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“an incredible christmas”
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
Sudbury
1 review
“an incredible christmas”
Reviewed January 3, 2009

An incredibly beautiful place. The cabin we were in was rustic but comfortable. The staff were about the nicest I have ever experienced. The food excellent and the surroundings paradise. My daughter had to be forced to leave. I went with 3 adult children and there was lots to do. The walk up from the beach was the hardest but the beach well worth it. Even if you could only enter at low tide it is well worth it. I would return anytime. This is not a touristy , luxurious resort but an ecolodge that feels intimate . our needs were anticipated and catered to. Bring bug spay and a flashlight. Diane Leblanc Canada

  • Liked — the staff
  • Disliked — having to leave
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank diml54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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607 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (173)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London
2 reviews
Reviewed November 24, 2008

This was my girlfriend and I's second visit to El Remanso. It feels strange even typing the word 'second' as I have never before been on holiday to the same location twice, let alone the same hotel. I think that alone speaks volumes about the place, but I will write just a few more lines. I do so at the risk of attracting too many others to El Remanso (I don't necessarily want to share it, selfish I know!), but can do so assured that this is one place that will never turn into some overgrown resort, with such dedicated owners and staff at the helm.
Obviously it's location is fairly remote and there are certain things that come with this, but surely you would not even be reading this review if you were not interested in getting back to nature, and this is exactly what El Remanso allows you to do in style. Trust me, it's well worth the journey. I for one am extremely pleased to be 'off the grid', away from phones, blackberrys and tv's, and instead lap up the sights and sounds of the stunning forest that surrounds El Remanso. The sheer beauty of the place astounded me just as much on my second visit as it did on the first: that's exactly why we returned, and why I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone who's interested in going to the Osa.

  • Liked — comfort in surroundings of natural beauty
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank LondonJungletrekker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed November 18, 2008

I'm very delayed in writing this review since our trip was three months ago. The trip is still in my mind and I thought I should get in gear and give El Remanso the attention it deserves.

We stayed at El Remanso in August this year and had a wonderful vacation. We traveled with a friend and our 6 year old daughter. It was a great place for a family - attentive staff and owners, beautiful grounds, a fun pool, remarkable wildlife, great hikes and lots of activities. Our daughter is still referring to the spectacular appearances by parrots and macaws every evening like clockwork. We saw agoutis, sloth (two and three toe), coatis, humungous spiders, birds, birds and more birds.

The cabins were open air, large and comfortable. There was some construction going on while we were at the lodge but it did not interfere with our trip. The restaurant and bar area are open and provide a living area if you want a little more interaction with people other than your party. The beach is a small hike from the lodge which provided bird, spider and animal sightings.

You can be as active or inactive as you want at this place. It is self contained and not close to a town. If you are looking for remote and unspoiled, this is your place. It takes a little time to get to but is well worth the trip. The owners will make anything happen for you. We took a guided hike with Gerardo who was wonderful and very knowledgeable. There is waterfall repelling - we did not do this but did hike to the bottom of the waterfall which was just as fun. Beach time everyday was great.

We followed El Remanso with Lapa Rios which was beautiful as well. Much more high-end resort feel with the pricing and lots of people that go with that. We found out that Lapa Rios is a regular stop for Disney tours so there can be a huge influx of tourists on some days. After the Osa Peninsula we moved on to Manuel Antonio which was a huge mistake. Crowded, zoo-like and over-touristed. We would never go to Manuel Antonio again.

I have nothing bad to say about El Remanso. One fantastic rainstorm came to give us the full feel of the rainforest but almost every day was clear, warm and mosquito free. A paradise.

  • Liked — The Setting
  • Disliked — that we had to leave
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Colorado_Family_3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta
Level Contributor
34 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed June 29, 2008

My husband and I spent a wonderful week at El Remanso in December. We stayed in both La Vanilla and a suite at El Poniente, but the cabinas are also lovely, with nice rainforest views.

Our first four nights were at La Vanilla, which is isolated from the other accommodations and completely open to the rainforest around you. Relaxing there in the afternoons, watching the ocean and the monkeys and birds, was a highlight of our trip. I was delighted on our first afternoon to see a very small colony of bats sleeping on the outside of a shade. We watched them fly away each evening and return every morning.

Our last three nights were in El Poniente. The rooms are still very open, but you can close the shutters if you want. The entire front opens to face the pool and gorgeous ocean sunsets. Huge picture windows throughout the room and (really nice) bath allow for unobstructed views of wildlife and gardens. We took dips in the pool and then retreated to our solarium to read or play games.

