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“What a surprise! I hadn't wanted to go ...”
Review of El Remanso Lodge

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El Remanso Lodge
Ranked #2 of 43 Hotels in Osa Peninsula
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 23 March 2014

I created a trip to the Osa Peninsula and to El Remanso Lodge in particular as a gift for my husband in early March. I had zero interest in what I thought would be a place full of mosquitoes, too-basic lodging, and plenty of birds/animals that I didn't think I wanted to be near. I didn't know how wrong I could be! We have travelled extensively, yet this place and our experience at El Remanso may have been the best ever - for more reasons than I can even fit in this review. You need to go here - it doesn't matter where else you may want to visit in CR - this will be the highlight.

We were greeted at the Puerto Jimenez airstrip by Julia and Marco after a great Sansa flight from San Jose. Their enthusiasm was contagious on the ride to El Remanso, and they felt like old friends by the time we arrived. Our first look at the lodge/restaurant was the next great surprise - it was so lovely - all open air and wood. Over the next hour, while Silvia described all aspects of this amazing place and we had a refreshing drink, a Toucan landed in plain view about 25 yards away - and we were already falling in love with El Remanso! Then we were accompanied to our cabin - Caramba. It was simple, but so tasteful with a great deck looking to the ocean and surrounded by "controlled jungle/forest". I was so happy! After 4 days - NO mosquitoes - just as they say! Unforgettable - sitting on our private deck in the morning, looking out to the ocean, watching a pair of Scarlet Macaws flying toward us, turning into the sun and absolutely blazing into full color!

I cannot say enough about the guided hikes by Gerardo (he speaks the birds' language)! I took two of these day hikes and then one night hike; we walked down to the ocean and hiked the beach a couple of times; my husband also did some self-guided hikes and the canopy breakfast. We both did Yoga one afternoon. It was just the right amount of activity and relaxation. Of course, you could choose to do nothing at all!

Last, but by far not the least, were the staff here. I know they have been mentioned many times in other reviews, but I have to comment again. Nowhere, in any of our travels, have we experienced such caring, conscious, concerned and friendly service! These are primarily local young people hired & trained by Silvia and Adriana. Their team is so well-coordinated and create such a lovely personal experience (with the best food ever and wonderful menu choices at every meal)! This place is really another world - one in which I'd love to be a part for a long, long time. Don't miss it. We have been missing it since we left!

Donna & Larry

Room Tip: We stayed in Caramba, one of three "classic" cabins, and loved, loved it.
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Donna Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 22 March 2014

We stayed at El Remanso for 3 days. The fact that there is absolutely no noise and you are in close contact with nature made our trip amazing.

We visited the waterfall, the fresh water lagoon and the beach. We also managed to see toucans, monkeys, spiders, macaws. The "sounds" of the forest in the evening were also amazing.

The meals were nice and healthy, with a variety of local flavours. All fresh ingredients.

Room Tip: You are in for a different type of hotel, not you average noise halls with carpets. No noise or larg...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Paul S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 March 2014

My best friend and I discovered El Remanso as we were researching vacation websites. We wanted an adventurous vacation in the rainforest. This place looked absolutely amazing and every review we read was positive.... boy were the reviews right!!!! First off, Gabby was amazing at helping us book our package and flights! I must have emailed her 100 times with questions and she was so helpful and answered every question with enthusiasm and positivity.
We booked the adventure package, we were able to take a morning bird watching tour, horseback riding, waterfall rappelling, a night hike, and dolphin watching.

When we arrived, Gera was waiting for us to take us to the lodge. He was so kind! The ride to the lodge was beautiful and full of farmland. Gera stopped along the way to take our picture and tell us about everything we were seeing.

When we arrived Josy was waiting with iced tea and we were greeted and shown to our cabin. The cabin was spacious and clean. The cabin had a beautiful view of the forest and ocean in the distance. Little critters made it into the room, but nothing to be too afraid of. There was a spider once that I was a little uncomfortable with, but the staff came in and took it right out. Luckily the spiders in Costa Rica are not poisonous! Our rooms were cleaned in the morning and at dinner time. The staff was so nice and considerate. Every morning you wake to the sound of the Howler monkeys. It definitely is a unique alarm clock! Its perfectly fine, because you'll want to wake up early and get your day started!

The food was great, fresh fruit juice every morning. There is a small menu you can choose from for all of your meals. They have something for everyone! Plus dessert is served at lunch and at dinner!!! The staff is so nice and attentive. Rolbin, Sergio, and Jairo took great care of us! I can't say enough about the service!

