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“Fantastic Honeymoon” 5 of 5 stars
Review of El Remanso Lodge

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El Remanso Lodge
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near Corcovado National Park, 8203, Costa Rica   |  
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Ranked #1 of 44 Hotels in Osa Peninsula
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
“Fantastic Honeymoon”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2012

We spent 5 days of our honeymoon in the beautiful El Remanso, and it was truly unforgettable. having used trip advisor extensively before travelling, I know I was looking for people to get to the point and give me the good, so I shall do the same :)

1) Service: From the moment we first made contact with them, Gabby made us feel like old friends, she is gracious, detailed and happy to answer every single question (and I had many). Upon arriving in the beautiful Osa, the service - from Gabby personally meeting us on the runway, to the welcome drinks and lunch be made ready as we arrived at the lodge, to everyone knowing our name, and every single day making every effort to making us feel completely at home (Sergio was amazing!) - the service and hospitality was the best we've ever experienced, and we have traveled extensively.

2) Location, location, location: We were in every way - in the middle of the rainforest - amidst all of natures wonders and glories. Surrounded by beautiful, lush greenery and fascinating creatures: red eye frogs, toucans, monkeys etc (Waking up to the sound of Howlers monkeys is a treat!). Yes, being real city folks it took some getting used to, especially deal with walking through a dark rainforest the first night back to our cabin. Warning: If you are here for a luxury beach resort: this is not the place for you. You are in the midst of nature and it is a beautiful experience.

3)Food: fantastic! Every meal was memorable!

4) The Lodge: spotless, absolutely clean. It is charming and very beautiful. Our cabin was gorgeous. The pool isn't much, but we weren't there for the pool. Now, something important to note is that the Beach is a good 20 minute hike through a rainforest path downhill (and ofcourse, uphill coming back). Once you get down there it is stunning, very Robinson Crusoe-esque - a completely deserted beach, stretching for miles. You cannot swim in the water, as the tides are just too strong. There are tidepools that you "can" swim in, but we didn't, as they were filled with creatures (fish, crabs) and sea urchins. It is amazing to see them however, and take cool pictures.

5) The Experience: Relaxing and romantic. You can't quite describe how majestic the rainforests are, and I really fell in love with the whole place. Take every hike you can, the guides are phenomenal, waterfall rappelling was a blast! It was an unforgettable honeymoon.

Tips:

1- Bring a flashlight, a good rain coat, watershoes, sturdy hiking shoes - you'll need all these items and will use them well.
2- Ask Gabby lots of questions, and even when you get there ask questions if you have them. The staff are very obliging, and really want you to have a great stay.

Room Tip: La Guinda, while a bit of a walk from the main restaurant/lodge, has an incredible view, complete pr...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
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364 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (93)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
South Portland, Maine
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2012

My daughters (ages 9 and 12) and I just returned from our vacation to Costa Rica. We stayed the entire week at El Remanso and it was amazing! Even before we arrived, the staff was incredibly helpful with all aspects of booking our trip. Gabby was so helpful and sweet :-)
When we arrived at Puerto Jiminez Gabby was there to greet us with a big smile and made us feel immediately welcome. We then jumped in the truck with Jose for our ride to El Remanso. Jose doesn't speak much English, but he was so friendly and patient with me while I practiced my terrible Spanish! Jose has a great eye for spotting wild life and we saw an entire family of Howler monkeys, and numerous birds before we even arrived at El Remanso!
Silvia and Tamar were there to greet us with big smiles and warm welcomes when we pulled in to the lodge parking area. We were brought in to the restaurant where homemade iced tea with mandarin lime slices was waiting for us (served by Rolvin (sp?). Silvia made us feel immediately welcome and then gave us a complete introduction to the entire facility.
Our cabin(la Vainilla) was absolutely stunning!!! I won't bother to try and describe it: the website photos are great.
Meals were a delight and our servers were all extremely friendly and helpful. If you have food allergies you WILL be well taken care of: my youngest daughter and I both have allergies and the staff went out of their way to make substitutions that were delicious! The restaurant is gorgeous!
We signed up for the Wildlife Explorer package and were extremely pleased! Our first activity was waterfall repelling with Gerardo: I cannot overstate how amazing he was as a guide and repelling instructor--within minutes he had all of us totally at ease (all first time repellers) and very excited to get started! Both my daughters had so much fun and each one wanted to go first on every waterfall!
We also did several hikes with Gerardo, all of which were the highlights of our trip. He is an extremely knowledgeable ecologist/naturalist and his passion for the forest is beautiful to experience. Gerardo was able to engage my 9 year old and field all her questions while also sharing a wealth of fascinating information with us.
One of the nights before dinner Silvia invited us a brand new event at the lodge: a cultural exchange discussion. Guests and staff gathered and shared information about our own cultures as well as the staff's roles at El Remanso. We had a blast and it made us feel like we were among friends for the rest of our stay.
I could go on and on about how much this trip meant to my family, but to say the least I would highly recommend El Remanso!! My family and I will be coming back as soon as possible!!

