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“Definitely jungle, a bit bush league...”

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Tierra de Suenos Lodge
Reviewed January 28, 2013

We wanted very much to like Tierra de Suenos Lodge, but it was a bit of a disappointment.

When we FINALLY found it (due to the miniscule sign) the first surprise was the tiny gravel parking lot, which made us feel we were in the wrong place. We headed in to sign up, and they only had a single key for our "deluxe" Colibri cabin. Since we were traveling with another couple, we needed at least two keys to enable us to function on different exploration schedules. The next day we were given a second key, but it did not fit the lock.

The Lodge claims to be eco-friendly, but their dog barked all night and most of the day, it seemed. This acoustic harassment can't have been any better for local wildlife than for us visitors trying in vain to sleep. Also, the first night we were treated to several hours of wild shouts and carousing from the direction of the beach, which lasted till about 1:30 am.

One thing the cabins NEED is seating, and better light to enable one to read a book without going blind. Our cabin was supposed to sleep 5, yet it had not a single chair or sofa anywhere inside. And the lights were barely adequate, since many were low-wattage incandescent instead of the new super-efficient warm white spiral fluorescent bulbs.

The toilet was a fancy low-consumption twin flush unit that did not automatically refill the reservoir most of the time. This was due to calcium deposits on the fill mechanism, caused by minerals in the local water. When we called the maintenance man, he had no spare parts to fix it. When I explained a way to fix it by placing the parts in hot vinegar to clear the deposits, he said he would get right on it, MANANA. This made for an interesting night of flushing it with a bucket we borrowed from the kitchen.

Because they lacked a kettle to boil water, I heated up some water for tea on the gas stove in the kitchen in the lodge entrance building. This was an experience, because the burners on the six-burner stove were ALL severely corroded, and even partly melted in places. The flames shot out randomly and fiercely, making it hard to center the pot over the flame. When I voiced my concern over the safety of this appliance, they said, "It is the tropics, and things rust." True enough, but when the rust damages critical safety equipment like gas stove burners, it is time for new parts, not excuses.

There were some real positives at the Lodge as well. In the front office across from the desk they have the largest free lending library I have seen in a long time traveling, with quite a wide variety of books. The breakfast was ample, with lots of strong local coffee in large cups. The staff were kind and helpful, although not always able to solve our problems. The ceiling fans worked well in place of air conditioning. And we found an amazing golden orb weaver spider beside our cabin. Its massive web looked like it was spun of pure gold when viewed from the edge in bright sunshine.

The free wifi was OK, although quite slow by North American standards. I think this is because they share a DSL connection over phone lines.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with ample seating, so you do not wind up sitting on the bed or the stairs.
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Arthur G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tierradesuenoslodge, Owner at Tierra de Suenos Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded January 31, 2013

I would like to extend my apologies for what you feel was a bad experience however all of our bungalows are listed in detail on our websites with full pictures of each. You also arrived at 11am which is 9 hours after check in time and 3 hours after reception closes. Our onsite manager was not thrilled with the cursing and carrying on as well especially when we did all we could to accommodate you and we did offer you another bungalow that evening to stay. I also want to mention that our receptionist was called from her house at 11:30pm to come to Tierra de Suenos and help you get comfortable. This is not normal and I do not know to many lodges in Costa Rica that would accommodate this much. That same receptionist spent her entire day and lets remember this is high busy season to find you a new hotel. You did not even extend the courtesy enough to tell her when you would be back if you wanted to stay or leave but you were quite fine taking towels and heading to the beach and returning again after checkout at 2pm and arrive at approximately 6pm to finally let us know you were leaving.

So not only did we have to deal with your rude behaviour and permanent unhappiness towards our beautiful establishment, but also your total lack of respect for what we were doing for you and your family as well as our check out policies cost us the loss of 2 of our most expensive bungalows in the peak of high season. I have to say not only were we not impressed with your behaviour, but your friends and family were not either. They were kind enough to let us know they did not have a problem.

We do not have a dog on our property but in Costa Rica many businesses and residences have dogs for protection so you probably heard the many dogs of Costa Rica. Which leads me to the key problem. The keys at our lodge are lost very often and each bungalow has one set only as this is our policy. We often hold keys for our guests at our reception as they can be stolen easily at the beach or while out and this can leave all of our guests at risk. So we solve this by offering one set of keys, storage up front while they are out as I would not want someone lingering into my bungalow and safe throughout the day if I lost mine...especially if I was another guest.

Our lighting is low and serene as we are a wellness center and people at night in the jungle like to watch the sky, enjoy the low light and simply have a romantic atmosphere. Fluoresce lighting is not in our healthy or eco friendly choice. Seating we could always have more of and the front desk if notified could have brought chairs for your convenience but we were not told. Again hammocks on the patio and the table and chairs seem to be sufficient for most guests.

