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“Very Well Managed” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Lapa Rios Ecolodge Osa Peninsula

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Lapa Rios Ecolodge Osa Peninsula
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Osa Peninsula, Cabo Matapalo, Costa Rica   |  
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Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Special Offer
Green Season Value
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Cabo Matapalo
Los Angeles
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
55 hotel reviews
Reviews in 69 cities Reviews in 69 cities
112 helpful votes 112 helpful votes
“Very Well Managed”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2013

The lodge is very well organised, and staffed by local people who are caring and sensitive to the needs of guests. They do their best to ensure one has an enjoyable stay.

Cabins are large and, although critters manage to find their way in, screens keep mosquitos out. Bring insect repellent for time spent outside.

The biggest surprise was the quality of the food which was excellent. There is coffee delivery in the mornings, which is a lovely way to start the day.

Although it was rainy season, most activities still occurred. The rain was quite heavy at times, but it was warm and really didn't interrupt much. Also even in the green season, the lodge was full and quite busy. There were several families with school kids and honeymooners among the guests. Children did fine on the hikes rated 'difficult', but seems like these kids were used to spending time outdoors.

Wildlife is somewhat difficult to see because of the shadowy forests, but it shouldn't be to hard to encounter the four types of monkeys in the region within a three day stay. Toucans were visible almost every day. The dawn chorus of wildlife (especially the howler monkeys!) is quite loud, but that's what being in the tropics is all about.

The location is not as isolated as I initially thought, and unfortunately there is a fair bit of traffic noise from the road below.

As others have commented the stairs can make for a challenging hike to the common areas, most guests seem to be fairly active types.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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374 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (120)
Date | Rating
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English first
Eastsound, Washington
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 June 30, 2013

With all the hype about "eco" lodging, it is a delight to confirm that Lapa Rios lives up to its reputation. This is a fantastic facility --- beautiful views, legitimate claims to ecological awareness, innovative cuisine, and outstanding lodging. The staff (90% of whom are locals) are professional, knowledgeable, and, in a word, gracious. We felt like honored guests.

  • Stayed June 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cayuga S, Manager at Lapa Rios Ecolodge Osa Peninsula, responded to this review, July 3, 2013
Dear Barbara,
greetings from the lush and green Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica. A very special thanks for your review giving us your approval in terms of our eco credentials. At Lapa Rios Eco Lodge, we have been doing ecotourism for more than 20 years, even before the term ecotourism was well defined and were among the first to get the highest certification ratings. And we are proud of the positive impact that our work has created in the environment (more forest cover, more animals, more conservation by neighbors) and the local community (year-round employment with opportunities to grow and of course education for the locals). We are looking to find the right mix between a luxurious Safari style rain forest experience combined with sustainability at its best. But of course we also realize that sustainability is a process and we still have a long way to go. We hope that your review inspires many more to visit us for a green honeymoon or a family vacation that will leave every family member inspired. Thanks again and we hope you come back to Costa Rica soon.
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Milton, Massachusetts
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2013

We brought a family group to Lapa Rios and had an unforgettable time. There is not much more that can be added to other recent reviews -- it is all true. The location of the property is beautiful -- perched on a bluff above the Golfo Dulce. Wildlife from toucans to all four indigenous species of monkeys, macaws, dart frogs (and an array of remarkable insects that are to be expected in a rainforest) are everywhere on the property.

At the same time, the comfort quotient is also high. There is an outdoor pool with a breathtaking view where one can ordrer tropical drinks. The food is sophisticated and excellent, and the bungalows are lovely and well maintained. Taking a shower while smelling the fresh outdoor air (there are only screened windows in the bungalows -- no glass) and looking out on the sparkling gulf was a magical feeling.

The tour guides and the range of tours are also excellent . We were lucky enough to be there at at the time of a "negative tide" so that the "starfish tour" was available. That was a wonderful contrast to the hikes of various kinds through the rainforest.

