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Hacienda La Isla Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
50 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Not very impressed”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 8, 2012

We stayed here for 3 nights, supposedly in a Superior Room and our tour operator advised us that this was a "boutique hotel" that prided itself on its good dining. Firstly, it's off the beaten track and our trips to La Selva Biological Station and to do a rafting tour on the Sarapiqui River took 25-35 minutes each way. There's not much to do there if you don't have a hire car (which we didn't). There wasn't any seating area apart from the restaurant or a small open summerhouse or on the verandah outside the rooms. The gardens/trail were in need of care and attention. The evening meals were good, but the three nights stayed there the choice was always sea bass or chicken with a different sauce each time. We were booked in FB and we felt that we were encroaching on their hospitality by asking for it. Also in the roof space above our room were bats (nothing the owner could do about that), but there were holes through the roof and we found bat droppings outside the shower and on the mosquito net over the bed (which we'd luckily taken with us and set up). We thought the owner had to put in more effort.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Lysanne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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272 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    14
    7
See reviews for
52
167
5
2
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 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 (22)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 19, 2012

We stayed at the Hacienda and yes it is a nice place. The staff is friendly and helpful and the food is good. However, the prices are way too high considering you are in a lodge in Costa Rica and not in the Westin at Beverly Hills. There is no price transparency regarding the dinner, we also were made believe breakfast is included and the it was not. The owner said good bye with a big smile in his face and I was not sure if he laughed at us because of hospitality or whether he knew he just ripped us off ... Make sure you ask how much everything is before you actually consume it.

  • Stayed February 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Grueni66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Barbara, California
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 11, 2012

At the end of a secluded road that was narrow with thick plant life we were pleasantly surprised with our 4th night accommodations. We were the only guests at the lodge that night and received exceptional attention and the best service and food we had on our entire trip including an amazing dessert. The candle lit patio dining was right on the lagoon and included a swim-up caimen along with birds, bugs and little frogs. It was fun and very romantic. Our room was ranch style, comfortable and wide open with a set of double French doors. Early in the morning we opened all doors to the jungle outside. With the slight rain it was a tranquil, earthy experience. We walked a trail around the property that included markers, facts, stories and an herb and spice garden at the end. It was my favorite stay of our 17 day vacation and I only regret not staying more than one night. Jean Pierre and his family do it right and you won’t be sorry when you stay with them.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DIANA D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
24 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 11, 2012

We stayed here for three nights. The room was adequate and we had a good night sleep. There is little in the way of space though for your belongings which can be tricky if you are traveling for a reasonable amount of time and have more than one piece of luggage. The walks are nice around the property but the subdued lighting in the restaurant bar area and the room limits your ability to read or catch up with emails etc. There are lots of mosquitoes too so you need to wear long sleeves and pants when dining. The dining experience in our opinion was very average despite being told about a reputation that did not match the fare served. There were certainly aspects to commend the location but we, as other travelers have reported were disappointed with charges for transportation where the inference was a lift on the house ie " we can drop you off, it is just five minutes up the road ". Buyer beware.

  • Stayed January 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank MuriwaiLot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Germany
Level Contributor
128 reviews
119 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 7, 2012

We stayed at Hacienda La Isla Lodge for 2 nights in January 2012.

The Hacienda is located near the main street, about 30 minutes by car from Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui.

Rooms are distributed all over the hacienda. We could not choose our room, neither when making the reservation nor on arrival. The room was nicely decorated, but unfortunately there was no possibility to hang clothes, no hangers, no cupboard, just an open shelf. The rooms do not provide a mosquito net over the beds, and there is no air-conditioning in the rooms. The room does not have any window, only the front doors to enter the room. In an area where you cannot leave the front door open at night, because of all kinds of animals that may enter the room, it can get extremely warm and steamy inside the room and herewith inconvenient to sleep. There was a fan, but this could not cope sufficiently for it. The doors did not close tightly, they left gaps at the bottom, so be aware to check for this.The bathroom has an open ceiling, you can hear every bathroom activity in the room.
The owner Jean Pierre speaks several languages, but the rest of the staff although first pretending to be able to help in any situation speaks and understands mainly Spanish and only poor English, which was a bit inconvenient as every time the owner had to be called for getting concrete information.

