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“Dated rooms and strange odors”
Review of Hotel El Bambu

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Hotel El Bambu
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 6 January 2014

We stayed here for two nights as part of a Spanish tour from the US (high school class from the Midwest). Our particular room on the top floor near the balcony which overlooks the main road, was small and very dated. Air conditioner worked well. Bathroom was interesting: no hot water, and the window right in the shower stall had no latch. It wouldn't shut all the way, let alone lock in any manner. The pool needed to be cleaned desperately. The open air hotel in combination with the restaurant smells and the odors coming from the Main Street out front made for a really stinky hotel. Our clean clothing needed to be laundered at the next hotel because it absorbed all the funky odors from the Bambu. Only really neat thing was all the howler monkeys in the trees in the mornings.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Amy E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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47 - 53 of 139 reviews

Reviewed 6 November 2013

I just returned from a week at the hotel as part of a church group trip. Our rooms were toward the back in the rain forest. The wooden covered walkways were very nice and there was beautiful foliage on both sides. On one side was a wall that separated the hotel from the bus terminal but there were still coconut trees and all manner of flowering gingers. We enjoyed looking at the birds each morning on our way to the dining room for breakfast. We also saw green macaws and howler monkey. One evening, as we were having fellowship time at the hotel's "ball room" (a large open air covered pavillion) a kinkajou decided to join us and looked down on us from the rafters.
The hotel may have an all inclusive option (we paid in advance so I am not really sure of the details here) as there was always a buffet meal available. A typical breakfast was black beans and rice, fresh fruit and fruit juice, an egg dish or two, ham, cheese, crepes or pancakes plus coffee. There is a menu to order from as well.
Our rooms were large and had a airconditioner which could get very cold! Wifi in the rooms. The room did have a very musty smell and the beds were hard but that didn't bother me too much. The bathroom had a very large tub/ shower combo. There were ventilation windows open to the outside so the room could feel a bit humid. But, after all, we are in the rain forest! The covered balcony was quite nice and another place to listen for the wildlife.
We noticed that the dead bamboo in the courtyard was covered over with a frame so perhaps the bamboo had been cut down in order to enlarge the sitting area.
There are areas where chairs and tables are set out so this is nice if you have a group or even for a family to sit and visit besides the lobby and the rooms. The pool was quite large and refreshing. There was a waterfall feature but it was not running while we were there.
As for other amenities there is a computer for internet access near the lobby and the ability to book coffee plantation, river or white water rafting tours from the hotel.
The staff could not have been more accommodating or friendly.

Room Tip: Get a room in the back, toward the trees.
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Allyson M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2013

We enjoyed our stay at the Hotel El Bambu. The restaurant/bar was very nice. The pool was large and the water seemed clean and warm. Our room was plenty big and the a/c worked wonderfully. The bamboo in the middle of the lobby area (I am thinking from where the hotel gets its name) was all dead and just stumps. It was kind of sad. The town that the hotel is in is also fairly sketchy...especially right at the bus station which is just next to the hotel.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank eaglecountry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2013

We must have been lodged on the "other side of the tracks" so to speak. I stayed at the hotel for 2 nights while chaperoning a school trip. Our rooms were facing the street, not the "jungle". I didn't even know there was a jungle! The rooms were decent, but were old and smelled somewhat mildewy. Some would say the street was "noisy", while others would say it was "vibrant". My room faced the soccer field which gave me a nice view of the town, the locals playing chess, and the people chillin' in the street. One morning, we saw the open air market setting up, so we made sure to visit it! The people there were all very friendly, and the fruit was delicious. The internet did not work in our rooms, although it did work in the lobby and on the outdoor balcony overlooking the street. The staff was very friendly and wanted to make our stay pleasant. We ate in the hotel restaurant a few times, and had a lunch catered for us in a private area of the hotel one afternoon. We enjoyed the food there and seemed "authentic". The interesting thing is that when I look at some of the pictures on Trip Advisor of the rooms and bathrooms, I would never think it was the same place where we stayed! Our rooms were "old and tired". I think I read a previous review in which the person said to make sure you get the newer rooms - I concur! Our kids went to the pool, which was pretty big, but there were not a lot of lounge chairs, and the surrounding patio seemed old and in need of some makeovers.

