To change or not to change????/

Jun 7th, 2004, 08:36 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2004
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To change or not to change????/

Hi,
I will be visiting CR in Nov for 9 days. I was planning my trip as follows:
Nov 12-15 Peace Lodge
Nov 15-17 Tabacon
Nov 17-20 Paradisus

I am set on the Tabacon and Paradisus since I will not be renting a car and these locations are great bases for my interests. I am not sure if 3 nights at the Peace Lodge is too much, especially since there have been negative comments on the food.

I originally chose the Peace Lodge for the two jacuzzis in the deluxe room and the overall look of the room, proximity to airport(1 hr), and activities on the property(waterfalls, hummingbird, butterfly gardens, etc)all being included. Since I won't have a car I wanted some activities on the property.

However, since I can still change my mind, I am asking for some advice on whether I should stay at PL, Xandari, or Finca Rosa Blanca or any other suggestions????

I am flying into SJO and arrive if all goes well at about 2 pm. Then I will be flying out of Liberia. I will be travelling with my husband and parents.

I am interested in a location that has great food, access to taxis or sites nearby, or just enjoyable and relaxing on site. Any ideas???? My budget is about $200 night/room for 2 rooms unless it is a villa with 2 bedrooms.

Also, if I wanted to stay at the Peace Lodge for one or two nights instead of 3, would it make sense to go from the SJO airport to Xandari or Finca and then go to PL??

I was excited about the Peace Lodge but I have some doubts now. Thanks for your help
Wolfiesmom is offline  
Jun 7th, 2004, 08:41 PM
  #2  
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Just a few more things- When I say "great food", I mean a place that uses the natural fruits, veggies, etc that are available in CR- natural juices, fresh ingredients, etc. Also, if anyone has stayed at Peace Lodge without a car, can you somment on how you got around or if taxis were accessible. Thanks
Wolfiesmom is offline  
Jun 8th, 2004, 07:20 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 30
One bad review is not bad for a place that has also had several good reviews. Gee....last I heard, Disneyworld was one of the most popular places in the world to travel to. Having seen Peace Lodge and the Waterfall Gardens I think it has a lot to offer even still.
KatHep is offline  
Jun 8th, 2004, 11:50 AM
  #4  
 
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I will be staying at Peace Lodge on the 30th of this month. Granted, it is just for one night, but I still want to see if for myself regardless of the one negative review. I am not certain I would want to spend 3 nights there just because it does sound as if you are pretty much having to rely on the property for meals, etc. Perhaps you could stay 1-2 nights there & then add an extra night in Playa Conchal. You have to remember that reviews are relative to that person's opinion (and I think the person who gave it a bad review says that too) - so, I take reviews with a grain of salt unless they are ALL negative. Personally, I have received such quick responses from the reservations department & have received everything in writing. No problems so far. I will post a report after my return.
sclubb is offline  
Jun 8th, 2004, 12:04 PM
  #5  
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Thanks for taking the time to help me out and put things in perspective. I guess my major concern is being there for three nights without a car. I know the first night is usually a wash and you want to relax as much as possible especially with an early am flight into CR. I planned to see the property and sights on the second day and night, and the third day and night were just up in the air. I am going to e-mail my contact there and ask about taxis- I think that will help me out a bit.
Wolfiesmom is offline  
Jun 8th, 2004, 12:20 PM
  #6  
 
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Wolfiesmom,
I agree with Sclubb. I haven't been to Peace Lodge, but from reading the posts, it sounds like a good 2 nighter. I, too, would add another night at Paradisus Conchal. It is a nice area also with nearby areas and towns to explore. This would give you an pretty even split between central valley and beach--a sure winner.
shillmac is offline  
Jun 8th, 2004, 01:58 PM
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I recently reduced my reservation for next month from 3 nights to 2 nights. Partially because the review, but mainly because we will be driving a looong ways that day and I don't want to risk not making it there due to weather and then still having to pay $$.

As far as acivities, I'm sure you could find plenty to keep busy. They offer day trips, such as Poas and the coffee plantation for example.
LA_FadeAway is offline  
Jun 8th, 2004, 05:06 PM
  #8  
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Thanks everyone. You have all been very helpful. I am satisfied with the rest of the trip so adding nights to Paradisus is not an option I want to pursue. However, I didn't even consider day trips from Peace Lodge so I think I'll keep my plans as is for now. Thanks again to all.
Wolfiesmom is offline  
Jun 8th, 2004, 05:15 PM
  #9  
 
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Here is a link to the day trips they offer through the hotel; however, I be willing to bet that other tour operators will come and get you too.

http://www.waterfallgardens.com/lapa...e.htm#daytours
LA_FadeAway is offline  
Jun 9th, 2004, 11:21 AM
  #10  
 
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My hubby and I just returned from a 12 day CR vacation. I will be posting a trip report soon. In catching up on what I have missed while I was away, I came across this post.

