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“Lovely place, even in the off season - a bit rigid on their policies” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of La Cocotera Resort & Ecolodge

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La Cocotera Resort & Ecolodge
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Lovely place, even in the off season - a bit rigid on their policies”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 May 2013

My husband and I went to La Cocotera for a weekend while I was working in San Salvador for a couple of weeks. Ricardo and the driver met us at my hotel, and returned us there, which made it super easy to arrange--important for me given that I was working, and tired, and also given concerns which had been raised over security in El Salvador.

we were clearly in the off season, and the weather was a little bit oppressively hot and humid, but the place was still beautiful. We had a great time kayaking on the estuary, walking along the beach (the waves were a bit intimidating for us to do more than wade) and lying in hammocks on the beach. Most of the food was also excellent (I had a couple of things I wasn't in love with, but chose them largely because I don't eat shellfish--my husband never had a bad meal). We were the only people there, and with our beautiful room, it was nice to think of it as our own private resort.

My husband is a birder, and we enjoyed the natural bird life, as well as the parrots and the scarlet macaws that la cocotera has rescued and is working to reintroduce. Ricardo arranged a private tour of their aviary for us, and helped my husband get pictures of them in flight. we would love to come back another time when the turtles are ready to be released to see that.

My husband and I did get sick a few days later, which we think was from a stomach virus we picked up there, but it's hard to be sure, so I don't want to lay too much blame. My only other issue is that for such a small place (with us as the only guests), it seemed like the policies were a little rigid. Since we didn't have to be back in El Salvador that day, I asked to go back around 4pm. We were told that check out time was at 2, and we were welcome to hang out, but couldn't use our room after that point. This policy (with a substantial charge if you did get a late check out from the room) was posted in the rooms, so it was clearly an upper level management decision, and I didn't challenge it. Still, for a tiny place, at a time when it was clear that we were the only people there (and no one else was checking in that night) I wonder what it would have cost them to be a little more customer oriented.

Room Tip: we stayed in the estuary which was great for listening and watching for birds. The beach rooms look...
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank sarahmulca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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74 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (25)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
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  • Spanish first
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English first
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 May 2013

I loved this place! After spending 10 days exploring Belize & Guatemala we flew into El Salvador and spent a week at La Cocotera. Someone was waiting at the airport to take us to the resort so that was very helpful.

The resort itself is beautiful. It accommodates 12 people at any given time, there are 3 "Cabanas" with 2 units in each. They are spectacular! Big, clean, spacious, well laid out all with wonderful views.

Breakfast was a tasty buffet - fresh fruit, cereal, meats, cheeses, yogurt, granola. They offered 3 options for lunch and dinner, always with some traditional Salvadoran food, we enjoyed all the meals.

The black sand beach was beautiful and offers miles of beach to explore. We took their kayaks out and took an early morning paddle on the estuary. All of it was lovely. The first couple of nights there were 4 other guests there and the rest of the time we had the place to ourselves!

The cherry on top was releasing baby sea turtles into the pacific ocean at the end of our stay. Magical!

I would stay here over any all inclusive - we really enjoy laying by the pool, reading and listening to the sounds of the ocean and watching the geckos meander in the trees.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Kristen M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
21 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 May 2013

Very nice and beautifully decorated villas. Two of them facing the sea. Amazing view from the 1st floor rooms. You will find silence, peace and quiet as there are only 6 rooms in total. Staff is very friendly. Food is a little mixed, sometimes very good sometimes so-so... Beware of the very strong undertow in front of the villas. This is not a kid friendly beach! If you walk a little tomthe left of the coco terra water is a bit more calm.

Room Tip: two villas are facing the sea with a room upstairs and downstairs. These have amazing view. The thir...
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank EspressoDane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
london
Level Contributor
26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 February 2013

One of the most splendid resorts fronting the sparkling waters of the South Pacific Ocean is the totally sustainable Ecolodge La Cocotera located at La Barra de Santiago. Covering a large expanse of land between the sea and estuary there only 6 enormous bedrooms two in three different bungalows with indoor and outdoor showers, outside patios with chaise lounge, all the comforts of home and facing either the pounding ocean or quiet estuary.

Walkways connect these and in the middle of the property is a large building built from natural woods and covered in native palms. Here tables and chairs are set for guests to dine and lunch on delicious organic foods and local caught fish prepared with love by Gendry and Cruz, two erstwhile Salvadorean ladies trained as are all the staff at this fabulous resort by the general manager Ricardo Romero.

You might enjoy the special La Ranchita Sunset Dinner on the floating boat or pay a visit to local villages and the fishing pueblo at La Barra de Santiago.

The swimming pool is free of chemicals and only salt is used to make natural chlorine to keep the water fresh and sparkling. Everything at the Resort is sustainable built with loving care by local artisans. Eco processes like water treatment plant, solar energy for lighting and a turtle nesting area are part of the pleasures offered to those who treasure the land. The outdoor furniture is crafted from guanacaste wood by skilled Salvadorean craftsmen

Many outdoor activities are available, boating, water skiing,surfing, special outings to the Mangroves where bird and reptile watching takes place, fishing and during the Turtle season it is a joy to be able to take the baby turtles down to the beach, place them gently on the sand and watch them scamper into the water to be gathered up by the shallow waters and taken into the great ocean. Those who make it will return after ten years to where they made their first contact with the sea and lay their eggs again.

