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“Lovely start to a honeymoon!” 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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Stay five - pay four
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Cabo Matapalo
GreenLeadersGold level
Virginia, United States
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Lovely start to a honeymoon!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2014

My husband and I spent the first four days of our honeymoon here, and it was the highlight of our trip! Lapa Rios is the perfect mix of luxury and rustic, adventure and relaxation, surrounded by wild animals but staffed with wonderful people who will meet your every need!

Main areas: The lodge is set on the tip of the Osa Peninsula, so from the lodge/dining/pool areas you get a view of both the Pacific Ocean and the Golfo Dulce! The breeze is lovely, and we spent many hours at the pool and on the decks enjoying the views and reading with a cocktail in hand. Just in the main areas we saw macaws, toucans, coatis, agoutis, spider monkeys and even a sloth! Lizards, spiders and other creatures are always around, but in a good way - you come here to experience the rainforest after all!

Room: AMAZING! We were in 16, which was a little more private than the longer rows of bungalows, and had a jungle view with a window to the water. I loved watching the birds and monkeys roam the trees as I sipped my coffee (delivered to your room at 6am!) on the balcony. Though we did see a few lizards and bugs in the room, the screens kept out most critters while still letting in the breeze and jungle noises. The first two mornings the howler monkeys woke me up at 5am - but if you settle into rising with the sun and sleeping at 8/9pm after dinner, 5am feels great! Take the opportunity to settle into nature's rhythms!

Food: TO DIE FOR! We swear that all the best chefs of the world have relocated to Costa Rica! We loved the club sandwich, fish tacos, fish soup, pork tenderloin, and the cocktail menu (Green Breeze, mmm...). Food is included, and you don't have to be shy about ordering everything you want for 3 course lunches and dinners - you have to fuel yourselves for hiking, of course! We also had a private dinner on the pool deck our last night with sparking wine :) At first it was kind of awkward to be out there alone in the dark, but then the stars came out and it was BEAUTIFUL.

Activities: The included hikes by the Lapa Rios guides were great - you get to move, explore, and have a guide to answer your questions along the way. We did Osa, matapalo, waterfall, night walk, and sustainability and enjoyed them all. I loved going in the low season so that the hikes were only a few people. We also did a private boat whale watching and snorkling tour ($390 for 1-5 people) which was awesome - saw 6 humpback whales including two babies, a group of dolphins, and some colorful fish in the Golfo Dulce. But beware the jellyfish!

Staff: Everyone was so lovely - guides, waitstaff and front desk! All were very helpful, taking time to chat and make suggestions.

A few other notes: You should definitely be fit to handle walking around the property and the activities. Make sure you've arranged your activities/transportation for your next hotel BEFORE you get cut off from the internet! I loved disconnecting, but it was a pain to ask the front desk to contact our next hotel to set things up - I prefer to handle logistics myself.

I would 100% recommend Lapa Rios for folks who love the outdoors, good food and relaxing while overlooking rainforests, oceans and animals!

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
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441 reviews from our community

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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 (154)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
West Palm Beach, Florida
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2014

My two girlfriends and I had an Amazing time. The location is unbeatable, beautiful views from everywhere you are on the property. There were a variety of activities to choose from daily, we participated in the dolphin and whale tour, which was a great experience. The food was amazing for all three meals, and the staff went above and beyond with their service. They were also very friendly and we had great conversations with them. Overall, the stay was very relaxing, and we enjoyed ourselves very much!

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Boulder, Colorado
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2014

We brought our 8 and 10 year old daughters to Lapa Rios for 5 nights and it was a fantastic experience. Lots of nature hikes, birdwatching, and lounging in our comfy beds reading. All the guides were wonderful and patient. Can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Lisbon, Portugal
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2014

Excellent Stay Over All. Unique Place, plenty of wildlife, nice waves to surf, friendly staff, nice and clean rooms, good food, beautiful views and places to see, very quiet and relaxed atmosphere....

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • 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.
Miami, Florida
Top Contributor
113 reviews 113 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
156 helpful votes 156 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2014

The bed sheets are always humid, the ceiling fans don't keep you cool, you are always wondering what creature is scurrying out of sight and at 5 in the morning if the glare of the sun doesn't wake you then the holler monkeys or the macaws surely will.

I'm sure that it must have been a herculean task for John and Karen to put this place together, I am so glad they did. Lapa Rios, at least for me, is the closest thing to paradise on earth. The moment when we arrived, after a 5 hour drive, when the staff came to meet us (frankly a little embarrassing) drinks in hand and led us to the terrace that looks over the property while tucans and scarlet macaws flew overhead and a band of squirrel monkeys descended from the trees..the whole thing looked staged, like a Disney movie. I'll never forget that.

