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“May 2013 Trip To Lapa Rios”

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Lapa Rios Ecolodge Osa Peninsula
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Cabo Matapalo
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 24 May 2013

Overall, an enjoyable stay:

High points were:

1. Location - On a bluff overlooking the forests and ocean.
2. Tours - Most of the tours were very good and included in the price of the stay - a pretty good deal.
3. Food - Prepared fairly well.
4. People - Staff was welcoming and most everyone was engaged and positive. Special nods go to Guillermo and Luis who stood out as exceptional guides and servers, respectively.
5. Cleanliness - Rooms were kept pretty clean given the tropical location.
6. Mosquitos - There were none. Brought a bunch of Deet and didn't use it once.
7. Fauna - Saw lots of great wildlife - all 4 monkeys and 2 and 3-toed sloths, not to mention some great birding.

Not so high points:

1. It can get hot down there and it can take a day or 2 to get acclimated. Don't bother with the mosquito netting, you don't need it and it stops the air from circulating in the room.
2. After 4 or 5 days, we were getting a bit bored with the food. They had the same fish on the menu every day (magi-mahi). They need a better selection, especially given the fact that they are right there on the coast. They say they're working on it. Also, for some reason, the coffee that was delivered to our room each day was really weak compared to what was served upstairs.
3. Better beer selection. I'm a beer drinker and while I understand Costa Rica isn't a beer mecca, there are some microbreweries popping up in the country, so they should try more variation.
4. Bugs, other than mosquitos, can get into your room sometimes. We had a large gecko in the bathroom (we called him "Greg" and he was our mascot) who helped a little, but if you leave the lights on a lot, creepy crawlies will appear.
5. Room location - They tried to give us room #14 and I'm a pretty fit person (run, bike, crossfit, etc...) but that was really far away and it's all uphill from there. We got room 15, which is actually in the middle - not as good a view as the others, but pretty private. I think the best rooms from what I could see were 4 through 8. I've attached a map to give you a better sense of the lay-out.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Sophie-Mar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cayuga S, Manager at Lapa Rios Ecolodge Osa Peninsula, responded to this reviewResponded 4 June 2013

Dear Sophie-Mar,
greetings from the green and lush Osa Peninsula. Thanks for taking time to write such a detailed review of your stay. We love the combination of very positive feedback combined with constructive criticism since that allows us to get better. First of all thanks for the great comments on our breathtaking location, the exuberant wildlife, the guided tours into our reserve and most importantly the friendly and genuine staff at Lapa Rios. We are also happy about your comments about mosquitoes and other gritters as this will help future guests to evaluate the experience they are about to engage in. We have implemented a policy of "choice" in terms of mosquito nets. We feel they are not really necessary since there are no mosquitoes in the rooms, but some people feel "safer" in them and are willing to accept that it is a bit warmer. it is up to you.
During a stay at Lapa Rios in the middle of the rainforest, you will always encounter some gritters and the occasional gecko. That is part of the experience. Thanks for pointing out the great cleanliness in the rooms. As you can imagine, that is not always easy in the middle of the rainforest and our houskeeping team will be very happy with this comment.
We would like to address some of the not so high points of your review. The fish selection suffered during the week you visited as we could not locate any local fishermen that caught other fish than mahi mahi. Normally (today for example), we have a wide variety of fresh fish available (line caught tuna, sea bass, mahi mahi, etc. Sorry about this. We typically serve 4 to 5 different beers available at the lodge, including the Segua micro brewed beer, but due to logistical reasons and our remote location, it did not arrive that first week of May. We love that beer as well and hope you had a chance to enjoy it during your stay at another hotel or restaurant. We are well stocked right now and ready to serve it to our guests. About the location of the rooms. Some guests like the more private rooms with the king size beds further away from the main lodge (we saw a Puma in the tree next to room #14 a few months ago) but others prefer the rooms that are closer to the main lodge that have two queen size beds. Best if you let us know your preference when you make the reservation. Once again, thanks for the great review. We appreciate it and hope you come back to visit us again soon. All the best.