This is truly a grand place to stay and relax and enjoy its wholesome treasures. Just Do It!

Room Tip: a wonderfully relaxing and beautiful place tostay
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Carolan328
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Yukon
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 January 2013

We really enjoyed our stay here in November 2011. It's perfect for a couple for a number of reasons. Firstly, I'd say the seclusion. It is in a remote area of El Salvador, not far from the border with Guatemala. It certainly feels remote compared to arriving in San Salvador, the 2.5 hr or so journey there helped us decompress. On our stay, the beach was only inhabited by local fishers - it was a pleasure to watch them employ their craft.

Second, the staff! Amazing, really genuine people work at La Cocotera We ate beautifully everyday and were definitely taken care of by the people working there.

Third, baby turtles! Seriously, it is one of the coolest things you will do, releasing one of those little guys into the ocean. We even named our guys: Pepe and Maurisio. It was super fun and the wife still talks about it.

Other awesome stuff was our room (estuary side) was fantastic and maintained perfectly.

I'll stop there and let you discover the rest for yourself.

Room Tip: We liked the estuary side, could here the big waves each night - but not enough to interrupt sleep a...
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  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SunHog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 January 2013

Fabulous! Intimate, comfortable, friendly and attentive staff, stunning location between the Pacific on the one side and a river estuary on the other.

Going to sleep to the thunder of surf pounding the shore is magic. And then in the morning you sling on your swimming things and head out onto the beach. Dangerous undercurrents here, though, so you always keep to the shallow water.

There's a nice swimming pool to laze beside. And hammocks slung between palm trees to read and sip lemonade in.

The rooms are well designed, though our beds were a tiny bit narrow, perhaps. And there are only eight of them - bedrooms, I mean. This is an intimate place.

The food is excellent and, above all, local. For the main course, a choice of three dishes - seafood, something local ("tipico") and pasta. Which is perfect - you don't have to wade through a ridiculously long menu. They do a mean rum mojito, too.

And then the turtles. They rescue turtle eggs, then hatch them. As guests you're invited to take a handful (under supervision) down to the beach to release them back into the ocean. That's a magical moment.

Room Tip: There are four cottages, each with two bedrooms, one upstairs and one downstairs. The upstairs bedro...
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Iggypooh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 December 2012

We cannot stop raving about La Cocotera. Set between the ocean and estuary against a backdrop of volcanoes and Guatemala's mountains, there's no doubt it's a beautiful place to spend some downtime - but more than that: a stay here is good for the soul. ALL of the staff - without exception - were wonderful. Not just attentive - but genuinely warm and caring and friendly. We loved chatting to them about El Salvador, the hotel, and the local area - and a highlight of our trip was a visit to the local village, where many of the staff live. You can read all about the hotel's impressive Eco credentials on its website (it's completely sustainable - quite incredible), but what really touched us was the work it does in partnership with the local communities. The hotel supports the local school and health centre, it provides employment, it buys its fish from local fishermen... And the people we met were unanimously bursting with pride about the resort.

We've noticed other reviewers have criticised the quality of the hotel's food. If this was ever an issue, we certainly didn't notice it during our stay. The food we ate was DELICIOUS - and the portions were huge! Lots of fish and local cuisine. We were beyond delighted with Glendy's home cooking - it was incredible!

Finally - we also had a LOT of fun! We surfed every morning as the sun came up, we kayaked down the estuary to the mouth of the river and drank beer with some locals as the sun went down, we did a couple of great excursions to nearby towns, villages, coffee plantations and a huge fish market, and we helped to release baby turtles in to the sea as part of a conservation project spear-headed by the hotel. Memories we will treasure forever.

Everyone should go and see this place for themselves. We have NEVER enjoyed staying in a hotel so much.


Stayed December 2012
Helpful?
4 Thank Amy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about La Cocotera Resort & Ecolodge

Property: La Cocotera Resort & Ecolodge
Address: Barra de Santiago, Barra de Santiago 2104, El Salvador
Region: El Salvador > Ahuachapan Department > Barra de Santiago
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Barra de Santiago
Hotel Class:3 star — La Cocotera Resort & Ecolodge 3*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
La Cocotera is Central America's premier eco lodge and resort. We offer luxurious accommodations in a relaxing setting. We are an eco friendly resort located in beautiful La Barra de Santiago, bordered by the warm Pacific Ocean on one side and a peaceful estuary on the other.As an environmentally friendly resort in El Salvador, we support the region and local people. We are happy to offer a pristine world-class destination to the environmentally conscious traveler, complete with unspoiled coastlines and surfable waves, all at no expense to the environment or residences. We encourage nature and luxury lovers alike to visit our green hotel in El Salvador for a truly unique vacation experience. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
La Cocotera Hotel Barra De Santiago
La Cocotera Resort & Ecolodge El Salvador/Barra De Santiago

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