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“Worthwhile experience”
Review of Ecolodge San Luis

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Ecolodge San Luis
Certificate of Excellence
Kangaroo Valley, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
21 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Worthwhile experience”
Reviewed 16 July 2014

I spent 4 nights here and found the experience both enjoyable and informative. It's unlike anywhere else I stayed in over 7 weeks in Costa Rica. The fees cover accommodation, food and numerous activities centred on informing visitors about the ecology of the area and the sustainable way in which the ecolodge and associated research/education facilities are managed. I must thank the volunteer interns (naturalists) for their friendly and very helpful attention while we were there. I reaIly enjoyed their company. I also commend the establishment for their waste water management which uses organic methods to treat waste water and generate methane gas for cooking.
Unfortunately the weather was very windy and showery during our stay and birdwatching which was our main interest was challenging.
It's a $15 taxi ride each way to the rest of the attractive features of Monteverde so it's best to have own transport

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Les M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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124 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 July 2014 via mobile

My boyfriend and I spent three nights at the lodge in June as part of a wider trip around Costa Rica. It was a completely amazing trip and easily the most memorable stay of our visit to this extraordinary country!

We stayed in the lodge bit, which is a ten-minute walk from the main campus. You'll need sturdy walking shoes and a torch for the trip back to your room at night, but it's totally worth it! We saw amazing stars on our walks back and loved the views and peace of the veranda outside our room - from which we saw monkeys up-close.

Eating canteen-style was fun and gave us a good chance to chat to other travellers, and we found all the food to be fresh and tasty. They even had pack lunches for the day we were out at Monteverde!

We didn't have a car, so made full use of the activities on offer - all of which were interesting,
engaging and good fun. All of the staff and students we met were a pleasure to chat to and incredibly knowledgeable, as ell as good company.

An utterly fantastic, once-in-a-lifetime place to stay and the ultimate location. Thanks for everything!

  • Stayed June 2014
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank rachael g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Columbia, Missouri, Usa
Level 6 Contributor
202 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 June 2014

The Ecolodge San Luis is attached to the University of Georgia campus just minutes away from Monteverde but far from the tourists that throng it. Cost per person includes guided tours and an opportunity to interact with UG students and staff. Meals are served in the cafeteria. It is a perfect place for families who like to hike and to observe nature. The EcoLodge rooms are located above a river away from the noise of the central campus. There is plenty of birding and hiking and one can also visit the most important sites of Monteverde by going up the steep La Trocha road.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jirecarol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 May 2014 via mobile

This place is refreshingly different from your usual hotel as it is part of a university. We loved the guided walks we did with the volunteer naturalists: insects, birds, sustainability, night walk through the forest. They all had huge amounts of information to share. Our children thought it was all amazing. We saw all sorts of wildlife including capuchin monkeys, tarantula and toucans.

Dining is cafeteria style with local food, some of which is grown / reared on site.

Some of the cabinas are a bit of a walk (10 mins max) from the main buildings if you don't have a car. Just ask when you book.

Stayed May 2014
Helpful?
Thank debandjimUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 April 2014

This place is really cool. It's beautiful and a welcome change from the usual hotel or B&B. The students who checked us in and gave us a night tour were incredibly knowledgeable and the place was alive not only with nature but also with the energy of students and faculty who were incredibly friendly and obviously enjoying their time in this setting. We saw monkeys, several kinds of birds, a baby pit viper, and a couple agoutis even though we were only at the lodge 1 night. The food was good and the communal eating a nice change from the restaurant scene. We were even able to pack lunches to take with us while checking out the sights in Monteverde. I was a little worried this place would be far from other attractions in the area but it was actually just a few minutes from Santa Elena by car and easy to find. Our kids (12 and 15) and we all really enjoyed our stay.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Rainygurl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Replicon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Golden, Colorado
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Alex B
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

Property: 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 #8 of 74 Speciality Lodging in Monteverde
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
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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