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Princesa de la Luna Eco Lodge
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Reviews (398)
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All reviewsmud bathtour of the propertypineapple houseoff the beaten pathdirt roadcosta ricacommon areas arerustic experiencespring fed poolplants and animalsbeautiful junglefruit treesnatural springwaterfall hikelove naturethe main housepura vida
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Reviewed 23 June 2014

We rented the entire lodge with my husband's family so we could share our love of Costa Rica with them. Our group of 11 people included two children (3 years old and 8 months old). Instead of reserving separate rooms at a local hotel/resort, we thought it would be fun to rent the entire ecolodge for ourselves. The house is beautiful as well as the surrounding property. While I loved many things about the property, too many problems overshadowed our stay.

Cleanliness is an issue. I knew that we were staying at an ecolodge with no maid service and mostly outdoor common areas. The floors in our rooms were not clean. At all. If they had been mopped, the water had not been changed. We wiped the floor of our bedroom with a wet paper towel on the first day and it was brown as mud (floor was a dark stained concrete). The one tub in the house was so dinged/chipped that I didn't want to bathe my baby in it. The dog, Chiquita, smelled like she hadn't been bathed in months and slept on all of the couches which caused the couches to smell like dirty dog. She also urinated in front of us, with another stray dog, on the lower level living room floor and we realized random puddles throughout the home were not caused by rain. She also pooped on the deck as well as kitchen floor and we had to clean it up. Gross. Another favorite thing of Chiquita was to rip up any diaper she could find (clean or dirty). We had to sleep with our door closed because she would root through our personal items and take off with anything that smelled like food. She ended up waking everyone in the lodge two different nights barking non-stop in the middle of the night. When we complained, they tied her up to a railing on one of the little casas where my sister-in-law was staying. Needless to say, the dog wined so much we had to let her go or no one would have gotten any sleep. Someone needs to train the dog. We even took the time to wash out her filthy water and food bowls.

The other major issue was a lack of staff. We turned on our international calling plans for our phones as well as bought phone cards at SJO. Neither worked at the property and 75%+ of the time (other than when people were cooking prearranged meals), we had no way to contact either transportation or call 911 if there was an emergency (we rented an SUV but the road to the lodge is too rough and full of jeeps going canyoning up the road). Thankfully, we had pre-booked all of our excursions or we would have been stuck up in the lodge the whole vacation. One of the rooms automatically locked when my sister-in-law walked out of her room. We walked around the property and after an hour, we had to use a knife to slit the screen to gain access. A normal owner would have left detailed instructions on where to find extra keys, use phone, empty trash, etc.

Finally, someone stole all of our food out of the refrigerator (at least $60+ of sandwich meats and cheese). We had purchased the items to pack lunches and I guess someone in the neighborhood saw a bunch of tourists staying at the house. Scares me to think of people wandering around through our stuff at night while we are sleeping. Very unsafe.

So, with a heavy heart, I can't recommend this lodge to anyone. Feel free to message me for any more information. I love Costa Rica and so glad we returned with our family. Hope this lodge gets these issues worked out. The owner, Jonathan, was absent during our entire visit and is opening another house on the Caribbean. Don't be fooled but older reviews because without him present on the property, things are not being maintained.

Room Tip: Room number one is closest to the volcano view but is so dark that you need a flashlight to find anything. Also, the showerhead over the tub is terrible (water trickles out of fixture because the diverter is broken) and we ended up using the outside shower which doesn't have four walls (about two inches below my chest on two sides with one open to the shared deck).
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank vanessainsc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Soto11PV, Propietario at Princesa de la Luna Eco Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 25 June 2014

am sorry your stay was disappointing and many of your complaints are justified and we will solve these problems.

