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“Christmas in the jungle” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ojo del Mar

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Ojo del Mar
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Playa Carbonera 1, 60702, Costa Rica   |  
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Huntertown, Indiana
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Christmas in the jungle”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2014

My husband and I and our daughters (ages 19 and 22) stayed at Ojo del Mar five nights over the Christmas holiday. We were intrigued with the place via the website, and the reality far exceeded our expectations! From morning monkey serenades and yoga, to tropical birds at every turn, to basking on the beach, to organic, made-from-scratch dinners, we loved every minute! Nico is a great hostess -- makes everyone feel welcome no matter your language, and is a pro at organizing activities with local guides. We enjoyed chatting with fellow guests at mealtimes, relaxing in the hammocks and bamboo casitas, and admiring the tropical foliage. Hope we can return to this little parcel of paradise!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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110 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Bronxville, New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2014

My husband and I brought our three children ages 9, 13 and 16, to Ojo del Mar. We were enchanted by the beauty of the garden, the artistry of the lodge and cabinas, and the wonderful location on the beach. Nico was a wonderful host. She cooked creative and delicious meals for the guests, who gathered in the lodge around a beautiful long wooden table and shared travel stories. Nico was extremely considerate of all of my children and especially of the eldest, a boy on the autistic spectrum, who was unaccustomed to staying in a place without electricity... though he appreciated the brilliance of the stars. We were delighted to spot 4 types of monkeys, humming birds, red-tailed macaws and leaf-cutter ants on the property. We intend to come back!

  • Stayed January 2014, 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
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Nampa, Idaho
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2013

Ojo del Mar is a beautiful, natural jungle lodge with great customer service. About a week before we traveled, we had a change in the number of guests due to a medical emergency situation with our family, and Nico was completely understanding about the change. Once we got there, we had another personal/medical situation with one of our family members which resulted in a shortened stay, and again, Nico was extremely understanding and gracious about the whole situation.

The surroundings were amazing - absolutely beautiful, natural, relaxing, and calming. We saw squirrel monkeys and iquanas, heard the howler monkeys, etc. The cabinas were charming and the food was very good. It had a very communal/family environment in which you had the opportunity to get to know the owner, staff, and other other guests.

Reviewing the web site carefully helped us understand the environment is not of a traditional hotel with modern conveniences like electricity, air conditioning, pool, etc. The list of things to bring was helpful and you should pay close attention to it. I also think it would be helpful to rent a car if you are staying at Ojo, as the location is quite remote and the costs add up for taxis to town, a good swimming beach (which Ojo does not have), or excursions. It completely depends on what kind of experience you are looking for whether Ojo will be the right match for you, but I felt the customer service provided by Nico was outstanding.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Berlin, Germany
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2013

beautiful houses and garden in the forest next to the beach, best service in english, german and spanish, recommended by villagepeople, my costa rica highlight, you have to try!
you can reach different beaches and waves and the main restaurant/bar by foot. You don't need to travel by car.
Also for families a perfect option.

Room Tip: ask nico (the owner), she will answer your questions and
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
toronto
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2013

Travelled here last May - Osa Peninsula was spectacular.

We searched and searched for a place to stay within our budget. After reading reviews on Trip advisor we decided that we would invest our time and travels at Ojo Del Mar.

I will say the grounds are amazing. Very relaxing, very special place. You can't go wrong going down to the Osa Peninsula. Every turn, every where you look it's untouched and raw - life is abundant so no matter where you go down there you can't go wrong. But this review is not about the Osa Peninsula it's about Ojo Del Mar.

Food wise it was average. Basic breakfast. No lunches unless you needed something packed which they were willing to do. Dinners were nice with the communal dining element. I think from the reviews we were expecting more. We are seasoned travellers and have tasted food from all over the world so from the reviews we were excited - but in the end the reviews didn't add up. It's a very intimate place and you get to know guests and hosts well over the course of your stay there. Just hope your host is in a good mood and feeling open because when we were there I would say it wasn't the case.
There was supposed to be wireless internet but we had to run it off of a hotspot from the host and gaining access was dependant upon hosts availability.
Accommodation wise the bunkies / huts are nice. They are showing wear but all within reason for something exposed to the elements in the Jungle. One thing that made us cringe was the presence of mould on all of our pillows - black mould, both sides - ALL over. I wasn't as concerned for myself as I was for my 3year old. I've stayed in many places where moisture and heat contribute to the growth of mould and we've just returned from Sumatra in a very similar type of set up and no mould.
I was told this was normal and was I to expect that they go and buy new pillows for everyone? - of course not. Not sure what to say about that but we were discounted one night for of our trip.
This was a sour way to end our trip.

Grounds keepers and Kadie was great down there for us. Would we go back? Yes to Osa. No to Ojo.

Room Tip: Ocean front cabins are cooler!
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Bartlesville, Oklahoma, United States
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2013

Ojo del Mar eco resort on the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica is almost certainly not for everybody. Don't go to Ojo del Mar if you're looking for five-star luxury in the modern sense.

If, however, you are like me and my wife and love to stray off the beaten path to enjoy nature in all her genuine luxuriousness, then this is definitely the place for you. It is trillion-star experience when you walk a few meters from your open-air cabina through a luscious jungle garden, with spider and howler monkeys rustling in the trees overhead, to the unoccupied beach, with the the gorgeous Gulfo Dulche (Gulf of Dulche) spread before you, and look up at the night sky filled with stars accompanied only by the sounds of nature and waves.

