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“Amazing honeymoon, amazing place”

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Lapa Rios Ecolodge Osa Peninsula
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Cabo Matapalo
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 8 September 2013

Beautiful trip from start to finish - well worth the extra effort to get to as it gives you the best secluded jungle experience with the luxury of all inclusive.
Greeted at the airport with fresh drinks, comfortable (although very bumpy) ride to the lodge where the driver was happy to point out animals and stop for us to take pictures along the way. More welcome drinks at the lodge and arrived just in time for lunch! Staff were very friendly the whole of our stay - they couldn't do enough to help including being a translator and negotiator when talking to local artists. Every night the main lodge had different local people selling produce - nice touch to make you feel a bit more integrated into the area and I'm a firm believer in money going back into local community which Lapa Rios seems to do very well.
We stayed in the bungalow the furthest away from the main lodge (over 200 steps but plenty of viewing/breathing spots along the way!) but beautiful and so peaceful and private. Just sat in the hammock on the deck area you hear and see so much wildlife its almost a shame to leave.
We couldn't have asked for a better end to our honeymoon - they even arranged for us to have breakfast in our room on our last morning after our private poolside dinner.
Food was amazing - huge portion sizes and good range and happy to provide snacks whenever (although after 3 big meals a day not sure how anyone has room for snacks!) On site tours were great with really informative guides and happy to arrange other tours for you - we did the waterfall repelling with a hotel up the road which was amazing.
Definitely recommending this to anyone and everyone who will listen - can't wait to go back

Room Tip: Rooms 13 and 14 are the furthest away - 200 hundred steps, so if you don't like a hike for your...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Lucy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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317 - 323 of 638 reviews

Reviewed 8 September 2013

We travelled to the Osa Peninsula, and Lapa Rios in particular, for the remoteness, as many do. It was spectacular, as many others have recounted- we agree with all of the rave reviews on this site. What we did not expect, however, was the wonderful way in which they helped us through a difficult turn of events that happened within just a few hours of arrival to this remote paradise.

In short, there was an unexpected death of Chris's mother in the US soon after we arrived. The family called the main number to the ecolodge (which was not actually on the premises) and the message was quickly radioed to the resort, and a manager promptly found us in our bungalow to inform us. They then proceeded to allow Chris to set up a communications center in their little office to Skype (on one of the manger's cell phones) back to the US. While it was quite a chaotic time, everyone at Lapas Rios did everything they could to make things proceed smoothly and help Chris and I feel as comfortable and soothed as possible. In the next days, they made the complete travel arrangement changes to facilitate the early return to the States. They were all amazing. Sympathetic, professional, friendly, thoughtful- they thought of every detail, and made sure everything was attended to.

Biggest kudos to EVERYONE at Lapa Rios. I do not know how to properly express my thanks for how they handled this horrible situation, but I hope they know how much their care, concern, and helpful actions were appreciated.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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5  Thank kmorg1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2013 via mobile

A must see for anyone who wants to experience a truly secluded lodge in the lush jungles of Costa Rica. It was an amazing experience from the delicious meals, scenic views from the rooms, attentive staff and various excursions offered daily. Wonderful experience!

  • Stayed: April 2013
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1  Thank Reedsme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2013

We had a great time at Lapa Rios. Our view was spectacular, the food was great, and the staff was attentive and helpful. We liked the artisans who came to the dining room each evening and enjoyed the hikes, especially led by Valerie. The howler monkeys and other wildlife were wonderful and it was nice that they had a few of the trees labeled. I was surprised that the options for hiking in small family groups were so limited, that is an easy fix.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank coastliveoak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2013

If you want to be in nature where you can look into a monkeys eyes, watch a young mother carry her young on her back, gaze at the macaws and search for many beautiful birds who are in there natural habitat or relax by the beautiful pool with a gorgeous view or hang out in the reception or on the observation deck reading or touring the magnificent home that was created by John and Karen Lewis and now in the capable hands of a beautiful team who will ensure this vision is grown and sustainable....then this is the place for you.

The team is from Puerto Jimenez and they are so proud to call Lapa Rios their home. They are eager to serve beautiful home made creations with a smile and kindness.
Or something fresh from the bar..you will not go thirsty.

I have been to this beautiful remote place in the very early years and I am so happy to see the vision that was put in place many years ago will be sustained....actually truly saving the people, their families and the rainforest. Many people talk about this work but I have never seen someone put it to the test and actually make many dreams come true.

I loved my time with such special people both from the past and present and I send them all my love from the bottom of my heart.

Room Tip: The views are amazing from every room. It is a place to hike and enjoy so 14 is at the very bottom a...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled solo
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3  Thank Magictravelnow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2013

A beautiful part of the OSA! My family (48, 43, 9,7 & 7) LOVED it! We saw ALL the animals! The staff was superb! Watch out for the wet landings... they can be challenging but it is all part of being so far away from civilization! LOVED IT!

