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“Intimate Rainforest Setting” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge

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Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Parque Nacional Piedras Blancas, Golfito 1000, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 11 Hotels in Golfito
Certificate of Excellence
Virginia
Level Contributor
66 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Intimate Rainforest Setting”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013

We stayed here for spring break 2013. We have a 6 year old son. The lodge is set in the rainforest next to a stoney beach. The cabin we stayed in was literally in the rainforest. There are trails that thread through the property that start near the cabins and main lodge. Within minutes, it feels as though you are deep in the rainforest. The main draw for me was the hiking and birding. I was able to birdwatch without a guide and see most of the birds on my wish list for the area. My husband loved the fishing. He fished from the pier and took a fishing tour. Our son loved jumping from the pier, especially at LOW tide (longer drop!). We all loved the guides, esp Gustavo; the bartender- Yooie, the food, the open dining, the open shower in our cabin, the small number of guests, the sustainability tour, the wildlife sanctuary tour, the snorkeling.... I could go on and on. Our son cried when we left, my husband and I felt like crying too.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank luvtravel023
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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218 reviews from our community

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Hudson, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2013

The boat ride from Puerto Jimenez across Golfo Dulce to the lodge (and back again afterward) in what can best be described as high-powered, sun-shaded, over-sized row boats, is how this adventure began: yes, getting there is, indeed, half the fun. So, our group of (mostly "senior citizen") birders hiked (day... and night, too), kayaked, photographed, Ate hearty, drank moderately (I especially enjoyed sampling some selections from the rum cabinet), engaged in stimulating conversations, some had massages for tired muscles and/or yoga sessions for relaxation and enhanced contemplation... in short, a good time was had by all. No biting bugs for us in March, during the dry season; the wet season would be a different story though. We did experience a nice rain during the last evening of our stay; this brought out an array of interesting rainforest inhabitants, for our viewing pleasure, not seen by us before this shower. I noticed that one of the previous ratings suggested that the prices were too high. Considering the logistics and costs involved regarding supplying this "off of the beaten path" lodge with food, drink and other supplies, the time, energy and maintenance involved regarding the upkeep a facility, such as this, that's constantly subjected to the interminable heat, humidity and downpours of the rainforest...and the fact that it isn't open for business during the height of the rainy season...personally, I don't see how it can be all that profitable for the owners at the rates presently charged; has to be a "labor of love" in part, me thinks. Anyway, Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge was well worth the price of admittance; I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
By the way, best regards to Fernando and all of those who swim with him.

Room Tip: They're all good rooms, but, of course, book a ground-level room in the two-story units if climb...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ridingEZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Telford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
95 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

We were greeted at Golfito by Manuel, a lovely young chap who took as to our boat for the beautiful 20+ minute boat ride out to Nicuesa. We arrived at the small pier where the staff were waiting with wheel barrows which which to move our luggage. Manuel gave us a short tour of Nicuesa and its facilities (including free kayaks, snorkling and fishing gear) and showed us to our cabins. The cabins were amazing - each of them was situated out of the view of any other cabin, made out of wood, with louvred doors which could be opened up completely on 3 sides of the cabin. The cabins were simply but beautifully furnished and the outdoor showers were a great feature.
The main building, housing reception, the bar and dining areas were lovely and comfortably furnished. Each cabin had a verandah with comfortable chairs and a sky chair (a cross between a chair and a hammock). From here we saw coatis, an agouti, a mouse, hummingbirds, crabs and butterflies.
The food was outstanding throughout our stay, with different dishes made from fresh local ingredients - some of the best food we tasted in Costa Rica (which is really saying something as we experienced some wonderful food). The main courses and deserts were freshly prepare/baked on site, often using ingredients from their edible garden.
We took full advantage of the kayaks, which were easy to use as the water in the gulf was as calm as a lake - great for a novice paddler like myself. We also swam in the warm sea a few times each day and watched the Macaws playing in the trees above the beach.
The climate at Nicuesa was very humid (not a problem for me because I love humidity) but the lodge offers a solar drying room to dry out clothing. The sounds of the forest animals and the gentle lapping of the ocean at night were wonderful to listen to.
We look forward to returning to Nicuesa at our first opportunity. Special thanks to Manuel and to Joe, who made us very welcome and took care of our every need - even providing a freshly prepared breakfast for us to take away when we had to leave early for our flight out from Puerto Jiminez to San Jose.