On every trip, Gera was our guide. He is so smart and loves what he does. His smile is infectious and you get excited for all the adventures! He also makes you feel very safe as you are in the middle of the jungle!

The pool is relaxing, you'll spend a lot of time there because it gets hot, as you lay by the pool scarlet macaws fly by and it is paradise.

On the bird watching tour we saw 4 species of monkeys, sloth, and many other animals! This is a must do!

The waterfalls are so much fun! Must do!

Horseback riding with Miguel Sanchez takes you through lagoons and on the beach! We actually saw a water buffalo bathing!

Dolphin watching was awesome! We saw tons of spotted dolphins and went snorkeling!

The night hike is scary! We saw an armadillo, scorpions, spiders, and frogs!

You can not go wrong with El Remanso! The staff takes the time to learn your name and check in with you everyday! Sylvia and Jessi made sure we were happy and arranged all of our excursions. We didn't have to lift a finger!


The only thing is.... the beach is a 15 minute downward hike, but a 20-25 minute uphill hike back! It is beautiful though and so peaceful. A little exercise never hurt anyone!

El Remanso is a perfect place to see wildlife, relax, and just be. You can really enjoy life and take a break from the hustle and bustle.

It was worth every penny. We hope to come back again! We fell in love with El Remanso and feel like we made friends and memories that will last a lifetime!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Felisha M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2014

Amazing for the wildlife, relaxation, incredible atmosphere and service.

My fiance and I are two students in our late 20s about to finish graduate school. We went to El Remanso on the tail end of a 2 month trip hiking and camping in Patagonia. We came to the Osa Peninsula for the wildlife. We were amazed by that and so much more during our time at El Remanso.

1. The wildlife viewing is incredible. The rainforest and beach are well protected and you can see incredible flora and fauna whether you're hanging out near the lodge or whether you explore the trails. The guides are great. Gerardo especially is an encyclopedia and incredibly enthusiastic about teaching.

2. This is a place full of enthusiasm, love, and service from the owners and the staff to the guests. The owners Daniel and Adriana clearly get great joy from serving people well, and the staff at El Remanso share that enthusiasm. They were so helpful with every aspect of our stay, anticipating our needs and even going out of their way to help us arrange other parts of our trip outside of Remanso. They treat the staff well and there is an obvious family atmosphere amongst all who work there. This enthusiastic atmosphere is present amongst the guests as well.

3.The atmosphere is highly relaxing. The staff, the other guests, the beautiful rooms and pool, combined with the natural features made our stay really relaxing.

4. The food was delicious, especially the typical Tico options.

5. The lodge has impressive sustainability efforts both in terms of minimal environmental impact and efforts to benefit the local community.

For young active people like us who are on a budget, it is absolutely worth it.

A) There are enough trails and activities to keep you occupied for several days and active enough that you are tired at the end of the day... or you can just relax by the pool, the ocean, or in the rainforest.

B) If you're on a tight budget, go for it, El Remanso is absolutely worth it. Also there are ways to make it fit a young person's budget (like arranging your own transportation to the Osa peninsula and getting out to the lodge by Colectivo (cattle truck converted to local bus) and by picking your activities when you arrive. The staff were incredibly flexible and helpful in assisting us to arrange this.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Joel C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 March 2014

I have never enjoyed a vacation more than my recent trip with adult family to Costa Rica. The highlight was the four nights spent at El Remanso Lodge. The five of us booked the large, private La Vainilla cabana which has a screened-in downstairs with sleeping for three or four, and a wonderful tree-house-like open upstairs with a king bed with a fantastic bug-netting canopy. We were five adults and the arrangement was fine, with both levels having baths. The view down the rain forest gorge to the Pacific was breathtaking. The facilities are very special, and the architecture blends into the forest wonderfully. It is perfectly attuned to the natural environment which is the main reason for being there anyway. If you're looking for a big, air-conditioned "Cancun" experience, go to the Carribean side of the country. Here, you're in the rain-forest. You don't really need an alarm clock. The howler monkeys will sound reveille every morning.The food in the beautiful open-air dining building was wonderful, with plenty of choice, including vegetarian. The resort's dedication to the environment was apparent everywhere. Their electrical needs are completely satisfied by their own private hydroelectric facility. All their water comes from two springs on the property. No added chemicals, tastes wonderful and it's tested constantly. Hot water in the baths is provided by instant, propane-fired heaters.