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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Thank TerriJW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2013

Amazing to see monkeys and toucans literally from your bed (and awesome porch). We got to see only 3 types of monkeys, not the white-faced ones, but it was incredible to watch the spider monkeys climb and swing etc. Also amazing how many exotic birds (and the monkeys) you can see so easily there, all the time. The rooms look very different in person from the pictures online - they have gotten rid of the (beautiful) mosquito nets and screened in the cabins, which probably does make them more comfortable, but we were surprised when we walked in! None of the staff seemed to be aware that this was a change, so maybe the photos are just old.
We were disappointed by the (lack of) sound privacy in the rooms. We expected a super remote and secluded bungalow (and stayed in cabin 13 so had to hike 10 minutes to get to our room), but they are all duplexes so no matter how far a hike your room is, your neighbors are still VERY close, and without walls, you can hear a lot. We wanted to feel that we were in the forest all by ourselves, but instead we heard people's talking, yelling, etc.
Also, for how remote the whole peninsula and the reserve are, I was disappointed to hear trucks there. Instead of quiet or the sounds of nature, we heard the rumbling of trucks fairly often. Not so remote after all.
The food was very very good, but there were a few misses, such as gazpacho that had been sitting too long and had a very strong sharp flavor and the fizz of vinegar (I know it wasn't supposed to be that way because I had it the day before too and it was delicious and not fizzy).
The service in the dining room, etc. was too deferential for us and made us uncomfortable. We’d rather feel like employees are people like us, not servants, and we really have no need for aristocratic service. It didn’t seem like most of the guests were types that would require such formal service, so I’m not sure why it’s necessary, but maybe the 10% that do would make a difference in the hotel’s popularity (and theoretically its ability to support & preserve the rainforest reserve, but technically I think it’s now protected regardless of how the business does – as long as the Costa Rican government enforces it that is, which without staff on-site probably isn’t a sure bet at all). Anyway, they talk a lot about interacting with the local culture, and they hire all local people, so I’d rather interact with the local people on their own terms / in their own culture, i.e. have them serve meals in the way that is most respectful in Tico culture, not with the European/gringo idea of high-end service. The whole place felt very stiff and stuffy in that way. A more culturally authentic experience would certainly appeal to many eco-travelers, and you’re hiking home to your room and dealing with bugs all over the place anyway, so it’s not like the place is built for prissy, high maintenance people either way. The service felt impeccable in some ways, generous, and luxurious, and attentive, but also sometimes lacking in attention to detail, considering the price point (not following up on things we asked about/for, etc.)
If you do the honeymoon package and have a private dinner, I would recommend asking to have it at lunch - that didn't occur to us when we were there, but I see a picture of a private outdoor daytime meal on TripAdvisor. Having it in the dark with bugs & bats flying around was fun and still romantic, but I wasn't totally relaxed, well.. because of the bugs & bats.
Another note of caution: we are not hard-core hikers but are outdoorsey, and expected some real hikes, but their hikes were too pampered for us i.e. they go out of their way to avoid having you climb uphill. Maybe because it's often too hot and they're scared of dehydration, but we wanted to climb UP and get our heart rates going etc., not be driven in trucks every time.
If you have a chance to get a massage with Rita at Lapa Rios, do it. She was amazing.
In the middle of our visit, the staff left some fun candies called Guayabitas in our room for us to try, with a cute little explanation card. The card talked about how healthy guava is for you, but then the candy was actually just artificial guava flavor, not any real fruit! I was disappointed because "Costa Rica, artificial ingredients" is not what I'd expect at an ecolodge. That kind of hypocrisy is simply a reality of the country, a true part of its modern-day existence, but I would hope to avoid it at a place this nice & expensive - they should be paying more attention.
Last complaint, I promise - it seemed that staff were letting bugs into our room when they came in to make beds etc. Still an incredibly beautiful and special place, and I would recommend it, but would encourage friends to go to one of the less expensive options on the Osa or to be aware of the downsides above.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank sararischappel
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 7 August 2013

Dear Sararischappel,
thank you for your review of your stay with us and we are happy to hear that you had a great experience. We are sorry to hear that you did not find the experience to be perfect. We work hard on making sure that all of our guests leave 100% satisfied with their stay, but unfortunately, we missed some opportunities with you. Let us address a few of your comments. A few months ago, we decided to take out the mosquito nets from the rooms to see how it would work as often guests complained that it would get quite hot. But upon guest request, we can hang them back in the rooms. We are actually finishing the design of new nets that will be lighter and they should be installed in a few weeks (before the next season). The noise of the trucks on the road was due to the fact that the road to Carate and Corcovado was being repaired and we had more than usual traffic on the road. We are sorry about this and the fact that you had not such respectful neighbors. By being open to nature and able to see monkeys and wildlife from your bed (as you pointed out in your review), the downside is that you might hear other guests from time to time. Typically, our guests are very respectful and educated and this is not a common problem. Thanks for pointing out that you really liked the local food we prepared for you in our restaurant and that the service was very efficient. The formality of the service is an ongoing discussion we have here among the management team. For some guests it is not formal enough, for others it is too formal. We appreciate your comment and will continue to work on the right balance. We offer all levels of hikes and if you would have pointed out to us that you were looking for for an exercise hike than an educational experience with our guides, we could have easily accommodated you. A quick comment on the conservation easement and the protection of the Lapa Rios reserve. The conservation easement is monitored 4 times per year, with the expenses paid in perpetuity by the hotel and by Cedarena, a land trust associated with The Nature Conservancy, not the Costa Rican government. Once again, we are sorry that the lack of perfection during your stay has created so much frustration and hope you are able to come back some day and give us another chance. In the meantime, we will work hard on getting better every day. All the best.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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: £560 - £922 (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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