Rob P.

  • Stayed August 2012, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Asheville, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2012

My husband and I have been to Costa Rica previously. This was our first trip to the Osa . We love hiking, wildlife, photography, and adventure. We have values in conservation of intact natural areas and seek places that are embracing "sustainabilility" practices. We do not speak Spanish, but I know a few phrases, and I used my phrasebook constantly to learn more. This was sufficient and really helped in some situations, such as when we had to go to a pharmacy in Santo Domingo. I highly recommend making the effort to learn a bit of Spanish, as it will simply make some situations go more smoothly. It is not necessary, but is a good opportunity.

We initially stayed overnight at Hotel Bougainvillea in Santo Domingo (part of San Jose MSA) to make our connecting flight the following day to the Osa. We HIGHLY recommend this place particularly if you love gardens. It was easy to catch a taxi to and from the airport. We've been to San Jose on a previous trip and spent some time there, so didn't feel the need to get into the city.

We love Gabby in El Remanso's booking office in Puerto Jimenez. She is efficient, generous and cooperative. We had a travel document crisis and had to change our travel dates. She efficiently rescheduled us. When she met us at the airstrip in Puerto Jimenez, we hugged her! That was the start to our fantastic experience. Gracias, Gabby!

Jose, "El Ojo", drove us to El Remanso on a rocky road. Along the way, he spotted many animals and pointed them out to us. He showed us a sloth that was descending from a tree to do his weekly business. We all just stopped and watched. We had no idea, until later, how special this was. If you go, pay attention to what Jose is showing you. Gracias, Jose!

At the resort, Rolbim (sp?), met us with a fruit/tea concoction, and our personal "cruise director", Tamar, gave us a briefing of how things work at El Remanso, and our itinerary for the week. Throughout the week she checked in on us, as did the on-site manager, Sylvia. Both were attentive, helpful and friendly.

We stayed for an entire week, Monday to Monday. We had the active package. This included multiple hikes with both guides, Gerardo and Renaldo, bird watching, waterfall repelling, and horse back riding. The short zip line to the breakfast platform was not in operation while we were there. We took advantage of the large, group size yoga platform and did yoga a few times. All hikes were wonderful. The guides were fantastic. Gerardo was our guide for the waterfall rappelling, which we had not done previously. I was nervous and shaky for the first descent, and I told him so. He was extremely patient, cautious, and the whole thing was really terrific. His assistant, Pocho, was also really helpful. I highly recommend the repelling. Keen sandals or those new toe shoes are perfect for the rappelling. It's a good idea to keep your toes covered. The hikes were amazing. We saw many things, including Fer de lance. We were never in danger, but I recommend wearing closed shoes as there is debris, ants, etc. If you do the river walk, definitely use their rubber boots and hiking sticks. I recommend exploring the beach and the tide pools, being sure to understand the tidal period when the tide pools are exposed. The return hike up from the beach is a workout, even for the fit. For horse back riding we were shuttled to a private horse owner. The trail was very muddy through the jungle and then opened to a beach with another area of tide pools, even more spectacular than those at El Remanso. On the beach, we were able to run the horses. Don't wear a shirt that you care about on the ride. The mud will splash up all over you and ruin light colored clothing. The horses were fun! Gracias Gerardo, Renaldo, Rolbim II, Tamar and Pia for exciting, educational, and fun outdoor activities!