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326 - 332 of 628 reviews

Reviewed 28 April 2013

My stay at lapa rios was amazing..I was trying to get away from it all for a few days and I must say that I succeeded : from the plane trip to puerto Jimenez, the 4 by 4 drive to the lodge, the hospitality from every one, the attention to details , the guided tours ( Valerie and Fernando were amazing ), the open space room, the outdoor shower, the exceptional food, the late night discussions, and of course, the rain forest and it's fauna... It was perfect; I planted a Sangrio Colorado during earth day and I intend to come back and check on its growth over the next few years !

Room Tip: Check out room # 6 , lots of animals hanging around that tree in front of it...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank X_man_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cayuga S, Manager at Lapa Rios Ecolodge Osa Peninsula, responded to this reviewResponded 10 May 2013

Dear X_man_13,
Greetings from the Osa Peninsula and Lapa Rios Eco Lodge. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience on Tripadvisor. We are very happy that you were able to achieve your goal of disconnecting in order to connect. There is no better place for this than the rain forest of Lapa Rios. Thanks for all the great comments on the food, service and rooms. Your comments are a great motivation for us to provide better experiences to our guests every day. We will take good care of your Sangrillo tree that you planted and hope you come back to see it grow big and strong. All the best,

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Reviewed 20 April 2013

My wife, two young children and I have recentlyarrived back to reality, after a wonderful time 5 days at Lapa Rios. Extremely welcoming to families, the staff looked after us in every way with great food and views beyond compare. The wildlife is the true highlight in every way - 5 macaws flying overhead and toucans feeding on papaya hanging from a poolside tree is a regular occurence. The guides are informantive and superb in every way, leading hikes throguh out the rainforest. We hired a driver for a few hours one day, and the wilderness reminded me of days on safari at a luxourius camp in Botswana...

A great trip in everyway

Room Tip: Bungalow 7. Great outside shower overlooking the bay and breaking waves...I note that there is not f...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Stephen P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 April 2013

My husband and I and our 2 daughters, aged 6 and 8, enjoyed an unforgettable stay at Lapa Rios from April 5 to 9, 2013. Although we had researched Lapa Rios quite extensively, and thought we had a good idea of what to expect, in this case, our expectations were far exceeded.
The bungalows were clean and well appointed, with gleaming hardwood floors and spectacular views – even from the toilet – of the Golfo Dulce and rainforest. We were in #8, which was just far enough from the lodge to afford privacy, yet close enough to the lodge and pool that we were able to run back for a forgotten camera before starting out on a hike. The sounds from the forest at night and in the early morning, which are easily heard through the screened walls, were extraordinary – from howler monkeys to cicadas, toucans and masked tree frogs.
The staff are extremely friendly, knowledgeable, and accommodating. They took the time to get to know us (and we them), and they were willing to share their own experiences about the forest, the Osa Peninsula, and Costa Rica in general. All of our questions were answered with enthusiasm and any request was met with a smile and a positive outcome.
We had a fantastic time getting to know the other guests, perhaps because we all started with a common interest - experiencing the rainforest. Every time we went into the main lodge, we enthusiastically shared the days’ experiences and adventures.
The on-site tours were informative, and, in my opinion, met the descriptions provided in Lapa Rios’ information quite closely. Our whole family did the night walk (unforgettable with loads of frogs, snakes, spiders, bull frogs, and crabs), and the fascinating Twigs, Pigs and Garbage tour, which provided information about Lapa Rios efforts to maintain a sustainable operation in the rainforest. I also did the Wild Waterfall Hike (which takes you to the primary forest and allows you to swim under a waterfall) and the Matapolo Tour (excellent wildlife viewing from the forest and the beach), both of which were excellent. All the guides we met were extremely knowledgeable and excited to talk about the environment, but I spent most of my time with Valerie, a Tropical Biologist, who was outstanding and happy to answer all my questions.
We thoroughly enjoyed the two external tours that Lapa Rios arranged for us – zip lining and the Dolphin Tour/ Cana Blanca Wildlife Sanctuary. We were a bit nervous about taking our children zip lining for their first time, but the two zip line operators from Bosque Mar were professional and kind, had a good sense of humour, and provided excellent instruction. We had a fabulous time, and even saw three-toed sloths from one of the platforms! Our guide on the dolphin tour (Diego) found us lots and lots of dolphins to watch on our way to Cana Blanca across the Golfo Dulce, and his enthusiasm was delightful.
Perhaps the most unique and meaningful experience for our kids was our time with Carol and the gorgeous creatures at Cana Blanca Animal Sanctuary. It is not often that children are afforded the opportunity to interact with wild animals to this extent, in a safe and respectful environment, and they learned so much about the creatures, the illegal pet trade and the conflict between man and wildlife. Carol is passionate about the animals, the health of the forest ecosystem, and we were honoured to have had a chance to spend time with her.
The pool area was crucial to our kids’ enjoyment. On a couple of occasions, my husband stayed with the kids at the pool while I went hiking. The pool was clean, spacious, and was a great meeting point for all the children visiting at the same time as we were.
We would happily return to Lapa Rios again and can, without hesitation, recommend it to anyone, whether travelling with children, with friends, or with a partner, who wants to learn more about the rainforest while being immersed in one of the most beautiful places we have ever experienced.

