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“Romantic retreat”
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
Atlanta
Level Contributor
34 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Romantic retreat”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 June 2008

My husband and I spent a wonderful week at El Remanso in December. We stayed in both La Vanilla and a suite at El Poniente, but the cabinas are also lovely, with nice rainforest views.

Our first four nights were at La Vanilla, which is isolated from the other accommodations and completely open to the rainforest around you. Relaxing there in the afternoons, watching the ocean and the monkeys and birds, was a highlight of our trip. I was delighted on our first afternoon to see a very small colony of bats sleeping on the outside of a shade. We watched them fly away each evening and return every morning.

Our last three nights were in El Poniente. The rooms are still very open, but you can close the shutters if you want. The entire front opens to face the pool and gorgeous ocean sunsets. Huge picture windows throughout the room and (really nice) bath allow for unobstructed views of wildlife and gardens. We took dips in the pool and then retreated to our solarium to read or play games.

I cannot say enough nice things about Adriana and Daniel, and their excellent staff. Adriana made our visit seamless from our first contact, and everyone at El Remanso seems dedicated to ensuring that your visit is wonderful.

Gerardo, the naturalist, took us on the zipline to our canopy breakfast. The cost was reasonable to us for the close-up views of the colorful small birds and the raptors. The long hike should not be missed. Gerardo knows tons and he is a lot of fun, as well. He also took us bird-watching on our last morning. We loved the waterfall rappelling with Joel and enjoyed his stories. Horseback riding through the rainforest and on the beach was fun and relaxing.

El Remanso is a wonderful small and intimate retreat located in a remote area on the Osa Peninsula. As noted in other comments, there is no tv, no air-conditioning, no phone service, no blackberry connectivity, and blow-dryers are not allowed.

This is not a child-friendly place; there are too many natural hazards. Bringing young children is not safe for them and not fair to the other guests or the employees. This is a small resort. Children would be happier in places where there are other kids, a larger pool, and children’s activities. And adults traveling without children should be allowed to enjoy the pool and the wonderful natural surroundings and sounds.

  • Liked — remote and small, intimate, outdoor activities, no children
  • Stayed December 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank frweaver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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
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Date | Rating
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English first
New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 March 2008

I went to Costa RIca with my parents and my two brothers, and by the time we arrived at the Osa Peninsula I was looking for a safe haven - and that's exactly what I found at El Remanso.
I was only there for two nights, but I felt like crying the day I had to leave. The staff makes you feel like family, talking with you like you have known them for years. I felt a hole develop in my heart the day I left - one that will never be filled up until I return.
José, Elyer, and MIchael were amazing servers, greeting us with smiles and conversing with us everyday. Gerado, the onsite naturalist, was amazing as well, always happy and eager to tell you about the different species inhabiting the Peninsula. Elyer in particular is a very joyous man, full of life and spunk. One could talk to him for hours, or just stare at his beautiful smile :)
The food is delicious and fresh, and the cook, if you manage to make him come out from the kitchen, is a wonderful man. Daniel, the husband of the young Spanish couple that run the place, met us the minute we pulled into the driveway, and immediately showed us our accommodations - La Casa Osa. The beautiful house, spacious enough for 8 people, boasts two stories, each with a hammock.
The non-chlorinated pool is extremely refreshing after a long day - as is the pool-side delivery of a drink (I recommend the pineapple smoothies or piña coladas.) The beach, a 10 minute hike down and 25 minute hike up (due to the steep hill), is a spectacular site. Although the current is too powerful to allow for swimming, the tide pools are a perfect way to cool down and relax.
I just returned from Costa Rica, and am currently trying to open up time in my busy schedule to return to El Remanso. Well - first I have to convince my parents. That shouldn't be too hard though, considering we all left heavy hearted with a strong desire to return.
I will never forget my time at El Remanso, and look forward to someday returning and reliving the paradise it is.

  • Liked — The staff (Elyer, Gerado, José, Michael), the atmosphere, the other guests, everything
  • Disliked — Having to leave, not being able to stay forever
  • Stayed February 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank ElRemansolover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NY
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 March 2008

My husband and I planned a trip to Costa Rica in mid-February and knew that we wanted to go off the beaten track and explore the Osa Peninsula. We looked into all of the major wildlife lodges in the area and decided to go for El Remanso.

