After five amazing days, we’d give Aguila de Osa Inn the highest marks. Five stars! Closeness to nature, food, ambience, activities, friendly and personal service and especially the other guests made this a super-memorable stay.
This hotel made us feel at home right away. The manager Olman talked us through the basics in a clear and open way. We took advantage of almost all the included items (meals, kayaks, coffee, filtered water) and several of the extras (bird walks, horseback riding, mangrove tour).
Arriving at Aguila de Osa was a bit of an adventure. The 4-wheel drive vehicle had to ford a river to reach the town of Drake Bay and from there we were picked up by boat for a short ride to the hotel. Drake Bay immediately felt like one of the more wild and unspoiled places we’d been, even before we learned of the crocodiles that inhabit the river mouth outside the hotel!
The lush tropical jungle surrounding the hotel was perhaps the strongest argument for staying here. The landscaping with native plants made it easy to observe birds (including toucans, scarlet macaws and beautiful hummingbirds), butterflies and lizards from the veranda outside our rooms. All rooms had a view of the ocean from rocking chairs on the veranda and some had hammocks. Walking up the steep hill to the rooms was an adventure at all times. People saw frogs and lizards on a regular basis.
Our walk to the beach on day one was another great adventure. Coco the dog followed her instincts and “herded” us pleasantly to our rooms and then to the beach, a 15- to 20-minute hike on a well-trodden path through some amazing jungle. The kids loved this.
The staff was personable and highly interactive. Ian lent me a pillow for my back during dinner. Gabrielle and Claudio learned our names and remembered how many of us were vegetarians. Dennis took my daughter and me kayaking and showed both of my daughters a sleeping sloth and two floating crocodiles. Fortunately, they showed no interest in eating us. Tony led a great tour to Corcovado National Park. He showed us lots of wildlife.
We can’t say enough about Carlos Gonzalez, our bird and wildlife guide. His card says “The Bird Watching Pro” – true! Between us, my daughter and I took three bird walks with Carlos and we wound up seeing dozens of species. Our family also took the 5-hour “mangrove tour” with Carlos and boat pilot Dennis and we saw many birds and animals including monkeys (3 species!), snakes and a cayman. Carlos knows where the nests are and we caught (and photographed) macaws and toucans in their nests. Spectacular.
Food and drinks at Aguila de Osa were incredibly good. Food was almost gourmet quality with several options for each meal. Be aware that the chef is happy to make rice & beans or pasta (fruit on the side) as an alternative to the main courses. One of our kids took full advantage. The drinks were not included in our package so we quickly ran up a bill on cokes and mango smoothies as well as beer and Pina Coladas for Dad. Laundry was not included but very reasonable at $12 for a 10-pound load.
This is a wilderness location so be prepared for the humidity and pests. Also be prepared for 5:15am wakeups by the birds – no panes in the windows. The flip side was that we saw amazing wildlife incredibly close to the hotel all the time.
We got to spend some pleasant and informative time with Brad, the American-born owner of Aguila de Osa Inn. We learned about the history of the hotel. We really enjoyed that. The Inn is a labor of love for Brad and his affection for the staff and the area is infectious.
Above and beyond the amenities, what really made this hotel a special experience for us was the other guests. We made some new friends and benefited over and over from having wise and pleasant companions at meals and on our excursions. Our kids (11 and 9) were the only kids at the Inn and they always felt comfortable, largely due to the kind attention of the staff and the other guests.