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Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge

3.0 out of 5.0

Recent guest reviews

We enjoyed five nights at this very special place which is at one with nature, situated between the Golfo Dulce and Piedras Blancas National Park. All the services and facilities were excellent. It started with a serene transfer across the tropical fjord, warm welcome and informative briefing from Cesar (about safety and the Lodge's sustainability initiatives). The ecological practices and credentials are impressive. During our stay, the Lodge was supporting vital research about how to regenerate coral reefs. Our one bedroom cabin was characterful, spacious and comfortable. It had an outdoor shower and sheltered porch with a hammock: a great place for watching the wildlife and listening to the torrential downpours. We loved how the dark, beautiful local timber was used to construct and furnish the cabin and public areas. The bathroom was very well equipped with two wash hand basins, a strong, hot shower; plumbing so toilet paper could be disposed of in the toilet; and locally made organic biodegradable soap and insect repellent. The Lodge is small and personal, encouraging interaction (with a communal dining table) between the international guests. Remarkably, all the guests are known by name. The food was delicious, varied, locally grown and so plentiful, we asked for small portions. There were so many stand-out dishes: mine was the organic chocolate dip with coconut slices. We were on the multi-sport rainforest package which meant we could choose a range of wildlife, nature activities. The tours (kayak mangrove, Golfo Dulce snorkelling, botanical garden, night time) were lovely, with knowledgeable, safety conscious guides. Every day we enjoyed watching sunrise and sunset (and the scarlet macaws) from the dock. The garden is designed to support and nurture wildlife - we saw kinkaju, racoons, agouti, Capuchin and Howler monkeys and many beautiful birds and butterflies. Thank-you for such an inspiring and excellent experience.

We stayed here in January for a week in one of the one bedroomed cabins. We had such a lovely time. From the moment you arrive by boat, you are made to feel welcome. We tried quite a few of the activities on offer; kyaking, hiking, yoga etc all very well organised. The knowledge the guides have is excellent, the wildlife fantastic. We were so sad to leave. Thank you to all the staff for such a memorable stay.

Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge is a beautiful, relaxing, comfortable place to just unwind or be as active as you’d like. This small, ten room eco-lodge resort is nestled in the rainforest along the water. Built with recovered wood from the forest, the nice-sized rooms are pleasantly rustic and private. The open air shower is beautiful. The staff is incredibly pleasant, ready to take you out fishing, hiking, snorkeling, etc. They offer, but are not at all pushy. We highly recommend the waterfall hike which we saw lots of wildlife and natural beauty. Cesar, the hotel manager, is actively involved in the daily guest experience. Dinners are served family style with all guests together every night (you also have option to dine separately if you so choose). During our stay there were guests from all corners of the world which made for fascinating conversations. Breakfasts and lunches at the property were very good. The dinners were decent, but uninspiring. Less expensive Mango rooms are two story. Upgrade to second floor room to avoid hearing the upstairs guest’s movements. Or, if the budget allows, upgrade to the single floor cabins.

The lodge is set in the middle of the rain forest along a wonderful beach. It is an upscale Swiss Family Robinson with a wooden lodge set in the trees. Our room was a small cabin with our own private porch, three beds, a large bathroom with two sinks and an outdoor shower. Everything made in dark beautiful wood. The windows are open with screens so you hear the beauty of the rain. While you are in the middle of nature you feel clean and well taken care of. The food is family style and simple yet quite delicious. I felt like I was in a spa eating great food because all the ingredients are natural. There are many fun activities from Kyak to hikes to fishing ect.... the staff is extremely accommodating. I suggest this to anyone who wants a luxury feel while at the some time simplicity in the beauty of the rain forest!

Expecting a Club Med type resort? You're going to be very disappointed. Coming here because you want to stay at a "green" hotel with minimal impact? This is your place! We inundated this hotel with 18 family members celebrating my mom's 80th birthday. The efforts being made by this hotel to have minimal impact are beyond what I have experienced anyplace else in the world. Take the sustainability tour to learn more about their efforts. Staff was super-friendly. We fell in love with Josue, Melo, Harrison (Gerson), Omar, and Brian. All were great and Cesar runs the whole thing very tightly. Melo is as good a bartender as you will find in the states. Snorkeling was so-so (no reef to speak of), as was fishing, but the dolphin tour was amazing. I was somewhat surprised there weren't more birds given how pristine they have left the grounds. Antbirds will come by your cabin if you're quiet and patient enough, and its surreal to see a Great Currasow walk just feet away from you. BUT (!) I now hate my niece for spotting a jaguarundi on the grounds. Most the staff had never seen one, but this is a woman raised in Montana, who has seen many mountain lions in her life. She knows her wild cats and would not exaggerate a sighting. The food was simply astounding. Anybody complaining about not having enough food eats far too much. My only complaint is that with as expensive as Nicuesa is, the educational classes (making chocolate for example) should be inclusive in the price of the hotel. Overall a wonderful hotel and a great place for a family trip.

Nicuesa was a nice stop on our tour of Costa Rica. With the beach right on the property it was easy to set up kayaking and paddle boarding trips. We saw tons of dolphins at the end of our trip on the boat ride back to the airport, and the guy driving the boat cut the engine and let us drift among them for a while. The cabins were a little dark as others have mentioned. The outdoor showers were interesting though the hot water wasn't very consistent. The guides were excellent, they knew we were dying to see a sloth and when one showed up in the staff area on our final day one of the guides came and found us and brought us to see it. As this resort is in the middle of the jungle it was pretty loud at night and, as a light sleeper, I was very tired by the end of our three days.

