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“Beyond Our Wildest Expectations”
Review of El Remanso Lodge

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El Remanso Lodge
Ranked #3 of 42 Hotels in Osa Peninsula
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Chicago
1 review
“Beyond Our Wildest Expectations”
Reviewed 17 July 2013

My wife, two children ages 16 and 14, and I stayed at El Remanso for four nights in late June, at the start of the green season. The reviews we had read on Tripadvisor, combined with the videos we had reviewed at www.remanso.com had set our expectations pretty high. I am pleased to be able to report that these high expectations were met or exceeded in every possible way. At no other location on our wonderful trip to Costa Rica did we feel as close to and as connected with the rainforest as we did at El Remanso . The staff were all warm and friendly, the accommodations were spacious, comfortable and beautiful, and the food was outstanding -- all the more so when you consider the remoteness of the location. The kitchen staff did an outstanding job working around my wife's many food allergies. The guides for the trips we selected were excellent --a particular shout out for Geraldo, who has a sixth sense for spotting wildlife that left us in complete awe. We loved the hiking, the wild remote beach and the waterfall rappeling.

We did experience some torrential rainstorms, usually for an hour or two in the afternoon, but on one occasion it went on all evening and night. We used the time to read, relax and play cards, but I could see how others might be frustrated by this"lost time". Think carefully about this before you book in the green season. We would go at the same time of year again, but can certainly see why others might prefer not to take the risk.

Also a warning for those who are not comfortable being really close to nature. If bats, bugs or the possibility of finding snakes at your feet on a hike raise any concerns, then this is most definitely not the location for you. For everyone else, we cannot recommend El Remanso highly enough. We shall surely be going back!

Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
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Thank iainlo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Montreal
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 13 July 2013

The first night my family and I were completely not used to this kind of eco-lodge and were considering leaving. So glad we didn't because after getting adjusted to it after the first night, it was the most incredible vacation ever. Tons of things to do, friendly staff and a very unique and eye-opening experience. Best way to experience Costa Rica and the wildlife.

Room Tip: The largest unit is not as comfortable and great as other units.
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
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1 Thank Claudia N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boulder, Colorado
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 July 2013

This was our first visit to the Osa and El Remanso. Our stay at this Eco lodge and this region inspired my first reviews on TripAdvisor. I simply couldn't let folks miss this spot.

If you are going to Costa Rica for the wildlife, skip the overcrowded Manuel Antonio and head right here. As a bird watcher, I spotted about 50 new species on my life list during just our three night stay. The guides were very educated and several nights we enjoyed guest speakers share their expertise regarding the local biodiversity and conservation efforts.

Getting to El Remanso is a commitment but well worthwhile and even the drive is an adventure. Arrive during the day and rent a four wheel drive because some of the bridges are very narrow and you cross some running streams on the road.

With each day, hike, paddle or tour, You will fall more and more in love with the intensity of the wildlife, biodiversity and rainforest. I have had the privilege of exploring many remote regions and the Osa rivals the best.

The lodge staff were extremely attentive and the main lodge is a wonderful gathering place to meet others and spot wildlife. Everyday spotted new wildlife, including caiman, snakes, toads, frogs, scorpions, spiders and three types of monkey's. If you can, bring very good binoculars, spotting scopes and cameras to take full advantage of the local splendor and wildlife. I highly recommend the bird watching tours, night hikes, kayak tour in the mangrove and the beach hikes. Beware, the surf in this area is very dangerous, even for experienced swimmers. Plan to use the lodge pool or swim in the jungle lagoon instead. In the end, I did not miss swimming in the pacific because the ruggedness of the beach adds to the incredible beauty and overall mystique of this amazing place.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
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2 Thank Hugie1959
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
North Wales, PA
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 July 2013

We stayed 6 nights total - 3 nights in La Vainilla and 3 in classic cabins. Every expectation we had was met or exceeded. The staff was knowledgeable and very friendly. Especially Gabby who handled our reservations by email and Rienaldo and Melvin were phenomenal. We saw so much wildlife - 4 types of monkeys, coati, snakes, countless colorful birds.

