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“WONDERFUL ESCAPE!”

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Hotel Shawandha Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
maine
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“WONDERFUL ESCAPE!”
Reviewed 20 June 2012

My husband and I started our honeymoon on this side of Costa Rica! We were very happy with the hotel! The entire grounds are in the mits of the rainforest. The staff was all very kind and always willing to help and give a happy smile when you saw them. The pool is wonderful and we ended up using it multiple times a day (June in this are is HOT). We had a family of Howler Monkeys who lived in a tree above our villa. We could lay on our bed and watch them play through the window in the ceiling. We came during the "green season" for 6 nights (they had a deal you stay 5 and get the 6th free). We barely got rain. The food here is fantastic! We had a beautiful breakfast of fresh fruit and made to order eggs and toast with fresh juice every morning. We ate dinner here one night as well and it was fantastic. We appreciated the bottles of water in our room each day as well. The room had a big safe in it which was good! We saw new wildlife every day! The bathrooms were beautifully made as well! (Note to travelers: This area is in the rainforest so there are bugs. BUT the hotel does a really good job of combating them which we appreciated!)

Room Tip: We had number 14 which is the farthest away from the front , BUT that being said it is the most priv...
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank natty85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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475 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (40)
Date | Rating
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English first
Sacramento, California
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 June 2012

We stayed at the Shawandha Lodge and loved every bit of it. Our room was great, the grounds were primary rain forest, the wildlife was everywhere. Right outside our room were Howler Monkeys poison dart frogs, a huge number of birds, and more... too numerous to list. What a beautiful place. The staff was always helpful friendly and kind to us. They booked excursions and recommended places to eat; all of which were great!

We loved our stay and plan to return. We would not go to Costa RIca without coming back to Puerto Viejo and the Shawandha Lodge.

Room Tip: There are no bad rooms at this lodge. Every room was great!
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank azoologist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 June 2012

My husband and I stayed at Shawandha for 6 nights in May. We were delighted by the warm welcome by RJ and the rest of the Shawandha team.

Our bungalow was very private and large, with lovely hardwood floors and a king-size bed, with ample space for our luggage - including closet space with hangers so we were able to unpack for our stay. Others have commented that the beds are hard, but we didn't find that to be a problem. The bathroom was huge with a walk in shower and beautiful tile work.

Our four negative comments about the room are as follows: 1. The ventilation was not very good, so there is a clammy feel to most things (this may also be due to the climate, and even with better ventilation, the room may feel the same). 2. The lighting could be better especially in the bathroom. 3. There isn't anywhere to hang anything (other than the closet) - fortunately we had thought to bring along 12 metres of thin cord that we strung up as a washing line - worked perfectly to help dry wet bathing suits and other items that were damp. 4. While the bed itself was fine, the linens could do with being replaced as they were a bit rough and worn.

Each bungalow has its own patio with seating area and hammock - perfect for relaxing and enjoying the lush surroundings and amazing animal sights and sounds (especially the howler monkeys!).

The pool area is amazing, as is the lounge/dining area. There is no shortage of space to relax and enjoy the environment at Shawandha, whether in sun or shade.

Breakfast was the same each morning - a beautiful fruit plate followed by toast and jam (we're vegan, so we skipped the egg course that was available if we chose) with juice and coffee. We enjoyed this fresh start to the day! We had one meal in the evening and it was very good - every effort was taken to ensure that our dietary requests were met.

The location is perfect for exploring the coast from Puerto Viejo to Manzanillo. Although we had a rental car, we opted to rent bikes for the duration of our stay (the Duende Market just up the street rents cruiser bikes for $5 per day). Bikes are the best way to get around in these parts - easy to ride, easy to park and very cheap!

Thank you to RJ for his patience as we practiced our Spanish, and for the wonderful service and friendly advice we received!

We'll definitely return to Shawandha if we're fortunate enough to find ourselves in this part of Costa Rica again!

Room Tip: Bungalow 14 appears to be the most private, although a longer walk from the main lobby area
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank eatrunsee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Southern Pines, North Carolina, United States
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 May 2012

We stayed at Shawanda for five days in March, 2012, and found the location, gardens, layout and bungalows overall are great. It is very quiet which is rare when being so close to a major road. The restaurant ambience, dinner menu selection and food preparation is excellent! Try the tender spicy fish cooked in a banana leaf and how can you go wrong with grilled lobster and heart of palm salad – I drool as I write. Howler monkeys were on the grounds almost every day which were very entertaining. Advice to birders – the gardens and grounds around the hotel are excellent birding habitat. Also, the road next to the hotel yields diverse habitats therefore excellent birding. It goes up a steep hill by some private homes then dead ends in the jungle where you can see both Keel-billed and Chestnut-mandibled Toucans, two of my favorite birds! I am a professional ornithologist, not an extreme lister - my first day I had 62 bird species with very minimal effort (an hour tops), in just four days I added at least ten new species every morning and saw 12 species of hummingbirds alone. Check out the bird list Shawanda has online http://www.shawandhalodge.com/chiquita_beach/birding_shawandha.html
Ah, the dreaded BUT… a couple of things that were not great. Starting with the bungalows - the beds are VERY hard! Both of us woke up with stiff backs from lying on them and numb arms from trying to sleep on our sides. The rooms are spacious and clean but sparsely furnished with nowhere to put your clothes except a small closet with very few hangers, an annoyance for people staying multiple days. We asked for more hangers but did not receive them. Breakfast, included in the price, was the same every day with no variety. After five days, an egg (even alternating scrambled and fried), toast and fruit was getting old. I suggest they mix it up a bit and/or add choices like pancakes, French toast, and/or cereal – all inexpensive alternatives.
So all in all, Shawanda’s assets outweigh the few minor negative issues – three circles.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Helen K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
North Vancouver, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 May 2012

My wife and I and our two children (ages 4 and 7) stayed at Shawandha in early January 2012 for five nights and absolutely loved it. We actually arrived a day early and they were very helpful in finding a bungalow for us to stay for the first night.

