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“Lapa Rios is Paradise”

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Lapa Rios Ecolodge Osa Peninsula
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Cabo Matapalo
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 17 March 2008

The staff at Lapa Rios are unbeatable: friendly, helpful, sincere. We've been there 3 times now, and it feels like going home - but better!

While Lapa Rios can seem somewhat expensive and not as luxurious as some hotels (no, there's no TV or mini refrigerators), it is doing everything right.. Considering everything they do, it's an incredible value and profit is not their motive. Some of the things they do include: They protect 1000 acres of rainforest instead of building more bungalows. They hire only Costa Ricans, and they treat their people right. They created the only school in the area. They started the only recycling program in the area. They strengthen the community and are as green as can be! Every year I go back they are doing something new, trying harder.

Then there's the natural beauty of the place, the great food and the fun tours. Make sure you visit the wonderful animal rescue across the Golfo and get a chance to swim with the dolphins. Just waking up to the incomparable view each day is worth the price. While I love to travel, I find myself having a hard time going anywhere else. I plan to be there next year.

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank MelissaW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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524 - 530 of 626 reviews

Reviewed 27 February 2008

Lapa Rios is truly an amazing location and offers quite the experience for the adventurous traveler. My husband and I adored our stay here. . .it was like staying in an Ewok Village! The food was very good and the staff was great. The truly unique aspects of this property are its unspoiled location and mission. I have never seen so much concentrated wildlife, and I thought other parts of Costa Rica were biologically dense!

I do have to warn that this lodge is not for the faint-of-heart. There is a LOT of hiking involved just to get around the property and the bungalows don't have many of the Western amenities that a lot of luxury travelers are likely used to. However, in my opinion these things add to the experience rather than detract from it. Also, this place is extremely expensive, and the cost may not be justified for many if they are only looking to be pampered. Know thyself before you book here! If you love the rainforest but do not want to be "inconvenienced" by it, please do everyone a favor and do NOT stay here. You must want to totally immerse yourself in the experience or you probably won't enjoy it as much as you could.

For a full review and pictures, please visit my blog entry here: http://urstinkymonkey.blogspot.com/2008/02/costa-rica-act-3.html

  • Stayed: December 2007, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Lori T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 January 2008

Wow. What an eco-lodge! Al Gore would be proud. They truly look after the environment and make their guests an integral part of the experience. While it is expensive, visitors must look into the whole eco-experience and not just the $$ amounts.

Lapa Rios has 15 bungalows. Hard to give top service, superb meals and a unique and memorable experience with a small number of guests. Their costs are divided into very few rooms, and thus visitors get a personalized, one-of-a-kind treatment by staff members. The middle-of-nowhere location also drives costs up, and thus, hotel rates are not cheap.

But Lapa Rios is definitely worth the price and the many positive reviews confirm this. The lodge is worth all the positive press and awards it has received.

  • Stayed: January 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank GeorgeDiaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 January 2008

Words cannot describe how much we loved our stay at Lapa Rios. We just arrived home today and I could not wait to send a review to help our new favorite destination spot. It was the last part of our Honeymoon in Costa Rica. Yes, there are stairs...many of them but if you want a secluded bungalow away from everyone and want to live naturally it is for you. A few of our favorites: You can't miss the early morning parade of monkeys climbing from tree to tree. Showering in the forest in our outdoor shower after a day of hiking.Gorgeous Scarlet Macaws in their real home. The Tuna Salad. The French Toast and Guava syrup, YUM!! Swinging on the hammock watching hummingbirds. You can relax and take fabulous tours from kind, intelligent and helpful people who cannot do enough for you. Edwin was a great world of knowledge as our tourguide, spotting birds exotic and beautiful from 50 yards away with his eyes!!! Elvis was our greeter and explained the story and the ways of the Ecolodge, what a sweetheart. Gilbert was wonderful as a horseback riding tour guide taking us through the jungle trails and to the beach for a gallop over the sand. The kayak tour was EXCEPTIONAL skeptical at first, we found that kayaking through Mangroves was a place of solitude, VERY relaxing. We stopped in the middle of the tour on a beach with the guide, Adriana bringing along fresh pineapple and coconuts for us to open and share. Finally we got back in our kayaks to catch the sunset paddling our way back in one of the 4 Tropical Fjords of the world. The water was so warm and is one of the birthing places for humpback whales. Thank you so much for so many memories for our Honeymoon.Thank you to John and Karen Lewis for making this magical place and hope you pass the torch to someone deserving and who will keep its charm.
Sincerely,
Adrienne and Greg Brason

  • Stayed: January 2008, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank AAMB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 January 2008

We really enjoyed this place, but think it is also way overpriced for what it is. It was a fantastic experience though and here are a few thoughts on it:

Value: We paid about $650/night and were surprised to hear that alcohol is not included. It also felt cheap that they limited us to 2 tours. I can understand giving priority to people who haven’t gone on 2 tours yet, but more should be included (I’d feel ripped off if I paid an additional $30 for a night tour that was mediocre). The place is very nice, but not quite nice enough to justify the price.

