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Reviewed 16 May 2006

The Rincon de la Vieja Lodge is about 2km past another hotel called the Hacienda Guachapilin. In the off season at least, they are the same price ($67 for two people, breakfast included), but the Rincon Lodge is by far the lesser of the two properties. If you are looking to visit the volcano, stay at the Hacienda, unless you are specifically in search of a very rustic, no frills camping style experience.

When we first pulled up (after 22km of bumpy gravel roads) we saw the grounds which looked nice. There was a rolling green pasture with horses and small sidewalk trails weaving through trees and other landscaping. We checked in at a little shack right at the front, next to the communal dining room. Across from the dining room was a tiny pool surrounded by a concrete moat with some trash in it.

Then we headed to our room, situated in a long, wooden clapboard shack with a corrugated tin roof. The rooms are very dark (actually there was no electricity when we were there, but even at 11am the rooms were dark) and the bathrooms are dingy. You can't flush your toilet paper, so it's sort of like having an outhouse right in your room! The "walls" are so paper thin that we could hear the people snoring next door to us. The mattresses are about 2 inches thick, and there was no fan and very little air circulation. We didn't get much sleep that night.

For lunch, we were served a very typical (and yummy) tico meal of rice and beans and a piece of meat. I was dissapointed to find out afterwards that it cost $10 per person for that.

The thing is, I don't have a problem with no electricity or thin mattresses and walls, it's just that for the price they're charging, you really should get more. We've stayed at places that had a similar rustic feel to them but they were located on cliffs overlooking the ocean so it was worth it. But to drive for an hour and a half on a gravel road to get to a dark and sad place was really disappointing.

We checked out a day early and went instead to the Hacienda (big pool, good restaurant, bright, clean and modern rooms with fans), which also seems to offer better tour packages.

I don't know why Fodor's doesn't mention anything but the Rincon Lodge, but learn from our mistake and avoid it.

  • Stayed: May 2006
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8  Thank tashistation
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 February 2006

Let's start with getting there. OK, this lodge is waaaay off the main road. It was fun getting there, but that was because you felt like you were in the middle of nowhere (you are), aren't sure if there is really going to be anything at the end of the road, and you're having fun bumping around on crazy dirt roads for a long time. Luckily, that was fun for me, but be warned. We were there in the dry season with a 4 x 4 and there were some rough parts. I can't imagine in the wet season...

The hotel grounds were really interesting and aesthetically pleasing to me, if simple. Set as a huge semi circle with little cabins, it has an appealling feel. Really green grass and good use of water elements in landscaping. Our cabin was pretty rustic. Basic bathroom and beds with a little porch. No TV, air, coffee maker etc. For some reason I liked it. But, this is not the place to go if you're really into amenities. Our room also had two twins and one queen with only one fan for the queen bed. We were expected two queen beds, so make sure (if you're two couples like we were) what the bed situation is prior to booking.

The really notable aspect were the winds! My god. I'm not sure their exact speed but I'd say at least 60 MPH. It was so windy that we felt the windows were gonna break in and shards of glass were gonna fly. Didn't happen but the ruckus was loud enough to wake us up often. This was no light breeze. Even walking outside was pretty difficult. I later found out that these sorts of winds are common in the area. I found it totally intriguing to be in that extreme weather but it does detract from lots of activities. For instance, we didn't even attempt the semi outside, covered restaurant/bar because it would have been intolerable in the wind. No one was there in fact. We also didn't eat in the main lodge but the hosts were nice enough to bring us milk to use for our cereal (that we brought ourselves) and allow us to use the tables in there. I enjoyed the relaxed, low key feel of the lodge. Also, it really is close to the national park. Another good part about the winds was no bugs! Have to say though that those winds kept up day and night--i figured they would die down at some point but were raging the whole time we were in the area. Also noticed that the Rincon area was generally less humid and colder than other parts of costa rica we had been to thus far.

  • Stayed: January 2006
    • Value
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3  Thank repose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2006

The lodge is a beautiful little place very close to the park entrance. You get your own cabin (porch, very nice showers, large comfortable bed) at the side of a little lake. Hot springs right on the grounds of the hotel itself.

Very cool little bar that in the compound (cool chess set and $2 Imperials!).

My only complaint is the food. Way too expensive for what you get. The lunches aren't worth it, the breakfasts are decent (and included). The dinners are very expensive for what you get.

I recommend this hotel, just be ready to feel a bit ripped off regarding dinner in particular (especially considering you are in costa rica.)

  • Stayed: December 2005
    • Value
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3  Thank Curious11519
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2018 via mobile
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Stayed: July 2018, travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2018 via mobile
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Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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