We stayed in the La Guinda cabin. This cabin is perfectly simple and looks out directly over the rainforest to the Pacific. It's cleaned daily with fresh towels, and has flushing toilets, and a warm shower if desired. Biodegradable, all natural, Osa-made body wash, shampoo, and lotion are provided. We have no complaints about the cabin. It is warm and humid at night, and you will appreciate the ceiling fan. I recommend ear plugs if you are a light sleeper to dampen the outside noises of the waves crashing down on the beach and the insects, birds, monkeys etc. A flashlight or headlamp is definitely recommended for walking to and from the dining area to the cabin after dark. There are many steps.

The food was hearty, fresh and abundant. The dining area/bar looks out over the jungle. The staff are attentive and kind. We asked to set up a special occasion one night, for other guests that we had met, and the staff fully accommodated us with champagne, a special table, etc.

We also had the opportunity to listen to a presentation from the manager about the El Remanso sustainability practices, and we were quite impressed. If you are interested, be sure to ask. They are happy to share what they are doing to reduce their impact and protect what they have. Additionally, they are sponsoring two interns currently from Denmark, interested in sustainable hotels and tourism. Pia and Kris were a part of the staff and also a delight to talk to. Everyone with the El Remanso shirt was very friendly and attentive to guests. I left feeling as if I had a new family.

I could go on and on about our amazing experiences and tell stories all day. El Remanso may not be for every single person. The beach is not a swimming beach if you are hoping for time in the ocean, and the hike up from the beach is somewhat of a challenge. It is warm and humid, and it does rain intermittently. But all that said, I will continue gushing about our experience. We saw an incredible diversity of wildlife. We really liked the people who worked at El Remanso and their mission of sustainability. We found that we didn't lose much comfort to dramatically lower our travel impact, which made us feel really good. Thanks to all - Sylvia, Gerardo, Renaldo, Jaro, Sergio, Rolbim, Jesse, Tamar, Pia, Kris, Jose, Bert, Pocho, Gabby, the cooks, the gardeners, and everyone we didn't have a chance to meet, or people whose names I can't remember or spell :). I hope we can return someday. Pura Vida!!!!!!

  • Stayed August 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2012

We stayed at El Remanso for 4 nights (in the beginning of January 2012) and really enjoyed it. We came there based on previously left visitors reviews. With 2 kids (our son was almost 12 and daughter a little over 8) we had to keep them busy and engaged. There was enough guided tours to do so. Water rappelling to 5 waterfalls, tree tour (yes, believe it or not it was very interesting ), zip lining to the platform in the middle of the forest first thing in the morning, having breakfast up on the platform and watching birds was pretty special. We did a number of horse back riding tours - going through the beach, village, forest and rivers. There is something magical when your horse going through the river, your feet get wet and you get splashed. The horses were on the smaller size and didn't feel intimidating like the ones in the stable in US (where our daughter is taking riding lessons). Osa is pretty green and luscious place with bright, succulent colors (trees, monkeys, birds - everything had rich colors) by comparison to Guanacaste where we ended up staying for 1 full day. Guanacaste was pretty yellow, the grass looked all dried up, even with noticeable humidity in the air. We stayed one night at JW Marriott hotel and the "national" bird there was a crow. And there was a lot of there... Loud and obnoxious. Our kids wanted to try surfing - that they enjoyed doing but that is the only activity was good there. The nearby town where kids went surfing in Guanacaste had packs and packs of tourists on the street. The town was loud. Didn't feel like the place you want to escape and relax. Didn't mean to confuse anyone with comparison but as we flew to Tamarindo (Guanacaste) - the whole place felt deforested with some trees here and there. Although, the beach @ JW Marriot was pretty beautiful I have to admit (if you don't mind sharing it with about 100 or so people). El Remanso was definetely the place to seat back, relax and enjoy the nature between your tours. There are hiking trails (2-3 can't recall), they end up by the ocean (you can't swim there because of a rip tide) , but can go to lagoon and get wet there. Kids and I had a perfect mud baths, while my husband took pictures of us being silly. Our kids wanted to do a bigger, longer zip line ride that Adriana (the owner) was happy to arrange the ride for us to get there and bring us back. The roads there are very bumpy and slow. It's kind of fun crossing smaller rivers in the car. Our rides were always in clean cars. Only once we had a driver that didn't speak English. Even so, he stopped, pulled over and pointed to whatever it was - a beautiful, bird or monkeys. When we finished our longer zip line trip - the snacks were served, including some local cheese from the near farm and was super fresh and delicious. I asked our guide about that cheese and he told me it was simple to make . He told to our non English speaking driver to stop by at the supermarket and help me to buy there cheese culture so I can make that cheese at home. I'm into cheese making. To conclude - I don't think there was anything they were not able to accommodate us with. They truly do their best without being intrusive. Rooms were clean, food was good, the cabins are situated that you feel pretty private. Without a doubt - a place to relax and enjoy the beauty.

