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“Beautiful, stunning, remote”

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La Cusinga Eco Lodge
Ranked #5 of 12 Hotels in Uvita
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Lincoln, Nebraska, United States
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Beautiful, stunning, remote”
Reviewed April 10, 2013

I absolutely loved our time at La Cusinga but I want folks to understand, really, the experience they are signing up for! It isn't your completely pampered hotel experience you might find elsewhere but it is a slice of beautiful rest in a completely special country.

I want to say that, first off, the hotel staff and customer service we received was excellent! They handled all our requests and questions with ease and were able to get us excursions with only a few hours notice. They also handled my wife's somewhat unique dietary needs very easily.

The views are stunning, the beach is stunning, and it is just a great peaceful place to relax. My wife also indicate the yoga and massage was top notch. Just to be clear I would recommend you be in decent physical shape if you're planning on going to the beach - it's quite a hike through the jungle including a LOT of vertical "steps" that is more like a ladder. You are also a $10 cab ride into town and dinners are $25/night at La Cusinga so keep that in mind. I found the food wonderful but it is a fixed menu serving traditional costa rican cuisine. They only get ingredients that are locally sourced, and it is pretty good however. The views are incredible while you eat as well.

Room Tip: Reminder no air conditioning!
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Bill D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geinier, General Manager at La Cusinga Eco Lodge, responded to this review, April 14, 2013
Thank you so much for your visit and more so for taking your time to give this review that tells the world as it is. I am glad you and your family enjoyed our eco-lodge. Our team is always glad to know that we are doing an excellent work. Again thank you and look forward to your next visit! Pura Vida!
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Tel Aviv, Israel
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2013

My husband and I stayed at La Cusinga Lodge, as part of out honeymoon in Costa Rica.
The good reviews on Tripadvisor and the fact that it was the highest price we paid in the whole trip (140$ per night after discount) made us book a room for 3 nights, thinking it would be a good place to indulge ourselves.
We were wrong.

The room - the room was *terrible*!!! small and musty, bad lighting, not enough air flow (there is a noisy ceiling fan) and generally unpleasant. every time we entered the room we immediately wanted to get out.
The shower was the worst part, ugly, cracked tiles, old and neglected shower head. there wasn't always hot water (depends solely on sunlight) and the water stream in the shower was so weak which make it difficult to wash anything.
The shower head is hang so low I had to bend my head to wash my face and hair. and constantly be careful not to hurt myself from it. The bad was squeaky and not comfortable.
When we complained about the room the staff was nice but didn't really help us because the other rooms were full.
actually, I'm sorry we didn't leave after the first night. We stayed because we paid for half the stay in advance and also didn't want to waste our vacation time on finding a place and move.
on the second day a family with young kid arrived to the room next to us and we found out the wall is quite thin and we heard all the noise from the other room. also the balcony is shared, maybe it doesn't bother everyone but we like our privacy.

The beach - La Cusinga have a private trail to the beach, but it is not an easy walk. My husband and I are both young and fit and yet it took us about 15 minutes in each direction. it's like a jungle walk with some high stairs you have to climb. we talked with some older people there who just couldn't do it.

Location - We had a car so most of the time we didn't mind the place is far from Uvita (and anywhere else). It was a problem when we wanted to go out for dinner but it was heavily raining and we didn't want to drive. then we felt trapped and had to get the expensive dinner at La Cusinga.

To be fair, I want to point out the good things: We had a beautiful ocean view from our balcony, the beach, once you get there is really stunning and defiantly worth a visit and the food was excellent.

Stayed on March 2013.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Nogs1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geinier, General Manager at La Cusinga Eco Lodge, responded to this review, April 11, 2013
Thank you for your review, as we understand your visit was the same as Tom P, who gave his review below. Thank you for giving us your feedback, as this gives us a great view of what we need to improve and as I told Tom we will be making the repairs as soon as we have a chance later on this month. We are sorry that you had a bad experience.

