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“Wildlife from our personal deck!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of La Cusinga Eco Lodge

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La Cusinga Eco Lodge
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200 south of km mark 166, Uvita, Costa Rica   |  
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15% off room rate
Ranked #4 of 11 Hotels in Uvita
Middle Haddam, Connecticut, United States
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Wildlife from our personal deck!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

We had our private viewing platform off our bed room deck: Howler Monkeys, White face Monkeys, a Tayra, many many types of birds. A large family of White Face Monkeys moved through the ravine off our deck about 30 feet away. I would get up early and sneak out of the room for the morning show.

The staff was wonderful. They couldn't have done more.

La Cusinga was the only place we stayed in CR where we were served a variety of Tico dishes. There were so many new flavors and combinations that each meal was an adventure. The food is not mass produced like in some of the bigger resorts.

The next time I go I would rent a car so I could drive to the local attractions.

This was a lucky find for us.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
Geinier, General Manager at La Cusinga Eco Lodge, responded to this review, March 18, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience during your stay. To be so close with nature, a true experience of nature where we can see the animals in their natural habitat, is what we are all about. To experience what we are as a culture, our traditions, our food, our people, our flora and fauna. To explore the trails, to explore the beaches, the national parks, the local towns. Thank you for your visit and we look forward to your next visit!
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349 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
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (34)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Tucson, Arizona
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

This is an exceptional lodge and I highly recommend it to anyone who is thinking of staying here.It is a small establishment run by a family who is very environmentally oriented, supports the local community and strives to ensure your stay here is thoroughly enjoyable. The staff are extremely friendly and helpful, speak English and the food is delicious. Rooms are individual casitas and there are also two "bunkhouse" type areas for a group of people that want to stay together. Everything is very clean and very maintained. There is a beautiful covered veranda from which you can enjoy the birds and see out into the ocean - gorgeous sunsets. The establishment has its own private beach, walking trails, and a freshwater relaxing pool. You will awake here to the amazing sounds of birds and howler monkies. I have stayed here 4 times and will continue to go back. They fill up very fast during the high season so be certain to make reservations early.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
Geinier, General Manager at La Cusinga Eco Lodge, responded to this review, March 18, 2013
Thank you for taking your time to share your experience, and thank you for getting what we are about. we are an ecolodge, and to get people to come back time after time is our best reward that we are doing things right! We try to do our best and to make you feel at home! Thank you for coming back! Pura Vida!
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Tel Aviv, Israel
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2013

We stayed at La Cusinga for 3 nights during our honeymoon in Costa Rica - and this was the worst place we've been to since we got to Costa Rica - especially compared to the price we payed ($140 per night) and the other reviews on TA which was the basis of choosing this Lodge.

We came to La Cusinga hoping for a nice room and facilities, and a place to relax and unwind - however, since we arrived, there have been multiple problems which completely ruined the experience for us.

When we arrived and saw the room (Gemela 1) it was small, musty smelling (even though it's the dry season), and the bathroom looked like it was 30 years old - yellow and worn out. We asked for another room with a more sensible bathroom, but they showed us an even smaller room without a ceiling fan (just a regular small fan on the wall) - so we said we'll stay at the first room they showed us.

In the morning, the toilet did not work and we had to waste time finding someone in reception and waiting for them to fix it (which they did) but it wasn't pleasant and wasted precious vacation time.

I asked if we can pay more and upgrade the room to the honeymoon suite , but the staff said it was already taken.

We spent the next day outside the hotel, but when we came back there was a complete blackout from 16:00-20:00. They had flashlights for some of the guests but not enough, so we only got a candle for our room. We tried driving to Uvita to eat dinner, but it was dark and raining and quite scary to drive so we went back to La Cusinga. They did manage to cook dinner which was very tasty, but the rest of the evening was passed in complete darkness.

The bed in the room was awful, and each small move made a great wood cracking sound which woke up my wife each time I moved.

The lighting in the room was horrific. The ceiling fan is hooked up below the main lighting, so when the fan is on, all you see in the room are light flickers every time the fan hides and unhides the lighting - when the lighting is set up like this it is really irritating.

You can see a short video of the room while the light and fan are on, to see what I mean , also you can see the horrific state of the bathroom - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzFyyA5SBsg

When coming back from the beach, which is quite a long walk in such a humid and hot place (about 15 minutes in the forest , with a lot of uneven and slippery stairs) the bathroom did not have hot water - and on top of that almost no water pressure. So we had to shower in cold water and barely enough water to take the sand off. My wife was not able to wash her hair, and I was not able to shave. When we asked the staff why there was no hot water - they said they are an Eco Lodge and only have solar powered hot water so if it's a cloudy day - no hot water. Now, I'm all for being Eco and using Solar power (where I come from it is mandatory to have solar power on all homes and buildings - but we also have the ability to heat the water using electricity). This just doesn't cut it - and I feel like I was fooled to choose this hotel - and the facilities are simply not good enough for what we payed.

