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“Amazing place for nature lovers and adventurers” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Princesa de la Luna Eco Lodge

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Princesa de la Luna Eco Lodge
La Fortuna, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park 506, Costa Rica   |  
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Hotel amenities
Saint Louis, Missouri, United States
1 review
“Amazing place for nature lovers and adventurers”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

Man, we sure did fall in love with this place. There were 7 of us, so they gave us run of the Pineapple House. The building is a 3 minute walk from the main lodge and absolutely perfect for those in search of a communal atmosphere. 3 bedrooms, a large living room, a basic kitchen and a bathroom. The best part, however, was the huge covered patio area with large picnic table and couches. We basically spent all the time not spent sleeping or off on adventures (whitewater rafting, hot springs, ziplining) hanging out here.
When Jonathan realized that I was interested in exotic plats and fruit, he started bringing over lovely edible gifts each day - many fruits I had never even heard of. There are about 6 miles of fairly well-maintained paths to wander around the property, which is stunning. We loved the pool - I think it's fed by the waterfall in the rainforest and feels amazing!
Johnathan was a star for helping us manage transport with a local driver named William. William picked us up at the airport in San Jose and brought us to the Princesa. He drove us to the various activities we did in the area and then he even drove us to the West Coast for the second half of our trip. He's ridiculously nice and we fell in love with him. So much so that we asked him to pick us up at the beach and take us back to San Jose and he kindly agreed. The price was absolutely fair and SOOO much less stressful than renting a vehicle big enough for 7 people and trying to navigate the crazy dirt roads. Definitely recommend hiring William! If you're really nice, he may even bring you the freshest pineapple you've ever eaten.

Here's the bottom line: this place is not posh. It is not luxurious. There's no hot water in the shower (but it's not super cold either and actually feels great once you get over the idea of no hot water.) It's not a hotel. It is, however, absurdly beautiful. It is unique and welcoming and totally charming. It is also staffed and owned by some incredibly wonderful people who are dedicated to making sure you are taken care of and have a good time. If you are seeking to get an authentic, unforgettable experience and you don't mind the occasional dog coming up for a cuddle or a random insect here and there, this is the place for you. If not, then find a reputable hotel complex nearby.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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126 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 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
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Mesa, Arizona
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2013

If you want an authentic, cultural Costa Rican experience, I would definitely recommend this lodge. It is beautiful and situated on 25 acres that has some of the most picturesque areas in all of Costa Rica. Ironically, we came to this lodge to hike around the Arenal volcano, but we found the hikes around the lodge much more challenging, adventurous and beautiful.
Jonathon, the owner, is an extremely charming gentleman. He is extremely accommodating and wants to ensure the comfort and happiness of all his guests. My boyfriend and I, had a couple challenges at the lodge and Jonathon was there at the moments notice to make sure everything was taken care and that we were satisfied.
The eco-lodge component is another facet I found extremely fun. The lodge is surrounded by fruit trees that bore delicious tropical fruits that we were able to eat at every meal. Also, most of the staff lived around the property. Diego, the driver lived a few meters from the lodge. He was super laid back and always available to take the guests to their destinations or serve as a guide and show some really cool areas around La Fortuna, that we would not have been able to see otherwise.
I can go on and on about this place. But essentially, it was lovely and a definite backpackers' dream. I would highly recommend this place to all those seeking fun and adventure in Costa Rica :)

Room Tip: Try and get a room that is attached to the main building and kitchen area. I found these rooms were...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Gilbert, Arizona, United States
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2013

I stayed at Princesa de la Luna Eco Lodge last week and WOW what a great place to stay. I had no idea what to expect going in but upon arrival we were greeted by the gracious owner and host Jonathan. He was so welcoming and made us feel like we were at home.

The eating area, kitchen and lounging decks are all open air with great views out over the valley next to the Arenal Volcano. The many sounds and sights make this place a must stay. There are tons of trails on the property including one that takes you to a secluded waterfall.

The food was great and they even let the girls in our group learn some of the local cooking secrets. The neighbor Diego is a great taxi driver and such a pleasure to be with.

To top everything off, they recently got the most adorable puppy that wants nothing but love.

I highly recommend staying at Princesa de la Luna Eco Lodge when you visit La Fortuna!!