Room Tip: All rooms seem to have beautiful views, but if you want to be close to the main lodge without being...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank Cydney E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 April 2013

As with most places you visit, there are pros and cons. Here the pros outweigh the cons by a mile. We are in our 60's and 70's and had been warned by previous visitors about bungalow location, so early on, I let them know we needed to be "close" to the pool. We ended up in bungalow #3 which is the first one before you start the 65 stairs up the hill to the reception/dining area. It was somewhat of a haul each time, but our view was outstanding and I would not have traded our spot for anything easier.

this was the second of two resorts we stayed in during our visit to the Osa and the rooms here were just wonderful. Yes, there were some bugs if you left the light on too long, but nothing you might not expect. The openness of the screen walls lets in all the breeze off the ocean and is delightful. It was very hot and humid during our visit, but the breeze helped a lot. Our room was very private with complete coverage on all sides. Being the first room along the path, we did experience some outside noise, but nothing of an irritation and most everyone was in their rooms and asleep early. The more interesting sounds were the Macaws and monkeys along with various bird calls each morning. If you are an early bird, the sunrises were spectacular.

We thoroughly enjoyed the early morning bird walks and photography, which was a primary object of our visit, as well as the beach walk. Being so hot and us older we did not take some of the longer walks in the late morning or mid day. None of this hurt our vacation but know your limits. Guides were very knowledgeable and enthusiastic and so helpful in spotting birds.

All of the staff was very nice and obviously wanted to help in any way. Having said that, the main con was service at meals. Our observation is that in their zeal to use local folks to work at the resort, management could do a better job in training servers what it means to serve. Or it could mean more language training. In their defense, they tried very hard, writing down all we asked for, but we also realized we needed to take it slowly since they would not ask us to repeat, but missed orders certainly meant they were not getting it all down correctly. We are not fussy people and others we dined with had the same observations. At our first meal, we were served, then NEVER saw our server again! They are all so nice, so again, we believe it is training, certainly not that they don't care. They also use local talent for the kitchen and some dishes could use some help, to put it mildly. Hiring a trained chef to train the local folks would be doing them and the resort a favor.

Finally, our visit turned out to be during spring break for schools in the US and about half of those at the resort were young families with young children. We happen to love children and for the most part found them well behaved and really into Eco tourism. So, if this is a concern, think ahead what season your are visiting.