In addition to the lack of hot water in some of the days we were there - the showerhead was installed extremely low (maybe 1.75 meters) which means you need to bend your knees to use the shower which is rediculous, and every time to take your hands up to soap, you hit the showerhead.

It's clear that no serious planning took place in designing the rooms, and no effort to keep them in good condition (especially the bathroom).

All that said - there are 2 good points there. The food was excellent and the view is amazing. But that was not enough to make our stay pleasant.

When we told the staff of our problems, they were nice, and tried to do their best - but could not find us a better room and were not able to offer us any real solutions to our issues. They did compensate us for all this by offerring a few free meals - but I still feel I was ripped off.

I will never return to La Cusinga, and I'm sorry I believed all the previous reviews in TA which led me there.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geinier, General Manager at La Cusinga Eco Lodge, responded to this review, March 14, 2013
Tom thank you for your review! We are not happy with it, but it is your right and we respect it 100%. I just wanted to take a few minutes to touch some points that you make here.

The time that you were with us, we had 5 days of constant rain winds and bad weather all together, which is not typical for this time of year. This caused for us to not have hot water, that the area from Dominical to Ballena had no electricity for one day. That driving at night was dark and wet. Our sewage systems filled up with water and had some issues. It was during the same time that in the USA cities were also I a standstill and airports closed, the same cold front affected us. This is to give you an idea of the situation.

The room: not sure where and how gave you an idea that it was larger room, all our rooms are similar, the one that has more space is the honeymoon suite. The room you were in did have a problem a few weeks earlier where the bottom part of the shower broke and had to be fixed, to do that we had to take 3 tiles out and replace them with new one (not the same color), as we are full we could not replace all of the tiles, this will be done in low season. We could not change you to another room as we had no other space available (only the single room, for one person) , we did try to compensate as much as we could with given you other additional benefits.

As we are in the middle of a rain forest and we are an Ecolodge that is focused on nature, hikes and nature activities we recommend in our web: What should I pack?
For your visit to the rainforest, we suggest that you bring the following:
-Lightweight, comfortable hiking or walking shoes (waterproof is preferable).
-Lightweight, casual clothing appropriate for hiking. Our dress code at the property is completely informal, so do not worry about bringing dinner jackets or formal apparel.
-Bring a couple of extra shirts as you will be sweating a lot on the hikes.
-Sunscreen, Insect repellent and a Flashlight. When possible, please pack only Panasonic batteries, as these are the only brand of batteries that are recycling in Costa Rica.
-Light raincoat when visiting us during the rainny months.
-If you love spot birds; please do not forget your binoculars.

We are very sorry that you had other expectations of our place, but to say that we are a “Total Ripoff “ is not true and this hurts not only me but all of our team, as we work hard to make this a great place to visit and be one with nature. We sale a product that is a niche, we are one of the few places where you can enjoy a National Park, see whales from your room, hike and encounter flora and fauna that are hard to see anywhere else, we have a trail that goes to the only beach where primary and secondary rainforest comes down to the beach, where you will not see a car, a house or a road. We are a private nature reserve.

But a fraud we are not. I think that some where you thought that we were a resort or more of a luxury hotel, and when you got here your expectations just were not fulfill. We are truly sorry for that, and we did try our hardest to make it right, but it was not sufficient. A one we will take, not a true reflection of us, but we will take it. But that you call us a fraud, that really hurts us as people and as a team that we are.

Again thank you for your feedback.
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Saint Paul, Minnesota
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

Lodgings were arranged by Sierra Club as part of a Costa Rican nature tour. The buildings were individual works of art, the setting was perfect and staff was great and had a good sense of humor. The owner believes he could make more money by expanding, but prefers a more ecological approach with low impact. Lots of wildlife right in the place and close to nice beach and trails.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
Geinier, General Manager at La Cusinga Eco Lodge, responded to this review, March 7, 2013
Our longest relationship is with Sierra Club, and we love having you visit us. As we know nature is what you look for. We have a good piece of land, and yes we can build hundreds of rooms. But 10 to 12 rooms will be our max (10 at this time) as we want to be part of nature and not just another typical hotel. Thank you for getting what we are about!
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San Diego, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2013

