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“El bueno y el malo”
Review of El Remanso Lodge

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El Remanso Lodge
Ranked #3 of 41 Hotels in Osa Peninsula
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Europe
Level 6 Contributor
497 reviews
104 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 188 helpful votes
“El bueno y el malo”
Reviewed January 13, 2013

El Remanso was, by far, the most expensive place we stayed whilst on holiday--by at least 300%. I fully support their cause and truly hope that other lodges can follow suit. I gave a lot of thought to this rating and decided that it has to be 3/5, as if I had to return there tomorrow, I just couldn't do it if I had to stay in the same room. But first, let me get to the positives, as there are many.
- The staff. Almost all of the staff are fabulous - truly fabulous. The wait staff are all wonderful and Gabby was, by far, the best person I worked with when booking lodging. She rocks. Tamar is the shining gem and will go above and beyond to see that you are comfortable. And in a genuine manner.
- The food is pretty much faultless and comes in copious amounts. I was pleased we had to hike down and up to the beach, as we really were well-fed here. I loved the food and also enjoyed having bocas with other guests and getting to know them.
- The location is exquisite. It was a treat to hear the howler monkeys in the morning and to see just how truly bright the stars are when there is no electricity. I wanted to get away from it all, and I did.
To be improved, pronto:
- The location of our room was a big downer, and for the price we were paying, we were very unhappy with it. It was overlooking the pool area and was not private in the least. We wanted to sit on our balcony and overlook the forest like so many of the cabins did, but that wasn't in the cards. The bathroom is outside and as one other guest commented, the people living above us can look right down on you as they walk up the stairs. Here we are in such a remote setting and I feel like I have less privacy! Although the pool closed at 6pm, we were awakened one night by our neighbors who decided to do a night dip. Their torches/flashlights were flashing about and they were shouting back and forth to each other. Not what this place is supposed to be about and I don't know why the rooms were placed so close to a main area.
The deal killer was the lack of any air at night. Our ceiling fan did not work and, since we did not have a detached cabin, we did not have a cross breeze. At night the air gets very still, is very humid and hot, and my other half really struggled to sleep. He would just lie there and drip. It was rough for him and his quality of sleep was nil. We informed the staff of our problem the next day and asked to switch rooms, but unfortunately were unable to. The night before we left we handed in our review and it was pretty similar to what I'm writing here. We were told that the people before us also complained of the fan not working and that they would look into fixing it. So, they knew of this problem and did not resolve it prior to us staying there for five hellish nights--and I mean hellish. Not cool (pun intended). Anyhow, we sauntered back to our steam room for the last night and one of the managers came down with a desk fan. My other half summed it up laconically 'nice gesture, but too little too late'.

On a separate note, my recommendation to the owners would be to offer one or two of the local activities in the price of the lodging. Surely a canopy tour can be thrown in. The costs are extremely high and I would love to see more people staying in ecolodges such as El Remanso. Not only would people do some of these tours, but they would get out in nature more.

Room Tip: Definitely get a room not by the pool area since the point of going here is to experience nature and...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank intlwanderlust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manager-Remanso, Manager at El Remanso Lodge, responded to this review, January 16, 2013
Dear intlwanderlust,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review regarding your stay with us. First of all we would like to thank you for your positive comments on our overall service, the food and the the lodge in general. While our reviews are predominantly very positive, we take your review and comments very seriously and as an opportunity to make the necessary corrections to avoid problems for future guests.

Our standard rooms in Casa Poniente typically get good comments from our guests, offering king-size bamboo beds, a large outside terrace and they are conveniently screened with plants and bamboo from the nearby pool area. They are also competitively priced in comparison with our Deluxe Rooms or Cabins, however it is clear that they do not offer the same level of privacy or view. We are sorry that we were not able to move you to another accommodation option as you discussed with the management team but since your stay was during the Holiday Season we are always completely booked for those dates.

We must however apologise for the problem with the ventilation in your room. Even though all rooms and cabins get a cross-breeze when opening doors and windows, the fans certainly make a big difference. Our limited electricity, provided exclusively by our hydroelectric system only enables us to use energy efficient ceiling fans (and we have managed to fit in large 52``ceiling fans in all cabins and rooms) and we struggled to get the necessary replacement parts for the speed setting of yours, which we had to fly down from San José. While we usually have no problems with them, we acknowledge that we did not provide a back-up solution quickly enough. We will make sure that this does not happen again in the future.

Thank you again for your mostly positive remarks of your experience with us and we would be very happy to have you back anytime so that we can leave you with only fond memories of your stay with us!

