at present, all work in the gardens and instruct our daily yoga classes. As you may recall, the closest village to the Ranch is La Fortuna, which is a 45-minute drive. We employ Costa Rica nationals of varying ages (no teenagers, actually), and do often find ourselves working with younger staff who have no family that they have to return home to daily, which is ideal given our remote and distant location. We agree that a brief introduction to the space upon arrival is necessary and is something that is typically offered while bags are being taken to bungalows. That this did not happen for you is unfortunate and it is also worth noting that Steve was on a trial period, which unfortunately, did not work out.

Our bungalows are positioned as privately within our rainforest as possible, without putting anyone at risk. They are hardly comparable to a WWII barrack, which many would find extremely offensive. They are rustic, authentic and exactly what is depicted on our website including all furniture that was hand-crafted here at the Ranch. There are no screens on the bungalows in an effort to maximize airflow, which screens prevent. Our soaps are handmade here at the Ranch, which is outlined in the guided Ranch Tour that you did not take. They are not wrapped in an effort to minimize paper waste, but also because they go directly from finished production to the bungalows. In looking at the 170+ reviews we have received over the last several years, the majority of them specifically express the amazing sleep and comfort that our guests find while staying in our bungalows. In fact, bungalow 16 (your bungalow) is one of the absolute favored of all the bungalows for its size, location and views. Perhaps the extreme weather conditions played a role in clouding many moments of your experience, which is unfortunate, but understood.

We do not deny that dinner service was difficult during the weekend of your visit. As is addressed on our website in Question & Answer, July is the absolute height of student travel and we host a number of educational programs from around the globe. We try to be as transparent about this as possible by even listing those student programs on our Upcoming Events calendar for guests to see before booking. Unfortunately, not everyone does and thus, some people are negatively impacted by the energy of these large groups when they are unexpected and unwelcome. That said, there was always food available and the food was always fresh. There is a constant rotation of food during all meal services to ensure its freshness. In serving over 100+ students at the same time, it was difficult to “keep up” and that we recognize and apologize for. It it without question our greatest concern and biggest regret in thinking that anyone who visits Rancho Margot walks away hungry. We pride ourselves on farm-to-table production and strive to ensure we are providing the very best to our guests. We have already agreed to downsize the number of groups here next July, and are sorry to know that guests like yourself were negatively impacted. Truly.

We do have pigs at the Ranch, who supply us regularly with pork for lunch and dinner. We do not see meat as a necessity for every meal. We are ever appreciative of the meat we receive from the pigs that we do slaughter at Rancho Margot, and we are very conscious of that number in regards to our sustainable future. Breakfast is always extensive and covers every aspect of a healthy diet: farm fresh eggs (perhaps they are not as neon yellow as chemical-ridden eggs?), gallo pinto, french toast, pancakes, fresh homemade breads, homemade fruit jams, farm fresh yogurt, granola, a variety of fresh fruits, coffee, tea and orange juice.

Our warm pool is covered, yes, as it depicted in all photos on the website. We are in the middle of the rainforest. In an effort to be energy conscious, we like to maintain the temperature of the warm pool without it filling with cold rainwater. Further, we like to minimize the chance of it filling with organic rainforest debris, bird droppings and the like. The cold pool was empty because of the immense amount of dirt being brought down river this month. If we were to attempt to stop and fill it in this time, it would within a day turn into a pool of sand. This is what makes it a “natural cold pool” as written on our website.

Regarding your decision to leave, it should be made clear that only your original reservation was for three nights. Before your arrival to Rancho Margot your travel agency had already modified your booking to a two-night stay with us. Your decision to leave means that you left one-day early. Upon making that decision, we agreed to refund 50% of that night’s value to your travel agent. If this was not made clear to you we certainly apologize once again, but considering that you booked your stay with a travel agent, any refund to you should be coordinated by that respective travel agent.

In closing, and to be very, very honest and sincere: we understand your point of perspective and take your comments very seriously. We appreciate your taking the time to write what you thought necessary for others to know in advance of coming, but we wish we could have discussed some of these issues with you to better explain the situation. What is depicted within your review is very one-sided and not the full picture of what was happening during your less than 24 hours on-site. We strive to ensure the comfort and satisfaction of all of our guests and above that, we are very transparent and always want to be completely honest with our guests and audience. I hope this post serves as evidence of that.

