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“It's what everywhere else only pretends to be!”

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Marenco Beach & Rainforest Lodge
Reviewed 4 May 2008

You're going to hear a biased opinion from me because I love nature in the tropics. That said, my stay at Marenco was one of the most enjoyable 5 days if my life...and I've been to a lot of places.

The setting was gorgeous, even if you're not into such things--the beaches, the old-growth trees hundreds of feet tall, and all the wildlife--especially the butterflies, birds, and monkeys. We saw most species right on the grounds of the lodge.

The food was fantastic and the service was great...especially considering that you're in the remote jungle. It's Latin America, so the staff isn't going to be as prompt and polished about things as they are in other places, so don't expect it.

I want to personally thank those that I thought made an extra effort to make our stay enjoyable:

- Sandra, manager--no matter how busy or tired, she always greeted us with a smile and tried to accomodate every request.
- Mario, chef--aways did a fantastic job, and on the last day he cooked my wife and me a special meal, with a sampling of the different fish I'd caught earlier in the day (without us asking). He didn't want to cook it for the rest of the guests because he'd served fish the previous day. He did make everyone a great sushi apetizer from the yellow-fin tuna.
- Nestor (waiter) - worked hard to make our meals really special, even more so than you would expect at a very fine restaurant (we ate barefoot).
- Jose (nature guide) - was very knowledgeable and patient with everybody. He had excellent birding skills, and I'd highly recommend him for that.
- Jazmin (waiter) and Diego (bartender) and the rest of the staff there were always really nice and very helpful no matter what we needed. Everybody really made you feel at home and very comfortable, more so than I've felt anywhere else on a trip. My wife, who was not feeling well and was miserable from the heat, fell in love with everybody there. They really made the trip extra special. Also, I don't want to forget my fishing captain, Minor, who was knew his stuff and was as excited as I was about catching fish--made it fun. Our dolphin guide was the same way (sorry, don't remember his name--with dolphin amor)

My only complaint, was the heat. We went at the end of the 'dry' season (rained 3 nights), and it was sometimes unbearable. It was that, and the rustic conditions (cold showers, open air rooms, no elec. after 11, no a/c, no pool) that made it hard for my wife to enjoy the trip. I think any of the guests would gladly have paid an extra charge to have a fan on all night. But even when I couldn't sleep, it was nice just to lay there and listen to the surf and howler monkeys.

The favorite activity for my wife and me was a walk down to the Rio Claro for a cool dip--which we did several times, and usually had the place to ourselves.

So as you can see, whether or not you like Marenco, depends on what want out of a trip. It's not for everybody. I've traveled the tropics for years, mostly for work, and my impression of the Osa is that it's what everywhere else only pretends to be. You see holiday pamphlets with flowers, palms, and parrots, then when you get there, it's grackles and english sparrows and garbage on a crowded beach, and people trying to sell you something at every turn. Even as I write this, my only hope is that the Osa doesn't get popular. I hope Marenco NEVER gets airconditioning and hot showers! Stay beautiful!!!

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank IllinoisMartyo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5 - 9 of 17 reviews

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
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Additional Information about Marenco Beach & Rainforest Lodge

Address: Punta San Jose, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Corcovado National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 9 Speciality Lodging in Corcovado National Park
Price Range: $105 - $228 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 21
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Also Known As:
Marenco Beach And Rainforest Lodge
Marenco Beach & Rainforest Hotel Corcovado National Park

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