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Reviewed May 1, 2011

Oxygen Jungle Villas was the second hotel we stayed at in Costa Rica and we had very high expectations given the very positive reviews on Tripadvisor, the listing on the Conde Nast Hot-list and other positive write-ups. However, unfortunately our experience was not as universally positive as other reviews here on our 4 night stay.

In terms of the positives, we found the villas to be very clean, the air-conditioning was effective, the surprise dinners were tasty and the view and wildlife in the area were fascinating. The inside space in the villas was perhaps not quite as spacious as expected if you travel with two or more large suitcases. There is a sizeable outdoor space around the villa as well, but this if of course not suitable for keeping your suitcases in. Moreover, the spa treatments were also relaxing and reasonably priced.

With regards to areas for improvement there were a couple of areas we would suggest Edwin and his team invest in. One area that let the rooms down was the quality of the towels in the rooms which were a bit tatty and worn, which was in contrast to the fresh, pristine towels around the pool. Additionally the quality and thread count of the bedding and sheets was perhaps not as high would befit a hotel of this standard and were starting to get a bit bobbly and tired. Perhaps an area to invest in further. Additionally the water from the shower would leak and we had to request additional towels to block the water from flowing into the room on a daily basis. We didn't mention this issue to the team, but would suggest fixing this for future guests.

On one of our day trips we visited the Corcovado national park. On David's recommendation we booked the trip with Don Jorge and Perla del Sur in Sierpe. Unfortunately the quality of the tour provider didn't quite meet our expectations. Our guide Oscar was not the most knowledgeable and knew the basics but did not appear to have a passion for wildlife and we found his approach to wildlife in the park e.g. chasing a frog to catch it, or shining a laser pointer at a sloth, very disruptive for the environment. In addition, on the boat trip to the park our group was not given life vests to wear whilst out on the ocean while other tour boats we saw had a much higher focus on safety. Our recommendation would be for visitors to consider other tour providers for the Corcovado trip and for Oxygen to also consider alternative recommendations so that it does not dilute their brand. We would definitely visit Corcovado again, but not with the Perla del Sur outfit. On a day trip you will only get to see a small part of the park but you can still expect to see sloths, howler monkeys, spider monkeys, coatis, raccoons possibly dolphins or whales en route and a large number of colourful birds.

In terms of other activities in the area, we thought the Hacienda Baru wildlife refuge is definitely worth a visit and we had a very knowledgeable guide Victor who was able to spot sloths, poison dart frogs, owls, toucans and a variety of other birds for us. The refuge is right by the main road and you will hear the traffic, but the wildlife and quality guiding made up for it. Also, the town of Ojochal is worth visiting for it's restaurants and we enjoyed our lunch at Citrus and had a great dinner at Exotica.

Overall, we would recommend visiting this part of Costa Rica and think Oxygen is a place worth considering, with a couple of areas of improvement for Edwin and team to focus on to ensure that the customer experience matches the image and standards that he is keen on setting for the Oxygen Group brand.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank SixtyDays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OxygenJungleVillas, Owner at Oxygen Jungle Villas, responded to this reviewResponded May 8, 2011

We are happy to hear you enjoyed your stay at Oxygen Jungle Villas!
As our hotel is still quite new, we truly appreciate all feedback that can improve our guest’s experience even further. Especially as you are an experienced traveler that has reviewed over 85 hotels, we appreciate your input. We will take action immediately on the areas that you feel can use some improvement.

Just to make sure that everybody has the right idea about the size of our villas: all villas have a footprint of exactly 77 m2 (about 825 square feet), of which roughly half is covered outside area. For people that travel with very large suitcases that may become obstacles in the villa, we offer the service to store your empty suitcases in our storage during your stay, while you unpack your items into the villas’ spacious closets and make yourself at home completely. You may not have been made aware of this service for which we apologize.

With regards to the quality of towels and bedding, naturally this is constantly checked and invested in. The bedding we have now is only a few months old and we filter out unacceptable towels on a daily basis. We apologize if some of lesser quality slipped past our quality control and I will personally go through our stock. The leak in the shower appeared to be a small gap in the sealer that has been fixed the minute we received your review. We thank you for bringing this to our attention.

With regards to the outfitter for the Corcovado trip; since our opening this company has had a flawless reputation with guide Oscar as many people’s favorite. Needless to say we are very surprised by your comments on that specific tour and guide. All guides at this park (which has a limited amount of visitors) operate in accordance with the wildlife conservation laws of Costa Rica and are extremely respectful towards the wildlife present – however they also understand that if visitors do not see any animals, it is considered an unsuccessful tour by most. Sloths are notoriously difficult to spot and I assure you that the pointer that is used goes completely unnoticed by all wildlife in the park, yet assists many visitors each year to spot their favorite animal. Catching and releasing a tiny frog may seem disturbing – but besides being harmless is also educational (they are near impossible to spot on the ground) for the visitor and will actually create a very important basis for the protection of the species and the area. We feel your comments are based on different opinions on wildlife conservation and we still highly recommend this tour.