The pros of staying at El Remanso:

8) the "no fuss" attitude: we really appreciated that at an administrative level - ie at booking and check-out, everything regarding logistics and costs were well disclosed and there was no fuss. It was simple, straightforward and frankly, although the stay is not budget but any means, it was worth every penny.
7) the guests: we found all of the other guests to be like-minded, eco-conscious (but not obnoxiously so), responsibly, worldly people.
6) the activities: the activities offered were diverse and we enjoyed the one's we did. We LOVED the sunset kyaking trip (where we saw dolphins on the Gulfo Dulce) and the Surfing lesson was also good fun. Although the activities cost extra, it is worth it to try out a few. The staff take on the work of booking the activity and transportation and as always made everything easy and breezy.
5) the hiking trails: wonderful hiking trails for all levels. We did at least one and sometimes 2 trails a day and there was never a dull moment and can only be called a great adventure as we experience and actively explored the amazing flora and fauna of the Osa rainforest
4) the accomodation: we stayed in Casa Poniente deluxe suite with ocean views. Truly a place to "get away from it all" which is what we desperately needed coming from our busy lives in New York. We felt it important that all of the buildings were made of fallen local wood.
3) the food: breakfast, lunch and dinner was provided daily and was impeccably fresh. The meals were light but fulfilling and always delicious.
2) the location: high above the canopy in the Osa Rainforest, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. We were right in the middle of the most pristine and beautiful place - the word "paradise" came to mind as soon as we arrived
1) the incredibly staff: who all perfectly balance attentive service, genuine friendliness, and letting you have space and privacy

The cons of staying at El Remanso:

......none, nada, zip, zilch.

.... ok fine this is just to show that I actually thought hard about this... I would have liked to have been provided shampoo because I was dumb and forgot to pack it but thats mainly my fault and princess tendencies...

Summary: If you enjoy getting away from it all, but also have an adventure and not merely sit on the beach for your whole vacation, be fed great food and be taken care of properly (though not utterly spoiled), please don't ever, ever go to El Remanso... It's essence is of purity and nature, and frankly was our definition of paradise. I have big plans to return, and would hate for it to be destroyed by mass tourism so please don't go!!

  • Stayed February 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank tinalolo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Port Hope Ontario
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 March 2008

We just returned from an unforgettable one week stay at El Remanso in the Osa Peninsula. This was the best vacation my husband and I have ever taken, and here are some of the reasons why.

It all started at the Nature Air terminal in San Jose, as we were waiting for our flight to the Osa (I highly recommend flying, esp. in the rainy season). I consulted the weather forecast in the Tico Times, and it was not promising: rain and thunderstorms for the next week. This alone would usually be enough to ruin my vacation, but upon our arrival at El Remanso, we were greeted by Adriana and Daniel(the owners) like old friends, and this was the way they treated us and every guest that stayed at the lodge for the entire duration of our stay. (a note to remember-we experienced very atypical weather for Costa Rica for the dry season)

We stayed in the La Vainilla cabin, which, for nature lovers such as my husband and myself, was the cabin of our dreams. This is a 2 storey spacious, cabin, overlooking the pacific ocean and the rainforest, and we chose to stay the entire time on the second floor which is completely open to the elements, except a mosquito net over the bed, which we did not even need. I will never forget our first evening as we were sitting down with a drink, taking in the gorgeous view. We heard some rustling in the trees, and we felt incredibly honoured to be the capitive audience of a family of spider monkeys, swinging from tree to tree, little bodies hanging by tails on branches, mothers jumping with babies on backs! This went on for a good 20 minutes, and we knew right then that we had chosen the right lodge, and definitely the right cabin.

Meals are served at a stunning open-air restaurant, where we could usually find the resident nature guide extraordinaire, (Gerardo) looking through his telescope, and commenting on a variety of wildlife sightings, mostly scarlet macaws, red lored parrots, and monkeys. We took the ridge trail hike with Gerardo, and his passion and knowledge for all types of wildlife is infectious, and we learned so much about the rainforest! On our hike, we spotted a poisonous dart frog, and also huge anteater climbing a tree!

We were also fortunate to be staying at El Remanso at the same time that a yoga group was holding a retreat. What can I say? How do you convey the incredible experience of doing yoga as the sun is coming up in the rainforest, with parrots and monkeys in the treetops above you? The yoga teacher was from New York, and she was top notch. We ended up bonding with the yoga group over the week, it added an unexpected delightful edge to our vacation.

The hike down to the beach and back is quite the trek, but worth every sweat bead. And what a beach!! This is a beach out of paradise-you could walk for miles without seeing a soul, the waves crashing the surf, the most puffy cotton like clouds framing the entire scene! Do check out the tide pools at low tide. They are like sitting in your own private hot tub. Amazing!
Do not miss the waterfall! Just before you get to the tide pools, you will come across a little estuary that flows into a river. Just follow the river to the waterfall, and let the water rip over your body!

