Liked the tent room because it was connected to nature. Unique experience with outdoor shower. Enjoyed the view from the tower. Fun experience. Very much recommend it. Would stay there again and will recommend it to others.
Don’t be fooled by the photos!
We stayed in the stand alone 2 bedroom villas. There are a few things you should know.
Their website lied and said the villas have air conditioning, they do not! Since the time we originally booked their website is now under construction. The description was inaccurate on booking sites as well and the manager tried to pretend that they don't control the text written on third party booking sites like booking.com, etc. (They do, any hotel can edit their description.) But the A/C was just one of MANY problems at the property....
1. The view from the pool is amazing.
2. Restaurant food was good and affordable, but very limited menu. Only 3 menu items.
3. The staff is lovely and very helpful and friendly.
NO AIR CONDITIONING - And this is one of the hottest parts of Costa Rica. The villas are at the bottom of the hill, not at the top which gets a good breeze.
4x4 REQUIRED - You need 4x4 and good tires. Getting to the entrance is fine, but driving from the gate to the pool/restaurant where you check in is VERY steep. We were driving a 4wd truck with good tires and still were fishtailing a little on the gravel.
NO WIFI - There is wifi at the restaurant, but not at the villas
NO CELL SERVICE - My cell phone wouldn’t work here… and I have a Costa Rican cell phone.
GATE LOCKED - We arrived during the day but the gate was locked. We buzzed, but the buzzer didn’t work. There was a note to WHATSAPP reception, but none of our cell phones worked at this location. Finally another guest pulled up behind us, jumped over the gate, then buzzed us in. So not really secure if you can just jump the gate to buzz people in.
VILLA UNLOCKED ALL NIGHT - And while the gate to get in keeps you locked out, the villa is wide open. They gave us a million keys, yet none actually locked the doors.
Do not come during rainy season. Just don’t.
NOT KID FRIENDLY - The villa designer paid more attention to aesthetics than function. The kitchen and only bathroom are downstairs. The stairs are outside. The bedrooms are upstairs and open to outside. So if you need to go to the bathroom during the night, you have to walk outside and have the key to downstairs if the door locks. They only gave us one set of keys. So I’m not sure how you’re supposed to lock both bedrooms, and then get back in the bathroom.
NARROW STEPS - Not ideal for anyone with problems going up and down steps. The steps are very narrow and tiny steps. So we ended up leaving all our luggage downstairs in the kitchen bathroom area.
NO CURTAINS - Be prepared to get up around 5:15 every day as there are no curtains at the sliding glass door. You are basically in a fishbowl in this villa.
The bedding although attractive is polyester which is very hot. Actually it’s just plain mean to have polyester bedding and no a/c. I would recommend the hotel let all booking sites know that there is NO A/C anywhere at the resort, and also buy some 100% cotton sheets. It doesn’t need to be a fancy thread count, but 100% cotton.
MILDEW SMELL - When we arrived there was a horrible mildew smell in the villa. The manager said that it was because it has been closed up for a long time. LOL. Usually when hotels know that someone is coming to stay, they open up a place and air it out.
NO HOT WATER - But this is probably for the best because you’ll want an ice cold shower before you go to your stuffy room.
LOTS OF BUGS - There were already tons of bugs inside when we arrived. We kept the screen doors shut the whole time, but I couldn’t decide if that was preventing bugs from getting in or preventing bugs from getting out.
NO OUTLETS - And not that it really matters because there’s no wifi or cell service, but there is only 1 outlet in the bedroom to power the lamps.
We knew this before we arrived, but the Avatar Eco Resort is about 20 minutes outside of Puerto Jimenez and about an hour from the surf beaches.
NO VIEW - There is a view from the top where the pool and restaurant is, but there is not at the bottom where the villas are. Not a big deal but worth knowing about.
They charge your credit card the day before you arrive.
This hotel is nowhere near the beach.
If you still want to stay here after reading this, you'd be better off staying in the tents than in the villas, because then you'll at least get a breeze and maybe wifi and be walking distance to restaurant.
So this is a great place to stay as long as you are okay with going WITHOUT: a breeze, air conditioning, a door that locks, a view, cell service, wifi, and easy access to a bathroom during the night.
