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“First rate staff, first rate acommodations”

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Crocodile Bay Resort
Ranked #5 of 15 Hotels in Puerto Jimenez
Certificate of Excellence
Dayton, Texas
1 review
“First rate staff, first rate acommodations”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 October 2010

Having been to CBL twice and am presently booked for another trip in March of next year i would suggest plenty of sun screen for it is a hot tropical sun. My family went along, I to fish and they for the ecotours. There is not a fishing trip nor tour that i would not recommend for they are all enjoyable. If you have never jip-lined then it is certainly a must, the afternoons can get hot so jip-line in the mornings when it's cool.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled with family
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165 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 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
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Minneapolis, MN
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 April 2010

First let me just start off that we could not have been happier with Crocodile Bay Resort (CBR), their staff, fishing captains and mate, eco tour guides, transportation crew and the entire country of Costa Rica as a whole. It was a fantastic trip and we had no hiccups along the way, and a large part of that was due to the top notch staff. My wife and I wanted an exotic honeymoon in Costa Rica and never being there before we did a lot of research into location throughout the country and resorts. We choose CBR for the fishing, but also for the variety of eco tours they offered. Our US Rep was Larry and he was great in helping us get information to make our decision and once we choose CBR he was equally great in answering questions and getting all of the finances and trip plans secured.

We choose this location, the Osa Peninsula, due to the wildlife, great fishing, and for being “off the beaten path”. There were a lot less tourists here, not because it is not beautiful or worthwhile, but maybe because it not as developed as some of the other known tourist spots.

First we were picked up at the airport and over to the Double Tree Calarai for the overnight before heading to CBR. They were fantastic, pleasant and prompt (even though our flight was a little late). We had a great stay that night, the hotel was very beautiful, and the breakfast buffet that is included is not to be missed. We relaxed that night and unwound from the days travel.

The next morning Jonathan picked us up, and this guy is fantastic. Super friendly and down to earth. He helped us with our Spanish as we were trying t be good guests and speak as much Spanish as we could. Trust me when I say people appreciate you at least attempting their language than to force them to speak English. Anyway, Jonathan got us to the airport for our Nature Air flight and saved us some time later by paying for our departure tax right there. A little trick we would have been oblivious to.

We arrived in Puerto Jimenez and were picked up and taken to the resort just a few minutes away. I know you pay a premium to stay at CRB compared to many other Costa Rican resorts, but to me it was worth it. The rooms were very nice, but I can see how someone might think they would not live up to the US standards for something of the same rate, but I would disagree. They were spacious, well kept, and located all over their beautiful grounds. We were greeted with a Pina Colada type drink and more happy smiling faces. We were shown are room and took a little tour of the facilities. They had graciously left some Champagne in the room as well as complementary Swedish massage certificate for the Spa.

The grounds are beautiful and the bar, gift shop, reception, spa, pool and dining facility are all fantastic. It really leaves you feeling comfortable and at home. The first afternoon we just wanted to relax so we ate an awesome lunch and then headed off to the beach. The beach is a short drive through the country side, and they always had a cooler of beer, soda, water, fresh fruit, etc. They gave us some boogie boards and we relaxed and got pounded by the surf. We also had our first Macaw sighting when about 7 flew into a tree not too far away. They are so cool and we later learned how endangered they are.

Day two was spent fishing with Captain Jonny and Mate David. They were a fun group and really handled out inexperience at sail fishing well and we just had a great time. We ended up raising 12 fish and catching 4. They were great in helping my wife reel her fish in so that I could film or take pictures of her fight. Most fish were about 100 pounds and what an awesome fight. We were the only two people and I felt the standard boat was more than accompanying for the 2 of us. We saw a bunch of turtles floating in the ocean and fish jumping everywhere. We probably could have caught more, but I screwed up on a couple getting used to the gear. Remember the 50+ spf if you’re not used to this kind of sun. We were reapplying like mad, and it paid off. No fun getting sick or burnt to a crisp.

Dinners were gourmet every night. We got to experience the buffet (based on # of guests) and menu options. We had a ton of fresh Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, Tuna and snapper. This is a huge perk for being a fishing resort as you get the freshest meal in town. We couldn’t rave about the food enough.

The remaining time was spent fishing one more time, it was slower, and 6 raised and 2 caught, with 2 lost Rooster fish. My only complaint is toward the Rooster fish for not cooperating with us and letting us catch them, maybe next time. We had the same captain and mate, which we loved, and these guys really do bust their hump to get you fish.

We also got our free Swedish massage, simply put “to die for!!!

