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“Really Nice Stay”
Review of Tree House Lodge

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Tree House Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Portland, Oregon
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Really Nice Stay”
Reviewed December 20, 2012

The Tree House Lodge is beautiful, and the perfect jungle experience. The only reason we are giving 4 stars rather than 5 is because 1. we got the Garden House because it was the cheapest option, and it is just far less nice than the other houses. It is just much more cabin-y, and I had house envy our entire trip. There were not many guests while we were there, it would have been nice to be offered an upgrade (it was our honeymoon after all). and 2. On our second day, reception was either out to lunch or for some other reason not there every time we went by, and so we were never able to request the fire for our hot tub for our last night. We tried to light the fire ourselves, but the rainforest was just too damp, and then our lighter ran out of fluid. Very disappointing.

Otherwise, it was really fun to go look for iguanas whenever we wanted and have a nice oasis away from town.

Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
4 Thank Elicia B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Tilaran, Costa Rica
Level 6 Contributor
44 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed October 31, 2012

We chose to spend part of our honeymoon at the Tree House Lodge. The Beach House was perfect for us. As you walk in on the first floor, you'll see a double bed with a mosquito net, a well-equipped kitchen with coffee maker, a blender (you're welcomed to pick the fruits from their trees to make your very own fresh fruit juice, just add ice and some sugar according to your taste), all the utensils you need, pots and pans, etc.

Bathroom is huge and is has glass ceiling so you don't need to turn on any lights for your morning shower. Beach towels and fluffy bath towels along with a rack to dry your clothes are included. The hot water there is operated by solar panels. That means on a cloudy/raining day you can expect no hot water (or just luke warm).

Master bedroom is upstairs lead by a beautiful set of wooden spiral staircase. There is no window screen (as a reviewer complained) but we thought that was the whole point of living in a tree house. There's not much on the second floor except a queen bed also with mosquito net. There is no tv, or air conditioner (if you cannot live with these, this place is definitely not for you). Both floors have ceiling fan to circulate the air. Outside there are 2 hammocks, a huge deck, a firewood operated hot tub, a stone grill, and a large pentagon dinner table and chairs.

Tip for the hot tub: It takes about 3 hours to get the water hot in the tub. Ask Antonio to start the fire for you before you go out for dinner so by the time you come back it would be ready. ALWAYS fill up the tub first. You could either ask him to maintain the fire, or do it yourself by adding more firewood (which my husband loves to do).

Please DO read the guest information book thoroughly upon arrival. Lots of good info and I believe most of the complains were due to lack of research prior to booking this place and refusal to read the information book.

Breakfast is included on your first morning only. Geraldo will bring you fresh fruits, hot bread and buns, cheese and ham, and a small jar of fresh fruit juice. Just let him know what time you would like him to bring you breakfast. I believe I also read a review complaining about the breakfast. Honestly, we weren't big fan of having fruit for breakfast. But after this trip, we appreciate so much of having fresh and healthy food to start our morning. If you prefer big bacon, sausages and all the high-cholesterol food, All-inclusive would suit you better.

Pita Bonita is on the left hand side when you walk out of the main entrance of THL. We loved their food so much that we went again for lunch 2 days later. If you like local food, I heard a lot of good things about Selvin's (which is about 5 more mins walk from Pita Bonita). However it's only open Friday, Saturday and Sunday so we missed it.

I highly recommend you to rent a bike. If you turn right when you walk out of THL, you're going towards Puerto Viejo town. About 10 mins walk, on your left hand side you'll see a small sign "RIDE ON ME". Owner is a friendly German guy. His bikes are $5 per day and if you rent more than 3 or 4 days, he'll charge you $3 per day. His bikes may not look very new but trust me, we had them for 2.5 days and loved them.

