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“Beautiful resort in the Osa”

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Copa de Arbol Beach and Rainforest Resort
Ranked #3 of 8 Hotels in Drake Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 17, 2014

We stayed here in January 2014 for four nights. We stayed in the Coco hut, close to the ocean so the sounds of the jungle and ocean either lull you to sleep or keep you awake! Room was new, clean and spacious. Not five star luxury but given the remoteness of the lodge and their goal to be green, understandable. The boat trip down the river out to sea was a very unique way to arrive and the location right on the water was special.

We did the Corcovado station tour which was amazing, crocodiles, tapir, all kinds of monkeys, toucans, macaws and nearly interaction with the feral pigs which Im glad we missed. A must do tour while you are there and beautiful to cruise the coastline of the Osa peninsula on your way to and from. Mauricio was our guide for all activities and was a pro at spotting and identifying even very hidden animals. Cano island snorkeling was a bit underwhelming due to poor visibility, but the trip to the island was fun, saw pods of dolphins and the water was very warm. I would also recommend the night hike into the jungle.

The food was also very good, especially the early evening snacks like fresh made sushi. Hopefully you or your resort friends have gone deep sea fishing so that the catch of the day get cooked for dinner. We had fresh Wahoo, Mahi, green jack, and snapper. Fun to see the fish carried off the boat hours before dinner. The communal dining area is beautiful and was a great spot to relax and swap stories with the other guests and staff. Jay and Mike, the owners were ever present and interested in your experience, always giving tips on hikes and excursions.

Highly recommended and we will definitely try to come back here again! Location is tranquil, great food, nice rooms and very fun excursions. Staff was very friendly, especially Henry and the chief host during our stay.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank SeanBOS1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mike M, Owner at Copa de Arbol Beach and Rainforest Resort, responded to this reviewResponded August 3, 2014

It’s very rewarding to provide our guests with the type of experiences you describe in your review. It’s a shame to hear that your island trip wasn’t so good, its one of my favorite places to visit. Cano Island is recognized as a close second to Cocos Island for people hoping to see a great variety and concentration of large pelagic species. At times, the water is not as clear as you might find in a place like Tahiti (for example). This is a result of currents carrying plankton rich waters from ever changing directions. These nutrient rich currents provide the basis of a healthy food chain and the rare chance to observe sea life now gone from other parts of the world. It’s also know as a marine mammal convergence zone where sightings of whales and dolphins is quite common. We are very thankful you chose Copa De Arbol and hope you come back soon.

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Reviews (357)
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193 - 199 of 357 reviews

Reviewed June 16, 2014

Memorable trip!
Dream location, comfortable accommodations, good food, great activities, Corcovado park is beyond amazing.
But above all, the reception by the owners Mike and Jay and their staff is second to none. Attentive yet discret, warm and sincere. The wonderful guides Jose and Mauricio, are unbelievably caring and knowledgeable, the restaurant staff Orlando and co is superb! Julieta the new manager is a gem. This place doesn't feel like a business, but more like sharing a place with friends.
We will go back!
Franck & Susan

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Franck L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mike M, Owner at Copa de Arbol Beach and Rainforest Resort, responded to this reviewResponded August 3, 2014

When you come to Copa De Arbol, you are visiting our home. Most of the staff and I live here year round. We see and treat each guest as a friend visiting our home. The motivation to build the hotel came from the desire to share what we love with others. When you come to Copa De Arbol, you are participating in our dream and you become a part of it. Thank you from all your friends here at Copa!

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Reviewed June 9, 2014

Our family vacation to Costa Rica was truly a trip of a lifetime! We've always wanted to see the rainforest and this very last minute trip was perfect. After traveling south for many hours, (we started our trip in Monteverde) we finally ended up in the beautiful Copa De Arbol Rainforest Resort, it was like living in paradise! We were instantly charmed by Mike, Jay and their friendly staff as we stepped off the boat onto the beach (the fun boat ride through the mangroves, then ocean was very cool, something we did not expect- Stephen our guide was quite the expert & our captain spotted lots of dolphins!) then we got the sand rinsed off of our feet which was a nice touch-thank you Randall. The fresh coconut water was delicious! It's truly a quite secluded, magnificant, and exotic place, all the sounds, the birds, the ocean and the lush rainforest views were amazing. Eating in the open air style - teak wood restaurant was so beautiful and relaxing, as well as our #5 Palm cabana, it was so unique, had a Balinese flair to it and very comfortable,(AC was nice) we really loved staying there, it exceeded all of our expectations. Loved the fresh/catch of the day seafood, tropical fruits, and drinks, the service was excellent! We enjoyed all the flowers, the beautiful pool, as well as swimming in the ocean, hiking, snorkeling, (Jose did a marvelous job pointing out all the fishes, turtles, flora & fauna including the elusive tapir, so glad we wore rubber boots) and even some paddleboarding, it was a blast! We can't believe that you all live there, what a life!