  • Stayed March 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
    • 3 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.
Boston, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
117 reviews 117 reviews
79 hotel reviews
Reviews in 76 cities Reviews in 76 cities
186 helpful votes 186 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2013

It was late and we had already endured many hours of flight delays and traffic in Costa Rica so perhaps we weren't off on the right foot. When we got into La Fortuna, the gps coordinates (from their website at the time) took me to some dark road where we drove around aimlessly until we found another hotel to ask them where this was. They didn't know but after making some phone calls, we were pointed back down the main route 702, where there were signs (in the dark), pointing down a dirt road. For 2km, our rental car endured to bumpiest and most unsettling ride into the pitch black, over huge uneven rocks. Finally we saw the lodge's sign and the British owner came out with is dog and flashlight and pointed us down his driveway to the hotel. When he let us in, he opened up the deck doors and then left the front door open, urging us it's ok to leave them because it's safe and there aren't any mosquitos. Uncomfortable with the doors wide open while we slept, we shut the doors but his dog refused to leave, so he ended up sleeping in our room for the night. Our room was lovely and rustic with a nice deck facing the the plant farm and you could see Arenal in the distance. Our bathroom however needed a major update. The old cast iron bathtub had rust stains, and there was a used soap with hair on it still. We only stayed that one night just to catch the canyoning tour in the morning. Up and early, the owner prepared us a nice breakfast overlooking the back of the mountain, and then we took a short walk down through the garden and to the pool. The pool was very dirty with tadpoles swimming everywhere- so they shouldn't be advertising that they even have a pool. Back up to the hotel, the owner started asking us why we were only there for one night and started lecturing us about how it's a shame and the roads are awful in CR. We told him we had a 7hr drive to our next destination and we had booked our hotel already, but he kept saying we shouldn't even be on the road after sunset, and he'd give us a discount on another night etc. I think he was being more pushy than helpful because the lodge was empty and we were the only guests.

When it came time to do our canyoning tour, the truck almost drove right past the hotel without us but the owner flagged him down. It turns out all the canyoning tours are right up the end of that same rocky road, and we jumped onto the back of their pickup truck. After the tour we decided he was trying scare tactics to make us stay, and just the thought of driving down that rocky road and back just to go into town was another thing, so we checked out and made it to our next hotel 7-8hrs later in one piece.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burnsville, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

My wife and I stayed at this beautiful eco-lodge for 5 days in February. The house itself is hard to figure out by looking at the pictures. It is a hotel with a home-like feel. Your food is prepared for you in an open kitchen, which is also available to use at your leisure, if you choose. I recommend having breakfast daily and at least a couple dinners as well. The meals are authentic, home cooked, wonderful, and served family style with the other guests. We were very comfortable in our room and loved the interaction with the owner and staff and other guests. The grounds are breathtaking, and a swim in the jungle pool is a unique pleasure. I have never felt so relaxed, and I truly miss the owner, staff and other guests we were able to share our vacation with.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Southfield, Michigan
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2013

My family of 5 stayed at Princesa de la Luna Eco Lodge in December. I was a little leery at the time due to reading some negative reviews. I had already paid for three nights, so I figured if it wasn't perfect that we would make the best of it. I was pleasantly surprised. The accommodations were incredible. My kids(ages 17, 20 and 22) stayed in one of the bedrooms in the main lodge area and my husband and I had the other room. The rooms and bathrooms were very large, clean and comfortable. We had no problem with having enough hot water for the five of us. Since we were the only ones there at the time we had the place to ourselves and loved it. Unfortunately, it rained for for the 3 days we were there, which made staying there with all the room to spread out and hang out that much more important. Every night my family hung out on the deck area, relaxing and playing cards. We wished we could have seen the volcano, but the fog didn't lift the 3 days were there. Jonathan has built an incredible place. We explored the property and only wished we had more time there to hike around to see it further. Jonathan was very interesting to talk with. He was a perfect host. He talked with us and gave us advice, but also gave us our personal space. He even made sugar cane juice on our last day before we left. Maureen, who made us a great breakfast each morning was very sweet. Diego came by one morning and chatted with us. Even though we aren't "dog people", we all loved Paco. My son and him became best friends by the time we left. As other reviewers said, if you are looking for a resort, this place is not for you. if you are looking for an incredible property in the middle of the jungle with people who live in the neighborhood taking care of the place this is for you. I am glad that we prepaid and I didn't get cold feet about staying here, or I would have truly missed staying at a unique, incredible place. My entire family felt this place was one of the highlights of our trip. If I came back to the area I would not hesitate to stay here, and would make it must stay destination. As other reviewers said, the road to get there was a little rough. Having a 4WD vehicle would be a help.

Room Tip: Both rooms in the main lodge area were great.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gilbert, AZ
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

I'm not one to complain much about an experience, but since this location fell so short of our expectations, I thought it was important to share with others who may consider going there.

Probably one of the biggest drawbacks to this property isn't the owner fault directly, but I felt he could have, or maybe should have, been made an attempt to remedy the problem. The problem was the access road to the property. The property was approximately 1.8 km off the main road, an it was accesses by a horribly maintained dirt road. Even driving a 4x4 SUV, my girlfriend and I found it to be grueling. Now I feel it's important to preface this statement by saying, I'm not some city slicker just complaining about less than perfect road. I use to live in the country, and had to boxblade our road every time it rained hard, so I know what a dirt road access can be. Just imagine what it was like, to go and play around the Aernal volcano area, and then having to make the decision, do we strap on the kidney belts for a 12 min ride in and a 12 min ride out, or do we just stay gone all day??? I remember on one occasion we just went and bought new clothes rather than deal with that horrific road.

