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“Gorgeous upscale rainforest lodge” 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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Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Cabo Matapalo
Washington
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Gorgeous upscale rainforest lodge”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2013

Wow, I cannot recommend Lapa Rios highly enough. The setting is spectacular -- bungalows are in a quiet, beautiful rainforest with stunning views of the Pacific. The service is first-rate, and the bungalows are quite comfortable, with hot showers, clean beds, polished wooden floors, etc. The restaurant is quite good (with one or two minor exceptions, like the chayote ceviche), with a surprising variety of dishes and a nice wine list. Included in the price of your stay is a variety of hikes led by nature guides who have both serious knowledge of biology and a real feel for the forest. (They help you spot the fairly obvious animals, like monkeys, but also more rare critters that hide in the woods, like the red-eyed tree frog). I took my 14-year-old nephew to Lapa Rios and he loved every minute. But it's also perfect for adults. We typically did one 2- to 3-hour hike each morning and then relaxed by the very nice pool in the afternoon. We also rented horses (and a guide) one morning,for a ride through the rain forest and along the beach -- great fun. This was one of the nicest hotels I've ever been to, and I travel a lot. I definitely plan to go back!

Room Tip: We were in bungalow 4, which was perfect -- not too far of a climb to dinner, but far enough away fr...
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  • Stayed July 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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386 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    345
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    7
    2
    0
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90
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11
5
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 (126)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
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  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Los Angeles
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
57 hotel reviews
Reviews in 69 cities Reviews in 69 cities
115 helpful votes 115 helpful votes
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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
26 reviews 26 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
14 helpful votes 14 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.
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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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