We stayed at 3 eco lodges while in Costa Rica for 2 weeks and loved them all. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at La Cusinga. Love the quiet ambience, a little opportunity for hiking, Arco beach is stunning and safe for swimming. It's a bit of a hike up and down but we enjoy the hiking. The natural pool for swimming is so refreshing, there were monkeys with us there one afternoon. The yoga platform was a great place for morning stretching and bird watching.
Saw 2 species of monkeys on the beach trail. We were able to take a morning excursion to Manuel Antonio park. Just an hours drive. It's a beautiful national park but over run by tourists so by getting there shortly after 7 we were able to enjoy the beautiful beaches and trails before the big crowds arrived. The staff at La Cusinga were delightful and very helpful. The food in the restaurant is good. The views from the rooms and viewpoint are spectacular. If a quiet stay near the ocean in a sustainable environment is what you are looking for then La Cusinga will not disappoint. We would definitely stay there again.

Room Tip: A couple we met were staying in one of the dorm rooms, 10 beds for 2 people. We were very glad that...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geinier, General Manager at La Cusinga Eco Lodge, responded to this review, March 7, 2013
Thank you for your review, your time means a lot to us! We are a family that since 1972 are protecting our place. So that is why we have a very solid wildlife, as we have alway try to life with nature and not next to it. Our fauna are not pets, they respect our space as we do respect them too. So a hike in our trails are full of nature and as you said better than other places that over crowded and over explored. Thank you for beign part of our family for a three days! And look forward to your return! Pura Vida!
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UK
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

La Cusinga is a wonderful place to stay. The setting is beautiful and the staff are all lovely. Their food is really nice also. They will happily make different food for your children if they are fussy eaters, as mine is. You can ask what the menu is for the days food and you can let them know a couple of hours before meal times whether you are having food at La Cusinga or eating out. There is free coffee all day and water and you can buy beer at meal times. I highly recommend La Cusinga to anyone wanting a beautiful place to stay. The view of the sea is wonderful.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
Geinier, General Manager at La Cusinga Eco Lodge, responded to this review, March 7, 2013
Thank you for your review! We are glad you had a good experience and that your kids liked our food. We are always open to cook what your children want to eat, as we know kids not always eat what the menu has. Hope to see you back soon!
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Oregon
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013

February 2013: Our tour group of 16 stayed at La Cusinga. Almost without exception, it was everyone's favorite lodging of the entire trip. There is something magical about the setting and the philosophy of this secluded lodge. The staff is outstanding in every way and the birds, wildlife, pacific coast and jungle scenery are constantly changing yet constantly beautiful. And the meals are delicious-- prepared carefully with the freshest ingredients. Thank you for the wonderful memories!

Room Tip: Take your earplugs if you are a light sleeper so the howler monkeys don't disturb your rest. Th...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geinier, General Manager at La Cusinga Eco Lodge, responded to this review, February 24, 2013
Glad that you liked our place, and that your group did too. Thank you so much for your review! We try always to be true to our way of living. We share the way we have lived for 40 plus years, where we are part of nature and because of that we respect and enjoy nature! Look forward to your next visit, and hope to get a review from the rest of your group :) Pura Vida!
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Additional Information about La Cusinga Eco Lodge

Address: 200 south of km mark 166, Uvita, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Uvita
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Uvita
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Uvita
#4 Romantic Hotel in Uvita
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hidden in the hilltops overlooking the pristine beaches of Costa Rica's still-virgin south pacific, where the ocean crashes into the jungle sits La Cusinga. Tucked away in a private reserve of over 600 acres, this rainforest lodge provides guests with sweeping ocean views, sandy beaches, natural pools, and the chance to experience the burgeoning forests and astonishing wildlife of the country's most famous ecosystem - OSA. The hotel offers ten rooms designed with sustainably-harvested wood and local materials to maximize comfort while minimizing impact on the environment. The open-air restaurant creates an ideal setting for couples and families alike to enjoy delicious tropical dishes made with fresh produce grown on our farm. In addition to the hundreds of acres of privately-owned primary and secondary forest, the lodge borders the Ballena Marine National Park, one of only two nationally-protected marine zones in the whole country. The lodge's genuine commitment to sustainable practices along with our first-hand experience in local and national conservation efforts enrich our guests' appreciation of these ecosystems and the importance of their continued preservation. This unique insight enhances the exploration of the natural surroundings while the beautiful location offers the tranquility of fresh ocean breezes and breathtaking sunsets that make for the perfect tropical escape. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
La Cusinga Eco Hotel Uvita
La Cusinga Eco Lodge Costa Rica/Uvita

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