My overall impression is that this hotel is just ok. I'm perplexed as I read other, more glowing reviews and wonder if I missed something? Granted, we had just come from Copa de Arbol and Peace Lodge, which were amazing, so the bar was set pretty high.
-Staff: They are great! We are grateful for Toto and Carlos who were not only welcoming, but helped us arrange taxi's for a night out, reservations, an outside tour that my husband was interested in and more! The restaurant staff were also very welcoming, even if the food had challenges
-View: Lovely view of San Jose, especially at night
-Soap: Sounds silly, but I loved the smell of the soap and shower gel--so much so that I bought some to take home with me.
-Coffee: Best coffee I've ever had! (I'm not an expert, just a daily Starbucks customer). We bought several bags to bring home
-Bed: Comfortable, large and clean
-Rooms: We stayed in Cafetal which was nicely decorated with a mural and pretty
-Location: Close to San Jose airport, which is great, especially since traffic near San Jose can be challenging
-Guide: Manolo was fantastic! He took us on the river float and Tirimbino tours and was very knowledgeable, passionate about the environment, friendly and overall we enjoyed spending the day with him.
-Rooms: The rooms are a bit tired and we had ants throughout our 3 night stay. After a day of seeing a trail of ants we tracked it to the sugar bowl (available for in-room coffee) were they were clustered. But, even after removing the sugar, the ants remained. When we told the staff person who guided us to our rooms, his response was "it's ok, they're not the kind that bite". The manager says that the ants are hard to remove because they are an eco-friendly resort. I understand that, but have visited other eco-friendly lodges on our trip to Costa Rica and neither had insect issues.
-Restaurant: The restaurant is hit or miss. Our lunch there wasn't stellar, just ok (hamburger underdone and veggie sandwich fine). Our first dinner was not good. We were told to move from our table (after being told to sit anywhere) because it was reserved (without a sign). We had to move a chair to make a new table. Not a big deal, just an inconvenience. Water was served but my husband's glass had something floating in it and my glass had a string literally encrusted to it's side. Pretty gross. We both had the tropical salad which was bland and had an odd crunch to it. My shrimp with pineapple included three small pieces of pineapple and 2 of them were hard, core pieces. The coffee flan had a gritty crust but good flavor.
Worst of all, I woke up with stomach issues the next morning either from the food, or the water that is supposedly filtered. I had been in Costa Rica for almost 10 days and had not had any issues until I ate and drank in this restaurant. Very inconvenient before a full day of river touring and hiking. I switched back to bottled water and was fine until the last day. Feeling better I tried the restaurant's water before we left, and again, had stomach issues a few hours later. Maybe it's filtered, but maybe some of us need more? Not sure, but either way, I would be cautious with the water. The food in the restaurant, however, DRASTICALLY IMPROVED for next dinner there. The rolls were now soft, warm and flaky (instead of stale, cold and hard), and the meals were delicious. It was like night and day.
-Location: It's great being so close to the city (and smaller towns, we had a dinner out, at LLuna de Valencia, which was great!) but that also comes with more noise. We were awaken by barking dogs, promptly at 6 am every morning. And there were a few times we heard loud car alarms, motorcycles, etc. We also contacted a local tour company but were told that given the remote location of the hotel, they, and many other, tour companies wouldn't pick up from our hotel. Not sure if this is accurate, but something to explore if you want to schedule tours beyond those offered by the hotel.
Overall, it was a decent place that brought us closer to SJO for our flight home. If I had to do it over, I probably would just spend a night or two and would only drink bottled water.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear Lash22201; Thank you for writing in with your review of our hotel and I appreciate your candid comments. I am very sorry that we did not meet your expectations. The problem you had with the ants is regrettable and please accept my sincerest apologies; we live in a very bio-diverse country with so much life and we have an amazingly balanced ecology. However,with all the abundant gardens, creeks, ancient trees and organic coffee around, occasionally the ants decide to invade and although this happens very infrequently (and usually due to being attracted by food -or in this case sugar) they indeed sometimes are a nuisance. I believe that the staff wanted to say to you that these are non-venomous (non biting) ants not to justify their appearance, but rather to ease any fears you might have had.
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I am sorry you had stomach problems while here, and I do not know why this happened, but it certainly is not our water. Our well water is 100% pure and is checked and certified every three months by an official bonded lab as well as the the Ministry of Health: in our 28 years here we have never had anything but perfect readings on our water. Furthermore, we filter it to take out any sediments that might come from the well. We also checked with our 35 staff members and other guests and none of the 28 other people staying here had any issues, so I am speculating that it might have been something else that you may have picked up along the way.
I am glad that the food quality improved and please accept my apologies for the quality earlier in your stay. We will work even harder on maintaining the quality in the restaurant and in the attention to details there.
Thanks again for letting us know about your experiences.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.