We signed up for an "active package" which included short hike, long hike, night hike, waterfall rappelling, zipline to canopy platform, and either horseback riding or bird watching.

This place well deserves the 5 stars it gets here on TripAdvisor. One of the best vacations ever.

Room Tip: The La Vainilla and La Guinda cabins are away from the others and have great ocean views.
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
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1 Thank Gardener55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Antonio, Texas
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 June 2013

We just returned from a 13-day stay at El Remanso. My family of 6 (my husband, myself, and our 4 children ages 10,9,5 & 4) had one of the best vacations we've ever had!

We stayed in Casa Osa, which sleeps 8. This arrangement fit us perfectly...my two older sons each had his own room on the ground floor with their own bathroom, and the two younger children slept in their own beds on the top floor with us and shared a second bathroom with us. The whole cabin had 2 queen beds and 4 twin beds. We were perfectly fine with no air-conditioning--the ocean breeze kept us nice and comfortable. It is true that there are not many mosquitoes. Even so, the bedroom areas were screened in to keep out other moths, etc. The two huge covered patios were delightful to watch the plentiful wildlife and relax on (monkeys and birds were frequently in the trees off our cabin). We woke each morning to the call of the howler monkeys and went to sleep each night to the gentle crashing of waves from the beach.

It rained many of the evenings we were there, but always cleared up the next day. It never affected our activities and actually provided a better night walk than without a few drip-drops. Overall, the weather was amazingly pleasant. It was certainly not the overwhelming melting feeling that one gets in other rainforest settings.

The general grounds were beautiful. Lushly planted with native plants; the birds were prolific just there in the garden and restaurant. Daily from the restaurant, we watched toucans, scarlett macaws, several of the different monkeys, and many other beautiful birds. The restaurant had a beautiful ocean view, and a constant breeze...making it a very comfortable place to relax. We ate all our meals at the lodge. Even with 13 days, we were not tired of the food, nor ever had a complaint. Each meal was tasty and very artfully presented. In fact, I went home with several of the recipes.

We went on the following El Remanso activities (we didn't feel that our children were old enough to enjoy the waterfall repelling): early morning bird tour, long hike on the ridge/botanical trail, river walk, night hike, and canopy breakfast/zip line. We also enjoyed the outside activities arranged through El Remanso of horseback riding, mangrove kayaking, and the dolphin watch. Without exception, each activity/tour was amazing. The staff and guides were wonderful with the children and explained things in terms they would understand. The guides were extremely knowledgeable; they were always able to answer and explain our questions. We were amazed by their ability to spot animals and birds! The kids even got some extra rides on the zip line to let them enjoy the thrill a bit more. :) Each hike presented a new animal/bird siting; it was like a new surprise awaited us around each bend.

We also hiked many of the trails on our own; again seeing wildlife each time. The hike down to the beach was easy, and only a little slower coming back up--this is even with a 4 and 5-yr old. The tide pools, large waterfall and lagoon were lots of fun to play and swim in. The lagoon particularly offered a nice place for the kids to play in the sand and small stream running towards the ocean.

The staff and guides were wonderful. Each day, they checked on us, made sure we were having a good time, told us what was happening next, and shared experiences with us. We were really made to feel at home. And Lola, Daniel's (the owner) German Shepherd provided the kids with wonderful entertainment. :) She is missed sorely now that we are back home!

El Remanso is truly a small bit of paradise. We were never rushed and had plenty of time to relax even though we enjoyed a plethora of organized and self-guided activities. There is no internet connection, so this trip offered us a real chance to escape the world and enjoy our family and time together. Even with the early mornings, the early sunsets allowed for plenty of sleep.