None of the tours are directly linked to the hotel – however we advice and arrange the tours we have personally enjoyed in the area, with operators we know personally. We do not just work with one specific tour operator, but we carefully select every tour operator’s specialty. Most tours can be arranged just a day in advance and the Oxygen staff is happy to assist you with your planning completely free of any additional charges. The area where Oxygen is located is perfect for exploring several of Costa Rica’s finest National Parks: Marino Ballena, Manuel Antonio, Hacienda Baru and Corcovado National Park are all within easy reach of the hotel.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 28, 2011

My husband and I travelled to Oxygen Jungle Villas with hopes that we could relax for the first 5 nights following our busy wedding. To sum it up simply, mission accomplished by leaps and bounds! Oxygen Jungle Villas lived up to all of our expectations from the welcome treats to the stunning views to the beautiful grounds, we were treated like royalty and basking in luxury the entire time!

The infinity pool overlooking the jungle and sea is spectacular. Our favorite activity on site was resting in the pool while we sipped on the Oxygen Signature Cocktail (very yummy...highly recommend it!). We stayed in a villa overlooking the sea which we LOVED! We didn't have too many wildlife sightings on our end..the vegetation was drier and sparse near our villa, which didn't seem to be too inviting to the local fauna. I think you would see more if you stayed in a villa near the south end closer to the jungle. Not a big deal. We ADORED our villa and felt very secluded and private.

I don't want to be misleading as every place has their quirks..each villa comes with a fabulous patio and an outdoor sofa and the sofa does, over time, accumulate scattered patches of mold. But honestly unless the staff can find a way to magically control the weather and humidity there is nothing that can be done about this. Mold is a neverending battle in a humid country. The interior of our villa was lovely and in no way was it moldy, smelly, or undesirable. It was very clean and posh. The Balinese style decor is inspiring, peaceful, and very zen. The staff are amazing, helpful and courteous and the recommendations they provided for tours and restaurants were outstanding. We've never felt so embraced by a hotel and its staff in all of our travels. Each night the chef prepared a tasty 4-course meal, which is a culinary delight to folks like my husband and I who aren't used to such gourmet treatment. While the food was delicious, we did wish the restaurant offered a variable dinner menu as opposed to a fixed "surprise" multi-course meal as we didn't always want to spend $32/pp every night on a 4-course meal. It was great, don't get me wrong, but more choices would have been nice. We weren't always up for a 4-course dinner. On a side note, if you want to check out a local cheap hot spot for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, try Soda La Canalla at the bottom of the hill on your righthand side. We would pass by it on our way up to Oxygen and it was always packed at night with locals. The service is great, the meals are cheap, and you can get a taste of "tipica comida" or typical food. Overall, our trip to Oxygen Jungle Villas was an amazing one. We would visit this place again FOR SURE!

Room Tip: Villa #4 was great with an ocean view!
  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank April9Bride
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 26, 2011

In anticipation of our trip, we read every review we could find and looked at every picture. It all looked and sounded "too good to be true" and as we headed off on our vacation we worried about having our expectations set impossibly high. We should not have worried.

The view is spectacular, the villas are gorgeous, the staff is endlessly accommodating, the drive up requires a 4X4, and the surprise dinner is amazing...every time.

Some of the specific highlights included:

-Helpful directions from San Jose to Uvita including some great recommendations for sightseeing and stops for food on the way. (Don’t be afraid to drive. The highway from San Jose out to the coast and down to Uvita has all been resurfaced. We heard horror stories from friends, but the roads were better than the roads at home.)

-The final drive up to Oxygen does require 4 wheel drive, but it’s a fun adventure all its own. Try to time it so your first trip up is in daylight.

-We waited to book any excursions until we arrived so that we could get recommendations from the staff at Oxygen. They helped coordinate everything. We went rappelling down waterfalls with Costa Canyoning, white water rafting with Domincal Surf Adventures, ziplining at Hacienda Baru, kayaking (I can’t remember who with), and we spent a day at the beach. In every case the staff at Oxygen recommended high quality, safe, and fun adventures.

-We ate really well while in Costa Rica. We had three of the Surprise Dinners and Oxygen’s chef nailed it every time. On days when we were not eating at Oxygen, the staff was full of recommendations for interesting places to eat. Even when we explored on our own we were generally pleased with what we found. (At restaurants away from Oxygen steaks tended to be kind of tough, but chicken was always really good.)

-We spent most afternoons lounging by the pool and enjoying the view. The staff was attentive without being bothersome.

-The villas are really unique. We loved number three with its view of the ocean and lack of close neighbors, but the way they are designed, there isn’t a bad villa on the property.

-Many reviews list specific employees, and if you go to Oxygen you will get to know them too. We were most impressed by how consistent the friendly, helpful, and accommodating service was from everyone. If we tried to list everyone we would certainly misspell someones name or worse leave someone out but they were all great!

Room Tip: Villa 3 has a great view of the ocean
  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank swyantk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 24, 2011

I read all the reviews before selecting Oxygen for a 5 night stay for my wife and me. It would be our first "child-less" vacation in about 20 years, so wanted it to be perfect. And Oxygen did not disappoint.

