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“Amazing place - amazing staff”

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Copa de Arbol Beach and Rainforest Resort
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Drake Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 27 February 2014

We (2 couples) have just returned to wet UK after 15 days touring in fabulous Costa Rica - the highlight was undoubtedly a 4 night stay in Copa de Arbol. From leaving Sierpe Dock with Louis on fast water transport amidst the floating water hyacinths, and caimans on mangroves, to the great snorkeling off Cano island, the experience was top notch - Hawksbill turtle and Rays were seen. The whole resort was a delight with plenty of flora and fauna to be found within short walking distances, and the sunsets - wow !
The owners Jay and Mike, and their partners, went out of their way to encourage a relaxed atmosphere offering activities and advice, both on and off the water. Reception were very helpful and restaurant staff remembered our first names by day 1.
The day trip to Corcovada with guide Jose was memorable because of his encyclopaedic knowledge, the incomparable Pacific coastal scenery and our ability to trail in 37c heat!
We did have some brief power-cuts at the resort (? Howler monkeys shorting the power cables) which were quickly restored and I thought there could be more use of Eco features such as PV solar and thermal panels.

Room Tip: Room 1 nearest the beach can be noisy from the wave action.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Andy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mike M, Owner at Copa de Arbol Beach and Rainforest Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 2 March 2014

We are delighted to have been the highlight of your trip. However I must confess we have an unfair advantage, our location. The Osa Península is unquestionably the most wildlife rich part of Costa Rica and delivers the type of experience people dream of when anticipating their trip to Costa Rica. Guests often comment that they see more animals here than they did anywhere in Costa Rica. We are in a very remote area so power outages can happen but we have a generator that kicks in 30 seconds after so we never sit in the dark for too long. You can hear the ocean from all of our cabins, however cabin #1 is located just 50 meters from the water so the sounds of the ocean will be more of a factor. We can provide earplugs, but if you listen carefully you might here what I hear…the sounds of nature’s sweet lullaby. Thank you for sharing your experience we hope to see you again!!

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222 - 228 of 358 reviews

Reviewed 22 February 2014

It's taken me a while to sit down and write this review… When my husband and I got back from our Costa Rica trip in November we were so overwhelmed by the beauty and serenity of this resort that I thought I'd sit down right away to express my appreciation before it escaped my memory. Four months later I just haven't found the time until now, but I have to say that I remember the resort like we were there yesterday - that's how wonderful Copa de Arbol is.

Our 5-day stay at Copa de Arbol began with a river tour down the Sierpe. There were many animals to be seen including a crocodile, boa, squirrel monkeys and more. We had already been in Costa Rica for 5 days at another resort and hadn't seen as many animals the entire time as we saw in this short ride. Our arrival at the hotel proved even more amazing. Our bags were whisked away and we were escorted to the dining pavilion that is open-air and overlooks the ocean. Immediately the entire dining level was greeted by capuchin monkeys trying to steal a bite from the preparation area behind the bar. They were so close to us and provided amazing photo opportunities. Shortly after, a group of dolphins and a false whale passed the hotel coast line. The entire pavilion was in awe. We also managed to see a toucan and sloth that afternoon. It was like the entire rainforest came out to greet us.

Our room was lovely with windows surrounding the entire cabana and a great porch where we sat many afternoons watching the sky go pink or viewing capuchins jump from one tree to another on their way to the dining pavilion in search for food. The bed wasn't the most comfortable thing I've ever slept on - it was a bit stiff. But, I suspect this is a Costa Rica thing as the previous resort we stayed at (also 5-star) had a stiff bed as well. We were also able to use the laundry service (complimentary) a few times, as our clothes were often wet after an excursion, which was nice to have at our disposal.

The food at Copa de Arbol was some of the best I've ever had at any resort. The restaurant manager, Orlando, and his staff were so accommodating and welcoming at every meal. I recently went Vegan prior to visiting Costa Rica and the chef made me something special each meal, even some amazing marzipan desserts that I could never find in Buffalo! I was very grateful that the resort provided such a talented chef willing to accommodate my special requests.

Our excursions consisted of a resort night tour, a half-day tour through Corcovado National Park (also a TON of animals), scuba diving at Cano Island, horseback riding and a dolphin/whale watch. Jose was our guide for most of the excursions and he is one of the coolest and endearing guys we've met in our travels. He really cares about the environment and the animals around him and knows a ton of facts, especially when it comes to birds of which there are many in Costa Rica!

The dolphin/whale watch was really unbelievable. While we didn't see whales (it was the very end of the season) we managed to find hundreds of dolphins feeding on tuna. They were all around us and because we were on such a small boat close to the ocean waves, it was almost like we were swimming with them as they used the boat's momentum to hitch a "free ride". We have amazing video and pictures, even a video of a dolphin jumping straight out of the water.

The only excursion I wouldn't recommend is the horseback riding, only because the horses are from off the resort and don't look extremely well taken care of, nor do they have proper saddle equipment. The beach ride is also a very rocky and tretcherous one for the horses. My husband's horse slipped several times while trying to navigate the rocks with someone on his back and my horse did not take kindly to having to climb down those same rock formations on the ride back. I could tell she was afraid and after the ride was over, being an animal lover, I felt really bad that we did it all.