I highly recommend this trip to anyone wanting some rest mixed with the beauty and wildness of the rainforest! It is also a great place for photographers to capture some fantastic wildlife photos!

I am only attaching files of the lodge because I have entirely too many good wildlife and landscape photos to post!

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank nicola w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 June 2013

This is not our first trip to the Osa, but it was our first time at El Remanso. We fell in love with the Osa years ago and when we got engaged, we knew immediately that that was where we would get married. We contacted a few of the lodges in the area and for multiple reasons, we decided on El Remanso. We reserved the entire lodge for the wedding weekend, Friday to Sunday, and that was perfect for the 30 of us.

Upon arrival at Puerto Jimenez, Gabby greeted us at the airport (it's really just a short landing strip) and transportation had been all set to get to the lodge. They are so organized and their communication with each other is so good, that everyone knows who you are by name before you even arrive. Everyone is greeted by name, the staff is so courteous, and they all work extremely hard. El Remanso is dedicated to local sustainability and that includes the local people, so they hire people from Puerto Jimenez and surrounding areas.

In terms of environmental sustainability, they are top not notch. Their power source is from 100% renewable resources from micro-hydroelectric plants, that can only be accessed by rappelling down a ravine. There are leach fields for the management of wastewater and the septic tanks. Everything is recycled, reused, and nothing is wasted. It's clear how much effort they put into leaving little to no carbon footprint. They have a CST rating of 5 leaves, it doesn't get better than that.

The lodge is set up so that there is a main restaurant, common area. The rooms are individual private cabins that overlook the rainforest and the Pacific Ocean. It's about a 15 minute hike downhill to the pristine deserted beaches. If you are like us and stop to take pictures of every mangrove crab and monkey along the way, the walk can take much longer. It is a slightly strenuous hike up back up, but well worth it, because on the beach there are amazing tide pools that are so perfectly shaped that you can't help but think that they're man-made. A lagoon and waterfalls are also accessible from the beach. There are multiple other trails on the property, and from every corner, there is a multitude of wildlife to be seen. In the time that our wedding guests and I were there, we collectively saw: all four species of monkeys, countless number of birds, poison dart frogs, butterflies, insects, agoutis, venomous, and nonvenomous snakes, a white-nosed coati, an anteater, and sloths. Unfortunately, none of us saw any large cats, which only means we'll have to go back. Always leave something undone to ensure a return trip.

We took advantage of all their activities, including waterfall rappelling, zip-lining, guided hikes, daytime and night hikes, and some outside activities including dolphin watching, horseback riding, a visit to the Wildlife Sanctuary, and kayaking. Their guided hikes are with their in-house naturalist guides, Gerardo and Rinaldo.

Because the nearest town is a 45 minute drive away, all meals are inclusive and they are delicious. Everything is so fresh, prepared that day, and comes with impeccable service from the staff.

We cannot wait to go back and re-new our wedding vows there and to find that elusive puma!

Room Tip: We stayed in La Guinda, which was beautiful. But we had the luxury of seeing every room while we we...
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank KatD1111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Level 6 Contributor
137 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 June 2013

The lodge sits in it's own private reserve, so the wildlife is outside your door, dining room, swimming pool all the time. I was also very impressed by the low environmental impact at El Remanso. As tourists we are very privileged to be able to visit countries like Costa Rica and I believe it is our responsibility to use lodges and local services which give a high priority to minimizing the impact they have on the local environment - and I am happy to pay the price for that - that only seems right.

Having said that, I don't think the Lodge is very expensive, given that you get a prime location, excellent fresh and local produce, a very friendly and welcoming staff and staff/guides who are very knowledgeable and helpful when advising on and delivering tours, tips on where to go and where not to go.

This area is great and we saw so much wildlife here with very knowledgeable guides.

I really could not fault this place - go there, you will not be disappointed.

Thank you for such an enjoyable stay.

Room Tip: I think they are probably all good.
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank WBT
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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