Room Tip: We had no idea what room was being assigned until we got out of our car at the reception. However, t...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank wandotraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 April 2013

My family (including 2 daughters, ages 12 and 10) stayed at Lapa Rios for 5 nights at the end of March 2013. We had a fabulous time, and feel like we a more authentic Costa Rica experience than if we had gone to a resort at the beaches in the north. The bungalows are comfortable and clean; ours looked out over Pan Dulce beach and the Pacific, and we spent every morning and evening on our deck watching the parrots and macaws flying two by two to the beach or up the valley. Magical. The guided tours are a must -- the guides are knowledgeable and the hikes are so interesting. The food was excellent and there was enough variety to keep us happy for 5 days. The service was impeccable -- every single employee was friendly and willing to help. After I sprained my ankle (my fault entirely), everyone was so solicitous and concerned. Our stay at Lapa Rios was everything we could have hoped for in a family vacation.

Room Tip: Bungalows 1 through 8 are a reasonable walking distance to the lodge. The remaining bungalows are a...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank ALTSwiss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2013

My wife and I spent 7 nights in mid-March, our first trip to the Osa Peninsula as well as to Costa Rica. Taking the 12 seater flight from San Jose to Puerto Jimenez was a great start to the adventure as the views of the mountains and coast were breathtaking. We were graciously greeted at the airport by Lapa Rios staff, provided drinks and we were off on a 30 minute private drive to the ecolodge. Again, greeted at the lodge by cold wash cloths (90 degrees and humid) and a cold drink was the beginning of a week of stunning beauty and immersion in the rich bio-diversity of the Osa Peninsula. We chose to stay in bungalow 14 as it was farthest from the lodge and as such, very quiet. Views were beautiful and we got our exercise climbing the 200 plus stairs multiple times per day to get to the main lodge for dining,the pool and meeting place for guided hikes. The bungalows were beautiful if a bit rustic. As such, Lapa Rios may not be for everyone but it was perfect for us. We did not have any problems with insects and other critters getting in while we were there as some have complained of. We were regularly awakened by the howler monkeys who seemed to enjoy the large trees overhanging the bungalow. We could lie in bed, watch the sunrise over the Golfo Dulce while watching the monkeys outside our screened wall. It was quite hot the entire week but we adjusted quite well with a slower pace, much time in the deep shade of the jungle and the regular ocean breezes. All of the staff were wonderful...friendly and helpful. morning coffee outside the door at 6:00 was greatly appreciated as we welcomed in a new day on the private deck. The various hikes and other activities were excellent with knowledgeable guides with discerning eyes to help spot the amazing number of creatures living among the guests. We saw hundreds of monkeys (4 species), numerous snakes, lizards, frogs, insects, sloths and amazing bird life. We particularly enjoyed the night hike with flashlights when the Jungle is REALLY active.... The beaches were beautiful and frequently we had them to ourselves. Some of the beach areas are quite rocky and the stretch of beach with nice sand had a very large surf and strong undertow so these were beaches to walk on, take a quick dip , or to sit and watch the surfers do their thing. Don't think Caribbean. There is also a beautiful pool with spectacular views of the gulf. We took an external dolphin trip run by a local establishment that was great fun. Basically chasing large pods of dolphins and getting to "swim" with them via a board dragged behind the boat the allowed you to go underwater among them...very cool and a real blast. Also snorkeled on the same trip...this excursion was worth the extra charge of 230.00 for 2, shared with two other couples from another nearby lodge. Alone it would have been close to double the cost...We loved the food! No complaints at all. Choices were broad and preparation excellent. No, its not gourmet nor intended to be..Its simply healthy, fresh food with native preparations but always wonderful. Much fruit and vegetables with excellent fish, chicken and beef. Juices were great and unusual. Servings were plentiful. In the end, we completely enjoyed our stay and will return. Go with a sense of adventure and an open mind. We noted a significant number of families with young children but they were all, without exception, well behaved and into the experience of nature, sans i-pad, i-phone, television.. We loved having them there... Thank-you Lapa Rios for everything...

Room Tip: The rooms are basically set up in pairs with a wall between them and right along a gravel or wooden...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank FerdeLance91
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: £583 - £942 (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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