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All reviews costa rica dairy farm poas volcano main building la paz waterfall gardens san jose pool table eggs a hot water bottle dining room other guests hiking trails breakfast and dinner granola wood burning breakfast was included games room
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Reviewed March 7, 2010

As other reviewers have commented the Lodge is currently under construction so some amenities are down. That is understandable. The currently available rooms all sit in one long attached row under a small overhang. The owner has a German shepherd watch dog whose water dish sits under that overhang. On arrival the dog greeted us and was friendly. I went to bed at 11 pm -- but at midnight we were awaken by the dog barking madly and running up and down the porch for the next 15 minutes. This continued on and off for much of the next 4 hours (at one point the dog must have barked almost continuously for 45 minutes). Now as the dog is literally on the other side of your door and barks loudly there was no way we could sleep. The owner was no where to be found and left no contact information. We later found out this wasn't the first time it has happened (and from reviews may have been going on for at least a few months). The owner, an English dude, claimed he was unaware and tries to make you feel bad about raising the issue with him (then makes no immediate offer to address the issue), I got the feeling he hopes people's unwillingness to create a scene will allow him to get away with this. Look I understand that times are tough after the earthquake they experienced, but don't saddle your guests with sleepless nights and act like it isn't your responsibility when you darn well know what has been going on with your dog (you should tell your guests - "OK if he barks I can be reached here" -- but I guess THAT would inconvenience the owner).
Other notes: the room is simple and nice enough, breakfast good. But for the money we stayed at better in Costa Rica. Another problem is that the septic can't handle toilet paper and so you are supposed to put your soiled toilet paper into a small open (no top) trash can that sits by the toilet. Not real pleasant. At least, why not put a top on the trash can? No other place in we stayed at on this trip had this system. Symptomatic of an owner who doesn't think too much of his guests?

Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
3  Thank clarkstown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 26, 2010

We did our research on Costa Rica. A few things I've heard: (a) San Jose has nothing to offer, don't spend any time there and (b) don't drive at night. Our itinerary was to travel from San Jose to Arenal by rental car.

We arrived at 2pm. Clearning customs was a breeze - but Thrifty rent a car was another story all together! So after the long painful process at Thrifty, we were on the road about 4pm. I understand starts to get dark at 5:45pm.

We decided to stay at Poas Volcano Lodge because we *thought* it was an opportunity to avoid San Jose and start our trek to Arenal. We arrived around 6pm. The drive was very easy. We arrived at the lodge. {We already anticipated that there were parts under construction because their website is quite explicit about it and provides the background.) The gentleman that greeted us was very helpful and kind. We settled into our room which was clean and cozy.

What We Liked
1. It was a great way to start the trip and avoid San Jose.
2. The rooms were comfortable, clean and we felt safe.
3. The staff was very friendly.
4. We enjoyed the trip - going through little towns, dashing dogs walking the street - on our way to the lodge.
5. And we met quite a few folks that were following similar itineraries.

What We Could Have Done Without
1. The room was a little cold (to be fair I get cold very easily) - but the room had two space heaters we took advantage of.
2. The road to Arenal is broken so we had to travel back down toward the airport before going north. It wasn't a time saver.

All in all, we are glad we stayed there. If we had more time, I would have liked to explore the grounds a bit. I would recommend it to a friend.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank kymchee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 23, 2010

We just spent 12 wonderful days in Costa Rica with only one low point - the Poas Volcano lodge. We arrived in the mid afternoon. The place is under construction, so the nice common room shown in the pictures is not open to guests. The lodge was loud with construction noise so we left right away for the La Paz Waterfall Gardens, which were worth visting.

The room is simple but attractive. The plumbing is very simple. You cannot put soiled paper into the toilet. They give you a waste basket with no lid for that purpose. Upon returning from dinner, where we made sure to use their bathroom, we wanted to get drinks for the room, but reception was locked up and there was not way to communicate with anyone running the lodge. This wasn't such a big issue until the large German Shepard who had barked at us on our arrival began barking around midnight, running around the outside of our room. This went on for four hours. Now, not being able to talk with anyone in charge was a big problem. We finally fell asleep just before dawn, but before 7:00 am the construction noise started.

The owner was insufferableand first tried to brush me off saying that he was at a meeting. After midnight? It turns out that ever since a family of coyote moved in, the dog barks at them at night. We stayed at another remote inn where they hired a man to watch the place during the night, and they took their dogs home with them. They also left walkie talkies so that you could reach them if there was a problem.

He gave us a 20% discount, but I would have much rather had a decent nights sleep and a fully functioning toilet. I understand he is re-building from an eathquake, but he's doing it on the backs of his guests. You can find a much nicer place to stay for the money, and a far more pleasant host.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled with family
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3  Thank happyarchitect
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 22, 2010

We stayed here one night before heading over to Peace Lodge. We arrived in the late evening. There isn’t much around, so if you don’t have a car, you might be stuck. We were lucky that the front desk guy had offered to take another couple to a nearby restaurant (The Steakhouse), so he said he could drive us too, which was nice. (By the way, the Steakhouse was great).

The room was adequate. We were right next to the office and dining room. The decor is charming, I guess it was a renovated stable, so it’s very authentic with big doors, wood floors, etc. The bathroom was okay, but we were surprised to see the note on the wall that due to a sensitive septic system, you couldn’t flush toilet paper. That's fine for one night, but glad we weren't staying another, because it's not really what we wanted to be doing on our honeymoon.

The bed was decent, and thankfully, each room has a space heater because it gets very cold at night! There are no TVs, so bring books to read at night. You could see that the place was badly damaged by the earthquake just one year earlier. They were repairing what I think was the main lodge. There is a great view during the day and the premises are very nice and beautiful.

The breakfast served in the morning was very good and it was nice that it was complimentary. The eggs are fresh from their farm, as is their milk and strawberries. The serving staff was very nice and accommodating. However, as I noted before, our room was next to the office, and we didn't realize that it was next to the dining room until we heard the noise. Boy, were we glad that we didn't get "wild" in the morning, because that would have been embarrassing.

We had considered staying on extra night, but decided to check out early and extend our stay at the Peace Lodge. It just wasn't "honeymoon quality." We asked the staff how much they would charge to drive us to the Peace Lodge, and they wanted to charge $20. That was a bit ridiculous, especially since it was only a few kilometers away.

Thankfully, Peace Lodge had a room available, so we left very early. I don’t think I could recommend anyone staying here. The staff was nice, breakfast good, but the rooms were mediocre, especially for the price. The view is great, but you're really stuck at the hotel if you don't have a car. It is charming, but not for a honeymoon.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank alibuddha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed January 12, 2010

This lodge is a nice option just 45 min from SJO. The rooms are cozy and well appointed, plank floors and beamed ceilings in the old wing. The lodge is really cool, great fireplace and nice dining area, a huge game room downstairs with a pool table and other stuff.

Its cozy and Intimate, the owners a nice Britt thats into birding. Hiking nearby and the Paos volcano is best early morning, nights are foggy, misty, windy and nippy up here, so plan on a fleece jacket and socks, even though its the tropics...

  • Stayed: October 2007, travelled with friends
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Thank Tim G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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