The lighting is a balance, as if we have lots of lights the bugs from all over will be trying to get to your room. The room has stronger lights above each bed for reading or if you want more light.
We do our job in making sure our information in our web and everywhere else tells it as it is, we are a true eco lodge, where we have trails to enjoy nature, to see flora and fauna, to enjoy a 15 minute walk to the beach through the rain forest. Our place is great for nature lovers, who really want be close to nature and enjoy the rain forest and the ocean.

Again we are really sorry that you and your husband did not like our place. And as we told him: I think that some where you thought that we were a resort or more of a luxury hotel, and when you got here your expectations just were not fulfill. We are truly sorry for that, and we did try our hardest to make it right, but it was not sufficient. But your two reviews give us good feedback to improve. So thank you again for your feedback.
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Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed March 17, 2013

This place is incredible. Saw more wildlife here than anywhere else. Peaceful and quiet.
The forest and trails, the ocean views, the accommodations all were terrific. The staff were very accommodating and helpful. You have to be able to walk up and down hills and navigate rocky paths--not good for small children or anyone who has trouble walking. No air conditioning either, but there were ceiling fans in the rooms and it cools off at night. No pool and the beach is a good 20 minute walk on way downhill from the hotel. Food was all very healthy and reasonable--not really gourmet, but convenient and good. There are some good restaurants nearby in a small village enclave south of La Cusinga (populated by French/Canadians). If you are looking for something different off the beaten path and enjoy nature and hiking, I would highly recommend.

Room Tip: Ask for a supreme room near reception.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ladytraveler60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geinier, General Manager at La Cusinga Eco Lodge, responded to this review, April 8, 2013
Thank you for your review, for your visit and for sharing it with the world. We are proud of our place, our style and our mission of protecting our land and ocean. Your visit here is part of what we want, as it proofs that we can create a business where the economics part can have a balance with the social and environmental.
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Middle Haddam, Connecticut, United States
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2013

We had our private viewing platform off our bed room deck: Howler Monkeys, White face Monkeys, a Tayra, many many types of birds. A large family of White Face Monkeys moved through the ravine off our deck about 30 feet away. I would get up early and sneak out of the room for the morning show.

The staff was wonderful. They couldn't have done more.

La Cusinga was the only place we stayed in CR where we were served a variety of Tico dishes. There were so many new flavors and combinations that each meal was an adventure. The food is not mass produced like in some of the bigger resorts.

The next time I go I would rent a car so I could drive to the local attractions.

This was a lucky find for us.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Alannah C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geinier, General Manager at La Cusinga Eco Lodge, responded to this review, March 17, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience during your stay. To be so close with nature, a true experience of nature where we can see the animals in their natural habitat, is what we are all about. To experience what we are as a culture, our traditions, our food, our people, our flora and fauna. To explore the trails, to explore the beaches, the national parks, the local towns. Thank you for your visit and we look forward to your next visit!
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Tucson, Arizona
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed March 14, 2013

This is an exceptional lodge and I highly recommend it to anyone who is thinking of staying here.It is a small establishment run by a family who is very environmentally oriented, supports the local community and strives to ensure your stay here is thoroughly enjoyable. The staff are extremely friendly and helpful, speak English and the food is delicious. Rooms are individual casitas and there are also two "bunkhouse" type areas for a group of people that want to stay together. Everything is very clean and very maintained. There is a beautiful covered veranda from which you can enjoy the birds and see out into the ocean - gorgeous sunsets. The establishment has its own private beach, walking trails, and a freshwater relaxing pool. You will awake here to the amazing sounds of birds and howler monkies. I have stayed here 4 times and will continue to go back. They fill up very fast during the high season so be certain to make reservations early.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank SueBee545
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geinier, General Manager at La Cusinga Eco Lodge, responded to this review, March 17, 2013
Thank you for taking your time to share your experience, and thank you for getting what we are about. we are an ecolodge, and to get people to come back time after time is our best reward that we are doing things right! We try to do our best and to make you feel at home! Thank you for coming back! Pura Vida!
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Tel Aviv, Israel
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 5, 2013

We stayed at La Cusinga for 3 nights during our honeymoon in Costa Rica - and this was the worst place we've been to since we got to Costa Rica - especially compared to the price we payed ($140 per night) and the other reviews on TA which was the basis of choosing this Lodge.

