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“Actual heaven?” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of El Remanso Lodge

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El Remanso Lodge
Ranked #4 of 45 Hotels in Osa Peninsula
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Charlottesville, Virginia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Actual heaven?”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 April 2013

If you want internet, air conditioning and a glossy resort experience then go elsewhere.

If you want an incredible jungle experience, the friendliest guides and staff on earth, and pure magic come here.

I came with my family - my parents and two adult siblings, and we had a wonderful five days. It's hard to find a complaint!

The staff were incredible (maybe too attentive if anything!) especially the naturalists and guides. We learned so so much from Gerardo and Rinaldo (I hope I didn't butcher spellings there) which meant that even on our own walks we noticed so much more of the wildlife.

All the adventures we did were great. I loved the waterfall repelling and canopy breakfast most - although just the first introductory ridge walk was fantastic.

But perhaps nothing beat coming back after an active day, getting a beer and watching the sunset.

For those who want to be a little less active there is a beautiful pool and I could happily imagine spending a week painting or writing or just reading in the sun.

Plus it is so amazing to learn how the place works. Sylvia gave a talk on sustainability and El Remanso's 5 leaf rating from the government, and I was impressed by how hard they work not only on the environmental but the social and economic aspects of sustainable development.

We stayed in Casa Osa, which we loved, although we were there at the hottest time of year which made the two downstairs rooms hard to sleep in. But the staff let my brother borrow the office fan and my sister and I just moved into the two extra beds upstairs!

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank travelinghammitt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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591 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (169)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
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English first
Somerset, New Jersey
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 April 2013

We spent 4 days, 3 nights at El Remanso. What a great experience, truly unique. Nothing like I have ever stayed at before. Its a perfect blend of comfort and nature that made it so great. We enjoy camping and outdoors but we also need basic living amenities. Thats why this lodge is ideal. We stayed in the Vainalla bungalow, its 2 levels to accomodate 2 families. Upstairs room was completely open, a joy to wake up to every morning. Straight out of your bed you can see the ocean deep down below. At night sitting on the deck you can see the moonlight and/or the bright stars covering the sky since its pitch dark out there. No mosquitoes or other issues even though it was so open. You can hear the howler monkeys howling away, the Toucans singing, the scarlet macaws and other birds chirping, etc. The nature trails and hiking on the property itself is amazing. The numerous waterfalls small to big on property are great to walk through and sit under. Walking through water creeks of naturally clean water combined with land hiking trail was refreshing. We also enjoyed activities including horse back riding, canopy bird watching, water rappelling and great massages. The natural water pool without chlorine was great relaxation each day after an active day, often surrounded by birds and animals accompanying you on nearby trees. And the 3 meals each day made fresh were so good, they have excellent chefs on property the produce used seemed so fresh. Owners gave a presentation of the lodge's history and how they are self-sustaining using all natural resources on the property to generate electricity, water and reduce trash by recycle and reusing. We went with our 8 year old son and I think he enjoyed more than we did. Kids will find this place interesting specially when they are so used to modern amenities. I have not spent 4 days without keys, without wallet and without cell phone or laptop in a long time. Highly recommend this stay to anyone visiting Costa Rica. Besides Arenal and Manual Antonio or Guanacaste area, make sure you add Osa peninsula to your trip for a unique experience. We drove everyone in an SUV and it was perfectly fine since its dry season. The road to El Remanso is great upto the last 1 hr from Puerto Jimenez where it becomes gravel road but still easy to drive if you have an SUV. And the drive is better than flying since you can stop along the way and enjoy the local neighborhoods that you will pass.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MaiPat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Australia
Level Contributor
61 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 March 2013

We stayed 3 nights at El Remanso and really needed a few more. We had a cabin which was beautiful and you really feel as though you are in the middle of the jungle. The meals are wonderful and there is always tea, coffee and biscuits available should you need them. Staff are all very smiley and happy and the guides, especially Gerrardo, are very enthusiastic.
The hike up from the beach is a killer if you are not up on you cardio though.
We did several tours, although this is where I wasn't completely happy. There were a few issues with what was included in our package, first we were told we had 3 activites each (we actually thought we had 6, that was explained by being told no, that means 3 each, mmm), later we told the staff what tours we did want to do as they work out the best way to fit everything in for you. That night were were told there was some confusion and we only had 1 tour included. As we had travelled halfway across the world it was not as though were were not going to do anything once we had got there so we thought we would just need to suck it up and pay the extra, although not happy about it. The following day's activities are confirmed at dinner and we found that they had also added the rappelling into our program, something which we had not requested. Of course we could have said that we were not going to do it but we left it in anyway. The next day they contacted our agent and eventually it was sorted out and we were back to 3 activites included. One of our additional activites was the birdwatching which is at 5.30am and you are taken out in a small truck to find birds. This was a lovely tour but when it came to pay for it we were charged the cost of the tour ($35 I think) and then an additional $14 for transport??? How you were meant to do the tour without the truck I am not sure.
While we had a wonderful time and really wanted to stay longer and would return if we had the opportunity my only advice would be to make sure you know exactly what you are paying for and be aware of additional costs (ie transport).

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ashryn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 March 2013

El Remanso is perfection in an eco-lodge.

