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“Wonderful place”

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Dantica Cloud Forest Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Schiedam
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Wonderful place”
Reviewed 9 June 2014 via mobile

We stayed 3 nights in Dantica and we enjoyed every minute of it. We stayed near the reception in a comfortable house with two bedrooms and large living room. Large windows with a nice view over the forrest.
It was the beginning of the wet season, so everything was dry inside. A pity this house had no jaccuzi as we expected from the brochure.
The 3 fireplaces (on gas) were cozy and sufficiënt to heat the room. The shower is solar heated, but in case of rain it is powered by normal electricity.
The restaurant is very good for diner, but the breakfast needs improvement. The quetzal tour with Carlos was very nice. This time of the year the quetzals were very easy to find on the roadside (nestig), but when the nest is empty I know Carlos does everything to find the bird for you.
Ineke, Jos and mother Ans

Stayed April 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank JosvdDool57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (85)
Date | Rating
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English first
St. Augustine, Florida
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 May 2014

This hotel is esthetically pleasing, but you must be prepared for a few things. We missed the ferry and called the number to the hotel ( and talked to a manager off site) who was informed where we were in our journey to get there. He promised he would keep the kitchen open for us so we could eat when we got there. We arrived after a treacherous ride over the mountain in the rain and in the dark at 9:45 pm. We had to bang on the windows to find someone to help us. The kitchen was closed and we were starving. We then proceeded to drag our bags ( this resort requires an overnight bag, which we didn't have) 1500 feet through the woods to our freezing cold cabin. There were 2 fireplaces in the beautiful room and a nice view of the stars; the bed was warm and the jacuzzi nice, but the room never did warm up. I had a bag of peanuts from the minibar for supper and was shocked when the manager charged me for the peanuts at checkout. So if you want to come to this resort, arrive early, pack an overnight bag and be prepared for a hike to your room...don't forget your bug spray!!!

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank riv72bsa67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dantica, Owner at Dantica Cloud Forest Lodge, responded to this review, 27 May 2014
Dear guests, I am sorry to hear about your experience, but I would like to comment on some points to explain it. We are a small hotel and have our own restaurant that is open between 7.00 AM and 9.00 PM (kitchen 8.00 PM). Since we are there for our guests we are very willing to wait a little for guests that arrive a little late (what our manager told you), but we cannot stay open until very late with three employees for only two guests. I understand it is not comfortable to drive through the foggy mountains and arrive that late at the hotel when everything is closed, but that was because you (unfortunately) missed the ferry. The fog at night is the reason why we recommend our guests to arrive before 5 PM and we have our luggage service also until 5 PM., which is also clearly mentioned on our website and in the reservation form I sent you. Of course there is no problem whatsoever arriving late, but can have some consequences that we are very clear about. By the way the gate is closed at the parking after 9.00 PM, but there is a bell outside. The room is cold indeed, we are at 2600 meters, and it is no problem at all to warm your Bungalow, even with one chimney (you had two), but it takes a little while between turning on the chimney and the room being warm; since you arrived that late I can imagine it just didn`t work for you. We have a mini bar with coffee and thee as a courtesy of the hotel, but all the other products have to paid for with a pricelist in our guest manual, so I see no reason why you were so shocked about those peanuts being charged. We dedicate a lot to personal attention, but I hope you understand that arriving late has the consequence that some services are closed, something that without a doubt influenced your experience, but is not our fault. Some rooms are rather far into the forest, we did that on purpose to give our guests the experience to be in the forest, even when you are inside your room. People that have walking problem, arrive late or just do not want to stay that far from the reception/restaurant can request a Bungalow near the reception, this is also mentioned in our reservation. But most guests just love to walk a little to their Bungalow: that is what they come for. We do have lots of insects and bugs around being in the midst of a primary cloud forest, but almost none bite, so repellent is not really necessary. I wish you would have made it earlier and not had to stay only one night, because I am certain that you would have loved the walk, the view from your room and the cozy chimneys in the evening, and I really hope you will have the opportunity to do so somewhere in the future. Best regards, Joost Wilms
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 May 2014

This may go a bit long, so let me get the key positive points up front. This is a gorgeously located lodge, beautifully built into the hills near the top of a stunning cloud forest valley above 2500 meters. The design is clever, and clean, the restaurant is solid and the overall vibe relaxed. The chance to see the resplendent quetzal is a unique and unforgettable thing, and could be reason enough for bird or nature lovers to visit this place on its own.