  • Stayed January 2012, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Empire, Colorado
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2012

From our first e-mail to our final wave goodbye everything about El Remanso was exceptional. We love to walk, take photograghs and learn and there was an abundance of opportunities to do all three.
The warmth, knowledge and commitment of each member of the El Remanso team to make our stay special was felt from beginning to end.
The cabin, the fresh and delicious meals and excursions were all 5 star plus.
We are already looking forward to visiting again

Room Tip: There are only good cabins.
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  • Stayed July 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2012

I'm not sure if there is anything more to say about El Remanso that already hasn’t been said on Trip Advisor!! My husband and I recently spent our honeymoon there and words can't express what a perfect spot it was for such an occasion.

The entire staff has such an incredible passion for what they do and the feeling is contagious beyond words. Every day we learned something new and they shared their love and passion with us like it was the first time they were experiencing the sights and sounds of the rain forest with us.

I would highly recommend going on the long hike with Gerardo at the beginning of your stay. We did get spoiled because we were the only ones in the group for our hike with him! He took the time to answer any of our questions and share his knowledge with us. From doing the long hike early in our stay we were able to learn about the sounds of specific monkeys and birds so we could identify them during our stay. Gerardo even taught us a new thing or two about our SLR digital camera, which was fun!! He was only there for one day of our stay and then had some time off. We were grateful to have met him and spend one afternoon with him, but do wish we could have spent more time with him. He made us feel so comfortable and really increased our excitement and wonder about the forest and all its mystery. You must do a tour with him, you won’t be sorry!!

I also recommend doing one of the activities with Rinaldo. He led us on the waterfall repelling tour (which was AMAZING!!) and the canopy tour. Just like Gerardo, his passion is contagious! He knows a little bit about everything in the forest and is so eager to teach you! His sense of humor and ability to make you feel like part of the El Remanso family is incredible. He is a wonderful guide and made our trip so memorable!
The wait staff was exceptionally professional and made us feel like some sort of royalty. They were so wonderful and kind that many times, I just wanted to ask them to sit down, relax and join us so we could get to know them too! The food is like nothing we have ever eaten before. Everything is so fresh and natural, and kept us satisfied and filled us with enough energy to get us through our busy days.

The walk to the beach is a bit strenuous, but after all you are in the jungle. Just make sure to allow for enough time at night coming back up before it gets dark. It is worth the trek to see the gorgeously untouched beaches and see the wild Pacific Ocean. The tide pools were one of our favorite memories too. We had a blast exploring them and taking amazing photographs.
We look forward to returning one day and hope to see the same staff that for 5 days accepted us into their home, treated us like long lost friends, and allowed for the beauty and peace of the Osa to find its way into our hearts.

Room Tip: La Guinda is the PERFECT spot for honeymooners! It is a private spot and has the best view on the gr...
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  • Stayed June 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2012

El Remanso is the real rainforest experience. I didn’t want to be one of those reviewers that just gushed about how much they loved a place but my sister and I really did love it! If you want to stay at a place where the staff and owners are warm and friendly, the food is great and accommodations are clean and comfortable, this is your place. The wildlife will amaze you and the hikes are incredible. The owners, Adriana and Daniel, actually check in with the guests to make sure they are comfortable and take a real interest in your experience. And they are true stewards of this rich eco-system. I would recommend El Remanso to my friends and go back in a heartbeat. You will feel blessed for this experience.

  • Stayed June 2012, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El Remanso Lodge

Address: near Corcovado National Park, 8203, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 44 Hotels in Osa Peninsula
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 9
Also Known As:
El Remanso Hotel Osa Peninsula
El Remanso Osa
El Remanso Lodge Costa Rica/Osa Peninsula

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