It's not just a hotel - it's an adventure, it's a living zoo, it's your base to discover everything that this country has to offer. It is the exact opposite of your miserable every-day life. Get down here!
From the outset, this one was going to be different - the road ended and guests on the transfer mini-bus (which had already driven through an actual stream) disembarked and witnessed their luggage being carried on to the front of a speedboat. No pier. Wading ensued.
A short boat-ride later and you arrive into a beautiful emerald lagoon, where freshwater meets the sea and thankfully, your boat meets a pier. A short walk from the pier is the welcoming wooden lobby/restaurant/bar, as well as Coco - the resident dog. The next bit is important - rooms are up a VERY steep gradient and steps that are even steeper. If you are unfit, it's unlikely you are considering this trip anyway - but you really have to know whether you can do this.
The rooms have glorious high wooden ceilings that ensures no need for a/c - the fan and air circulation does the trick. Here's the really fun bit - no glass in the windows. Just (secure) mesh. So once dusk falls, you can hear the forest in surround sound. It is like camping - but in a hotel.
The setting of this place is truly stunning; lagoon, ocean, forest. The wildlife is endless. Toucans, bats, monkeys, bloody huge lizards, crocs (one in the waters of the hotel where you go canoeing and dock from the transfer..!), stunning birds of all varieties - one person is alleged to have seen over 80 species of animal/birds in one day here. The tours can be pre-booked and include snorkelling (take motion sickness pills for any trip that require a boat out) and day and night safaris. This is the one area of Costa Rica where the jaguar definitely roams - so you never know....
Monteverde and Arenal were great, but this was the wildlife and forest highlight of the trip - it surpassed those locations for beauty and variety. You can go into the forest, or into the little town (found some bars there) or take the trek to the beach past leaf-cutter ants and tarantulas, along with a wobbly bridge over the croc lagoon that looks straight out of an Indiana Jones movie.
The guy in charge, Brad, is great company and runs the business with not just the welfare of the guests front of mind, but also with a solid commitment to eco-tourism and his staff.
Food was good - they accommodated every dietary need (and our group had plenty) and the chef made himself available to talk about dishes. The food is served communally - guests swapped travel stories/plans and made decisions about the next day's activities. Cocktails from the bar were wonderfully refreshing. Again - no windows (or mesh) in this area - just spirited conversation, humidity (lots of that) alcohol if you wanted it - and mother nature. Appetisers were served ahead of dinner, tacos, guacamole, that sort of thing.
No TV in the comfortable rooms (thank goodness) and wifi is in communal parts only. One thing Brad could do is have wifi in the rooms, especially as the communal areas are so steep to get to. Wifi is great for planning, sorting out photos, putting up beautiful pictures of your holiday on to fb to annoy friends, that sort of thing. Having it in the rooms would help.
I hugely recommend this lodge-style hotel for its breathtaking location, great tours, and good service. It's a big operation and the owner has done a good t job building this up to what it is, so get on down there and experience the real Costa Rica.
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- Also Known As:
- Aguila De Osa Hotel Drake Bay
- Hotel Aguila De Osa
- Aguila De Osa Inn Costa Rica/Drake Bay