The cabinas are very nice and intentionally simple. There is no electricity, though the main lodge, which is also open air, has limited solar power for a few cooking lights and charging phones and tablets, etc. Bring a flashlight, but plan to enjoy candlelight. The well water is very good to the taste and apparently very safe to drink. Our cabina had an "outhouse" about five meters away with a private flush toilet (kept very clean) and an outside shower. We were literally showering in the jungle! There is no hot water, but the water was plenty warm enough for bathing.

A few points to make here. First, it was very humid (we went in the wet season). Sleeping at night was a bit of a challenge, since there is no air conditioning and one can feel pretty sticky. It rained a little almost every day, which was good because the rain brought cooler air in the form of a breeze. Second, we expected bugs, like mosquitos, to be thick, but were pleasantly surprised to that mosquitos were almost not a problem at all. I guess all the lizards, birds and bats kept them well under control. We brought bug spray but rarely used it at all.

Lush tropical plants, flowers, and fruits were everywhere, and so was the wildlife. We had big troupes of monkeys eating fruits in the big trees over our cabina on most days. An iguana warmed on the rocks along the path to our cabina each day. One afternoon a white-nosed coati (a relative of the raccoon) sauntered past the opening to our cabina while I was swinging in the hammock. Lizards are numerous, and lots of tropical birds entertained us at close range, including macaws. It was about as close to the Garden of Eden that one can get.

Ojo is a place to go and relax, but there are also plenty of things to do in the area. We spent a whole rainy day relaxing without ever leaving Ojo. It was awesome! We also went for hikes, went on a boat tour of the gulf, on which we saw humpback whales and dolphins, and journeyed into Puerto Jimenez a couple of times. Everyone we encountered was friendly. Nico will arrange any tours/guides/rentals for you, and we watched her work to get people the best deals and experiences. She has a tour folder you can look through once you arrive.

Breakfast at Ojo is cooked to order, plus cereals and fresh fruits, and Nico cooked some amazing meals for dinner each evening, which was enjoyed in the company of other guests around a large table in the main lodge.

I love to swim, so I was looking forward to the beach. Unfortunately, the beach at Ojo was not the best beach for swimming. I was told that it is safe to swim at high tide, but the surf was a bit rough at high tide while we were there, and low tide revealed plenty of rocks. However, do not despair. It is a short hike along the beach to a great swimming beach, plus there are other accessible beaches in the area that you can travel to, including a really nice little beach in Puerto Jimenez.

Getting to Ojo del Mar by vehicle is not as hard as some online posts and videos make it sound. Though you may read that it is a three-to-four-hour drive on rough dirt roads with dozens of river crossings, much of the road on the Osa leading to Puerto Jimenez has been recently paved. There are still a few rough patches, but not many. The 18 kilometers south from Puerto Jimenez to Ojo del Mar are gravel dirt road, and there is one low water crossing, but the road was in excellent condition when we were there, with only a few rough patches. Mostly, the road is a wonderful drive through pretty countryside and overhanging rows of trees full of parrots and other exotic birds.

Finally, we read a lot of scary things about traveling in Costa Rica, mostly on the US Embassy website. While I'm sure incidents happen, we felt safe most all of the time. Like anywhere, be smart and you are likely to be fine. You wouldn't leave a nice camera laying in the front seat of your car at the mall, would you? Then don't do so anywhere. The people on the Osa were very friendly, and we never felt that our safety was threatened in any way. Don't be afraid to go into the stores or walk down the street in Puerto Jimenez, or to go walking along the road. Most locals waved at us when they passed in cars or on motorbikes. FYI, the parking area at Ojo is well away from and hidden from the main road (the entry is just past the low water crossing, on the left), but it is a small area for only a handful of cars. When you park, please try to take up as little area as possible with your vehicle so that others returning from a day's outting will not come back and have difficulty parking.

If you love nature, there are very few places on earth where you can enjoy it like you can at Ojo.

Room Tip: Each of the cabinas are semi-isolated, but the one we stayed in was the closest to the ocean and fur...
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  • Stayed August 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2013

We stayed here for three nights with my children who are eleven and eight. The Osa Peninsula is the most beautiful place in Costa Rica in my opinion. We saw a huge variety of wildlife whilst staying at Ojo Del Mar, including all four varieties of monkeys that live in Costa Rica. The beaches are wild, desolate, isolated and full of wildlife. We saw three scarlet macaws fly overhead as we explored the beach.

The breakfasts are delicious and included in the price. The evening meals, which Nico cooks with care and attention, are also delicious. These are not included in the price.

The Cabinas are very sweet and extremely clean. Do be prepared to live in the jungle here. There is no electricity and the noises from the jungle can make it difficult to sleep, if you are a light sleeper like me. I also found it difficult to read in the evenings as my eyesight is poor and there are only candles to read by. Bring a reading light that you clip to the book!

We did horse back riding and the horses were brought to the lodge. It was great fun.

My whole family found this place a real adventure and a contrast to the more touristy parts of Costa Rica.

Thanks Nico, you were a lovely hostess!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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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Additional Information about Ojo del Mar

Address: Playa Carbonera 1, 60702, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 73 Specialty Lodging in Osa Peninsula
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ojo del Mar ("eye of the sea"), is a small, eco-friendly secluded retreat nestled between the pristine beaches and the tropical rainforest in the wilds of Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula. Ojo del Mar has capacious spaces in its main Casa Grande (restaurant) with hardwood floors and a thatched roof bamboo construction, solar powered, all built by hand without power tools. We have 5 cabins and 2 deluxe tent cabins. Ojo del Mar's building concept follows a calling that is environmentally and socially responsible. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Ojo Del Mar Hotel Osa Peninsula
Ojo Del Mar Costa Rica/Osa Peninsula

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