It's been a week since our return, and I miss El Remanso, and all the great friends we met there, and I really miss Adriana, Daniel, Shanta, Gerardo, Elyer and Michael. This is not your typical package vacation on a touristed beach in the Caribbean, but if you dare to go off the beaten path a bit to El Remanso, I promise you will come back somehow enlightened through the proximity to the natural world, and the deep ecological commitment that Adriana and Daniel bring to this little piece of paradise.

  • Liked — It was like sleeping outside, but upscale!
  • Stayed February 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank addictedtocostarica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montana
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 February 2008

We really enjoyed El Remanso. I would describe the hotel as “simple luxury”. We stayed in one of the deluxe cabinas, which is one large room with an open shower area and a small water closet. The cabina was very clean and spacious. It had a deck with a hammock and two chairs. From our cabina the view was mostly jungle and a bit of the Pacific. The best view was from the main lodge/restaurant. All meals were included and the food was excellent, though I think they should serve larger portions. I am an active person and I was never completely full after a meal. Other than that I have no complaints. The service was excellent and everyone was very friendly. The staff helped us make arrangements to do anything we wanted. The grounds are very nice – with several different trails to hike, waterfalls to visit and tide pools at the beach in front of their property. We saw lots of wildlife, including three species of monkeys and lots of different types of birds. We were warned about poisonous snakes when we checked in, and sure enough we saw a Fer-de-Lance on a trail that very night. But that should not put anyone off; after all, it is a jungle!

  • Liked — The wildlife everywhere around you!
  • Disliked — The food was excellent, but they should serve larger portions.
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Reluctant-Traveler-7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney Olympic Park, Australia
Level Contributor
84 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 January 2008

This is not a luxury retreat but it is still a gem. Our stay was too brief (2 nights). The whole family enjoyed the water fall rapelling and exploring the rock pools on the deserted beach down the hill. The rougher edges (compared to some more upmarket places nearby) added to the experience. Open air rooms bring you closer to the jungle sounds. The trail system is extensive and adventurous.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Short stay
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank zlejins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 December 2007

Daniel and Adriana,

> While we have returned from our stay at El Remanso, we have yet to come down.

From the moment Geraldo met us at the airport, to the day we departed, our stay with you was truly a wonder. Our little Azul cabina was, as Adri had promised in a letter, your 'most beautiful'. We appreciated your attending to the little touches we requested (the mosquito netting added the perfectambiance), and the grounds and landscaping surrounding it were stunning. We were particularly impressed you went to the trouble of coaxing a troupe of spider monkeys to roost in the barren tree outside all week. They were the centerpiece of the view from our bed.
>
> Your young chef proved to live up to Daniel's billing...'he makes magic in the kitchen'. The dishes were perfectly prepared, showed variety, and were elegantly presented. The fact that you went out of your way to accommodate
our dietary restrictions, and the extra work it took to do so were greatly appreciated by Dijon and myself.
>
>The property itself proved endlessly breathtaking. Our platform breakfast, the waterfall rappelling, the trails and beach...each provided a signature moment of our stay.
>
Perhaps the most significant ingredient was your staff. From the top down,everyone seemed happy to work there, eager to please in any way possible,and consistently cheerful. The gardeners who toiled around our cabin seemed to wake with the howlers and had already spotted animals for us to see by
the time we awoke. Elliot, Esteban and the other waiters were always smiling and showed genuine interest in our well being...even concern if we arrived late for a meal and eager to accommodate our straggling.
Geraldo your excellent guide brought a wealth of knowledge and endless enthusiasm. (I still don't buy his story that the sloth's 'know' their crap feeds the tree-I think they're just opportunistic...!) While novices at rappelling, we each felt in excellent hands. Tell him I really would like to know if he
> ever finds the source of the red poop we found along the waterfall trail bythe beach...
> On our initial ride to the property, Geraldo asked if it was okay to give his father a ride. Although he spoke no English and we hardly any Spanish, it was obvious he was very proud to have not just one, but two sons working at El Remanso. It was touching and a testament to what both of you bring to the lodge and the people who work there.
From the Zen touches throughout the property, the angels, the statuary- the spirit you have imbued the property with was a tonic to the body and soul. Living off the grid for a week...no clock, no phone, no TV or radio, was like a I.V. drip for the spirit. We both consider ourselves fortunate to have seen the jewel of the Osa up close, to unplug and de-stress, and to have chosen the perfect destination to do so.
>
I'm one who believes there are too many places to visit in too short a time, yet I would be very tempted to return to El Remanso again should the opportunity arise. I'd also hoped to be able to christen your new bar, but perhaps another time.
>
Oh...and both of us are interested in applying for jobs.
Yours was the ONLY property to write me directly. That spoke
>volumes. > Peace,
>
> Bob and Dijon
> November 2007
>

Stayed November 2007
Helpful?
14 Thank buddhaboi_7
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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