It's not all rosy though. My main concern with Dantica is staffing -- both the levels and the quality of it. There was really only one English-speaking staff-member during my stay. While he was fluent and nice, he was less than forthcoming about some important information and generally seemed loath to offer any more than precisely what was asked. He was not around early during breakfast, and would leave before guests finished dinner.

Our quetzal guide was similar. Though he was great at spotting quetzals, he was not overly friendly and provided a lone or few-word answers when prodded. The extent of information he gave on the birds was small and felt perfunctory.

You can't change personalities, but you can instil good traits in staff. Hopefully more effort can be made on that. Having English and a good knowledge base is great, but without a feeling of warmth, approachability and forthcomingness it's all kind of for nought.

A second but important issue is the cold and damp in the cabins. Yes it's the rainforest mountains, and yes early May is the start of the rainy season. This I knew going in. But there are ways for a lodge to be built to overcome some of that for the comfort of guests.

Dantica has chosen a quaint European solution to heating, using ethanol burning "chimneys" local next to the beds. Supposedly they burn clean enough not to require any ventilation, and they fit the lodge's strong focus on environmental sustainability. This is all good, but there are problems.

The stove in in our cabin had some kind of leak, which meant the fuel burned uncontrollably, leaping above the stove and scaring the hell out of my girlfriend and me. We only realized this before bed, long after the attendant had left for the night. There was probably someone at the lodge, but our cabin was 500 metres away, down a dark, hilly jungle trail, with no phone or cell signal. All we could do was wait until the fuel burned out. Afterward the cabin smelled strongly, and I was worried about carbon monoxide, though in a later email the owner assured me it was not a danger.

Apparently there was a phone located outside, not far from our cabin. Something which the attendant who checked us in failed to mention. Pretty important thing in the kind of isolated circumstances up there.

The next day they replaced the whole unit with one that worked. Good on them for doing that, nonetheless better maintenance should be done on those units.

When the stove works the room gets warm and comfy. The bathroom is a different story, with frigid floors and damp walls. One wonders if some form of electric heat, or ventilation might not be a grand idea, especially in the colder damper months.

The lodge offers various services for a fee, including a reasonable laundry service which was a godsend after days in the sweaty jungle and soaking rainforest. They also sold me some gas, which is important as the stations are few and far between up in the mountains.

The food at the restaurant was good. The selection is a continental take on local ingredients, though you can usually get a plate of 'comics tipica' if you want.

The lodge also includes a large gallery of local and Latin American art and handicrafts. It's much more than your usual gift shop. The only downside was there seemed to be no one available to talk about the items, some of which we really beautiful, but too pricey to buy without some context about who made them and what they are.

I am not writing this to slag Dantica at all. They have built a unique and beautiful lodge in a magical place unlike anywhere else I have been. This is just to note those few things that the ownership should focus on, and that potential guests should think about before they book.

Room Tip: If you are a first-time visitor and are at all worried about long walks down a trail at high altitud...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Vertovian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dorchester, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 May 2014

Dantica Lodge, San Gerardo de Dota – 3 out of 5
Perhaps we were getting complacent by the time we reached here or perhaps we just found the altitude too much - at nearly 3,000 metres it’s very high and drains your energy – but this wasn’t the best place we stayed in Costa Rica. Our cabin was 300 metres along a forest track from the restaurant and car park – quite an effort at times and I felt very guilty for my heavy suitcase which had to be carried all the way to our cabin. Also the ethanol heating (needed at night) was frankly scary and would never pass H&S regulations back home. Service in the restaurant very slow and inept although the food was good. The valley drops steeply away below the lodge which gives splendid views but means the forest paths on the estate are all very steep. We walked down the valley road instead – the pretty village is nearly 1,000 metres lower down (the lodge can arrange transport back up). However, the isolation of the cabins means you can relish your jacuzzi with the view and the birding was stupendous. Quetzals at dawn could be easily arranged, there’s a very long local list of endemics and rarities and local bird guides were good.

Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Dee365
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Elkins Park, Pennsylvania
1 review
Reviewed 5 May 2014

Dantica Lodge, an ecologically green property is a comfortable property in the heart of quetzal land. Local guides are available for your birding adventures. And when you return to property from a fabulous and wonderfully educational experience, exceptional cuisine awaits-- wheter it be breakfast, lunch or dinner. Rooms are comfortable and are a meld of "green" and current world comforts with television and WIFI available in rooms and the main lodge. Full length picture windows, and a private terrace/ porch make it a nature watchers paradise as well as a quiet place to just hold hands. Last but certainly not least is a room filled with Latin American art that is to enjoy and perhaps purchase. A most wonderful and memorable experience.