We also did the monkey/jungle tour, zip line tour, and sanctuary tour. We did the sanctuary tour first to get a close up look at some of the animals we might see on other tours and to learn something about the animals of the Osa. We saw and fed on spider monkey, Winkie, and got to see a whole slew of other animals they rescued. It’s amazing how much we learned, and think it’s a must do if you are doing some of the tours. The Zip lining wasn’t as scary as I thought it was going to be, but it was so cool to see the primary forest from that vantage point. We did the new tour that has the longer runs and is a bit faster, so I don’t know what the other one is like, but I would recommend this one. Sorry for the lack of remembering the name, but the other one begins with an “M” and offers a night zip line tour. The money tour was very cool in not only being able to see more of the country side and how Costa Ricans live away from the resort, but for all of the wildlife we saw. Howler monkeys, Squirrel monkeys, Macaws, vultures, falcon, spiders, toucans, some rodent thing I forget the name of, and the big blue butterflies.

When we left and went back to San Jose, if you have time I recommend asking Jonathan to set up a tour to the Doka coffee plantation and Poas Volcano. Jonathan had set up the tour and we had the best guide and driver in Marco. What a fun dude and he really showed us around beyond the sites we were after. We had a great day, saw the volcano, enjoyed the coffee tour and picked up a lot of cool souvenirs along the way

I could keep going on and on about this place, but I have to stop sometime. This is a great place and it truly has a found spot in our hearts. The staff could not have been any better and I hope you get a chance to visit this gem someday.

Pura Vida
Matt and Carmen

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank muskiematt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Cod, MA
Level Contributor
30 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 April 2010

I visited Crocodile bay for the first time (certainly not my last) for 4 days in February. From the reservation phone call to the return trip from PJ to San Jose the trip was first class. It all begins with the staff. From their drivers to the hotel staff everyone is extremely personable, exceptionally helpful and entirely professional.

I arrived in San Jose on Tuesday afternoon and was promptly met by my driver who whisked me to a downtown San Jose hotel for the evening. I was scheduled on a 6AM flight to PJ the next day. The driver gave me excellent advice for my 1 night stay in SJ and helped make this evening a pleasure. He met me promptly the next morning and got me to the airport for my flight to PJ. I was greeted in SJ and taken to the front desk to meet the dynamic irrepressible Olympia who did her best during the entire week to make my stay a pleasure. Todd, the fishing director for CB was leaving town on a business trip but took the time to have breakfast with me and see me to the dock to introduce me to my captain and mate for the 3 days of fishing I had booked.

The fishing...wow. The captain and mate worked exceptionally hard and put in long days to insure that I was into fish and enjoying myself for the entire day. They succeeded. The boats and tackle were exceptional. We spent the first day inshore catching rooster fish and snapper until my arms felt like they were going to fall off. The next two days we spent offshore and were into sailfish and mahi all day long. We raised at least 6-8 sailfish each of the days I fished, and got a fair number to the boat. The mate was really knowledgable and spent quite a bit of time showing me offshore terminal tackle techniques that I will surely get to use this summer tuna fishing in my boat off the northeast US coast. On the third day after having caught my fill of sailfish I decided to spend the day looking for Marlin. The mate went out that night on his own time and bought ballyhoo with his own money (he would not let me reimburse him so I just added it to his tip). Unfortunately we did not raise a marlin (neither did any of the other boats) but it was not for lack of trying. All in all a great fishing experience and one I will never forget.

Evenings were spent at the beautiful CB lodge. The bar after a hard days fishing is a great place to relax and swap fish stories. Everyone there is enjoying themselves and it makes for a very nice, friendly entertaining environment even if you are travelling solo as I was. The food was great as we had freshly caught tuna sushi every night with freshly caught grilled mahi. The salads and fruit and various starches (potatoes, rice, beans, etc) were all freshly and professionally prepared.

I know that the CB staff reads these reviews and want to personally thank them for a really great vacation. I am not being facetious, I actually wondered while I was there if they did not mistake me for a celebrity or writer/reviewer for a fishing or sporting magazine. I could not believe that they treated all of their guests as they treated me during my all too short stay at CB. I will be returning next year with a group to share this great destination.

