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“Fantastic experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Copa de Arbol Beach and Rainforest Resort

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Copa de Arbol Beach and Rainforest Resort
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Drake Bay 60101, Costa Rica   |  
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Free Night Hike Adventure
Ranked #1 of 7 hotels in Drake Bay
San Francisco, California
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Fantastic experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2013

The four of us spent a week here, and had a completely wonderful time. Mike and Jay spent the last decade building this place with their friends, and it's not been open long, but runs very well. They have eight small, airy cabins and a central building that's primarily a front desk/open air lobby downstairs and a beautiful open air restaurant upstairs. All meals are here, and there isn't much choice, but everything we ate was either very good or really delicious - a lot of just-caught fish and fresh fruit. Plus freshly-baked breads and cookies. It's very much in the middle of nowhere, I can't say enough about the people - extremely friendly and helpful, with a vibe more like you're staying with some cousins you don't know well, rather than strangers. The cabins are maybe fifty yards up a slight hill from a magnificent cove with great swimming. Even though it hasn't been open long, it seems very well run and there were few glitches.

The area is spectacular, with monkeys and parrots and various other animals sharing the grounds with you. Four very minor suggestions/things to watch out for

- You're not supposed to wear shoes inside anywhere. I'd like to have benches or chairs by the restaurant entrance and maybe some other places, so people can put on or take off their shoes.

- Internet was slow and intermittent. Not their fault, but frustrating anyway.

- It'd be nice to have a small store, or at least a few shelves, where they could sell toiletries, maybe extra teeshirts or something. They were great about going into town to pick up stuff we'd forgotten, but a little store would be better.

- This place is a bit expensive. First trip to Costa Rica, so I don't know how it compares, but still, it felt like I couldn't recommend it to friends unless they're pretty well off.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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.
Mike M, Owner at Copa de Arbol Beach and Rainforest Resort, responded to this review, April 17, 2013
Hey Matt,
I hope all is well. Thanks for this informative review. Most of the staff at Copa De Arbol lives on site so a visit to Copa is a visit to our homes. We are more of a family than a staff and we couldn’t be more pleased than to have guests recognize our commitment to making those that visit feel like a part of the Copa De Arbol family. We always appreciate our long lost cousin’s feedback, and have already added the benches you suggested and the shop for basic items.
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142 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (62)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Boulder, co
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2013

For us, traveling from Colorado for a brief warm-water getaway, one of the best gauges for predicting the quality of our experience is how long it takes to feel really relaxed and ON VACATION. Copa de Arbol holds our personal record. We felt virtually instantly relaxed, and realized immediately that the effort spent getting there would be well worth it. Geographically isolated on a 70 acre parcel of jungle , some of which is primary growth, hence spectacular trees. Trails are fun, some challenging, well maintained and always rewarding, whether along the coast to isolated beaches or up into the hills. The beach in front of the resort is beautiful, easily accessible with warm, placid water. Seakayaking we found to be excellent.

OK- to the resort itself-just opened, and clearly dedicated to providing an outstanding experience for their guests. Their staff choices, from the "concierge" Keely, who greets you with a drink and a smile, to the wait staff , the bartender and overall administrative guy Francisco (special kudos for the Margs) to Mario, Kitchen manager, to the Chef Miguel, couldn't be better. The service was first class, always with a smile. The food was plentiful, incredibly fresh, and outstanding.

Accommodations-cabins are comfortable, as are the beds, roomy, and AIR CONDITIONED.

OK, we are raving. We are relatively well travelled, active folks who also like to be comfortable, well treated, well fed, with endless opportunity for self or organized exploration of a beautiful, remote and unspoiled part of Costa Rica.

Yay to the owners, who jumped through many hoops and work hard to create this "little piece of heaven." See you next year!

  • Stayed February 2013, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mike M, Owner at Copa de Arbol Beach and Rainforest Resort, responded to this review, April 17, 2013
Thanks for taking the time to share your experience at Copa De Arbol with others. The fact that we earned the number one spot on your relaxometer is a true compliment that we are very proud of and helps to confirm that our dream of creating a place to relax, unwind and enjoy the Osa Peninsula has come true.
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Spring Lake, New Jersey
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

Our family stayed at Copa de Arbol this past February and had such a wonderful experience. We were there with my parents and children. The staff there was very accommodating and friendly. The made sure we had everything we need to enjoy our stay. The grounds and beach are beautiful and very private. A true nature's delight. What I loved about Copa de Arbol was that you could be remote, but not have to give up every amenity that we are spoiled with. We had air conditioning and internet. The staff helped us coordinate all of our tours and were on hand at any time to help us with a boat ride to Drake Bay. The food was made fresh every meal and there was always a fresh catch of the day. The kids loved the cascading pool and hot tub! I would recommend this resort to anyone who is in love with nature and who truly wants a unique unforgettable experience.