The Management Team of El Remanso Lodge
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level 6 Contributor
124 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
Reviewed January 13, 2013

Our family of four spent 5 nights here recently. The property is really amazing but even more so considering it is in the middle of "nowhere". I had done a lot of reading about the lodge and also about the osa peninsula but i was still not fully prepared for the whole experience. We flew into the puerto jimenez airport and arrived about 4pm. We were greeted right away by the staff from el remanso and loaded up for the drive to the lodge. It is a little over an hour on some very rough roads. Once we got to the lodge, we were taken to our room--first night we stayed in la caramba and then moved to la vainilla. The room was very cool--had one large bed and two twins and a hammock. Large sliding screen doors led to a deck area with adirondack chairs. Everything was very functional and charming. The food throughout our stay was delicious and very healthful--lots of veggies and fruits--also some wonderful fish and shrimp!! Delicious smoothies were available and you could also get lunch to go if you planned to hike a long way or spend time at the beach.
Our first room was nice but the la vainilla cabin is amazing. it is two story with the bottom floor sleeping up to 4 and has a shower, sink and potty and access to a deck. The upper floor is entirely open to the outdoors with a king bed, bathroom "corral", small couch and chairs and hammock. It was spectacular with lovely views of the pacific ocean. We had very few issues with bugs in the room--a few large roaches, moths, and a few spiders. We did have a few birds fly through the cabin and also had a "herd" of something run over the roof in the middle of the night.
I think we were all a bit overwelmed at first by the nighttime "noise" from all the bugs and animals. Most alarming was the early morning wakeup call--0430--from the howler monkeys. It was a little disarming to hear when it was pitch black outside, but by the end of our stay, I was sleeping through it!! It is one of the farthest cabins from the main lodge so a flashlight is very important!
We took the ridge hike and night hike with Gerardo, the naturalist and they were both awesome--he is so passionate and very interesting. We also did a few hikes on our own. The trip to the beach is about 1/2 mile and the downhill is OK but the uphill is a killer. I exercise regularly but that hike was a cardiac stress test and not for the faint of heart. We spent time at the lagoon which was fresh water right near the beach--ocean too rough to swim in--and also enjoyed playing around in the tide pools. Our kids did the waterfall rapelling and loved it. We also did the morning bird watching on the zipline platform and it was an experience but not the best birding.
We also enjoyed the pool most afternoons.
The drinks were reasonably priced and i was able to buy a bottle of wine and save it for the next day.
They brought in vendors a couple days and they were set up in the dining area and i did buy a few jewelry items. They also offered massages on certain days and i had a one hour massage on our last afternoon that was fantastic!
We did not do any offsite excursions because we did not want to make an extra drive back to puerto jimenez nor did we want to pay for the extra transfer cost.
They did offer a presentation one night about how they run the lodge efficiently with limited impact on the environment--it was very interesting and truly amazing and awe inspiring! made us realize how wasteful we can be!
Every single one of the staff members were helpful, friendly and were always available for questions.
I would recommend el remanso with a few caveats--definitely it is for people that like adventure and enjoy nature and are in good physical shape and health!!
also would make sure you bring a flashlight or headlamp, and you really will need only practical quick drying clothes and shoes--hiking shoes are good and water shoes are a plus!

Room Tip: definitely go for the private cabins--they are secluded and very cool!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank L R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
61 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2013

We spent 3 great days here. All the staff was friendly and helpful. The rooms are big and the food is excellent. Open room without mosquitos !!!
We saw a lot of wild animals around the property.
Our stay in Remaso was the best in our Costa Rica tour.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank alpinecharro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2013

From the moment we were greeted, we felt like royalty at El Remanso. Everyone was incredibly hospitable and attentive to our every need. Whether we wanted ice cream added to our dessert or uncooked rice to fix our waterlogged camera, the waitstaff was happy to accommodate us. The one night it rained, the maid came without our asking and moved our clothes on the porch further under the overhang.

Our experiences with Geraldo the tour guide were great. He was extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and had our safety in mind when we did the rappelling trip (one of the many highlights of our stay).

Although there is no Internet access and trails can be steep, one has both nature at their back door and the conveniences of an established eco-lodge. They also take their sustainability seriously; we attended their yearly sustainability lecture one night and were fairly impressed. If you do reserve a room close to the pool during high reason, be aware that you may encounter noise from children at the pool. (And no matter where you book, the howler monkeys will be there to wake up early in the morning.. another reminder of the hotel's fantastic location). Overall, El Remanso was one of two places we stayed at in CR that we most hated to leave. Great location and wildlife (tons of monkeys) and wonderful people.

Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
Helpful?
Thank Anita L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Far Rockaway, New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 2, 2013

On our honeymoon, my wife and I stayed at two ecolodges in the Osa Peninsula. El Remanso was not only our favorite place to stay in this region, but was hands-down one of the best travel experiences either of us has had across the board. We stayed in La Guinda--a luxurious treehouse-like cabana overlooking the rainforest and the Pacific Ocean. Each morning we'd sit on our secluded deck and see troupes of monkeys dancing among the treetops and colorful tropical birds darting from branch to branch. Great for couples AND families, this lodge offers one of the most friendly, accommodating, and attentive staffs I've ever experienced at any hotel, a resident naturalist (Gerardo) whose enthusiasm for the plants and animals of the region is absolutely contagious, and amazing self-guided walks you can do daily through the forest and coast itself. Our favorite was a 30-minute hike to the coast where the rainforest meets the ocean. There, you can swim in a secluded lagoon, follow a creek to a breathtaking waterfall, and relax in tidal pools--all within 15 minutes of one another. Their common area hosts a wonderful restaurant, bar, and swimming pool that would suit couples as well as people traveling with their kids. This is definitely the best way to experience the wonder and wilds of the Osa Peninsula rainforest in luxury and comfort--I could not recommend El Remanso more highly! Whoever designed the lodge achieved a perfect synthesis between nature and the accommodations themselves--even if you're not the adventurous type, you can still experience much of the unique wildlife the Osa Peninsula has to offer from the balcony of your cabana or a convenient 10-15 minute stroll from your room.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Jim O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed December 30, 2012

Everything about El Remanso is exceptional. Even reaching the act of getting to the property is memorable.

Read the other reviews for florid (and accurate) reviews of the property, the amazing staff, and the food. I have only one main point that I want to make--if you go to El Remanso, pay whatever it takes to get the La Vainilla cabin. Even if you are very well travelled, you have never, ever had an experience like you will get staying at El Remanso in the La Vainilla. It is so unique, memorable, and exceptional that I promise you won't regret it.

We travel a lot and have very high standards--El Remanso exceeded every expectation. From top to bottom, the managers and staff have a passion for their property and a real commitment to excellence.

Gabby, the reservations manager, will take great care of you--make sure you plan your trip around the availability of La Vainilla.

Room Tip: I'm begging you to trust me on this--ANY room is worth booking, but do what it takes to book the...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Marc D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brantford
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 24, 2012

My husband and I travelled to El Ramanso in early November of this year, despite it being rainy season. This place is exactly what we needed after our wedding! All of the positive reviews were 100% true when they say El Remanso is the perfect combination of relaxation, adventure and nature.
When we first arrived we were greeted by Adriana and Dani, the owners of the lodge who are absolutely wonderful! They make you feel right at home. The service continued to impress us as we met the waiters, bartender, office ladies and of course tour guide. Everyone really went out of their way to ensure we had an unforgettable trip and definitely made our stay so much better than your typical resort vacation. Gerardo, the tour guide is fantastic! He has such a wealth of knowledge and his passion really makes you excited for the wildlife you see while being at El Remanso. He even took us out on a private sloth hunt as we really wanted to see one and allowed us to repel down the tree where the canopy breakfast is.
The excursions are amazing. We did the waterfall repelling which was definitely a highlight as well as the canopy breakfast and nature hike. Definitely recommend these as well as the tide pools!
The food was fantastic - and I'm a hard one to please as I am so picky! I loved every meal and really enjoyed the beautiful views from the restaurant.
We saw so much wildlife while being at El Remanso. Scarlett macaws, toucans, sloths, all 4 species of monkeys, fur de lance, boa and even a puma sighting by another visitor while we were there! It is unreal waking up to the sound of howler monkeys and we loved how the staff are so passionate about the wellbeing of the wildlife living in their surroundings.
Now to our room..we stayed in La Guinda which was stunning! The view to the ocean was beautiful and the room was very clean. They just renovated the pool while we were there so we spend quite a bit of time in there as well as the beautiful beach. Although the waves were too dangerous to swim in the water, the beach was stunning and a must see.
I can go on and on about how perfect this trip was and I honestly have nothing negative to say. This was the trip of a lifetime and the memories created will forever impact us. Can't wait to return!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Carley W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El Remanso Lodge

Property: El Remanso Lodge
Address: Near Corcovado National Park, 8203, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Green Hotel in Osa Peninsula
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3 star — El Remanso Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 9
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
El Remanso Hotel Osa Peninsula
El Remanso Osa
El Remanso Lodge Costa Rica/Osa Peninsula

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