The grounds that El Remanso is pristine with many jungle animals. In many ways, it was more pristine even than going to the ranger station in Corcovado; that did have the benefit of more sightings of wildlife, but it also had crowds of people on the trails. El Remanso is relatively small, maybe 10 families or couples could be there at the same time, and you really can have a trail to yourself with your guides. E.g., you can hike up to a waterfall and pretty much have it to yourself.

The living at El Remanso is easy; we stayed in one of the cabins, which was beautifully architected and had just the right amenities. There is real taste behind everything, and it would be just how I would architect my own dream cabin. It appears to be constructed out of local hardwoods, with simple, sustainable materials. The recommendation of the staff was that we sleep with the sliding screen doors open. I can confirm that there was no mosquito problem. The cabins could be a perfect honeymoon spot.

This is the jungle, and that means that some cautions are in order and expectations must be set. The property borders the pacific ocean, but this is not a swimming or sunbathing beach - the waves are big, there are serious currents, and you couldn't/shouldn't be swimming. It is also a pretty steep hike down and back from the lodge to the beach.

There is also real wildlife including dangerous wildlife. The guides are very, very cautious in particular about snakes. We did the river walk; the guides made sure that we stayed in the center of the flowing water. Indeed there were two very venomous fer-de-lance snakes along the bank that the guide pointed out. On a night hike with the kids, as we went up the driveway, the guide spotted a venomous coral snake in front of us. There was a boa sunning itself on the lawn. There is a star fruit tree on the property, but we got the impression that it would be a good idea to stay away because it is a favorite place for the snakes to hunt. (The guides made sure to tell us that those fruits were the sour kind of star fuit, I think to deter our kids from going back there). It is not just snakes that I am obsessing about snakes; they also spot wild cats from time to time on the beach trail. And the lagoon sometimes has crocodiles (we didn't spot any so swam anyway).

So in a way this is like being in the zoo where the wild animals are out of the cages.

This worked out well for our kids, who are 9 and 12, but I would not think it would be a good place for taking younger kids, or kids who do not follow instructions.

As far as packing and gear to bring, I would recommend swimsuit, running clothes, lightweight nylon pants, things that would dry out quickly. The lodge lends high rubber boots (which are good for protecting against snakes); bring nylon sport socks that go just up to the knees to go with them. Flashlights will be very useful for getting back to the room after dinner. You do not need to bring a lot of clothes - the lodge has a very fair deal on laundry service. Bring sunscreen. Things not to bring: were a lot of snorkel gear.

The lodge organizes talks and tours. I think our favorites were the ones on the property. The plane trip to Corcavado was neat but the trails much less pristine. The dolphin watching was OK, but the snorkeling was not up to par with what we've experienced on other trips. So I recommend the ridge trail, the river walk, the waterfall rappelling, and especially the night hike. They are relatively simple but there is much information from the guides and the Remanso's property is very pristine.

I'll confirm that the service at El Remanso is the best; all with a smile, problems are solved, special requests are handled kindly. The guides are committed and hard working. There is a family feel here among the staff that is unique. There is also a nice feel where the prices for extras are fair and there is not any price gouging or upselling.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank ResearcherNewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lawrence, Kansas
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 March 2013

This is an absolutely wonderful place. The setting is gorgeous, the staff is friendly and amazingly knowledgeable, the activities are awesome and the meals are excellent. Friends had been here recently and recommended that my wife and I try it out. Wow, do we owe them!

Room Tip: Cruz de Sur in Casa Poniente and the other second story room in that building are the best in terms...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jayhawks246
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tierra Verde, Florida
Level Contributor
50 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 March 2013

The Osa Peninsula is where the rain forest meets the sea, and El Remanso gives you both and more. The facilities are beautiful and the staff is perpetually cheerful and are available to plan activities and answer questions. We did a night wildlife tour, wonderful waterfall rapelling, and trekked to the beach and tide pools. The Lodge appears to have been carefully placed in the middle of the rain forest surrounded by exotic birds, monkeys, and other wildlife. We awakened every morning to sounds of birds and howler monkeys calling to each other. If you're looking for a relaxing vacation in a natural setting, this is it. No TV, wireless service, A/C, or hair driers. Our classic cabin had a beautiful view of the sea in the distance, comfortable queen bed, shower, deck, and hammock. The walk to the beach is about 1/2 mile downhill through the forest. There are times when the beach is not accessable due to tide and currents. Heed the posted advisories about the times. Absolutely great experience.

Room Tip: I suggest you choose one of the individual cabins for the ultimate in privacy, but you can't go...
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Bill W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Salt Lake City, Utah
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 March 2013

My wife and I had a wonderful experience at El Remanso. The lodge exists in harmony with the surrounding wilderness and fully lives up to the eco-tourism label. The staff was quite friendly and accommodating, often making sure there were no issues with our stay. We also enjoyed the activities with their enthusiastic, talented guides. The horseback ride with Miguel was nothing short of spectacular.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank David K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about El Remanso Lodge

Property: El Remanso Lodge
Address: Near Corcovado National Park, 8203, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Green Hotel in Osa Peninsula
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — El Remanso Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 9
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
El Remanso Hotel Osa Peninsula
El Remanso Osa
El Remanso Lodge Costa Rica/Osa Peninsula

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