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“Serene and Mindful Setting” 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
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Serene and Mindful Setting”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2013

I stopped in Rancho Margot for a quick lunch, not realizing what an adventure it would be to make it there. We almost turned around on the rocky, windy road a few times. I am grateful we did not!

We also went for a phenomenal horse back ride, had amazing food, fabulous margaritas, and had an adventure all over the massive property and adjoining "Children's Forest". I highly recommend staying here when traveling alone or as a couple, AND definitely stopping by for some fabulous conservation, fun, views, and adventure!! Alejandro was an amazing guide for our ride!!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 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, September 5, 2013
Thanks, Melissa! We're so glad that you didn't turn around - and even more happy to tell you that the road to us received a complete overhaul recently and it is now so much easier to get to us! We agree - Alejandro is an amazing tour guide and we're so glad you had a great ride! PURA VIDA
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173 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 (25)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Sedona, Arizona
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2013

Spending time at rancho margot is like spending time in heaven. The property is stunning and welcoming. I loved the tour of the property. Getting to see how an organic, chemical free, off the grid ranch can work like a well oiled machine. Without all the emfs, power lines, smart meters, etc...i slept like a baby..awakening to beautiful nature sounds. The warm spring is so healing. The yoga is top notch (and i am a certified yoga teacher). My bed was comfy. And every single staff person went out of their way to be helpful. Oh and how could i forget th food!... It was wonderful..so pure. And that includes the best pizza ever and wonder fresh fruit drinks daily. I can truly say that spending time at rancho margot has changed my life. <3 i will surely return to Rancho Margot.

Room Tip: I was traveling alone and booked the bunkhouse. All rooms are equally good and they were kind enough...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • 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
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Travis D, Manager at Rancho Margot, responded to this review, September 5, 2013
That's a tagline we might have to borrow, Eva! :)
Thank you for your kind words and for your visit to Rancho Margot. We're so glad to read that you enjoyed our yoga program while you were here as well as our pizzas! Definitely hoping to see you again in the future. PURA VIDA
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Austin, Texas
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

We returned to Rancho Margot with our whole family after a visit the summer before. Our interest in the grand experiment that Juan and Liz are undertaking continues to grow. Many talk about sustainability, but these folks are researching it and doing it every day. And they have so much to teach all of us as we relax amid the tropical beauty of Costa Rican land conservation areas! And, of course, the sheer fun of the various activities is not to be ignored. We will most certainly return again and again and again.......
Some of our family members were not accustomed to the absence of technology and constant media input. They finally relaxed and came to enjoy the fun of watching a particularly large lizard that was an amazing color make its way through the bushes 5 feet from the table where we were eating breakfast. And, more routine, were the multicolored hummingbirds buzzing the flowers on the bushes while you eat. And then there is the honeybee hive that is natural geometry at its best. And on and on and on..... the large colorful birds we saw on the Forest Trail hike, the toucan that we "scared up" when we got off the trail going cross country along the river. The many local Ticans that work at the ranch are all very interesting and fun to talk to and you get the definitely get the feeling that they feel that way about you, too. I highly recommend that everyone interested in the survival of humanity as we know it go check out the Ranch and the lifestyle it is developing. Sustainability with comfortable and somewhat luxurious shelter and plenty of hot water, too!!! In addition, you know that what you are supporting is an effort to save even more of this beautiful land from irresponsible development.

Room Tip: Each of the bungalows is unique and excellent. While the insides are the same, each porch has a dif...
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  • Stayed December 2012, 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
Thank you so much for your incredibly thorough and thoughtful review! We are so honoured to host and share this experience with such incredible people. The impression that you make here is everlasting, and we so look forward to seeing you and your family again. PURA VIDA
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Chandler, Arizona
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2013

My daughter and I recently had the great fortune to be able to visit this most amazing place. It was a much needed retreat for both of us, and it turned out to be the most wonderful experience in both of our lives. We had read all the info we could find on Rancho Margot, watched Juan's CNN piece with Sanjay Gupta, and thought we were prepared for an adventure. Little did we know that visiting here would be such an intimate encounter. Meeting Juan and Liz, hearing their stories, seeing their accomplishments, was such an honor for us to share. This is truly a magnificent creation to be shared and enjoyed by all. It seems so strange that such a short stay here would have such in impact on my life. I felt as if this should be my home and I miss it everyday!! From the sheer beauty of the surroundings, to the accomodations, the amazing food, the incredibly peaceful ambiance, to the most friendly, likable, intelligent people on earth, I would highly recommend a visit to Rancho Margot to everyone that wants to survive in our future.

  • Stayed April 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 3
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 this incredible response to your stay at Rancho Margot. It is people like you and your daughter who make this possible - while you write of the impact we had upon you during your stay, please know how much your enthusiasm, energy and awareness impact us and drive us to keep doing what we do. And sincerely - we so look forward to seeing you both again in the future! PURA VIDA
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tampa
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
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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Vancouver, Canada
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 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
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 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
2 helpful votes 2 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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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 6 Specialty lodging in El Castillo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Rancho Margot 3*
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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