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“Excellent!” 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
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
115 reviews
98 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 234 helpful votes
“Excellent!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 June 2006

Lapa Rios has won many travel awards in the 15 years since it opened. You learn why as soon as you arrive-- every aspect of the lodge is first class. Lapa Rios has comfortable cabins, friendly staff, great food and amazing wildlife. We enjoyed every minute of our 4 days at Lapa Rios and can't wait to go back.

In addition to enjoying our stay, we felt that we were doing something useful with our travel dollars. Lapa Rios takes excellent care of rainforest around the lodge and is a model of sustainable development. It also takes care of the local community and has built an elementary school for the children in the local village.

Lapa Rios was everything we hoped it would be and more. It gets my highest possible recommendation.

  • Stayed May 2006
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank MB747
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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582 reviews from our community

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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 (220)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Finnish first
  • French first
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  • Spanish first
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English first
Calgary
Level Contributor
12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 May 2006

We stayed at Lapa Rios at the beginning of the rainy season. It followed the typical pattern where rain began about 3PM, let up in early evening and then rained during the night. Glad it didn't rain all day because it is heavy.
Lapa Rios does have an airport stop with washroom that was very appreciated as the ride to the resort is about 45 min when roads are dry. Everyone is very welcoming and as in other Costa Rica locations staff was very welcoming and helpful.
Rooms are thatched roof huts with balconies overlooking the valley and the ocean. Great location to watch the scarlet macaws fly up and down the valley. There are insects everywhere but cockroaches weren't as bad as in the mountains. We had one tiny scorpion in the room. Now I know why you have to check your shoes as these small creatures are less than an inch long and wouldn't be easily noticed. Very unaggressive.
It was by far the best location for wildlife that we saw in Costa Rica, all 4 monkey species appeared on site many times(only once for capachins). Toucans, aracaris, scarlet macaws, violacious trogan,frogs, coatis(group with a dozen young also appeared) as well as many smaller creatures. We made a point of getting up early and going up top the restaurant to watch the birds eating in the canopy. Self-guiding hike yielded new birds or animals each time. We did hike some of the trails on our own. It is relatively safe from snakes if you stay on trail as they are cleared weekly of debris and watch where you go.
One difference with Bosque de Cabos, Lapa Rios is in virgin rainforest and Bosque is in the second growth. Some animals prefer the second growth such as the capachin monkeys. Some prefer the higher canopy. Take your choice.
My husband loved it and examined everything that came his way, hence the discovery of the tiny scorpion. I am not extremely fond of the 6 and 8 legged creatures but was sorry to leave. Four days wasn't enough.
Only complaint: the surprise of a request for cruise ship like tips at the end of the stay. Why not just add $10 more to the bill and forget the surprise request for tipping. At the price they are charging another $10 wouldn't be noticed and we would be spared the aggravation on how much to tip.

  • Stayed May 2006
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank buisonkoss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
California
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 April 2006

When I got off the plane, I could tell that the service at Lapa Rios was out of this world, as SEVEN, yes SEVEN staff members were waiting for me. I am not sure if this happens all the time but it was really nice to have that many people waiting for you.
They let you go to their little office just a stroll away from the air strip, there you can use the bathroom and enjoy a glass of water or have a soft drink.
They then take you in a van and drive you up to Lapa Rios.
Our bungalow was luckily pretty close to the lodge. The rest were all a long walk up. Hard work.

The beach was nice! There were jellyfish there and unfortunately I got stung by one. It wasn't too bad, though.

There were lots of insects in the room at night even though we kept the lights off. The rooms have screens and use no glass. There was a poisonous toad outside of our door and numerous insects that entered our room. I got bitten by a spider one night.
The food was good, breakfast was good, lunch was nice. They had a certain kind of chip, dip, and juice every day at lunch. Dinner was a lovely three course meal, and I got sick of the food after 4 days but I have to give them props for having great food in the jungle.

Within 15 minutes of going to the observation tower I saw:
a flock of about 6 Scarlet Macaws
a toucan
monkeys!
Howler monkeys make noise often during the night and the first time I heard them it scared me really really bad.
The Ridge Hike was really nice. Ulices is a really great guide!

The service was so great. Best service I've ever had anywhere. They pay attention to your every need.

I would recommend Lapa Rios to anyone looking for a relaxing getaway from civilization.

It is a memory to remember.
Thank you Lapa Rios.