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank Helen D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mike M, Owner at Copa de Arbol Beach and Rainforest Resort, responded to this reviewResponded August 3, 2014

It’s nice when people notice little details. We try very hard to provide a total immersion type experience here at Copa, and offering cold “agua de pipa” straight from the coconut is part of that. The Osa peninsula is more than just wildlife and nature. We feel it is important to expose people to the local culture and regional foods or fruits that they would never have a chance to try at home (right now its mammon chino). Our hope is that our guests get a true feel for the area, even beyond the well-known biodiversity it has to offer. Thank you for sharing here on Trip Advisor. We hope to see you back soon.

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Reviewed June 5, 2014

This was our last stop on a 10-day trip to Costa Rica and we definitely feel like we saved the best for last. The area in and unto to itself is amazing and Mike and his staff at the Copa de Arbol make it even better. The wet landings on the beach are really quite unique and reinforce the fact that you truly are in a secluded and natural area. From the moment we hit the beach, the service from the staff was excellent. From our orientation at check-in, to an unexpected - and welcomed - late breakfast (the granola here is fantastic by the way) to the attentive wait staff at the pool (the Sangria is most excellent), we never felt neglected. The accommodations were top-notch and extremely comfortable. You could relax on your porch or swing in one of the hammocks while taking in the nature around you. Jose led us on a snorkeling trip to Cano and went out of his way to make it worthwhile, even though we were dodging thunderstorms that morning and the water was a little murky from the rain the night before. There were only a few of us who wanted to snorkel in the deeper water and he had no problem obliging. Mauricio, who is a marine biologist by the way, led us on an all-day hike to Corcovado National Park. While you never know what flora and fauna you'll actually see on these types of trips, he, too, went out of his way to make sure we saw as much wildlife as possible. He even slogged through grasses and heavy underbrush to find a giant tapir resting in the shade. He was informative, flexible and very personable. He even came back by the pool after a long day to show us two toucans that had flown into a nearby tree. I also can't say enough about the food during our stay. Although it was mostly a fixed menu that changed each day, the staff always made it a point to ask if we were okay with the choices. There were always several options for breakfast. The preparation was always simple, made with fresh ingredients and delicious - and always more than we could eat. Everything that we would expect at home - living on the beach ourselves. We loved leaving our shoes off for dinner and inside our villa. Again, it reminded us of home. The staff was always, always accessible (without being in your face) - all you had to do was ring the bell if no one was actually at the front desk. They all made sure we knew where we were going (there are terrific hikes right from the resort) and knew what to bring with us for our excursions and were even flexible for some late-arriving guests with the departure times. You're on vacation after all! After a somewhat mediocre experience at our previous resort, the El Silencio Lodge, we were so happy and relieved to have had the good fortune of visiting Copa de Arbol. I only hope the word doesn't get out too fast. We'll be back - rest assured.

Room Tip: We stayed in Cacao. It had a view of the ocean and was convenient to the pool and the main lodge. It...
  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Gobeach56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mike M, Owner at Copa de Arbol Beach and Rainforest Resort, responded to this reviewResponded August 3, 2014

The best we could hope for is to achieve the goals we had in mind when planning Copa De Arbol. Your review confirms that we are on the right path as it reflects the type of experience we hope to provide for our guests. I am very proud of our staff and their commitment to providing our guests the best service possible. Thank you for choosing us and we hope you return soon!

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Reviewed June 4, 2014

This place may be expensive, but has large private clean bathrooms, good solid food[made even better by the fish we caught on Reel Escape], and air conditioning[mandatory during a hot and humid jungle stay]. The naturalist on site,Jose, is very knowledgeable and the dive trip to Cano, the horseback ride on the beach, the night hike, and the jungle hike in the park are all wonderful. Not for frail or handicapped individuals, this place requires climbs and long walks to rooms and on excursions. Getting off the boat in rough surf on the beach can be a hair-raising experience. But it's worth it for a closeup on nature, almost untouched , in Central America's Osa Peninsula. For the birder or the adventure traveler, this is a must see spot. Go soon, as one wonders how the all wood construction of this beautiful resort will hold up in a hot , humid, and termite filled jungle.