In the THL guest info book, they recommend grocery store El Duente. It's about 5 mins bike ride towards Puerto Viejo direction. We didn't have good experience with it. If you bike 10 more mins towards PV, there's a bigger supermarket called Pirripli which has more friendly staff and more variety of food (and slightly lower price too). It is highly recommended you buy some food from the store and make your own breakfast (we even made dinner on the grill too) to save money. After all, it isn't cheap to stay at THL and eating out every night is a big expense. There's a butcher shop on Calle 215, which is in Puerto Viejo. You can get a few pieces of steaks for about $4. We bought some potatoes and a tomato at Pirripli for $1. We went back to THL and had Antonio to start the grill for us. $5 for a dinner for 2 of us.

Hotel offers a free iguana tour every Tues and Thurs. DO NOT MISS IT. Our guide Boogie is very knowledgeable, very passionate and knows every plants there and the use of them. Also, if you ask, Antonio will chop you a few fresh coconuts with his machete. You can leave the coconuts in the fridge (just be careful as they may spill) and there you'll have fresh cold coconut water. It's amazing.

There's a private path from our Beach House to the beach. It's not quite swimmable but beautiful. Punta Uva is also a beautiful beach. To those who were complaining about the beach, this is a natural beach and it's for everyone. It is not the resort-type of beach where you see resort workers driving a 4x4 picking up cigarette butts and garbage every morning.

We truly enjoyed our experience at THL and Puerto Viejo. The only thing that I wasn't impressed (but it wasn't their fault) was the bugs. Here at THL it's got jungle and beach together. At night even though I ensured the net was closed and I stayed under the sheets, I still woke up in the middle of the night with bites on my toes and ankles. Most people didn't have any problem so I think it's just me. Here at home bugs love me so much that even when I go out to the yard for 2 mins and would come back with a few mosquito bites. Unfortunately this is something I had to deal with.

We don't understand how people find things to complain about this place. Honestly, if you do your research at home, treat everyone wish respect, pack lots of patience and humbleness with you, appreciate the natural resources they have, you would love this place as much as I did.

Thanks again, Edsart for lending me salt and pepper so I could make my steaks and potatoes so yummy.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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10 Thank Karin L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wichita, Kansas
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed September 12, 2012

Truly enjoyed our experience at the Tree House Lodge in July, where we stayed 6 nights for our 20-year anniversary. Lovely accommodations in a gorgeous, natural setting...we felt as much a part of the jungle as we could get while still being completely taken care of! Martin was just wonderful, incredibly helpful and completely on top of everything, and he and Caleb were full of terrific ideas and recommendations!

It's not a typical luxury resort, even though we felt pampered...if you want all the latest electronics, don't want to get close to any wildlife, and prefer servants everywhere, it's probably not the place for you. But the accommodations are well-conceived and well-built, and maintained with obvious pride, and there are AMAZING restaurants in the area - I had no idea we'd eat so well! There's also plenty to do, especially if you go when the seas are calm. The zip-line was an incredible experience, and so was the Jaguar Rescue Center, where a monkey crawled into my arms!! It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The only reason I didn't give it 5 starts is the price point, even though the Garden House where we stayed is the least expensive. It is RIGHT ON the road, which makes it quite noisy anytime a car goes by, taking away from the peace of the experience. Also, all the units are quite large, which is really not what we needed, given that there were only two of us. We felt that the privacy was worth the extra price, but we were expecting more noise from the howler monkeys than the road, which wasn't the case.

All in all, this was our first trip to Central America, and it was a simply remarkable adventure. When my son gets old enough to appreciate (and not accidentally threaten) the wildlife, we'll take him!

Room Tip: Garden House was right on the road, too noisy. I'd recommend any of the others, which all looke...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
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4 Thank Patti B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Somerville, Massachusetts, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 7, 2012

The world is small, and getting smaller. Virtually every destination offers a lux hotel, a family friendly resort, a chic boutique inn. Rare is the unique property that appeals as much to honeymooners as families, eco-travelers and urbanites, those seeking high design and those looking to just getaway. That property is the Tree House Lodge, where my family stayed for five nights (May/June 2012). Monkey howls greeted us in the morning, iguana made our short stroll to the beach even more interesting, and one evening a sloth even visited us as if to say "goodnight." And all the while the thoughtful, go-the-extra-mile staff (including the resident Rhodesian Ridgebacks) went out of their way to make us feel at home. It was worth every star, and every cent.

