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Chachagua Rainforest Eco Lodge
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Reviewed September 10, 2012

WOW, a friend of mine told me about the this hotel and boy she was right! Once you find the place (2 miles of very bumpy, back roads) you feel like you reached heaven. It's very lush with tons of flowers and green. You can stay here for a few days and not leave. There are plenty of areas to hike around, goats, ducks, puppies, pigs (which make methane gas that they cook with). You can take a night hike(or day) with the on staff naturalist. We were upgraded to a nicer cabin which was appreciated. Many of the American guests we talked to were very friendly.
Our cabin was nice and spacious. I was worried that we might need ac, but it was fine.
Where else can you take a shower and see tanagers outside your window? The staff overall was fine but felt that they needed someone in the dining room who spoke better English since I have food allergies. You need to get used to the island time for dining. Dinner is served at least 30 min later than posted, so don't show up on time. Also, because we stayed in a slightly slower period, we were served buffets for dinner. Salads were good, desserts not, main courses ok. Early am boxed breakfasts were adequate.

Room Tip: Spend a few more dollars to get a cabin that has a porch and hammock, well worth it!
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank travelerdebBaltimore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
natguide, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Chachagua Rainforest Eco Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded November 30, 2012

Yes, we are HEAVEN.
And you are the angels who make this place so special.
Thank you very much for staying with us!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 9, 2012

If you want to see the rainforest up close, be surrounded by friendly and knowledgeable people who know the area, have your own delightful cabin, and be centrally located in Costa Rica, this is the place for you. (If you want a Marriott, with a homogenized experience you could get anywhere, go there- but then why go to beautiful Costa Rica?).
You get a great Costa RIcan experience, with all the luxury anyone should ever need. Great food, incredible scenery, great property to wander around. Costa Rica is an outdoors place, and Chachagua Rainforest Hotel let's you enjoy that. The pool fills itself with clear natural water. The grounds tame the Rainforest enough to see what people can do with nature, without destroying it. Yep, the occasional bug will wander by, but any slight inconvenience is more than made up by the immaculate cleanliness the staff provide even in the mud of the rainy season (no air conditioning needed, just turn on the overhead fan over the bed to enjoy a great sleep). If you are picky, and want a classic indoors American experience, you won't get it here- which is what makes the place fabulous. Take day trips, and even overnight trips to other areas of CR- Chachagua is a great "base of operations- and after a few days, feels like coming to one's new Costa Rican home.

Room Tip: Definitely get a bungalow- a great personal experience, having your own place.
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank UnknAbq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 5, 2012

I really wanted to like Chachagua. I read all of the positive reviews, friended them on facebook and took in all of the beautiful photos, and I was certain I wanted to honeymoon at Chachagua. I am a biology major, so I was expecting to enjoy being in the rainforest, while still having comfortable amenities.

The Cons: My first problems were with the cabin (deluxe bungalow). I paid for this upgrade specifically for the use of the jacuzzi tub. The water smelled horrid (nothing I wanted to take a dip in) and the jets were not working. In addition, the shower temperature was impossible to regulate. I reported this to the front desk. The employees are very friendly, but unfortunately that was not enough for me to enjoy my short stay there. They offered to transfer me to another cabin, but this one would not have television (I was informed that they usually do, this one was just broken and would be available as soon as possible). Another problem that I had with the bungalow was no air conditioning.

The temperature was not comfortable at all in August, even at night. The humidity is sticky and unpleasant. In addition, there was an infestation of ants and spiders due to the space between the floorboards in the bathroom. Despite the use of bug repellent, we received many bites. I had a package booked with Chachagua to do all of the sightseeing tours (my main purpose for coming to Costa Rica), so at this point I was still hesitant to terminate my stay.

I thought that I would give the bar and dinner a try, since the pool was in the process of filling up. Yet another "amenity" that I could not enjoy. The bar was out of half of the drinks on the menu, and the drinks my husband and I ordered were not fit for consumption. The bartender was not wearing gloves and scooped the ice out with his hands. Dinner did not start until the cooks were done (which was an hour later than the posted time). After a 4 hour flight and 3 hour drive from the airport I was very hungry, so this was another disappointment for me. No other stores or restaurants are nearby Chachagua so you are at the mercy of their dining options. The dining is all open air (the seating is nice and romantic, but expect to be bothered by bugs). We were given two choices for the dinner included with our package: watery spaghetti or chicken and rice. The chicken and rice was not bad, but we found it difficult to eat with all of the bugs swarming the food which sits out in the open on the buffet line. My husband and I took a few bites, but bugs were swimming in our food, and we had to leave most of our dinner on the plate. At this point I decided to find other accommodations.

I approached the manager and let him know the situation. He was very friendly and apologetic, but explained the tours had already been booked so I could not terminate my stay with any sort of refund, and since it was already so late, I had no choice but to stay that night. Some of the tours were able to be canceled, another was not, but Chachagua arranged for me to take that tour the next morning at 7am. Breakfast was supposed to still be included (to go). I had to remind the staff and walk out to the kitchen to get my breakfast (fresh fruit). The fruit was tasty, but it was not a filling option for a day hike and hotsprings trip (which I did thoroughly enjoy). When I returned, I had transportation booked for a 3 hour drive back to the San Jose Marriott where I finished off my honeymoon stay very pleasantly.

