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“Absolute highlight of my Costa Rica trip!”
Review of Rancho Margot

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Rancho Margot
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Los Angeles, California
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Absolute highlight of my Costa Rica trip!”
Reviewed April 7, 2014

I was a little hesitant to spend $75/night (on a hostel budget!) but when I realized it included three meals daily and yoga classes, I made a reservation. It's a difficult to get to without a car, but absolutely worth it. Bunkhouse rooms were comfortable for sleeping alone, but of course days were spent hiking and hanging out with other guests and eating..and eating...and EATING! All meals are served in a buffet which is endless and most of the food comes straight from the ranch which is organic. I missed the yogurt and granola as soon as I left! And the awesome dogs!

Yoga classes are taught by volunteers and the instructor Alyson was incredible. I had a tour of the entire Ranch which was also included for free and learned so much from Aurelio. Such a cool Costa Rican local who was so passionate about the project there.

Even if you're on a hostel budget, this place is worth the higher price!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank Tom G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Travis D, Public Relations Manager at Rancho Margot, responded to this review, April 14, 2014
Hi Tom - Thank you for taking the time to write about your experience at Rancho Margot! We are so glad that you made the decision to stay with us here in the rainforest and understood the value of the Bunkhouse Experience. It was a pleasure to have you here and we sincerely hope to see you again in the future!
¡PURA VIDA!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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311 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (67)
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San Diego
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed April 6, 2014

March 2014 - My wife and I just returned from a fabulous week at Rancho Margot. This is a tremendous life experience. Juan and Liz have created a way of life that's a model for society. We were extremely pleased with the staff, the hospitality, the bunglow in the rain forest, the hikes, yoga, and the food.
Since we were not sure what to expect prior to going, we booked 3 days on Jaco beach prior to returning to the US. From the moment we left RM, we missed it. Wished we stayed there the entire time and can't wait to go back. Decompress from society and you won't regret it !!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank mwj49SanDiego
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Travis D, Public Relations Manager at Rancho Margot, responded to this review, April 7, 2014
Thank you so much for visiting Rancho Margot and taking the time to write about your experience! It was an absolute pleasure to host you here in the rainforest and we, too, wish that we had had more time with you both. Thanks also for sharing your beautiful photos :)
We hope to see you again in the future.

¡PURA VIDA!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Holland
Level 6 Contributor
618 reviews
69 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 219 helpful votes
Reviewed April 3, 2014

Staying the the Arenal Observatory Lodge, we were attracted by the signs on the road to go to Margots to eat perfect pizza. What a disaster. You pay 20 dollar for the bufet and all you get are a few pieces of dry and cold pizza. The local juice drinks were 80% water. Driving 15 km on a dirtroad....never again.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tramx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Travis D, Public Relations Manager at Rancho Margot, responded to this review, April 5, 2014
We sincerely apologize for your overall experience, but thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. Sometimes guests arrive with particular expectations that we simply cannot meet. We strive everyday to make the experience of our guests a memorable one. As you can see from the hundreds of previous reviews, most of our guests especially enjoy our food. You fail to mention that our buffet includes a great deal more than just pizza.

We agree with you that the 7.5 km ride each way on the gravel roads in Costa Rica are a disgrace and don't do much to promote some people's vision of a stress-free vacation.

¡PURA VIDA!
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Los Angeles, California
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed March 26, 2014

It's worth the trip to get here! A beautiful, peaceful kind of place that you read about in travel magazines! We stayed in bungalow 7 on the edge of the property. We had toucans outside our window, took an AMAZING horse ride with Aurelio and took in the amenities of the ranch: farm tour, hot/cold pools, and breakfast/lunch/dinner each day. This is a great place to stay if you're looking for somewhere quiet to read, relax, and recharge in the jungle.

Upsides: Peaceful, quiet gorgeous ranch, amazing horse rides, beautiful yoga studio overlooking the lake and jungle with two classes a day included in your stay, clean jungle bungalows.

Downsides: Travel to/from is a bit expensive, food is good but gets a little old after 4 or 5 days.

Tips: Take bug spray and shoes to walk the muddy trails when it rains.

Room Tip: Bungalow 7 was on the edge of the row of bungalows. Peaceful, quiet and a good place for watching th...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Julie W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Travis D, Public Relations Manager at Rancho Margot, responded to this review, March 28, 2014
Hi Julie - Many thanks for your review of Rancho Margot. It was a pleasure to host you while you were visiting Costa Rica and we are so thankful that you decided to share in the Rancho experience.

