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“Real EcoTurism!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Rancho Margot

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Rancho Margot
3.0 of 5 Ranch   |   3km beyond El Castillo | La Fortuna de San Carlos, El Castillo, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
GreenLeadersGold level
tampa
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Real EcoTurism!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

I came here with my niece and we rented a jeep. We picked up the jeep from the San Jose Airport and let me warn you it is a few hours of a drive. The last mile was on an unpaved road, we got there very late and there was no lighting. Just getting there was an adventure.
Rancho Margot was a lot more than we expected. We absolutely loved it!
There were no phones in the rooms and the only form of communicating was via internet in the lobby area.
The food was very healthy, mostly all came from the ranch itself.
We traveled to El Rio Celeste and a few other surrounding towns. Another warning most roads are not paved and if you are scared of heights and don't drive a stick, I highly recommend just hanging out at the Ranch which is still a lot of fun!
There are lots of fun things to do like, hiking, horseback riding, mountain rock climbing, ziplining...
I would definitely go back.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Travis D, Manager at Rancho Margot, responded to this review, September 5, 2013
We are so glad that you found us during your recent visit to Costa Rica and hope you returned home safely! PURA VIDA
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211 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (41)
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English first
Vancouver, Canada
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013

We stayed at the Rancho Margot (RM) for 3 nights as part of a vacation planned by "Anywhere Costa Rica". Please see my seperate review/warning about the planning services of "Anywhere Costa Rica".

First of all I should say that despite the various screwups by "Anywhere Costa Rica", our stay at the Rancho Margot was a really great suggestion. We loved the place! If you are interested in true eco-tourism, sustainability and thoughtful travel, this is the place for you! In addition, it is comfortable, set in a gorgeous location and staffed by friendly people who are passionate about the incredible things they do at the RM.

It is important to know, however, that RM is at the very end of a long, rutted and bumpy road. It takes approximately 1.25-1.5 hours to go to/from La Fortuna...each way! So if you plan to go to the RM, don't plan any activities in La Fortuna while you're at the RM- it's just too far to go. Instead, enjoy the wonders of the ranch and the many reasonably priced excursions that they offer, right from the RM (no need to go into La Fortuna). Unfortunately, "Anywhere Costa Rica" also booked us on several excursions in La Fortuna while we were at the RM, so we spent too much time on the road instead of just enjoying Costa Rica (this was the theme of our vacation as planned by "Anywhere Costa Rica")

To return to the RM - We had bungalows 8 & 10. The bungalows are lovely and have ceiling fans which keep you comfortable at night. These buildings are perched right up at the edge of the jungle and we saw a lot of amazing birds while just sitting on the wooden deck fronting each bungalow.

There is a heated pool as well as a natural (cooler) pool. They offer yoga and other activities to their guests. You can also sign up for a variety of activities such as horseback riding tours (I wish we'd had time to do one).

The food is fantastic! Plentiful, with lots of vegetarian options and virtually everything produced organically right at the RM. There is little 'waste', as everything is recycled or re-used. Even the energy to heat the water is generated bio-thermically from the herbivore manure as it is composted :)

My kids were enchanted by the family of Golden Retrievers at the RM, particularly Ginger & Roger, the puppies. We all really enjoyed the relaxed, thoughtful atmosphere and the beautiful setting. You won't regret spending some time in this special place!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Travis D, Manager at Rancho Margot, responded to this review, September 5, 2013
Thank you so much for your discussion of your time at Rancho Margot! We are sorry to hear about your experience with Anywhere Costa Rica as they are typically one of the absolute best agencies to work with and almost all of our guests who come by way of them have nothing but amazing things to say!

Next time you visit definitely plan to spend more time at the Ranch - as you now know, there is so much to do here without having to leave at all! And further to that, the road has now been repaired so it is super easy and fast to access.

PURA VIDA!
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Orlando, Florida
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2013

Excellent service, great food, warm hospitality and a place you must visit. A real return to the natural beauty of this part of Costa Rica. People were so friendly and the entire staff would get a first class rating on customer service. You must take a tour of the farm, horseback ride while there.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Travis D, Manager at Rancho Margot, responded to this review, September 5, 2013
Thank you so much for taking the time to visit Rancho Margot while you were in Costa Rica! We are always honoured to receive such positive feedback.
PURA VIDA
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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2013

My husband and I just came back from our honeymoon in Costa Rica. We stayed in Rancho Margot for a week and I have to say that it was such unique experience. We stayed in the bungalow which was private, clean, open to nature, and relaxing. The place is just perfect if you like to explore your surroundings as there is much to see and do. The staff was very nice and helpful as they seem to enjoy working there. With food it was hit or miss. All of there meals were great, but breakfast never changed much. However, I will most likely come back and bring others with me.