The second part to this review would be the property's condition. At a far, and in pictures, this place looked amazing, and with good cause. The inn it was situated on was a wonderful parcel of land, that felt like it was nestled deep in the rainforest. What could be better than that right? Wrong!!! The same lack of attention to the property's egress affected the property's condition. The hot tub was empty when we got there, so was one of the pools. The second pool was nothing more than a hole in the ground, cemented in and tiled, but 1/3 of the tiles were popped off. No drain, no filtration, and means of keeping it sanitary, the bottom felt furry! The bathrooms felt like my 5 year old cleaned them without supervision and mold was growing like wildflowers in the armoire where our clothes were suppose to be kept. The kitchen was anything but sanitary. There were fruit flies were all over the wooden counters, sinks, and on the produce. The exterior of the refrigerator was all rusty and its interior was about as dirty as our bathroom. Last but not least regarding property issues, the wireless internet we were promised supposedly broke right before we got there.

The inn keeper and owner was a middle aged Welshman named Jonathan. He was very friendly, but the more I talked with him, the more her reminded me of Crocodile Dundee's Australian sidekick Walter, kinda lost and full of it. While there, we heard other guests complaining about no hot water, holes in their roof, and so on... He appeared to simply acknowledge the problem, but never fixed it. Sadly, my girlfriend and I kept saying, "This would be an amazing place if Jonathan would just put some love back into it!"

So if you are reading this review Jonathan, please understanding it wasn't written to be mean or cause you to lose business. We simply want you to put back into Princesa de la Luna the magic you did when you built it!

I'm sure the defensive response to this review could be, "this is the Costa Rican rainforest, not a Hilton hotel in the states," but we were in Costa Rica for 10 days and stayed at 4 other places, so I think we gained some good perspective on local accommodations.

I hope you find this review helpful. I'm not sure if you can ask a person making a review questions after the fact, but if you can, feel free to contact me...




  • Stayed January 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Soto11PV, Owner at Princesa de la Luna Eco Lodge, responded to this review, April 5, 2013
You ask me if the comments you posted were helpful...unfortunately I think they are misleading and damaging.

Your first point, complaining about the 1.8km pebble dirt road. Yes some parts are bad and we are pressuring the local authority to make further improvements, it´s not as if our community doesn´t care!!!!.....Look we share the hope and the dream that this will be much better ,but low non four-wheel drive cars come up and down everyday. Yes this has been a challenge from the start and I paid for most of the bridge at the bottom of the hill...but this is really out of my hands. It takes about 6 minutes to go down the hill and about 9 minutes to come up , driving reasonably slowly... it is a price worth paying for the beauty, the nature and privacy that we have here.

Your second major point complaining about the secluded second pool in the jungle.....The pool has drainage etc but it´s not practical as a swimming pool the river comes up over the top...it has rarely been used for swimming , now it is best used as a fish pond and for acquatic plants, I´m amazed you complain about this as it´s quite deep in the jungle,it is a place to explore and walk around not to swim.. there are some crying ot weeping walls and natural pools in the river where people swim , not in the fish pond! ...You don´t mention the main naturally spring fed swimming pool down in the valley, very beautiful , crystaline blue and totally private, we use no chlorine or chemicals. This pool is a star attraction of the Princesa.

The hot tub can be filled and put into action , we prefer to do this by request , that evening it was available for use and you went out early....although we can have issues with this.

There was a functioning plug in internet option right infront of your room....the wi-fi was not working the router was deprogrammed and ICE the local electrical company solved the problem the day after you left. I am sorry but I believe our internet service to be a bit unreliable ...if there are storms it sometimes doesnt work...I want us to offer a consistent service, and for me this issue is very annoying as I can not control the reliability.

We offer more than just accomodation if there was an issue with the state of the bathroom you just have to say something and you were asked if there was anything you needed. Your room when you entered was in excellent condition and newly decorated..

The food is excellent quality ,abundant and good value, you should have tried it. I can assure you we are putting a lot of love into this place ... and you imply we don´t, just not true.
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Additional Information about Princesa de la Luna Eco Lodge

Address: La Fortuna, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park 506, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > La Fortuna de San Carlos
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Best Value Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#19 Romantic Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#22 Top resorts Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Park Princess of the Moon Ecolodge is nestled in a lush tropical plant farm with a great location. This magical place is unusual, with more than 100 types of fruit trees, including many threatened and endangered species. The area is one of the most biodiverse and fertile in the world so wonderful to understand, observe and experience wildlife and nature. The aim is to integrate the principles of permaculture and creating a lifestyle self-sufficient and sustainable in harmony with the local biodiversity. Swimming pools, waterfalls, jacuzzi and many hiking trails on the farm as well as many other activities in the area. This is an interesting place for a honeymoon or a romantic adventure. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Princesa De La Luna Eco Lodge Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park

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