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Princesa de la Luna Eco Lodge
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All reviewsmud bathtour of the propertypineapple houseoff the beaten pathcosta ricadirt roadcommon areas arerustic experiencenatural poolspring fed poolbeautiful jungleplants and animalsfruit treesnatural springwaterfall hikelove naturepura vida
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Reviewed March 7, 2013

It was late and we had already endured many hours of flight delays and traffic in Costa Rica so perhaps we weren't off on the right foot. When we got into La Fortuna, the gps coordinates (from their website at the time) took me to some dark road where we drove around aimlessly until we found another hotel to ask them where this was. They didn't know but after making some phone calls, we were pointed back down the main route 702, where there were signs (in the dark), pointing down a dirt road. For 2km, our rental car endured to bumpiest and most unsettling ride into the pitch black, over huge uneven rocks. Finally we saw the lodge's sign and the British owner came out with is dog and flashlight and pointed us down his driveway to the hotel. When he let us in, he opened up the deck doors and then left the front door open, urging us it's ok to leave them because it's safe and there aren't any mosquitos. Uncomfortable with the doors wide open while we slept, we shut the doors but his dog refused to leave, so he ended up sleeping in our room for the night. Our room was lovely and rustic with a nice deck facing the the plant farm and you could see Arenal in the distance. Our bathroom however needed a major update. The old cast iron bathtub had rust stains, and there was a used soap with hair on it still. We only stayed that one night just to catch the canyoning tour in the morning. Up and early, the owner prepared us a nice breakfast overlooking the back of the mountain, and then we took a short walk down through the garden and to the pool. The pool was very dirty with tadpoles swimming everywhere- so they shouldn't be advertising that they even have a pool. Back up to the hotel, the owner started asking us why we were only there for one night and started lecturing us about how it's a shame and the roads are awful in CR. We told him we had a 7hr drive to our next destination and we had booked our hotel already, but he kept saying we shouldn't even be on the road after sunset, and he'd give us a discount on another night etc. I think he was being more pushy than helpful because the lodge was empty and we were the only guests.

When it came time to do our canyoning tour, the truck almost drove right past the hotel without us but the owner flagged him down. It turns out all the canyoning tours are right up the end of that same rocky road, and we jumped onto the back of their pickup truck. After the tour we decided he was trying scare tactics to make us stay, and just the thought of driving down that rocky road and back just to go into town was another thing, so we checked out and made it to our next hotel 7-8hrs later in one piece.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank occasionaltravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2013

My wife and I stayed at this beautiful eco-lodge for 5 days in February. The house itself is hard to figure out by looking at the pictures. It is a hotel with a home-like feel. Your food is prepared for you in an open kitchen, which is also available to use at your leisure, if you choose. I recommend having breakfast daily and at least a couple dinners as well. The meals are authentic, home cooked, wonderful, and served family style with the other guests. We were very comfortable in our room and loved the interaction with the owner and staff and other guests. The grounds are breathtaking, and a swim in the jungle pool is a unique pleasure. I have never felt so relaxed, and I truly miss the owner, staff and other guests we were able to share our vacation with.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank jeffngreer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 2, 2013

My family of 5 stayed at Princesa de la Luna Eco Lodge in December. I was a little leery at the time due to reading some negative reviews. I had already paid for three nights, so I figured if it wasn't perfect that we would make the best of it. I was pleasantly surprised. The accommodations were incredible. My kids(ages 17, 20 and 22) stayed in one of the bedrooms in the main lodge area and my husband and I had the other room. The rooms and bathrooms were very large, clean and comfortable. We had no problem with having enough hot water for the five of us. Since we were the only ones there at the time we had the place to ourselves and loved it. Unfortunately, it rained for for the 3 days we were there, which made staying there with all the room to spread out and hang out that much more important. Every night my family hung out on the deck area, relaxing and playing cards. We wished we could have seen the volcano, but the fog didn't lift the 3 days were there. Jonathan has built an incredible place. We explored the property and only wished we had more time there to hike around to see it further. Jonathan was very interesting to talk with. He was a perfect host. He talked with us and gave us advice, but also gave us our personal space. He even made sugar cane juice on our last day before we left. Maureen, who made us a great breakfast each morning was very sweet. Diego came by one morning and chatted with us. Even though we aren't "dog people", we all loved Paco. My son and him became best friends by the time we left. As other reviewers said, if you are looking for a resort, this place is not for you. if you are looking for an incredible property in the middle of the jungle with people who live in the neighborhood taking care of the place this is for you. I am glad that we prepaid and I didn't get cold feet about staying here, or I would have truly missed staying at a unique, incredible place. My entire family felt this place was one of the highlights of our trip. If I came back to the area I would not hesitate to stay here, and would make it must stay destination. As other reviewers said, the road to get there was a little rough. Having a 4WD vehicle would be a help.

Room Tip: Both rooms in the main lodge area were great.
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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Thank nfine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 6, 2013 via mobile

I'm not one to complain much about an experience, but since this location fell so short of our expectations, I thought it was important to share with others who may consider going there.

Probably one of the biggest drawbacks to this property isn't the owner fault directly, but I felt he could have, or maybe should have, been made an attempt to remedy the problem. The problem was the access road to the property. The property was approximately 1.8 km off the main road, an it was accesses by a horribly maintained dirt road. Even driving a 4x4 SUV, my girlfriend and I found it to be grueling. Now I feel it's important to preface this statement by saying, I'm not some city slicker just complaining about less than perfect road. I use to live in the country, and had to boxblade our road every time it rained hard, so I know what a dirt road access can be. Just imagine what it was like, to go and play around the Aernal volcano area, and then having to make the decision, do we strap on the kidney belts for a 12 min ride in and a 12 min ride out, or do we just stay gone all day??? I remember on one occasion we just went and bought new clothes rather than deal with that horrific road.