We had a bit of trouble on our way home with one of our "puddle jumper" flights, but to our surprise the owner and staff at Copa de Arbol really took charge once they were made aware of the situation and liaised with the airline to get us a refund. We could tell that they really do care about their guests and will do everything in their power to make your trip everything that you hope for.

I highly recommend Copa de Arbol. We were sad to leave this beautiful place and the people. If we ever make it back to Costa Rica, we will definitely stay here again.

Room Tip: We stayed in Cabana #8, Sable; a two-person cabana with a lovely view of the resort/ocean. Every roo...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Nicole H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mike M, Owner at Copa de Arbol Beach and Rainforest Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 28 February 2014

Reading many of the reviews posted here on Trip Advisor reminds me how much we have in common with the guests that visit us. The excitement and enthusiasm that comes through while reading your review brings me back to how I felt on my first visit to the Osa 20 years ago, in fact I feel it stronger than ever. The opportunity to share this area and our enthusiasm for it is what motivates us. Our goal here at Copa De Arbol is to provide the kind of experiences that create lasting memories, so to read your glowing review 4 months after your return home is quite a reward for our entire staff. Thank you.

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Reviewed 20 February 2014

My husband and I stayed 5 nights at Copa de Arbol and we had a fabulous time. The resort is beautiful, the staff is incredible and everything is so well organised. We went hiking in Corcovado park and snorkeling at Cano island and both tours were enjoyables. We loved the fact that we had unlimited access to kayaks and stand-up paddling boards which we took advantage of. The pool is beautiful and the water temperature is just perfect. The food at the resort was excellent including some delicious Costa Rican dishes. We stayed in #7 Bamboo and we loved it.
It is not all perfect though and here are the points I think could improve: The alcohol drinks are quite expensive, the sandwich they gave us for lunch during the Corcovado tour was horrible, the WiFi is very weak (it was actually not working 3 days out of 4 we were there) and oh yes the whole experience do not come cheap...
Overall we loved our stay at Copa de Arbol and thank you to Orlando, Matsula, Lisa, Mauricio, Jose, Henri and everybody else that I forgot their names, we sure hope to see you again soon.

Room Tip: We stayed in #7 Bamboo and it was great. But if we go back I would try to get either #1 or #9 which...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank sue83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mike M, Owner at Copa de Arbol Beach and Rainforest Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 28 February 2014

We are glad you enjoyed your stay here at CDA. Thanks for writing this kind, yet critical review. I think it brings up some good points. All of our cocktails and drinks are made from the freshest fruit and ingredients available and are priced between $5 (well brand liquor) to $8 - $15 dollars (premium). All guests are welcome to bring their own alcoholic beverages if these prices seem high, but I feel they are very reasonable. The sandwich we send on tour to Corcovado Park is a basic roast beef sandwich unless something else is requested. It’s not as good as what chef Miguel provides in the restaurant, but we are working with the limitations of what will travel well in a hot tropical environment. The daily lunch menu is also available for any guests returning from tour if they are still hungry at any time. Our wifi generally works pretty well, but we are in a very remote area so there can be issues. Lately it’s been more difficult than usual. Guests are always welcome to use one of the reliable data cards we have here when our wifi is not working and access the Internet that way. Our prices reflect the reality of operating in a remote area where everything is brought in by boat. It is not cheap, but well worth the effort. There are not many places like this left on the planet. Here you leave all the stress of the outside world behind. There are no roads, so there is no noise other than the sounds of the forest and the ocean. Here you can truly disconnect from “reality”. Most products cost about double by the time they have arrived on our beach, and many previous guests have enjoyed learning how a complicated operation like this is run. I hope this reply is helpful to guest with similar concerns.

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Reviewed 15 February 2014

Great place to stay, friendly people. I learned how to paddle board, kayak, went snorkeling and went with a guide through the national park. We stayed in room#9 which had a great view and was near the pool. I would recommend you stay whether you have 3 days or 1 week. It is a great getaway!!

Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank dhh99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mike M, Owner at Copa de Arbol Beach and Rainforest Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 28 February 2014

The Osa Peninsula is one of the most amazing places on the planet, so Being called the best place on the Osa is quite a compliment!!! Thank you for choosing us as the place to stay. We are glad you enjoyed your stay.

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Reviewed 15 February 2014

I hesitate to write this because I don't want too many people to find out about it, but Copa de Arbol is a real gem. The staff was excellent and everyone seemed to really care that we had a good experience. The rooms were beautiful, and the food was fresh and delicious. You can relax and take it easy, or have as much adventure as you want. All in all it was a perfect vacation.

Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
1  Thank travelingyogi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mike M, Owner at Copa de Arbol Beach and Rainforest Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 28 February 2014

I know how it feels to want to keep this place a secret. When I first came to the Osa Peninsula 20 years ago I didn’t want anyone to know about it either, but it’s hard to keep something this good a secret. Thanks for deciding to “share”.☺ Every person that visits CDA helps provide jobs for 45 local people and their families, which directly makes the immediate ongoing conservation of this area possible. Thank you for participating.

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Reviewed 10 February 2014

Just returned from Costa Rica. We spent 2 wonderful nights at Copa de Arbol. We were celebrating our 45th wedding anniversary and the staff went out of their way to make our stay very memorable. We came back from dinner one night, and they had placed hibiscus flowers all around our room, as well as made a large heart out of fern fronds and had it on our bed, along with additional hibiscus flowers. The food was excellent, local, and extremely fresh. The staff couldn't have been nicer, nor more attentive. We saw monkeys right from our balcony, as well as many birds and butterflies. The resort is only accessible via a boat - if you're looking for secluded, this is the place. Thanks for a great vacation!! (rated sleep quality only a 3 because we are used to King beds, and all they had available were Queens)

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank judy s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mike M, Owner at Copa de Arbol Beach and Rainforest Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 28 February 2014

Thank you for posting this nice review. We are very honored to have you spend your 45-year anniversary with us. We are sorry to hear that the queen size beds didn’t provide the space you are used to. We do have one cabin that features a king size bed, #10 (Amargo). If you ever come back, we will have Amargo waiting!!!

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Reviewed 10 February 2014

My wife & I made our 4th trip to the Osa Peninsula in January, 2014. We spent 4 nights at Copa and 4 nights at El Remanso lodges. A separate more detailed review of El Remanso will be found at that lodge’s listing. The lodges are different in key ways, in particular, Copa is on the electrical grid while El Remanso is not (they make their electricity). Both lodges are appropriately advertised as eco friendly lodges.

All supplies that come to Copa arrive by boat and every time guests arrive they undergo a wet landing in 1 – 2 ft of ocean. The physical facilities of the resort are excellent. The cabins are nicely furnished, windows screened, and solid roofs that keep out critters. We have previously stayed in thatched roof cabanas at other resorts where mice freely roamed in the thatched roof & even moved on the top of the bed canopy at night. Our cabin had a view of the ocean, A/C and ceiling fans. One issue was the bed was very hard. Although we did not use the pool, it was a good place to observe birds. The dining area is located on the second floor of a building that has a great view of the ocean. The food at the resort was excellent in quality & selection (a 7 – 8 on a scale of 1 – 10 (best)). The kitchen was open most of the day & if you came in late from a tour, a cooked lunch was available. They use bottled water for all cooking & drinking. All of the staff who we encountered were helpful, friendly & bilingual. The owners, Jay & Mike were always around to address any issues. Jay even volunteered his time to give my wife a paddle board lesson.

The resort has a limited number of trails through dense forest but there is a long trail in the trees along the coast. We observed a good variety of birds on the property but a more limited diversity of animals. Most of the tours we took went out by boat. We went to the La Sirena Station in Corcovado Park and observed a large number of animals & birds (great tour!). We were informed that the hour boat trip could be rough (open ocean) but although we went there in a driving rain, I had no problem with sea sickness (and I am very prone to get it). We also went to Cano island to snorkel (OK), went on their mangrove tour (great wildlife) and did a night hike (underwhelming). Observing wildlife on tours is part luck and partly determined by the quality of your guide. In our case, our guide Jose was probably the best guide we have had on trips to Central America – very observant & willing to share his extensive knowledge. I am a professional biologist and was pleased to find a large variety of flora & fauna on the tours.

Although the resort is not inexpensive (comparable to El Remanso in the final $$ analysis), Copa & El Remanso were the two best resorts we have stayed during our trips to Costa Rica, Panama & Belize.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank rockymtpics
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mike M, Owner at Copa de Arbol Beach and Rainforest Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 28 February 2014

Thanks to our staff and guests posting such outstanding reviews, we have recently been awarded the #1 small hotel in Costa Rica here on Trip Advisor for 2014. All of our staff is proud to be a part of our Copa family. Their dedication to excellence is reflected in the outpouring of wonderful reviews we are so grateful to have received. Although we do have the best pillow top mattress available in Costa Rica, some people have felt them to be a bit hard. We are currently trying to acquire memory foam tops for people requiring a softer bed. Thanks you for this very informative review. It is our guest’s feedback that helps us with our main goal maintaining and improving the CDA experience.

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Additional Information about Copa de Arbol Beach and Rainforest Resort

Address: Drake Bay 60101, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Drake Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Drake Bay
#1 Family Hotel in Drake Bay
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Drake Bay
Price Range: £532 - £1,751 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Copa de Arbol Beach and Rainforest Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Copa De Arbol Beach and Rainforest Resort is an intimate, remote eco-conscious beachfront Drake Bay resort set among 70 acres of pristine rainforest reserve. Located in Southern Pacific Costa Rica on the Osa Peninsula, perfectly situated between Drake Bay and the Corcovado National Park ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Copa De Arbol Beach And Rainforest Resort Costa Rica/Drake Bay

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