I almost forgot the mention the spa. I am not a big spa guy - I'd rather be relaxing by the pool having a beer smoking a cigar with my free time- but I did book a Swedish massage at the CB spa. It was a really great experience, the masseuse was very thorough and professional. My 45 minute massage stretched over an hour and I felt ready to go back at the sailfish after a long strenous day on the boat. Do yourself a favor while there and book a massage. Do it early in your stay because I guarantee you will want to book another before you leave.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank rsoucy20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
North Dakota
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 March 2010

My husband and I stayed at Crocodile Bay Feb. 5-12, 2010. We had a late arrival/departure flight so we had to stay over in San Jose before going to CB. CB took care of all the San Jose hotel and transport arrangements so we had nothing to worry about. The hotel in San Jose was beautiful. We were sorry we couldn't stay there longer. CB resort was fabulous. As soon as we arrived, we saw two red macaws flying over our room.....where else can you see that on your vacation!!!! The resort was small and quaint. The staff at CB were amazing. Since it is such a small resort, you really get to know all the people working there and they are very friendly and accommodating. So much better than those large resorts where you are just another face in the crowd. The rooms were nice and well kept. We wished the rooms had a TV and refrigerator/mini bar, but it wasn't that big of deal. The resort was beautiful, but if you are a vacationer that is looking for opulence, this is not the resort for you. It is a fishing/adventure resort and that is what you get. It's beautiful, but not over the top. The pool and spa areas were well kept, and the service was great. The pool was very private, not a lot of people. The food was also amazing whether you ate at the resort or you had a packed lunch while fishing or on an ecotour. The ecotours were wonderful! The tour guides were friendly, well trained, and very accommodating. The day we went fishing it happened to be windy and the waters were somewhat rough (usually the waters are very calm). I got sea sick and we ended up coming in early because I felt so terrible. The director of fishing approached us and offered to set up another day of fishing for us without charge. He said he didn't want us to miss out on having an enjoyable fishing experience. We went out again (I took meds to prevent sea sickness......a must for anyone going out on the water) and had the best day ever. The captain and mate were great and my husband had a day of fishing he'll never forget! It definitely made the trip for us. CB was a fabulous resort and we would definitely go back there. It really is for those people looking for a great fishing experience or some Costa Rica adventure. Two thumbs up from us!!

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank ndcherman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oregon
Level Contributor
252 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 151 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 February 2010

We arrived in late January & returned home in February from another stellar vacation experience at Crocodile Bay. We've traveled in many countries, but CB continues to rank in the top 2% for beautiful, genuine hospitality & professional, non-pretentious service.

The PEOPLE are reason enough to return to Crocodile Bay, but when you add the abundance of Osa wildlife (just walking around the lodge grounds is amazing); a wide variety of knowledgeable & fun eco-tours; a luxurious, modern spa (and I'm not normally a spa girl); and the absolutely out of this world fishing opportunities, it's crazy to even consider going elsewhere.

This year, despite effects of El Nino, the catch included a huge tuna, multiple sailfish & dorado, a couple huge roosterfish, jack cravelles and other inshore species.

Outside of the "catching experience" of being on the water in their fleet of immaculate, well-maintained Boston Whalers, our forways into the gulf & ocean included numerous dolphin escorts, flying fish, leaping rays, sea turtles, an orca whale giving birth (we kept our distance), and a humpback whale coming to the surface only 50 meters away from the boat... going out to fish with their experienced captains is an ecotour in itself!

Cool, airconditioned rooms are impeccable; the pool & swim up bar was enjoyed by all, and the view of scarlet macaws and squirrel monkeys from laid back leather rocking chairs on our shady covered porch was most enjoyable.

Crocodile Bay continues to "rock" ... we'll be back.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Ticolover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Huntington, MA USA
Level Contributor
100 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 February 2010

Wow...where to start! My brother and I both traveled to Crocodile Bay Lodge for a fishing trip to celebrate his 40th birthday. I'm a relatively experienced traveler, with frequent trips to the DR (Punta Cana), Mexico (Manzanillo and Playa del Carman), Bahamas, Turks, Barbados, Jamaica and Nevis. I'll tell you that Costa Rica beats all of them as a destination, and Crocodile Bay Lodge was an exceptional place to stay while visiting this beautiful country. The lodge itself is adequately staffed, with an appropriate level of amenities. It is not a 5 star resort by any means, but we were very comfortable with plenty to do. The meals were all excellent, particularly the fresh fish each night. You can walk to Puerto Jimenez for some local flavor (beach-front bars and restaurants, great gift shops, etc...). The number and diversity of tours available were incredible! On our off-fishing day, we elected to visit a local plantation and fish farm. Recieved the tour directly from the farmer which added to the experience (my brother speaks pretty good spanish, which helped immensely).