Room Tip: The cabins were wonderful for us. Perhaps a room in the Mango house would be better for anyone who i...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank GeorgieGirl0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saskatoon, Canada
Level Contributor
28 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

the location is superb! An isolated beach one can only reach by boat. It is located in one of only 3-4 tropical fjords in the world,which means the waters are very deep allowing very interesting water creatures swim in.The main lodge is like a giant treehouse,very well done.the individual lodges and rooms had open air bathrooms and the mainpart of the room had doors which opened out to a deckoverlooking the rainforest.You really are remote with the back of the lodge opening up to acres of hiking trails.They have lots of kayaks which we used every day.Being in the gulf the beach os like that of a lake calm and easy to enter with the kayaks.There was good snorkeling close by seeing octopus,eagle ray and 4 different type of moray eels.Because it is the pacific the visibilty is not as good as the carribean but the stuff we saw was incredible.the food was great,the chef amazing!A bartender that would take lots of time to get you the drinks you would like.I would definitely come back here.Some critisms are few of the staff were quite indifferent,we got eaten alive by the bugs and jelly fish(sometimes present but not always)

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank 152sharonac152
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
la fortuna, cr
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2013

the people there are just wonderful (we were little sick and the staff was very caring and helpful), though little overambitious on environmental issues. the architecture of the bungalows and the main house (with kitchen, dining room and bar) is just flabbergasting. the location is interesting, but the water in the golf isn't clear enough for diving/snorkeling. what could be improved upon? having so many springs close to the lodge a freshwater-pool is a must; food quality is mediocre, to be polite (((-: - usd 440/night/bungalow is just not worth it

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank timm j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Las Vegas, Nevada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

Every single thing about Playa Nicuesa is magical. The scenery and wild life is abundant, the accommodations were comfortable and authentic, the food was fresh and delicious and there are no words to describe how amazing and caring the people are. It is a 100% genuine place and the best place we visited in Costa Rica. I would highly recommend Playa Nicuesa, it is paradise.

Room Tip: All accommodations looked great. We were in the Banana Room and it was lovely.
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Rachel C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Branford, CT
Level Contributor
25 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

My boyfriend and I had the pleasure of spending an entire week at this magical place.
Words cannot capture our amazing experience.
The setting is pristine, jungle on one side, beach and ocean on the other. The best of both worlds.
The lodge is beautifully designed with great attention to comfort and aesthetics, yet it somehow maintains a seemless connection to the wildness surrounding it. We loved being in our cabin, as it felt open and within the forest.
The main lodge is large yet inviting. We met interesting people there, and having our meals together was both a a culinary and social experience. We met one particular couple who were so wonderful that we have no doubt that we will remain lifelong friends, despite living on two continents.
Oh yes, the food- fantastic! Every single meal was different, healthy, creative and delicious.
Finally- the extraordinary staff! The resident yogi at the time, Thais, is gentle and soulful. She conducted classes in Spanish or English and was superb. The yoga platform is on the beach, beautifully situated, and the classes I had wth her there touched me deeply.
In fact, the entire staff, without exception, were a group of knowledgeable, eager young men and women who wanted to make sure we had an optimal experience at all times. Each person seemed to have their own niche, and a set of talents generously offered.
Both of us, very experienced travelers, cried when we left.
When we die, we hope heaven is a little like Playa Nicuesa.

  • Stayed February 2013, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
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Additional Information about Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge

Address: Parque Nacional Piedras Blancas, Golfito 1000, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Golfito
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 11 Hotels in Golfito
Price Range (Based on Average Rates):
Hotel Class:3 star — Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Playa Nicuesa is an environmentally-friendly eco-lodge set on a 165-acre private rainforest preserve on the undeveloped Pacific Coast of Golfo Dulce in southern Costa Rica. Our jungle & sea location provides a unique adventure and nature vacation: the front yard is a gulf right off the Pacific Ocean, and the backyard consists of thousands of acres of pristine tropical rainforest. Overall, the experience embraces conservation and harmony with the natural environment. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Hotel Golfito
Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Golfito
Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge Costa Rica/Golfito

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