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“Enjoyable stay in nice loved with lots of birds” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Savegre Hotel, Natural Reserve & Spa

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Savegre Hotel, Natural Reserve & Spa
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
242 reviews
170 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 257 helpful votes
“Enjoyable stay in nice loved with lots of birds”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 6, 2014

Since I was 6 years old, I have wanted to see the quetzal. 33 years later, I saw him (and also a lady quetzal). It was a beautiful moment, his long tail swaying in the winds, his cute face and gorgeous colours.
I am forever grateful to Melvin for the wonderful half day birding trip. He is a funny and lovely man who knows his birds and other nature stuff. We enjoyed his company enormously.

Now to the lodge: a lot of positives, a few snags:

Rooms: we stayed at room 113. I had asked for a quiet room and it sure was, looking out over the woods and a bit out of the way. I liked that it was stand alone and spacious.
The room is basic but comfortable with a coffee maker and nice bathroom. A little heater is provided but it gave no heat and we had to wear all our cold weather gear in the room not to be cold. We were also a tad cold at night. It would be lovely if they provided hot water bottles in the room.

Restauarant: food is typical Costa Rican fare with a lot of trout. It is buffet style but with a good array of choices and salads. I enjoyed all the meals. Staff are lovely. However restaurant is cold and not cozy.
I wish it were more warm and provided a more nice setting with heaters and softer lighting. Also the awful panpipe music was off putting.

Grounds: very nice , many humming bird feeders full of bummers. I saw 5 different species in the gardens and lots of other birds.
We went for a walk to the waterfalls and also around the grounds, all enjoyable.

Spa: we had a good massage and enjoyed the steam room and jacuzzi. All great.

We stayed for 3 nights which suited us as this was our first stop andy we wanted to take it easy. I think however most guests would think 2 nights suffice.

We had an enjoyable stay and I would definitely advice this lodge to bird watchers.

This lodge was our first stop of a 15 night self drive tour. If you have any questions, pls do ask. We loved Costa Rica and I am happy to help.

Room Tip: Depends what you want. Ours was a bit of a walk to the restaurant but I loved the more quiet locatio...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Chocolate74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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683 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (116)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Akron, Ohio
Level Contributor
49 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 22, 2013

This beautiful resort is only 7 km down the one-lane gravel road, but it took 40 minutes for our bus to negotiate the switchbacks. Any doubts were quickly dispelled--this place was the most beautiful of the five gorgeous places we visited during our 12-day Costa Rican adventure. Being northerners, we appreciated the surprisingly cool air after our other tropical stops.

Each wood-paneled room is housed its own building, which was a relief since even upscale CR resorts seem to be constructed with paper-thin walls, forcing us to hear every cough by our neighbors. Earlier in our trip one of our fellow travelers told us she heard us spraying on bug repellent in our bathroom! So the additional privacy here was appreciated.

The bar and restaurant are both very nice, though the bartender was puzzled by our request for scotch and soda.

The biggest thrill was getting up by 6 am to view the Resplendent Quetzal birds. A nearby horse-renting business has constructed a viewing area that is well worth the climb--and the $1 per person viewing fee.

Room Tip: Some rooms have fireplaces but those who got them had trouble getting the chimneys to draw properly.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Annette1026
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Costa Rica
Level Contributor
45 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 21, 2013

When I told friends and family we were going to the “Cerro de la Muerte” (Mountain of Death) for Thanksgiving at the end of November, the overwhelming response was: “Sounds like fun. Not.” The Mountain of Death doesn’t exactly sound like a place for fun and relaxation … unless we’re talking eternal sleep. Maybe that’s why places like San Gerardo de Dota and Santa Maria de Dota (the Los Santos region of Costa Rica), the Tapantí National Park and the newly formed Los Quetzales National Park are some of the least visited destinations in Costa Rica.

These high mountain valleys in the Talamanca Mountain Range, just 55 miles (89km) south of San José are renowned for bird watching. Indeed, we must have seen a "gazillion" different tropical birds ... well, lots and lots!

From the chilling damp of Cerro de la Muerte, we twisted down a narrow mountain road into the sun-kissed hidden valley of San Gerardo. Cerro de la Muerte is Costa Rica’s fourth highest mountain at 11,322 feet (3,451m); blessedly, we had dropped to a more pleasant 7,200 feet (2,200m) in San Gerardo.