  • Stayed February 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.
Mike M, Owner at Copa de Arbol Beach and Rainforest Resort, responded to this review, March 7, 2013
Hi Elphie & Enrique,

At Copa De Arbol, providing top-level comfort and service in a wilderness setting is our goal. We are glad you and your family enjoyed your stay here. We built the pool with families like yours in mind. It was great having 3 generations of positive, fun-loving people come together under one roof at Copa De Arbol. GO IRENE! (again)
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pa.
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

When we first arrived, was a bit nervous because my friend made the arrangements and it seemed a bit isolated BUT, not at all - it was beautiful. We rode in by boat as this is the only way to reach Copa. We were greeted by 5 strapping young men who helped us off the boat and onto the beach. We had a semi wet landing but no big deal Depends on the tide. Just wear water shoes and you will be fine. We met both Keely and Mike who own and run the facility. We were shown to our beautiful rooms - gorgeous wood en floors, high ceilings. The dining area is up a flight of steps, which is important to know if you have any physical issues. You must also take your shoes off when you climb the steps to the dining area. Take flip flops vs. tevas so you can just slide them on/off easily. For me it would have been another pair of shoes but well worth it for the ease vs. what I had. The food was great. The wait staff amazing. Keely was so kind and pleasant, warm and accommodating. We didn't see as much wildlife right on the property, which was a disappointment, but it's nature, so there is no telling where the birds or monkeys will land. We had been told the monkeys came right into the dining area at times, but not during the time we were there. The place is newly run, some small glitches but none that would have steered me away. I suggested to the management a few things like more shelves in the bathroom for your things, a wardrobe closet where you might want to hang things. Right now they have a shelf unit to pile your stuff on which is fine, but I like to hang some shirts. Again no big deal but I think they will have to feel the way a little bit. Overall beautiful, good food - oh - you need to enjoy boating because you must take a boat everywhere you go. One of the rides was about 45 minutes to Corcovado park. We also had a short ride to Rio Clero which was my favorite place to go. It was a gorgeous river, refreshing water compared to the ocean which was about 80 degrees or more. I love the warm water - made it easy to just walk in and swim in the beautiful cove at the hotel. There are some beach toys, paddle boards, etc to use. Must have beach shoes to walk to beach as it is very pebbly. If you go on an all day excursion, they provide you with packed lunches and fruit and good cookies. I hated to leave. Thanks for everything. Great spot. Just remember it is definitely on the isolated side and IMPORTANT - only place in the area with A/C which for me is a must.

Room Tip: we were in room 2 which was perfect and excellent if you want to be close to the beach but the place...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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.
Mike M, Owner at Copa de Arbol Beach and Rainforest Resort, responded to this review, March 7, 2013
Hi Bonnie,

The Osa Peninsula has much more to offer than Corcovado National Park and Isla Del Caño. I was originally drawn to this area born from the desire to get off the beaten path. Rio Claro is one of the area’s true gems that very few people visit. It was cool to see you guys get off the beaten path and take advantage of something that very few people ever do. Thanks for taking the time to share your experience at Copa De Arbol with others.
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Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013

I just love it! If you love the nature, want to runaway for and while and enjoy life, this is the right place where to do it!! In the middle of the Costa Rican jungle, can reach only by boat! There is no gym but you can have a nice walk or run on the trails.

Room Tip: Mango #2. Great view and confortable suite
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mike M, Owner at Copa de Arbol Beach and Rainforest Resort, responded to this review, March 7, 2013
Dear Xiomara,

We’re glad you enjoyed your stay here. We have plans to construct our spa/gym next season! Hope to see you and Joel back very soon.
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Centennial, Colorado
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2013

You arrive here by boat or small plane. It is remote and not a trip for those looking for glitz and action. I absolutely loved it. The food was wonderful, the staff were amazing and very anxious to provide for our every need. Traveled with son, wife, 2 1/2 year old granddaughter and another couple. We had the best time. I had a massage on the beach and it was a great experience. Highly recommend.

  • Stayed January 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mike M, Owner at Copa de Arbol Beach and Rainforest Resort, responded to this review, March 7, 2013
Hi Melanie,

We are honored that you and your extended family chose Copa De Arbol as the place to stay on the Osa Peninsula. It was a pleasure meeting all of you. I truly enjoyed Rich sharing the amazing photographs he took while here. After 20 years on the Osa Peninsula, it was like seeing things through a new set of eyes.
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Sebastopol, California
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

The amazing boat ride from Sierpe dock, through the Sierpe River estuary and into the ocean sets the right tone for arriving at this exceptional place. The dozen cabanas are sited right near the warm (85 degree F.) ocean, at the base of a hillside that offers a large tract of intact primary rainforest full of endemic and migratory birds, countless flowers that attract an unbelievable variety of hummingbird species, and a stream where several peccaries were rooting about the underbrush one morning.

