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“This COULD be SO good, if only...”

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Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge
Ranked #4 of 11 Hotels in Golfito
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
MD
Level 6 Contributor
118 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“This COULD be SO good, if only...”
Reviewed 17 March 2014 via mobile

First of all the setting of this hotel is spectacular. After a 20 minute boat ride from Golfito, you arrive at this wonderful lush jungle setting, the main lodge is a short walk into the jungle. Checking in is easy, and the staff are great.

Our room was a decent size with wide-open windows and doors (with bug screens) and interesting semi-open bathrooms but smallish beds. The windows allow what breezes there are to flow thru the room. However, they also allow the mega-snoring guy in the room below us to wake us up in the night.

As the lodge is very Eco-friendly, sheets are changed every three days. Normally not a problem, but as there is no air conditioning, and the electricity to the ceiling fan seem to be switched off in the night, and the very high humidity all contribute to a sweaty night.

The food was just OK, nothing special, but not to my taste, however my wife thought it was fine.

Oh, and take shampoo, they do not supply any in the rooms. Nor are there hair dryers. Apparently, if you plug one in and switch it on, it crashes the system. And be prepared to b cut off from the the world if you are used to the internet - there is none.

Would I go back? Ummm, (dramatic pause and muted drum roll), no. Sorry.

Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank Jethrosdad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NicuesaLodge, Owner at Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge, responded to this review, 1 April 2014
Thank you for your review and thoughtful comments. We really do appreciate them. We are always striving to improve our services and make sure our guests’ experiences are the best possible.

We apologize if there was no shampoo in your room; normally all of our rooms are stocked with hand and body soap, and shampoo. We always regret to hear about any problems at check-out or later. We are always more than happy to make any changes, if possible, to have a guest’s stay be more comfortable – changing sheets, providing more shampoo, changing rooms to a private cabin (where you only have the sounds of the jungle and no other guests), etc. Being an environmentally sustainable hotel, we do our best to conserve water and energy resources, so we don’t change our sheets and towels every day when guests stay multiple days; however, at any time if a guest would like their sheets changed or fresh towels, they need only ask. Our solar panels and backup generator provide 24-hour electricity for lights and fans throughout our property, and our kitchen refrigerators; hair dryers consume too much electricity (often up to 1440 watts) in one shot.

We invite people to come to our remote jungle lodge for the unique experience of being completely immersed in nature, to relax in peace, take downtime to enjoy one another and our amazing natural surroundings of the rainforest and Gulf. Pura Vida!
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261 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (63)
Date | Rating
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English first
Menlo Par
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 March 2014

Gorgeous, untouched location enabled us to feel like we truly experienced Cost Rica with our boys (ages 8 & 10). We were VERY glad we chose to spend 4 nights there. Guides were friendly and very knowledgeable. This is NOT a luxury destination but a simple, clean, well run lodge. It's very hot, the gulf water is very warm and the jungle is loud (we didn't sleep much). The food is local, simple and freshly made each day. We expected to see much more wild life but we stilled enjoyed ourselves and really relaxed.

Room Tip: Make sure you get a bungalow that you don't share with other visitors.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank MenloMom2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NicuesaLodge, Owner at Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge, responded to this review, 11 March 2014
Thank you so much for taking the time to review us. We appreciate your comments and travel tips, and are very pleased you felt you had a true Costa Rica experience with your family. It's true, the jungle can be loud if you are not used to it. We sleep right through it nowadays. :-) We're glad you enjoyed your time with us in the jungle. Come back again!
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oakland, ca
Level 4 Contributor
17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 March 2014

We were booked into the Playa Nicuesa Lodge by our local travel agent Marcela at Discovery Travel Costa Rica. We had asked for a REAL CR experience. My honey wanted birds and I wanted water and I wanted Flora and Fauna. We had no idea that we would be so lucky to get it ALL!
The boat trip to the Lodge was the start of the adventure. We were greeted by the team and manager with smiles and quickly settled into our beautiful cabin. It had an amazing outdoor shower and we were right there in the middle of the jungle. Luckily it also had a FAN as it was about 90+ degrees and 100% humidity - we were after all in the tropics!

The team quickly got us started walking the trails around the property and telling us of the many options to walk, hike, swim, snorkel, fish, bird watch, etc. etc. They provided a guide for each or you could DIY.

The food was great - a real accomplishment for the cooks who pretty much had to either grow or fish for everything. The bar was another surprise. They had all the fru fru drinks you could want with a tiny fridge and set up.

The guests were also quite fun. While we were there we met people from the US, Germany and Costa Rica. All of us figured out how to communicate with each other mostly...

All in all we spent a lovely time and would happily return. We recommend it to people who want to be off the grid - remember this IS the jungle (we saw some bugs and but no real mosquitoes) and though there was phone internet access at the main lodge you pretty much were out of the main stream of things other than 'jungle time'.