The entire staff was unendingly friendly. When one of our group was slightly under the weather and didn't make it to dinner, one of the restaurant staff though to take her dinner to her -- hiking through the rain to her bungalow.

It should be noted that the bungalows are a bit of a jaunt from the main building, and the hikes and beach access all require some exertion -- so this is not for folks that are unused to at least moderate exercise. But with that said, Lapa Rios should be on everyone's bucket list.

  • Stayed June 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Corpus Christi, Texas
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2013

Everything about this experience was superb. It deserves a score of 10 plus. Staff was very friendly, food was excellent, accommodations were wonderful. We were in Bungalow 8 and we had wonderful views of the gulf. We woke up to toucans flying overhead. Wildlife was everywhere. The guides were very knowledgeable and friendly. We felt that everyone and everything about this place was in harmony with each other. Hot lemongrass tea greeted us every morning at 6am and we enjoyed the sunrise in our own private patio. If I ever go back to Costa Rica, this is the only place I want to go. We have traveled extensively, and Lapa Rios is truely paradise.

Room Tip: Bungalow 8 is on the corner, facing the gulf, with wonderful breezes and very private. You are surro...
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  • Stayed May 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2013

The location and venue are second to none. The wildlife just comes at you, you don't need to look for it too hard: Toucans at the pool, monkeys on the way to the beach, party crabs (aka Halloween crabs) are out in force at night, but there are plenty of tours included in your room price too. The guided tours are great and teach you a lot about wildlife, sustainable processes and nature. We are quite passionate about food and enjoy eating out at nice restaurants. Just to manage your expectations the food is good to very good but not what we (and maybe you as well) expected from the steep price tag and reviews at Lapa Rios. There are a lot of great items on the menu but not everything is amazing. To be honest, we have been to more affordable places and eaten better. The service is fantastic though, and everyone is really lovely and friendly. We enjoyed the Osa trail and the night walk. The beach is about 15 minutes walk and you can hire a wide range of surf boards from a place called 'Encanta la Vida' for $20 per day. Matapalo served up some nice long right-hander waves when we there. If you want to experience rain forest at its best, go to Lapa Rios. The only slight disappointment was that they didn't give us any surprise for our honeymoon (which every other place in Costa Rica did).

Room Tip: If you don't like stairs get them to book you a room closer to the restaurant and pool. This pro...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harpenden, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2013

Firstly I noticed that there are some negative comments from people below, so I will deal with those first. Especially about bugs and the lack of privacy. Bugs....... You are in a rainforest..... Yes there are bugs and for a wussy Brit like me, this was going to be a problem... But actually it wasn't, it was part of the experience and bugs are a fascinating part of the rainforest as much as the charismatic mega fauna people want to see. The privacy, yes you can hear people passing by, but in frequently and actually not a problem.

Food. The food was well prepared and very good with just the right mix of US style to Costa Rican keep most of the guests happy. The fruit and veg were fresh and way better than anything we can get at home.

Tours. Exemplary with people who are genuinely excited about nature and easy to talk to. Guillermo and Edwin were our two guides for our stay and they were brilliant and friendly without over crowding,

Ambiance and environment. We did worry that it would be a bit preachy on the Eco side. But it wasn't and just the right mix of information to make us think. The UK could learn a lot for the guys here despite our own greening credentials. The hotel was relaxing and the staff attentive. Even to the point of knowing we needed water after our red faced return from the beach......

For nature enthusiasts we recommend the Osa Trail and the Early Bird tours and if you are brave the Night Tour ....

Room Tip: Try to choose a low number if you can, the higher numbers are further away and the steps up to the m...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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.
Washington, D.C.
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2013

Overall, an enjoyable stay:

High points were:

1. Location - On a bluff overlooking the forests and ocean.
2. Tours - Most of the tours were very good and included in the price of the stay - a pretty good deal.
3. Food - Prepared fairly well.
4. People - Staff was welcoming and most everyone was engaged and positive. Special nods go to Guillermo and Luis who stood out as exceptional guides and servers, respectively.
5. Cleanliness - Rooms were kept pretty clean given the tropical location.
6. Mosquitos - There were none. Brought a bunch of Deet and didn't use it once.
7. Fauna - Saw lots of great wildlife - all 4 monkeys and 2 and 3-toed sloths, not to mention some great birding.

