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“Unspoiled Nature”
Review of El Remanso Lodge

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El Remanso Lodge
Ranked #4 of 40 Hotels in Osa Peninsula
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Columbia, South Carolina
Level Contributor
104 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Unspoiled Nature”
Reviewed 23 June 2013 via mobile

First of all, if you are a nature lover, the Osa Peninsula needs to be at the very top of your bucket list! This tiny corner of Costa Rica is home to an amazing amount of the world's biodiversity. It is a small part of our planet that remains virtually unspoiled by humans, and the occupants of the region (including the folks at El Remanso) have been extraordinarily successful in keeping it that way. The lodge itself is a series of cabins spread out across an enormous property that also includes miles and miles of hiking trails with beautiful waterfalls, a deserted beach, tide pools, a lagoon, and much much more. The accommodations are open-air luxury cabins with terrific food and excellent service. When we were in our cabin (La Vanilla), we felt like we were the only people on the entire property. The staff is absolutely first-rate and includes three ecologists/guides who are extraordinarily knowledgeable. We took advantage of the wildlife explorer package which included a long hike, a short hike, a night hike, a canopy observation breakfast, a bird watching tour, and a dolphin watching tour. Every one of them was outstanding and worth doing. This is by no means a zoo... you are literally in the middle of the rainforest, and nature is totally unpredictable. So, what you see is what you see. However, in our time there we saw four different kinds of monkeys, dozens of species of birds, a cayman, a fer-de-lance, and even a boa in the process of eating a coati. We spent 5 nights there which felt just about right for us.

Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
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Thank tiebee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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London
Level Contributor
73 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 May 2013

A short flight from San Jose takes you to this small paradise on the Osa Peninsula. Every 'Chalet' is quite separate from its neighbour and our own had a clear view over the forest to the Pacific. The Guiding by Gerardo is exceptional and our three hour 'hike' passed in moments....ending in a warm but heavy downpour that gave us a true touch of the green season. Macaws, Raptors, Toucan and a host of birds make this a very worthwhile trip for the 'Birder' with Snakes, Iguana, Coati plus...Howler, Spider, Squirrel and Capucin monkeys all on display. Don't miss the night-walk and, if you are as lucky as we were, the Spurlings Gliding Frogs mating by the hundred. Walks both inland and along the sea shore gain sightings of Halloween Crabs as well as the Green and Black Poisonous Frogs. Food and wines are excellent and abundant. Don't miss having a massage under the sky with the sound of the sea and birdcalls adding to a highly recommended experience.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
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1 Thank Charles36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arvada, Colorado, United States
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 May 2013

El Remanso is one of the most beautiful and unique places I have ever stayed. It is entirely "off the grid" and deep in the rain forest on a ridgeline near Cabo Matapalo, a truly wild and natural paradise on the Osa Peninsula near Corcovado National Park. The resort runs on hydro- and solar power, draws drinking water from natural springs, recycles and composts more than 90 percent of its waste, and uses local foods and materials in its restaurant. It is a calm, peaceful, tranquil oasis amid a jungle that teems with life. From the balcony at the restaurant we saw howlers, white-faced capuchins and spider monkeys, and just up the road we saw a troop of some 35-40 squirrel monkeys -- marking the first time we have seen all four Costa Rican monkey species in one location. We also spotted a rare anteater and a hard-to-find tayra. The beach below the property is without question the wildest and most natural beach I have ever seen. Waterfall Rappelling was a huge adventure for my family. The food and service were excellent, and Andrea and Daniel are most gracious hosts. The staff are in a 1:1 ratio with guests, so you will feel pampered and well-attended to. El Remanso has my absolutely highest rating.

Room Tip: We stayed in the large Casa Osa, perfect for families, a short walk to the restaurant, with plenty o...
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Antone3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 May 2013

Where to start... well, arriving in El Remanso is something that is both exhilarating and incredibly calming. With the glorious rainforest backdrop and accompanying orchestra of birds, mammals and insects, it is difficult to focus, but the team here are adept at making you feel instantly at home and truly relaxed.