Room Tip: The Tree House room has reliable WiFi (there are no TVs), and there is an air conditioner in the gro...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
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3 Thank Joe C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indianapolis, Indiana
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
Reviewed May 23, 2012

We stayed at the Costa Rica Tree House Lodge (the tree house building) for two nights in May 2012. This is like a child's fantasy of a hotel room, with trees sprouting up from the floor, a toilet inside a tree trunk, and suspension bridges connecting the master bedroom to the main living area. The unit has a full kitchen, two full baths and two bedrooms. We could have spent a happy week here doing the adventure tours (hiking, snorkeling, horseback riding, rafting, etc.) and hanging out in Puerto Viejo and on the beach.

The free welcome breakfast we received on the first morning was an enormous pile of fresh fruit, meat, cheese, bread and juice. Very nice.

The grounds are also stunning. On the one-minute walk to the beach alone we saw colorful crabs and many lizards and birds. Some guests have reported seeing sloths, but we weren't so lucky. We did hear plenty of howler monkeys, though.

When my friend and I checked in to the lodge, we were both sick with a 24-hour flu, and the staff were incredibly helpful, offering to carry our bags, bring us anything we needed to eat or drink, etc. We really appreciated their attention and concern.

My only word of caution: Be prepared for a rustic version of luxury. The common areas are open-air, so there's no air conditioning or protection against bugs (except in the bedrooms). You will need to wear bug spray, and you will need to keep your food covered. Also, the lodge doesn't have the services of a usual hotel, so you will need to bring your own groceries or schedule time to purchase them in Puerto Viejo. And, the bedrooms are screened but not soundproof, so you'll need ear plugs if the bugs and howler monkeys might keep you awake.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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5 Thank ashley627
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed May 5, 2012

I have to say the saving grace of this hotel was the staff. They were very concerned with our well-being. When we arrived, there wasn't anyone there to greet us or point us in the tight direction. No reception area was available. Our bus driver finally tracked someone down who was working on another house on the property. He came to show us around and he was extremely nice. We stayed in the tree house. It was really a cool experience to be out in the open. However, we had some concerns. The tree house was too large for 2 people. The bathroom that is pictured on the website was really meat but it was close to another house and I was afraid someone could hear or see in. The bugs were really bad and the nets on the bed didn't keep them out. That was kind of fun until we found a lizard in the bed. I definitely agree with the other reviews that the grounds were terribly run down. We felt like there was construction going on everywhere. We didn't have help with the jacuzzi like the owner states in his other reviews. In fact, there wasn't anyone to be found after 8:00 pm. The town is about 15 minutes away and goes cost a bit of money to get there. The restaurants that are nearby are open limited hours. Most of them werent open for lunch. We got back after dark a few nights and there wasnt any light to get to our room. There were a few dogs that live on the property. We used them to get us there. The breakfast was great. We were served a lot if fresh ingredients from the area. There are much nicer and less expensive hotels in the area. I recommend staying in puerto viejo. I just want to repeat that the staff here was very nice and hospitable.

  • Stayed April 2012
    • Value
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4 Thank Smartiann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed March 21, 2012

We spent two nights at the Tree House Lodge in Puerto Viejo. While I have been to
many of the "surf towns" on the Pacific side as well as up and down the Nicoya Peninsula.......
I must say that I like Puerto Viejo the best. Very charming and authentic. Fabulous restaurants,
touristy ( but cool) shops to fulfill that "inner hippy" desire to drape ourselves with various
bohemian accoutrements. I like the fact that the town (and the PV area) goes along the shore so the
beach is almost always in site. It is lush and green everywhere.....and a great abundance
of wildlife.

