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“Paradise” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Aguila de Osa Inn

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Aguila de Osa Inn
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Drake Bay, Costa Rica   |  
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Hotel amenities
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free night with meals!!
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Drake Bay
Tampa, Florida
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012 via mobile

Set on the Drake Bay and accessible only by boat, the Aguila de Osa Inn is set in paradise. The inn is an ecolodge with screens (no windows), perfect for hearing the amazing wildlife and waves from the sea. The communal and restaurant area is open air with breath taking views. No televisions, and WIFI only in the communal area. All resort guests ate dinner together (no tables for 2) and it was perfect to become better acquainted with other travelers, plan for the following day's activities and just meet new and interesting people. The owner sat with us for dinner and we toasted to his 20th Anniversary. The tours from the inn were led by excellent guides. Each evening your plans for the following day were confirmed and there was great flexibility to change should you decide some other activity was more fitting. The rooms were comfortable and what you would expect or better from an ecolodge. The ability to head out on a kayak to explore the river and Bay was a great addition. The food was delicious and they were able to accommodate each guests likes, dislikes, allergies, etc. While other areas of Costa Rica are beautiful, Drake Bay and the Osa Peninsula were by far the most amazing and a true taste of paradise and Aguila de Osa Inn is the perfect place to stay while there. But please note, if you are not active and cannot climb steep inclines this is not the place for you.

Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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279 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
    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 (71)
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English first
London
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2012

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.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2012

This was indeed a perfect vacation, a special one for us celebrating our 45th wedding anniversary. We flew into Drake Bay on a lovely clear day, enjoyed the quick boat trip over (water shoes or sandals are recommended as your feet will get wet), and were happily greeted with a cocktail and orientation before going to our gorgeous room, a suite. Lunch was fabulous, as was all of the food we had in the five days we were there, and it set the tone for the vacation. All the guests, from all over the world, were congenial, interesting, and shared a respect for the environment, so it was fun to join them for meals and tours. We still had plenty of time on our own to kayak, hike in the area, and lounge around. We did the night bug tour, which was well worth it, as well as the bird walk one afternoon. Our big tours were Sirena Station and the mangrove tour and both were great and we would highly recommend them. We were thrilled that there were no mosquitoes, but the staff members told us the bats take care of them. There are screens but no windows, which assures that you hear the wonderful noises of nature, including nearby howler monkeys as well as birds. Best of all, the staff members were perfect-- friendly, gracious, and so professional. We had perfect weather the whole time we were there, with just a little rain, always at night.

  • Stayed December 2012, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kamloops, Canada
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2012

My wife and I spent 4 nights at the end of our 2 week Costa Rican honeymoon at Aguila de Osa. First off, we had booked our stay here close to a year in advance and Gilbert in reservations was extremely helpful with any questions I had, and also provided pictures of rooms, etc. We traveled in early-mid December, and had excellent weather while we were there with only a couple hours of rain on our final day. We had a package which included 2 tours, Cano island and Corcovado park tour (San Pedrillo station). They are very flexible in allowing you to change tours and just pay the difference. We upgraded to the Sirena station park tour which I think was a great call, as we were lucky enough to see a tapir within 10 minutes of getting off the boat. The other tour we did was the mangrove tour which was also great, although we saw similar animals to our tour through the canals of Tortuguero. For both tours we had Carlos for our guide who could not have been better. His excitement and enthusiasm for nature, and his great personality made the experience incredibly memorable.
Now on to the hotel itself. When pulling up to the hotel for the first time, one cannot help to be overcome with goosebumps. It is breathtaking - located in the bay adjacent a beautiful serene river. We were warmly welcomed by the staff, and given a quick orientation and a welcome smoothy. I cannot say enough about the staff at this place. I cannot remember all their names, but all of them are incredibly friendly and helpful. They seem to really enjoy their jobs and want you to have a great time. I never got any impression about tipping as the previous review mentioned. We were told at the beginning that we could leave a tip at the end of our trip, and if we wanted a certain person to have the tip to write it down specifically, otherwise the tips are split amongst the staff. After that, the word "tip" was not mentioned again. After the orientation they provide a nice, fresh lunch and show you to your rooms. Like previous posts have mentioned there is a climb to your rooms which is fairly steep, but we found it fine. Certainly you don't want to keep forgetting things in your room, but we didn't find it was a big deal. We had the Junior Suite near the top of the hill and loved it. It seemed very private, with it's own private deck with stunning views of lush gardens and the bay. The bed was comfortable, although I found it quite hot at night. The fan is not centered over the bed, so my half did not get much of a breeze. The only complaint about the room was that the bathroom could use some updating, and we did have quite a few ants in there. Otherwise, no bugs to speak of in the room, which is amazing considering where you are.
Every evening appetizers are served at 6pm which were much better than I expected. The fresh ceviche was amazing, as were the other things they cooked up (skewered meats, dips, etc). Meals every night consisted of fish caught earlier that day and another meat. All were 3 courses and every meal we had was amazing. We stayed at 3 other hotels on our trip (two 5 star hotels), and this was by far the best food we had. Chef Dixon was awesome. If you like fish, order it every meal - you will not be disappointed.
Kayaks can be taken up the river which is amazing. I truthfully cannot think of a more beautiful environment to kayak. Monkey were seen each time we went out, along with birds, and jesus christ lizards running on water right in front of us.
We could not be happier with our stay at Aguila de Osa. I hope one day we can revisit this amazing place. The whole Osa peninsula is a pretty amazing place.
If you're considering staying here - DO IT!

