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“Tropical Resort Heaven”
Review of El Remanso Lodge

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El Remanso Lodge
Ranked #3 of 43 Hotels in Osa Peninsula
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 7 March 2009

* The El Remanso jeep and staff greeted me at the Puerto Jimenez airport with a smile and great service. The 40 minute ride to the gorgeous El Remanso property included stops to see owls, monkeys, and other animals. The Osa Peninsula is pristine and gorgeous. You can't find a better location.

* The staff at El Remanso is highly knowledgeable about the history, current activities, and zeitgeist of their region. They are beyond helpful and do everything they can to make your stay wonderful. When I arrived around 1pm, they assured me that they had multiple food options ready for me and that I could nap in my suite before I ate. I took a wonderful nap listening to the ocean from my huge suite that overlooked their land and ocean. I then had lunch near their pool and watched birds feed on their lush trees. I could not have been happier or more relaxed. Their restaurant area, bar, and pool are wonderful.

* My activities there for 5 days were incredible! The guides were A+ in execution, knowledge, planning, and spirit. They are passionate about what they do. I loved waterfall repelling, hiking at night to see nocturnal animals, bird watching at 5am, visiting the pristine beaches, getting a great massage, and meeting wonderful guests. I loved the staff ... did I mention that?

* During my 19 days in Costa Rica, I also went to the Arenal region and the Nicoya Peninsula. The OSA peninsula and specifically El Remanso were my favorites. I highly encourage you to visit there. Just fly to San Jose, hop on a Sansa or Nature Air flight to Peurto Jimenez and get El Remanso to pick you up. The jeep ride is not free, but it’s worth every penny. The drivers avoid all bumps in the road and show you animals you would never notice.

* The energy at El Remanso is perfect for relaxation and health. Of course you can have any as many zesty beverages as you’d like, but you feel wonderful there just resting in your hammock, dipping in the pool, reading a book in the shade of their great decks, lounging on their sofas, talking with the fascinating owners from Spain, Germany, and the US. Their staff is all local and super friendly.

* You can see their land and hotel on their website, ElRemanso.com, so I’m only adding my photos that show what isn’t on their site.

* Happy Travels!

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled solo
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Thank ISherbin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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501 - 507 of 618 reviews

Reviewed 26 February 2009

My boyfriend and I visited Costa Rica for the first time at the end of January. After some extensive research, we decided to head to the Osa Peninsula after a few days in the La Fortuna area. We were hoping to have a few "touristy" days and then 4 days of relaxing in a remote, unspoiled location that was away from it all. El Remanso delivered. The resort was a peaceful oasis - a world away from it all. As an experienced traveler and someone that likes a little luxury, I was initially a bit worried about staying at an ecolodge with limited electricity. I am happy to say, not only was there no reason to worry, but the experience was one of the best of my travels.

A segmented list/review:

1. Food/Drinks - Food was great - A perfect amount to satisfy. The bar menu included just enough spirit. Waiters were attentive, friendly and prompt.

2. Pool - The pool was perched on the edge of the rainforest cliff and provided a breathtaking place to soak up some rays - full ocean and sunset views. While the pool is small, the size of the resort eliminates this as a problem. The 2 days I spent time at the pool, I was the only one there.

3. Accomodations - We stayed in the new villa in a deluxe room. Our balcony provided a full view of the ocean and tree canopy. The room was extremely spacious - literally enough room to do cartwheels. The bathroom provided a open shower and a platform tub that would be perfect for a romantic soak - the bathtub is surrounded by candles for a relaxing or romantic experience. Water pressure is very, very low and electrical power is limited, so if you are a hair dryer/blow out gal, this may not be the place for you. That said, I usually don't travel without a lint brush, iron, straightener, blow dryer, etc., etc. and somehow in the Osa none of this feels necessary!

4. Bugs - If you are concerned about bugs, don't be. I didn't see or feel a mosquito the entire time. The Cicadas really come out to sing every night and a few interesting beetles were hanging around, but as a person that hates, hates, hates bugs, I wasn't bothered by the few that we saw. While there is no air conditioning, you can open the double doors and wooden window shutters to let the air in with no worries about annoying insects.

5. Massage - Lara, the massage therapist, provided the best massage I have ever had. She is a gem. The massage hut sits in the rainforest - so you get to experience the soundtrack of the jungle in real life, not via CD!!

