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“within a few hours we felt like we were staying at a friends' house”
Review of Lookout Inn Lodge

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Lookout Inn Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Sammamish, Wa.
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“within a few hours we felt like we were staying at a friends' house”
Reviewed April 6, 2008

It is easy to refer to this place as "Terry and Katya's", instead of the Lookout Inn.
Once we got there, it did not take long for Terry to make us feel right at home here and comfortable with the other guests (Katya showed up later after taking care of some business in P. Jimenez, the nearest town).
The lodge is not for those expecting TV, internet, phone, airconditioning, elevators, etc The structures are all very unique; Terry keeps working on something all the time; when we were there, the roof was being replaced, resulting in the 3rd level of the lodge being inaccessable for us. The construction did not hinder the guest's enjoyment though.
The lodge is solar powered, using batteries for storage to power the 12 volt lights once it gets dark. If you like to read after dark, consider bringing a LED headlamp; lights are not abundant. There are no ceiling fans; a small fan at the head of the bed provided enough cooling though. The only 110V outlets seem to be in the kitchen/sitting room of the main lodge; you can recharge your camera batteries, ect. there. Don't bother bringing a hairdryer.
Animals were everywhere; the excellent "youtube" video on their website is very representative of what you can expect.
The beach is endless, but was very hot in the afternoons; the waves huge and loud. Don't plan on swimming out very far.
A guide showed up at breakfast, for $15 a person he'll take you on a hike in the area; he was great and informative!
The best part of the day were the late afternoons, when most guests would sit at the bar, surrounding the kitchen ,where Terry and his staff put together the most wonderful meals and Katya mixes the best drinks.
It is easy to turn in early at night. If the waves don't wake you up, the animals will at daybreak, around 5, 5:30.
We stayed 4 nights, I would recommend no less to fully enjoy the place and make it worth the lenghty trip over there.
Katya will arrange for either the 1.5 hour taxi ride from and to P. Jeminez or an much faster but more expensive aircharter. The Nature Air flights to Jeminez by the way were a wonderfull way to see the country; they fly low and have huge windows.

  • Liked — Unique and unusual
  • Disliked — Hot/muggy, due to time of year
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank FlyingDutchman54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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545 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Maryland
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed March 24, 2008

"Away from it all, yet right in the middle of the wildlife action" - that's what I named this review and I think it aptly describes this place.

After a long drive down to Carate, the Lookout Inn was a great sanctuary from the car. We stayed four nights, and I would have been perfectly happy staying longer. We got in a bit before sunset, got situated in our room, and were soon rewarded with postcard views of a Pacific Corcovado sunset.

The vibe is a relaxed inn with entertaining and gracious hosts and staff. The best part, in my opinion, is that here you get your views to the treetops, to the Ocean and the surrounding landscape, and yet you have direct access to the beach and some trails into the jungle. You are also about a 45 minute walk to Corcovado for day hikes.

You certainly won't be disappointed by the wildlife - we saw all the monkeys; macaws; coatis; leaf cutter ants; boas; morpho, julia, and many more types of butterflies; lots of other birds and tons of other creatures. You are quite a ways from civilization, but right in the middle of all the wildlife action.

The Inn has nice meals and is community-style dining. They have great pineapple dacquiris, and cold drinks are always on hand. Laundry took a little while (things dry slowly in the humidity) - the only down side was that when I got my clothes back, one of the damp shirts had apparently fallen in the dirt and CR dirt stains! Otherwise, the fans on the bed were a nice addition and for the location, you are surprised by all the amenities. I still daydream about this place - the Inn, the location, the Osa, and hope to go back soon.

  • Liked — Countless things to do/see; comfortable and beautiful accomodation
  • Disliked — Laundry
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank springton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed March 9, 2008

When we booked at Lookout, there was a mixup and somehow our reservation wasn't updated, so we actually lucked out and they let us stay the first half of our stay in the beach house, which had it's own fridge, so that rocked (cold rum). The other half we got to be the first to stay in the (I think they were gonna call it) monkey house, way up the hill. Also totally cool.
If you can afford the monkey house at the top, do it. It is the most integrated with the surrounding jungle and super swank. Great views, with Macaws flying at room level, and the monkey do cross the house in early am.
We loved this place so much. Great food, and always with good company. The mango colada was addictive.
The surf here was really rough, but it didn't stop us from getting the sea kayaks out. Which culminated in my splitting my lip while using my face to break the oar in two on my way back to shore. The waves are fast and big. Don't let them get you. It would have helped a lot if I had known what I was doing.
We went out at night to see crocs in the lagoon, and kayaked around there in the am. Neat. Very good for bird watchers.
It was so dry when we went that many critters had retreated into the jungle, but we saw so many monkeys on our walks, whole families of capuchin monkies. We watched about 50 squirrel monkies do battle with the two white tailed hawks nesting by the road when the monkeys tried to cross their tree.
We even saw a little boa in the path on our way in one night.
This place is totally cool. If I went again I would try to time it closer to the end of the rainy season so more frogs would be around.