I wound up paying for the one night stay in the deluxe bungalow (despite that I did not even get to use the jacuzzi), two dinner buffets (which I did not eat more than a few bites from one plate), and the tour. This was an expensive mistake and a headache of a start to my honeymoon.

The Pros: Chachagua is a beautiful setting. The creek running through the property is beautiful, the plants and flowers are beautiful, and it was great to take in the scenery. I got to see plenty of birds and lizards, and the place is amazing for taking photographs. The fresh fruit tastes much better than here in the States. The tour they set up went wonderfully-- I definitely recommend the Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs tour. Also, the staff was very nice and helpful.

Overall: I would recommend Chachagua to someone who expects an element of roughing it or if you are looking for an adventure trip, but not if you are looking for upgraded amenities for a honeymoon. The Marriott offered us a great deal to finish out our stay there, including a dining and massage package that kept me from going over my original budget for the trip. I was able to book additional tours through them, so I did at least enjoy the remainder of my honeymoon. I accept partial responsibility for the bad experience (not asking about cancellation policies in advance if I was unhappy with my stay, not asking about air conditioning in the deluxe bungalow, etc), but I wanted to post my experience to just let others know what they are getting into, because I was personally surprised at all of the positive reviews for Chachagua written without reservation.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank kmbrookshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
natguide, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Chachagua Rainforest Eco Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded September 6, 2012

Thank you very much for taking your time to review us.
Chachagua Rainforest Hotel is a serious and respectable company, and it's truly important for us to know and care what our costumers think about the place.
In your case, we offered you all the options available, and they were given to you by our Manager, who explained the Hotel's cancellations policies, and, you were not charged for the whole stay, even when you decided to cancel it at the last moment, when you were already here.
We gave our best in order to satisfy you, but unffortunately, we couldn't get your expectations, since, this is not a city hotel, like the one you have mentioned, and, we are in the middle of the jungle...that's why our name: Chachagua Rainforest Hotel & Hacienda.
That means, our accomodations are designed to fit people who really want to get an experience in the Rain Forest, and, some bugs, lots of different animal noices, rain, some humidity and sun are part of it.
Every year, hundreds of people from all over the world enjoy the meals at our open-air restaurant, where you can listen and see the birds, or Sloths and even monkeys hanging around once in a while.
Hundreds of satisfied costumers go back home so happy, since they made their dream come true, that is, to be part of an authentic Tropical Forest.
We hope to have you here some day, to show you the best of us!
Again, thank you so much for your review. We really appreciate it.

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Reviewed September 4, 2012

This place was absolutely awesome!!! My husband and I purchased the hotel on Living Social and it was the best money we've ever spent! The only thing is that I wish they had free shuttle transportation to and from the airport, but hey...
We met great people! There were so many activities to do......Ahh.......anyone who comes here MUST go to the EcoThermales Hot Springs, must also do ZIPLINING and do the nature tours with the awesome tour guide, Christian! The nature tour is great for budding photographers!! Don't forget to bring your laptop, they have free wi-fi and if you have a google voice account, you can talk to your loved ones for free!! You don't have to have converter plugs either! Yay!!!
I give this hotel TWO thumbs up!!!!!
:-)

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank JScrib
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
natguide, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Chachagua Rainforest Eco Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded September 6, 2012

Thank you very much!
Your satisfaction is what we are always looking for.
We hope to see you back here soon!

Report response as inappropriate
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Reviewed August 25, 2012

My wife and I stayed at this hotel and our high expectations were blown away! Even before we booked, Danny and Karol from the front desk were great about answering all of our questions to make sure we had a great trip. We had trouble with our flight to Costa Rica and had to push our booked and paid-for stay at the hotel back a day, but they were so good about it and didn't penalize us for the change in plans. Once we arrived we were greeted with a smile and some fresh juice. The room, a bungalow, was beautiful, rustic, and comfortable. The hotel is among the jungle which makes for fantastic sights and sounds, day or night. There are various trails around the hotel that offer a lot of greenery and, if you're lucky, plenty of picturesque animals.

It is absolutely essential to see if Cristian, the on-site naturalist and all-around awesome guy, is going on any night hikes during your stay. The night brings out what feels like a different type of jungle and having an experienced guide like Cristian allows it to be a once in a lifetime experience!

Lastly, the restaurant was on par with the rest of the facility. Every meal throughout our trip had a different place setting and the staff is very friendly and even gets to know you during the stay. I only ever saw two ladies ever working in the kitchen and no more than three servers working at a time, which made the service all the more personal. As a side note, the dessert "Peña de Abuela" is incredible! I finally got around to trying it two days before we left and never looked back. One night I even made a meal out of it... :D

Overall, this was the best trip either of us has ever been on and we owe it in large part to the hotel staff. If you are looking for some adventure and some comfort, this is it!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Mark B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
natguide, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Chachagua Rainforest Eco Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded September 6, 2012

Great!
We are so glad knowing that you loved Chachagua Rainforest Hotel!
And, for sure, next time it will be even better!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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