I cannot say enough nice things about Adriana and Daniel, and their excellent staff. Adriana made our visit seamless from our first contact, and everyone at El Remanso seems dedicated to ensuring that your visit is wonderful.

Gerardo, the naturalist, took us on the zipline to our canopy breakfast. The cost was reasonable to us for the close-up views of the colorful small birds and the raptors. The long hike should not be missed. Gerardo knows tons and he is a lot of fun, as well. He also took us bird-watching on our last morning. We loved the waterfall rappelling with Joel and enjoyed his stories. Horseback riding through the rainforest and on the beach was fun and relaxing.

El Remanso is a wonderful small and intimate retreat located in a remote area on the Osa Peninsula. As noted in other comments, there is no tv, no air-conditioning, no phone service, no blackberry connectivity, and blow-dryers are not allowed.

This is not a child-friendly place; there are too many natural hazards. Bringing young children is not safe for them and not fair to the other guests or the employees. This is a small resort. Children would be happier in places where there are other kids, a larger pool, and children’s activities. And adults traveling without children should be allowed to enjoy the pool and the wonderful natural surroundings and sounds.

  • Liked — remote and small, intimate, outdoor activities, no children
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank frweaver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 29, 2008

I went to Costa RIca with my parents and my two brothers, and by the time we arrived at the Osa Peninsula I was looking for a safe haven - and that's exactly what I found at El Remanso.
I was only there for two nights, but I felt like crying the day I had to leave. The staff makes you feel like family, talking with you like you have known them for years. I felt a hole develop in my heart the day I left - one that will never be filled up until I return.
José, Elyer, and MIchael were amazing servers, greeting us with smiles and conversing with us everyday. Gerado, the onsite naturalist, was amazing as well, always happy and eager to tell you about the different species inhabiting the Peninsula. Elyer in particular is a very joyous man, full of life and spunk. One could talk to him for hours, or just stare at his beautiful smile :)
The food is delicious and fresh, and the cook, if you manage to make him come out from the kitchen, is a wonderful man. Daniel, the husband of the young Spanish couple that run the place, met us the minute we pulled into the driveway, and immediately showed us our accommodations - La Casa Osa. The beautiful house, spacious enough for 8 people, boasts two stories, each with a hammock.
The non-chlorinated pool is extremely refreshing after a long day - as is the pool-side delivery of a drink (I recommend the pineapple smoothies or piña coladas.) The beach, a 10 minute hike down and 25 minute hike up (due to the steep hill), is a spectacular site. Although the current is too powerful to allow for swimming, the tide pools are a perfect way to cool down and relax.
I just returned from Costa Rica, and am currently trying to open up time in my busy schedule to return to El Remanso. Well - first I have to convince my parents. That shouldn't be too hard though, considering we all left heavy hearted with a strong desire to return.
I will never forget my time at El Remanso, and look forward to someday returning and reliving the paradise it is.

  • Liked — The staff (Elyer, Gerado, José, Michael), the atmosphere, the other guests, everything
  • Disliked — Having to leave, not being able to stay forever
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank ElRemansolover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NY
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 21, 2008

My husband and I planned a trip to Costa Rica in mid-February and knew that we wanted to go off the beaten track and explore the Osa Peninsula. We looked into all of the major wildlife lodges in the area and decided to go for El Remanso.

The pros of staying at El Remanso:

8) the "no fuss" attitude: we really appreciated that at an administrative level - ie at booking and check-out, everything regarding logistics and costs were well disclosed and there was no fuss. It was simple, straightforward and frankly, although the stay is not budget but any means, it was worth every penny.
7) the guests: we found all of the other guests to be like-minded, eco-conscious (but not obnoxiously so), responsibly, worldly people.
6) the activities: the activities offered were diverse and we enjoyed the one's we did. We LOVED the sunset kyaking trip (where we saw dolphins on the Gulfo Dulce) and the Surfing lesson was also good fun. Although the activities cost extra, it is worth it to try out a few. The staff take on the work of booking the activity and transportation and as always made everything easy and breezy.
5) the hiking trails: wonderful hiking trails for all levels. We did at least one and sometimes 2 trails a day and there was never a dull moment and can only be called a great adventure as we experience and actively explored the amazing flora and fauna of the Osa rainforest
4) the accomodation: we stayed in Casa Poniente deluxe suite with ocean views. Truly a place to "get away from it all" which is what we desperately needed coming from our busy lives in New York. We felt it important that all of the buildings were made of fallen local wood.
3) the food: breakfast, lunch and dinner was provided daily and was impeccably fresh. The meals were light but fulfilling and always delicious.
2) the location: high above the canopy in the Osa Rainforest, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. We were right in the middle of the most pristine and beautiful place - the word "paradise" came to mind as soon as we arrived
1) the incredibly staff: who all perfectly balance attentive service, genuine friendliness, and letting you have space and privacy

The cons of staying at El Remanso:

......none, nada, zip, zilch.

