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“Fabulosa!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Lapa Rios Ecolodge Osa Peninsula

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Lapa Rios Ecolodge Osa Peninsula
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Cabo Matapalo
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Saint Augustine, Florida
Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Fabulosa!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 June 2014

An unique and exciting introduction to Costa Rica. The Osa peninsula is a natural treasure. Wake up to the swish of the distant surf and the roar of howler monkeys. See a spider monkey troop swing through the trees right off your cabana deck. Watch the capuchins watch you.Toucans, the lapas themselves…The entire staff, from management to the kitchen, bar and dining room, the behind the scenes people who invisibly keep it all together, the extraordinary guides all contribute to an exceptional experience. And, you will meet interesting folks who are staying there also. One of the best experiences was getting to know the people of Lapa Rios, even though the time was too short. (I learned to make a couple of recipes from the exquisite menu also, thanks to the patience of cook Adrian.) And finally, the beach, the water….Pura vida!

Room Tip: A long climb up stairs when you are staying in the lower cabanas. The climb keeps one in shape. Howe...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Allan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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573 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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    11
    3
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See reviews for
135
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (216)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Palo Alto, California
Level Contributor
57 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 June 2014

I would like to offer a bit of a unique perspective on staying at Lapa Rios.

First, the hotel is spectacular. The bungalows offer sweeping views of the rainforest and Pacific Ocean. You will be hard pressed to find anywhere in the world where dense rain forest filled with wildlife abuts a wild coast line. The cabanas themselves are elegant and simple. The layout is very thoughtful and optimizes the view of the surround forrest. There is abundant seating where you can relax and enjoy the room. The beds are oriented with a view of the forest. Waking up to see the sun rise over the trees is a fabulous way to start the morning. Most importantly, the rooms are well ventilated and have fans. This is huge for anybody who overheats easily in humidity. The rooms are very very comfortable. The food is also amazing as well. Food in Costa Rica often leaves something to be desired. The food at Lapa Rios though leaves you wanting more. Every meal is fresh and light, which is important for enjoying the weather.

Second, and for my unique perspective, the wildlife viewing in the Osa Peninsula is second to none when it comes to rainforest wildlife. I have traveled to Peru, Brazil, Bolivia, Guatemala, Belize, and Ecuador. The rainforest in all of those places does not compare to the Osa. The trees are the key to the experience. The Osa was farmland up until the 1970s when the Costa Rican government reclaimed the area. There was enough vegetation for the forest to recover. As a result, most of the trees are new growth and short. By short I mean 20-40 feet and not 100-200 feet. This is amazing for animals because rainforest animals live in the trees. If you ever go looking for animals in the amazon everything is going to be a million miles away and looks like a dark dot mixed in with some leaves. In the Osa the animals are literally out in the open. Monkeys will be so close you could throw a stick at them. This is AWESOME for photography. Similarly, you can find insects, reptiles, and amphibians galore! I cannot emphasize enough how unique the wildlife opportunities are at Lapa Rios.

I spent a night in the Corcovado reserve, which I highly recommend to anybody staying at Lapa Rios. You will see spectacular wildlife near the ranger station. There is a tapir that lives in the area and frequents the landing strip. Nowhere in the world will you find such access to a tapir that is not captive. Definitely make sure you do a night walk as well. You will see caymans and other nightlife emerge from hiding.

Overall, Lapa Rios is a killer destination. Do not miss it if you have the chance.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank CGO83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California, United States
Level Contributor
15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 June 2014

This was our first time in Costa Rica, and we wanted to see the wildlife. Lapa Rios is a great place for viewing it all--monkeys, reptiles, birds, you name it! The resort itself is gorgeous, each room (bungalow) having a great view of the beach or rain forest. The staff is the best, attentive, friendly, and knowledgeable, and the food absolutely delicious. They helped me plan the entire trip, from airlines, land transportation, and things to do. We went on hikes with their guides who pointed out things we would have never seen on our own. There are hikes you can do on your own, too, like their waterfall hike. Great place to take a cool swim. We also went zip-lining (very fun), horseback riding (beautiful ride), waterfall repelling (great, great time), and kayaking through the mangroves (nice). I highly recommend this resort!

Room Tip: The rooms are spread out, and we had one of the last on the resort, which means we walked up 200 sta...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Pzamanis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
57 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 June 2014

Greeted upon arrival with cold pineapple drink and an amazing staff. The enthusiasm and professionalism is each and every individual is amazing. We took excursions with Arlet (Sunset Bird Tour), Edwin (Twigs, pigs and garbage) which was very enlightening, Guillermo (early bird tour) and Valerie (Matapalo Tour, local medicine tour and Plant a Tree). Valerie was outstanding in her knowledge, enthusiasm and love for her country. Alex, Cherbo and Grevin (reception) are a wealth of helpful information. The lodge is beautiful and the rooms are even more grand with views to die for. The relaxation atmosphere is the best we have found. No a/c, no tv, no connection to wifi - it was like being completely carefree. The food (fish, salads, steak, burgers) was so wonderful, we wound up ordering half meals because of the quality and quantity. Our waiters, Johan, Marlon, Jeffrey and Luis knew our names from the first time we met them and always called us by name. And, Ivan, the bartender is just the cutest! Marijke, the manager, went above and beyond to make sure our stay was perfect. She aided in having a cake for our 49th wedding anniversary and she and staff had a bottle of wine and flowers delivered to our room. Lapa Rios is absolutely the best place to be in Costa Rica if you are looking for a place to relax but also see beautiful birds and monkeys and sloths and also learn about Costa Rica and nature. The staff is so wonderful that hearing about a couple just married that lost his wedding ring at the beach, purchased for them local rings made from bamboo. There are just not enough descriptive words to say how amazing and wonderful Lapa Rios is from being pampered by the staff to sleeping in oooooh so comfortable beds. Thanks you everyone and hope to see you again soon!

