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“Great service/food; but not for everyone”

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Lapa Rios Ecolodge Osa Peninsula
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Cabo Matapalo
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 8 June 2008

My wife and I just returned from 5 nights at Lapa Rios this was the end of our 2 week stay in Costa Rica. We have been to Costa Rica many times(apprx 12) we have never been to the OSA region and had read great things about Lapa Rios.
The ride from the airport is about a 45 minute very bumpy but scenic ride the staff greeted us at the airport and allowed us to use the internet in the office, there as none will be available at the resort.
Upon arrival we were greeted by a welcome committee like something out of Jurastic Park they knew everyone by name without asking,very nice touch. Each party was assigned a guide to explain the property and answer questions while bags were taken to the rooms. Beware that the rooms from 9 to 14 have a very severe hike to the restuarant and pool.We enjoyed it but knew some would not or possibly may not be able to do it at all. You are rewarded with an incredible view and a very nice room,no a/c,just ceiling fans and you are in 100% humidity it is not the "Four Seasons". It is quite possibly the best "Eco Lodge" experience in Costa Rica.
The food was superior to any we have had in Costa Rica,all included in price just order what you want off the menu like a cruise ship.The only real complaint we had on the food was at times the fish tasted a bit off not as fresh as we would have expected;also the coffe was extremly bitter possibly the worst we have had in Costa Rica.Overall the food was excellent.The food service staff was very attentive and friendly as were all the employees always willing to accomodate in any way.
In regards to the activities we found the hikes to be informative ,the guides very knowledgible;but we would consider these more walks than hikes we were expecting more of a challenge in the hikes as we are avid hikers.We did the Ridge Hike and the Montapalo Road Hike.We made up for it by walking each day down to the beach and back up the extreme hill to the property this gave us our excersise fix,plus we would see plenty of animals along the way,monkeys,scarlett mackaws,couti's,etc.
Make sure you do the "Living Green Tour" (free tour) this is a tour of the property to see how the are a leader in sustainable tourism and see first hand all they do to achive this.
We are glad we went and experienced this area,we probably would not return , for us the area is one we are glad to have experienced but do not need to do again as there are still other parts of the country we wish to explore.

Chris and Kelly Atlanta,Ga.

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank sweatjunkies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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505 - 511 of 612 reviews

Reviewed 1 May 2008

Our family of four with girls 8 and 14 thoroughly enjoyed Lapa RIos. It does fit the bill as an "ecolodge." Not luxurious but very comfortable with gorgeous views. The facilities are all very open air. We enjoyed the feel of the Main Lodge with its soaring roof and circular stairwell. The staff made us comfortable from the moment we got off the plane in Puerto Jimenez. They were great at spotting wildlife, which is abundant both on and off the property. There are many monkeys, sloths, iguanas and other lizards (fortunately very few snakes as we're not fans!) as well as exotic birds. The tours were fun. I'd highly recommend the night hike and the waterfall hike. We enjoyed jumping into the waterfall pool. There also is horseback riding and zip lining offsite; we did both and they were great. We heard from others that the trip to the animal rescue across the Golfo was terrific--a real hands on experience with the animals there. The property does not emphasize the beach, which is a 30 minute walk down and a longer steep walk back uphill if you don't catch the twice daily ride offered by the hotel. The beach is rocky and you really need water shoes to navigate it; however the water is beautiful. No beach services or bathrooms either. There is a small pool also at the lodge. But the beach and pool are not the focus of the lodge--it's to get you out into the forest and to enjoy nature, which we very much did. One note--because the very nice rooms are so open air, they are "naturally noisy" due to the cacaphony of animal sounds ranging from insects to howler monkeys. We found it hard to sleep as a result. The food was solid if unspectacular; we enjoyed the local CR dishes and flavors. Bottom Line: Lapa Rios delivers on its ecolodge promise. If you're looking for a nice beach or pool with all the associated amenities go to the Four Seasons Papagayo.

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled with family
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2  Thank deneuchre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 April 2008

We stayed here for 3 nights as part of our trip around CR. We had an initial problem with our bungalow - we had emailed and requested a room near the main building due to health problems and we had been given one of the very isolated bungalows at the bottom of the steps, we had to spend a night there and were moved first thing the next morning with many apologies. The rooms are amazing, no AC which can make it a bit uncomfortable but the sound of the forest and the views more than make up for that and there is a pleasant breeze. Please take advantage of the guided tours, they are amazing and you will see so much wildlife and birds, as others have said Nito is a real gem. The food is good but my advice would be chose local choices from the menus, the cooks are locally trained people not qualified chefs, in keeping with the Lapa Rios philosophy , and their skills are with local recipes, we had a couple of problems with steaks & ribs but we should have made better choices and found the local choices excellant. The staff are wonderful and always willing to do anything for you. Lapa Rios would be difficult if you were very unfit, but if you have walking difficulties and are still really keen request rooms 1 or 2 at the time of booking as these are situated near the entrance and avoid the numerous steps.

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Anjef
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 March 2008

This was an outstanding destination. One thing I can add is that it was not as hot and humid as I thought it would be. I live in Washington DC and expected it to be like July and August here. I actually found it cooler and more bearable then our summer weather. We stayed in villa 8 which I heard (along with 7) has the best panoramas of the ocean. There are lots of exotic bugs in your room but it didn't bother us because we love the outdoors and the natural world. Also, we have done alot of camping. There were 50 steps from our bungalow to the diningroom which is about average. We are 59 and 65 and did fine but we walk briskly on a regular basis. Nothing out of the ordinary but we are not couch potatoes. The hiking trails were also easy for us but if you aren't at all in shape it might be a problem. We loved the naturalist guide Nito but all the guides were good. The food was superb and the staff was from the local community and warm and friendly. I got to practice my halting Spanish with them and was so encouraged I signed up for Spanish lessons when I came home.-

Stayed: March 2008
2  Thank Pamela2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2008

First and foremost, Lapa Rios is what it is billed as... an incredible Ecolodge in the Rain Forest. The combination of comfort, in harmony with it's surrounding (a stunning hill top location) is fabulous.

The overall service my girlfriend and I recieved however was very disapointing. I won't bother you with the littiney of little complaints (my favourite was the 5 am wake up knock that, contrary to the claims of the front desk, we did not ask for).

We have stayed several places in Costa Rica, for much less money, that had freindlier staff, and much more personalized service.

We will definately return to the Osa Peninsula, but will not be staying at Lapa Rios again.

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank ScottToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2008

Beautiful Location for those seeking nature and eco-tourism in a rainforest setting. Very nice rooms. Over priced and poor service. The service started out poorly with complications in bookings and a lot of back & forth. We were greeted at the Puerto Jimenez airport and this was a nice experience. Beyond that, the service was medicore, at best. i.e. Here's your key, you're in number 11 - make your own way. luggage will arrive shortly - it took 1.5 hours and another trip up 175 steps to get our luggage. This was annoying after an allday journey from Canada to get there in long trousers. Next morning came a 5am wakeup call that we did not request - no explanation. The food was good. Beach was more than a half hour walk away and not safe for young kids - very high waves. The hotel did provide rides back from the beach IF you knew to sign up for it.
Wouldn't go back.

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank treeko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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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: £472 - £969 (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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