Room Tip: ask for a close room if you have issues with walking distance. Rooms can be a considerable hike fro...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank shesha51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nyack, New York
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 March 2014

Our room had a spectacular view even from the bathroom! Bird watching from the tub. Everything was bright and cheery. The food at the restaurant was the best eaten this trip to Costa Rica. The hike to our lovely cabin is only suited for fit travelers, but worth the climb.

Room Tip: Book a room near the lodge if you are older or unable to hike.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank cara k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St. Petersburg, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
96 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 March 2014

My family (myself, husband & kids 10 & 13) stayed at Dantica last week. While I knew there would be great birding, I was nervous about the cold - but it ended up being absolutely beautiful. Dantica is one of the first lodges on the road to San Gerardo de Dota. Some of the cabins are close the road and others you do have to walk to. We had a further one, but we loved being in the middle of nature with just the sounds of the birds! The trails around the lodge are wonderful and there are small bird feeders and bird baths in the forest (near seating areas) so you can hike or just sit and watch the birds. In addition to great birding we loved the good (breakfast was included and dinner was a la carte and reasonable). The place is very well run by the super-friendly Nico (manager) who is bi or tri-lingual. The rooms were very comfortable - kids were on a great pull out and we were on the main bed. It was nice just to read a book and take in the breathtaking view of the mountains. During the daytime it was great to be able to hike in the perfect weather (no sweating) and in addition to the trails at Dantica there is a cool hike at the bottom of the mountain to a waterfall. The kids loved it. At night the comforter was very warm and we lit the small heater easily. I can't wait to come back.

Room Tip: If you con't mind hiking take a further room, but if you want to be close to the reception and n...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Sternula
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Dantica Cloud Forest Lodge

Property: Dantica Cloud Forest Lodge
Address: 4 Km south of the entrance to San Gerardo de Dota, San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of San Jose > San Gerardo de Dota
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in San Gerardo de Dota
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Dantica Cloud Forest Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dantica Cloud Forest Lodge is an eco-boutique hotel, which was built between 2003 and 2008. Our hotel provides the following facilities; sleeping, restaurant, gallery, trails, tours and relaxing, combining quality and comfort in order to allow you to experience and enjoy the cloud forest in its purest form.The hotel is situated in the valley of San Gerardo de Dota. Inside the Los Santos Forest Reserve, on top of a hill with a breathtaking view and a private reserve that consists of 5 km of walking trails, Dantica is the closest hotel to the newly created Los Quetzales National Park. Nearby you can also find typical restaurants, trails, trout fishing, protected areas, National Parks and the Cerro de la Muerte, with its 3480 meters the second highest point in Costa Rica and with a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean and the volcanoes.The Dantica Cloud Forest Lodge consist of 8 Bungalows with a modern interior design and decorated with typical aspects of the Latin American culture, distributed in 7 Superior bungalows and one Suite, especially designed so you can enjoy contact with nature. All Bungalows have the following facilities: queen-sized beds with goose-feather duvets, Satellite television, ecological chimney working on ethanol, safe deposit box, minibar with fridge, coffee maker with coffee and tea as a courtesy of the hotel, table with chairs and a private terrace. In the bathroom you will find a Jacuzzi, towels, biodegradable soaps and shampoos, and a hair dryer.The 4-person Superior Bungalows have two bedrooms with private bathroom (one with Jacuzzi, one with shower), a terrace and a living room with a fully equipped open kitchen including stove and warm water.Our Deluxe Suite additionally has an additional fireplace working on wood and a private garden with trail in the forest. All our hot water is solar heated. The hotel distinguishes itself by its personalized attention, harmony with nature and respect for the environment. At the restaurant you can enjoy a breakfast, lunch or dinner a la carte. In our beautiful and large gallery you can buy art and handicrafts from Costa Rica and other Latin American countries.We have WIFI high speed internet service, and offer parking lots, playground for children, laundry service and tour packages with a certified bilingual guide. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dantica Cloud Forest Lodge And Gallery Hotel San Gerardo De Dota
Dantica Cloud Forest Lodge Costa Rica/San Gerardo De Dota

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