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“Great times”
Review of Rancho Margot

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Rancho Margot
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed March 26, 2013

We spent 3 nights at Rancho Margot and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
By far the most interesting activity we did was the ranch tour, which was included in the price of our bungalow (normally $20). Guided by Edgar who was extremely knowledgable we explored the various self-sustainable aspects of the ranch including the biogas collector and manure water heater (doesn't smell!), and we seemed to stop every 10 yards to eat or smell something different from the garden. Good fun.
We also took a 3hr horse ride with Aurelio to a look-out point over Lake Arenal and Arenal Volcano (we saw probably 4/5ths of it which apparently is not bad going!). Aurelio made me feel completely comfortable on the well trained horses and was great at pointing out plenty of wildlife along the way (howler and spider monkeys and many birds as well as a dead armadillo).
We were collected from and taken back to La Fortuna and driven to the local Sky Trek canopy tour (at no extra charge) by Fernando the ranch driver who was a lot of fun and very welcoming.
The food at the ranch is fantastic - 90% of it comes from the ranch itself and everyone eats buffet style in the same area - the guests, ranch workers and the volunteers. This can make for a slightly strange dynamic at times, but actually it was fine - everyone was extremely friendly and the dogs including two retriever puppies were great fun. We were very glad to be able to share a beer with Edgar, Aurelio and Fernando on our last night.
We would recommend this highly.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank DaveA83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Travis D, Manager at Rancho Margot, responded to this reviewResponded April 2, 2013

Thank you for your visit to Rancho Margot! We're so delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay and to know that you returned home safely. ¡Pura Vida!

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178 - 184 of 317 reviews

Reviewed March 24, 2013

We recently spent one night at Rancho Margot. Had no reservation – were just following our noses – taken in by the signs we saw – wood fired pizza – organic gardening – sustainable ranch. Had to find out what this was all about. We turned off what we thought was another dirt/stony road and realized when it ended at Rancho Margot that this was the entryway into the ranch. Knowing that we would never make it home by dark we asked if they had rooms and they did: a delightful free standing bungalow up a short but steep hill. We are getting accustomed to that in Costa Rica.

Our entire stay was a delight. We arrived just in time for yoga class – excellent wind down at the end of a long day traveling. The meals were scrumptious and all the food was fresh. Pizza at every meal – well not breakfast. We even had music – guitar and Andean flute – a great touch.

Highly recommend Rancho Margot for a great get away. Great service, welcoming attitude, smiling help, hot and cold pools, a little bit of paradise next to Arenal Volcano.

Room Tip: Take advantage of the golf cart delivery of you and your luggage to your bungalow. Yoga class was fa...
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Joan L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Travis D, Manager at Rancho Margot, responded to this reviewResponded March 26, 2013

Thank you so much for your visit - it was a pleasure having you stay with us!

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Reviewed March 16, 2013

The setting of Rancho Margot is amazing, it's like you are camping in style. My daughter and I stayed in a bungalow and loved it. But, as others have said, know what you are getting - it's not a luxury hotel by any standards. The "green" aspect of the place is what attracted us to it, and it was fun taking the ranch tour and learning all the things they are doing. They heat their own water and generate their own electricity, which means the showers are very comfortable, but not really hot, and the lighting is good, but not super bright. This was great for us, but again, just wanted to let others know. We loved walking around and seeing the farm, and just being close to nature. The staff was very friendly and helpful. All this would make us come back. Except for the food. Our first meal was lunch, and I actually said I could probably be a vegetarian if all meals could be this good. Then that was pretty much the last meal we ate. The food sits out for two hours. If you come at the end everything (hot and cold foods) are at room temperature. This did not seem safe and was not very palatable. Neither of us felt well for several days and the rest of our meals, when we did eat, were mostly rice and bananas.

Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
1  Thank tmc3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Travis D, Manager at Rancho Margot, responded to this reviewResponded March 18, 2013

Thank you for your review and for your visit to Rancho Margot. We are happy to know that you and your daughter enjoyed your time with us.

On the subject of food, we thank you for your feedback which we take very seriously and it gives us means to improve. As all meals are included in room rates at Rancho Margot in a buffet-style offering, we aim to create as many options as possible for guests while using as many ingredients as possible from our chemical-free gardens. We are sincerely sorry to hear that you enjoyed only your first meal, and will certainly make considerable strides to ensure that you go back for seconds when you revisit Rancho Margot.

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Reviewed February 27, 2013

Place came recommended - since they grow all their own organic foods - we decided to stop here for lunch. 20 minutes on a terrible road, this place is in the middle of nowhere. $15 a person, does not seem like a lot, but no kids discount - for 3 kids it was $45, when my 4 year all ate 2 bites of pizza.