My wife and I had an excellent four nights at the lodge, which is set on the edge of the sound and surrounded by jungle. The guides and staff are extremely knowledgable about the wildlife and we saw a lot of it, including all four species of monkeys and dozens of spectacular birds and some mammals you won't see in many other places. There are several miles of hiking trails, and you only need to walk about a hundred yards before you are into the jungle. There are also several opportunities for tours and having guides with you is advisable because they will see things you would surely miss. One in particular is the kayak river tour through mangroves where we saw a different selection of birds, plus a boa constrictor plus a number of crocodiles sunning themselves on the shore. One slithered into the water as we glided past. The accommodations are all first rate with excellent food and service. Bugs? Sure, there are some, but not as many as I expected, and the humidity is pretty intense, but this is a rainforest after all, and if you want to see the sites it is nothing you shouldn't expect. Put on some bug repellant and take it slow. The owners have done an outstanding job of creating a destination for those who appreciate life in a natural environment. Costa Rica has done a great job in protecting its environment and it shows down on the Golfo Dulce. Playa Nicuessa provides great access to those who want to explore and interpret the local ecosystems, marine, upland and river/mangrove. And the lodge and its wonderful staff do it in a sustainable and eco-friendly way. We would happily return.

Nicuesa Lodge was the most amazing experience of our lifetime. Everything about it was phenomenal. Fantastic service, food, and lodging. The wildlife and bird life was exceptional. We went whale and dolphin watching, fishing, snorkelling, kayaking through a mangrove, hiking and swimming in the warm waters of Golfo Dulce. Every experience was incredible. I can't say enough about how wonderful our experience here was. I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves nature and the outdoors.

My family had a fantastic 3 nights at Nicuesa. Our room was surrounded by dense jungle and every evening felt like an adventure as we listened to the noises of the rainforest. The eco lodge made my family really appreciate the natural environment away from the comforts of the city. The communal area is a beautiful building and we spent many happy hours chatting to other families, swinging in hammocks and spotting wildlife. We used the kayaks and snorkels provided and explored the nearby Botanical Gardens. Our whole stay was a unique experience.

This lodge is absolutely lovely! The gorgeous pictures you see on their website is EXACTLY what it looks like in person. The property is very intimate. The guest houses are roomy and spread out, which allows for added privacy. This was my first time staying in an eco lodge, and I didn't know what to expect. Being close to nature, while having very minimal impact to the natural environment is very important to me. The term "sustainability" is very trendy these days, and my guess is that the term is often used loosely. But, after experiencing this lodge, I can tell you that the owners are serious about their commitment to sustainability. They go through great efforts to receive certifications that are reviewed and updated regularly. The owners take great care to have a light footprint on the surrounding environment, including air-drying the sheets, towels, and laundry in the large drying shed, revegetation efforts to replace the diseased cacao trees with native vegetation, providing biodegradable toiletries and sunscreen to guests, and many other efforts that you will learn about on the complimentary sustainability tour. We traveled with another family and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The family adventure package was a great addition. It allowed us to have an activity planned for each day, yet we had the flexibility to pick and choose what activity to do and when. The food was out of this world amazing! My family is vegan, and we were so appreciative of the variety and choice of options available to us. Chef Edison took great care of us, including making some vegan cookies and other yummy desserts. I especially loved the gallo pinto, fried plantains, and amazing fresh fruit for breakfast, and the fruit juices for lunch. My favorite activities were making chocolate (and then eating it! yum!), the waterfall hike, and kayaking through the mangroves. Jose was a fabulous and knowledgeable guide. Everyone was so friendly and accommodating. The only thing I could have done without was the mosquitos. There are lots of them. But, that comes with the "nature" experience. And the lodge provides a biodegradable, DEET-free repellent that was very effective. Thanks so much Playa Nicuesa! I can't wait to return!

Piedras Blancas National Park Golfito Puntarenas

Hotel highlights

  • Free breakfast
  • Onsite dining
  • Rooftop terrace
  • Spa services

Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge is within the area of Playa Cacao and Golfito Marina. This 3-star lodge has 10 guestrooms and offers conveniences like free breakfast, a private beach, and a rooftop terrace. Fortunato Atencio Stadium and Casa Orquideas Botanical Garden are also within the area of the lodge, which is in a national park.


Dining

Free breakfast is offered each morning from 6:30 AM to 9 AM. Sit down for a leisurely bite to eat at the onsite family restaurant, or enjoy a drink at the bar/lounge.


Rooms

The 10 rooms have an array of amenities, including furnished balconies, private yards, and ceiling fans. Laptop-compatible safes and free toiletries are other standard amenities.


Property features

Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge features a rooftop terrace, spa services, and coffee in a common area. Transportation is made easy with an area shuttle for a fee. The front desk has multilingual staff that can help with tours/tickets and securing valuables. Additional amenities include a garden and a gift shop.

Room options

Standard Room (Mango)

Queen 1 | Twin 2 | Sleeps 3

Reviews from Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor aggregated rating

95% of guests recommend this hotel

Total of 279 reviews