Room Tip: All of the rooms were great. Suggest the cabins vs. the guest house.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank vap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NicuesaLodge, Owner at Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge, responded to this review, 11 March 2014
We're delighted you found Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge to be a "Real" Costa Rica experience. We think so! We're content that our remote location on Golfo Dulce gives our guests all the nature, flora and fauna, water, jungle, rainforest, etc. that anyone could want. Thank you for taking the time to review us and for your valuable comments and travel tips to future guests. We hope to see you return again!
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Newton Abbot, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
140 reviews
131 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 March 2014

Accessible only by boat, this really is remote. The big cabins are comfortable, the staff are friendly and the food is OK. There is a fair bit of wildlife around, but it was not our best location. The beach is a good place to sit but the swimming is not great. Our half-day trip to the mangove swamp was excellent with masses of good sightings. The staff were very friendly and knowledgeable.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jeremy138
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NicuesaLodge, Owner at Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge, responded to this review, 4 March 2014
Thank you very much for your review. We're very happy you enjoyed your stay. We also think the river tour in the mangroves is a great place to see wildlife. We'll be sure to pass on your kind compliments to our staff. Pura Vida!
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Bend, Oregon
1 review
Reviewed 22 February 2014

AMAZING. Our trip was nothing short of spectacular. Peaceful, deep, best food I have ever enjoyed, eating family style with travelers from all over the world. Lifelong memories and friendships. The staff was amazing, and so knowledgeable about the region. Our guides were just amazing. One even carved out a bird from wood, for my husband. We saw more variety of birds than we could count - I think he had 67 written down by the time we left. In short - if you are good with real nature, real people, fantastic food, authenticity all the way and a great adventure, this is YOU. If you're going to miss a TV and air conditioning, and your facial... skip this. WE LOVED IT.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Sonja A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NicuesaLodge, Owner at Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge, responded to this review, 3 March 2014
Thanks for spending your honeymoon with us in August! Congratulations, and we wish you many years of happiness together! We're thrilled you loved your 9-day stay with us. Thank you for your kindness in writing your upbeat and positive review. Come back and visit us for one of your anniversaries! :-)
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Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 22 February 2014

February was a great time to travel...no mosquitoes at all. The spot is beautiful, elegant, yet simple. Grounds well maintained. Jungle trails are easy to explore. The young staff were outstanding, friendly, very knowledgeable regarding the birds and jungle life, catering to every need, always smiling and friendly! My only disappointment was the bed size which was too small for us. But due to the early wake up, we fell asleep early. Loved the open cabins in the jungle, waking up with early am Howler Monkeys and bird chatter.... not having to close the louvre doors on 3 sides. No fancy dress...just shorts. The food was delicious, extremely nutritious, varied every night for a week, and always offered seconds. The desserts were homemade, fabulous fresh fruits from the jungle and farm surroundings. I paid in advance for "tours" everyday for a week. It worked for us, as we never had to decide if we should spend the extra money. We had private guides since there were only 7 guests for several days. and others chose different experiences. Not an exciting place for children, no zip line. Not for the elderly, no hand rails on cabin stairs, stone walkways might be a little unstable, getting in and out of boats might be difficult if balance is poor. Beach is very stoney during low tide...so we kayaked to different beaches and swam there. You can also swim off the extended dock, Caught lots of Macarel and they prepared it for dinner. The water is warm and delicious...a relaxing vacation. Also went on easy horse back ride and njoyed seeing more of the local community and farms. We are in our 70's and are so glad we had the wonderful jungle experience. Due to the isolation, it was most likely one the the most beautiful locations in Costa Rica and enjoyable.

Room Tip: All cabins are isolated from the others with exception of one that you can see from the path.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank aradiaaradia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NicuesaLodge, Owner at Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge, responded to this review, 3 March 2014
You came at a great time -- February is right in the middle of the dry and sunny summer season. Thank you for spending part of your vacation with us, and for taking the time to write about all that you enjoyed. We agree, Playa Nicuesa is one of the most beautiful locations in Costa Rica! We definitely recommend, like you wrote, that people who visit us be in good health and want to immerse themselves in the jungle -- because that's what we are, a remote jungle location. We do, however, find that most kids really love it here; it's like a big outdoor classroom full of adventure. Thank you, again, and we hope you visit us once more.
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Toronto, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 February 2014

My husband and I booked a five night bird watching package in January. More birders should include this as a stop on their travels. Between the two of us we saw just over 100 species and every day we added new birds to the list. It was a nice bonus when Melo and Gustavo took us out one night to look for, and find, a crested owl. The river trip was great and we didn't even bother with the kayaking; we just birded from the boat. After, we took a mini tour of the Golfo Dulce and saw lots of dolphins. There's also lots of butterflies, bugs and beasts. I enjoyed the coatis that would pass through our backyard and one afternoon I got to watch a toucan while I sat on our verandah. While my husband wasn't a fan of the open air shower I thought it was great fun. He squealed like a little girl when some giant cockroach thing flew in while he was in there. My favourite bathroom guest was the giant green grasshopper. It is really humid there and I'm not a big fan of that. Despite that I didn't find the lack of air conditioning to be a hardship. During the worst heat of the afternoon I was happy to sit in a shady spot or under the ceiling fan in my room and enjoy the view. It also cooled off enough at night that I had no trouble sleeping. Great place for nature lovers!

Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank suepitou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NicuesaLodge, Owner at Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge, responded to this review, 3 March 2014
We also think Playa Nicuesa is a great destination for bird watchers. Thanks for saying so! We still get amazed whenever we see a new bird, bug, animal or plant -- which happens all the time! The open-air bathrooms do take getting used to, especially when animal life come to join you ... but the unforgettable experience of being so close with nature is priceless. Thank you for writing your review about your trip on TripAdvisor. We look forward to welcoming you back to Playa Nicuesa.
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Additional Information about Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££££
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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