TTH is an *awesome* place to stay! We saw a toucan flitting in the trees, right at eye-level, about 75 feet away. It was amazing. The positive reviews on this site say it all. Do take a look at the one slightly negative review recently dated as it has some helpful information on the details. I would, however, add a huge chunk of salt to that negative review --- little things like exactly how far the bus stop is and how to get to Happy Land, and how far it is to La Fortuna are very, very heavily dependent on local contexts. As an American traveler one is used to roads that are clearly marked, wide, and smooth. One is used to there being places to pull over and think about where you are. Costa Rica does not offer that, and it is your job as a cross-cultural traveler, to be able to respond to those differences. Signage is different -- not just in a different language; it's a whole different marketing philosophy. So you as a consumer need to be savvy about *Costa Rican* marketing/culture/philosophy. If you value your American independence, rent a car, preferrably a 4WD so that you can really explore.
That said, we traveled as two parents, two kids age 6 and 13. We had ourselves a marvelous time and loved the fact that our house was the only one with a tree actually in it. And it leaked around the tree -- you could touch it during the rains and it'd be wet. A neat ring of towels was wrapped around the trees at the floor level, and this worked sufficiently. They changed out the towels frequently to keep it clean and not moldy. During one absolutely freak storm there was more rain than the towels could keep up with, and Mark showed up at our doorstep with lots more towels and extra flashlights because the power went out.
9 fruit bats made their residence on the underside of our outside roof line and we watched them arrive each morning from their nighttime forays, and looked at them during the day while they slept. Every time we went out for breakfast or a tour or a exploratory side trip, they were there, marking our passage.
Breakfast was fabulous -- the kids struggled a bit with the exotic breakfast goods, used as they are to plain ol' cereal (sigh, the joys of getting kids to eat other cultural foods). Mark and Lucy had chocopuffs on hands, which were appreciated but surprisingly to us parents, not wholly consumed by the kids -- they said it was too sweet! So maybe have the ol box of Cheerios handy? Not a single soul failed to be cheered by Behuca, CeeCee, and MiniB, the three four-legged companions to the endless chaotic beauty of hummingbirds, clay-colored robins, and the occasional grey-necked wood rail. And don't forget the butterflies. :) :)
Mark and Lucy and their staff all very helpful, very kind, very warm. Mark is a boundless source of information -- almost too much information! He knows everything and will tell you everything. It's up to you to make the right choice for you, and only you can do that by going out and exploring. The first 3 days were a little confusing for us as we adjusted to the Costa Rican way of travelling, living, eating, and thinking. The remaining four days were utterly perfect and blissful. I recommend that folks stay either just one night to get the jungle experience, or stay for 1 week and get to know the place intimately. 3 days whirlwind tour is not recommended because your needs and your expectations are likely not to mesh with THH, unless of course, you are the intrepid, fearless traveler! In which case, you cannot reasonably hold Mark and Lucy and the owners to the standard of tourism held by the negative review.
They are building a new treehouse that will not have the loft with a steep staircase ladder -- precisely because they realize that not many folk can scale that kind of ladder, and because it's hard for even them to use it to clean the upper levels properly (which they do thoroughly, by the way!). Costa Rica climate is hard on houses! And Mark and Lucy and Kelly and Raeann are diligently working on that everyday to make it presentable (to American eyes) and unique. (If you want the Hilton experience, stay at the Hilton....! ) I would suggest that this new treehouse have some storage space/sitting space. Our treehouse had a wonderful wrap around porch that we did not use because it was not screened in (how to balance the aesthetics of unscreened vs screened porch?); as a result, we were always sitting on our bed for everything-- studying the maps, planning trips, or sitting on the floor. In our treehouse there was no room for a table or dresser, but perhaps the new one can accommodate a mutiple function table or dresser? We were perfectly able to have our clothes neatly unpacked and organized, and our stuff organized, we just lacked for a flat surface area other than the floor for eating improvised meals from the grocery store and mapping out our travels (altho to be perfectly fair, we could have used the breakfast commons for that). BTW, they are in the process of building a new breakfast commons where people can do exactly what I talk about above. The small bedside stands were about 6 inches too narrow to be perfect -- we managed fine with them but would have liked 6 inches more (and that's the large American talking again!). Lighting was a bit dim for what we Americans are used to -- but lighting is dim EVERYWHERE at night in Costa Rica. Yes, the lighting was a bit low, as the negative review indicated. Easy solution, move the lamp up to the top of the bed post. Ta-da, high enough to read by easily. IN fact, the four of us did logic puzzles together in one bed by the light of those two lamps, easily. And we all wear glasses. (Yes, we're nerds and proud of it).
The short of it is that TTH was the perfect gateway for us to experience CR as a family for the first time. Next time we go to CR, and we will return, we'll look for a place that has a kitchen so we can shop and cook ourselves (one sort of has to have food available 24/7 when you have kids). Raeann and Kelly have a beach house they rent out -- sounds like it's right up our alley! ;) And of course, we'll book a couple of nights at the TTH to say hello to our new friends (two-legged and 4-legged alike).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Tree Houses Hotel is a bed and breakfast hotel conveniently located off the main road that runs through La Fortuna and around the Arenal Volcano. We are a short 25 minute drive to the high tourist area. People seek us out with that in mind, to be away from it all but close enough to enjoy all the fun adventure the La Fortuna, Arenal Volcano area has to offer.We have just 5 tree houses (each very private) on 8 acres and we are surrounded by a 70 acre wildlife refuge with a waterfall, pools to swim and a beautiful river. Each tree house features A/C, warm water showers, refrigerators and safes.There are few hotels like this in the world and none other in Costa Rica. There is something so very exciting about spending the night high in the forest canopy, wildlife all around you, safe and cozy in a tree house hotel in Costa Rica. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Tree Hotel In Costa Rica
- Tree Houses Hotel Costa Rica La Fortuna De San Carlos