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.
- 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