Accommodations are lovely: local hardwood floors and interiors, a terrific shower with plenty of hot water, and endless bird calls and chirping cicadas. Only criticism would be that the beds were a bit too firm and the sheets a bit harsh on chigger bits I'd acquired elsewhere. Scarlet macaws' screeching around dawn might prevent sleeping in, but since wildlife tours all begin very early, that pre-dawn wakeup usually is for the best.

Food was consistently extremely good and well-prepared: wonderful choice of copious breakfast items, including a very hot fresh salsa that does wonders for any egg dish and really enhances traditional gallo pinto. Lunch and dinner were always copious and of the highest quality, including very good salads. The endless supply of the very freshest local fruits and home-baked cookies was hard to leave behind, as was the exceptional attention from restaurant manager Mario and from waiters Yvon and Leland. The fruit-based tropical cocktails were among the best I've tasted anywhere, anyplace. Be prepared for periodic visits of white-faced Capuchin monkeys into the open-air dining area, which nearly every guest found charming.

As an avid birder, the area around Copa may be the best place I'd ever visited. Between an absolutely unforgettable tours into the mangrove forests along the Sierpe River, an unguided coastal hike south toward Rio Claro, a tour to Sirena Station in Corcovado NP and some climbs up the hillside behind the resort, I spotted some 50 species of birds I'd never seen before, whether endemics I'd missed on previous trips to CR or migratory North American warblers spending winter in the tropics. A few, like the Cinnamon and White-winged becards, Yellow-billed cotinga, American pygmy kingfisher, Golden-naped woodpecker, Long-tailed woodcreeper, Bare-crowned antbird, Scrub greenlet, Blue dacnis, Long-billed starthroat and White-crested coquette hummingbirds were uncommon. Seeing a pair of Great black-hawks mating on a rock beside the turquoise ocean was a highlight, as were the many species of parakeets and parrots flying by in small flocks.

The mangrove trip, guided by Vincente was probably the most biologically intense, starting with considerable time spent at the base of high ocean rocks where boobies, magnificent frigatebirds and white ibises were nesting. Inside the Sierpe estuary we saw a large boa and a porcupine not very high up in the canopy, two 3-toed sloths calling to each other with the softest whistling sounds far above the water, scarlet macaw courting in a tree directly overhead, a large alligator and a caiman in the shallows.

Boat trip to Cano Island was also sensational, especially the numerous large pods of Spinner dolphins frolicking in the bow wake, flocks of brown and red-footed that settled on the water to catch fish missed by the dolphins, leaping eagle rays and a couple Olive Ridley sea turtles that we properly approached a crawl. As the only diver on what was primarily a snorkeling trip, I received exceptional attention from divemaster Mauricio during two 35-minutes dives where a handful of white-tipped reef sharks and some king angelfish were the highlight. Divers should be aware that, like HI, this is not a coral-rich site, and the nutrient-rich waters meant less visibility than in many tropical locations.

A hike from the beach to La Sirena ranger station was worthwhile, especially being able to get within 25' of an adult Baird's tapir and seeing bands of several monkey species, a 3-toed sloth and white-face coatimundi up in the canopy. The boat ride back let us see waterfalls, seabird rookeries and ocean caves of exceptional beauty.

Want to end this review with special thanks to facility manager, Johnny Ramirez, a terrific and caring young guy with a lovely little family. Johnny works awfully long days and goes way beyond the call of duty to ensure that every guest can fully enjoy their stay. He's also got a terrific eye for spotting and helping guests photograph birds.

In summary Copa de Arbol is pricey, but the exceptional quality of what they offer, along with the pristine remote setting, fully justifies the cost. Very glad we stayed a full week. Owner Mike Michaelsen deserves a lot of credit for creating such a unique and well-staffed place.

Room Tip: Choosing a cabana enough uphill for an ocean view, while not essential since every unit is close to...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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.
Mike M, Owner at Copa de Arbol Beach and Rainforest Resort, responded to this review, March 7, 2013
Wow Don. What can we say? When Copa De Arbol was just a dream, I would look forward to the day that we would begin to receive guests and start the process of sharing. What I didn’t realize was the sharing we would receive in return. Having guests visit that are as passionate and informed as you are is a reward that I could not have foreseen. It’s nice to see an area I’ve known for a long time through the eyes of people with such a wide variety of information and interests. Your passion for birding was quite contagious. Not a day goes by when we don’t learn something from our guests. Thank you Don from the Copa De Arbol Family!
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Additional Information about Copa de Arbol Beach and Rainforest Resort

Address: Drake Bay 60101, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Drake Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Drake Bay
#1 Family Hotel in Drake Bay
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Drake Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Copa de Arbol Beach and Rainforest Resort 3.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Copa De Arbol Beach and Rainforest Resort is an intimate, remote eco-conscious beachfront Drake Bay resort set among 70 acres of pristine rainforest reserve. Located in Southern Pacific Costa Rica on the Osa Peninsula, perfectly situated between Drake Bay and the Corcovado National Park ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Copa De Arbol Beach And Rainforest Resort Costa Rica/Drake Bay

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