Still struggling CR trip - need Osa input

Old Dec 18th, 2009, 11:34 AM
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Still struggling CR trip - need Osa input

We're still trying to decide where to spend an extra 3-4 nights on our Jan trip to CR. My wife thinks Osa sounds like fun which is shocking since she is such a picky eater and likes a variety of restaurants to choose from.

It looks like BDC does not have availability for the type of cabin we would want. Are there other good options in the South? I remember finding one a few weeks ago, but it was more expensive than BDC which is not the direction I want to go.

Black Turtle Lodge - is that rustic? We're not snooty, but do want clean rooms and comfortable beds. A separate room for the kids would be ideal.

We either need restaurants or a great cook so I'm thinking houses/villas are not option.

Would welcome any ideas - thanks!
Statefan is offline  
Old Dec 18th, 2009, 11:37 AM
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Have you checked Iguana Lodge?
hipvirgochick is offline  
Old Dec 18th, 2009, 12:39 PM
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Great recommendation, thanks! I've contacted them about availability.

Any other options I should consider?
Statefan is offline  
Old Dec 18th, 2009, 02:43 PM
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Not sure if you've checked tripadvisor yet, but you can search there and see all the hotel options with reviews.
volcanogirl is offline  
Old Dec 18th, 2009, 03:25 PM
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I just spent two night at El Remanso which is right next to BdC. The driveway is like 30 feet away from BdC's. As others have said, there doesn't seem to be the incredible abundance of mammals right on the immediate grounds as BdC, but it's a beautiful, peaceful place. You'll probably see wildlife, but you just might have to go out on the trails a bit more -- the driveway is good and so is the Passiflora trail, off the driveway -- and the hike down to the beach might get you some sightings (and the tide pools are really nice).

If you go for it, I would look into one of the deluxe cabins or the deluxe suites -- they are definitely worth the splurge. I stayed in a classic cabin, and though it was cute and cozy, I felt I maybe paid a bit too much for it.
plumboy is offline  
Old Dec 18th, 2009, 03:30 PM
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Oh, I see that you have children. Maybe La Vainilla at El Remanso would be good? It has a bed upstairs and one downstairs. Might be *too* open for your first trip, but there are mosquito nets (more for other bugs than for mosquitoes).
plumboy is offline  
Old Dec 18th, 2009, 03:58 PM
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I would splurge on Lapa Rios ( if you can. Or at least go for lunch. It is one of the most spectacular hotels I have ever seen.
Millay_W is offline  
Old Dec 18th, 2009, 05:03 PM
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I'd say Lapa Rios is a splurge at over $1k/night for your family. Ouch! Also, last I heard you have to use a guide just to hike their grounds, which is fairly inconvenient. I'd definitely check on that before considering.

Have you considered the Drake Bay area like Drake Bay Wilderness Lodge or Cabines Las Caletas? The latter might be too rustic for you, but they get great reviews and at a great price).

I'm staying at Aguila de Osa next year, but it's during low season and it's just myself 4 nights for price of 3, so not so bad.

What is your budget...?
hipvirgochick is offline  
Old Dec 18th, 2009, 05:04 PM
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Forgot, what about Casa Blanca at BDC? You can opt in for the meal plan there, you don't have to cook yourself even though there's a full kitchen. ;-)
hipvirgochick is offline  
Old Dec 18th, 2009, 06:32 PM
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Casa Miramar at BDC is the only house available, but the meal plan is simply highway robbery - $220/day for meals for 4! Seriously. $220/day for 3 meals. We have no interest in cooking on vacation either.

Thanks for the recommendations. I'm looking into all of them.

Side note - I'm floored by the cost of lodging in CR. I guess I was spoiled by our trip to Thailand last year.
Statefan is offline  
Old Dec 19th, 2009, 09:48 AM
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Statefan, to address your concern about the cost of lodging. I have never booked a hotel in advance and have usually found lodging for around $30 per night. The Osa peninsula seems to be geared towards more affluent travelers, though (and far less options regarding lodging over there). There are so many hotels and lots of them don't have a website, so if you have flexible travel plans, I would recommend booking your first night and then shopping around.
Four_Winds is offline  
Old Dec 19th, 2009, 11:11 AM
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Go to the Casa Bambu website and see if that appeals to you.
You can hire local cooks to come in and cook for you.
You have to buy all the food in advance in PJ.
It would definitely be a unique adventure.
Davy1961 is offline  
Old Dec 20th, 2009, 06:24 PM
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I just got back today from the Osa,and stayed a night there after four nights at BdC and would second hip's recommendation for Iguana Lodge.Plenty of accomodation options at variuos price points,and very decent food options IMHO.Also have great activity options close at hand.
toontowndoc is offline  
Old Dec 22nd, 2009, 05:09 AM
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As toontowndoc say, plenty of options, and not just for the affluent. Check out Las Caletas near Drake Bay for one of them.
Cattail is offline  
Old Dec 30th, 2009, 07:25 PM
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Sorry to join the party late. Have you finalized your plans yet? If not, I would suggest the Black Turtle Lodge. We stayed in a tree house there for 3 days a year ago with our 11 & 13 year old kids. It is a bit rustic in that the bathrooms are separate from the treehouses. The treehouses are individually secluded from each other and are connected to the main lodge house with sand paths. The individual room sections of the treehouses are large and very comfortable. Overall the place was surprisingly clean. The biggest draws for us were: 1. The beach is a few steps from your room; 2. The food was outstanding. Breakfast and dinner only, by the way, but the Pearl of the Osa is a short walk away or Nico can get a driver to take you into town; 3. Nico and Maureen were the nicest, most accomodating hosts you could imagine; 4. There are several "house" dogs that want nothing more than to sit on your veranda, go for a walk on the beach or play fetch for sticks in the surf. Our kids loved it!

During the same trip we also stayed 3 days at the BDC. It is also wonderful for every reason that has ever been written about it, but in the end we can't wait to go back to the BTL.

Have fun!
stamfam is offline  
Old Dec 30th, 2009, 07:42 PM
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Adding on to Davey's message above. If you're up for something just slightly rustic, Casa Bambu - or better yet its neighbor Casa Linda is fabulous. We spent 5 nights there a few years ago. Casa Linda is about 30 yards to a very quiet beach. Scarlet macaws and monkeys in your yard every day. On site (across the yard) manager and often COOK! Very nice people. Super helpful off site (Texas) owners. Check out their websites and you'll see all the raves. Similar area to BDC, but would probably cost you all less. The kids would love it.
glover is offline  
Old Dec 30th, 2009, 10:03 PM
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I really appreciate all of the feedback and ideas. We've decided to skip the Osa this trip. I'm sure it's fantastic, but having been on safari in Africa, we're reserving that kind of per night $$$ for another safari, probably in 2011.

Having said that, we're very excited for our trip to Arenal and MA in January!
Statefan is offline  
Old Dec 31st, 2009, 06:45 AM
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You'll have a fantastic time no matter where you go. We made many trips to CR before ever venturing down to the Osa and we were wowed everytime. The Osa is just a special place, and with encroaching development, may not be that way for long. Arenal and Manuel Antonio are beautiful.

The hotels there are not just for the affluent. However, it is very expensive to operate a hotel there. Prices are higher because it isn't an easy place to get to with food/supplies/etc.
shillmac is offline  
Old Jan 1st, 2010, 10:44 AM
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Statefan - I just had to cancel my trip, so my cabina at BdC is available Jan 13-17 if you are interested.
bd is offline  
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