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“Mountain Retreat” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Lodge at Pico Bonito

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The Lodge at Pico Bonito
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   AP 710, La Ceiba 31101, Honduras   |  
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40% off room rate
Ranked #1 of 20 Hotels in La Ceiba
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Mountain Retreat”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2012

We stayed at this lodge a few years ago, March 2009, and it was beautiful, good time of year. They have a private property bordering the national park. A unique place with pretty river hikes. Good birding but you had better be in great shape to see much beyond the lodge, all steep and slippery hiking, as expected on a mountain. Sometimes how much you like a place is subjective, and I really liked it here, relaxing and peaceful, hits the mark for an ecolodge. The cabins were clean and quiet, I would recommend the upgrade. Best sleep I've had in one of these type of lodges. We liked the food and drinks, friendly staff.

I've read some of the bad reviews of this place and they do have some truth. It is expensive but you are getting a very pristine setting close to an international airport, and you have to factor in this is a very poor country, the mainland is not set up for tourism. I have travelled extensively in Central America and didn't find Honduras to be particularily safe with everyone carrying guns. There was a reported shooting of a tourist in La Ceiba while we were there so I liked the isolation and strict door policy at the gate. A huge drawback was that tourists from other hotels can book the guides and crowd at the pool etc...I am a birder and was only able to book the birding guide on one morning of the whole trip which was disappointing because he was fabulous when we finally got him he found the hard to see lifers. Book ahead! The other guides are basic so unless you are a total novice you will be bored. If you are adventurous rent a car, we explored the coast in both directions but again safety is a concern here. There is a big resort east of La Ceiba where you can book the same excursions like snorkelling for much less, but its about an hour drive through town. Again this is Honduras, most of the trips were a disappointment, if not dangerous.

Bottom line: nice basic little lodge, a cool oasis on the mountain. Come here to relax, something a little different a short flight away. It is the nicest place to stay on the mainland by far. Not for the very adventurous, those with kids or who require luxury.

Room Tip: Chose the upgraded private cabins for sure! Book guides well in advance
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
marcela8a, General Manager at The Lodge at Pico Bonito, responded to this review, June 15, 2012
Dear friends: thank you very much for the great comments in regards our facilities, we greatly appreciate them
Yes, we do have our little paradise in the middle of Pico Bonito wildlife reserve where is very quiet and safe.
We take great pride to maintain our standards of service and anticipate to our guests needs.
Again, thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback and we all hope to welcome you again
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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271 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (80)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
West Hartford, Connecticut
Level Contributor
32 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2012

Stayed for 3 nights in a room with 2 double beds and no AC. Did not need AC at all and it was even cool at night. The rooms are very comfortable with a nice porch and hammock, good bathroom. The only room issue we had was after a day of rain, hundreds (and hundreds) of ants climbed up the porch and proceeded to our door and started marching in under the door. We called reception and the immediately sent over a team with a broom and spray to rid the room of ants. We figured it's par for the course since we staying in the rain forest and appreciated how responsive staff was.

Staff in the bar/restaurant, the reception, and guides were all very friendly and we enjoyed getting to know them and they worked hard to get to know us. The food was good, the drinks were good. Very relaxing to spend the afternoons relaxing. The free guided hike was great, as was visiting the butterfly sanctuary. Also very easy to do hikes on your own. Would definitely recommend staying here. Only thing is that prices are high - but we knew that going in and decided that the price was worth it for the location, comfort and services.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
marcela8a, General Manager at The Lodge at Pico Bonito, responded to this review, June 15, 2012
Dear friends: thank you very much for the great comments in regards our facilities, we greatly appreciate them

Yes, we do have our little paradise in the middle of Pico Bonito wildlife reserve and yes, when it rains a lot the ants go out and you find them all over, it is the price to pay when you are in a rain forest.....it is part of the fun.

