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“magical place in the dark jungle”

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Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge
Ranked #4 of 12 Hotels in Golfito
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 29 February 2008

A magical place with some disappointments The grounds , staff and activities are wonderful. The room is very dark as you are in the middle of the forest surrounded by high foliage and unable to even see the sky. There are no screens anywhere so if you put on any lights to read the bugs come in. The breakfast and lunch were great but the dinner was mediocre and very over salted. The activities that are nearby include the botanical garden, an animal sanctuary, kayaking and a boat trip up the river to see hundreds of birds. The owners are very caring and are always very helpful.

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank abby7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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210 - 216 of 268 reviews

Reviewed 13 January 2008

Playa Nicuesa offers the best of both worlds - luxury accommodations with a focus on eco-friendly practices - immersed in lush rainforest along Costa Rica's Golfo Dulce. Highlights include expert on-site guide (Carlos), group meals and relaxed, comfortable atmosphere. Our balcony opened into the rainforest canopy and we were greeted by monkeys on several mornings. Our hosts, Michael and Donna, work hard to sustain best eco-tourism practices and contribute to the surrounding communities and the surrounding ecosystem. Definitely recommended for the luxury ecotraveller.

  • Stayed: December 2006, travelled on business
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Thank Munck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 January 2008

We stayed at the end of December in 2007 and had a wonderful time. Marie and Michael made our trip very special and really made us feel welcome.

There's no doubt about it, that the Lodge is beautiful and remote. It would appeal to a certain type of traveller, one that doesn't mind being cut off from the world (it takes 30 mins to get to the nearest town by boat), who obviously loves nature and doesn't mind bugs and the fact that animals can and do easily get in your room (this aspect freaked me out on our first night, but you get used to it).

We did a river kayak tour, dawn walk, visited the animal sanctuary, yoga and many self guided walks.

One aspect to bare in mind, is how you get there. We had booked to fly with Sensa from San Jose, but due to the poor weather in Golfito they turned round and went back to San Jose. Due to this we lost one day at the lodge. Sensa planes only have one engine. I would HIGHLY recommend using Nature Air instead as they can land and take off in the rain. In the end we flew to Puerto Jimenez and the lodge arranged for a boat to pick us up. We had a number of other issues with Sensa (including a pilot falling asleep), so really strongly wouldn't recommend them. Nature Air were totally fab and ensured we made our international connection out of San Jose.

Back to the lodge, totally wonderful, sleeping does take some getting used to, as does the humidity, but would recommend it to anyone - in fact i'm sending my folks next year.

The staff were wonderful and i know my husband and I certainly see this as one of the great highlights of our trip

  • Stayed: December 2007, travelled as a couple
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Thank Kirsty77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 December 2007

We returned to Nicuesa after a great stay last year. It didn't disappoint. The cabin was quite comfortable, notwithstanding the dim lighting and everpresent little bugs. The food is excellent and the trails wonderful. Great wildlife sighting. It is a hikers and photographer's paradise. Moreover, the staff is excellent. Their masseuse/yoga teacher was very, very good. The staff puts just the right importance upon guests getting everything they need; customer service is a big plus about Nicuesa. As its remote location -- no trains, planes, cars or other intrusive noises of civilization. It's just a great, great getaway spot although not for the beach/surf set -- more for hikers and lovers of nature.

  • Stayed: December 2007
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1  Thank IDOUCAN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 June 2007

We stayed at Playa Nicuesa in March and had an amazing stay. The staff was wonderful and made us feel at home. We took great tours (including a little kayaking with dolphins!). The food was so delicious. We really hated to leave. It was a truly memorable experience.

Stayed: March 2007
1  Thank jenson-7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 April 2007

Our family recently spent 5 nights at beautiful Playa Nicuesa. We were warmly welcomed and were thrilled to find our completely private cabin surrounded by forest. Floor to ceiling shuttered french windows allow you to open up the whole room. The semi-outdoor shower was fun - a new visitor every day - anoles, geckos, etc. The food and service was excellent . Breakfasts were a bit predictable but they will happily make anything to order. Lunches and dinners were fantastic - fresh ingredients and nice variety. The lodge is so beautiful - like a big treehouse with one long communal table and lots of guidebooks and reference books on Costa Rica. The owners care about the environment. Donna is very knowledgeable about local issues and is a gracious host - going out of her way to make sure our kids got meals they would enjoy. Our main server Melissa was delightful and the other staff are all very friendly. There is always someone to help with things like finding a fishing rod or setting up kayaks. Things are very low key and there is an honour systems for things like cool drinks during the day. The trips and activities are quite good. A trip to a local wildlife rescue centre was a highlight for our kids. We found there was a bit of a push to get guests signed up for activities the night before but this has more to do with planning and scheduling guides and boats than anything else. I think the system was under review.
Estevan was an incredibly knowledgeable guide who was very good with children.
Happy hour was fun with delicious drinks and appetizers.

We felt very much at home here. Don't go if you're expecting a sandy stretch of beach. It is definitely a natural pebble beach but there's a great long dock to jump off. There's also a couple of hammocks and several comfortable deck chairs. We snorkelled a fair bit and did encounter jellyfish but nothing that would prevent us from getting back in.

The lodge is set in secondary forest but there are many trails which quickly lead into the primary forest of the surrounding slopes and the National Park of Piedras Blancas. We had capuchins near our cabin and saw a peccary, toucans, scarlet macaws, the resident caiman, iguanas, basilisks, blue morpho butterflies, lots of hummingbirds, some snakes (another guest came across a boa constrictor) and countless bugs and toads. We also heard howlers on a few mornings.

I would recommend Playa Nicuesa to travellers looking for something a bit different. We hope more lodges like this can operate in the area to preserve forest and provide local employment.

  • Stayed: March 2007, travelled with family
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3  Thank VancouverKp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 March 2007

My family and I visited Playa Nicuesa over a month ago and I don't think there has been a day since that I haven't had a nice little daydream about my experience at Playa Nicuesa. Nicuesa is nestled in the rainforest along the coast in the most majestic setting imaginable. It is a perfect example of how man can live in harmony with nature with little to no impact. You will experience nature at work from the smallest of creatures like the leaf cutter ants, to the most awe inspiring creatures at the top of the food chain, in their resident salt water crocodile "cocito". The staff is very friendly and accomodating, and the food was outstanding. I just cannot say enough about the Playa Nicuesa rainforest lodge. I can't wait to return.

  • Stayed: February 2007, travelled with family
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Thank babaracas79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge

Address: Parque Nacional Piedras Blancas, Golfito 1000, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Golfito
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
#2 Green Hotel in Golfito
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Golfito
Price Range: £282 - £366 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Playa Nicuesa is an environmentally-friendly eco-lodge set on a 165-acre private rainforest preserve on the undeveloped Pacific Coast of Golfo Dulce in southern Costa Rica. Our jungle & sea location provides a unique adventure and nature vacation: the front yard is a gulf right off the Pacific Ocean, and the backyard consists of thousands of acres of pristine tropical rainforest. Overall, the experience embraces conservation and harmony with the natural environment. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Hotel Golfito
Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Golfito
Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge Costa Rica/Golfito

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