Not so high points:

1. It can get hot down there and it can take a day or 2 to get acclimated. Don't bother with the mosquito netting, you don't need it and it stops the air from circulating in the room.
2. After 4 or 5 days, we were getting a bit bored with the food. They had the same fish on the menu every day (magi-mahi). They need a better selection, especially given the fact that they are right there on the coast. They say they're working on it. Also, for some reason, the coffee that was delivered to our room each day was really weak compared to what was served upstairs.
3. Better beer selection. I'm a beer drinker and while I understand Costa Rica isn't a beer mecca, there are some microbreweries popping up in the country, so they should try more variation.
4. Bugs, other than mosquitos, can get into your room sometimes. We had a large gecko in the bathroom (we called him "Greg" and he was our mascot) who helped a little, but if you leave the lights on a lot, creepy crawlies will appear.
5. Room location - They tried to give us room #14 and I'm a pretty fit person (run, bike, crossfit, etc...) but that was really far away and it's all uphill from there. We got room 15, which is actually in the middle - not as good a view as the others, but pretty private. I think the best rooms from what I could see were 4 through 8. I've attached a map to give you a better sense of the lay-out.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Cayuga S, Manager at Lapa Rios Ecolodge Osa Peninsula, responded to this review, June 4, 2013
Dear Sophie-Mar,
greetings from the green and lush Osa Peninsula. Thanks for taking time to write such a detailed review of your stay. We love the combination of very positive feedback combined with constructive criticism since that allows us to get better. First of all thanks for the great comments on our breathtaking location, the exuberant wildlife, the guided tours into our reserve and most importantly the friendly and genuine staff at Lapa Rios. We are also happy about your comments about mosquitoes and other gritters as this will help future guests to evaluate the experience they are about to engage in. We have implemented a policy of "choice" in terms of mosquito nets. We feel they are not really necessary since there are no mosquitoes in the rooms, but some people feel "safer" in them and are willing to accept that it is a bit warmer. it is up to you.
During a stay at Lapa Rios in the middle of the rainforest, you will always encounter some gritters and the occasional gecko. That is part of the experience. Thanks for pointing out the great cleanliness in the rooms. As you can imagine, that is not always easy in the middle of the rainforest and our houskeeping team will be very happy with this comment.
We would like to address some of the not so high points of your review. The fish selection suffered during the week you visited as we could not locate any local fishermen that caught other fish than mahi mahi. Normally (today for example), we have a wide variety of fresh fish available (line caught tuna, sea bass, mahi mahi, etc. Sorry about this. We typically serve 4 to 5 different beers available at the lodge, including the Segua micro brewed beer, but due to logistical reasons and our remote location, it did not arrive that first week of May. We love that beer as well and hope you had a chance to enjoy it during your stay at another hotel or restaurant. We are well stocked right now and ready to serve it to our guests. About the location of the rooms. Some guests like the more private rooms with the king size beds further away from the main lodge (we saw a Puma in the tree next to room #14 a few months ago) but others prefer the rooms that are closer to the main lodge that have two queen size beds. Best if you let us know your preference when you make the reservation. Once again, thanks for the great review. We appreciate it and hope you come back to visit us again soon. All the best.
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Additional Information about Lapa Rios Ecolodge Osa Peninsula

Address: Osa Peninsula, Cabo Matapalo, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Cabo Matapalo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Cabo Matapalo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Lapa Rios Ecolodge Osa Peninsula 3*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in a private nature reserve spread over 1,000 acres of Central America's last remaining lowland tropical rainforest in Costa Rica, Lapa Rios Ecolodge overlooks the pristine point where the Golfo Dulce meets the wild Pacific Ocean, a destination matching everyone's idea of paradise. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lapa Rios Ecolodge Hotel Playa Matapalo

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