We take great pride to maintain our standards of service and anticipate to our guests needs.
Again, thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback and we all hope to welcome you again
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
39 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2012

The Lodge at Pico Bonito was wonderful. From the moment we arrived we were treated so nicely. We were shown around the property and then shown to our room. We enjoyed a welcome drink at the bar that was delicious. The cabin (#18) was beautiful and far enough away from the cabin beside us that we never heard anyone else. Even with the AC on, we could hear the birds singing outside the cabin. Our package included a guided hike and we took the short one and it was fun, yet lots of work. We also hiked down the 172 steps to swim. The food was good, but limited choices. just like what has been said before, it was expensive and one meal can feed two people. When we came back from excursions, we would order dinner at the bar and tell them what time to deliver it to our cabin. It was awesome! Food is expensive. we ordered Conch soup which was delicious, but it cost $9.00 and it came in a teacup. Breakfast is included and substantial. The pool is beautiful and birds and lizrds are everywhere for you to watch. We took the train excursion and I loved it because I really got to see the Honduran peole and where they lived and worked. I would definately recommend this lodge. we had a great time!

Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
marcela8a, General Manager at The Lodge at Pico Bonito, responded to this review, April 19, 2012
Dear Lisa:
Thank you very much for your great comments in regards our facilities, we greatly appreciate them.
I do understand and agree with you that conch is expensive in comparison to other sea food in Honduras and we must take in consideration that conch is seasonal, scarce and not easy to get therefore, prices vary according to availability in the market. We keep it in our menu as it is a typical Garifuna Honduran dish and people love to taste a “only in Honduras dish”. Also, conch is a protected species and you were very lucky to have tasted such a delicacy.
Again, thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback and we all hope to welcome you again
Kind regards
Marcela
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Red Hook, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2012

I was tired of the demands of my work life, constant on call, cell phones, computers and needed
to get away from it all. I decided on Pico Bonito and stayed there with my husband from Feb. 18th to the 25th. The lodge is a quick 15 minute ride from the airport and once there you are transported to a world which is almost surreal in it's beauty from the vibrant colours of the flora to the melodic sounds of birds. The lodge is a lovely wooden structure which blends into the surroundings. The individual cabins are private with a deck and hammock where you can lie for hours just enjoying the vistas and sounds of the 2 surrounding rivers. The cabins are lovingly decorated with Lenca pottery and fresh flowers. No TV in the cabins, a complete escape from CNN which we appreciated. The next few mornings we hiked to Mermaid Falls, Unbelievable Falls and other sites. I can't begin to describe these experiences, seeing white faced monkeys and scarlet macaws in the wild. The afternoons were spent spent swimming in the beautiful pool to work out all the muscle soreness from the hikes. We had the meal plan and savored every bite of the dinners and breakfasts. Everything was perfect, the place, the staff, the meals the peace and quiet... Thanks Pico Bonito, we will return!

Room Tip: There is no bad room, only ones with A/C or without. We had a room with A/C but did not use it once...
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  • Stayed February 2012, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
marcela8a, General Manager at The Lodge at Pico Bonito, responded to this review, April 2, 2012
Dear Julia
Thank you very much for your great comments in regards our facilities, we greatly appreciate them.
We are soooooo happy we were able to give you the holidays you were expecting; we do have a little paradise in the middle of Pico Bonito wildlife reserve.
We take great pride to maintain our standards of cleanliness, good food and great service.
Again, thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback and we all hope to welcome you again
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Worth, Texas
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2012

The last reviewers said it all-relaxed luxury. I loved that the cabin windows had screens on them so you could listen to the night sounds. We did use our air conditioning one night and it was nice to have.

All the staff are wonderful and very attentive. You want a jalapeno with dinner? No problem. Raining? Here are umbrellas and walking sticks. Fresh oranges off the tree? Please take some. They anticipate your needs or take care of them quickly. The food was good but I agree could use a little more variety on the packages.

We were there with the birding package and didn't realize we would have our own bird guide most of the day! He really spent alot of time with us and was very knowledgable. He had a scope, bird call tapes and bird guides. (Thanks again, Elmer! Go Red Sox and Texas Rangers!) But all the guides were good and if someone on the porch had a bird question they were answered. Wonderful feeding stations set up throughout the grounds to attract birds and wildlife.

