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“A Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Tree House Lodge

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Tree House Lodge
200 meters south of primary school in Playa Chiquita | Punta Uvs, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca 7304, Costa Rica   |  
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Indianapolis, Indiana
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
46 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
122 helpful votes 122 helpful votes
“A Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2012

We stayed at the Costa Rica Tree House Lodge (the tree house building) for two nights in May 2012. This is like a child's fantasy of a hotel room, with trees sprouting up from the floor, a toilet inside a tree trunk, and suspension bridges connecting the master bedroom to the main living area. The unit has a full kitchen, two full baths and two bedrooms. We could have spent a happy week here doing the adventure tours (hiking, snorkeling, horseback riding, rafting, etc.) and hanging out in Puerto Viejo and on the beach.

The free welcome breakfast we received on the first morning was an enormous pile of fresh fruit, meat, cheese, bread and juice. Very nice.

The grounds are also stunning. On the one-minute walk to the beach alone we saw colorful crabs and many lizards and birds. Some guests have reported seeing sloths, but we weren't so lucky. We did hear plenty of howler monkeys, though.

When my friend and I checked in to the lodge, we were both sick with a 24-hour flu, and the staff were incredibly helpful, offering to carry our bags, bring us anything we needed to eat or drink, etc. We really appreciated their attention and concern.

My only word of caution: Be prepared for a rustic version of luxury. The common areas are open-air, so there's no air conditioning or protection against bugs (except in the bedrooms). You will need to wear bug spray, and you will need to keep your food covered. Also, the lodge doesn't have the services of a usual hotel, so you will need to bring your own groceries or schedule time to purchase them in Puerto Viejo. And, the bedrooms are screened but not soundproof, so you'll need ear plugs if the bugs and howler monkeys might keep you awake.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
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English first
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2012 via mobile

I have to say the saving grace of this hotel was the staff. They were very concerned with our well-being. When we arrived, there wasn't anyone there to greet us or point us in the tight direction. No reception area was available. Our bus driver finally tracked someone down who was working on another house on the property. He came to show us around and he was extremely nice. We stayed in the tree house. It was really a cool experience to be out in the open. However, we had some concerns. The tree house was too large for 2 people. The bathroom that is pictured on the website was really meat but it was close to another house and I was afraid someone could hear or see in. The bugs were really bad and the nets on the bed didn't keep them out. That was kind of fun until we found a lizard in the bed. I definitely agree with the other reviews that the grounds were terribly run down. We felt like there was construction going on everywhere. We didn't have help with the jacuzzi like the owner states in his other reviews. In fact, there wasn't anyone to be found after 8:00 pm. The town is about 15 minutes away and goes cost a bit of money to get there. The restaurants that are nearby are open limited hours. Most of them werent open for lunch. We got back after dark a few nights and there wasnt any light to get to our room. There were a few dogs that live on the property. We used them to get us there. The breakfast was great. We were served a lot if fresh ingredients from the area. There are much nicer and less expensive hotels in the area. I recommend staying in puerto viejo. I just want to repeat that the staff here was very nice and hospitable.

  • Stayed April 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
toronto
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2012

We spent two nights at the Tree House Lodge in Puerto Viejo. While I have been to
many of the "surf towns" on the Pacific side as well as up and down the Nicoya Peninsula.......
I must say that I like Puerto Viejo the best. Very charming and authentic. Fabulous restaurants,
touristy ( but cool) shops to fulfill that "inner hippy" desire to drape ourselves with various
bohemian accoutrements. I like the fact that the town (and the PV area) goes along the shore so the
beach is almost always in site. It is lush and green everywhere.....and a great abundance
of wildlife.

In writing about Tree House Lodge I want to be unbiased and fair. I know that sometimes
a hotel can get a very negative review based upon a rare bad experience. Also, it is not
unheard of for someone to write a glowing review because they were given an upgrade
and this was subtly requested by a hotel staff member.