This family owned and run lodge is small (only 13 rooms) and specialises in the personal touches that make it a place you will be reluctant to leave, like calling you by your first name from the moment you arrive, remembering your likes and dislikes and tracking you down if something interesting is spotted on site.

The wooden construction cabins (made from naturally fallen timber and locally grown bamboo) are set on the valleys edge looking down through the jungle to the sea, with a private decked area in front so you can really take in the view. The rainforest is all around you, growing up around the cabins and the cabins themselves are spacious, stylish and open plan, giving you a real sense of space. A ridiculously comfy hammock is strung across it (did I mention how relaxing this place is?) and with the view down to the sea there is no better place to be than on the hammock at dawn or dusk.

Set within 185 acres of private reserve, the lodge itself makes little or no impact on its surrounding environment. Using fresh mountain spring water, solar electricity, providing eco friendly toiletries to the guests (which are lovely) and even recycling their own waste this place is not only a natural paradise, but a proactive conservation dream come true. Everyone here works hard to protect the environment and educate their visitors with a passion that is infectious. The guides share their knowledge willingly and I can honestly say that the guiding we experienced here is the best we have experienced anywhere. I was humbled by how much they do to protect the jungle and the wildlife within it and all with no loss of comfort, in fact the luxurious feel was enhanced by the truly natural surroundings.

There is a bar and restaurant, where a wonderful selection of food is produced. Meals are at set times through the day and each one provides three delicious courses, so you will not go hungry here. Hot, fresh Cost Rican coffee is available in immense flasks throughout the day something which is a real treat (the coffee is the best I have tasted) and of course the fresh spring water is deliciously cool and on tap!

There is no shortage of wildlife and you will get used to the fact that your day will start early and end early. The Howler Monkeys and the Scarlet Macaws will wake you at first light quickly followed by everything else. There are troops of Spider Monkeys, Squirrel Monkeys and Capuchin Monkeys moving through the trees with regularity, but you may have to look harder to find the sloth, Coati and Puma... You have expert guides at the lodge who can take you out for any number of hikes (how far you go is up to you) but if you want to explore on your own, you can - the lodge provides guests with a map of the trails and a description of what you can find on each.

There are more than 463 species of bird and 140 different types of mammal here, so just keep your camera handy.
Expect friendly locals and a welcoming team to help make your visit extra special. Expert guiding, if required, after all you are allowed to walk these trails unescorted (just follow the safety rules). Expect to share this paradise with the inhabitants and yes that does mean bugs, but they are an affable lot and most of them are stunning to look at, so don't get nervous just get a good look - you may be surprised. There are not a lot of mosquito here, due to a lack of still water and the fact that the larvae are eaten by other bugs, so don't expect have to cover yourself with deet (a huge plus!). However, there are some about and as always I relied on my trusty Skin So Soft (from Avon) which seemed to work here.

Don't expect to be disturbed here - there is no TV, no mobile phone signal, nor is there any internet access, expect to be completely unreachable and enjoy every minute of it in a technology free environment.

I have to say of all my wildlife trips and the jungles/rainforests I have visited, this has been the most magical and felt like the biggest adventure. Plus, and it's a big plus, it's nice to know that you aren't harming the the habitat. To experience this reserve, this lodge and spend time with the people who work there was a privilege and an education in effective sustainable tourism, so go on dig out your passports and take yourself off to another world, it really is worth it.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Angedragon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 May 2013