  • Liked — beautiful location
  • Disliked — rough surf-no swimming in ocean here
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank djunalu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Plymouth
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
Reviewed February 20, 2008

A simply beautiful lodge in one of the most gorgeous places on earth. Fantastic views (we saw humpbacks breaching minutes after arrival), great accommodation (the open sided Tiki huts are best and certainly the best value), fine food (Tuna sashimi, for example) and fun company.

Listen to howler monkeys at Dawn, watch Koati eat bananas steps from your room, witness amazing sunsets, watch scarlet macaws screech across the sky, swim in the warm, warm Pacific Ocean (watch the currents), hike deep into Corcovado and join the flocks of Pelicans in their revellry.

I have travelled all over the world to rainforests mountains and beachscapes and this may well be the most beautiful place I have ever seen.

Sure Terry (the host) has an ebullient personality which may not be to everyones taste but he makes you welcome and certainly spiced up our stay.

Advice:

Stay more than 3 days-we didn't and regretted it.

Take some time to hike into Sirena station and stay overnight to see the Tapirs and your best chance to see big cats etc.

Drink LOTS of water!!

  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Jonnymitch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 13, 2007

.........if you ever wanted to StepOut of your current hectic life & visit a great facility that combines good food, great acommodations, eco tours, a lot of fun & great local attractions....go to Lookout Inn......you will not be sorry........some of the other "guests" in the area include....scarlet mccaws, green parrots, turltes, white face, squirrel & howler monkey's........just too name a few!!!!!!....plan on seeing more then just these!!!!!
Better book early....because Lookout may not have room for you if you don't!!!!!!

  • Liked — simple but yet pleasing.....
  • Disliked — ....I did not stay long enough!!!!
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank GeoffNewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockholm, Sweden
Level 5 Contributor
45 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed August 25, 2007

Great place. Location location as someone said in there review. Anyway, We were there with our two boys, then 1 and 3 years. Mr boss is a bit to drill sergant, food is great, maybe to small breakfast. But it is not that Terry trying to make it more profitable, He is just very concrened that things shall be eaten. Remember too ask if you want to have more, breakfast as bufé dinner. Things are great. A lot of animals to see around in the area. I do hope that the Canadians stying as neighbors still like it and are there. Very familiar. Also Terrys wife is just to much as service minded she is. My oldest son (7 years now in august 2007) still talks about the "green hulk" small toy that her son give him. And I do you guys recieved the gifts we sent to you via the Taxi the day we left. Espacially the T-Shirt for the kid with text "boat camp" was both fun and also serious - let the boy be a child many more years to come,) Even though it is good to learn disiplin. Best of lack and hope to met you again.

Hakan with family

  • Liked — location, djungle, food, scenary
  • Disliked — It is guite far away but worth it
  • Stayed December 2003, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank hama007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nantucket, MA
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed June 19, 2007

The Lookout Inn is in a wonderful spot between jungle and ocean, at what feels like the end of the world - especially after traveling all day to get there and arriving after dark! We've travelled extensively in the Carribean, so were prepared for the climate and the laid-back atmosphere. What distinguishes the Lookout Inn is its remoteness. When guidebooks and other reviewers recommended bringing everything you need with you, we're glad we paid attention. It's a 2 + hour drive over rutted dirt roads with river crossings to the nearest town. There is a little cafe/shop at the end of the road near the Inn, but it's basically for walkers and hikers needing quick sustenance (M&Ms and water!) We followed others' advice and flew from San Jose to Puerto Jimenez and were met by a driver in a pickup truck for the trip to Carate, rather than renting a car and driving the entire 8-10 hours. Even the 2+ hour drive wasn't fun after traveling all day. On the return, we flew from the small airstrip near the Lookout to Puerto Jimenez (8 minutes - pricey but worth it!