The setting for the Tree House Lodge is very private and right on the beach. While the
beach in front is not really swimable.....a 5 or 10 minute stroll in either direction
will have you on some of the most beautiful beaches I've seen in Costa Rica. We stayed
in the Beach Suite. We were two couples and one single. I loved the setting and the ability
to open up all the doors to the outside. To lie in one of two hammocks and hear the
waves crashing is pure heaven. These are my issues with Tree House Lodge, and
more particularly the Beach Suite.....

This is not ideal for three couples. In the main building the two bedrooms are in close
proximity. The main level bedroom has no roof separating it from the upper bedroom loft.
So it's really almost like being in the same room. The upper bedroom has no
WC so if one wants to use the bathroom during the night they will need to walk down
a winding staircase. The bathroom itself is a very bizarre modern design (some
may like it but not my cup of tea)....very large with two showers, a hot tub and toilet.
The problem is, there is a big opening right in the main living area and no doors!
Even the toilet is not behind a door (just tucked in behind a curved wall).....very uncomfortable for all.

The third room is across the main entry porch. It has a bathroom. There is also
a powder room (which our friends used regularly because of the awkwardness
of toilet in main bath). This bedroom has no opening windows! So it is necessary
to close the door at night and turn on the AC. What were they thinking?
To sleep in a room listening to the rattle of the AC and be denied the lovely
sound of the ocean is not at all desirable. In fact it causes a feeling of
claustrophobia

The rooms are very tired........just very basic. The cushion covers on two sofas in
the living room have seen better days. Linens and towels are well used and again
very basic. The large doors that open to the ocean are out of wack and need some
repair. Very complicated and difficult process to open and close them (which must
be done every time one leaves room). Our shower head was in bad shape and
spewing water to the sides. The coffee maker in the kitchen was basically a two
cup pot which means we had to make three to four pots each morning....etc...etc.

Again, we loved the setting (which is a valid reason for a higher price point than other
accommodation in the area). What is lacking here in my opinion is "pride of place".
The grounds were not that well kept. The area in front of the Beach Suite was just
awful. Large dead leaves all over.....weeds and dead fruit everywhere......as if it had not been tended
to for a long time. Someone spending a half hour cleaning this up would make a
dramatic difference. It just drags everything down when the the view from your space
is so bad.

There was an issue when we checked in as we requested three separate bedrooms
but they had booked us into the Tree House which is two bedrooms. Caleb quickly
dealt with this and put us into the Beach Suite. Luckily it was available. Caleb
was very helpful and Pamela was able to book me for a wonderful last minute
massage.

Here is what should be done in the short term
Clean up the grounds
Put a sliding curtain on a rod between bathroom and main area
in main building (at least when someone sees a closed curtain
they will know not to go in)
Make one or two of the windows and third bedroom openable
and put in a ceiling fan
Do some serious work on those doors that open to the outside...
it is one of the main assets of this space
Fix shower head
Provide proper size coffeemaker for a space sleeping six...
Recover the cushions on two sofas.....us a darker colour that
matches the wicker and that will solve a lot of problems as
far as dealing with staining......

i think this place could be a gem in the rough.....needs some serious
attention to detail.....and again.....pride of place...

Room Tip: Beach suite good for family in main buidling....and couple in second building... Don't know tha...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anchorage, Alaska
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2012

We stayed at the Beach House for three nights in October. What an absolutely amazing place. If you like wood and interesting architecture, you will love this place. If you are looking for an airconditioned motel with TV and a Marriott hotel experience, this is not the place. It is beautiful, unique and very private.

The house itself is a delight just to look at, live in and explore. The spiral staircase leading upstairs to the bedroom is one of the coolest staircases I've seen. The entire house opens up (windows and entire walls open as doors) from cross ventilation. The bathroom and shower with the stone floors and clear ceiling above is quite a treat. The hammock on the porch is a place to spend quite a few hours listening to the jungle sounds. And since this is right in the jungle there are monkeys, bugs, iguanas and all sorts of critters who come to visit. It is probably best to close up the windows and doors at night to slow down the visitors!

But the house is just a part of the reason to stay here. It is a five minute walk to the beach. The beach in front of the property is not great for swimming, but just a short walk down the beach is fabulous swimming.

I will not soon forget swimming with the herons, the howler monkeys screaming in the trees and no other people to be seen. It is a magnificant place.