Costa Rica is very different then living anywhere else in the world. The EXTREME moisture can erode, mould and eat anything alive here and very quickly. Also to source parts, stoves, fridges is about a 4 hour drive to San Jose, so to get something done next day (which I understand was done) is pretty timely here at any lodge. I just want to remind you this was not a concern really as you did not stay in the bungalow and left the next day.

Thank your for putting in some good comments regarding our coffee and staff as they work very hard here to make our guests happy and comfortable. They are also very positive and I believe did there best to try to accommodate a very difficult customer. In Costa Rica we say and try to live by a simple concept Pura Vida… I hope you had a great visit to Costa Rica and can incorporate this concept into your daily living.

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29 - 35 of 221 reviews

Reviewed January 19, 2013

We stayed here for three days. The bungalow was perfect, it was 2 stories high And not that big. There is a nice bathroom and is clean inside. The breakfast is prepared everyday fresh. It is on walking distance from a small supermarket And the beach. the owners and the people that work there are very nice people.

  • Stayed: December 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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Thank Basjan90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tierradesuenoslodge, Owner at Tierra de Suenos Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded February 4, 2013

We are thrilled your enjoyed your stay with us and hope you return again soon!
The Team at Tierra

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Reviewed January 15, 2013

We made reservations 2.5 months in advance, clearly explaining that we are 2 couples with 2 small kids each. We were told that there are 2 nice large cabanas that will be a good fit for us.
When we arrived at 11pm with sleeping kids, we were shocked to discover that one of the cabanas had 2 floors, the entry to the second floor was outside and completely separated from the main entrance. The bed upstairs was tiny, not sure 2 kids would fit in it even if we were ready to leave them completely alone in the separate room. The guy on duty didn't speak any English (which I guess is ok, it's Costa Rica after all), and all we were getting in response was-sorry, can't help you.
We managed to all fit into one cabana for one night (didn't have a choice really in the middle of the night). Well, the nicest cabana was a far cry from the description and pictures provided on the web site. While AC is not a standard feature in many Caribbean towns of Costa Rica, this one really needs one. It sits right next to the creek and very close to the ocean and the humidity was so bad, the sheets felt so damp it was disgusting (and I am not too squeamish when it comes to hotels). It smelled moldy and damp. The windows have nets with holes. It is NOT luxury by any means. The bed upstairs in the big cabana was hard as rock. Felt like youth hostel.
The grounds ARE amazing, lush and feel like jungle. Ladies that served breakfast were super nice (see, they don't speak English too, but managed to be very very nice).
The beach-well, the hotel is NOT on the beach. If you want to walk to the beach-it is quite a long walk. The beach is NOT swimmable during winter time.
Ended up leaving to a different hotel in Cahuita the next day.
They have Yoga sessions every day except for Sundays, so I guess if you are a solo traveller who doesn't care about quality of your bed and heat and humidity and want private quite surrounding-this is a good place for you.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank nata_il
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tierradesuenoslodge, Owner at Tierra de Suenos Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded January 31, 2013

I would like to extend my apologies for what you feel was a bad experience however all of our bungalows are listed in detail on our websites with full pictures of each. You also arrived at 11am which is 9 hours after check in time and 3 hours after reception closes. Our onsite manager was not thrilled with the cursing and carrying on as well especially when we did all we could to accommodate you and we did offer you another bungalow that evening to stay. I also want to mention that our receptionist was called from her house at 11:30pm to come to Tierra de Suenos and help you get comfortable. This is not normal and I do not know to many lodges in Costa Rica that would accommodate this much. That same receptionist spent her entire day and lets remember this is high busy season to find you a new hotel. You did not even extend the courtesy enough to tell her when you would be back if you wanted to stay or leave but you were quite fine taking towels and heading to the beach and returning again after checkout at 2pm and arrive at approximately 6pm to finally let us know you were leaving.

So not only did we have to deal with your rude behaviour and permanent unhappiness towards our beautiful establishment but also your total lack of respect for what we were doing for you and your family as well as our check out policies cost us the loss of 2 of our most expensive bungalows in the peak of high season. I have to say not only were we not impressed with your behaviour, but your friends and family were not either. They were kind enough to let us know they did not have a problem.

We do not have a dog on our property but in Costa Rica many businesses and residences have dogs for protection so you probably heard the many dogs of Costa Rica. Which leads me to the key problem. The keys at our lodge are lost very often and each bungalow has one set only as this is our policy. We often hold keys for our guests at our reception as they can be stolen easily at the beach or while out and this can leave all of our guests at risk. So we solve this by offering one set of keys, storage up front while they are out as I would not want someone lingering into my bungalow and safe throughout the day if I lost mine...especially if I was another guest.