Room Tip: Rooms 3-8 are the easiest walk from the main lodge and dining room.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jackie V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ballston Spa, New York
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 May 2014

4 days/nights in a wonderful eco-lodge that impressed us with its balance between fine hospitality and service and its commitment to sustainable "green" practices. Add in the natural secluded setting of a settlement on the top of a ridge - in the rain forest but with fantastic views of Golfo Dulce and the Pacific Ocean. Visit started with being met at the airstrip by a Lapa Rios hostess who served us coconut water - in coconuts - under a beautiful old tree complete with an iguana climbing on the trunk. Driver who conveyed us up to the lodge stopped en route to show us monkeys and macaws in the trees. Met at the lodge entrance with a refreshing fruit juice drink and towels to wipe off the dust of the road. And that set the stage for a lovely experience. Staff catered to every need and took delight in teaching us Spanish. Guides on the tours were exceptional in their knowledge, ability to find the wildlife, and patience with us and our varying hiking abilities. Be prepared for lots of walking - up and down - as many of the beautiful and very private bungalows are down the ridge from the main lodge - and your meals (great food! great service!) are all taken at the main lodge. Lots of opportunities to explore nature and just as many to relax by the pool or in the privacy of your bungalow. Our alarm clock each morning was the sound of the howler monkeys followed by the squawks of the macaws - gorgeous birds but not such a gorgeous sound! Family vacation for us (first in several years with both sons who are in their early 20s) - all enjoyed immensely! All enjoyed being very unplugged for several days - we talked and played cards (provided by lodge) and enjoyed the outdoors. We would definitely go back to Lapa Rios.

Room Tip: Bungalows were beautiful, private, comfortable - even during the heavy rains. Private bath with good...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Sara T
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 review, 19 June 2014
Dear SaraT,
greetings from the green and lush Osa Peninsula. Thank you for such a raving review of your stay with us. We are extremely happy to hear that we were able to accomoated you on your vacation with your kids and that you were able to reconnect as a family. Thanks for pointing out all the great wildlife experiences; there is no better place to observe the biodiversity of the Osa Peninsula than Lapa Rios. We are pleased to hear that you felt so pampered and enjoyed the food, the serve and of cours the comfort of the rooms. Sometimes, guests are hestitant to book a room without air conditioning in a tropical destination, but as you and many other reviewers have pointed out, it is not necessary and the open air design and ceiling fans of our rooms allow for cross ventiation and cool temperatures. And then there is always the outside shower... We hope to have you back soon. Thanks again and all the best.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jacksonville, Florida, USA
Level Contributor
55 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 May 2014

My wife and I returned to Lapa Rios to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary last week. We initially visited Lapa Rios in May of 2010, what a wonderful experience. For our anniversary, we wanted a true get away, no to limited phone and internet coverage, a beautiful peaceful location full of natural beauty and life, great friendly staff, great food, and very attractive and comfortable accommodations. We spent 5 nights and wanted more. The remoteness of its location adds to the beauty of a visit. You can choose to relax or get involved with walking and guiding tours. You choose how active you want to be. Of the many places we have had the opportunity to travel, we rate Lapa Rios as our ultimate favorite for a true change of pace and unwinding from the demands of day to day life.

Room Tip: There is no fitness center. Coffee or tea is delivered to your room at 6:00 each morning.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Franklin B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Irvine, California
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 April 2014

Lapa Rios was just amazing, providing the perfect combination of luxury with natural environment. Rooms are beautiful and everything you can think of is already there. Not once did my wife or I say "I just wish they had this". The natural rainforest is right at your door steps with wildlife at every turn. The tour guides are very experienced, specially Vallerie with her degree in rainforest biology and he keen eye for birds. We did six tours in five days, and they were all well organized. Our favorite was the plane ride into Concorda National Park then a 4 hour hike - just like Jurassic park. All this, and you get three culinary sit down delights in the main lodge, nestle in the secondary forest. Not just one or two selections, but a wide range, including vegetarian. The attention to detail is well received and their staff is well trained and always willing to stop hand talk, or show you some wildlife. Thanks to the entire staff on a great vacation.

Room Tip: All the rooms are the exact same layout, just depends on the bed types. We had a King bed, which wa...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank KiwisInUSA
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 review, 5 May 2014
Dear KiwisinUSA,
greetings from the rainforest of the Osa Peninsula. Thank you for writing such a great review of your stay with us. We really appreciate your comment about how you think that we are able to bring "luxury" to a very wild and natural environment - not always easy as you can imagine. We will pass your compliments of the guiding staff to Valerie and the other guides and will continue to work hard to provide our future guests with the best wildlife interpretation. Your comparison of the Corcovado Tour with a Jurrasic Park experience made us smile, but you are probably right... just no dinos. Thank you for pointing out the a la carte restaurant experience. This sets us apart from many other lodges and we are proud of the great reveiws that our local freshly prepared food is receiving. Thanks again and please come back soon.
Report response as inappropriate
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

Property: 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 3 Hotels in Cabo Matapalo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
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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