  • Stayed April 2006
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank kd2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Central Virginia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 April 2006

We stayed at Lapa Rios 2 years ago and absolutely loved our experience there, hoping to visit again next year. Nature is the focus at this wonderful place, every one was very friendly and knowledgable about the area and the food is excellent gourmet. We would describe Lapa Rios as Jungle Luxury.
Nature is up close and personal everywhere you turn, Macaws, Parrots, Toucans, Hummingbirds, many kinds of birds, Monkeys (Howler monkeys sound like gorillas), Agouti, giant Iguanas, butterflies, I could go on and on... One morning they had to use the net to clean the pool with to get a beautiful 3 ft emerald green Iguana out of the deep end of the pool, he got in then the cool water must have put him into hyperthermia but they saved it with no harm done.
LR has about a dozen thatched roof bungalows built on the mountainside with special screened walls on two sides with a view of the Golfo Dulce where it meets the Pacific. Views are to die for...
Each bungalow is arranged for privacy with a large deck, an indoor bathroom with shower, you feel like you are outside but have a thatched roof overhead and a screen between you and the jungle and a garden shower just off the deck. They even offer early morning coffee delivered to your bungalow for those not ready to hurry off to breakfast.
The wildlife is VERY abundant as they have not disturbed the wilderness except where absolutely necessary, a true Eco-Lodge and absolutely a nature lovers paradise. There was some kind of fruit bearing tree just outside of our bungalow (tree top was at eye level) that attracted monkeys and toucans so we could watch them undisturbed having a snack only a few feet away.
The large open dining area has a good size deck with viewing telescope and a spiral staircase up to a rooftop lookout that is at the highest point in the area, incredible!
They offer guided hikes with friendly knowledgable guides from easy hikes to vigorous for the enthusiastic.
The downhill walk to the beach is an adventure and fun, we had the beach to ourselves during our visits and they even offer to pick you up so you do not have to hike back up the mountain if you are feeling lazy.
We rate Lapa Rios as a Five Star Jungle Luxury Lodge and a memory to cherish.

  • Stayed May 2004
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Sandar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Naples, Florida
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 March 2006

I just returned from Costa Rica and the Lapa Rios lodge is amazing. Complete eco experience, with top luxury touches. Unbeatable service, great food, knowledgeable guides. Highly recommended.

Helpful?
6 Thank daffypuf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Torquay, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 February 2006

Lapa Rios has won many travel awards and testaments to the lodge and to eco-tourism are displayed prominently throughout the building. However, this is probably the first destination where the reality of the place actually exceeds all that is written about it. From the moment of arrival, you are made to feel like a very honoured guest. Everything is so well organised and the staff carry out their tasks with such a quiet efficiency that you just know everything will work and be wonderful. Bungalows are all the same and are designed and situated to give maximum privacy. If you are not able to walk well, it is definitely recommended that you request room numbers 1 & 2 as there are a number of steps and gradients between all the other rooms and the reception area. However, you do spot loads of wildlife on your walks from the rooms to the public areas. All rooms have a huge decked area with sunbeds, garden furniture and a hammock, where you can just while away the time watching the birdlife, the monkeys and the calm waters of the Golfo Dulce. The food is excellent (we bought the cookbook) and is on a full board basis. It prepared and served by local people with the same friendly, calm efficiency as everything else. There are a diverse number of tours available ranging from easy, gentle walks to long hikes and nights spent out in the jungle - something for everyone in fact. The pool area is quiet and restful and is kept beautifully. Most guests typically spend 3/4 nights here, but I would really recommend that if you can, spend a week (or more). It charges top rates but is worth every cent!

Helpful?
11 Thank The Penguin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peterborough, NH
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 February 2006

Lapa Rios was our first experience in "eco-tourism" and I should say that our visit there was not inspired by that genre of tourism. My wife and I, both in our early fifties, were just trying to get away, for the first time by ourselves, and Costa Rica and LR fell into our itinerary. We both have come away inspired by the LR mission and the experience that we had there as participants.

The accomadations and food experiences were unique. Each of the bungaloes are completely private one from the other. We stayed in #16. The bungaloes are all placed on a descending slope from the Main Lodge, which in our case meant 189 steps up. I viewed the walk back and forth as guilt free enjoyment of the exquisite food offered!

Lapa Rios is enjoyed by people that are interested in hiking and learning about the rain forest. Because we love to hike, and entered into the experience with no other expectations, we loved it. Our guides were welcoming, extremely knowledgeable. You can take as much as you want from the hiking and educational side of the offerings, or just sit and wait for the Scarlet Macaws to fly by, or Howler Monkeys to wake you.

  • Stayed January 2006
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Porch
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

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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