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Reviewed June 24, 2012

My wife and I had several friends of ours that had done Costa Rican honeymoons. We have heard nothing but good things about the country. We were getting married in April, so I decided to surprise my bride with a weeklong Costa Rican honeymoon. I was drawn to the all-inclusive type packages, since neither of us are familiar with this part of the world and wanted simplicy and ease on our honeymoon. However, I was turned off by the larger resorts. It all seemed to be a little to contrived and you were presented with a cookie-cutter experience that lacked authenticity. I knew that I wanted to find a place that took care of our every need, but had the authentic charm and atmosphere of Costa Rica.

We found the perfect place in El Remanso. From the moment I started working with Gabby on the phone and email to set up the trip, she made sure that we were building the trip around us, and she went to great lengths to make sure that every possible arrangement was made--including getting us from San Jose to El Remanso. At the lodge, you are treated like royalty. All of the staff (they usually outnumber the 20ish or so guests on the property at any time) memorize your name and get to know you and your needs. They make sure that you have the experience that you want.

We did an activity just about every day (part of the honeymoon package--which is fantastic), including three different nature hikes, horseback riding, waterfall repelling, a canopy zipline and breakfast, and massages on our last day(their masseuse if fantastic). If you don't go with an activity-heavy package, there is still lots to do on the property. We saw quite a bit of wildlife (including a puma!) on our own, spent a good deal of time relaxing by the pool or on the beach, or exploring the tide pools, lagoon, river, and jungle. We started to think that we were in a more luxurious version of a mix between Pirates of the Caribbean and the Swiss Family Robinson.

If you are not an "eco-tourist" don't worry, neither are we. El Remanso is remote and authentic, but it has plenty of creature comforts (really everything but AC). I was slightly worried that the lodge would be a little more "outdoorsy" than we were used to, but again, they strive to suit your needs. You can be Gilligan and stay outside all day, or you can be the Millionaire and His Wife and drink pina coladas by the pool watching macaws fly by.

The food (and bar) is truly excellent. It is varied, and I don't think we ever had the same meal twice. Even though everyone eats meals at the same time, we never felt that we lost any privacy. In fact, as you get to know the other guests (we overlapped with some great folks) you enjoy the meal time together to swap stories of the day and get to know new people.

Sylvia always made sure to check in with us daily to make sure that everything was going well for us and to take care of any arrangements that needed made. The owners are also fantastic and have such a heart for service and caring for their land. Rinaldo and Gerardo are two of the most knowledgable and kindest guides in the business, and really go above and beyond to make sure you are getting the best experience possible. The restaurant staff could easily work in any five star restaurant.

The room style is a very simple elegance. The bed was comfortable, and we never had to use the mosquito nets. You're in the jungle, so expect a few bugs in the room--but it was never a nuisance. We split our time between La Guinda and a smaller room by the pool. Both were fantastic, but we really recommend La Guinda. It is warm at night with no AC. The fan helps, but it is hard to forget that you are in the tropics. Their are also a lot of night sounds, so if you have trouble sleeping I'd recommend bringing ear plugs to block the noise. We got used to is after a few nights. Also, the hike to and from the beach is strenuous. Bring water and take your time, but when you find yourself on a deserted beach, or back up at the resort with a cold drink waiting for you--it is worth the effort!

Simply put, we couldn't think of a better place to start our life together. It is about as close as you can imagine to paradise. We highly recommend it and look forward to returning soon! Thanks to all the fantastic staff down there on the Osa Peninsula for making it an unforgettable experince for us. You guys rock!

Wes and Bethany Goodman

Room Tip: We stayed in two different rooms. Both were excellent, but we really recommend La Guinda. It is their largest and most luxurious cabin, and also has the best view and the most privacy.
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Wesley G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed June 17, 2012

We had a small wedding at El Remanso back in late March 2012. The staff really did a wonderful job. We stayed 4 nights in Casa Osa and La Guinda. The flight from San Jose to Puerto Jimenez was a small 8 person single engine plane. That was a slight shock for some of our party. The cabins were nice and secluded, you didn't have to worry about another group seeing you.