¡PURA VIDA!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ingolf
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed March 21, 2014

We wondered if it was wise to stay so far away from Arenal but boy would we have been sorry if we had missed staying here, what a treat. The grounds are a botanical garden full of birds attracted to the flowering plants. The private bungalows are spread out throughout the grounds and have garden doors that open on two sides providing ventilation plus large decks with a hammock, chairs and a table. All of the buildings have green roofs, green in that they have plants growing on them, so that from the viewpoint high up above all you can see is the parking lot. All meals are included and we were never disappointed at the buffets which featured mostly local products from the farm as they claim to be almost self sufficient. Our guide book , which was brand new, claimed they had a old bus that provided daily shuttle service to Arenal but this was not true so if you do not have your own car you will have to pay for transportation into Arenal and surrounding attractions. Or, like us, you can meet someone there who does have a car and get a ride with them. We did go zip lining at the Sky Trek site and we did a horseback tour at the farm which took you up to view point with a 360 degree view of the volcano and surrounding hills. We also hiked up to the viewpoint one day but it is a very steep trail. About the only feature that we found disappointing was the swimming pool which was inside a cave like structure and too close to the bio digester which they must have been cleaning out that day, the smell all most made us gag. We noticed the next day there was no smell at all so it must have been a one time thing. I guess the only thing we did not do was go to the hot pools in Arenal but then we are not that crazy about jumping into a hot pool with a bunch of strangers anyway. I can't say enough about how accommodating the staff were. The day we were to leave on the bus-boat-bus to Monteverde we were expecting to be picked up at the ranch. When our pickup never showed up the ranch phoned and found out the boat was waiting for us down the road so they quickly packed us up and drove us to where the boat was waiting for us.

Room Tip: The bungalows are all uphill from the common areas so if you don't like climbing get a room clos...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Roy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Travis D, Public Relations Manager at Rancho Margot, responded to this review, March 28, 2014
Thank you so much for visiting Rancho Margot and taking valuable time to write about your experience! Undoubtedly, reviews like this are paramount in helping people decide where to stay when visiting the Arenal area.

As time permits, if you could please let us know via email what guide book you were using, it would be most appreciated. We would like to notify them that the mentioned bus service was several years ago!

We sincerely hope to see you again in the future, and wish you all the very best until next time.

¡PURA VIDA!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed March 20, 2014

We had a wonderful dinner at Rancho Margot one night. For about $20, we had unlimited access to an ample buffet, including salads, pizzas, and several entrees and sides. Both meat and vegetarian dishes are available. You can get drinks at the full bar on site.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank East_Coaster28970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Travis D, Public Relations Manager at Rancho Margot, responded to this review, March 28, 2014
Thank you for your comments about your dining experience at Rancho Margot! Glad to know you enjoyed yourself :)

¡PURA VIDA!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2014 via mobile

Absolutely amazing place in the middle of nowhere. It was my first time traveling anywhere alone and so happy I found this place. Few things to consider:
- Trip to the ranch: From Liberia airport, it's a 3.5 hrs shuttle ($57, by local company not provided by ranch) then another 45 mins ride ($30 from Tabacon hotel, someone from the ranch will pick you up) or $40 from any hotel in La Fortuna. You will pass by the Tabacon hotel on your way to La Fortuna so may as well get dropped off there.
- Food: 3 meals are included. Pay attention to the times they serve, there is a 2 hour window. I preferred going on the earlier side as it is more fresh for me and if you eat at a later time, they tend to run out of food (because it's so awesome). If you want to eat clean, delicious food, this is the place to go! Shared tables with other guests and volunteers- community style! However, when I wanted to be alone, I just ate at tables by the reception area.
- Yoga: Seldom do you get free and amazing yoga. Beautiful area, no mosquitoes or bugs and just simply relaxing. They also had meditation classes at 6am on Tuesdays when I was there. The yoga teachers are volunteers, so you can really feel the love.
- Farm tour: 2 hours and free. Want to learn about different plants, animals in the area and see what you're eating? It's incredible! Ask for Oscar- he is extremely knowledgeable and very passionate.
- Natural pools, hot and cold: Amazing!
- Hiking on the property: Hike to Mirador was worth it and beautiful. Very safe, I even did it alone! The hike up for me (I'm petite, moderately active) took about 35 mins.
- Bungalows: Comfy, relaxing, quiet and awesome! I absolutely loved it! Different birds (esp hummingbirds) outside your window every morning. I didn't feel the need to use the mosquito net.
- Employees: Happy, helpful and definitely made me feel at home. The owner was around a lot and was totally engaging. I did my Cerra Chato hike with Aurelio- great guide!

Stayed March 2014, traveled solo
Helpful?
3 Thank Tricia P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Travis D, Public Relations Manager at Rancho Margot, responded to this review, March 28, 2014
Hi Tricia! We appreciate so much your taking the time to write about your visit to Rancho Margot. It was an absolute delight to meet you and have you here with us in the middle of the rainforest! We also hope the cold winter wasn't too shocking when you returned home. Please know that we absolutely hope to see you again in the future :)

¡PURA VIDA!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rancho Margot

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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