We had many fun trips and hikes along with relaxing on the dining room deck and laying in our cabin porch hammock. It was interesting to meet people from different countries. I heard they were looking at adding some additional activities and birding destinations which would also be great. We took a three week trip to Honduras and splurged on this for our 20th anniversary and it was so worth it.

  • Stayed February 2012, 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
    • 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.
marcela8a, General Manager at The Lodge at Pico Bonito, responded to this review, April 11, 2012
Dear Birders Friends:
Thank you very much for your great comments in regards our facilities, we greatly appreciate them.
We are soooooo happy we were able to give you the holidays you were expecting; we do have a little paradise in the middle of Pico Bonito wildlife reserve.
We take great pride to maintain our standards of service and anticipate to our guests needs
Again, thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback and we all hope to welcome you again
Marcela
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
45 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2012

This great little retreat off the beaten path in Honduras was a gem. A bit of a challenge to find but once there it was worth the trip. Individual bungalows that are well appointed, less TVs await guests. The well landscape grounds and connected hiking trails provide wonderful views. Excursions to surrounding points of interest were all handled by the hotel's staff. We dined at the hotel for most of our meals ad were not disappointed at all.

Room Tip: I don't think there are any rooms that are better than others. The only consideration would be...
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  • Stayed November 2011, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Utah
Level Contributor
322 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 195 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2012

Trip Advisor: Lodge at Pico Bonito

(This is a rather long post and includes details about the various activities available through the lodge.) The Lodge at Pico Bonito features beautiful extensive grounds and very comfortable lodging. Our cabin featured a porch with a hammock and well-made bench and chair. The cabins are off the ground, and jalousies are on window for good ventilation; ceiling fans provided all the cooling needed although an AC is also available. Our cabin was commodious with a king-size bed; the bath has shower only, which is appropriate for this climate. Robe and slippers provided. (Thank you!) A lovely swimming pool is on the grounds, and it’s possible to have lunch by the pool or on the deck of the restaurant overlooking the river. Wi-fi is available in both reception and restaurant. There’s a nice library of books on birds and such.

To a person, the staff was courteous, friendly, and helpful, and this includes the security guards around the perimeter and trails. There are at least half a dozen guides to help guests find birds and other natural history, or to lead them on hikes. The signage on the property could be better; the sign at the Loop Trail and Mermaid Falls was sufficiently broken that we missed the trail to the Falls, and there needs to be another sign near the river at a fork. The Lodge has a free map that it shares, and there’s a detailed nature trail guide in the gift shop.

The only real downside of the Lodge is that the food is average with some notable exceptions. The daily soups are very good; the ceviche is lovely; and there are a couple of stand-out desserts. A meal plan is on offer, and it’s a good deal for those interested in quantity. Meal plan guests receive the same printed menu daily, and the problem is that the entrée choices get old quickly; part of the issue is that the choices seem strange for a tropical restaurant. Fettucine Alfredo? Chicken teriyaki? Steak? The sea bass is good, but one would expect much more variety in fish when the lodge is a stone’s throw from the sea. There is shrimp on the regular menu but not available on the meal plan. Again, the meal plan is generous with soup, salad/ceviche/appetizer, entrée, dessert courses, but there were many times when I would have enjoyed an entrée salad and nothing else. I love ceviche, but after five times, even it got old. One major plus is that salads are fine; it’s the one place south of the USA border where I’ve been able to eat uncooked food and not gotten sick. That is a major plus. The restaurant at Hacienda San Lucas in Copan serves updated traditional Honduran cuisine, and it is lovely. Re-envisioning the meal plan for more options is a strong suggestion; perhaps offer the four-course menu or alternatively two courses from the regular menu. A good selection of wine and beer, including house wines. Also, the wait staff in the restaurant is uniformly friendly and helpful.