This place was extremely disappointing, probably the most disappointing place I've ever stayed. Overall just a very bad place, I can't remember feeling like this about another hotel ever. Here's the reasons:
1) It bills itself as a 5-star resort. That's what I was expecting. It couldn't be farther from the truth. It was more like 1-2 star motel. It was nothing like a 5-star resort. I'm guessing they gave themselves that rating. You sleep in cheaply constructed, sweltering tents.
2) You can't lock your room. They don't give you a key. Anyone could walk up and slide your doors open at any time when you're away from your room. You just have to hope no one with bad intentions sees you walk away from it.
3) The showers on some of the units are not private! You can look right through the bamboo fencing and see people shower! It's so wrong.
4) There are so many building code violations that make this place TRULY DANGEROUS. The pagoda in the front where meals are served has a low hanging corner. I was talking to my wife and looking to my right and smashed my face right into it. Had a bloody cut on my forehead and between my eyes.
My wife went down the stairs to our bathroom and was carrying our 2 year old, and she slipped and fell on the wet tile at the bottom.
There are no lights above the stairs going down to the restroom. So you have to walk down stairs to pee in the night, but you have to do it in pitch black! And then step onto the wet tile at the bottom in the dark! So bad!
The tile by the pool is slippery.
There are huge gaps in all of the rickety railing around the property. We had to watch our 2 year old like a hawk.
The stairs to the top of the pagoda are super narrow. They're awful to walk up/down.
5) The pool water is uncomfortably cold. No one uses it at all. At one point, every seat around the pool was taken for over an hour, but not a single person went in the pool.
6) You can't get Wifi in the room. Zero signal.
7) The staff is unprofessional. They're not rude or jerks, but they kind of just socialize and joke amongst themselves and are not well trained. Again, not "resort" status.
8) The food is just okay, blah, tipico. The lunches are overpriced at $15/person. And the food is the best feature of this place, which doesn't say much!
9) It's so boring. We expected a "resort" experience. There's nothing to do there.
You're far from the beach, and you can't really walk anywhere. You have to take their overpriced shuttles if you want to go somewhere.
10) There's no hot water in the showers. Ice cold showers.
11) They don't offer filtered water, it's just tap. Some people say the tap water is safe in Costa Rica. Some say Americans get sick from it. No option here.
This place is a flat 1 star for me, and I wish I saw the other recent reviews before booking. I booked it expecting a stay at the finest hotel/resort in the Osa. It's motel quality. I wouldn't stay another night there for free.
It appears to me to have been developed by someone who doesn't really know what they're doing, and who doesn't have the money to do it. They're overcharging big time for crappy tent life and poor service.
This is quite a new property with a beautiful pool and a stunning with over the rainforest down to the ocean. Nevertheless, I would not never go back and here are the reasons:
- on the website, the lodge markets itself as providing "incomparable luxury", but this statement could not be more deceiving. This is a beautiful backpackers' lodge with charges the prices of a Costa Rican 5 star hotel.
- the website also promises yoga classes which are not offered as well as air conditioning in the villas which are only partially available (the villas have several rooms and only 1 bedroom can be cooled - the other bedroom and the living room get extremely hot).
- the lodge is far away from the next town or from the beach. Do not go there unless you have a car. Each ride to town/beach and back will cost you 60 USD.
- the food on offer is average, although the price is OK (15 USD per person). But be aware that there is no choice. You eat the one menu on offer on the day. When we were there, there was no wine available for purchase (even though it was on the menu).
- tours on offer are a scam and are actually my biggest complaint. Every tour costs on average 20-30 USD more than when booked from other providers and do not even include a pickup/drop off from/at the lodge. If you want this included, they charge you 80 USD (!!) extra. Alternatively, you can drive yourself (if you have a car).
- when we complained, the manager told us that he will consider our feedback. But his eyes were saying something different. I don't think that our feedback was welcome. Moreover he seemed to think that we were difficult customers.
In summary, this is by no means a "bad" lodge, but you definitely do not get what is advertized on the website. And beacuse I think this is dishonest, I would not go back. Full stop.
Nice place overall, but so many deficits. Just to name some: No curtains in the bedroom, so no privacy. No balcony furniture. Shower quickly changes from hot to cold. Breakfast pick up arranged 3 times and forgotten 3 times. No WiFi in the houses. You can’t get in without calling them (so better have a local SIM).
Staff is nice though.