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Reviewed 20 February 2008

I stayed in a bungalow which had 2 double beds in it and nothing else. Not even a chair to sit in.
The porch had 2 old, uncomfortable chairs to sit in, sort of like a hammock chair.

The electricity is turned off from 11 pm until 7 am. (not mentioned on their web site) Therefore, hard to sleep due to the heat without the fan.
The tours included lunch for an extra $15. The staff knew I was a vegetarian & I had a peanut butter sandwich & some fruit.
When I went to the desk, the manager said don't worry about it.
Instead of apolgizing, They charged me $5.00 for a snack.
The food at the lodge was pretty good. However, I had to ask for rice & beans & was told for 3 nights, NO. Finally, on the 4th night, I had some rice & beans with my veggies.

Also, on Sunday morning at 7:30 am the gardners started making a lot of noise mowing & I could not even think. I know that the work has to get done but why not wait until after breakfast since most of the guests go hiking or on tours.

Also, their tours are not very well organized. We went to Cano Island & didn't even see the spheres. No time. I spoke with a couple of divers and they too were disappointed with the diving tour.

The area was quite beautiful & I did see Scarlet Macaws & Toucans.

BTW, the bungalows were the best Marenco had to offer.

My bill for 6 nights was $800. including food so I guess you get what you pay for.

At Marenco, they have not mastered "customer service"

  • Stayed: January 2008, travelled solo
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4  Thank Sylvia M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 February 2008

We stayed at the Marenco Rainforest Lodge in January 2008 - what an amazing place! we rented a bungalow and we could see monkeys and sloths from our room! the management is friendly, helpful, educated and will do anything they can to make your stay comfortable and memorable. we loved the food and the staff are all awesome. the beaches around the lodge are breathtaking and we trekked to a waterfall and swam in crystal clear waters and the Rio Claro - all the way to the ocean - i'll remember that for the rest of my life. we also loved that it's lights out at 11 PM so that the lodge conserves energy and that allows you to really experience what it's like out there without human activity. in the morning, the sounds of nature wake you up, and a hearty breakfast gets you ready for a day of adventure. the animals and plants are breathtaking and the guides who accompany you to the Corcovado reserve and elsewhere are friendly and very informative. Jose is recognized as the Guide of Guides in Costa Rica and it's truly a memorable experience to see 3 types of monkeys, sloths, coati, toucans, macaws, whales, giant butterflies, wild boar etc -and that's on a slow day! we had to leave at 5:30 am to catch a flight and Sandra the hotel manager was up at the crack of dawn to make sure we had everything we needed, along with the Argentinian chef (delicious food!!) and waitress Jasmine who arranged for a candlelight breakfast as a send-off. in Costa Rica, Marenco is how you spell paradise. we will definitely return to this tropical natural oasis.

  • Stayed: January 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank traveljam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 April 2007

Unfortunately, the rainy season started in April for us. We got rained on every day we were at the Marenco.

The first room they put us in was the furthest possible from the dining hall and the meeting area. This was unfortunate as we had small children. After the first night they moved us closer.

The first room was in an older section. The bathroom reeked of urine. My daugher dropped a shirt on the floor and based on the smell of it, it was clear that the bathroom floor hadn't been cleaned. The sheets were old and ready to be replaced. The second room they gave us was better. Not great, but better. At least it was clean.

Food was average at best. If you have kids, be prepared to improvise. The 'afternoon snacks' were prepacked cookies.

The tours are expensive. We spent $70 per person (including our 5 year old) to go to the Corcovado ranger station. We saw a single caimen and a few birds. I think this is unusual, but be prepared, it happened to us. This hike isn't very difficult. We were prepared for a long, hard hike. It turned out to be a stroll on a well worn path. Not very exciting.

Overall, the folks at Marenco were nice. But frankly, by the time you factor in food costs ($40 per day for adults, $40 for our older daughter, and $20 for the two youngest) and room $80 plus all the transfers it got expensive quick.

Next time we'll try something a little higher end. We thought we'd get a better experience because of the location, but it didn't turn out to be the case.

We did see seven macaws that lived in the area, but other than that the animals were non-existent.

  • Stayed: April 2007, travelled with family
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3  Thank Chris_WA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2007

We stayed at Marenco in late March 2007. If you are someone who likes/needs air conditioning, whirlpools, shopping, gormet dining options, or room service you will not be happy here. On the other hand, if you love being close to nature, hearing howler moneys outside your room, hiking on trails connected directly to the property, and eating well prepared food that is nutricious you will have a good time. Everything gets to this lodge the same way the quests do, which is to say you take a small plane to a small gravel air strip, take a 20 min taxi ride that crosses 2 or 3 creeks (without bridges), then board a boat for a 20 min. boat ride. There is no electricity at the lodge so leave your hair dryer at home. They have a generator that provides lights in the evenings til 10pm or so. We loved our stay there and also liked the fact that the guests are largely from countries other than the US. One thing to keep in mind - it's very humid and quite hot, which takes some adjustment for northeners, but after a couple of days I found I got used to it.

  • Stayed: March 2007, travelled with family
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4  Thank BLovell53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2006

We just got back from 10 days in beautiful Costa Rica, 4 of which were spent at Marenco. Of almost 300 pictures we took, almost 200 were taken here - if that tells you anything of the absolute beauty of this place.

The Bad:
The rooms were rustic - small huts, no A/C - there is a fan but when the generator is turned off, so is your breeze. You'll wake up sweaty - the cold showers are welcome in the afternoons, but not so great in the morning.

There are also LOTS of bugs. It's a battle to keep them out of your food!

You have to walk up a steep hill to Marenco. But it's worth it.

(This is an isolated place in the rain forest, and these conditions are expected - just know what you're getting into)

The Good:
This is where the list gets long.
SERVICE: Fantastic. The staff was extremely helpful - from arranging tours - we went on the snorkeling trip to Cano Island - well worth it. We saw dolphins, turles, even a White Tip Reef Shark! Another couple there had a rough experience horseback riding - so you may want to skip that. Also, you'll find the condition of Costa Rican horses aren't quite as nice as you'd get here in the states. We didn't go on any of the guided hikes, but heard good things about them from other guests.

ROOMS: The views are great. We had monkeys - white-faced and howlers - come right up to our deck. We even had one jump up on our roof! We had a lizard get in our room once - which bothered my wife more than me. A few taps on the wall scared him off. The cold showers are rough in the morning, but are great in the afternoon (especially if you've been hiking). It's more "room temperature" than cold - so don't be put off too much by the lack of hot water.

WILDLIFE: Amazing. We sat in the grove area by the boat landing and had monkeys playing all around us. You will be within a few feet of these animals if you want, or watch from a distance. Plenty of white faced monkeys, howlers, spider monkeys, lots of birds - we saw a McCaw right when we arrived. Make sure you have plenty of film/memory cards before you arrive.

FOOD: Some of the reviews say the food was not good. I thought it was some of the better food we had in the country. If you're going to Costa Rica, a place where red beans and rice are eaten at each meal, you're not there for the food anyway. Marenco's restaurant offered a good variety over our stay - roast beef, marlin, and chicken were our dinner choices. The breakfast is great (try the Ham/Cheese Omelette!).

If you're checking out Marenco,I really hope you will stay there. It is DEFINITELY remote, but you will leave with one of the greatest experiences of your life.

And if you see a black Lab-mix hanging around, give him some food for me.

  • Stayed: May 2006
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7  Thank StanStabler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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