My boyfriend and I stayed here for 4 days/nights in mid-August and really enjoyed it. The staff is exceptionally friendly, especially Angeles (who seems to be there all the time) and Caleb, the evening bartender/server.
The rooms: we stayed in #14, all the way towards the back and it was a charming little bungalow. I loved the hammock on the front porch, very nice and relaxing touch. The room itself was comfortable, and we enjoyed that the windows were screened in so as to carry a breeze through the cabin and also let us hear all of the jungle sounds at night. We made friends with a little gecko that lived there before we got there (lizards/geckos eat bugs, therefore we were 100% ok with him hanging out in our cabin!).
We woke up every morning to howler monkeys, which was cool since we're Pacific Northwesters who'd never seen or heard such a thing, at least not in the wild like that. The location feels like you're right in the middle of the jungle, which is a beautiful, noisy, and colorful place.
Access to the beach is just across the street and a few hundred meters through a private trail, lined with little crabs and geckos.
As a side note: I would not recommend walking this trail at night (though we did, in a slightly drunk and altered mental state, thinking it would be fun to check out the beach at midnight). It all worked out just fine, but seeing as a number of these jungle creatures are nocturnal, this was not our wisest decision. In hindsight though, it all worked out and was worth the amazingly beautiful view of the starry Caribbean night sky.
As with just about everywhere in Costa Rica (or so we found with the places we traveled), the jungle is loud and there are bugs everywhere. This isn't a complaint by any means, just something to keep in mind if you choose to stay in the jungle! However, the lizard friends everywhere were adorable, and we spotted a couple of agouti on the sidewalks there as well. Also, howler monkeys, butterflies, and lots of colorful and sing-songy birds make their homes in this jungle. Watch out for ants, though. They bite, and it hurts!
The pool at Shawandha is sooooo nice and relaxing. It's always slightly warm, which makes it easy to just leisurely swim around in and enjoy.
August is something of the slow tourism season here (so we're told), and there were only a few other families/couples here at the lodge while we were here. From what we could discern, they were Spanish, Dutch, and possibly French.
There's a little market just down the street from Shawandha where you can rent cruiser bikes for $6/day. We did this three days in a row, and enjoyed being able to bike the short way down to Manzanillo one night and up to Puerto Viejo the next day.
I'm told that Shawandha is on the pricier places to stay in this part of town, but since we booked everything through a tourism company (Costa Rica Sun Tours), and they negotiated the prices for us to fit within a total budget we wanted to stay within, all I know is that this fit within it.
The restaurant is alright. I really enjoyed that breakfast was included every morning and we were greeted with a small carafe of coffee and plates of fresh, tropical fruit (piña, papaya, mango (MY FAVORITE!), and bananas. The coffee in Costa Rica is smooth and delicious and the fruit is so sweet and fresh I'm already craving more and I haven't even left the country yet.
Dinner there was decent, and is influenced by an interesting combination of French and Costa Rican cuisine.
All in all, I really enjoyed my four days there, though for the sake of adventure and trying new things, I'd probably look for something different next time I'm in Puerto Viejo. Honestly, for being there for anything more than 3 days, I'd personally prefer a place with a kitchen and would first look for something on Airbnb or some sort of vacation rental before coming back here. If I were only going to be in town for a weekend or a few days, I'd absolutely return to Shawandha.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.