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Chilamate Rainforest Eco Retreat

Traveler (230)
Room & Suite (48)
Dining (12)
Certificate of Excellence

About

#1 of 11 B&Bs / Inns in Sarapiqui
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Chilamate Rainforest Eco Retreat is a Costa Rican Canadian family-run conservation and sustainable tourism project. Come and enjoy our beautiful cabins, rain forest trails, garden eatery and bar, gift shop with local artwork, and natural swimming hole right on the Sarapiqui River! Whether you want adventure, nature, relaxation, or an intimate experience in the community we will make sure you enjoy your visit in the rain forest!
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Property amenities
Free parking
Restaurant
Free Internet
Bar/Lounge
Breakfast included
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Multilingual Staff
Non-smoking hotel
Wheelchair access
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Room features
Family Rooms
Non-smoking rooms
Suites

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256Reviews
8Q+A
40Room tips
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Popular mentions
If you are looking for a place to get away, relax, and enjoy nature, I would highly recommend Chilamate Rainforest Eco Retreat. The owners Meghan and Davis are wonderful people. They will do everything possible to make your stay relaxing and enjoyable. The rooms are clean and
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Response from ChilamateRainforest, Propietario at Chilamate Rainforest Eco Retreat
Responded Jul 3, 2017
Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review! It is our amazing guests like you that give us the energy to continue in this life project! Pura Vida from all of us at Chilamate!!
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Our stay here was ruined by the arrival of about 25 appallingly behaved American schoolchildren who were badly supervised almost to the point of neglect. They were allowed to kick footballs into the wildlife habitats and trample the Dart frog's homes whilst making a huge noise
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Response from ChilamateRainforest, Propietario at Chilamate Rainforest Eco Retreat
Responded Jul 3, 2017
Saludos muy cordiales and thank you for your review. I am very sorry to hear that your stay with us was ruined. Please permit me to clarify, for the sake of our potential guests reading on this forum, in an effort to mitigate the negative perceptions that such a scalding review can generate, which can be detrimental to a small family run conservation project like ours. We definitely encourage, coordinate and host many educational programs throughout the year here at Chilamate Rainforest Eco Retreat as part of our effort to teach young people, local and international, about the significance of biodiversity loss and the importance of rainforest conservation and active leadership, given the critical state that our planet is in at this time. That said, probably about 85% of the year we do not have such groups staying here at the Retreat. When our guests book directly with us, we do our best to advise them ahead of time if there will be a student group here during their stay. When guests book through a third party, as in your case, it is much more difficult to do so, since we would not have any direct contact with you before your arrival. That said, I will take advantage of this moment to clarify, for the benefit of anyone considering coming to stay with us, that given that we have three young children of our own, and that we genuinely believe that educating todays young people about biodiversity and conservation is key to creating a just and sustainable world, we highly recommend that only child-tolerant (and hopefully child loving) people come and visit our Retreat. The group of young people that were staying with us during your stay are middle school students from the USA (we also receive Costa Rican, European and other young people from around the world). This was the first time they had ever been to the rainforest and the first time they had travelled without their parents. There were 22 young people, four faculty and 2 naturalist guides responsable for them, which is one adult for each 3-4 students. On top of that they had my husband and I responsable for them as well. To say that they were “badly supervised almost to the point of neglect” and “appallingly behaved” is a very harsh, rude and frankly not true statement. Before meals, we always advise our “ordinary” guests if the group will be eating and we invite them to serve themselves ahead of the school children, if they decide to stay to participate in meals. There is also a good local soda a few minutes walk from here and many good local restaurants a short drive away for guests who do not want to share mealtime with the young people. It is very rare that I miss a dinner service when we have a group here (or even when we only have “ordinary” guests) and I have never seen (nor would I tolerate) a student sticking their fingers into the food or queue jumping, and as I already mentioned, we always invite our “ordinary” guests to serve themselves before we let the youth go ahead. Also at no time did I witness anyone killing insects. Often we get young people (and even adults) who are a little bit out of their confort zone if they encounter insects or other creatures and we always take advantage of the moment to educate them about our delicate ecosystem. That is an integral part of our project, so I am quite taken aback by your comments. Yes all of our visitors are allowed to kick the soccer ball around on our playing field and yes sometimes they make noise (which we regulate strictly after 10pm). That is why we have our youth hostal area at the complete opposite side of the Retreat from the private rooms where you were staying. You also mentioned in your review, after stating all of that, “That the management, we learned, unbelievably, wants to encourage more of this.” I love taking the time to chat with our visitors since we are blessed to have amazing guests from all over the globe and I remember the conversation I had with you, while serving you a beer, that ultimately we want to move towards offering more educational programs and eventually move away from the bed & breakfast modality. I remember the odd look you gave me and I wish you would have challenged me or asked me at that point why on earth we would want to do that, instead of writing such a scathing review of our burgeoning family run conservation and sustainable tourism project. Since we did not have the opportunity to have that conversation, I will share here. As I mentioned