Our lighting is low and serene as we are a wellness center and people at night in the jungle like to watch the sky, enjoy the low light and simply have a romantic atmosphere. Fluoresce lighting is not in our healthy or eco friendly choice. Seating we could always have more of and the front desk if notified could have brought chairs for your convenience but we were not told. Again hammocks on the patio and the table and chairs seem to be sufficient for most guests.

Costa Rica is very different then living anywhere else in the world. The EXTREME moisture can erode, mould and eat anything alive here and very quickly. Also to source parts, stoves, fridges is about a 4 hour drive to San Jose, so to get something done next day (which I understand was done) is pretty timely here at any lodge. I just want to remind you this was not a concern really as you did not stay in the bungalow and left the next day.

Thank your for putting in some good comments regarding our coffee and staff as they work very hard here to make our guests happy and comfortable. They are also very positive and I believe did there best to try to accommodate a very difficult customer. In Costa Rica we say and try to live by a simple concept Pura Vida… I hope you had a great visit to Costa Rica and can incorporate this concept into your daily living.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2012 via mobile

I loved staying at Tierra se Suenos. Anna and Christian, at the front desk, were terrific. We had a great time.

The reason I haven't given the highest marks are because of expectations.

First, the hotel listed a rate on their site, but when I booked, they quoted a rate that was $20/night higher. They refused to honor their website rate, telling me it was out of date and they hadn't updated their site. Seriously!?

The other reason is because their site stated that they employed locals. This wasn't the case. Although the maid was local, and the cook, none of the front staff was from the area. They were wonderful, but it really was false advertising.

Other than these minor things, I loved it. I was also surprised that you weren't supposed to put your toilet paper in the toilet. Apparently the septic systems can't handle it, and it is a regional issue. So be prepared!

Breakfasts were great, and it was fun seeing the cook go to the garden to pick a limon for his dishes.

E. T. was super cute, but it was a bit inappropriate for him to be harassing the wildlife, especially considering that the rescue center nearby discusses how dog interactions with wildlife are a major problem.

I would stay there again, but I would like to see their website reflect their practices.

  • Stayed: February 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank ecoJulie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 18, 2012

Great property in the jungle, but not too far from the beach in Playa Chaquita. A little pricy for being so far from town but still worth it. Great breakfast. Wi-Fi available only at check-in/breakfast area. Our villa was right next door to a private house, so we were woken early to the sounds of them showering, doing construction, etc.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank msharpe03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tierradesuenoslodge, Front Office Manager at Tierra de Suenos Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded December 4, 2012

Hello there,

Thanks for the feedback. Happy to hear you enjoyed the beach, we think it's beautiful! It is semi difficult to keep noise out when the you need screens for the heat and airflow. We are friendly with the neighbours and at times do remind them that we have guests. Thanks again!

Pura Vida

Tierra De Suenos

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 20, 2012

We stayed here as part of our Costa Rican Honeymoon.
The place is just south of Town and right next door to the Beach.
My wife was excited to hear howler monkeys as we walked up to our Bungalow.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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1  Thank Ken M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tierradesuenoslodge, Front Office Manager at Tierra de Suenos Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded December 4, 2012

Hi Ken,

Glad we were able to make your honeymoon pleasant! Happy that your wife enjoyed the monkeys! Hope to see you again, perhaps a second honeymoon?

Cheers,

Tierra De Suenos

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 5, 2012

We spent a week at Tierra de Suenos that we will remember for a long time, sandy beaches, hot weather, endless activities and the company of the owners (thank you for the delicious dinner!!).
Heather and Frank

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Heather and Fra... K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tierradesuenoslodge, Front Office Manager at Tierra de Suenos Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded December 4, 2012

Hi Heather and Frank,

I am very happy that you liked our place and enjoyed your stay. Thanks for the great review! We also enjoy the year round summer and the beautiful beaches. Hope to see you again!

Tierra De Suenos

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tierra de Suenos Lodge

Address: Puerto Viejo de Talamanca 50101, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #17 of 54 B&Bs / Inns in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Price Range: $101 - $337 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Tierra de Suenos Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Combine your exploration of the raw beauty of Costa Rica with a vacation that will suffuse your whole being with health and wellness. Tierra de Suenos Lodge is the only Wellness Center on the pristine Caribbean Coast offering a traditional and holistic approach to health. With a diverse staff of holistic healers offering everything from healing with nutrition, massage & other body-work , yoga and meditation, and a luxurious infrared sauna. Spend your vacation reconnecting with your inner self while surrounded by the beauty of the jungle/beaches. Your Costa Rican Wellness Center offers cozy hardwood bungalows nestled in exotic tropical gardens between the pristine beaches of Playa Chiquita and the spectacular rain forest. Paradise and the Pura Vida awaits! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tierra De Suenos Hotel Puerto Viejo
Tierra De Suenos Lodge Costa Rica/Limon

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