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“Best value in the Osa Peninsula” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Finca Maresia

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Finca Maresia
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Camino a los Planes, Drake Bay, Costa Rica   |  
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Hotel amenities
Special Price
10% off room rate
Ranked #1 of 13 Drake Bay B&B and Inns
Ottawa, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Best value in the Osa Peninsula”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2012

We stayed here for 7 nights and loved it! Juan, the owner, is a fantastic host and chef! Juan is very attentive and makes sure that you are well organized and prepared for your daily adventures, and then you come home to an excellent meal, beautiful rooms and showers, and laundry service! We stayed in the cheap rooms for the first five days and then Juan upgraded us for free to a superior bungalow - both are excellent rooms and good value! The food was fantastic value and the drinks were cheap, which started the morning off right for a day of torrential rain and card-playing. A beautiful location in the hills overlooking the water and a short hike to the beach. Lots of little extras for the guests, like use of rubber boots, which is just an example of Juan's thoughtfulness and service.

  • Stayed December 2011, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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692 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (71)
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English first
Tamarac, Florida
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2012

My wife and I decided that we wanted to go to Costa Rica, and particularly to the Osa Peninsula. We went to Tripadvisor and found a jewel of a place in the Finca Maresia. As we went through the Finca's advertisement we became more and more excited. We booked the superior bungalow for eight nights, from November 17th to November 25th. Our plane reservations from Ft Lauderdale, Florida to Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose, Costa Rica, fell into place nicely, along with the internal flight on NatureAir from Tobias Bolanos Airport in San Jose to Drake Bay. Drake is on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and it is quite remote. The roads are not exactly "interstate" quality. A ten hour bus ride didn't appeal to us so we decided on a half hour flight to Drake and then a relatively short taxi ride from the airstrip to the Finca Maresia. Juan Azorin, our host, was most prompt with his response to our reservations, and he suggested the plane rather than the bus from San Jose. Now we had a little problem. The flight from Ft Lauderdale arrived in San Jose around noon time. The flight to Drake left at 8:30 in the morning. This meant a night to spend in San Jose. We did some research and also on the advice of Juan, booked a reservation at the Aranjuez Hotel in San Jose for the night of the 16th. We took off promptly from Ft Lauderdale on the morning of the 16th and arrived in San Jose after a smooth two and a half hour flight. We arranged to have Interbus taxi service bring us to the Aranjuez and the van was waiting for us at the airport. The Aranjuez was delightful and proved to be a good choice. Our fellow passenger on the flight from Florida told us..."If you're going to spend a night in San Jose, then you must go to the Tin Jo Restaurant. It was wonderful. From the first delicious Margarita to the Shrimp Pad and the Kung Pao Chicken, this was a restaurant well worth visiting. With Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Volcano, (They have a big dining room with a huge mural of the Arenal Volcano, which we'll check out on our next trip to Costa Rica), the place was a fitting start to our Costa Rican adventure. Unfortunately, we had to leave the Aranjuez before breakfast to make our flight to Drake, but we got a quick meal at Tobias Airport before our flight...We checked in with NatureAir and were informed that the water was too high at the river at Drake so the taxi wouldn't be able to drive across the river. Therefore, we would be flying to Palmar Sur, taking a van to Sierpe, on the Sierpe River, and then traveling by an outboard motor boat down the river and around on the coast to Drake Bay. Talk about an exciting boat ride, the crocodiles even came off the shore and into the water to greet us. The waves were considerable and when our boat operator cut through the rocks to get from the river to the ocean, woooeee. (But the local folks just dozed along.) We got to the beach at Drake Bay and rolled up our pants to stroll the fifteen or twenty feet from the boat to to the shore. We got our bags together and Franklin the taxi man was there to take us to the Finca Maresia. Twenty minutes later Juan greeted us and got us settled in our bungalow. We got bungalow number 1 and it was exactly like the picture except better! The first thing we did on that first afternoon at the Finca was to stretch out on the patio in those big hammocks...ahhhh! We unwound that first night and enjoyed our comfortable beds with mosquito netting conveniently placed. Since we were encouraged to bring "cash", the built in safe for which we had the only key was also conveniently placed. Juan served dinner every night at 7:30 and he asked us to to let him know if we would be at dinner. The breakfasts and the dinners were excellent, from fresh fruit and juice, to eggs and pancakes followed by the delectable Costa Rican coffee in the morning to one of Juan's sumptuous soups and a variety of dishes and marvelous deserts and of course Coffee in the evening. Juan suggested to us that we go across the back road to the Eco-Lodge and let Fernando and his wife fix us lunch each day. We did as he suggested and we were extremely pleased, not only with the food but with the delightful hospitality of Fernando. On our second night we took the nightly bug tour with Tracie, "The Bug Lady." These tours take place nightly from 7:30 to 10:00 pm. Tracie has been giving these tours for 17 years. You don't need insect repellent. Just bring good waterproof shoes and night light which includes a red light lens...and do not forget your camera. My wife took a fascinating couple of photos of my face with a scorpion spider walking across my forehead. The tour was marvelous and Tracie is so knowledgeable. Incidentally, I'm 70 and I walk 3 miles at sunrise every morning at home in south Florida. I asked Juan where to walk in the morning and he said walk into Drake Bay...a 2 kilometer trek. We were about twenty minutes from the Finca when I commented to my wife..."We ain't in Kansas no more...nor Florida." The hills were formidable and we loved it! Bahia Drake (or Drake Bay) is a friendly little village just off the beach. There are restaurants and shops and nice people...some from the U.S. and from Europe. Several days later we chose to take the tour to Corcovado National Park. Corcovado Park is located on the Osa Peninsula on Drake Bay and has been described as "one of the most biologically intense places on earth."This tour started with a motor boat ride from the beach at Drake Bay to a beach near the Ranger Station in Sienna at the southern end of the Osa peninsula. We disembarked and we hadn't even gotten off the beach when a Tapir appeared and calmly strolled down the beach. As we hiked through the jungle, Alberto, our guide, pointed to snakes in the trees and birds of all types and colors. When we got to the Ranger Station, I was a bit pooped so we sat around and checked out the various animals and birds and jungle stuff from a comfortable chair on the patio of the station. The hike back to the beach was made very interesting by our guide and we saw a whole lot of interesting flora and fauna. Corcovado Park was worth the visit. We did a lot of relaxing and reading at the Finca and, as I think back, the place was very relaxing. More than just relaxing...it was fun just being there and hanging out on the patio in a hammock with a good book. Anyway, when it was time to leave, since the river had receded, Franklin drove us right across the middle of the river and to the Drake Bay air strip, where we waited for our plane. Once again, NatureAir came through with a splendid ride back to Tobias Airport in San Jose. We had made reservations with InterBus to take us to Juan Santamaria, but they didn't wait. Their driver had talked us in to paying in advance and then, because the flight was late arriving, they just took off. DON'T USE INTERBUS. There are plenty of legitimate taxi companies in Costa Rica. The Spirit flight back to Ft Lauderdale took off promptly at 2:30 in the morning, as scheduled. The flight back was uneventful. All in all, I would recommend the Finca Maresia highly. As I said previously, it is a jewel of a hotel.
Room Tip: Don't take anything but the SUPERIOR bungalow. You cannot beat the value.