The property has 16 bungalows, bungalows 1 and 2 are close to the restaurant, I think 3 through 7 are not that far, but anything over 7 requires a hike, quite the hike (I love hiking). We were blessed with bungalow 2, at first I wanted to be further away because #2 is next to the entrance road, but I learned to appreciate being in #2 really quickly.

The food here is perhaps the best I've had in three trips to Costa Rica. There is food always available, you can have a coffee and banana bread as early as 5 am, a cold breakfast (granola, yogurt, fruit, etc) at 6:30 and a hot, delicious breakfast beginning at 7. Lunch includes a starter, main and dessert and so does dinner. There's bar which prepares delicious libations for a moderate cost (specially considering they are the only game in town).

Your stay includes various guided tours on the property, these include bird watching, a hike to the waterfalls, a 3 hour hike through the entire property (mostly downhill), a starfish tour in the tide pools and a very popular night tour. There are others, about 4 or 5 scheduled every day, plenty to do, or you can just lay by the pool.

I could write a book about this place so I'm going to stop..but before I do I want to recommend the Corcovado tour, splurge and take a small plane which lands in the middle of the park, it is truly an experience and Corcovado is the most beautiful park I've been to.

And last but not least the STAFF. Everyone was wonderful, special mention goes to Darien who was brave enough to do what the man in the family couldn't (it involves a large arachnid), Luis, the best waiter ever (or whatever else he decides to do) and guides Danilo and Valerie without whom we would not have learned or seen anything.

Room Tip: Rooms 1 and 2 if you don't want to hike to the restaurant
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Cayuga S, Manager at Lapa Rios Ecolodge Osa Peninsula, responded to this review, August 21, 2014
Dear Interterra,
thank you for taking the time to review your stay at Lapa Rios on Tripdavisor. To be honest, we were worried for a moment when we started to read your review and thought that you were going to come down hard on us... but then we realized that you probably had one of those life changing experiences at Lapa Rios that many of our guests tell us about. Yes, you are in the middle of the rain forest and things might not be as sterile and perfect as in a cooler climate or a corporate branded hotel in North America. However, the rewards for "enduring' the tropical and sometimes humid rain forest experience are worth it - as you very well pointed out. The wildlife experience in the Osa Peninsula around Lapa Rios is probably the best in Costa Rica. And we promise, it is not staged. We don't have a Disney budget to do that. The guided tours provide a great insight into the local flora and fauna and are lots of fun and entertaining. Thanks for pointing out how much you loved the food. We use local ingredients and try to serve them as fresh as possible. Many guests comment on how "healthy" they feel when eating at our eco lodge. But most importantly, thanks for pointing out the connection you were able to make with our staff. We are proud to have a local staff that has the chance to develop their professional skills and meet interesting people from around the world every day. They are passionate about what they do and we think that most people pick up on this very fast. So, yes, Lapa Rios is probably not for everybody. But the ones that are willing to step out of their comfort zone just a little bit (we promise that you will still have most creature comforts available), will be awarded with an incredible vacation experience. We would love for you to come back again soon. All the best from the Lapa Rios Team.
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Arlington, Texas, United States
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2014

My husband planned this entire trip for our Honeymoon, and I was blown away. The greeting as we came to the resort after a long tiring day and small plane ride was amazing. They had wonderful and helpful people who already acted like they knew us!

The room was stunning (#6) and was very private. We had incredible service at the restaurant every morning, afternoon and night. We tried a different plate for each meal and only a few we were not amazed by, but we are not very outgoing with our food choices as it is so it was nothing that upset us. The waiters and staff were always helping us with our Spanish and encouraging us to learn while we were there which was great!

The guided tours were incredible and very educational. We wanted to do EVERYTHING while on the honeymoon, and we truly loved every tour. We did the Ridgewalk, night walk, early morning bird tour and attempted the pigs and twigs but did not make it on time!

We went off on our own through some self guided trails and down to the beach and it was very safe and comfortable. We also did some things outside of the resort and the drivers who took us were also very familiar with what we needed to do, and very always on time.

Overall, I miss this wonderful slice of heaven and I would definitely go back right now. The one thing I would recommend is to finish your trip here because we were sad to go and had a couple more nights at San Jose before heading back home. Thank you Lapa Rios!

Room Tip: A lot of walking the higher the room number. We had #6 and it was not a problem for us, but if you a...
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
san francisco
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2014

My husband and I (with our 16 year old daughter) spent 5 nights at Lapa Rios Ecolodge. It was truly one of the most remarkable hotels/experiences I have ever had. The service and staff at the Lodge are incredible and the rooms not only had amazing views but were spacious, clean and comfortable with private decks and outside showers.

Guided tours with onsite naturalists are part of the experience. We had the awe inspiring experience of seeing a hummingbird's nest with one egg and one live baby bird. This is a truly magical resort that we can not wait to revisit.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
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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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