As countless other reviews have already pointed out, Lapa Rios is a special place beholden to a truly special land. Where else can you find yourself in the heart of the rainforest, surrounded by a fascinating variety of wildlife, but still be afforded his & hers (or his & his etc.) bathroom sinks?! Yes, there are a lot of stairs, your hikes come with guides, and the cabinas are situated very close to one another (honeymooners beware). But these are factors that some guests will mind and others won't. After taking into consideration all that Lapa Rios has to offer, it would be hard not to recommend this property to the vast majority of travelers who are looking to experience the wonders of the Osa without having to compromise too many of the high-end amenities one would expect to find at other leading luxury destinations.
Having said this, I’m reluctant to name Lapa Rios the region’s crown jewel. For a place that is so celebrated for taking extra care in providing for their guests, there were far too many managerial hiccups that got in the way of what was otherwise an incredible experience.
And it all started before I even got there. First, I was told that the Nature Air flights I built the rest of my Costa Rica itinerary around were not available, but a simple web search revealed that they were. Then, months after my reservation had been confirmed and payment info verified (but just weeks prior to the trip), I received word that my reservation would be cancelled unless payment was submitted in the next 24 hours. I later learned that my financial information had been confused with that of another guest with the same first name and subsequently tossed out after his stay. Never heard that one before. To any and all future guests named “John,” I wish you the best of luck keeping your reservation intact!
Needless to say, when the day finally came for me and my girlfriend to embark on our trip, I was hopeful that the aforementioned episodes would not be a harbinger of things to come. After all, this was THE place to stay, and we couldn’t wait to arrive. But the moment we set foot on the property we were ushered to a cabina with two beds, despite (twice) having requested a “couples friendly” cabina (which have one king sized bed and are farther away from the fanfare of the restaurant/bar/pool).
Next came the mysterious drink order on the day's bill (turns out it belonged to another table). And having to climb the 187 stairs from our cabina to request bath towels when housekeeping left us without any. Then having to trek the same 187 stairs on another occasion to retrieve our flight reservations when management indicated they could not verify our outbound flight. By the final evening of our stay, our cabina didn’t even receive the nightly turndown service (which is not a perk we ever expected, but one that surprised us so much on our first night that we learned to look forward to it each night thereafter). To the management’s credit, they were swift to resolve whatever problems we brought to their attention (they put us in a different cabina, removed the erroneous charges from our bill, etc.). But why so many problems in the first place?
There is much to admire about Lapa Rios. It really is stunningly beautiful, there are crazy amounts of animals everywhere, and certain touches that Lapa Rios is known for – like their morning coffee delivery – are pure magic. But the one thing I won’t be adding to this list of superlatives is the unrivaled level of service so many others say they have enjoyed. Perhaps after reading so many glowing reviews of the property my expectations were too elevated. But given that Lapa Rios is renowned for their attention to detail, I would think that inconveniences like those we experienced would be just the kind of thing the Lapa Rios staff would be careful to avoid, as testament to the property’s overall sterling reputation to date. Unfortunately this was not the Lapa Rios we encountered.
So for those of you who are looking at a big effort and expense getting to the Osa, just know there are other properties in the area. One in particular that we had the pleasure of staying at and felt did just about everything better lies just up the road, and is called Bosque Del Cabo.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Thank you for taking the time to write such a complete review of our Ecolodge. We take your feedback very seriously and thank you for pointing out the areas that we need to improve upon. We also thank you for pointing out the positive aspects of your stay and that you acknowledged that we were quick to fix the situations that arose. You are totally right though… too many little mistakes that added up. But as you also pointed out in your review, this is not what Lapa Rios is known for. Almost all guests comment on the service at the hotel and how all staff members are going out of their way to satisfy our guest’s needs. We will dissect your review and address every point with our staff to make sure that the experience of our future guests will be the best ever. Thanks again for helping us improve. We hope you give us a chance to show you we can do better some time in the future.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.