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“Eden raised in the Wilderness! Well, close to it...” 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   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Berkeley, CA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Eden raised in the Wilderness! Well, close to it...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2013

Arriving at the lodge at dusk, I was first struck by the well proportioned rooms, and the spacious veranda. I then went swimming in the exquisitely set pool, under large fern trees, showered by warm tropical rains; I haven't felt that alive in many years. The friendly owner and his local staff then cooked up a sumptuous traditional meal for us—I literally thought that the starters would have been passable as a whole dinner! We spend some unforgettable afternoons in peace and quietness on the property, just gazing into the forest and waiting for the volcano to lift its cloud cover (which it dramatically did in the end). We ended up staying an extra night.

All that being said, this property is being developed as a working fruit farm and the staff is stretched thinly by their many ambitious projects. There are many minor (and, depending on your standards, not so minor) issues; just read all the reasonably sounding reviews carefully and you will get the picture. But I couldn’t imagine a nicer place to watch the colourful birds and butterflies, peak into the cloud forest on the mountain slopes leading towards Monte Verde, and slowly sip a cup of coffee.

Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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109 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 (22)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Belle River
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2013

My husband and I and another couple spent 2 nights at Princesa de la Luna from February 19-20. We loved the grand verandah, we felt like we were in Africa looking out at the rainforest. We sat out on the very comfortable outdoor furniture and read, played with Paco and the other neighbourhood dogs and chatted with Jonathan. It was so unique and we were so glad to have the two bedrooms right off the verendah and to use the outdoor shower.

We ordered dinner for one night and had the traditional rice and beans along with other great food. All 4of us us agreed that this was a unique find - very rustic, but comfortable and like being one of the neighbours. We would HIGHLY recommend Princesa de la Luna for travellers who are okay being a bit off the beaten path and can enjoy sitting at night listening to the jungle sounds. We would definitely stay again.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2013

If you are looking for a 5 star, all inclusive resort then this is not the place for you. But if you want to experience real Costa Rica then you have found the right place! Princess de la Luna is an amazing property located in the middle of the jungle with gorgeous volcano views, trails, wildlife and waterfalls! The house is a very large and perfect for a big group. It is a bit on the rustic side though and I thought it could have used a deep cleaning of the whole place and and maybe some updating of a few things. Also the pools and jaquzzi were not really in working order which was disappointing. Other that that we were quite happy with the place. There are large sitting areas that made it perfect for our large group to hang out together and admire the views! Finding the place was pretty easy although a bit of a trek but worth the effort to get there! It is also quite near to La Fortuna where there are shops, resaurants and grocery stores and its a short distance from zip line adventures and the hot springs.

The customer service was as good as it gets!! Although i think he was surprised to see us when we arrived, I can't say enough great things about Jonathan. He made every effort to keep our party of 10 happy and busy. He gave several recommendations for fun things to do in the area, set up activities to the hot springs and zip lines for us, got us great deals, hired taxis when we didn't want to drive, gave us directions when did drive, cooked us food when we set up meals with him in advance and even ordered pizza for us when we didn't give him enough notice to cook dinner! As an added treat on the day of our departure he demonstrated how he made fresh sugar cane juice which we got to
drink with our breakfast! He couldn't have been more
accommodating.

Overall we had an awesome time staying here and would definitely recommend this place to anyone wanting something a little off the beaten track!

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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N'Djamena, Chad
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2013

If you want to embrace nature and don't like resorts, this is the place to be. It has an amazing view to the volcano, in a place full of life, lots of fruits and plants.
There are jungle trails you can explore and a beautiful waterfall. We spent just a weekend there, but enjoyed the place and the surroundings.
If you dont want to stay in typical resort with all included but prefer to cook, and feel at home in an exotic garden in a rainforest, go to Princesa de la luna, it is cheap and good.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2013 via mobile

I had an wonderful time at Princesa de la Luna. It was great to stay somewhere that wasn't your typical hotel. I truly enjoyed spending time with the people there. On the propriety they have an amazing amount of different types of exotic fruits and plants. Some of the most beautiful flowers and craziest looking fruits I've ever seen. I really got to learn a lot about different types of plants and animals, that I never would have from any other hotel.
The views around the grounds of the volcano were magical. All the different trails through the jungle and some that lead to some waterfalls on the propriety were awesome!! It was nice to stay somewhere away from the city and away from the same old tourist scene. It was extremely peaceful and wonderful staying somewhere where you felt like you were living in the Rainforest.
Next time I'm back in La Fortuna I will definitely come back to Princesa de la Luna.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Rafael, Costa Rica
1 review
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...
See more room tips
  • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moncton, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 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
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 Princesa de la Luna Eco Lodge

Also Known As:
Princesa De La Luna Eco Lodge Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park
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:
#3 Best Value Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#3 Romantic Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#30 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 

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