The location is perfect. The service is superb. The food is delicious. The villa was romantic. As a bonus, all the other guests, that we spoke with were friendly and relaxed.

So although many other reviews may have said the same things, I'll add my thoughts.

On location, the villas are high enough to be cooler than if they were at sea level. We did use the AC at times, but it wasn't always necessary. The elevation eliminated almost all the mosquitos, so bug spray was never necessary and we were never bitten. The drive up the hill does require a 4 x 4 but became part of the adventure.

The service from all the staff could not be better. From the welcoming drink to the final check-out, the staff could not have been any more attentive or helpful. Any activity that you would want to do, could be planned. Your water glass never goes empty when you're by the pool. You never have to tell them your name for a second time or show a room key. Almost like an all-inclusive resort except for 100 times better service and food.
We ate every dinner and breakfast at Oxygen. My wife has some dietary restrictions (which we only had to mention the first night) and meals were adjusted for her every night. We thought every meal was fresh and delicious and was a good value.

Our villa (#7) had an ocean view and had a variety of birds and butterflies around every morning including toucans. We had a villa to each side of ours, but never seen and rarely heard the couples next to us.

The one thing that is not mentioned much in the other reviews is the interaction between guests. Everyone was very respectful of each other's privacy around the pool and dining area and while we met some great people, it was very easy to be private, as well.

It was the one place that we visited that we know we will be returning.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank VTXMatt22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 20, 2011

I'm going to go ahead and get this out of the way in case you are browsing for a review that will help you make your decision of where to go for your 1 of a kind honeymoon destination. After all you only get one so this one has to be perfect right? Well I am a huge fan of Oxygen Jungle villas. This is definetly everything my new wife and I had ever dreamed it would be. What will follow now is more praising of oxygen jungle villas, their staff and the beautiful place that is COSTA RICA. (Pura Vida!!)

Let me get important things out of the way. Some of these things might seem obvious but they took us off guard.

* To carry on a bag definetly costs money on spirit airlines. It's 30 dollars a bag.
* There is a 20 dollar fee that is like a tourism tax you get charged at your departure airport.
* Pretty much 1000 colones is 2 dollars, making 5000 colones 10 dollars.
* A GPS is definetly a fantastic investment.
* Be specific about the transmission of the car when renting it.
* Bring a poncho. It doesn't rain all the time but if or when it does remember this is the jungle.
* Don't buy a map at the airport they are wayy too expensive and your rental car company will give you one.

Now for Oxygen. We rented a car and drove from San Jose. Very easy drive with the GPS. Probably would be fine if you new the directions perfectly. But unless you are terribly afraid that paying for a GPS makes you less adventurous just pay for the ability to follow directions instead of having to use the extra brain power to remember. This is the 21st century. Technology is here to stay. You will also be impressed with it's ability to navigate you down dirt roads that would lead to nothing if you didn't have to climb first the steepest, most treaturous, unpaved road I have ever been on. (So Fun!) But that road which you will certainly get used to going up and down is the road to paradise!

When you feel like your 4x4 isn't going to take you any further keep going another 100 ft and turn right. You can catch a glips of the glass enclosed villas. Each is very secluded. I didn't hear or talk to one of my neighbors once in 7 days. While there are only 12 villas some of you might still be concerned with having to talk with strangers. Don't be concerned people are so occupied with the view and the food that they are thinking the same thing you are, "It's so nice to just be quite and enjoy where I am right now."

The main house is within walking distance from all villas. It has wifi that always works and can sometime be picked up in your villa. They serve a nice menu almost all day long but the wife and I ventured out often for lunch and dinner. Not because we didn't like Oxygen's food but they encourage you to try other places and do some activities in the nearby towns. I can still see the streets in my minds eye with Aldos the frozen coffee shop at the bottom of the hill and across the street the bank and the grocery store. Remember to ask also if the place you plan to venture out to takes credit card because a lot of places do. The staff is happy to find out information, make reservations, and inform you about local activities. David is a gem and all of the staff are polite and speak both english and spanish. Most of the costa rican's we ran into spoke just as much english as I speak spanish which is just enough to go anywhere and do anything. There is considerable to do from horseback riding, to zip lining, to eating out, beaches, surfing, hicking, and yes plenty of shopping.

The rooms are fantastic. The AC works excellent for those of you like me who like a steady chill. Double sinks, hot water, and a safe that can't be moved. There is also a philips dvd player that can play all of there very decent movie library. I'm a big movie buff so was loving the classic movies that can play in the background... Hey the bed is the focal point of the room and it doesn't make sense to sleep everytime you are in the villa. There is also a coffee maker and a fridge in the room.

The whole experience was amazing. We couldn't of asked for more. We had wanted a first class destination with good food, professional and personal staff, with beaches and an amazing view. I wish I could write more but it is so hard to put into words. I miss you Oxygen and you have no idea what an impact this beautiful experience has made on me and my wife. We feel encouraged and inspired. We can't wait to come back.

PS - When you go definetly definetly hit up La Tallengara for lunch, Exotica for dinner and Ados for the ice coffee and banana split.

Room Tip: Go for the ocean view villa if possible
  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank aarellis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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