I think that when it rains as the place is open-plan things can get dirty quickly. we do try to keep everything clean and tidy . The dog Chiquilla is still young and a bit naughty but she very rarely pees and poops in the common areas and if she does do something wrong then she is taught not to do so. She normally sleeps at a cabin far away from the Princessa ....When it rains she can get dirty and smelly quickly she is living in the jungle. She is normally fed and sleeps some distance away from the Princessa and looked after very well. Most people find her very affectionate and fun to be with and hang out and sit with her. But she needs to be kept off the sofas..If there are guests who do not like dogs then we can keep her away from the guests...we appreciate that having a dog like Chiquilla on the premises can cause us to have negative reviews now and again. The majority of people think Chiquilla is a postive .
There seems to have been a communication problem...but taxis are ready in normally about 10 minutes and staff are available to help and respond..... there are staff cabins are behind Casa de Pinas and there is always someone on site ...at times this is a problem because it is a big place.....instructions what to do in such a situation should have been made clear so we are guilty.
The issue of the food being taken from the fridge ...was annoying and I do not know what happened someone obviously took the food. The food was in the communal fridge,but there is a fridge exclusively for clients which should have been explained..so we took responsibility for that and offered to replace it so this should not happen again.
We will get these issues sorted out and make our clients stays as comfortable and happy as we can... this was not typical ,we treat these complaints seriously....sorry for the inconvenience caused.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 June 2014 via mobile

I've stayed in many hotels throughout Central America, and Princesa is the place I recall when people ask me about Costa Rica. The humble hotel house sits back, surrounded by tropical foliage, overlooking the jungle valley as a birdwatcher's paradise. The canopies break with fruit trees, where I've watched Chestnut-mandibled and Keel-billed toucans, calling together in the morning.
There's a labyrinth of overgrown trails leading from the main house through magnificent tropical vegetation, presenting a botanical wonderland of heliconias, bromeliads and orchids, fruit trees I've not previously encountered, and many other shapes and colours, scents and sounds, it's truly fantastic.
As the ravine slopes down, the gardens become rainforest and the canopy closes in for a serious jungle experience.
I followed the echoes of howler monkeys and came to the shallow river which runs along the bottom of the ravine and leads to a pleasant waterfall.

Scattered around the common areas are a selection of the best field guides on the tropical flora and fauna of Costa Rica, including Willow Zuchowski's 'Tropical Plants of Costa Rica', giving an insightful evening read as the sun set over the jungle, enticing me for the next day's exploration.

I stayed in room 1, which was large and bright and led out onto the balcony with views of Arenal Volcano National Park. The room also has a delightful free-standing bath tub, the only one I've seen in these parts.
I was free to use the kitchen, make coffee and store food in the fridge.

I found Jonathan to be incredibly insightful of the activities in the area and accommodating to our requirements. William and Yeral were kind hosts who showed us many secrets around the hotel grounds. Thanks again for a delightful stay. I'm hoping very much to return.

Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
1  Thank newayblue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2014

Princesa La Luna is a paradise that everyone should visit in their lifetime. It's good to discover a different kind of hotel, another way to travel, to appreciate nature and to live in accordance with it! It is definitely a place where you feel completely immersed in nature, in this case the jungle, and where one has the impression of enjoying the place not as tourists, but as local. In addition to a warm and hospitable staff, rooms really clean, accessible kitchen, enchanting jungle trails, Princesa La luna offers guided tours that allowed me to discover places like no other tourist can do it in La Fortuna, specifically with the Dude Tour, a funny and rewarding experience! If you pass by La Fortuna, you have to go there, no doubt about that!

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled solo
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Thank 722Jol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 June 2014