We had contacted El Remanso and booked the rooms about a year in advance. Probably 2 months before the wedding we started making more definite plans, and Adrianna was extremely helpful and knowledgeable about different options. We had some concerns, and she quickly addressed them. The entire lodge did a wonderful job making us feel at ease with everything, and they never made me feel guilty asking for a special little favor (aka we forgot hand fans for guests, as well as needed an extra mirror in one of the rooms). Everyone commented how friendly the staff was, and how accommodating. By the end of the trip they knew everyones favorite drinks and how they liked to spend their day. I would really recommend the deluxe cabins, the view was absolutely breathe taking. It was wonderful just being able to sit with family on the large deck and talk or swing in the hammock for a bit. The view was straight out of a movie, their website pictures aren't lying.

I can't say enough about how perfect of a setting it was. The beach we used was breathe taking. I had given some floral pictures, but really let them have the final say in what they recommend and everything turned out beautiful. The water buffalo was a great touch, and really makes the pictures special. The food was amazing throughout our stay, it was just a little warm for this Yankee to fully appreciate it. I would have brought a hand fan in hindsight.

What stands out for me was the natural beauty of the lodge - every single person there cares about conservation and educating the public. They love their job, and they love explaining the world around them. I did the horse back riding, bird watching, and waterfall rappelling and would recommend them all. My husband also did the surfing, and he enjoyed Pollo's Surf School.

My tip would be don't go to this place to rest. Come rested and get up early everyday and go explore. Our party unfortunately lost 2 days to being sick (bad San Jose food), and that was really disappointing because the wedding took another day leaving us only one to really explore. But I do appreciate everyone at the Lodge looking out for us as we arrive looking very green after the drive from town. I felt bad because they were all ready to show us our rooms, get us a meal and drink, and show us around and all everyone cared about was being left alone and laying down.

The beach is a hike - bring extra water and lots of sunblock. But the natural tidepools and scenery are worth the effort. On the way back keep your eyes open for monkeys and toucans and macaws. Also, bring a long lens for your camera and practice. The animals move very fast and it was a challenge to get some good shots. But also don't get too tied behind your camera, make sure you enjoy being there and seeing them run around. My favorite was the macaws eating their breakfast next to us! Also, some of the monkeys decided it was hot and they needed a nap, so they were all sprawled out over the branches staring at us as we drove by.

Room Tip: The fans didn't help me sleep, but I started taking a cold bath before bed and that helped a lot.
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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Thank RIT_girl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed June 14, 2012

I will be honest, I was a little nervous about this place. I am a perfectionist and need everything scheduled and verified weeks before we travel. When 3 weeks from our trip and we still hadn't received word from the resort about flight plans from San Jose or a schedule of activities I was anxious. But an email to Gabby and the flight was booked and I found out once we get there that is when you schedule your activities. So it all worked out, but I just wanted to give a heads up to other perfectionist out there!

We went the end of April and only spent 3 1/2 days at the lodge and I think 5 days (besides travel) would have been ideal for the activites we scheduled. The resort was beautiful! We stayed in one of the classic cabins and they were great. As the other reviewers said there are no locks on the doors, but we never once felt concern over them. The safes in the rooms are a bit small, I barely fit my iPad in it, only after I took the case off and set it in at an angle. We did have little ants in our room, they really seemed to like one corner of the netting over the bed. But you are in a rainforest so we were fine with it.

Also, while we were there they had some water pipe problems and so we could use the water for about an hour or so a couple of the days and the hot water was a real hit or miss, which I assumed was a result of the issues. But when it is 90 degrees and humid, that last thing you want is a hot shower. The staff was really good about apologizing and updating all the guests. Again, when you are in a rainforest and staying at an eco-lodge in particular, you have to be flexible.