The staff was helpful and friendly, the first breakfast was delightful.

It's a bit expensive and a bit of a splurge, but it is one of the most unique places I've ever stayed. Would I stay there again? Yes, absolutely! The property is very cool, the area is amazing and just a short drive to Punta Uva, which must be one of the best beaches on the planet.

Room Tip: There are four houses. We stayed at the Beach House, but there are three others. Each is unique and...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arborfield
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2012

We stayed at the Beach House for three nights. This is nice luxury private accommodation in a secluded spot near the beach (no swimming possible here) near the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge. The Punte Uva beach is a 20 minute walk or a 5 minute drive with excellent swimming. Layout of the Beach House is quirky to say the least. Best suited for a family and not for two couples as the second bed is in the kitchen/living room area. Although in general in good condition the house and its content are now showing signs of tiredness (towels old, furniture showing age, iPod player not working well, decking needs painting and fixing). The small compound where the houses and the iguana verde foundation are located is also showing signs of neglect, including the entrance area. Staff are friendly. Don't try to visit without a car as Puerto Viejo is a 20 minute drive away although there is a good expat supermarket a short walk away. The website advertising the accommodation and its location is glamorous but does not reflect the reality when we visited.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
greeniguana, Owner at Tree House Lodge, responded to this review, March 17, 2012
I appreciate your comment, however want to specify a few details. First off all the beach house indeed is build to sleep up to 5 people, but is always recommended to just sleep two. The downstairs bedroom is in the living room, so not comfortable for everybody to share.

Less than a month ago the beach house has been completely remodeled. Painted all over and all furniture sanded and varnished as new. So where the comment comes from that you write the house shows signs of tiredness. Anyhow, everybody has the right to give its opinion.
My last opinion is that Puerto Viejo is not as far as 20 minutes by car, but 10. A taxi to town cost $10 and usually does not take longer than 15 minutes to pick you up. Also, around the tree house are more than 6 restaurant options within walking distance from the lodge. So, if you do not travel by car the tree house lodge is still a great place to go.
Anyhow, i appreciate you share your opinion with us. for me its always good to read and indeed, i will change the ipod player. The salt of the ocean must have speed up its duration of life.
kind regards, edsart besier
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 29, 2012

We just returned from our honeymoon at the Tree House (we stayed in the actual tree house). You really are in nature-- we had sloths, monkeys, giant spiders, bats and all sorts of other small animals near and in the house. The house itself is gorgeous, the beaches nearby are stunning and the staff and owner Edsart couldn't have been nicer or more accommodating.

Overall, it was an amazing week!!!!

Room Tip: The tree house was great-- the beach suite also seemed cool.
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2012

recently stayed at the Costa Rica Tree House Lodge. The staff couldn't have been more helpful. If you need anything or just need help arranging a tour, ride to the airport or a restaurant recommendation they will handle it for you. This was our first trip to the area and questions inevitably come up. They were invaluable in their assistance. The Lodge is nestled in the jungle next to the ocean. Every bungalow is unique to the environment and comfortable. The sound of the nearby ocean will lull you to sleep at night. There are many fruit trees on the property and one of the staff will bring a pipa to your door when you arrive. They cut the top off and stick a straw into it so you can enjoy the juice. The owners are environmentally minded and maintain an iguana rescue/sanctuary on the property. One of the staff will take you on a tour and it's fascinating to learn more about the mission and all of the plants on the property. The Lodge is a great place to stay, very quiet and secluded and is a great place to introduce yourselves to the Caribbean side of Costa Rica.

Room Tip: The area is a very humid part of the country. You don't really notice it but if you are carrying...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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 Tree House Lodge

Also Known As:
Tree House Hotel Puerto Viejo
Tree House Hotel
Tree House Lodge Costa Rica/Limon
Address: 200 meters south of primary school in Playa Chiquita | Punta Uvs, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca 7304, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #17 of 64 Specialty lodging in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The only tree house right on the beach of the southern Caribbean of Costa Rica. This is your best nature hotel and romantic hideaway. ... more   less 
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