It's an all inclusive jungle experience & we found it not only the most charming and fun place we've ever stayed (& we've traveled a lot) but the best price in all of Coasta Rica. It's on the Osa peninsula which has no mosquitoes, that's right folks no mosquitoes.
It included: round trip airfare from San Jose to Puerto Jimenez & shuttle to & from the lodge, 3 great gourmet meals a day & snack, dolphin watching boat tour, tours every day w/great guides who were knowledgeable and really fun, zip line breakfast in tree tops w/ repelling & if you stay 4 nights you get the 5th free.
The owners & staff greeted us as soon as we stepped out of the car. Everyone was so friendly & happy. They genuinely appreciated us being there and were excited to show us the jungle. They arranged our tours according to what WE wanted to do & when. If u just want to kick back and relax, they can arrange that too. You can lay around the pool, use the yoga platform, have a massage, swim in the lagoon or a waterfall(It's by the beach but the undertow is too strong to swim so they have a surfing & swimming tour you can exchange for the dolphin tour). We've done guided tours b4 but these were the best & we loved trekking on our own down the river. Most fun Ev ver.
The open aired restaurant is in the top of the forest canopy & so charming. Monkeys, macaws, toucans, humming birds & bats sometimes played in the trees right in front of us while we were eating. How neat is that. At every meal, there was someone there happily checking on us, making sure we had everything we needed, answering any questions & asking how our tours went: even the waiters were charming & funny.
The screened in cabanas were so cute(including bath, shower & a little deck for jungle or sky watching) & spotlessly clean. Each is in it's own little forest area making it private & secluded. No air con but w/the sea breeze & ceiling fan, the nights were cool enough at times even for a blanket.
The lodge only accommodates about 25 people at one time & the owners said that's the way they like it so that they can give everyone a personal experience. We stayed in a large lodge earlier in Coasta Rica & they were pleasant but … but just pleasant.. nothing special. But.. at El Remanso u are treated like u ARE special. We came into dinner one night & asked the waiter where to sit ..he said “We prepared the king's table for u because u are royal” we laughed and sat at the “Royal table.” the waiter probably told everyone else the same thing BUT if u want to be treated like royalty ..go to El Remanso. Not only is it the best hospitality & fun u will ever have in the jungle but the best combo price as well. You'll love it..we’re going back next year. Great Experience.

Room Tip: Any of the cabanas
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Roy K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 April 2013

Family of 4, with 12 and 15 yr old children, spent 11 days in Costa Rica at the end of April 13 - the first 5 days in the Osa peninsula at the El Remanso lodge. This small lodge, located very close to a large national park and in the middle of a large conservation area dominated by primary growth rainforest, provides a very comfortable and safe spot to enjoy and learn about this unique place. El Remanso is small enough to operate on an extremely ecologically sound basis, using hydroelectric power, careful water and waste management, recycling or composting almost everything. While this means a simpler kind of guest experience than you'd get at (say) a Four Seasons Golf Resort, the place is immaculately clean, extremely comfortable and is designed so that you are living in the rainforest, rather than on the edge of it. The food was excellent - comparable to a good restaurant in NY or London - quite extraordinary for such a remote location. The management and all the staff are both friendly and very conscientious - from the moment we stepped onto the tarmac at Puerto Jimenez, we felt welcomed and taken care of. There is an abundance of things to do at the lodge, from rappelling down waterfalls to early morning bird-watching in the forest canopy, and our only regret is that we didn't spend longer and explore the beaches and forest nearby. If you want a place where you can listen to the surf at night, the howler moneys and macaws in the morning, walk past a basilisk lizard and a pair of toucans on the way to breakfast, this is the place to do it.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank Ned S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Redhill, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
27 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 April 2013

A lovely lodge in a beautiful, natural setting. A fantastic opportunity to see animals and birds in the extensive grounds, which range from rainforest to fabulous ocean-side. We joined guided tours and also hiked around on our own, every sortie yielded up something exciting. Soak in the pool and watch macaws in the tree overhead.
You can be as active or relaxed as you choose. Abseiling down waterfalls was great fun and entirely safe... The path to the beach is long and steep.. be prepared!
The meals were fine, if unexciting, and we did find the vegetarian offerings a little disappointing, but our feedback was eagerly sought. You get the feeling that you are being listened to. Excellent service, very personal and nothing too much trouble. All staff members, without exception, were charming and helpful.

As others have said, no aircon, so it gets a little sticky and no easy contact with the outside world... but that's no bad thing is it?

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank catalpa542
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
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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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