  • Stayed November 2011, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2012

This hotel was by far the best stay of our 3 week tour around the country. Our bungalow was clean and modern with an awesome shower! We woke up in the morning to toucans, scarlet macaws and howler monkeys. The meals were incredible, drinks were cheap and the atmosphere just awesome. Juan went out of his way to make our stay comfortable even lending us rubber boots! Just amazing I can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed December 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Hemmingford, Quebec, Canada
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2011

Excellent all the way! Thanks to Juan for taking so good care of us, helping us planning the excursions, the travelling before and after our arrival, making sure everything is OK.
All the excursions we did were GREAT, loved the night tour that we did around the lodge (no need to get to the village), the guide knew his stuff, we took great pictures of frogs, snake, spiders, etc. ALso, if you like horses and walking, don't miss the excursion with Oldemar (looks like Charles Bronson!). Also don't miss the visit to Sirena Station in Corcovado Park (you get there by boat). We had Roy for the guide, passionate and really wants you to see the fauna. At the lodge, food was excellent, 4 courses, the room confortable, quiet area, about 1 or 2km from the village of Drake Bay, easy to walk if you don't have a car (we did not). One guy recommanded by Juan makes the taxi if you want to come back at night. Absolutly no bad comments. Oh! Before i forget! There is a small bar/resto in Drake Bay called Gringo Curt, we ate the best fish cooked in banana leaf on the BBQ, for a decent price. Ask Curt to show you his pictures on his computer, he has incredibule photos of Corcovado Park since he volonteered there for 7months to clean the trails. What else to say... If you don,t have a car, it's nice to arrive with the taxi boat from Sierpe, you will get a bit wet for the landing, but nice ride!

  • Stayed November 2011, 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.
Veldhoven, The Netherlands
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2011

Finca Maresia is located beautiful on the top of a Hill in drake bay. I stayed for 3 nights in one of the rooms for a very affordable price. Although I have seen quite à few excellent lodges in Costa Rica, Finca Maresia has something special which I think has everything to do with the owner and host: Juan. He has very own and unique style which gives him à difficult to describe sort of likeability. Juan also cooks excellent meals in the evening where the dinnertable serves as an perfect meetingplace to exchange stories with other travelers.
Don't go to drake bay if you don't understand that à rainforrest sometimes (or often) means rain or when you freak out when bitten by an insect. Otherwise go there and Finca Maresia is the place to go and be enchanted by Juan 's personality.

To end à litlle challenge as bonus:-)
There are 2 big (huge?) cats on the property: 10 kg or more. When I left Juan told me I was the first person to charm the male cat in the sense that the he voluntarenly came to visit my lap (which is ofcourse good for my reputation as à 'catman') So... although both cats play à little hard to get... give them attention and fondle with gentle and well dosed strokes and the cats will fall for you ;-)

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2011

we stayed 4 nights in a superior bungalow with our 2 year old boy. this was the best experience we had during our 3 week stay in CR. Juan the owner had arranged special kidfreindly safety rails for the bungalow terrace and made special early dinners for our boy. Very nice food, fair prices for rooms and food, and a good base for trips into the jungle. We went horsebackriding in the jungle and enjoyed the desserted beaches down the coast. Shure it can rain in the rain forrest but thats part of the experience and luckily you can borrow boots from Juan. The location is perfect if you want to experience the forrest, see that birds and hear the monkeys. If you want to have ocean views other places will suit you better. A place I can definitely recommend.

  • Stayed November 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
nairobi
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2011

Unfortunately I couldn't stay here as it is so popular it is permanently booked up! Note to any readers - book well in advance! I stayed next door but was fortunate to be able to use the facilities here too. The cabins look lovely, the food excellent and it is simply not possible to get better service, advice and support than is provided by the management here.
This place is ranked first in the area for a reason, and utterly deserves that spot!

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 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 Finca Maresia

Address: Camino a los Planes, Drake Bay, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Drake Bay
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 13 B&Bs / Inns in Drake Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 7
Also Known As:
Finca Maresia Hotel Drake Bay
Finca Maresia Costa Rica/Drake Bay

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