When we arrived at the Inn, tired and rumpled, we were met by Terry, Katya and staff. When Terry told us we needed to go to dinner right away, I asked if we were dressed okay. He said "just take off your shoes - this is a barefoot inn" and we knew we'd be comfortable there. Although casual, dinner was served in the open air dining room at the top of the inn. Breakfast is on the deck overlooking the lush gardens and the ocean. Food is served buffet style. Most unusual for us - the owner and family ate all meals with the guests. If you are alone, or not sitting with a group, Terry, Katya, her son or Miguel, the chef, joins you. The food was good, prepared fresh on the premises, and there was plenty of it. Miguel was always ready to explain the menu to us and gave us samples if we were sitting at the bar while he was cooking. Unfortunately, Miguel was in the hospital our last evening there, but Terry is his backup and is a good cook as well!

Which brings me to the staff. We're in agreement with other reviewers here. The staff is friendly and helpful and all speak enough English that those of us not fluent in Spanish are able to communicate. Johnson does win for smiling the most! One caveat - it you leave clothes to be laundered, make sure you ask for them. We left some clothes to be washed our first day there and did not get them back until the day before we left 5 days later (although we could see them hanging on the line drying! The housekeeper/laundress was so sweet - she apologized profusely when she finally gave them to us.

Our accomodations were basic/rustic but perfectly acceptable particularly given the remote location. Our cabin was screened, which wasn't true of all of them. We had a little balcony where we could sit and look out over the lush vegetation and ocean, and watch the always entertaining scarlet macaws squabbling in the almond trees. While the lighting was very dim (solar powered), it was sufficient and the best part was there were little bedside lights and fans attached to the headboard for those of us that like to read at night. Of course, after hiking all morning, swimming in the afternoon and having a glass of wine with dinner, not a lot of reading got done! Falling asleep to the noises of the jungle and the surf was wonderful, although some nights the surf was so loud it was a roar!

The beach was wonderful. Hammocks strung under the palms had our names on them every afternoon. The only people on the beach were those staying at the inn - at the most 6 humans
and the inn's puppy, Marguerita. While we were warned about the water, it was not as rough as we expected and we swam every day, although I did get knocked off my feet and thrown under on one occasion. Walking on the beach after dark looking for turtles nesting was an experience not to be missed (the Halloween crabs really look spooky at night!)

As for the wildlife, it was everywhere. We did not go into the park, but hiked on the trails above the inn, up to the waterfall and down to the lagoon and were not disappointed. Check out the photo gallery on the inn's website - you really can see all of it!

We have mixed feelings about Terry - have to agree somewhat with other reviewers about the way he treats his wife and staff. On the other hand, you're part of the family when you're there so you get to see the good and bad. We have to hand it to him, he has built something out of the wilderness that allows adventurous travelers a place to observe and participate in nature at it's best. And we were there to celebrate with him as he got his freedom papers from the bank - he's now officially the owner! We have no mixed feelings about Katya, however. She is a wonderfully warm and gracious host and she's gorgeous as well.

Our only regret was that we spent too long in one spot. After to talking to other travelers, we wish we had split our time between other areas of Costa Rica and the Lookout. However, people who had come from the more touristy areas were amazed at the peaceful isolation of the inn and wished they had spent more time there. Since this trip was mostly to relax and recoup from a rough winter, it lived up to our expectations and more.

  • Liked — The location and the staff
  • Disliked — Eating at set times - if you're not there for lunch, you don't eat
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Greylady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lookout Inn Lodge

Property: Lookout Inn Lodge
Address: Carate, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Corcovado National Park > Carate
Amenities:
Beach Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Specialty Lodging in Carate
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Lookout Inn Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Lookout Inn Lodge is a beach and rainforest ecolodge in Carate on Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula. We are located completely off the beaten path and conveniently located near an entrance to the world-renowned Corcovado National Park. Ideally situated to offer comfortable and affordable eco-friendly accommodations to adventure travelers visiting this remote part of Costa Rica, the Lookout Inn Lodge is sure to impress. Nestled in the hillside right above the road and alongside an isolated black sand beach, Lookout Inn Lodge provides our guests with spectacular views of the surrounding jungle rainforest, the majestic Pacific Ocean and an endless unspoiled Osa Peninsula coastline. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lookout Hotel Carate
Lookout Inn Lodge Costa Rica/Carate

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