We came to La Cusinga hoping for a nice room and facilities, and a place to relax and unwind - however, since we arrived, there have been multiple problems which completely ruined the experience for us.

When we arrived and saw the room (Gemela 1) it was small, musty smelling (even though it's the dry season), and the bathroom looked like it was 30 years old - yellow and worn out. We asked for another room with a more sensible bathroom, but they showed us an even smaller room without a ceiling fan (just a regular small fan on the wall) - so we said we'll stay at the first room they showed us.

In the morning, the toilet did not work and we had to waste time finding someone in reception and waiting for them to fix it (which they did) but it wasn't pleasant and wasted precious vacation time.

I asked if we can pay more and upgrade the room to the honeymoon suite , but the staff said it was already taken.

We spent the next day outside the hotel, but when we came back there was a complete blackout from 16:00-20:00. They had flashlights for some of the guests but not enough, so we only got a candle for our room. We tried driving to Uvita to eat dinner, but it was dark and raining and quite scary to drive so we went back to La Cusinga. They did manage to cook dinner which was very tasty, but the rest of the evening was passed in complete darkness.

The bed in the room was awful, and each small move made a great wood cracking sound which woke up my wife each time I moved.

The lighting in the room was horrific. The ceiling fan is hooked up below the main lighting, so when the fan is on, all you see in the room are light flickers every time the fan hides and unhides the lighting - when the lighting is set up like this it is really irritating.

You can see a short video of the room while the light and fan are on, to see what I mean , also you can see the horrific state of the bathroom - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzFyyA5SBsg

When coming back from the beach, which is quite a long walk in such a humid and hot place (about 15 minutes in the forest , with a lot of uneven and slippery stairs) the bathroom did not have hot water - and on top of that almost no water pressure. So we had to shower in cold water and barely enough water to take the sand off. My wife was not able to wash her hair, and I was not able to shave. When we asked the staff why there was no hot water - they said they are an Eco Lodge and only have solar powered hot water so if it's a cloudy day - no hot water. Now, I'm all for being Eco and using Solar power (where I come from it is mandatory to have solar power on all homes and buildings - but we also have the ability to heat the water using electricity). This just doesn't cut it - and I feel like I was fooled to choose this hotel - and the facilities are simply not good enough for what we payed.

In addition to the lack of hot water in some of the days we were there - the showerhead was installed extremely low (maybe 1.75 meters) which means you need to bend your knees to use the shower which is rediculous, and every time to take your hands up to soap, you hit the showerhead.

It's clear that no serious planning took place in designing the rooms, and no effort to keep them in good condition (especially the bathroom).

All that said - there are 2 good points there. The food was excellent and the view is amazing. But that was not enough to make our stay pleasant.

When we told the staff of our problems, they were nice, and tried to do their best - but could not find us a better room and were not able to offer us any real solutions to our issues. They did compensate us for all this by offerring a few free meals - but I still feel I was ripped off.

I will never return to La Cusinga, and I'm sorry I believed all the previous reviews in TA which led me there.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tom P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geinier, General Manager at La Cusinga Eco Lodge, responded to this review, March 14, 2013
Tom thank you for your review! We are not happy with it, but it is your right and we respect it 100%. I just wanted to take a few minutes to touch some points that you make here.

The time that you were with us, we had 5 days of constant rain winds and bad weather all together, which is not typical for this time of year. This caused for us to not have hot water, that the area from Dominical to Ballena had no electricity for one day. That driving at night was dark and wet. Our sewage systems filled up with water and had some issues. It was during the same time that in the USA cities were also I a standstill and airports closed, the same cold front affected us. This is to give you an idea of the situation.

The room: not sure where and how gave you an idea that it was larger room, all our rooms are similar, the one that has more space is the honeymoon suite. The room you were in did have a problem a few weeks earlier where the bottom part of the shower broke and had to be fixed, to do that we had to take 3 tiles out and replace them with new one (not the same color), as we are full we could not replace all of the tiles, this will be done in low season. We could not change you to another room as we had no other space available (only the single room, for one person) , we did try to compensate as much as we could with given you other additional benefits.