The second part to this review would be the property's condition. At a far, and in pictures, this place looked amazing, and with good cause. The inn it was situated on was a wonderful parcel of land, that felt like it was nestled deep in the rainforest. What could be better than that right? Wrong!!! The same lack of attention to the property's egress affected the property's condition. The hot tub was empty when we got there, so was one of the pools. The second pool was nothing more than a hole in the ground, cemented in and tiled, but 1/3 of the tiles were popped off. No drain, no filtration, and means of keeping it sanitary, the bottom felt furry! The bathrooms felt like my 5 year old cleaned them without supervision and mold was growing like wildflowers in the armoire where our clothes were suppose to be kept. The kitchen was anything but sanitary. There were fruit flies were all over the wooden counters, sinks, and on the produce. The exterior of the refrigerator was all rusty and its interior was about as dirty as our bathroom. Last but not least regarding property issues, the wireless internet we were promised supposedly broke right before we got there.

The inn keeper and owner was a middle aged Welshman named Jonathan. He was very friendly, but the more I talked with him, the more her reminded me of Crocodile Dundee's Australian sidekick Walter, kinda lost and full of it. While there, we heard other guests complaining about no hot water, holes in their roof, and so on... He appeared to simply acknowledge the problem, but never fixed it. Sadly, my girlfriend and I kept saying, "This would be an amazing place if Jonathan would just put some love back into it!"

So if you are reading this review Jonathan, please understanding it wasn't written to be mean or cause you to lose business. We simply want you to put back into Princesa de la Luna the magic you did when you built it!

I'm sure the defensive response to this review could be, "this is the Costa Rican rainforest, not a Hilton hotel in the states," but we were in Costa Rica for 10 days and stayed at 4 other places, so I think we gained some good perspective on local accommodations.

I hope you find this review helpful. I'm not sure if you can ask a person making a review questions after the fact, but if you can, feel free to contact me...




  • Stayed: January 2013
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4  Thank Steve W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Soto11PV, Owner at Princesa de la Luna Eco Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded April 5, 2013

You ask me if the comments you posted were helpful...unfortunately I think they are misleading and damaging.

Your first point, complaining about the 1.8km pebble dirt road. Yes some parts are bad and we are pressuring the local authority to make further improvements, it´s not as if our community doesn´t care!!!!.....Look we share the hope and the dream that this will be much better ,but low non four-wheel drive cars come up and down everyday. Yes this has been a challenge from the start and I paid for most of the bridge at the bottom of the hill...but this is really out of my hands. It takes about 6 minutes to go down the hill and about 9 minutes to come up , driving reasonably slowly... it is a price worth paying for the beauty, the nature and privacy that we have here.

Your second major point complaining about the secluded second pool in the jungle.....The pool has drainage etc but it´s not practical as a swimming pool the river comes up over the top...it has rarely been used for swimming , now it is best used as a fish pond and for acquatic plants, I´m amazed you complain about this as it´s quite deep in the jungle,it is a place to explore and walk around not to swim.. there are some crying ot weeping walls and natural pools in the river where people swim , not in the fish pond! ...You don´t mention the main naturally spring fed swimming pool down in the valley, very beautiful , crystaline blue and totally private, we use no chlorine or chemicals. This pool is a star attraction of the Princesa.

The hot tub can be filled and put into action , we prefer to do this by request , that evening it was available for use and you went out early....although we can have issues with this.

There was a functioning plug in internet option right infront of your room....the wi-fi was not working the router was deprogrammed and ICE the local electrical company solved the problem the day after you left. I am sorry but I believe our internet service to be a bit unreliable ...if there are storms it sometimes doesnt work...I want us to offer a consistent service, and for me this issue is very annoying as I can not control the reliability.

We offer more than just accomodation if there was an issue with the state of the bathroom you just have to say something and you were asked if there was anything you needed. Your room when you entered was in excellent condition and newly decorated..

The food is excellent quality ,abundant and good value, you should have tried it. I can assure you we are putting a lot of love into this place ... and you imply we don´t, just not true.

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Reviewed January 31, 2013

My girlfriend and I had the privilege of staying at Princesa de la Luna for the last few days of our Christmas and New Years trip to Costa Rica. It was an absolute pleasure and a wonderfully relaxing site to end a fantastic trip. John was very hospitable and the morning breakfast was delicious, not to mention a beautiful view of the volcano from the breakfast table.

Our room was open and clean, with a surprisingly comfortable bed!!!

For those of you that are use to staying in hotels and absolutely spotless resorts with full time cleaning crews, keep this in mind. Princesa de la Luna is a Eco Lodge that is located smack in the middle of a jungle roughly 15 mins up a rough dirt road. It is an open concept escape that it intended as a means of immersing ones self in the beauty of nature and being surrounded in a location off the beaten path.

Of all the holidays I have been on, this was tops in my books and Princesa del la Luna will most definitely be on my "must see again" list. Where else can you see wildlife in their habitat while perched high above the jungle sipping a cup of tea? Not to mention that John built the place from the ground up!!!

Much thanks and we hope to see you in the years to come!

Cheers
Ed

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Ed M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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