Best wishes to you and your family.

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Reviewed 6 July 2014

We stayed four nights at the rancho, and it was one of the highlights of your 5 weeks in Costa Rica!

The place is really special, and partly because of the wonderful friendly and helpful people there. The staff is so kind and makes you feel at home, and the volunteers working there are also friendly and full of tips about what to do and see.

There was room to play for our kids – both physically and mentally – the yoga sessions for us were fantastic, we went on a very nice horseback ride only for us with our guide Jonathan and Oscar did a great tour around the gardens and explained us their work with sustainability.... The list goes on!

The only thing that wasn't all the way up there – and on the same level as everything else – was the food. Don't get me wrong: It was really good, and made from their own produce, but over the cause of 4 days it came to feel a bit unvaried and anonymous in taste.

The place and the people are without a doubt 5 stars!
We would recommend it to any family and we would love to go there as a couple as well next time! Go go go!

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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2  Thank DanielGjoede
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Travis D, Public Relations Manager at Rancho Margot, responded to this reviewResponded 9 July 2014

Thank you so much for taking the time to write about your experience at Rancho Margot, Daniel. It was an absolute pleasure to have you and your family here with us. We are so lucky to have such incredible staff, and it is with guests like your family that they truly get to excel. Thank you also, for your feedback about the food during your stay. We try our hardest to always create a fresh and delicious offering for each meal using locally grown products where possible. To read that it felt "unvaried" certainly gives us incentive to improve and become more creative with our meals. Best wishes to you and your family now and always, and we sincerely hope to see you again in the future. ¡PURA VIDA!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 June 2014

I lead a yoga retreat to Rancho Margot. It was my first yoga retreat, first time to Costa Rica and first time to Rancho Margot and I couldn't have been more pleased on every level The staff was excellent and attentive in so many ways. The ranch was stunning. The transportation to and from the resort was seamless.
Every student had a "trip of a lifetime" From the beautiful settings, to the fun excursions to the AMAZING food.
There were very small glitches (one bungalow had a small leak-but they were moved immediately) but everything was handled with such ease that we never thought about it again. I will return with my family and with another retreat, I know it. Can't say enough about this experience.

Room Tip: I stayed in Bungalow 16 and it was very convenient to the dining hall and front desk.
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Kimberlea C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Travis D, Public Relations Manager at Rancho Margot, responded to this reviewResponded 1 July 2014

Thank you so much for taking the time to write about your experience at Rancho Margot! It was an absolute pleasure to host your retreat and we are so grateful for the incredible energy that you and your group brought to the Ranch. We sincerely look forward to meeting your family one day, as well as future retreats with you. ¡PURA VIDA!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rancho Margot

Address: 3km beyond El Castillo | La Fortuna de San Carlos, El Castillo, Arenal Volcano National Park 05274, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > El Castillo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 Speciality Lodging in El Castillo
Price Range: £99 - £277 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Rancho Margot 3*
Number of rooms: 57
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
ALL RESERVATIONS AT RANCHO MARGOT INCLUDE DAILY BREAKFAST, LUNCH AND DINNER FROM OUR CHEMICAL-FREE GARDENS. ADDITIONALLY, 2-HOUR GUIDED RANCH TOUR AND TWICE DAILY YOGA CLASSES ARE INCLUDED WITH EVERY OVERNIGHT STAY.On the hills of Rancho Margot, you will find our 17 deluxe bungalows. The Caño Negro river whisper will guide you to the most peaceful rest possible, only to wake up the next day with the loud call of the howler monkeys. Hidden in our botanical gardens are bungalows, equipped to house couples or families of up to 4 people. Each bungalow has its own terrace on which you may enjoy the incredible view while relaxing on your hammock with a great book. Bungalows feature Orthopedic mattresses and are available with two queen beds or one queen bed and two singles. Additional amenities include mosquito netting, rocking chair, table & chairs, and handmade soaps. Each bungalow is equipped with a private bathroom with shower.Our vision is to protect our sustainable rainforest facility but also to make it an educational playground for adults and children alike, where we can inspire a new generation of global citizens to continue ‘closing the circle.’Rancho Margot is a family enterprise where everyone is welcome. We’re living our dream, and we invite you to join us. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rancho Margot Hotel Arenal Volcano National Park
Rancho Margot Costa Rica/El Castillo

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