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“The Very Best!” 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 45 Hotels in Osa Peninsula
Sister Bay, Wisconsin
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“The Very Best!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

I took two grandsons, ages 11 and 12, to experience the rain forest. They are both great nature lovers with snakes and frogs being at the top of their list. This was the perfect place for all three of us! The boys could do such adventures as waterfall rappelling and tree climbing - I did not have to go along. Together we did two nature hikes and a bird walk. The guides were superb! We also walked down to the beach and along to a beautiful lagoon where they spent 3 idyllic hours. El Remanso has everything: an incredible staff, wonderful facilities, all the nature you could want (the boys were thrilled to see a fer de lance), wonderful, healthy food and lots and lots to do. It was a great adventure for all of us.

  • 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
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353 reviews from our community

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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 (89)
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English first
New York, USA
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2013

We traveled to the Osa Penninsula in March and ended our stay with 4 nights at the El Remanso Lodge. The setting is spectacular in the rainforest set on cliffs overlooking the Pacific. At night you can hear the surf pounding in the distance. In the morning there are the howlers and the birds. We took several guided hikes on the property and Melvin and Gerardo are to be commended for their enthusiasm and knowledge of the rainforest and all the flora and fauna within it. Even without a hike you are surrounded by nature and great beauty. At breakfast we saw Toucans and howlers and scarlet macaws. By the pool in the early evening there were macaws again and spider monkeys galore.

There are places to swim (pool, lagoon and tidal pools). The ocean is too rough for swimming but beautiful to walk along and the lagoon and tidal pools are right adjacent. The hike up from the ocean to the property is 15 mins or so. We had wonderful massages with Laura and also enjoyed Daniel's (one of the owners) presentation of the sustainability of the lodge.

Meals were nothing short of fabulous at El Remanso. There was plenty of choice for the carnivores, vegetarians and pescatores among our group. The staff was unfailingly polite, gracious and prompt. We were impressed everyday by the education and enthusiasm of all the staff and their commitment to this rare and beautiful ecosystem.

You are off the grid in this lodge, so if you crave wifi, tv, a hair dryer or ac, look elsewhere. If you want to reconnect with nature in an elegant setting with excellent food and clean comfort, this is your place. Our teenagers loved being unplugged as well. Being without keys, a wallet and a cellphone was truly liberating. Being with friends and family in this glorious place was fantastic. Thank you for the trip of a lifetime.

Room Tip: during the dry season it was hot, although cooler in evenings, I would recommend rooms with ceiling...
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  • Stayed March 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buffalo, New York, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2013

My family just came back from our trip to El Remanso Lodge and it was incredible. Get ready to relax and enjoy nature at its best ... right at your finger tips. The rooms are airy and bright ,comfortable and very clean. The food at El Remanso Lodge is that of a five star restaurant. Each meal ordered individually so everyone is happy. The staff here is so amazing. Each staff member was friendly and happy to help you with any requests or needs you may have. The nature guide we had was named Gerardo and he was incredible. Gerardo knows everything about Costa Ricas rainforest and its inhabitants . When we were waterfall repelling or on four long nature hikes he made you always feel safe ! I think everyone should go here at least once in their life time . As for me I intend to go back for years to come!
PURA VIDA

  • Stayed March 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlottesville, Virginia
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

If you want internet, air conditioning and a glossy resort experience then go elsewhere.

If you want an incredible jungle experience, the friendliest guides and staff on earth, and pure magic come here.

I came with my family - my parents and two adult siblings, and we had a wonderful five days. It's hard to find a complaint!

The staff were incredible (maybe too attentive if anything!) especially the naturalists and guides. We learned so so much from Gerardo and Rinaldo (I hope I didn't butcher spellings there) which meant that even on our own walks we noticed so much more of the wildlife.

All the adventures we did were great. I loved the waterfall repelling and canopy breakfast most - although just the first introductory ridge walk was fantastic.

But perhaps nothing beat coming back after an active day, getting a beer and watching the sunset.

For those who want to be a little less active there is a beautiful pool and I could happily imagine spending a week painting or writing or just reading in the sun.

Plus it is so amazing to learn how the place works. Sylvia gave a talk on sustainability and El Remanso's 5 leaf rating from the government, and I was impressed by how hard they work not only on the environmental but the social and economic aspects of sustainable development.

We stayed in Casa Osa, which we loved, although we were there at the hottest time of year which made the two downstairs rooms hard to sleep in. But the staff let my brother borrow the office fan and my sister and I just moved into the two extra beds upstairs!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Somerset, New Jersey
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

We spent 4 days, 3 nights at El Remanso. What a great experience, truly unique. Nothing like I have ever stayed at before. Its a perfect blend of comfort and nature that made it so great. We enjoy camping and outdoors but we also need basic living amenities. Thats why this lodge is ideal. We stayed in the Vainalla bungalow, its 2 levels to accomodate 2 families. Upstairs room was completely open, a joy to wake up to every morning. Straight out of your bed you can see the ocean deep down below. At night sitting on the deck you can see the moonlight and/or the bright stars covering the sky since its pitch dark out there. No mosquitoes or other issues even though it was so open. You can hear the howler monkeys howling away, the Toucans singing, the scarlet macaws and other birds chirping, etc. The nature trails and hiking on the property itself is amazing. The numerous waterfalls small to big on property are great to walk through and sit under. Walking through water creeks of naturally clean water combined with land hiking trail was refreshing. We also enjoyed activities including horse back riding, canopy bird watching, water rappelling and great massages. The natural water pool without chlorine was great relaxation each day after an active day, often surrounded by birds and animals accompanying you on nearby trees. And the 3 meals each day made fresh were so good, they have excellent chefs on property the produce used seemed so fresh. Owners gave a presentation of the lodge's history and how they are self-sustaining using all natural resources on the property to generate electricity, water and reduce trash by recycle and reusing. We went with our 8 year old son and I think he enjoyed more than we did. Kids will find this place interesting specially when they are so used to modern amenities. I have not spent 4 days without keys, without wallet and without cell phone or laptop in a long time. Highly recommend this stay to anyone visiting Costa Rica. Besides Arenal and Manual Antonio or Guanacaste area, make sure you add Osa peninsula to your trip for a unique experience. We drove everyone in an SUV and it was perfectly fine since its dry season. The road to El Remanso is great upto the last 1 hr from Puerto Jimenez where it becomes gravel road but still easy to drive if you have an SUV. And the drive is better than flying since you can stop along the way and enjoy the local neighborhoods that you will pass.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