Room Tip: The junior suite and master suite are the most private. They are a longer walk to get to, but in my...
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  • Stayed December 2012, 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.
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2012

My husband I recently spent four nights at Aguila and loved every minute. We stayed in room 11 which I highly recommend as we had a great view of the rainforest and some water as well as lots of privacy and a great deck. The property is wonderful, they have a large open area where meals are served that leads to the dock. You have a great view of the water and Drake Bay. The only thing that surprised me as it was not quite as remote as I expected. They are quite a few other small hotels in the area and when we went to Sirena Station there were quite a few other people there (maybe 40). This is not a ton of people but more than we expected. We kayaked, hiked to Cocolito beach, went to the Sirena Ranger Station, snorkeled near Cano and went on the mangrove tour. We saw tons of monkeys, crocs, macaws, sloths, among others. The staff is incredibly helpful, warm and accommodating. The food is great and snacks are also around. My one suggestion is if you take the Cano snorkel trip take dramamine first, the water is ROUGH. I would not suggest Aguila for those who want 5 star luxury as there is no a/c and you do have to walk up fairly steep hill, but for those who want something off the beaten path this is it. It is very comfortable, the food and service are great and you definitely feel like you are getting away.

Room Tip: We had room 11 which was great as it was more private. Rooms 1-8 are much less private. To get to ro...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LA
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2012

I spend a few days last April at the wonderful Aguila De Osa Inn. I can't say enough good things about the place... the property..the rooms.. the nature surrounding it... just in awe. You want to truely see the rainforest and get off the beaten path, drake bay is the place to be. The food was amazing... thanks to the super talented dixon.. carlos was so funny.. and showed us lots on the night tour.. my mother really enjoyed that part since it wasnt very physically exerting (not like walking up to the rooms!!..) My complaints are few but they had me feeling uneasy. Luis was great! He was a bartender. but he seemed to want more tips.. but no big deal. I once worked in a bar and always wanted more tips! but Manager Olmend, i felt that what i gave and did were not good enough. Olmend struck me as a snake... always wanting more and he seemed to want things paid in cash.. is that because he is pocketing the money? Like how they seem to keep credit card tips? I was informed by a few staff that if tips are left on credit cards, they will not be received and pocketed by Olmend. For someone working as the manager at an expensive hotel such as Aguila, he should not be annoyed when the customers have questions/complaints, he should not try to guilt them into spending more money or giving more of a tip or suggesting we tip him for his "services" as a manager. I would not trust Olman, he is for sure the type of person you encounter while traveling that is going to swindle and take everything you have. To the owner: Beware... something is not right

Other then that complaint.. Drake and the hotel were beautiful. Go snorkeling at the island! and spend a day at san jose beach. And between the two park trips.. get tony as your guide. We chose San Pedro where there was a waterfall. So many moneys!!

Just beware of your money and olmend!

Room Tip: all have hammocks and great views!
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 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
    • 4 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.
culater33, Owner at Aguila de Osa Inn, responded to this review, December 29, 2012
Hi Janet,

My name is Bradd Johnson and I am the owner of Aguila de Osa Inn. I was checking Tripadvisor as I do from time to time to see how my customers are experiencing the hotel and our tours, and I wanted to address your review. Tripadvisor is a very powerful tool that allows me to see how we are performing, and it is helpful because, from these comments, we can make adjustments in our level of service to our guests. My hope is that we are constantly improving and offering a better vacation to you as we learn more about your experiences here. We are not perfect, so hearing your criticism helps us find our flaws, and I would like to thank you (along with everyone else) for your comments – the good and the bad – on my hotel and our tours.

This is the first time I’ve commented on Tripadvisor because I feel that this is a severe accusation, and as you said, “owner beware.” I would like first of all to apologize that you felt the way you did about Olman, my general manager, and from what I understand this may be in part due to what one of my employees said about tips. We did have an issue a year or so ago where guests told our staff that they would leave them tips but never specified a certain person. In this case the tips are split equally between general staff. When this first became a problem I sat down with my staff to come up with a system that everyone feels comfortable with. I’ve since set up their own bank account designated to tips, and I am the only one who has access to it. Upon checkout, our guests who want to leave a tip will be told that they need to swipe their credit card again to access the tip account for the hotel. When they receive the printout, we write on that slip the specific department or people to allocate the tips to, and this has worked perfectly for us.

I just don’t understand why one of my employees would have said this, and to think that one of my employees thinks there is stealing is a shame. I’ve sat down with my staff again this week to explain how tips are split and what happens when they are put on the credit card. As for the part about Olman, my general manager, I again apologize that you had that feeling about him. I’ve known him for 18 years and have the highest respect for him as an employee, a person, and as a friend. He has made my life and my business better and my eyes are wide open to what is going on here at my hotel. I apologize that one employee might have swayed you to see him in a different way, but I am very confident that I can trust him as a part of my hotel’s management.
Thank you again for your comment, and I hope that we will see you again here at Aguila de Osa.

Happy Holidays!
Bradd Johnson,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangkok, Thailand
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2012

I had a really good time at the Aguila de Osa this year over Thanksgiving. I spent 3 nights and wish I could have stayed longer. The food was phenomenal and the staff was incredibly pleasant and polite. Besides just relaxing or using the kayak, really enjoyed sitting on the chair in front of my room overlooking the bay.

Considering I'm far from home, I really appreciated that they took Thanksgiving seriously. Besides a terrific turkey, we had fresh yellow fin tuna sashimi which was out of this world.

Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Aguila de Osa Inn

Address: Drake Bay, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Drake Bay
Amenities:
Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Drake Bay
#3 Family Hotel in Drake Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Aguila de Osa Inn 3.5*
Number of rooms: 13
Reservation Options:
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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

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