6. Guided Hikes - Gerardo, the nature guide, is well worth the money for guided tours. We saw 3 species of monkeys (including howler adults with their babies) and a bunch of other animals and bird species. Without Gerardo, I have no doubt we wouldn't have recognized or noticed half the amount of activity we did (and not because we wouldn't have been looking). Gerardo's vast plant and animal knowledge brings the Costa Rica landscape and rainforest to life - the nature walks we took with him were a highlight of the trip. My boyfriend was not exactly excited when we signed up for bird-watching, but we both agree it was one of the best decisions we made!

7. Road Conditions - In terms of the road to get to this remote location - it is a bit rough, but based on the reviews, I expected it to be worse. We were there during dry season and still had to cross a few streams, so I can't vouch for what it would be like in times of rain, but in dry season it is definitely driveable (particularly if you have an adventurous soul and an experienced offroad driving partner!).

8. Puerto Jimenez - The town of Puerto Jimenez is quite small. We had a car, so we took a day trip to town. This can definitely be skipped.

9. Sunsets - I highly recommend a hike down to watch the sunset on the beach. Incredible. Make sure you are aware of high tide - no beach exists at high tide!

10. Owner/Hosts - The owners/hosts are fabulous - friendly and accomodating without being intrusive. They strike the perfect tone for the hotel.

11. Unguided Hikes - The resort provides a map and quick directions to access an on-property waterfall (you can actually wade beneath it!) and a series of tide pools. The tidepools are full of sea urchins and colorful fish - definitely worth the walk down the beach.

12. Guests - During our stay, we were 2 of only 12 total guests. The size of the resort really adds to the experience. If you are looking for a party place or somewhere to stay up until the wee hours, this isn't likely to be the right place for you. However, if you are looking to meet other fabulous people, see nature at its finest and truly get away from it all to relax, this is the perfect place. In terms of the guests, I would be remiss to not point out that the fellow travelers at El Remanso during the time my boyfriend and I stayed there are now our facebook friends - we have shared pics and videos and will remain in contact as new friends.

13. Chunta - Chunta, the resident dog is a real sweetie. For any traveler that is a dog owner, this resort resident will make you a little less homesick for your animal family at home.

14. Stars - The entire sky lights up with stars - the sky is so vast on this edge of the world. Sitting on the balcony watching countless shooting stars, I had to pinch myself to believe it was real.

I cannot say enough wonderful things about this lovely place. The only thing that upset me was leaving...

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank JulieSD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 February 2009

My wife and I have traveled extensively, including two prior trips to Costa Rica. El Remanso was the best experience we have ever had. The owners, Daniel and Adrienne, are exceptionally helpful and their staff is warm and welcoming. The property is amazingly beautiful. The neighboring property, Bosque de Cabo, is more groomed and refined and acccomodates more guests, but El Remanso offers a more "natural" setting, where the rain forest and the ocean are the center of attention. We saw all of the accomodation at El Remanso and would stay in any - all very beautiful in a natura , understated way. The natural environment on the Osa is incredible. The people at El Remanso are dedicated to protecting it and to sharing it with guests through environmentally sensitive practices, through an amazing network of trails featuring spectatular waterfalls and endless untouching beach, and through the nicest and most informed nature guide we have ever met. (The message therapists were also as good as we have experienced.) We will return with friends next year!

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Robert53403
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 January 2009

This was our second stop on a 3 week holiday to Costa Rica. We stayed at El Remanso for 3 nights and would have enjoyed staying longer. I am a critical traveler who works in the hospitality industry so I am used to visiting properties that don't quite make the grade. This was by far the best place we stayed in Costa Rica. It is not cheap but it was worth every penny. The design aesthetic of El Remanso is sophisticated eco-chic. I loved it. The owners are from Spain and I saw a lot of that country in their property. The +/-s....

+ upsides
-Really attentive to service - top marks *****
-Owners and managers and staff always around (the owners' daughter and her husband manage the property and are fabulous)
-Foliage is amazing - I never thought of myself as a plant person but when I was here I saw some plants and flowers that took my breath away.
-The grounds were beautiful
-The pool was lovely and well designed
-AMAZING rooms (we stayed in a standard room and then moved to one of the bungalows both were aesthetically pleasing)
-outdoor yoga platform. I used this everyday and it was a central part of my stay.
-amazing tide pools
-we both ran and walked around the surrounding property which was nice.
-Lovely dog
-Free internet
-Laura - what a gem!! She does it all - not only did she check us in but she is the resident massage therapist. She has a degree in physical therapy from San Jose University and she gave both me and my fiance an amazing massage. For $60 we got our money's worth, highly recommended. Better than a lot of US therapists I have had massages from.
-I forgot my journal at reception on the day we checked out and when I arrived at the airport in Jimenez I was upset about it...a few minutes later in walks a staff person from El Remanso with my journal. The trip to the airport is about 1 hour by car on terrible rounds - I cannot say how much it meant to me that they sent someone to bring me my book. Top service!!!
-we are vegan and the chef was able to accomodate our diet quite well.