The owner liked to emphasize that the Hacienda is "at a biological corridor of the Braullio Carillo" and to herewith maybe create a feeling of being in the wild. Yes, the property has nice walking trails including some forest areas, but do not expect to find yourself in a rainforest lodge -we did not expect it, but for our feeling it would maybe be better also not to try to say so. The dog, an Irish setter called Scotty, is for sure nice and friendly, but he followed us just everywhere we wanted to go -on the walking trail, to our room- and he gets very, very close. We like dogs, but this was even too much for us. We were not asked at all and at no time if we liked this and we could only manage to get rid of the dog with the friendly and intense help of some other guests as nobody of the staff was around to solve it.

We had dinner for 28 USD/person once. We were not informed beforehand what it is and we could not choose from anything. Dinner itself was delicious, and the restaurant area is really full of ambience in the evenings. The wine menu offers a selection of mid-range red wines and white wines, each bottle for 30 USD -by far too expensive for what it is, but we had a really nice evening and can recommend having dinner at the Hacienda.

Breakfast for an extra of 10 USD/person is served from 7 am in the same area as dinner is served. The freshly prepared scrambled eggs/omelets with a variety of ingredients you can choose from (cheese, mixed vegetables, tomatoes, mushrooms...) were excellent, but the rest of the buffet was disappointing -some tasteless toasted baguettes slides, butter and jam, some fresh fruit with too many fruit flies around - a fan could prevent this.

We missed a kind of lobby where you can sit, read, watch TV, have a public internet access etc. for the evenings. It gets dark at the latest at 6 pm and there is really nothing to do around in the evenings. Yes, there is a TV lounge -but it is open-air and next to the lagoon and therefore for sure not a place to sit in the evenings in the tropics (mosquitoes!).

We visited "Heliconia Island", a dutch-owned lodge about 15 minutes by car from the Hacienda La Isla and had a very good and interesting guided tour on the entire garden grounds with a very enthusiastic and friendly owner -recommended!

Taken together staying here was ok, but we would look for something else if we returned to this area.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank TravelSiMa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leuven
Level Contributor
26 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 18, 2012

Hacienda La Isla is a wonderful hotel in Costa Rica. The lodge is ina quiet location and has his private domain with beautiful surroundings. The owner, Jean-Pierre, is very helpful. He arranged a boat trip on the Sarapiqui river in no time and gave a lot of info on things to see in area.
His wife is a great cook: the food was delicious.
The room was very spacious and clean. The rooms and gardens have a lot of character as they are renovated with respect for the original style.
We stayed in several locations in Costa Rica, but La Hacienda was the most authentic.
One point of attention:you must search a little for the sign to the Hacienda as it is well hidden in the forest.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank GerritN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burcht, Belgium
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 17, 2012

We loved our stay here. Especially the food was excellent ! The gardens are beautiful with lots of birds that come right in front of your room. Jean-Pierre, the owner, is very helpful when you need more information about the neighbourhood and the activities you can plan.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Patrick L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hacienda La Isla Lodge

Property: Hacienda La Isla Lodge
Address: Horquetas, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Heredia > Sarapiqui > Horquetas
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Horquetas
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Hacienda La Isla Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hidden in the foothills of the impressive Braulio Carrillo National Park, the Spanish colonial-built Hacienda La Isla Lodge is very well located in the center of numerous top attractions of Costa Rica.A perfect gateway for your visit to the rainforests and the adventure sites (rafting, canopy, horseback riding, etc.) of Sarapiqui, the exotic Caribbean beaches, the active volcano Arenal or the world famous Tortuguero canals and sea turtles. Guests will encounter the mysteries of the rainforest while enjoying a comfortable stay in the historically designed rooms of the hacienda. Hacienda La Isla lodge is a unique departure from the common tourism experience in Costa Rica. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hacienda La Isla Hotel Horquetas
Hacienda La Isla Lodge Costa Rica/Sarapiqui - Horquetas

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