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“An amazing experience”
Review of El Remanso Lodge

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El Remanso Lodge
Ranked #4 of 40 Hotels in Osa Peninsula
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“An amazing experience”
Reviewed May 28, 2013

Where to start... well, arriving in El Remanso is something that is both exhilarating and incredibly calming. With the glorious rainforest backdrop and accompanying orchestra of birds, mammals and insects, it is difficult to focus, but the team here are adept at making you feel instantly at home and truly relaxed.

This family owned and run lodge is small (only 13 rooms) and specialises in the personal touches that make it a place you will be reluctant to leave, like calling you by your first name from the moment you arrive, remembering your likes and dislikes and tracking you down if something interesting is spotted on site.

The wooden construction cabins (made from naturally fallen timber and locally grown bamboo) are set on the valleys edge looking down through the jungle to the sea, with a private decked area in front so you can really take in the view. The rainforest is all around you, growing up around the cabins and the cabins themselves are spacious, stylish and open plan, giving you a real sense of space. A ridiculously comfy hammock is strung across it (did I mention how relaxing this place is?) and with the view down to the sea there is no better place to be than on the hammock at dawn or dusk.

Set within 185 acres of private reserve, the lodge itself makes little or no impact on its surrounding environment. Using fresh mountain spring water, solar electricity, providing eco friendly toiletries to the guests (which are lovely) and even recycling their own waste this place is not only a natural paradise, but a proactive conservation dream come true. Everyone here works hard to protect the environment and educate their visitors with a passion that is infectious. The guides share their knowledge willingly and I can honestly say that the guiding we experienced here is the best we have experienced anywhere. I was humbled by how much they do to protect the jungle and the wildlife within it and all with no loss of comfort, in fact the luxurious feel was enhanced by the truly natural surroundings.

There is a bar and restaurant, where a wonderful selection of food is produced. Meals are at set times through the day and each one provides three delicious courses, so you will not go hungry here. Hot, fresh Cost Rican coffee is available in immense flasks throughout the day something which is a real treat (the coffee is the best I have tasted) and of course the fresh spring water is deliciously cool and on tap!

There is no shortage of wildlife and you will get used to the fact that your day will start early and end early. The Howler Monkeys and the Scarlet Macaws will wake you at first light quickly followed by everything else. There are troops of Spider Monkeys, Squirrel Monkeys and Capuchin Monkeys moving through the trees with regularity, but you may have to look harder to find the sloth, Coati and Puma... You have expert guides at the lodge who can take you out for any number of hikes (how far you go is up to you) but if you want to explore on your own, you can - the lodge provides guests with a map of the trails and a description of what you can find on each.

There are more than 463 species of bird and 140 different types of mammal here, so just keep your camera handy.
Expect friendly locals and a welcoming team to help make your visit extra special. Expert guiding, if required, after all you are allowed to walk these trails unescorted (just follow the safety rules). Expect to share this paradise with the inhabitants and yes that does mean bugs, but they are an affable lot and most of them are stunning to look at, so don't get nervous just get a good look - you may be surprised. There are not a lot of mosquito here, due to a lack of still water and the fact that the larvae are eaten by other bugs, so don't expect have to cover yourself with deet (a huge plus!). However, there are some about and as always I relied on my trusty Skin So Soft (from Avon) which seemed to work here.

Don't expect to be disturbed here - there is no TV, no mobile phone signal, nor is there any internet access, expect to be completely unreachable and enjoy every minute of it in a technology free environment.

I have to say of all my wildlife trips and the jungles/rainforests I have visited, this has been the most magical and felt like the biggest adventure. Plus, and it's a big plus, it's nice to know that you aren't harming the the habitat. To experience this reserve, this lodge and spend time with the people who work there was a privilege and an education in effective sustainable tourism, so go on dig out your passports and take yourself off to another world, it really is worth it.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Angedragon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (173)
Date | Rating
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English first
Houston, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 22, 2013

It's an all inclusive jungle experience & we found it not only the most charming and fun place we've ever stayed (& we've traveled a lot) but the best price in all of Coasta Rica. It's on the Osa peninsula which has no mosquitoes, that's right folks no mosquitoes.
It included: round trip airfare from San Jose to Puerto Jimenez & shuttle to & from the lodge, 3 great gourmet meals a day & snack, dolphin watching boat tour, tours every day w/great guides who were knowledgeable and really fun, zip line breakfast in tree tops w/ repelling & if you stay 4 nights you get the 5th free.
The owners & staff greeted us as soon as we stepped out of the car. Everyone was so friendly & happy. They genuinely appreciated us being there and were excited to show us the jungle. They arranged our tours according to what WE wanted to do & when. If u just want to kick back and relax, they can arrange that too. You can lay around the pool, use the yoga platform, have a massage, swim in the lagoon or a waterfall(It's by the beach but the undertow is too strong to swim so they have a surfing & swimming tour you can exchange for the dolphin tour). We've done guided tours b4 but these were the best & we loved trekking on our own down the river. Most fun Ev ver.
The open aired restaurant is in the top of the forest canopy & so charming. Monkeys, macaws, toucans, humming birds & bats sometimes played in the trees right in front of us while we were eating. How neat is that. At every meal, there was someone there happily checking on us, making sure we had everything we needed, answering any questions & asking how our tours went: even the waiters were charming & funny.
The screened in cabanas were so cute(including bath, shower & a little deck for jungle or sky watching) & spotlessly clean. Each is in it's own little forest area making it private & secluded. No air con but w/the sea breeze & ceiling fan, the nights were cool enough at times even for a blanket.
The lodge only accommodates about 25 people at one time & the owners said that's the way they like it so that they can give everyone a personal experience. We stayed in a large lodge earlier in Coasta Rica & they were pleasant but … but just pleasant.. nothing special. But.. at El Remanso u are treated like u ARE special. We came into dinner one night & asked the waiter where to sit ..he said “We prepared the king's table for u because u are royal” we laughed and sat at the “Royal table.” the waiter probably told everyone else the same thing BUT if u want to be treated like royalty ..go to El Remanso. Not only is it the best hospitality & fun u will ever have in the jungle but the best combo price as well. You'll love it..we’re going back next year. Great Experience.