earlier, education about the importance of rainforest conservation and the critical issue of biodiversity loss is one of the central reasons that we even exist and that we work, each day, creating and sharing Chilamate Rainforest Eco Retreat with all of our visitors. We have also learned that conservation projects tend to fail if they don't take into account the importance of including and benefiting the local community, which is the other central (albeit often behind the scenes) piece to our project. This particular student group, like almost all of them that we organize, worked hard to raise funds before coming on this trip, to support one of our local schools. This year alone we have had the honor of investing close to $10,000 between the different local schools that we support in the area, where we contribute to infrastructure projects like decent bathrooms, playgrounds, auditoriums, and libraries, amongst other initiatives. In our area, one of the most critical sections of the entire Mesoamerican biological Corridor, given the predominance of large scale monoculture crops like bananas and pineapple, good jobs that offer safety, dignity and decent working conditions are hard to come by and the majority of the population has very low income and resources. Rural schools also have a much harder time getting necessary resources that most often stay in the bigger city centers, so this support to our local schools has been very significant. This particular group, after spending 3 nights here, then went to stay at homestays with local families for 5 nights which is another way that these programs directly support the local families, offering them another important stream of income and education that has impacted positively hundreds of local families over the years. Our student groups also engage in off the beaten track activities that many ‘ordinary’ guests often do not, like cooking classes or cheese making classes at local farms, latin dance classes with local youth, organic farm tours and many other opportunities that we provide that offer incredible learning for our visitors and also provide great benefit to our local families. This kind of interaction and learning is what we want to encourage more of. I am glad you enjoyed your visits to the Organization for Tropical Studies’ Biological Station ‘la Selva’ but I am sorry you did not take advantage of the opportunity to take our courtesy walk in our private rainforest with our fabulous naturalist guide William. Since the students spend most of their waking hours busy (working at the school or doing cultural activities) and outside of the Retreat, I am sure you would have had a great time and seen the plethora of wildlife that call Chilamate Rainforest their home. I am also glad you liked Dave & Dave’s place, they are lovely people, but we don't tend to actively recommend that tour to our visitors given their strategy of using bird feeders to attract the birds which we have learned in our quest for a sustainable tourism, can have very detrimental effects on our natural and delicate tropical rainforest ecosystem. Thank you for staying with us and know that the best way to support our conservation project (permitting us to maintain and grow our tropical rainforest conservation area and benefit our local community so that they ultimately also protect instead of degrade the local ecosystems) is precisely by staying with us. Thanks for taking the time to write your review and thank you for permitting me the time to express my thoughts. We will continue to try and advise our ‘ordinary’ guests if there will be a student group here during their stay and please, if you are a potential guest, please feel free to inquire before making your reservation, so we can recommend an alternative date for you. But perhaps the best take away from this review, for those of you who have gotten this far is: ~ Please do not come to stay at Chilamate Rainforest Eco Retreat if you do not like children ~Please get in touch with us about good times to visit when you can pretty much have the Retreat to yourself if that is what you prefer! ~ Please take advantage of our deep connection with the local community and permit us to help you organize off the beaten track authentic tourism options that can be life changing for you and support our local community and ultimately support the sustainable conservation of critical rainforest areas such as ours ~ please do not feed the wildlife Gracias & Pura Vida, Meghan Casey, Owner and Administrator Chilamate Rainforest Eco Retreat
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Chilamate Rainforest Eco Retreat is a family run sustainable tourism project dedicated to rainforest conservation and contributing positively to the surrounding community. (note: I plagiarized that sentence but it's accurate nonetheless.) We got a recommendation to check this
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Response from ChilamateRainforest, Propietario at Chilamate Rainforest Eco Retreat
Responded Jul 3, 2017
Thank you so much for taking the time to write! Pura Vida from my family to yours!!
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On a most pleasurable split 17 day stay I was in private room #4 for 14 nights and #5 for 3 nights. The beyond basic bedrooms and bathrooms were large, well-maintained, well-insulated as I never had to turn on the fan, quite clean, and had ample storage shelving. Meghan, the
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Response from ChilamateRainforest, Propietario at Chilamate Rainforest Eco Retreat
Responded Jul 3, 2017
Thank you for sharing! We look forward to hosting you here again!! Pura Vida from all of us here at Chilamate Rainforest Eco Retreat....it took us a while to get used to you not being around :)
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When we arrived on the parking lot we were warmly greeted by the staff of the lodge, they took our luggage and brought them to our room with a golf cart ( the parking lot is about 200 meters from the logde ). The room is very nice and spacious, with a hammock and a seat to relax
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Response from ChilamateRainforest, Propietario at Chilamate Rainforest Eco Retreat
Responded Jul 3, 2017
Thank you so much for taking the time to write! Staying with us is by far the best way to help us continue to preserve and expand our private conservation area and to contribute to our local community, so thank you and pura vida!
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ALSO KNOWN AS
chilamate rainforest eco retreat hotel sarapiqui
LOCATION
Costa RicaProvince of HerediaSarapiqui
NUMBER OF ROOMS
8
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