-Downsides
-When we stayed in the standard room we had noisy neighbors - teenagers i think. It was much more private when we moved to the bungalow.
-It was a very busy time of year for them and even though we had the same 2 waiters for all our meals they couldnt remember that we were vegan and kept bringing us butter and dessert or asking if we wanted fish or beef for lunch...minor annoyance.
-another minor point - the double bed in the standard room was really two twins pushed together...in the bungalow we had a real double mattress.

Overall this is one of the best eco-lodges I have ever experienced. It is worth the money!

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank usgringa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2009

An incredibly beautiful place. The cabin we were in was rustic but comfortable. The staff were about the nicest I have ever experienced. The food excellent and the surroundings paradise. My daughter had to be forced to leave. I went with 3 adult children and there was lots to do. The walk up from the beach was the hardest but the beach well worth it. Even if you could only enter at low tide it is well worth it. I would return anytime. This is not a touristy , luxurious resort but an ecolodge that feels intimate . our needs were anticipated and catered to. Bring bug spay and a flashlight. Diane Leblanc Canada

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled with family
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Thank diml54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 November 2008

This was my girlfriend and I's second visit to El Remanso. It feels strange even typing the word 'second' as I have never before been on holiday to the same location twice, let alone the same hotel. I think that alone speaks volumes about the place, but I will write just a few more lines. I do so at the risk of attracting too many others to El Remanso (I don't necessarily want to share it, selfish I know!), but can do so assured that this is one place that will never turn into some overgrown resort, with such dedicated owners and staff at the helm.
Obviously it's location is fairly remote and there are certain things that come with this, but surely you would not even be reading this review if you were not interested in getting back to nature, and this is exactly what El Remanso allows you to do in style. Trust me, it's well worth the journey. I for one am extremely pleased to be 'off the grid', away from phones, blackberrys and tv's, and instead lap up the sights and sounds of the stunning forest that surrounds El Remanso. The sheer beauty of the place astounded me just as much on my second visit as it did on the first: that's exactly why we returned, and why I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone who's interested in going to the Osa.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank LondonJungletrekker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 November 2008

I'm very delayed in writing this review since our trip was three months ago. The trip is still in my mind and I thought I should get in gear and give El Remanso the attention it deserves.

We stayed at El Remanso in August this year and had a wonderful vacation. We traveled with a friend and our 6 year old daughter. It was a great place for a family - attentive staff and owners, beautiful grounds, a fun pool, remarkable wildlife, great hikes and lots of activities. Our daughter is still referring to the spectacular appearances by parrots and macaws every evening like clockwork. We saw agoutis, sloth (two and three toe), coatis, humungous spiders, birds, birds and more birds.

The cabins were open air, large and comfortable. There was some construction going on while we were at the lodge but it did not interfere with our trip. The restaurant and bar area are open and provide a living area if you want a little more interaction with people other than your party. The beach is a small hike from the lodge which provided bird, spider and animal sightings.

You can be as active or inactive as you want at this place. It is self contained and not close to a town. If you are looking for remote and unspoiled, this is your place. It takes a little time to get to but is well worth the trip. The owners will make anything happen for you. We took a guided hike with Gerardo who was wonderful and very knowledgeable. There is waterfall repelling - we did not do this but did hike to the bottom of the waterfall which was just as fun. Beach time everyday was great.

We followed El Remanso with Lapa Rios which was beautiful as well. Much more high-end resort feel with the pricing and lots of people that go with that. We found out that Lapa Rios is a regular stop for Disney tours so there can be a huge influx of tourists on some days. After the Osa Peninsula we moved on to Manuel Antonio which was a huge mistake. Crowded, zoo-like and over-touristed. We would never go to Manuel Antonio again.

I have nothing bad to say about El Remanso. One fantastic rainstorm came to give us the full feel of the rainforest but almost every day was clear, warm and mosquito free. A paradise.

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled with family
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Thank Colorado_Family_3
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:
#3 Green Hotel in Osa Peninsula
Price Range: £244 - £450 (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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