Room Tip: Don't get a room near the street
  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank cpgz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2013

El Bambu Hotel

Near the bus terminal, this quasi-luxury hotel has a huge pool, nice restaurant ,and spacious rooms with A/C and deck overlooking a few acres of well kept "jungle."

Many of the rooms are reached via a covered boardwalk that heads back under the trees.

I noticed they were not booked up and asked for a 30% discount and got it. But really, the choices are slim in this town unless you're ready to fork out large dollars for one of the major tour lodges in this area, so look like you're about ready to do that.

Although I had to view 4 rooms before finding one that had less of a smell of mold & mildew.

If you find yourself in PV Sarapiqui I do recommend you stay at El Bambu. Just be selective about your room.

Room Tip: Don't accept one of the moldy smelling rooms.
  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Jeff W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2013

We have spent a lot of time in the region around Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui and had no idea this place existed till now. We would still strongly recommend Alex Martinez's Posada Andrea Cristina just south of town as a first choice: a great local small business, nice rooms in a lovingly kept garden and piece of jungle, very reasonable prices, sweet breakfast with tons of birds, and Alex is a fantastic character. But Andrea Cristina was full so we had to look elsewhere.

There are some real flea bag hotels around Sarapiqui and we were almost resigned to gritting our teeth and staying in one, when we discovered Hotel El Bambu right in the middle of town. With zero expectations, we were startled to find a big, semi-resorty, fairly upscale complex that stretches deep back from the sidewalk frontage in noisy little Sarapiqui, with a series of walkways that reach back into the jungle. We picked a room way in the back and were blown away to have one of the most 'jungley' nights of our lives--and we go out of our way to find that kind of thing. Howler monkeys roaring very nearby, two different kinds of antbirds calling, geckos and gorgeous scarab beetles landing on the screen door. Pretty cool, assuming you are likely coming to this area to go to La Selva and get into the local wildlife. And doubly bizarre with the front of the hotel right in the middle of town.

The rooms, grounds, and restaurant are all nice, pretty modern. This is a great alternative if you need a decent place to stay in the region (and Posada Andrea Cristina isn't available). Perfect launch spot for days at La Selva, just 5 minutes away. You can easily do this travelling by bus. Hotel El Bambu is right near the bus station, and there is always a lineup of taxis across the street that can whisk you off to La Selva for a couple bucks. Bank on north side of town a couple blocks up, several farmacias, a 'Super Sarapiqui' market around the corner past the bank. Good bus connections inland toward Quesada or La Fortuna, or toward Tortuguero (Guapiles etc), and a quick bus to San Jose.

Room Tip: For a slice of the jungle at night, ask for a room far in the back: howler monkeys and ant birds wil...
  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Darell7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 March 2013 via mobile

This hotel looks like the Rainforest Cafe. The grounds are immaculate and there are exotic plants everywhere. The hard wood floor fells great ok my bare feet. Great shops and cafes right across the hotel. I haven't seen the other hotels here, and quite frankly there is no point looking elsewhere.

  • Stayed: March 2013
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Thank Wowirock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel El Bambu

Address: | En frente plaza deportes, Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui 3069, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Heredia > Sarapiqui > Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui
Price Range: £68 - £88 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel El Bambu 3*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Enjoy the tropic rainforest in a small and welcoming hotel operated by a Costa Rican family just 82 km from San José. At the same time learn about our natural sustainable project, taste our delightful variety of plates in our menu restaurant, rest in superior rooms with queen size beds, air conditioning and terrace. Also take advantage of our safari tour on the Sarapiquí River or enjoy our adventure tours in the area. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel El Bambu Costa Rica/Sarapiqui

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