In writing about Tree House Lodge I want to be unbiased and fair. I know that sometimes
a hotel can get a very negative review based upon a rare bad experience. Also, it is not
unheard of for someone to write a glowing review because they were given an upgrade
and this was subtly requested by a hotel staff member.

The setting for the Tree House Lodge is very private and right on the beach. While the
beach in front is not really swimable.....a 5 or 10 minute stroll in either direction
will have you on some of the most beautiful beaches I've seen in Costa Rica. We stayed
in the Beach Suite. We were two couples and one single. I loved the setting and the ability
to open up all the doors to the outside. To lie in one of two hammocks and hear the
waves crashing is pure heaven. These are my issues with Tree House Lodge, and
more particularly the Beach Suite.....

This is not ideal for three couples. In the main building the two bedrooms are in close
proximity. The main level bedroom has no roof separating it from the upper bedroom loft.
So it's really almost like being in the same room. The upper bedroom has no
WC so if one wants to use the bathroom during the night they will need to walk down
a winding staircase. The bathroom itself is a very bizarre modern design (some
may like it but not my cup of tea)....very large with two showers, a hot tub and toilet.
The problem is, there is a big opening right in the main living area and no doors!
Even the toilet is not behind a door (just tucked in behind a curved wall).....very uncomfortable for all.

The third room is across the main entry porch. It has a bathroom. There is also
a powder room (which our friends used regularly because of the awkwardness
of toilet in main bath). This bedroom has no opening windows! So it is necessary
to close the door at night and turn on the AC. What were they thinking?
To sleep in a room listening to the rattle of the AC and be denied the lovely
sound of the ocean is not at all desirable. In fact it causes a feeling of

The rooms are very tired........just very basic. The cushion covers on two sofas in
the living room have seen better days. Linens and towels are well used and again
very basic. The large doors that open to the ocean are out of wack and need some
repair. Very complicated and difficult process to open and close them (which must
be done every time one leaves room). Our shower head was in bad shape and
spewing water to the sides. The coffee maker in the kitchen was basically a two
cup pot which means we had to make three to four pots each morning....etc...etc.

Again, we loved the setting (which is a valid reason for a higher price point than other
accommodation in the area). What is lacking here in my opinion is "pride of place".
The grounds were not that well kept. The area in front of the Beach Suite was just
awful. Large dead leaves all over.....weeds and dead fruit everywhere......as if it had not been tended
to for a long time. Someone spending a half hour cleaning this up would make a
dramatic difference. It just drags everything down when the the view from your space
is so bad.

There was an issue when we checked in as we requested three separate bedrooms
but they had booked us into the Tree House which is two bedrooms. Caleb quickly
dealt with this and put us into the Beach Suite. Luckily it was available. Caleb
was very helpful and Pamela was able to book me for a wonderful last minute

Here is what should be done in the short term
Clean up the grounds
Put a sliding curtain on a rod between bathroom and main area
in main building (at least when someone sees a closed curtain
they will know not to go in)
Make one or two of the windows and third bedroom openable
and put in a ceiling fan
Do some serious work on those doors that open to the outside...
it is one of the main assets of this space
Fix shower head
Provide proper size coffeemaker for a space sleeping six...
Recover the cushions on two sofas.....us a darker colour that
matches the wicker and that will solve a lot of problems as
far as dealing with staining......

i think this place could be a gem in the rough.....needs some serious
attention to detail.....and again.....pride of place...

Room Tip: Beach suite good for family in main buidling....and couple in second building... Don't know tha...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
11 Thank serenatoronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tree House Lodge

Property: Tree House Lodge
Address: 200 meters south of primary school in Playa Chiquita | Punta Uvs, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca 7304, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #17 of 104 Specialty Lodging in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The only tree house right on the beach of the southern Caribbean of Costa Rica. This is your best nature hotel and romantic hideaway. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tree House Hotel Puerto Viejo
Tree House Lodge Costa Rica/Limon

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