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“5 for location, experience and people, 1 for cleanliness and upkeep” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Princesa de la Luna Eco Lodge

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Princesa de la Luna Eco Lodge
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La Fortuna, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park 506, Costa Rica   |  
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Hotel amenities
Special Price
40% off room rate
San Rafael, Costa Rica
1 review
“5 for location, experience and people, 1 for cleanliness and upkeep”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013

I am SO incredibly happy that we stayed at Princesa de la Luna. I hope hope hope hope we can go back someday. We are a family of 5 with 3 young kids under 5 (4 1/2, 2 1/2, and 7 months). The kids absolutely LOVED the place, especially all the dogs and jungle trails to explore. We stayed for just a few nights and spent 1 in a cabin and the rest at the main lodge so that we could be connected to the common areas and utilize that space while the kids were sleeping in the room. (Otherwise we just had to stay put in the dark cabin while the kids slept).

Anyways, the bottom line is that we were disappointed at first because the place is really not anywhere near what it is advertised to be on the vacation rental sites. And that is on the property manager, not the owner who lives on site and has nothing to do with the business side. In that regard, it is definitely overpriced - if you pay the regular price, which we did not, you will likely be frustrated by how unclean it is and how the amenities do not match up to the online description. We received the last minute booking discount that they advertise, thankfully.

Examples of disappointment = the hot tub is not usable and clearly hasn't been for a while. The pool looks nothing like the picture and needs to be better maintained - not fundamentally altered because it's a "natural" water pool but it does need to be regularly cleaned. The cabins are in need of some structural updates and TLC. They also simply need to be consistently cleaned - sweeping, mopping, get some new bedspreads and pillows, sanitize the mattresses, and clean/sanitize the bathrooms. The common areas, especially the kitchen and its equipment needs to be consistently cleaned/sanitized. Best case scenario would be to clean everything up, get rid of the existing fridge and build a walk-in cooler with freezer section and a walk-in pantry. They should get some netting to place around the balconies so that parents can relax a little more while having kids there. We did it at our own cabin property in California - not expensive and can be done easily in 1/2 a day. The hot tub should be well maintained and functional all the time if they are going to advertise it. It is a huge part of the reason we booked the place. The main lodge rooms needed to be cleaned as well but are in much better structural condition than the cabins. Consistent cleaning and a replacement of bedspreads and pillows there is all that is necessary. The towels are WONDERFUL. In order to keep linens in better condition, they should use soap nuts (http://www.naturoli.com/soapnuts/) for washing with a little eco-friendly bleach (7th generation makes a good one) and dry with wool balls.

There should be an accessible phone somewhere in the common area and an emergency plan so that people know who to call and what to do in an emergency.

The restaurant idea is cool but he needs a better set up to really make it work. We didn't experience it at all because it wasn't an option while we were there. We did benefit from some of the delicious fruit and vegetables on the property. Some day I hope to go back and learn how to harvest sugar cane and make sugar cane juice! We were really disappointed that we didn't get fresh juice at the lodge but we DID get some from the precious neighbors!

Internet is fine - you just have to be close to a certain location to use it. The dirt/rock road to the lodge is one of my favorite things about the whole experience. It is truly off the beaten path. The grounds are perfect. ABSOLUTELY perfect. And, the neighbors are perfect.

The onsite host is also the owner AND the builder and cultivator of this amazing property. He tries to run it as sustainably and communally as possible and deserves HUGE CREDIT for that. However, it's just too much work for him to do on his own or with the help of nomads staying for short periods of time. He needs to hire a few people (3-5) who are focused solely on keeping the place clean and sanitary as well as structurally maintained and up to the advertisement's standards. A huge bonus would be to have someone (like my husband) with vision for continual improvements and the ability to keep moving it towards Jonathan's original grand vision. My husband and I were imagining all the awesome ways this place could be the absolute greatest place in the entire country to stay. This place DESERVES to be that. It is unbelievably situated - I wish I was Jonathan's daughter so that I could help him and then inherit this property. Seriously... it is THAT amazing. He did an outstanding job and has a beautiful vision for what he hopes it will be. We will definitely go back someday.

Room Tip: The main lodge is the best!!! They are spacious and connected to the amazing common area. The cabins...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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144 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 (28)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Moncton, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2013

We came across this wonderful lodge by accident. We were actually looking for another lodge to see if they could accommodate a walk in customer for the night. We drove down the jungle driveway to find a beautiful wooden lodge situated in a wonderful jungle garden. The setting was a paradise and my party fell in love with the environment at first sight. Happily we were able to be accommodated for the night and were happy to have rooms in the lodge. The rooms were well appointed, one with a king bed and attached bath, the other had a queen and a single bed along with attached bath.

The surroundings are magnificent. There are many trails from the lodge that will take you on a wonderful jungle hike. We noticed no bugs (at least stinging ones) and really appreciated the authentic and casual surroundings. I enjoyed using the well equipped common kitchen and appreciated the uniqueness of this facility. We enjoyed meeting and chatting with the host and getting to know more about his passion for exotic gardening and getting tips for local restaurants and activities.