The staff was superb. Attentive without being intrusive, and respectful with being obsequious. They learn your names, wear name tags, and are delighted when you call them by name. The resort has (I think) a capacity of around 35 guests, and a staff of 32. The masseuse, Laura, is excellent. The staff naturalists are amazing, and I highly recommend the "long hike" early in your stay. The "long" refers to the time spent (around four hours) not the distance walked. You will see wildlife you would have walked right by on your own. My brain was reeling with new knowledge when we finished our walk with Gerardo (Gera) who has several degrees and whose English is fluent. Costa Rica is justly renowned for surfing, and some of us took advantage of a trip arranged by the lodge. Fantastico. I was prepared for the waterfall rappelling to be tame and lame, but it was loads of fun. Do it! If you're a photographer, opportunities abound, but be forewarned: it's dark in the rain forest. You need gear that performs well in low light, and a good tripod is worth bringing, though many of your subjects won't sit still for you. We saw four different species of monkeys, dozens of different birds, many non-simian mammals and bats, uncounted insects (no mosquitoes, thanks to the bats) and plenty of reptiles and amphibians, including basilisks and poison-dart frogs. The spring-fed pool is wonderful on hot days. The beautiful blue-water beach is not swim-able. Terrible shore-break, rip-tides and lateral currents. The bar is limited, but what drinks they do make are quite good. Good ever-available coffee. If you absolutely, positively must stay in touch with home or work, I'd advise you to rent a sat-phone. There's no cell service, no wi-fi, and the only internet connection is (to use the manager's description) like dial-up, but slower. They are looking into alternatives, but as of this date, consider yourself off-grid. Really. I could not give a place a higher recommendation.

Room Tip: La Vainilla cabana is wonderful, but not if you have a phobia of bats. If you prefer a totally enclo...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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3  Thank Portfoliofotos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 March 2014

We enjoyed our stay at El Remanso the most of any place we visited in Costa Rica. It was the experience of a lifetime made possible by the breathtakingly beautiful rainforest, the eco sustainability of the resort, and by everyone who works there being committed to our happiness and us having the most enjoyable experience possible.

Adriana and Dani as the owners and Sylvia as the manager have built an incredible staff dedicated to having your stay be memorable. The rainforest, great hiking trails, knowledgeable guides, birds, monkeys and excellent breakfasts, lunches and dinners all created a magical environment.

We were able to completely disconnect and immerse ourselves in your luxurious, intimate, romantic setting. Thank you. We will return in the future!

Jack and Bonnie

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Jack and Bonnie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 March 2014

It’s been more than 2 months, and I’m peeking out at snow, but I’m still remembering and savoring the vacation at El Remanso. I was there with my husband and 20 year old daughter. It was beyond wonderful. I’d wanted to have an eco-adventure in Costa Rica for years, and El Remanso provided all of it. I teach environmental science and botany, reading about the rainforest, but I wanted to go there myself. My goal is to go to every biome. This added to the list! Additionally, the attention to reducing human footprint was outstanding, and was a big factor for me in choosing El Remanso as environmentally sustainable in everyway.
You can go and read about all the amenities and adventures offered at El Remanso – - everything you see on the website is accurate - but here are some of highlights of our time there.
Amazing staff – completely involved and personalized. Adriana and Daniel were wonderful hosts. We had gotten to know each other prior to the vacation by e-mail, and we felt so welcomed. On Christmas Day, my daughter was suffering from an infection. They went into Puerto Jimenez, a 45-minute drive away, to the pharmacist’s home to get antibiotics. On Christmas day! This speaks to the attention and care we experienced.
Hiking and excursions were wonderful. Naturalist guides Gerardo and others were incredibly knowledgeable and added insights on the trails that we would not have had otherwise. I’m really into plant life, and the guides taught me so much. My daughter and I went waterfall rappelling, a fantastic adventure. She and my husband went horseback riding on the beach.
We stayed in the larger building near the lodge. It was airy, with an open, yet private shower. We had a small porch and an alcove with a hammock in it. We looked out at the pool with the Pacific Ocean seen above the tree canopy. We were close to the lodge. The only comment I have is that the paths were covered by gravel, and you could hear the staff crunch by in the early morning. But this was in contrast to the howler monkeys roaring every morning. No complaints. We were not bothered or bit by insects during our stay.
The food was good, featuring fresh fruit and seafood. Terrific adult tropical cocktails.
To conclude, it was a fantastic vacation. Go to El Remanso!

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank granolagirl14
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

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:
#2 Green Hotel in Osa Peninsula
Price Range: £94 - £170 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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