Food was definitely mediocre, even if it was organic. Rice, beans, pizza, fried fish, salad. And definitely did not expect fried fish:((( In a healthy place you just don't expect to find something covered in dough and fried in oil:((

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Wtravel66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 18, 2013

A place of beauty, fun, peace, life. The experience is one of total immersion into nature and sustainability; a working ranch of people and visitors who practice organic living and community. The bungalows are beautiful little 'homes' in the rainforest, created with love. A person, friends or family will have an unforgettable experience of adventure and beauty!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank NewJerseyYogini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 14, 2013

We stayed at Rancho Margot for 2 nights with our 5-year-old and absolutely loved it.

But beware - if you are looking for the hotel with the volcano views from the jacuzzi, the Disney-esque water park for your kids and the all-you-can-eat buffet with the umbrella drinks, this is not for you.

This place is absolutely magical and Juan is a genius. The natural surroundings are already hard to beat - a beautiful valley between two jungle-overgrown mountain ridges - but the feel of the place with the farm and the animals and the welcoming staff left us wide-eyed. I had specifically asked beforehand if this was a place for our son and if there was stuff for him to do, and it really was. It was heart-warming to see how happily he embraced the horse-back trip up to the look-out, the kayaking on lake Arenal, the natural pool, the animals and generally the reconnection with nature. I also couldn't disagree more with the previous review: I found the ranch tour to be very informative in terms of the sustainable management of the place. I had studied the website before so I had not expected to help out, but there are volunteer programs and we met several of the volunteers who spent a month at the place - all of them said it was "life changing" and even after two days I don't doubt it.

The bungalows are simple but comfortable, clean and bug-free. The food is delicious - simple dishes of excellent quality. Even the salads there have a distinct taste to them, and when you go see for yourself how they are grown, it is explained.

The people there are just as amazing: everyone was so helpful, friendly and welcoming that you wonder if there is something in the air... ;-)

The drive is long but so beautiful - the views from around the lake and the passing through he jungly regions are lovely. I can't imagine how you could not enjoy the drive despite the bad quality of the roads.

I have travelled much in my life including in Costa Rica, but the energy and feel of this place are unique and inspiring. For days after our return we were still thinking of Rancho Margot and even our son insisted that we have to come back.

Danke, Juan, und alle im Rancho Margot, fuer ein wunderbares Erlebnis!!

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank PuraVida100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 14, 2013

We stayed at Rancho Margot for three nites and were totally impressed with this unique property. It's a retreat from daily life and transports you to paradise. The twice-daily yoga, hiking and horseback riding are fabulous. The food is all organic and most of it is grown on the ranch. We stayed in a bungalow which was spacious and clean. I recommend the two-hour tour of the ranch to see how they have achieved a negative carbon footprint. "Impressive" doesn't even come close to describe the efforts of Rancho Margot in their commitment to sustainability. We went on the five-hour horseback riding/hiking trip to the waterfall. Not for the faint of heart or anyone uncomfortable on horses, but well worth the price and the time.

Room Tip: Bungalows are the most luxurious. The bunk house is for the traveller on a shoestring.
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Adrenaline_Junkies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rancho Margot

Address: 3km beyond El Castillo | La Fortuna de San Carlos, El Castillo, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > El Castillo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 Specialty Lodging in El Castillo
Price Range: $162 - $332 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Rancho Margot 3*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
ALL RESERVATIONS AT RANCHO MARGOT INCLUDE DAILY BREAKFAST, LUNCH AND DINNER FROM OUR CHEMICAL-FREE GARDENS. ADDITIONALLY, 2-HOUR GUIDED RANCH TOUR AND TWICE DAILY YOGA CLASSES ARE INCLUDED WITH EVERY OVERNIGHT STAY.On the hills of Rancho Margot, you will find our 17 deluxe bungalows. The Caño Negro river whisper will guide you to the most peaceful rest possible, only to wake up the next day with the loud call of the howler monkeys. Hidden in our botanical gardens are bungalows, equipped to house couples or families of up to 4 people. Each bungalow has its own terrace on which you may enjoy the incredible view while relaxing on your hammock with a great book. Bungalows feature Orthopedic mattresses and are available with two queen beds or one queen bed and two singles. Additional amenities include mosquito netting, rocking chair, table & chairs, and handmade soaps. Each bungalow is equipped with a private bathroom with shower.Our vision is to protect our sustainable rainforest facility but also to make it an educational playground for adults and children alike, where we can inspire a new generation of global citizens to continue ‘closing the circle.’Rancho Margot is a family enterprise where everyone is welcome. We’re living our dream, and we invite you to join us. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rancho Margot Hotel Arenal Volcano National Park

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