Pure mountain air filled our lungs. The scent of cypress trees carried on crisp breezes, and the warm sunshine seemed to intensify all colors. San Gerardo is both charming and gorgeous. Little houses dot the countryside and numerous mountain lodges supply appealing accommodations. Apple, plum and peach orchards line the steep green hillsides. Rushing down the valley center is the wild Savegre River, tumbling headlong toward the Pacific Ocean just south of the Manuel Antonio National Park. On the Central Pacific Coast, the Savegre is known for its excellent whitewater rafting. Here, high in the mountains, its crystal clear spring waters provide sustenance to some of Costa Rica’s best trout fishing and trout farms.

The Savegre Hotel, near the bottom of the valley settlement is owned by the Chacón family, who were the first pioneers to settle in the San Gerardo de Dota region, starting the community nearly 60 years ago. The family-operated lodge sits on a private reserve of 988 acres (400 hectares) with an extensive network of trails through the forest and to impressive waterfalls. Hiking and birding is fantastic, and it is also lovely to sit on the lodge’s sun deck watching countless jewel-toned hummingbirds zip around flowers, feeders and tree branches. Travel tip: Definitely go for the Junior Suite cabin with a wood-burning fireplace, and the all-inclusive meal plan. Meals are generous and delicious.

We didn't try the spa services, but other guests said they were wonderful. Hotel Savegre's staff is exceptionally kind and helpful.

We live in Costa Rica and are already planning our return to San Gerardo de Dota and Hotel Savegre!

Room Tip: Go for the Junior Suites, which are stand-alone cabins with wood burning fireplaces. Very cozy! But...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Gringa-tica28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 10, 2013

We've lived in Costa Rica for almost 1 year and heard about a lot of places to travel to. We've traveled all over the country. A lot of locals recommended Savegre, and we work with Spanish language students, so we decided to go to evaluate it for the students. It is AMAZING, beautiful, and refreshing. The rooms are clean, spacious, and well planned. They have 2 types of accomodations: some rooms/cabins have a fireplace, and some do not. The ones w/o have a small space heater, which kept the room toasty. At night, it is cold! All the rooms are set on a mountainside, with inspiring views of the mountain, stream, and tons of birds. The restaurant and bar served delicious food, both a la carte, and buffet. One day, we fished and caught 2 rainbow trout. The chef prepared them for dinner that night and the fish was some of the best we've ever tasted. All the grounds and buildings are very well kept and clean. They offer horseback riding, fly fishing, and lots of different hikes. The staff was exceptional. very helpful, and accommodating in every way. The highlight was seeing and photographing the Resplendent Quetzal. Having traveled all over Costa Rica for 11 months looking for it, this was the place to see it many times in a 3 day period. The pics are incredible. I hope that our students begin to plan their trip to Savegre, and will personally recommend it to many people here in Costa Rica and back home in the US. I will HIGHLY RECOMMEND a trip to Savegre Mountain Lodge!

Room Tip: Think about if you want a fireplace or not, and ask for one if you want one.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank advntr7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
28 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 9, 2013

Final stop on our Costa Rica adventure. 4 nights/5 days in San Gerardo de Dota. We read the reviews and did not really believe the tales of altitude and cold. We had carried our cold weather clothes for three weeks never really expecting to wear them. Believe us it gets cold at night. We became experts at lighting the wood in the fireplace. It was romantic to go to sleep listening to the crackling of the wood and the flicker of the fire. I would suggest to management that they consider heating the dining room. It made us even colder looking at the poor ladies who ventured in in sleeveless dresses.

Our room was fairly basic although it is their premium offering. It met our needs though. Hot water problems were quickly solved. The bar had a 2 for 1 Happy Hour each night which we used before dinner. The food was excellent. It was buffet style if the hotel was busy which it was for 2 nights or a la carte if not. Trout is the specialty harvested from the trout farm out back.

The highlight of the trip were the two adventures we took with Raoul - the grandson of one of the founders of the lodge( and the settlement of San Gerardo). The first was a strenuous descent of the Cerro de la Muerte. Going from 10,000 feet down 13km to the lodge at 6000ft. A trip we will remember for along time. It rivals climbing Sugar Loaf in Rio and hiking to Machu Picchu. We went through 3 distinct eco zones. Raoul was an excellent guide. He gave us all the geography and geology of the place as well as pointing out the fauna and flora. Even more interesting were his tales of his grandfather and the development of the valley. This continued the next day with a trip to the two waterfalls. Raoul also made a side trip up the valley so that we could see the required Quetzels.

The lodge primarily caters to birdwatchers. We like birds but are not over zealous. Watching the super keen birdwatchers was fun in itself. The lodge has strategically place hummingbird feeders outside the dining room. To watch the birders fall all over each other with their $5000 cameras to take hundreds of photos of these almost captive birds was a spectacle. It looked like cheating to me. Why not go after the birds in their native habitat.