Room Tip: We loved cabins 8 and 9 as you are close to the pool and to the sound of the surf, with great views...
  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank foodfansGraniteBay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mike M, Owner at Copa de Arbol Beach and Rainforest Resort, responded to this reviewResponded August 3, 2014

Thank you for posting this review. I feel it is accurate and provides good advice to future travelers considering Copa De Arbol. This dream took us ten years to build; its our life’s work and it wasn’t easy. Being located in this environment means we must maintain the property much like a ship, maintenance never stops. We close the hotel every October to do a full maintenance overhaul: repainting, sanding, refinishing floors, etc., to assure that the hotel stays fresh and new. We hope to see you back someday. I promise you will find the same Copa De Arbol you remember. Thanks for trusting us with your time.

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Reviewed June 1, 2014

The rainforest is disappearing at an alarming rate, especially in a small country like Costa Rica. Copa De Arbol is in the middle of Corcovado National Park, the only real rainforest in Costa Rica. Choose one of the cabinas with a hammock so you can just lie out in the middle of the day and enjoy the sounds of the forest around you. Take the longest park tour that goes to the middle of the park and you will see more animals.

Room Tip: Choose one of the elevated cabinas with a hammock
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank LAJTraveler2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mike M, Owner at Copa de Arbol Beach and Rainforest Resort, responded to this reviewResponded August 3, 2014

Thank you for posting this short but sweet review. If you want to visit a true tropical coastal wilderness, the Osa Peninsula is second to none in this part of the world. From the California border to the Darien Gap, there is no place as untouched as the Osa. We are glad you enjoyed your stay with us and thank you for choosing Copa!!

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Reviewed May 30, 2014

Thought it would be our favorite of three places we stayed but was least favorite. Most importantly food is dreadful. I actually selected it based on review of food and was shocked. First lunch when we arrived was a bowl of pasta with stale bread on the side, no choice. I don't eat a lot of carbs. There were generally two choices for meals and the quality was basically cafeteria food, often stale bread and overcooked fish when there was fish, usually overcooked chicken. Oddly, the snacks served at 4:00 were very good, maybe because they wanted people to buy drinks. Huts and atmosphere didn't feel organic, more like the Disney version of the wilderness. Hikes disappointing-- the place in the park they took us to was actually quite busy with no remote feel. Also, you must remove shoes in restaurant and in huts and you can't throw used toilet paper in toilet only in trash barrel-- did not seem healthy sanitation wise. However, definitely positives too.

Pro
Beautiful huts and views
Saw taper on Hike
Saw Dolphins up close on boat to snorkeling
Has swimming beach

Cons
Food-- little choice, too many carbs, often cold and not fresh, cafeteria quality. box lunch given on tour was not nearly enough for how hungry everyone was.
Price-- neither food nor service you would expect for price
Hikes-- not remote at all
Snorkeling-- seas really rough in snorkel areas and heard that is typical, not prone to seasickness but two of us had to get off at island and wait we were so sick and seemed to be common occurrence.
Guides-- a bit cranky and less knowledgeable and committed than other areas, cutting time short, often annoyed at other guests, took us for half hour walk in hot sun searching for howler monkeys he heard, only to find out later when you can hear the howl they are not close. One guest really wanted to see sloth and he couldn't find one and finally the guest asked another guide from a different hotel who told us where to go. Again, very busy part of park they took us to.
Service: mixed. planning the trip with Summer-- fantastic service. However once you get there, hard to find anyone at desk, never given basic info like that there were snacks available all day or beach equipment available. No prep for tours, people had to keep going back for things like a flashlight for night tour they were never told they needed, or a backpack for hike because everyone had to carry their own lunch-- often holding up tours.

Side note: of three areas/places we stayed in Costa Rica, El Silencio Lodge in the cloud forrest was amazing for a fraction of the price with better room and food, and Ghia in Manual Antonio a close second.

Room Tip: Would not select the two closest to restaurant as lacking in privacy with people walking by. if you...
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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6  Thank ArtLovingFoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mike M, Owner at Copa de Arbol Beach and Rainforest Resort, responded to this reviewResponded June 3, 2014

Positive feedback is reaffirming. It reassures you that you’re on the right path. Negative feedback is even more valuable because it helps you to grow and improve. People are naturally drawn to negative news…it’s human nature, which means our 4 average reviews are read by everyone leaving the 120 excellent reviews mostly only casually glanced at. It makes sense; our short time on this planet is priceless. Free time and the money to go on vacation are hard to come by. Special moments such as weddings, graduations, family gatherings, vacations, etc. are what make up our special memories. They become part of who we are. To be trusted with someone’s time is a huge responsibility that we do not take lightly.