Room Tip: Stay in a bungalow, not a bunkhouse!
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Travis D, Manager at Rancho Margot, responded to this review, September 5, 2013
Thanks so much for your feedback and review of Rancho Margot! We definitely look forward to your next visit.
PURA VIDA!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013

I stumbled upon this place when I was traveling through Arenal, and I am so glad that I decided to brave the bumpy road and stay at the resort. Every single employee or volunteer that I encountered taught me something new and acted as though they were genuinely glad that I was there. I stayed in the Bunkhouse, which was just like any nice hostel when traveling. I loved walking around the property and taking pictures of the plants that decorate their paths. The yoga was incredibly relaxing, I had not practiced yoga much before and I was shocked at how quickly I improved. Some of the other guests had practiced yoga and others were newbies as well, so I never felt uncomfortable. I have saved the best for last - the food. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner were each unique and filling. I would recommend getting to know some of employees and volunteers because they all have had very interesting careers prior to the Ranch. One of the chefs used to be the chef at the Playboy mansion! The bar is a great place to hang out at night. I cannot say enough good things about the Ranch, I will be back.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Travis D, Manager at Rancho Margot, responded to this review, September 5, 2013
Your feedback and review of Rancho Margot is most appreciated and we're so glad that you were able to brave the bumpy road! Next time you visit you'll be happy to see the road has been repaired!
PURA VIDA
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Camarillo, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013

My husband and I stayed January 2013 prior to meeting friends on the coast. We felt like we were part of a family from the moment we walked into the reception area. Everyone was so helpful and friendly. You should know there are no hairdryers on the property but that took me about 5 minutes to get over. Who really needs one in such a natural and beautiful setting? We had the opportunity to meet many wonderful people, both volunteers for the property and other travelers. The five-hour horseback ride was incredible and our guide was so anxious to tell us about the ranch and his country. We felt like the only persons on earth in our spacious and clean bungalow tucked high in the jungle with a view of Lake Arenal. The owner, Juan, was incredibly knowledgeable and enthusiastic about what has been accomplished and his future plans for Rancho Margot. It was a wonderful experience like we have never had before. We raved about the property, the staff and Juan so much, our daughter has chosen to have her wedding there next year.

Room Tip: We loved Bungalow 15 with a partial view of Lake Arenal. it was about midway up the property
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Travis D, Manager at Rancho Margot, responded to this review, April 10, 2013
Thank you so much for your kind words. It was a pleasure to have you here with us and we are most excited for your daughter's upcoming nuptials at Rancho Margot! We look forward to seeing you again.
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Gainesville, Florida, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

Such a unique ranch. Couln't have asked for a more relaxing setting in the most beautiful landscape I have ever seen. The best food I have ever experienced in my life, especially breakfast! You are in the rainforest so luxury is limited but the ranch did a fantastic job with the resources given. It's such a beautifully sustained, self-serving place that utilizes what is needed...and that is tuly all we really need.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Travis D, Manager at Rancho Margot, responded to this review, April 9, 2013
Jessica - We are so happy to read your review and hear of the wonderful time you had at Rancho Margot! We agree with you - breakfast is our most favourite part of the day as well! Come back and share some fresh yogurt and granola with your friends at Rancho Margot sometime :)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rancho Margot

Address: 3km beyond El Castillo | La Fortuna de San Carlos, El Castillo, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > El Castillo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Specialty Lodging in El Castillo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Rancho Margot 3*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
ALL RESERVATIONS AT RANCHO MARGOT INCLUDE DAILY BREAKFAST, LUNCH AND DINNER FROM OUR CHEMICAL-FREE GARDENS. ADDITIONALLY, 2-HOUR GUIDED RANCH TOUR AND TWICE DAILY YOGA CLASSES ARE INCLUDED WITH EVERY OVERNIGHT STAY.On the hills of Rancho Margot, you will find our 17 deluxe bungalows. The Caño Negro river whisper will guide you to the most peaceful rest possible, only to wake up the next day with the loud call of the howler monkeys. Hidden in our botanical gardens are bungalows, equipped to house couples or families of up to 4 people. Each bungalow has its own terrace on which you may enjoy the incredible view while relaxing on your hammock with a great book. Bungalows feature Orthopedic mattresses and are available with two queen beds or one queen bed and two singles. Additional amenities include mosquito netting, rocking chair, table & chairs, and handmade soaps. Each bungalow is equipped with a private bathroom with shower.Our vision is to protect our sustainable rainforest facility but also to make it an educational playground for adults and children alike, where we can inspire a new generation of global citizens to continue ‘closing the circle.’Rancho Margot is a family enterprise where everyone is welcome. We’re living our dream, and we invite you to join us. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rancho Margot Hotel Arenal Volcano National Park

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