My wife and I have not written many travel reviews in the past but we both agreed, at the risk of others discovering this jewel, that we must share our experience. This was our very first time in Costa Rica. All transfers were timely and efficent. Upon our arrival at the lodge, my non-fishing wife and I immediately found Zancudo Lodge to me much, much more than a fishing lodge. Owners Gregg and Goldine have truly created not only an amazing destination but they put together such a freindly and professional staff. Goldine started with a tour of the beautiful grounds, exotic gardens and introduced us to many of the staff. We felt as though we were welcomed by close family/freinds. Their was no doubt that a lot of love has been put into all aspects of this operation. We stayed in a newly revonated junior suite (#18). The unit was clean, comfortable and beautifully decorated. The local Guanacaste and other hardwoods provided a warm tropical and classy look which was repeated throughout the grounds. The main bldg provides such a comfortable place to relax and enjoy the sunset and tropical drink. I spent 3 days fly fishing where I found the captains to have many years of local experience. They are not restricted to off shore miles and other limitations and can go to where you will have the best fishing opportunities. I had the additional treat of fishing with Abraham Concepcion. It took me 3 days to realize that Abraham is a fly fishing legend who has fished with the best of the best over the years. After receiving tips about rigging and sailfish techniques, we brought up 5 sailfish on Day 1. Thanks so much Gregg!!! The Rafael/Abraham combo was key to my success in releasing multiple sailfish each day. I learned SO much and I am very grateful to have had them guiding me. This is certainly the place to go if you want to fish for billfish, Roosterfish and many other species. After all, the lodge holds over 70 records!.
As if I wasn't already having the time of my life, I discovered that the lodge was hosting the 2013 IGFA Expedition Costa Rica. I was quite a thrill meeting IGFA execs and others that have such a passion for fishing and conservation. I knew I had chosen the right destination if the IGFA chose Zancudo Lodge for their annual expedition.
The fishing was great but make no mistake, this is MUCH more than a fishing lodge. The lodge chef created exceptionally prepared creations that would be served at the best restaurants. Each day we were treated with variety of local fish, meat dishes and other delights. The lodge is also happy to cater to special dietary needs/tastes. For us, every selection was a winner. The chef grows his own organic veggies and fruits in the garden which is on the property. The flavors were so fresh and delightful that you will never reach for the salt or pepper. The chef will also make it a point to come out to ensure your satisfaction. Hey Bourdain! You should look this guy up...and you can actually catch some fish down here too! :)
Ryan who tended bar during our stay is a very experienced surfer who also coordinates surfing trips to the world renowned Pavones and other hot spots a relatively short distance from the lodge. While my wife and I weren't ready to brave the big surf we opted for the calmer waters in front of the lodge for some stand up paddle boarding. The lodge has a variety of top SUP boards to choose from in addition to kayaks, boogie boards etc.
Again, we felt as though everyone at the lodge was more of a family to us. During our stay some of Goldine's family visited from San Francisco. My wife and I were invited to join the family on one of the Eco Tours but we weren't properly geared-up for this type of trek through the jungle and under waterfalls. Thanks for the invite Goldine. Maybe, on the next visit. :)
To the delight of guests, staff and locals alike, Gregg and Goldine had a surprise in store for all on Friday night. As guests finished their dinner and the night grew dark we were treated to a stunning pyrotechnic performance which would have made the Grucci's proud. It was quite a show.
One of my wife's memorable moments was feeding a family of white-faced monkeys along the mangroves at the dock. They will come right up to you if you have some bananas in hand and we took some great pics. During one of our walks Gregg pointed out the gorgeous Green Parrots. It's also safe to walk outside the lodge while enjoying the lush tropical plants and variety of birds. All the locals we passed greeted us with a big smile. I believe it true that the Costa Ricans are some of the happiest people on earth.
Thank you Gregg, Goldine and the Zancudo Lodge family for making this such a special vacation for us. If world class fishing or surfing is in your plans or maybe an Eco Tour, Zip Line Adventure or you simply wish to relax and enjoy the beach, pool, awesome game room and amazing sunsets, Zancudo Lodge should be on your short list. I will surely be spreading the word to family and freinds and my wife is telling me she wants to go back. Who am I to disagree?
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Zancudo Lodge is surrounded by the beauty of Costa Rican wildlife, verdant tropical foliage and is located beachfront. Ideally bordered by the Pacific Ocean and the Rio Coto river, we offer our guests the perfect setting for an idyllic vacation accompanied by your choice of a variety of thrill seeking activities. Our guests can choose amongst a list of popular sports such as world class surfing, standup paddle boarding, premier catch and release sport fishing and kayaking or a variety of day tours indigenous to the Golfo Dulce such as a visit to a botanical garden and a wildlife sanctuary, oceanfront horseback riding or a zip-line canopy flight through the rainforest. Those guests who prefer to enjoy the tranquility of the resort can spend time relaxing by the pool, taking a stroll in our tropical fruit garden, playing a game of bocce ball on our regulation court, receiving a deep tissue massage, practicing yoga or pilates in the open air or simply relishing the vastness of the Pacific Ocean from the privacy of our Zancudo Beach.Our brand new public space houses an elegant fountain reception area, gift shop, 3 lounge areas, a fine dining restaurant (seating capacity 40), bar (seating capacity 16) and a state of the art kitchen. On the second floor, there is a game lounge complete with a widescreen TV viewing area, pool table, shuffleboard table, card table, foosball and a massage relaxation room with an outdoor shower. On our property, our guests will also find beautiful tropical gardens, green houses (with our own organically farmed product), our own Lodge marina located on the Rio Coto (where all guests are greeted with a VIP service of a welcoming drink and cold towel), a salt water pool and palapa lounge area and open air beachfront platforms (for exercise, lounging, etc). ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Hotels.com, TripOnline SA, Ebookers, Booking.com and Agoda so you can book your The Zancudo Lodge reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Zancudo Beach Hotel Golfito
- The Zancudo Lodge Costa Rica/Golfito