Perhaps we were there on an off week (early May, 2014) but I could not let our experience at Princesa go unheard. First of all, everyone who I communicated with via email was extremely nice and helpful. We had to make a last minute change to our dining request for our 1st night there due to having my Mom & Step Dad arrive in CR a day later than planned and it was no issue. We were excited about the grounds, and the structure itself is awesome, but the problem was that outside of our rooms, the whole place was dirty. We have stayed in 12 different establishments all over the country of CR and never have we encountered one with such a level of neglect to basic cleanliness. Usually Ticos take great pride in keeping their homes and businesses clean, even when places look like dumps from the outside. This was definitely not the case at Princesa. In fact, there seemed to be nobody there who was designated to clean and all 3 mornings that we were there I went downstairs to make coffee and the coffee pot would be still on from the night before with burnt coffee cooking away and every single dish from dinner would still be dirty and sitting in and around the sink with swarms of gnats and other insects on them. Again, this is HIGHLY unusual for CR, particularly due to the number of insects that are around, waiting for opportunities like this. I have 4 dogs and 2 cats and was a Deadhead in my teens and early twenties, so I am definitely NOT a clean freak, but this place was gross. An animal came and pooped on the porches every night... no big deal except that it SAT there the whole time!! Nobody ever cleaned it up! I was truly dumbfounded by the whole experience since this place could be absolutely beyond amazing, not to mention that it is one of the most expensive places that we have ever stayed in CR, yet was certainly the most poorly kept. Even in our room there was a vase of flowers (you pretty much always get fresh flowers in your room in CR) that was old and rotting and had gnats on it. My Mom and Step Dad both stepped in dog poop on 3 separate occasions (the dogs are very sweet, btw, though Luna was extremely ill while we were there and may be gone at this point :()... we had giant cockroaches in our bathroom (I know it's the jungle but I've never seen roaches in any of the other 12 places we have stayed and I have to believe it is because of how utterly filthy the kitchen was). I had to actually ASK the "volunteer", who I guess was in charge, if they would please clean the poop off of our deck and get some of the dog hair off of the furniture on our deck, which was COVERED in it, because my Mom was arriving that day and it being her 1st time in the country I did not want her to be grossed out and have nowhere to sit that she felt comfortable. They acted like I was being a pain in their butt, even though they said that the deck area was "due for cleaning". Huh?! I would think that the whole place would be gone through every day, like any other hotel in the world! Again, I don't think they had anybody there who was supposed to do the cleaning, or landscaping, or anything except cook food in the gross kitchen, which cost extra and which we canceled our last meal due to my Mom going to wipe her hand on a dishtowel and having 300 gnats fly out of it as she touched it. Not to mention that the food we had eaten there was not good (dinner was super salty) outside of the delicious pineapple, which comes from the property, so that is cool. The woman, Yasmine, who cooked breakfast, simply sat around at the table all day instead of making herself busy doing even basic chores. Maybe she doesn't get paid, who knows. Weird. I have never felt uncomfortable in this beautiful country, but I felt uncomfortable here. Nobody was particularly friendly except the 2 volunteers who live in the house up the driveway. I didn't even attempt to walk through the garden trails because they were so overgrown and we were told by Wayne, the male volunteer, that there were trees laying in the waterfall that needed to be pulled out (why do today what you can put off until tomorrow, huh?) so it wasn't much worth seeing. Needless to say, we were all very disappointed by our experience here and had I not paid 100% for the rooms in advance, we would have left after the first night. Again, not being the neatest of folks ourselves, I am very surprised that I don't see more commentary on how dirty this place is, ESPECIALLY the disgusting kitchen, but maybe we just ended up there at the wrong time. I know that the owner, Jonathan, had left several weeks prior to go to his home in San Jose, so maybe that was the problem? Regardless, I truly hope that they clean this place up because it really could be SO awesome with a bit of TLC and regular maintenance... and perhaps some folks who seem happy to be there!! OH, on a positive note, the beds were SUPER comfy! Probably the best we've ever had in CR... if you can sleep after seeing the giant cockroaches with their beady little eyes staring at you from the bathroom a few feet away!

Room Tip: The balcony room away from the kitchen was spacious but the old bathtub in the bathroom proved a challenge to my 73 year old Mother. The beds in both balcony rooms are super comfy.
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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4  Thank bowwowkitty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 May 2014 via mobile

Princesca de la Luna offered me the experience that I expected from Costa Rica, nestled in a private piece of rainforest with a view of Arenal Volcano, this hotel was rejuvenating and absolutely beautiful. The entire time I kept saying, "I cannot believe I am able to afford this experience!" William and Chaquilla (the dog!) are assets to Princesca and made the experience particularly enjoyable.

Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Ablondieqt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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