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.
- 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