Pros, cons, tips
Use the private car service, it's expensive but worth it. Just tell them to take the fast route, not the scenic route. The non scenic route is 40 minutes shorter & still beautiful
Bring only workout, hiking & beach clothes. All other clothes are useless
I have been a vegan for about 2 years and up till I found this hotel, eating was always a little difficult. Fateh & Franco made traveling so simple, our food, our excursions, everything was simple. This was truly one of our best vacations ever. It was a good combination of adventure and relaxation. The food was tasty, the weather was hot and the hotel was great. My wife and I have traveled quite a bit and this was by far one of our favorite spots. We will come back again! I'll share some negatives, a ton of positives and some tips
Tips; let's start with some tips
1. March is the hottest time of the year in Costa Rica, it was 90 degrees and 100% humidity. Bring only workout clothes, hiking clothes and cutoff s. my wife and sweat through everything we brought. She brought sun dresses and I brought some nice collard shirts that we both did not need. We both wish we had brought more workout clothes
2. The airport ride is 3 hours and very long. We did the private car which is expensive but I highly suggest. Tell your driver you want to go the new route NOT the scenic route. Yes the scenic route is beautiful but so is the fast route. The scenic route adds 40 minutes and its very curvy. I am not a person who gets car sick but I was very close to on that ride. Take the fast route
3. Do not fly Spirit airlines, it will be cheaper but it will ruin your vacation. We were supposed to go in December but never made it there until march when I rebooked with united. It's a long, painful story but trust me DO NOT fly spirit airlines
1. They will plan everything for you with the best tours possible. I just told them what tours I wanted to do and when we arrived we had a planned vacation, it was so simple. They arranged all the times and booked excellent tour guides!
2. I have some odd food allergies and they did an excellent job accommodating for me. I sent them recipes, they used some of them and served delicious food
3. The hotel location is perfect, located right on a waterfall, wow! We walked down to see the waterfall, we hiked around it, the hotel is beautiful
4. The hotel room, open concept. We stayed in the butterfly suite and we had a jacuzzi right in our room, rain shower, king size bed, air conditioning, safe and a refrigerator. Everything in the room was great!
5. Close proximity to everything we wanted to see: 10 minutes from beach, 15 min from baru and zip lining, 45 min from national parks and 30 minutes from hiking to the waterfall.
6. Great all inclusive package. Our package included all food, couples massage & lunch by waterfall and all of our tours except zip lining. The lunch & massage by the waterfall was awesome, very romantic!
7. The staff was very accommodating, friendly, great service. Rooms were cleaned very fast, security was great. I felt like we never had to lock our doors because it was such a close group with the guests and staff
8. Great community - met a lot of other vegans that we will stay in touch with.
9. Originally our trip was supposed to take place in December 2012 but because spirit airlines sucks as mentioned earlier, we could not make it in December. I called Fateh the day we were supposed to arrive and she was so understanding. Instead of losing all of our money, she let us rebook our vacation for march. I was so grateful, any other hotel would probably made us pay a penalty or we would lose our deposit. It was so nice of her and Franco!
10. They provide unlimited bottled water
11 the fruit was delicious, mangos, bananas, pineapple, fresh everyday. They also served a fresh juice at every meal, delicious!
11. Very peaceful and relaxing. In the afternoons we just hung out at the hotel, read our books and relaxed. It was so peaceful and quiet. We sat on our Balcony or read by the waterfall. It was so nice!
Let me start my saying the negatives are specific to my trip and the positives 100% out weighed the negatives and we absolutely plan on returning.
1. I am a vegan because I eat Very healthy. I cook with no salt, no oil, no processed sugar, and only eat whole foods. And as you read above I have specific allergies too. The food was very tasty but not my type of cooking, it lacked the nutrients I needed. If i don't get the nutrients I need, i tend to get sick which has happened in over 1 year until now. During my visit, I suggested more green drinks, more kale but it was just not enough for me. The cooked food was also cooked in to much oil, I know because the water fountain was right in the lichen and often saw them cooking with vegetable oil. The food was delicious and my wife who is not vegan loved it, but for me it was tasty but lacking the nutrients I needed. I think the next time I go back, I would get the raw detox program so I can get my raw veggies.
2. Our suite was beautiful and I'm so happy we had it. However when I booked our room, we paid for the Jade suite and I thought our jacuzzi was supposed to be outside. I was confused for 1/2 the trip and then I asked one of the staff which room I was supposed to be in. They said your listed for jade but the room number is 4 so you have the butterfly suite. Anyway, it was still a nice room but confusing.
3. Jacuzzi was very comfortable in the room but we only used it once because when you turned on the jets, it made the whole room smell like sulfur. I think there water has a high sulfur content, that is probably why you need to drink the bottled water.
4. The 3 hour drive after 6 hours of flying seems and is very far! It's worth it though
5. My wife and I got the all inclusive 3 meals package. However we were still hungry between meals, so we needed to buy fruit and have snacks. Luckily I brought a bunch of snacks. The good thing was if you bought fruit, you could bring it to the kitchen for them to cut it and then you can store it in the fridge in the room. I wish they included fruit or snacks in between meals but I understand why they don't.
6. Out of the whole trip, everything was fantastic, this was the only thing that really annoyed me. So, because they are in the rainforest it's difficult for them to get some of the foods we have in the states so Fateh has the guests sometimes bring things for her. I brought about $55 worth of food for her, which I was 100% fine with doing until the lack of payment. Now this was weird, I already thought they were going to take the $55 off my bill but they didn't do that. Instead Franco offered that we call it even for 1 yoga class and our 2 lunches that we were talking to the airport. So lets do the math, $55 - $15 for yoga = $40. The lunch they provided was tasty but it was kale, carrots, tomatoes and salad dressing, not $40 worth of food. Next time I prefer to have the money.
7. No alcohol - I was surprised that they did not serve wine at dinner as an up charge. I was 100% expecting that, I'm not a big drinker but I know my wife would have bought some glasses. Instead some other guests bought wine at the local stores and the hotel provided glasses.
Overall it was a great trip! Great people, great sites, great weather and good vegan food. We will return in the future as there is so much to do in Costa Rica.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
April 18, 2013
It was a pleasure to have you and your wife here, and we hoped that by using many of your own recipes during your stay, you would feel you had a good nutritional balance, using only small amounts of the organic coconut oil that was used on your food, as given your situation, everything you ate was separately prepared for you, and another cook prepared for everyone else. We even had a big sign in the kitchen so no one would forget your many allergies. We all hoped you would be OK. Next time, please do take the detox package - as that gives you fresh Kale drinks during the day in additional to meals - but you could have asked for this at anytime.
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When we heard that you could not make your flight over Christmas because of an airline issue, we decided to give you the total deposit of $1,400 as credit. Not even 50%, like some others would do - the rest just give no refund with less than 24 hours cancellations, but we gave you the whole amount; even though our policy is no refund when you have to cancel the day you arrive as well - especially as no fault of our own. Christmas at the airport seemed like such a rotten deal, so we decided to give the gift. So when all of your allergies required so many special super foods - like Hemp Milk (that we prepared fresh practically every day), and Maca which were used exclusively for your smoothies, and you did not present me with a receipt for your personal extras, we thought you were just being understanding - we never imagined you were doing math, especially since we were not doing math :) So do please take that into consideration - AND we do appreciate the nice review!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.