no value for money - terrible food and unconfortable hotel and unprofessional management
i arrived for lunch at the Esquinas lodge and it was my 4th trip in Costa Rica and i have been all over the country without any problem or any disappointment all these years. But i never see such lodge in Costa Rica at this level of price per night, being so rustic, so inconfortable and with such bad and cheap food. First, there is no choice and only one menu. So if you don't like chicken or fish : you have to eat it or stay hungry. I had a kind of "salad" with over-matured vegetables and it was more looking to a compote than a salad and i can't recognize what was inside, evn not any vegetable taste, then it was a chicken with red sauce : the chicken was overcooked and you can cut it with a fork, i just have a small portion and the taste was really awful like unfresh inappropriate meat for consomption and i was right as i spend 2 nights in an hotel after as i can't be too far from toilets. After so disappointing meal, i just told to the waitress politely that the food wasn't good and i was supposed to expect much better quality and fresh food for the price per night including food. And i saw many others reviews on different forums which confirms my opinion (see below). After F... , the manager, came to my table and ask me to leave the lodge : he was agressive, threatening me and coming very closed to me like 50 centimers and i had to put my hand in front like a fence to avoid any physical contact. He was speaking loudly in the restaurant and i said my opinion about the food was my true feeling and if somebody have to complain : its customers which aren't respected with such bad food and expensive rate. I will have done the same comment in any restaurant in the world and it wasn't personal. But i was impossible to have a normal discussion with him and i can't speak as he was alway speaking loudly and cutting my sentences. His wife was also agressive but she was speaking normally and was calm. I had booked this lodge for 4 nights and i had paid it - but he said i have to leave now or he called the police. I refused as i booked and paid the room and i don't have any other hotel in mind and i was looking only for a lodge with opportunities to see wildlife, not a city hotel. He also offer more money to me but i said i had enough money and he can't buy my departure. So after the police came, the discussion was difficult as they don't speak a good English, but i tried with my poor spanish to explain that there was reason for the manager to kick me away of the hotel just to have said the thruth : their food was cheap, with unfresh products and unacceptable. But the manager always invade the area to disturb the discussion with the police as the police don't have any reason to support the request of the manager : i was calm and polite and he can't control himself. I never see such bad education for a person in contact with tourists. He was angry because he don't support any critical about its food but i don't have any regreat as i knew later i was right and i have been very sick. He was always telling and repeting "i am the owner of the property and i have the right to refuse the access to any person".
So the situation was impossible to support as the manager was like an uncontroled man and it was impossible to say one word as he was speaking loudly all the time.
So i decide to leave and i booked online another hotel in the city in order to have time to find another wilderness lodge with civilized staff.
and he called a taxi and on the way, i start to feel the food was really inappropriate for health, and arriving at the other hotel i had to rush to the toilets without waiting the checkin process and my room. I have a witness and also i took a picture in case the manager will say i am lying. I didn't lie and this situation happened in Esquinas. I always eat very heathy fresh food and i am sensitive to abnormal bacterias contained in unfresh food. So i was right to say their food was disgusting as taste was completely abnormal for such products, but also biologically and it's why i was sick few hours later. So i obviously don't recommend that lodge and i am not the only one which had problems
So Esquinas has already bad reviews on Tripadvisor which confirmed my opinion
- Alohart wrote "they're running things as cheaply as possible. When you're paying this much money you should at least get a decent meal... not here. The portions are incredibly small and the food is unimaginative and tasteless. "
- Southbay wrote "Dinner did not include vegetables and the bartender was also the bird guide. While very congenial, he was not a true bird guide but was a decent bartender. "
- and Miriam14 wrote "We were really disappointed by the accommodation in this lodge. The room was small, with two single beds and a small shower room, very spartan. The swimming pool was dirty. There were some fabulous birds and agoutis to see, but otherwise the atmosphere was really depressing. The food was not well cooked, there was no choice, and I understand that it caters entirely for the German and Austrian market. We were the only British there, and when I asked for something in Spanish, they replied in German."
So i am not the only one which complains about lodging and food and fortunately i didn't have time to see the dirty pool and if the bird guide was also the bartender, may be the chef was also the gardener or the accountant. It can explain how bad was the food and the confort as Esquinas which spend the less money they can and invest the minimum to satisfy the customers.
I forget to describe my room : rough small beds and rustic decoration very far from what you can expect at this level of rate. Also before lunch, i wanted to book a birding tour for the afternoon and the lady told me there was only one guide for 35 guests, very far from the lodges in Osa Peninsula which were more confortable with many guides for various tours and excellent food.
Finally i left this horrible lodge for a perfect hotel in town - very confortable - good bathroom for one third of Esquinas rate !! And i had to stay there 2 nights as i was too weak and deshydrated to get out.
So i never see such bad lodge at such rate, such bad food and such unprofessionnal manager and i lost my time in Golfito which is not very interesting compared to Puerto Jimenez on the other side of the bay. I spent 4 lovely days at Lapa Rios lodge but there were many lodges around.