My wife and I spent 6 nights (paid for 7 but missed one thanks to United Airlines) at Oxygen last month. Overall, the resort definitely lives up to its praise. It’s very secluded and has great views of the pacific from high above Marino Ballena. While the resort staff will set up transportation from any of the airports, we elected to rent our own car. In hindsight, renting a car was absolutely the best decision we made; we had the freedom to leave the resort on our own schedule whenever we wanted and without it we wouldn’t have experienced 10% of what we were able to do. Getting to Uvita from SJO is easy enough and the roads are completely fine. From there, Oxygen’s directions are spot on. They even installed a couple of signs on our last day there (which I think takes away from the novelty a little bit). You definitely need 4x4 to get to the resort.
The villas are fantastic. They are very unique and thought they’re made of glass, come with plenty of privacy. Even at capacity there is never more than 24 guests at Oxygen so if you’re looking for peace and quiet, this is your place. Yes there are some bugs but its Costa Rica…get over it. Geckos, toucans, and lizards are a very common sight around Oxygen as well.
Other than Marino Ballena and Manuel Antonio, we passed on a lot of the touristy stuff and instead explored the area on our own. Again, I highly recommend renting a car if you like the freedom to do your own thing like we do. The roads in Costa Rica are not nearly as bad as people say, but they’re not exactly great either. Street signs are non-existent and only the major highways are marked. I bought a Costa Rica SD card for $69 on Amazon and plugged it into my Garmin. If you don’t have one, I’d suggest adding a GPS to your rental. Armed with GPS, a map, and a little common sense you won’t have any problems getting around.
The food at Oxygen is really good, BUT it is definitely way overpriced. We had breakfast the first morning we were there and it was great, but it is essentially “Gallo Pinto” with eggs which is the staple Costa Rican breakfast. You can go to any of the local Sodas and eat the same thing but for a quarter of the cost, not to mention get a feel for the local culture. We did the surprise dinner twice. It was very good, but you’re missing out if you don’t venture out and try some of the local restaurants. Citrus & Exotica in Ojochal (south of Uvita) are excellent. The Roadhouse in Uvita is a fun place that has good food, live music, and is loaded with American expats. Bar Jolly Roger is another expat hotspot way up in the mountain off the main road headed to Dominical. We went up to check it out for sunset (great view of the Pacific) and wound up making friends and partying there for 7 hours. We had a blast and they have the best chicken wings on the planet. There are plenty of fun places like this around Oxygen so definitely get out and explore. We also made a day trip to Domincial and had lunch at Tortilla Flats. It’s nice beach town with a laid-back surfer vibe and there are lots of vendors along the beach who sell crafts and souvenirs.
Overall, Oxygen is great place to stay and the surrounding area is beautiful and a lot of fun. The staff at Oxygen is very friendly (Marco and Chuck are extremely helpful and knowledgeable).