I am saddened to hear that we fell short of your expectations and always strive to learn where we can improve; however, this review left me honestly confused. We have a daily menu, but being in a remote boat accessed area we must be prepared to accommodate a wide variety of diets, allergies, food restrictions, etc. We have catered to many vegan and vegetarian guests. Both lunch and dinner are served with a salad starter; we have no limits on portions so plenty is available. We would have been glad to provide you with whatever request we could fulfill. My restaurant staff makes it very clear that we have options for guests unhappy with the daily menu. Summer, our reservations manager, is very careful to check for special diets as part of the booking process. Everything we serve is prepared fresh from scratch here at the hotel from the granola to all the baked goods even the jam. We bake fresh bread daily. I have never had a stale piece myself, but it’s possible that some might have been served. Again, a simple request would have gotten your bread replaced. Although I agree that our appetizers are good, I can assure you there’s no conspiracy to make them better than the rest of our food so we can sell more drinks.

I have been to Disneyland many times and I just can’t see the comparison. It’s unclear to me whether you liked our cabins or not. You stated that they didn’t feel organic then later refer to them as beautiful.

You felt that Corcovado National Park’s La Sirena Station wasn’t remote yet enjoyed your stay in Manuel Antonio National Park, the smallest, most visited and accessible in Costa Rica’s national park system. La Sirena Station is the most remote part of the entire Pacific Coast of Central America. It’s reached by an hour and a half boat ride along the last truly wild stretch of coast in this part of the world, a living museum. The park service sets strict limits on the number of visitors allowed into Corcovado National Park. Most of the park’s vast terrain is off-limits. Fortunately, the Costa Rican government allows access at two points along the coast: San Pedrillo Station and La Sirena Station, the more remote. Both are permitted through advanced reservation only. The Osa Peninsula is recognized by scientists as being the most biologically intense place on earth; nature enthusiasts come from all over the world for a chance to see animals long gone from other parts of Central America. As other guests have experienced, you were fortunate enough to see a tapir and even though the park may not have felt remote by your standards, tapirs only exist in areas far from human disturbance.

This is our very first complaint about our guides and it contradicts all the other reviews here on TA, even the other critical reviews praise the guides. I am truly sorry you felt otherwise; however, I have full confidence in both Mauricio and Jose’s professionalism and enthusiasm. Their passion for the area and its wildlife is contagious. No one can guarantee an animal sighting. Drake Bay is a small place and most of the guides that work in this area's hotels are friends. It’s common practice for guides from other hotels to share information about animal sightings; sloths especially, as they are hard to find and don’t move very fast. Our guides do the same for other hotels; it’s just how it works.

I am very sorry you felt unattended. In the small and intimate setting that we have here, I’m not sure how you were overlooked, but am disappointed if that’s what you experienced during your stay with us. Assistance at our front desk is available 24 hours a day. Our wait staff is available upstairs for assistance if one of our office personnel has stepped out for the moment. I live here and am usually very easy to find. I personally love sharing the area and informing guests of all the special little places I know and cool things to check out. Upon arrival, all guests are given a general speech regarding everything we offer such as paddleboards, kayaks, hiking trails, the pool, etc. and general advise such as to use your flashlight around the property at night. This is to give guests the run down of what we offer, where it is and how to use it. Normally this answers the majority of guest’s questions upon arrival, but maybe my staff skipped some of this process with you. I will reinforce the importance of this with management so it doesn’t happen to future guests.

Our no shoe policy is necessary to protect the beautiful teak floors found in the restaurant and cabins. They would be destroyed very quickly with all the mud, sand and rock being dragged inside. Most guests understand and many comment on how it helps them relax and absorb the beach vibe here at Copa.

Being located far from municipal services means we have a septic system that works with natural bacteria. Even biodegradable toilet paper disrupts this system’s function. We ask guests to put toilet paper in the provided waste bin and we empty them daily or as needed. All Drake Bay hotels use this system.

My favorite thing about Copa is that there are no roads here. It gives most guests, as well as myself, a true feeling of isolation but comes with a price. Everything must be brought in by boat, which means most goods cost double by the time they reach our beach. I feel it’s worth it and in today’s crowded world; privacy and isolation are hard to find.

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Additional Information about Copa de Arbol Beach and Rainforest Resort

Address: Drake Bay 60101, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Drake Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Drake Bay
#1 Romantic Hotel in Drake Bay
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Drake Bay
Price Range: $866 - $1,859 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Copa de Arbol Beach and Rainforest Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Copa De Arbol Beach and Rainforest Resort is an intimate, remote eco-conscious beachfront Drake Bay resort set among 70 acres of pristine rainforest reserve. Located in Southern Pacific Costa Rica on the Osa Peninsula, perfectly situated between Drake Bay and the Corcovado National Park ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Copa De Arbol Beach And Rainforest Resort Costa Rica/Drake Bay

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