For activites we did 2 day hikes, night hike, horseback riding, tree climbing, waterfall repelling, and the canopy breakfast. So we were doing 2 activities a day, which is doable, but be prepared to crash when you get home. We loved all the activities! The guides for the hikes are beyond friendly and knowledgeable. The guides do the same hikes practically daily, and not once did I ever suspect they were bored or going through a routine. They were always excited and eager to answer any questions!
Some tips for the activities that we picked up there:
-There isn't a lot (or any) spider monkeys on the El Remanso property, so if you want see them, I heard there are a lot on the Birdwatching Tour
-If you do the waterfalls, have shoes that you are fine getting wet, most of the time is spent walking through the rivers and by the end, you are soaked.
-We added the tree climbing through Psycho Tours to our package because a cousin recommended them. They are great people, but I wouldn't use professional to describe them. The hike to the tree is strenuous! We were NOT prepared for that. Also, it was the first time I had ever been in a harness and they don't do a good job of explaining the safety stuff, just strap you in tell you to climp up the tree and then how to jump off the top of the tree. I got half way up and freaked out. I am not afraid of hights, I think I just got in my head and there was no "safety talk" to help me through. Also, when I did freeze the only person who noticed was my husband, none of the other employees were paying attention until he called out to them. So this isn't anything against El Remanso because it is a third-party vendor, but in case you are considering the tree climbing, here is the full disclosure.

My favorite part? Hands down the customer service of the staff. They make a point to learn and memorize your name when you first arrive. You are greeted with a glass of amazing ice tea (and I don't even like ice tea, but I love theirs) and they explain to you all about the resort, everything. The staff there is beyond amazing! Most of the time we were there the place had 13 guests and we would all meet up and hour before dinner and talk about our day. I highly recommend hanging out before dinner, it was really fun to get to know the other guests.

On a side note, the last couple of days we were there, there was a family staying with 3 young kids (ages 6-9, maybe) and they ended up leaving early. I would say this isn't the place for young kids. No matter how great the reviews are and how amazing the place is, it is still dangerous and you need to follow their rules about staying safe at the resort and especially on the hikes. I saw many adults forgetting the rules to stay on the hiking paths, I couldn't imagine expecting young kids to remember.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Jessica K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed May 27, 2012

El Remanso was the highlight of our great wildlife adventure trip to Costa Rica. I have been to
ecolodges in several countries and it is delightful if you plan to spend a little more money and
have more luxurious accomodations. We were interested in seeing birds and wildlife as well as
hiking, and all these goals were met. Having great food, cocktails and fabulous views from the
cabins was an added bonus. Take advantage of the lodge's naturalist guides(especially if you
are a birder) and consider an excursion with the Yaguara Wild Cats Conservation Program
representative if available. The Osa Peninsula is a hidden Costa Rican gem!

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank peritas03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed May 11, 2012

We are newlyweds and we wanted a experience a non-sterile unconventional experience. We wisely chose the El Remanso Lodge. We wanted to go somewhere where we were away from cilivization, we could relax, and reduce our environmental footprint.
Both of us live stressful lives at work. We got the wildlife package stayed at the "La Gundia" lodge and we came with open expectations. The lodge is located in the middle of the jungle and away from cilivization. We could still access the internet when necessary but there were so many different activities that using it can seem superfluous.
We enjoyed professional and friendly staff who helped us feel welcomed and at ease at the lodge. The guides we always mindful of safety and keeping all the guests safe every activity we participated in including the zipline, horseback riding, trail walks, and waterfall rapelling. The guide uring the trail walks are very informative and take the time to point out the various fauna who inhabit the jungle.
They also seem to focus on making the lodge eco friendly by using local materials and supporting the community by using local products. The food was tasted fresh and delicious. The rooms were spacious and we did get the privacy that we wanted. The room we stayed in was lovely and provided a wonderful view of the ocean. The other guests at the lodge were also friendly and easy to talk to.

Since it was the beginning of the rainy season (May) it is advisable to bring and umbrella and enjoy the rain when it comes. It rained at most a couple of hours during the day or several hours during the evening. Bring a flashlight (they do provide one if you forget to bring one) if you do stay at the "La Gundia" lodge. After dinner it's dark and as you make your way back to the cabin there is an elevation change and you could potentionally trip over a rock or step on wildlife. This is an ecolodge so you will find lizards and birds hovering around the resturant or the occasional crawlie on the floor of the lodge. If you do want to take a bus from San Jose to the lodge... don't. Fly to the nearest town on the airline they suggest. The bus station at San Jose is spread out nightmare and confusing and the trip can be as long as eight hours...

This lodge is wonderful place for a couple to visit and to enjoy the activies.

Room Tip: The rooms are wonderful but since this is an ecolodge where will be bugs that will slip in under the doors. The lights are dim at nighttime in the rooms. Although this is to prevent light pollution if you require intense bright light use a LED flashlight.
  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Shaun P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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