I am writing this review on the last day of our 9-night honeymoon at Oxygen, from the porch of villa #3 while looking over the ocean and watching birds and animals in the jungle - I just heard a howler monkey in the distance. In short, the reviews that you may have already read on TripAdvisor about Oxygen Jungle Villa's wonderful staff, excellent service, beautiful setting, extraordinary four course dinners, and gorgeous bali-style grounds and modern glass villas are all accurate. I have travelled extensively, and have been fortunate to stay at some of the most highly regarded / rated properties in the world (i.e. one of my favorites is Singita Game Reserve in South Africa). Oxygen Jungle Villas is now near the top of my list.
Before booking at Oxygen, I had looked at some other resorts in Costa Rica. On-line one looked like it was in a remote jungle setting overlooking the ocean. Then after getting to Costa Rica we saw it when going to Manuel Antonio National Park - it was surrounded by other resorts and tourist-trap restaurants and shops. In contrast, Oxygen is in a very private setting truly surrounded by jungle. This may not be the ideal location for everyone, though. If you prefer to have American style bars and restaurants within walking distance of a hotel, want a vibrant night life, and want to be surrounded by people then you probably wouldn't enjoy Oxygen. This is an intimate, romantic, and peaceful resort.
One of the things that we really liked is the front porch of our villa with the oversized outdoor sofa (big enough for two reclining). It was a great private place to read, nap, enjoy coffee, or have champagne. When we wanted to be more social, we could walk about 25 yards to the pool area, where staff bring you water and offer drinks and you may meet and talk with other guests.
The short hike to the waterfall on the Oxygen property shouldn't be missed. You may see howler monkeys or coati along the way.
A trip to Oxygen can be a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. Staff had excellent recommendations for tours and activities which they coordinated for us. Our favorite was a full-day trip to Corcovado National Park. After driving about an hour south to the tour company's location, you board a small boat which takes you down a river for a half hour or so, then you go out into the ocean for another 45 minutes or so, until you arrive at a ranger station only accessible by boat. From there we hiked with a naturalist for a few hours who pointed out howler monkeys, spider monkeys, an agouti (sp?), an ant eater, a variety of birds, a non-venomous snake, a poison dart frog, tracks of a Tapir, and much more. On our way back, when we got to the river we saw about a 10-ft crocodile, and the guide gave us a very informative tour of the mangroves and discussed these trees' fascinating mammalian-style method of reproducing.
Other activities we particularly enjoyed were a non-guided hike of Manuel Antonio National Park which was teeming with wildlife, a zip-line tour in Dominical at Hacienda Baru that included a surprising level of naturalist information not just the thrill of the ziplines (we learned all about leaf-cutter ants, saw two-toed and three toed sloths, etc.), and an ATV tour around the hills of Uvita that are inaccessible by car.
We come from a very food-focused city (Portland, Oregon) and eat at high quality restaurants probably far too much. I know that everyone has talked about how wonderful Oxygen's dinners are - but we couldn't agree more. The chef's meals rival the best in our city. I suspect it may be the best food in C.R.
One last thing. This is the rainy season in Costa Rica. While this may put some people off, we don't think it impacted our stay much. The mornings and most of the afternoons were rain-free allowing us to enjoy our adventures out, but come late afternoon (early afternoon on two days) we had rain (sometimes torrential). Yet, once the rain began we would enjoy time out on our covered deck reading and listening to the jungle sounds. Dining at Oxygen is outdoors, but under a covered area so it isn't an issue to enjoy dining al fresco despite the rain.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Oxygen Jungle Villas is a small-scale and exclusive Balinese style boutique hotel. Located in Uvita, in the middle of the Costa Ballena, Costa Rica’s South Pacific hotspot. We guarantee individual and personalized service and a maximum of 24 guests (adults only) at all times, staying in one of the only 12 one-bedroom villas on the Oxygen estate. All this only minutes from some of the most pristine beaches in the world and centrally located between Costa Rica's most beautiful National Parks. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Oxygen Jungle Villas Hotel Uvita
- Oxygen Jungle Villas Costa Rica/Uvita