Room Tip: Any of the cabanas
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Roy K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2013

Family of 4, with 12 and 15 yr old children, spent 11 days in Costa Rica at the end of April 13 - the first 5 days in the Osa peninsula at the El Remanso lodge. This small lodge, located very close to a large national park and in the middle of a large conservation area dominated by primary growth rainforest, provides a very comfortable and safe spot to enjoy and learn about this unique place. El Remanso is small enough to operate on an extremely ecologically sound basis, using hydroelectric power, careful water and waste management, recycling or composting almost everything. While this means a simpler kind of guest experience than you'd get at (say) a Four Seasons Golf Resort, the place is immaculately clean, extremely comfortable and is designed so that you are living in the rainforest, rather than on the edge of it. The food was excellent - comparable to a good restaurant in NY or London - quite extraordinary for such a remote location. The management and all the staff are both friendly and very conscientious - from the moment we stepped onto the tarmac at Puerto Jimenez, we felt welcomed and taken care of. There is an abundance of things to do at the lodge, from rappelling down waterfalls to early morning bird-watching in the forest canopy, and our only regret is that we didn't spend longer and explore the beaches and forest nearby. If you want a place where you can listen to the surf at night, the howler moneys and macaws in the morning, walk past a basilisk lizard and a pair of toucans on the way to breakfast, this is the place to do it.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank Ned S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Redhill, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
27 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed April 16, 2013

A lovely lodge in a beautiful, natural setting. A fantastic opportunity to see animals and birds in the extensive grounds, which range from rainforest to fabulous ocean-side. We joined guided tours and also hiked around on our own, every sortie yielded up something exciting. Soak in the pool and watch macaws in the tree overhead.
You can be as active or relaxed as you choose. Abseiling down waterfalls was great fun and entirely safe... The path to the beach is long and steep.. be prepared!
The meals were fine, if unexciting, and we did find the vegetarian offerings a little disappointing, but our feedback was eagerly sought. You get the feeling that you are being listened to. Excellent service, very personal and nothing too much trouble. All staff members, without exception, were charming and helpful.

As others have said, no aircon, so it gets a little sticky and no easy contact with the outside world... but that's no bad thing is it?

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank catalpa542
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sister Bay, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 16, 2013

I took two grandsons, ages 11 and 12, to experience the rain forest. They are both great nature lovers with snakes and frogs being at the top of their list. This was the perfect place for all three of us! The boys could do such adventures as waterfall rappelling and tree climbing - I did not have to go along. Together we did two nature hikes and a bird walk. The guides were superb! We also walked down to the beach and along to a beautiful lagoon where they spent 3 idyllic hours. El Remanso has everything: an incredible staff, wonderful facilities, all the nature you could want (the boys were thrilled to see a fer de lance), wonderful, healthy food and lots and lots to do. It was a great adventure for all of us.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank GKS_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, USA
Level Contributor
43 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed April 11, 2013

We traveled to the Osa Penninsula in March and ended our stay with 4 nights at the El Remanso Lodge. The setting is spectacular in the rainforest set on cliffs overlooking the Pacific. At night you can hear the surf pounding in the distance. In the morning there are the howlers and the birds. We took several guided hikes on the property and Melvin and Gerardo are to be commended for their enthusiasm and knowledge of the rainforest and all the flora and fauna within it. Even without a hike you are surrounded by nature and great beauty. At breakfast we saw Toucans and howlers and scarlet macaws. By the pool in the early evening there were macaws again and spider monkeys galore.

There are places to swim (pool, lagoon and tidal pools). The ocean is too rough for swimming but beautiful to walk along and the lagoon and tidal pools are right adjacent. The hike up from the ocean to the property is 15 mins or so. We had wonderful massages with Laura and also enjoyed Daniel's (one of the owners) presentation of the sustainability of the lodge.

Meals were nothing short of fabulous at El Remanso. There was plenty of choice for the carnivores, vegetarians and pescatores among our group. The staff was unfailingly polite, gracious and prompt. We were impressed everyday by the education and enthusiasm of all the staff and their commitment to this rare and beautiful ecosystem.

You are off the grid in this lodge, so if you crave wifi, tv, a hair dryer or ac, look elsewhere. If you want to reconnect with nature in an elegant setting with excellent food and clean comfort, this is your place. Our teenagers loved being unplugged as well. Being without keys, a wallet and a cellphone was truly liberating. Being with friends and family in this glorious place was fantastic. Thank you for the trip of a lifetime.

Room Tip: during the dry season it was hot, although cooler in evenings, I would recommend rooms with ceiling...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank jwdnewyork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buffalo, New York, United States
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 6, 2013

My family just came back from our trip to El Remanso Lodge and it was incredible. Get ready to relax and enjoy nature at its best ... right at your finger tips. The rooms are airy and bright ,comfortable and very clean. The food at El Remanso Lodge is that of a five star restaurant. Each meal ordered individually so everyone is happy. The staff here is so amazing. Each staff member was friendly and happy to help you with any requests or needs you may have. The nature guide we had was named Gerardo and he was incredible. Gerardo knows everything about Costa Ricas rainforest and its inhabitants . When we were waterfall repelling or on four long nature hikes he made you always feel safe ! I think everyone should go here at least once in their life time . As for me I intend to go back for years to come!
PURA VIDA

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank HollySweetRupp
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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