As we are in the middle of a rain forest and we are an Ecolodge that is focused on nature, hikes and nature activities we recommend in our web: What should I pack?
For your visit to the rainforest, we suggest that you bring the following:
-Lightweight, comfortable hiking or walking shoes (waterproof is preferable).
-Lightweight, casual clothing appropriate for hiking. Our dress code at the property is completely informal, so do not worry about bringing dinner jackets or formal apparel.
-Bring a couple of extra shirts as you will be sweating a lot on the hikes.
-Sunscreen, Insect repellent and a Flashlight. When possible, please pack only Panasonic batteries, as these are the only brand of batteries that are recycling in Costa Rica.
-Light raincoat when visiting us during the rainny months.
-If you love spot birds; please do not forget your binoculars.

We are very sorry that you had other expectations of our place, but to say that we are a “Total Ripoff “ is not true and this hurts not only me but all of our team, as we work hard to make this a great place to visit and be one with nature. We sale a product that is a niche, we are one of the few places where you can enjoy a National Park, see whales from your room, hike and encounter flora and fauna that are hard to see anywhere else, we have a trail that goes to the only beach where primary and secondary rainforest comes down to the beach, where you will not see a car, a house or a road. We are a private nature reserve.

But a fraud we are not. I think that some where you thought that we were a resort or more of a luxury hotel, and when you got here your expectations just were not fulfill. We are truly sorry for that, and we did try our hardest to make it right, but it was not sufficient. A one we will take, not a true reflection of us, but we will take it. But that you call us a fraud, that really hurts us as people and as a team that we are.

Again thank you for your feedback.
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Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 4, 2013

Lodgings were arranged by Sierra Club as part of a Costa Rican nature tour. The buildings were individual works of art, the setting was perfect and staff was great and had a good sense of humor. The owner believes he could make more money by expanding, but prefers a more ecological approach with low impact. Lots of wildlife right in the place and close to nice beach and trails.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank G_Brian_Lien
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geinier, General Manager at La Cusinga Eco Lodge, responded to this review, March 7, 2013
Our longest relationship is with Sierra Club, and we love having you visit us. As we know nature is what you look for. We have a good piece of land, and yes we can build hundreds of rooms. But 10 to 12 rooms will be our max (10 at this time) as we want to be part of nature and not just another typical hotel. Thank you for getting what we are about!
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Additional Information about La Cusinga Eco Lodge

Property: La Cusinga Eco Lodge
Address: 200 South Of Km Mark 166 | 5 KM south of Uvita Bridge, between KM Mark 166 & 1677, Uvita 60504, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Uvita
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Green Hotel in Uvita
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Uvita
#4 Spa Hotel in Uvita
#5 Romantic Hotel in Uvita
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — La Cusinga Eco Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hidden in the hilltops overlooking the pristine beaches of Costa Rica's still-virgin south pacific, where the ocean crashes into the jungle sits La Cusinga. Tucked away in a private reserve of over 600 acres, this rainforest lodge provides guests with sweeping ocean views, sandy beaches, natural pools, and the chance to experience the burgeoning forests and astonishing wildlife of the country's most famous ecosystem - OSA. The hotel offers ten rooms designed with sustainably-harvested wood and local materials to maximize comfort while minimizing impact on the environment. The open-air restaurant creates an ideal setting for couples and families alike to enjoy delicious tropical dishes made with fresh produce grown on our farm. The lodge's genuine commitment to sustainable practices along with our first-hand experience in local and national conservation efforts enrich our guests' appreciation of these ecosystems and the importance of their continued preservation. This unique insight enhances the exploration of the natural surroundings while the beautiful location offers the tranquility of fresh ocean breezes and breathtaking sunsets that make for the perfect tropical escape. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
La Cusinga Eco Hotel Uvita
La Cusinga Eco Lodge Costa Rica/Uvita

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