Facilities & Grounds: Our cabin was great. We loved how private it felt and the view it offered of the forest in the foreground and coast in the distance. We were surprised at how much of a hike it was from our room to the main lodge (we were in cabin 10 and it was about 175 steps…NOT exaggerating…ask for cabins 3-8 as they are only about 55 steps). We felt a robe should have been provided, but that wasn’t the biggest deal. The grounds were in great shape and the access to wildlife was amazing! We saw tons of monkeys and toucans, and a bunch of other things like macaws, snakes, lizards, spiders, a sloth, and much more. It wasn’t until we went to other places like Monteverde that we really appreciated how great animal access at Lapa Rios is. My biggest piece of advice for spotting animals is to talk to staff and other guests as quickly as possible about tips on how to spot things because we found we saw a lot more towards the end of our visit simply because we knew where to look and what signs to look for (i.e., a tree branch shaking abnormally usually meant there was a monkey in it). We were surprised at far away the beach is and what a mediocre one it was. The pool was just okay too. Spend some time sitting around by the pool or on the decks and overlooks as you are bound to see interesting wildlife just by being patient (tip: eat breakfast and lunch on the outdoor area).

Food: It was hit or miss. Breakfast was great (particularly the banana pancakes). Lunch had a great variety of choices and we found some great items (particularly the smoked tuna sandwich with mango, the gazpacho, the flan of the day and the ginger cookies). Dinner was consistently disappointing though as we had only 3 choices and we usually didn’t love any of them. None of our dinner mains were anything special during our entire stay. Feel free to ask for a juice or snack any time of day.

Service & Staff: Generally this was very good, but there were too many fumbles for the 5 star price we paid. Don’t count on the “wake up knock” as they forgot it one day with us (set a back up). Also, don’t count on the wake up drink delivery as they brought the wrong thing (we asked for tea and got one pot of coffee and another of hot water without any tea bags). Double check your bill as they also tried to overcharge us for an excursion we had.

Other activities: Highly recommend doing the dolphin swim and wildlife sanctuary visit. The sanctuary visit was incredible as there were a couple monkeys that jump all over you and we learned a lot about them and most of the other animals around (sloths, toucans, macaws, etc.). Make sure the boat operator stays focused on finding you dolphins though as ours showed us too many turtles and birds and we never actually got to swim with the dolphins (the only time we found them they were hunting and we were told we shouldn’t go in the water with them then). Have Lapa Rios pack you a picnic lunch for the trip.

  • Stayed: December 2007
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7  Thank SEANinSoCal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 January 2008

Fantastic lodge extremely well run. The staff is extremely courteous and helpful. The guides are great. The rooms are very special. The food is very good. There should be more places like this.
The setting is fantastic great opportunity to view wildlife. Great to either kick back and relax or take part in the various activities available.

  • Stayed: December 2007
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Thank worldtraveler34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 December 2007

Lapa Rios is top notch. We stayed there as part of our Honeymoon and had the time of our life. If you enjoy the outdoors combined with a little comfort, this is a sure bet. The staff are wondeful, the guides are excellent, and the encounter with nature is truly special. We will especially miss the wake-up knock and the morning call from the howler monkeys. If you can afford the price tag, this is a great experience and we would definetely do it again for an anniversary.

  • Stayed: December 2007, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank JoshFromCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Lapa Rios Ecolodge Osa Peninsula

Address: Osa Peninsula, Cabo Matapalo, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Cabo Matapalo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Cabo Matapalo
Price Range: £582 - £953 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Lapa Rios Ecolodge Osa Peninsula 3*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in a 1000-acre private nature reserve in Central America's last remaining lowland tropical rainforest in Costa Rica, Lapa Rios Ecolodge overlooks the pristine point where the Golfo Dulce meets the wild Pacific Ocean, a destination matching everyone's idea of paradise. Much more than a luxurious eco lodge, Lapa Rios is a model ecotourism project and a sustainable tourism pioneer. Over the years, we have received many awards for social and environmental excellence. Home to a plethora of incredible wildlife, including monkeys, scarlet macaws, pumas, toucans, tree frogs and thousands of other creatures, a trip to Lapa Rios Eco lodges Ecolodges will be the experience of a lifetime. Lapa Rios is one of only 24 National Geographic Unique Eco Lodges of the World ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lapa Rios Ecolodge Hotel Playa Matapalo

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