The fishing was moderately good while we were there. The offshore scene was slow, but inshore made up for it. The roosterfish and jacks are excellent fighters on 20 lb tackle, and we caught more than our share. We even fished from their pier a few evenings when we got in, and caught jacks right from the surf (on kastmasters and white poppers). We each brought a 17 lb travel spinning outfit with us for the surf, which proved to be a bit light. Those jacks nearly spooled us twice, and these were the 10 pounders! If we had caught a 20 pound jack or rooster from the dock, we surely would have lost them. The boats, mates and tackle are all top notch, and you won't be disappointed. Shade is limited on the smaller Boston Whalers, which makes you apply (and re-apply) sunscreen all day. You'll enjoy catching your own live bait in the AM before heading to the fishing grounds. Light spinning outfits with 8 gold hooks and a small weight. We were catching 3-7 sardines and goggle-eyes at a time, with an occasional blue runner too. Twice, while landing the bait we had a bonito take the rig. We landed them on the small hooks...incredible fight on a light outfit (bonito are everywhere!).

Fishing is organized by Todd Staley who we had the privelidge of speaking to each day. He's one of a kind and we really appreciated his debriefing of all of the fishermen each day. The "board" was a nice touch at the lodge, listing the boats/anglers/catch from each day. Of course, it's located in the bar where you can have a cold Imperial beer while checking out the day's results. I loved the bar....and the barmaids even more. We were fortunate to be on a first-name basis with most of the staff by the end of the week.

The front desk is run by our good friend Olympia, who we came to adore during our short time there. If only we could all be so cheerful on a daily basis. She is one of the many problem solvers at the lodge, and is there to help with nearly anything related to the lodge (beyond the fishing department).

Our guide for our non-fishing day was Dennis; one of the three people conducting the travel and tours. Very educated and helpful with all of the natural resources of the area. We really enjoyed having him along on our tour of the plantation, as he is very knowledgeable on soils, plants, botany, etc.... Thanks again Dennis!!

Finally, there's the other guests in the hotel. I guess since we're fishermen, we get along with other fish-crazy people. But, I think it goes beyond that. We met a class of ladies and gentlemen that were truly a joy to speak to. My brother and I are not shy, and go out of our way to talk to others. Everyone was friendly and talkative.

If you're not going to fish, and just want a beach experience, do not go to Crocodile Bay. While you can definitely find beaches in the area, this lodge is a better base for fishing and eco-tours. Since it's directly adjacent to the Town and the airport, it's a great jumping-off point for areas on the Osa Peninsula. The grounds are very quiet (if you dont mind the racket the birds make each morning) and safe. In fact, walking by yourself through the town at any time of day is quite safe; something I would not say for Jamaica or the Bahamas.

Thanks a lot Crocodile Bay for a wonderful vacation. We hope to be back.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Damfarm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denia
Level Contributor
65 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 February 2010

We stayed here for a week as part of the celebration of my husbands' 50th birthday. He went there to fish, I went there to explore & relax but ended up fishing one day which was one of the most exhilarating experiences I have ever had. The bird & animal life in & around the lodge is abundant so you don't even need to go on an Eco-tour to find it. Their spa is wonderful too & the quality & quantity of the food excellent. We would have liked a bit more variety in the evening buffet but you could not fault the quality or the service. The picnic lunches are amongst the best I have seen. Even on a half-day tour you are provided with a variety of cold drinks fresh fruit & snacks.
It's a very laid back atmosphere so dressing up is not necessary. In fact you can survive with very little clothes as they have an excellent laundry srvice.
We were up most mornings by 5.00am so in bed by 8-8.30pm. You can go out to the nearby town in the evening but we were happy to relax in the bar or sit on our veranda listening to the wildlife.The bedrooms are lodge style (4 in a group) with the best ones being the upper ones. There were simply furnished but very comfortable.
The staff were lovely - very welcoming & friendly. Excellent service throughout.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank DeniaIrishColleen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Crocodile Bay Resort

Property: Crocodile Bay Resort
Address: Airport Road, Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Puerto Jimenez
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Jimenez
#3 Family Hotel in Puerto Jimenez
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:3 star — Crocodile Bay Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
All-inclusive packages for World-class Billfishing offshore or Roosterfish, Snapper, & Dorado inshore. Kids love our 24 exclusive Ecotours - Corcovado Rainforest, Zipline, Mangrove Kayaking, & Moms love our luxurious state-of-the-art Spa with a full complement of 30+ Spa massages, facials and full body treatments. Set on 44 lush tropical acres in the bio-diverse Osa Peninsula. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Crocodile Bay Hotel Puerto Jimenez
Crocodile Bay Resort Costa Rica/Puerto Jimenez

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