We stayed 3 nights at El Remanso and really needed a few more. We had a cabin which was beautiful and you really feel as though you are in the middle of the jungle. The meals are wonderful and there is always tea, coffee and biscuits available should you need them. Staff are all very smiley and happy and the guides, especially Gerrardo, are very enthusiastic.
The hike up from the beach is a killer if you are not up on you cardio though.
We did several tours, although this is where I wasn't completely happy. There were a few issues with what was included in our package, first we were told we had 3 activites each (we actually thought we had 6, that was explained by being told no, that means 3 each, mmm), later we told the staff what tours we did want to do as they work out the best way to fit everything in for you. That night were were told there was some confusion and we only had 1 tour included. As we had travelled halfway across the world it was not as though were were not going to do anything once we had got there so we thought we would just need to suck it up and pay the extra, although not happy about it. The following day's activities are confirmed at dinner and we found that they had also added the rappelling into our program, something which we had not requested. Of course we could have said that we were not going to do it but we left it in anyway. The next day they contacted our agent and eventually it was sorted out and we were back to 3 activites included. One of our additional activites was the birdwatching which is at 5.30am and you are taken out in a small truck to find birds. This was a lovely tour but when it came to pay for it we were charged the cost of the tour ($35 I think) and then an additional $14 for transport??? How you were meant to do the tour without the truck I am not sure.
While we had a wonderful time and really wanted to stay longer and would return if we had the opportunity my only advice would be to make sure you know exactly what you are paying for and be aware of additional costs (ie transport).

  • Stayed March 2013, 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
    • 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.
New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

El Remanso is perfection in an eco-lodge.

The grounds that El Remanso is pristine with many jungle animals. In many ways, it was more pristine even than going to the ranger station in Corcovado; that did have the benefit of more sightings of wildlife, but it also had crowds of people on the trails. El Remanso is relatively small, maybe 10 families or couples could be there at the same time, and you really can have a trail to yourself with your guides. E.g., you can hike up to a waterfall and pretty much have it to yourself.

The living at El Remanso is easy; we stayed in one of the cabins, which was beautifully architected and had just the right amenities. There is real taste behind everything, and it would be just how I would architect my own dream cabin. It appears to be constructed out of local hardwoods, with simple, sustainable materials. The recommendation of the staff was that we sleep with the sliding screen doors open. I can confirm that there was no mosquito problem. The cabins could be a perfect honeymoon spot.

This is the jungle, and that means that some cautions are in order and expectations must be set. The property borders the pacific ocean, but this is not a swimming or sunbathing beach - the waves are big, there are serious currents, and you couldn't/shouldn't be swimming. It is also a pretty steep hike down and back from the lodge to the beach.

There is also real wildlife including dangerous wildlife. The guides are very, very cautious in particular about snakes. We did the river walk; the guides made sure that we stayed in the center of the flowing water. Indeed there were two very venomous fer-de-lance snakes along the bank that the guide pointed out. On a night hike with the kids, as we went up the driveway, the guide spotted a venomous coral snake in front of us. There was a boa sunning itself on the lawn. There is a star fruit tree on the property, but we got the impression that it would be a good idea to stay away because it is a favorite place for the snakes to hunt. (The guides made sure to tell us that those fruits were the sour kind of star fuit, I think to deter our kids from going back there). It is not just snakes that I am obsessing about snakes; they also spot wild cats from time to time on the beach trail. And the lagoon sometimes has crocodiles (we didn't spot any so swam anyway).

So in a way this is like being in the zoo where the wild animals are out of the cages.

This worked out well for our kids, who are 9 and 12, but I would not think it would be a good place for taking younger kids, or kids who do not follow instructions.

As far as packing and gear to bring, I would recommend swimsuit, running clothes, lightweight nylon pants, things that would dry out quickly. The lodge lends high rubber boots (which are good for protecting against snakes); bring nylon sport socks that go just up to the knees to go with them. Flashlights will be very useful for getting back to the room after dinner. You do not need to bring a lot of clothes - the lodge has a very fair deal on laundry service. Bring sunscreen. Things not to bring: were a lot of snorkel gear.

The lodge organizes talks and tours. I think our favorites were the ones on the property. The plane trip to Corcavado was neat but the trails much less pristine. The dolphin watching was OK, but the snorkeling was not up to par with what we've experienced on other trips. So I recommend the ridge trail, the river walk, the waterfall rappelling, and especially the night hike. They are relatively simple but there is much information from the guides and the Remanso's property is very pristine.

I'll confirm that the service at El Remanso is the best; all with a smile, problems are solved, special requests are handled kindly. The guides are committed and hard working. There is a family feel here among the staff that is unique. There is also a nice feel where the prices for extras are fair and there is not any price gouging or upselling.

  • Stayed March 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
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 45 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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