Meant to do a write-up months ago, but never got around to it. Anyway, we knew how much we scoured for a good description of these places so we wanted to help others out with their search.
We LOVED shawandha. We had struggled in picking between Azania and Shawanha and were SO happy with our choice. The web photos don't do it justice. After an arduous 4+ hour cab ride from the airport (the last hour is ridiculously pot-hole ridden and painfully slow) we arrived at this hotel and it was like a mirage. First we saw the beautifully elegant Balinese style restaurant then were lead through a softly lit manicured jungle path to our room which was ridiculously opulent compared to what we were expecting. .35 foot dark wood peaked ceilings, giant king size bed, gigantic bathroom with open shower (no walls, curtains). We were in heaven!! Note: some rooms are bigger, nicer and further set back into the jungle than others. Make sure to ask. We just lucked out.
The restaurant is really pretty and relaxed, but also pretty dead for any meal but breakfast. It's handy if you arrive late and need an easy meal. We'd hit the restaurant in the morning for a giant plate of fruit and eggs then walk down the little jungle path down to the beach. Before we arrived I was all hung up on having a beach front hotel, but trust me, it wasn't necessary. Walking 2 minutes down that path to get to a beautiful beach that's nearly deserted is amazing. Not so stimulating if you're travelling alone (though completely safe), but if you're in a couple, it's nothing less than paradise. Walk to the left and you'll find cove after cove of beach backed by nothing but raw jungle. People complain about the beaches in Costa Rica, but we loved this one.
You'll need to rent a scooter in town. It's about a 12-15 minute scooter ride to Puerto Viejo, but it would take less time if they finally got the road paved, as promised. Definitely not a walkable distance, but that's not a big deal. There's plenty of restaurants along the road to town worth exploring. Including one of the best italian restaurants I've tried - can't remember the name, sorry - just outside of town.
Puerto Viejo is a very cool little town. Lots of chill 70s reggae and several cute bars (one, an italian restaurant, with really extensive martinis and good downtempo beats). Head down the road towards the beach at night and you'll find a few dancing spots. The nice part about viejo no matter where you are, no one harasses you, even at roadside vendor stalls. This is nothing like the onslaught of harrassment you see in Jamaica. (no one's going to push weed on you here, but if you want some it's there, hell, this is the rasta coast) Very chill, friendly people here. We ended up going to more reggae shows in Puerto Viejo then when we were in Negril, only because we felt so at ease here! And this was off season!
Anyway, that's it for now. we want to post photos so you can see how beautiful it is. They say it rains 8 months of the year on this coast (green season), which is why it can be a little quieter than the other coast, but it's also what makes it more of a hidden gem. We were there in september and had 5 solid days of sun. it only rained the day we left and the day we got there. No complaints at all. Whatever you do, you HAVE to book a massage at the "Jungle Spa" - this little piece of heaven a 5-10 minute scooter ride towards town is pure bliss run by a few new york girls. they soak your feet in a copper bowl full of herbal water before your treatment and give you a little local chocolate when you leave, not to mention the massage room that opens onto the jungle and the chocolate wrap body treatments on hand. soo relaxing. perfect for a day rainy day.
PS the howler monkeys can get pretty loud around Shawandha at night, which is pretty cool, but bring earplugs. you'll sleep like a baby with them.
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with TripOnline SA and Otel so you can book your Hotel Shawandha Lodge reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Hotel Shawandha Puerto Viejo
- Hotel Shawandha Lodge Costa Rica/Limon