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“Return visitor of 14 years”
Review of Ecolodge San Luis

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Ecolodge San Luis
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 6 April 2014

I have visited this lovely station with my family and have taken my college classes. This place is for a traveler that is keen to learn. So many opportunities!! Contact with resident researchers, lectures, library access, knowledgeable interpreters, botanical garden, guided night hikes...you see what I mean.
I really loved the on-site alternative energy tour of biodigestor. Yes, they are sustainable so you can even feel good about your stay.

Over the 14 years I have had several issues arise where I needed help. This is where the Ecolodge shines. In each instance the staff have showed our group incredible support and helped address and remedy whatever the situation, making our bumpier travel experience as smooth as possible.

A real bargain too. There are so many activities and resources available to the visitor for free, several days worth at least. Delicious food always as well.

Planning to return.

Room Tip: The bungalows are most conveniently located
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Replicon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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76 - 82 of 124 reviews

Reviewed 29 January 2014

This was the high-point of our trip. I was a bit put off when we arrived, but as the days went on my wife and I fell in love with the place and the people. Everyone there really cares about the place, their work, and are eager to show you the wonders of the cloud forest and to make you comfortable. Its most contagious; we found it enchanting.

As others have written, this is not a tourist lodge. It is an academic campus and research station owned and operated by the University of Georgia. Groups of undergraduates and visiting researchers are the primary "customers", though tourists are allowed to rent rooms in an outlying housing area. The campus consists of a dozen or more buildings, including labs, classrooms, student and staff housing, and a common area with a library, eating hall, and a large deck with stunning views and lots of students - attracted like hummingbirds - to the wi-fi node.

Meals are served at fixed times; you line up with the students cafeteria-style, and eat at long shared tables with benches. The food is quite basic, but will keep you alive and healthy. The housing is in the same style: basic and adequate. Bring lots of spare batteries for your flashlights, as the lighting in the rooms is Spartan. Also, it's several hundred yards of dirt road from the housing to the main campus. There's hot water, and an in-suite bathroom and shower.

For tourists, there are guides. These are recent biology graduates who are volunteering their time. They are knowledgeable and enthusiastic, considerably beyond the typical commercial guides. Most activities are on campus, but they are also familiar with the off-campus attractions in the area, and will offer suggestions as to where to go (and which to avoid), and arrange transportation. You will be assigned to one, and they will explain the available activities and work out your personalized schedule for days to come to suit your interests. Our days started early - 6:30 or so, and sometimes continued after dinner for night hikes. There is an administrator on duty who handles finances and bookings - and is a wonderful, caring person.

Room Tip: Ask for a cabina with a view.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Alex B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 January 2014

This place was fantastic! My wife and I stayed here for about 5 days in mid January, and had such a wonderful time. First, it is neither a hostel or a hotel, so don't expect anything typical of either of those types of accommodation. Expect wonderful service, great food (3 meals a day, included in nightly rate), awesome tours and hikes (many of which are included in the nightly rate), and a level of interaction beyond what you would get in most places. Everyone dines at the same time in the same place, and we met and talked with so many wonderful and interesting people while we were there. The interns who took us on most of the tours were also really great, and were a wealth of knowledge about the area, and just fun people to hang out with in general. The setting was fantastic, just below the cloud forest reserve. The grounds and hiking trails/gardens on the property were so beautiful and fun to explore. We stayed in the bungalows, which are on the rustic side, but still very well kept. Beds weren't the most comfortable, but that was more than made up for by how awesome everything else was! If you are looking for a level of immersion beyond what you typically find at a hotel, I would suggest a visit to this place. We felt like part of the family while we were there, and their commitment to providing education to guests resulted in some of the best guided hikes/tours I have ever been on.

Room Tip: Bungalows had pretty thin walls and were 4 to a block, so noisy neighbors could be a bit of an issue...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank fred-locks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 January 2014

I came here in December, 2013, with my husband and three other faculty colleagues at the University of Mississippi, to check out your facilities with the aim of perhaps developing Environmental Studies courses to be taught there. We all fell in love with the ecolodge. The facilities themselves are lovely and every bit of our trip was both fascinating and informative. We went on hikes on the ecolodge property including a night hike, toured a small extremely biodiverse coffe farm and a one-man chocolate-making business, took a beautifully guided hike in the Monteverde Cloud Forest, went on the canopy bridges in the cloud forest, and on our final day took a lovely hike to a river and then had the most delicious pizza at a little place near the ecolodge. It's hard to overemphasize the beauty and friendliness of Costa Rica. The ecolodge is extremely well run, the facilities are spotless and the food is quite delicious and plentiful. We all can't wait to go back.

Room Tip: The cabins are great.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled on business
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Thank 68annie68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 December 2013 via mobile

We spent three days and nights at the Ecolodge San Luis operated as part of the University of Georgia Athens (UGA) environmental research campus. Our family of three shared a bungalow which was very simple and clean with an ensuite bathroom with hot shower. All meals were included in the per person rate and were served in a dining hall which provided an opportunity to interact with the resident student naturalists and other guests. Included in the rate were a campus tour, a natural history tour, a night hike, a tour of the biodigestors used to create methane gas for del-sustainable energy, and a tour of the medicinal plant garden. It is a great family experience especially for elementary school-age children. The Monteverde Cloud Forest was a short drive and could easily be included as part of an all- inclusive package. We would highly recommend the Ecolodge as part of a visit to the Monteverde area. The only down-side was that the signage was inadequate making it a bit difficult to find, but that's Costa Rica !

Stayed: December 2013
Thank Mason43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 December 2013

We spent 2 days there with the family and enjoyed very much the place. The small bungalows are well integrated into the nature and the staff and students are really helpfull and friendly. We took the chance to visit the canopy with them at the occasion of a guided night tour (we saw a sloth !) and we also watched the birds at early morning. This is very good way to visit Costa Rica if you like nature and saty away from classic tourist structures. You even have wifi internet access. We do recommend the place. It's not easy to find so check the directions before.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Didier M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 September 2013

If you want to see Monteverde, but want to avoid the touristy places around Santa Elena, here is your answer. The Univ. of Ga. Costa Rica campus at San Luis includes facilities for tourists along with the usual researchers and students. Rooms are clean and comfortable and the staff makes an extra effort to make visitors happy - something out of the norm for a biological research station. The food is excellent, there is a wide range of activities, and everyone on the staff was incredibly helpful. They even made a Florida Gator like me feel welcome.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled solo
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Thank Dave S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ecolodge San Luis

Address: San Luis de Monteverde, 700, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Monteverde
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 75 Speciality Lodging in Monteverde
Price Range: £76 - £121 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 36
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
For a culturally authentic educational experience, make the Ecolodge San Luis at the University of Georgia's Costa Rica Campus your base for exploring the Monteverde Cloud Forest!Guests at the Ecolodge San Luis enjoy a wide range of educational, nature-based, and cultural activities, both on our campus and in the local community. Ecolodge San Luis won an international Innovation in Sustainability award. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Ecolodge San Luis Hotel Monteverde

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