If you go make sure you meet up with Raoul, or his father or uncle who are also guides.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Alanjeannie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newport, Oregon
Level Contributor
19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 1, 2013

This was the first stop on a three week bird and wildlife watching vacation in Costa Rica in November 2013. Wow, Savegre Hotel set the bar high for our vacation. Since we are keen birdwatchers we were very pleased to find the grounds of the hotel full of bird friendly flowers and fruiting shrubs and trees. The area was dripping with tanagers, flower-piercer's, hummingbirds, and more. Hummingbird feeders are well maintained and provide for close-ups views of some magnificent species.

The trails through the forest were well-maintained and easy to locate. We hired a bird guide, Marino, during our second day and were so glad we did. He was very friendly, enthusiastic, fun, spoke excellent English and took us right to an avocado tree that had no fewer than four Resplendent Quetzal's eating in it!!

As if the gardens and trails weren't enough we were treated to lovely accommodations. Extra pillows, large bathrooms, etc. The food was also delicious. And the presentation of each meal was better than almost any restaurant in the U.S. outside of the most expensive.

During one rainy afternoon three of us tried out the spa. We all soaked in the jacuzzi and two of us were treated to relaxing massages. The spa was classy, clean and a great break from hiking.

Finally I was VERY impressed to see the hotel has a 4 star rating from the Costa Rican government for implementing environmentally friendly practices. The highest rating a hotel can achieve is 5 stars. Savegre was in the process of installing an environmentally friendly waste water treatment facility to obtain the coveted 5 star rating. Kudos to them! It was the only place we stayed at in Costa Rica (and we stayed at 5 other lodges) that was actively working to get a 5 star environmental rating.

I highly recommend Savegre as a wildlife watching destination and simply a beautiful place to relax in the cloud forests of Costa Rica.

Room Tip: It's cold in the cloud forest. If you want to stay warm request a room with a fireplace. Our r...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ilovechickens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FelipeChV, Manager at Savegre Hotel, Natural Reserve & Spa, responded to this review, December 3, 2013
Thanks so much for sharing your experience at Savegre. We feel happy to know that you enjoyed your time here. We try hard to keep our surroundings in the best possible way and it feel so good to know that our clients enjoy that.
Our new waste water treatment system is almost ready and we are happy for that
We invite you to come back, and invite all the readers to come and experience the beauty of our pristine valley
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
31 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 25, 2013 via mobile

I've been there several times and the quality of the service is very consistent. The food is great, buffet style with several meat choices. I recommend the trout.

Spa is nice and the staff super friendly. I recommend the "del río" massage.

Enjoyed the happy hour at the bar, had the 2x1 Margaritas, they were good (not great).
Room: clean, cozy. Make sure you have enough matches and wood to light up the chimney as it gets cold at night. If you don't know how to start the fire they'll send Santos to do it for you.

  • Stayed November 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Natalia G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FelipeChV, Manager at Savegre Hotel, Natural Reserve & Spa, responded to this review, December 3, 2013
Thanks so much for sharing your experience at Savegre. It is so good to know that you have enjoyed your time at the hotel. Coincidently Santos is our Employee of the Month; he is always ready to help.
I am agree with your spa choice, that massage is so good!
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 Savegre Hotel, Natural Reserve & Spa

Property: Savegre Hotel, Natural Reserve & Spa
Address: 2km South from La Lidia School, San Gerardo de Dota 482-7050, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of San Jose > San Gerardo de Dota
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Restaurant Spa
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in San Gerardo de Dota
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Savegre Hotel, Natural Reserve & Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Eighty-nine kilometers (55.3 miles) south of San Jose in a private natural reserve of 400 hectares and just 9 km. (5.5 miles) from Los Quetzales National Park, Hotel Savegre is the ideal starting point for exploring Costa Rica’s magnificent tropical cloud forest in all its beauty. Hotel Savegre’s services are the perfect complement for every nature lover seeking a memorable experience. We offer 41 rooms, bar and restaurant, day spa, conference room, laundry service, shuttle service, tours and related activities, as well as our beautiful gardens and impressive private reserve with its extensive network of trails. Our helpful and genuinely friendly staff are the hotel’s signature feature.The Chacon family, pioneers in the San Gerardo de Dota region have been operating the hotel since its inception and it has always been our utmost aim to provide top-quality service that goes hand in hand with the environment. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Savegre Hotel, Natural Reserve And Spa
Savegre Hotel, Natural Reserve Hotel San Gerardo De Dota
Savegre Mountain Cartago
Savegre Hotel, Natural Reserve & Spa Costa Rica/San Gerardo De Dota

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