About activities. First of all, this is a jungle. It is not Disneyland, and there are hazards in such a natural environment. It’s quite easy to come to the Lodge and simply stay within the main grounds, watching delightful hummingbirds from the deck, visiting the Butterfly House, or sitting by the pool. For the more adventurous, hikes on the Lodge’s trails are good, but we strongly recommend a walking stick (bring your own collapsible one or pick up a wooden one kindly supplied by the Lodge). A mountain ridge extends up from the lodge, which naturally means that walks are generally “up.” The lodge has built steps or reinforced trails in many places. Bird observation towers and platforms along the trail help with sightings. There are two accessible falls and swimming holes, one about 10 minutes up the trail, and the other about 30 minutes. Water shoes help navigate the river rocks, but hiking shoes are needed for the trails. The third falls, Unbelievable Falls, is a difficult hike from the lodge up steep slopes and through the jungle, crossing fallen logs, big roots, and slippery rocks. (We are experienced hikers and found it a stretch.) Hikers should be sufficiently flexible to climb what would be 2-3 step height at places in the trail, and to do some scrambling. There are two routes to the falls, one easier than the other—which is the one we took—but by no means easy. Our route got us there and back in four hours with 30 minutes for a swim in the river; another group that had gone the day before did the loop trail, and it took them 5 hours, and they were sorry that they had not returned the same way they went. While the Unbelievable Falls are lovely, in retrospect, we’d recommend the closer Mermaid Falls and Las Pilas as alternates.

The guided early bird hike was worthwhile and helpful to become acquainted with the local birds; the night hike was less successful. The butterfly house is available for tour during the day on the guests’ own time, and it is definitely worthwhile. For early outings, the restaurant opens at 6 am, and breakfasts can be ordered the night before. (Fruit plates are very good; the standard full American breakfast of eggs etc is included with the room. For some reason, other items are additional charge, so a granola/yogurt is an extra $4. This is the same mystery as the meal plan: eating a lot is free, but choosing a single item costs extra.)

Excursions away from the lodge are several, including horseback riding on the beach, a very long (and early departure at 4 am) to see the Emerald Hummingbird. We recommend the Copan extension at Hacienda San Lucas, which is lovely, although it’s a drive or a drive/fly, and three nights there makes some sense.

Waterwater rafting on Rio Cangrejal is definitely thrilling, more so than expected. Helmets are definitely required. The staff at the rafting company is exceptionally good and cares about safety. Take a set of clothes to change into post-rafting and choose to leave them at the office rather than in the van so that when you return, you can change and eat lunch in dry clothes rather than wet. People with eyeglasses should make sure they have secure croakie-type holders. Rafters do not take anything with them, no sunglasses, no camera (although a camera for the group can be put in a safe box and used at the one place where everyone gets out to watch others come through the slot—it’s also where the staff has safety lines at the ready to throw if there’s a dump). Water shoes are a must. Everyone gets soaked. These are Class III (and perhaps one IV) rapids; the water level varies dramatically depending on the season and recent rainfall.

Wildlife refuge is a terrific opportunity to get on the water at a mangrove swamp/estuary and see a variety of herons, crocodile, Howler monkeys, and many other species. It’s a short drive to La Union, where a funky train takes travelers to the refuge; en route, there are lots of opportunity for bird spotting on the 30 minute trip. It’s a morning outing with return to the lodge for a refreshing dip in the pool and lunch.

What to bring: sweatbands (if you like them); bug spray; light sweater for cool mornings and evenings, good hiking shoes, cushioned socks, binoculars. Surprisingly, hats could be optional as the jungle provides so much coverage.

This is not a night life place, and people are generally in bed early as so many of the trips and outings commence early.

Room Tip: For birders, some cabins back onto a service lane where feeding stations are set up for birds. There...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Lodge at Pico Bonito

Address: AP 710, La Ceiba 31101, Honduras
Phone Number:
Location: Honduras > Atlantida Department > La Ceiba
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 20 Hotels in La Ceiba
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Lodge at Pico Bonito 3.5*
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled at the foot of the Pico Bonito National Park, The Lodge at Pico Bonito seamlessly combines nature and luxurious comfort. The luxury eco-lodge located on the Caribbean coast of Honduras near La Ceiba is a member ofSmall Luxury Hotels of the World. The Lodge offers the adventure of the outdoors, the beauty of the rainforest, and the personal service and luxury of a boutique hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Lodge At Pico Bonito Hotel La Ceiba
Hotel At Pico Bonito
At Pico Bonito Hotel
The Lodge At Pico Bonito Honduras/La Ceiba

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