One night was not enough to really appreciate this lodge/property. We certainly hope to return for a longer visit. Thanks for everything!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Houston, Texas
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

The hotel is on the outskirts of La Fortuna, but it's definitely worth the drive. You feel like you're the only people around as you make your way through the one-lane drive surrounded by tropical plants. The main lodge is huge and offers the best views of Volcano Arenal. There is a pool and hot tub, hammocks and couches, and miles of trails to explore. My friends and I stayed in a cabin away from the main lodge which was nice. There was a queen bed and two twins, and we had our own bathroom. The cabin was a little buggy, though. We didn't get to hike around most of the trails, but we heard they were beautiful.

We had breakfast there every morning, which was delicious, and had dinner there one night. Dinner was also tasty, but seemed a little over-priced for what we ate. There are great restaurants in town, but you'll have to make the drive if you want to eat somewhere else.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Playa Samara
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2013

I checked into Princesa De La Luna looking for a place with plenty of natural beauty, wildlife, and a pretty view of Volcano Arenal and I wanted the feeling of seclusion and relaxation but still to be close to town and lots of fun activities. This is the place ! Awesome. There is a beautiful mountain stream with natural pools, waterfalls and hiking trails on the property. The deck of the main lodge area offers a beautiful view. Right on the property we saw Toucans, Blue Morpho butterflies as big as a soucer, Pizotes, Oro Pendulum (which make the most beautiful bird call we had ever heard) and several Pecaries which the staff said occasionally pass through. So we got lucky by seeing those. The place is close to town and the best canopy tour I've ever been on called Adventura Del Mundo..Not for the faint of heart but I talked my 70 year old mother into going on it with us and after the first cable she lost her fear and absolutely loved it ! In the town of La Fortuna we found good restaurants and a lot of activities. Some good souvenir shops too if your into that. I recommend the horseback ride to La Fortuna Waterfalls. Princesa De La Luna was a wonderful experience for us , the staff was friendly and the owner was full of knowledge about the area and glad to offer suggestions for fun. We'll be back !

Room Tip: I looked at all the room options and it just depends on you. The private cabins are just that, nice...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Los Angeles, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013 via mobile

This place is really in the jungle/ tropical setting some people crave. It is definitely rustic. We had rooms in the upper level, they were good. The patio outside was the best part. Definitely is a great place to hang out. The furniture could us an update. Breakfast was good, dinner is overpriced just go to town. I found the downstairs portion to be a little run down, perhaps some renovations wouldnt hurt. The setting is beautiful, so many trees and nature. One morning I came out and saw so many birds! Toucanets included. JOnathon was very nice.

The road there is definitely something you need to know. Have a car is a must, and it's going to be bumpy. Also, it's too far to walk so it could feel confining if you didn't have your own car.
Lastly, there is no hot water. I guess it comes with the atmosphere. Overall, We had a good stay!

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Akron, Ohio
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2013

What can I say about this place? Huge rooms and huge beds. Picture perfect deck overlooking the jungle for a lazy moments of birdsong and reading. Wonderful home style meals. Stunning grounds. Wonderful trails (to a private waterfall no less!!). Beautiful fresh-water pool. Gracious and helpful host. We had a blast. I'd go back again in a heartbeat. All you have to do to get all this is drive on a bumpy dirt road for ten minutes. Well worth it.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 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
    • 4 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.
Southampton, New York
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

We had a lovely time at this Eco Lodge, where we stayed for 3 nights. When we arrived, Jonathan, the owner, and Paco, head of security (the cutest dog), greeted us and made us feel right at home. We stayed in a room at the end of the walkway from the kitchen area. When Jonathan opened the doors to the little terrace our jaws pretty much dropped. The property is breathtakingly beautiful. We had the place to ourselves for the 1st night as well as the following day and enjoyed spending the day (it was raining heavily) on the deck of the main building overlooking the stunning property. Jonathan was very attentive and interesting to talk to. It was nice that he took the time to sit down and chat in the middle of preparing for the arrival of more guests. He even brought us coffee to the deck that afternoon.
The breakfasts we had there were delicious. We enjoyed having fresh fruit that was grown right on the property. Sadly, we only had one dinner there on the first night we arrived - it was a freshly prepared local dish, which was excellent. The meals are served on the terrace from where you enjoy great views of the magnificent property. We were able to hike the beautiful trails on our second day when the sun came out. I highly recommend doing that.

We approached Jonathan with 2 maintenance requests, which were taken care of immediately.

I would agree with other reviewers that said this place isn't for everyone, but if you are looking for spectacular views and for being immersed in nature and spending time with wonderful people who actually care and enjoy community - this is the place to be. Don't look any further. I'd come back in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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 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 ( Wi-Fi ) 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
#18 Romantic Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#25 Family 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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