The bungalows are absolutely beautiful, and the grounds breathtaking. We particularly liked the front patio with the huge swinging hammock and comfortable furniture to relax in. The beds were very comfortable and the sunken bathroom with huge shower were a real delight.

Breakfast was outstanding and dinner even better. My wife and I would share a half caraf of red wine while we played cards with the kids in the dining area. The peppercorn steak was delicious. My four year old son almost ate my entire steak.

All in all, the pool, food, accommodation and grounds were amazing. We loved it and will certainly return.

Thank you to Maho and the entire team at Shawandha

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank MicheleAndFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 April 2012

We stayed at Shawanda Lodge for four nights on our honeymoon and they were the most magical four days of the trip. We'd originally booked ourselves into Almonds and Corals further down the coast but having read some bad recent reviews on Trip Advisor a month or so before we were due to travel we changed our reservation to Shawanda Lodge instead and we were so glad we had done.

Our entire stay there was excellent from beginning to end. On the day we arrived we walked down the private path to the beach and went for a swim in the sea (we had a Panasonic Lumix tough camera which meant we were able to take the camera to the beach and into the water with us) and in half an hour splashing around in the sea had herons wading across the reef right next to us, fish swimming around our feet and pelicans flying south towards Panama overhead - it was magical!

Caleb behind the bar is an absolute legend and we spent several nights propped up by the bar chatting away with him. Caleb also has some kayaks and will take you out for a couple of hours kayaking up the river at Punta Uva just down the coast - do it, it is incredible and was probably the highlight of our entire four week honeymoon (1 week in New York and 3 travelling all over Costa Rica)! We didn't see anyone else for the whole 2-3 hours, had sloths so close we could almost touch them, turtles plopping into the water next to us, a green iguana wandering down the river banks, jungle frogs jumping around on the muddy banks and countless other birds and beasties.

We hired bikes and cycled down to Manzanillo for lunch at Maxi's one day - delicious and well worth the cycle ride! Another day we went for a day's diving with Punta Uva divers and were pleasantly surprised with the coral and amount of marine life (having never dived in the Caribbean before and having been told that large parts of it are in bad condition we had relatively low expectations) - it was definitely worth doing.

I would echo others opinions on the food at the restaurant for dinner which was not the best and two of our four nights we went to Jungle Love instead (which was delicious!). It was also slightly annoying that you couldn't get any food at lunchtime as, with us being there in November so off peak season, not all of the other restaurants nearby were open so there was limited choice but the burgers, burritos and refrescos at the vegetarian cafe next door were lovely (service on the first day we went there was perfect but on the second day it was a different lady working and she was rude, unhelpful and ignored us for a long period of time when there was no-one else in the restaurant).

However, the breakfasts at Shawanda Lodge were the best we had in Costa Rica -huge plates of ripe fruit, garnished with pretty flowers and followed up with scrambled eggs set us up perfectly for the day.

The rest of our time was spent relaxing around our beautiful lodge, swinging in the hammock on the deck watching the howler monkeys overhead, hummingbirds zipping in amongst the trees and agoutis wandering amongst the undergrowth and splashing around in the pool which we had to ourselves every time we wanted to use it.

As we were there out of season there was building work going on in some of the lodges but it didn't overly affect us. The staff were very helpful with all of our queries, went out of their way to help us and were able to arrange our onwards transport to the Arenal area which we combined with a white-water rafting trip. We wouldn't hesitate to recommend Shawanda Lodge and this area of the Caribbean coast to anyone and would love to go back some day. Just perfect!

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank midnightnoodles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rainham kent
Level 5 Contributor
39 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 March 2012

Shawandha lodge is set amongst the rainforest near Puerto viejo on the Caribbean coast of Cost Rica. This charming lodge is designed to blend in with its natural forest surroundings. Each bungalow is detatched and they are spread throughout the large grounds. Each bungalow has a large verandah, complete with chairs and a hammock, inside is one large room with a large double bed and ceiling fan. The room was a bit dark, but I think this is the norm for Costa Rica. The bathroom is a delight, lovely mosaiced walls, apparantly each one is individually themed to the bungalow, which is reached by walking down a few steps. Well equipped with a hair dryer as well as towels, soap, shower gel etc.
The main building which houses the reception and restaurant is built in a balanese style and again fits nicely into the natural surroundings, an absolute delight. No review of this lodge would be complete without mentioning the food. The lodge is run by a very nice French lady, Mal, who was often arround the place, and consiquently the food has a french theme and a french standard; although funnily enough the chef was Italian! The food was nothing short of wonderful, a delight to the eye as well as the palate, I cant rate it highly enough, why eat anywhere else? All the staff were helpful smiling people a credit to Mal and her lodge.
The lodge has a lovely pool which again is set in the lush grounds and across the road and 5 mins walk through the forest was the lovely unspoilt beach, absolutly as nature intended, no ammenities, no beach hawkers, although the sea was very rough whilst we were there. Free Wifi was available as were towels for the beach and the pool. Trips could be organised at reception.
Puerto Viejo is about 10 mins drive away, its quite a busy little town, by Costa Rican standards, full of shops and restaurants, its worth a visit. I would highly recommend Shawandha lodge, its an absolute gem.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank potbellypig26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Shawandha Lodge

Property: Hotel Shawandha Lodge
Address: Playa Chiquita, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca 7304, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
#5 Family Hotel in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
#6 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Shawandha Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 14
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Also Known As:
Hotel Shawandha Puerto Viejo
Hotel Shawandha Lodge Costa Rica/Limon

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