.... ok fine this is just to show that I actually thought hard about this... I would have liked to have been provided shampoo because I was dumb and forgot to pack it but thats mainly my fault and princess tendencies...

Summary: If you enjoy getting away from it all, but also have an adventure and not merely sit on the beach for your whole vacation, be fed great food and be taken care of properly (though not utterly spoiled), please don't ever, ever go to El Remanso... It's essence is of purity and nature, and frankly was our definition of paradise. I have big plans to return, and would hate for it to be destroyed by mass tourism so please don't go!!

  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank tinalolo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port Hope Ontario
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed March 2, 2008

We just returned from an unforgettable one week stay at El Remanso in the Osa Peninsula. This was the best vacation my husband and I have ever taken, and here are some of the reasons why.

It all started at the Nature Air terminal in San Jose, as we were waiting for our flight to the Osa (I highly recommend flying, esp. in the rainy season). I consulted the weather forecast in the Tico Times, and it was not promising: rain and thunderstorms for the next week. This alone would usually be enough to ruin my vacation, but upon our arrival at El Remanso, we were greeted by Adriana and Daniel(the owners) like old friends, and this was the way they treated us and every guest that stayed at the lodge for the entire duration of our stay. (a note to remember-we experienced very atypical weather for Costa Rica for the dry season)

We stayed in the La Vainilla cabin, which, for nature lovers such as my husband and myself, was the cabin of our dreams. This is a 2 storey spacious, cabin, overlooking the pacific ocean and the rainforest, and we chose to stay the entire time on the second floor which is completely open to the elements, except a mosquito net over the bed, which we did not even need. I will never forget our first evening as we were sitting down with a drink, taking in the gorgeous view. We heard some rustling in the trees, and we felt incredibly honoured to be the capitive audience of a family of spider monkeys, swinging from tree to tree, little bodies hanging by tails on branches, mothers jumping with babies on backs! This went on for a good 20 minutes, and we knew right then that we had chosen the right lodge, and definitely the right cabin.

Meals are served at a stunning open-air restaurant, where we could usually find the resident nature guide extraordinaire, (Gerardo) looking through his telescope, and commenting on a variety of wildlife sightings, mostly scarlet macaws, red lored parrots, and monkeys. We took the ridge trail hike with Gerardo, and his passion and knowledge for all types of wildlife is infectious, and we learned so much about the rainforest! On our hike, we spotted a poisonous dart frog, and also huge anteater climbing a tree!

We were also fortunate to be staying at El Remanso at the same time that a yoga group was holding a retreat. What can I say? How do you convey the incredible experience of doing yoga as the sun is coming up in the rainforest, with parrots and monkeys in the treetops above you? The yoga teacher was from New York, and she was top notch. We ended up bonding with the yoga group over the week, it added an unexpected delightful edge to our vacation.

The hike down to the beach and back is quite the trek, but worth every sweat bead. And what a beach!! This is a beach out of paradise-you could walk for miles without seeing a soul, the waves crashing the surf, the most puffy cotton like clouds framing the entire scene! Do check out the tide pools at low tide. They are like sitting in your own private hot tub. Amazing!
Do not miss the waterfall! Just before you get to the tide pools, you will come across a little estuary that flows into a river. Just follow the river to the waterfall, and let the water rip over your body!

It's been a week since our return, and I miss El Remanso, and all the great friends we met there, and I really miss Adriana, Daniel, Shanta, Gerardo, Elyer and Michael. This is not your typical package vacation on a touristed beach in the Caribbean, but if you dare to go off the beaten path a bit to El Remanso, I promise you will come back somehow enlightened through the proximity to the natural world, and the deep ecological commitment that Adriana and Daniel bring to this little piece of paradise.

  • Liked — It was like sleeping outside, but upscale!
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank addictedtocostarica
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
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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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