We stayed at the Peace Lodge for 2 nights just days ago. It was truly a refreshing property to be at. The bed was comfy, having satellite in our room was something to rejoice about, the hot water in the shower lasted the whole time, not to mention the bitchen jacuzzi on the balcony overlooking the rainforest, and the food was pretty good.

I don't know anything about this negative post about the food. I can tell you however, that I don't eat anything with flour or sugar and was pleasantly surprised that there were things I could eat on their menu. The dinner is priced about right for what you get $20/pp for a four course meal including dessert. Obviously, I didn't eat the dessert but my husband found it satisfying.

We had a car and were happy we did since we didn't have one for Arenal or Monteverde (didn't need one though).

We drove to Poas Volcano the first full day. You need to get there when it opens at 8am if you expect to see anything. The mass crowds show up around 9am and you can't even get elbow room to see the crater should the cloud cover decide to clear.

We had a good lunch later in the day at Colbert which is a French restaurant. Not too pricey, but I'm sure there were other places we could have eaten. The lunch buffet for $10/pp at La Paz just didn't look that appetizing.

We had breakfast the next day at the Lodge which is included in the rate. It was good. Things like oatmeal, omelettes, bacon, etc. were all part of the choices. I didn't have the fruit drink they offered because they added sugar to it but the plate of fresh fruit was just fine.

I think 2 nights is a good amount at the Peace Lodge. It is a good 15-20 minute ride to the Lodge from the main road so it helps that there are things to do on the property. I might warn you however, the hike to the waterfalls is strenuous. My husband reads water meters for a living (but he is also a reformed smoker) and does a lot of walking on a daily basis and found the hike a challenge. Good news is, you can take breaks and the van will drive you up the hill at the end.

We went on the hike before the Gardens opened so there wouldn't be too many people around. This was great since at some points I felt like I needed a little room for a break. They are truly beautiful and worth the extra effort.
Auntylynne is offline  
Jun 9th, 2004, 05:31 PM
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Isn't the waterfall hike mostly downhill? That is the impression I got from their web site.
LA_FadeAway is offline  
Jun 10th, 2004, 06:05 AM
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Yes, it is mostly downhill but very STEEP downhill and with windy paths. Sometimes you are going down 30 stairs to a landing to view the waterfall and then back up those same 30 stairs to get to another landing. Very narrow pathways with sometimes little for your feet to grab onto. It really is a lot of walking. I'm only 15 lbs overweight (I've been as much as 65 lbs. and thank God I wasn't for this trip) and really found the walk a challenge.

We did some pretty strenous stuff on this vacation at least for me. In Arenal we had to climb a zillion lava rocks and then cross a stream. In Monteverde we traversed for 3-1/2 hours with a guide through the Cloud Forest and a day later I'm on the back of a horse for the first time in my life for a solid 3 hour trot. I thought by day 10 I was ready for the "downhill walk" to the Waterfalls. Boy was I surprised!
Auntylynne is offline  
Jun 11th, 2004, 05:20 AM
  #13  
 
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Hi Auntlynn
We will be in CR in Aug. Planning on going to La Paz. Do you think the walk to the waterfalls was worth it? Is the path you refer to slippery? Were people falling? I'm asking because I have osteoporosis & don't want to risk falling. Are there guardrails to hold on to?
Kwoo is offline  
Jun 11th, 2004, 05:27 AM
  #14  
 
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Hi Kwoo,

The paths to the falls all have railings to hold on to. I never felt in danger of falling. There is a shuttle bus that transports you from the last fall (La Paz) back to the main building so you can don't have to walk all the way back uphill.

The falls, butterfly garden and hummingbird garden are beautiful and, IMO, well worth it.

Terri
TAGriffin is offline  
Jun 12th, 2004, 07:29 AM
  #15  
 
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Kwoo -

Yes, there are hand rails to hold on to. Don't worry about it being slippery. I am the queen of slipping(and actually did fall 3x on this vacation) but didn't on this path because I took it nice and easy.

I can slip "just because". Be very careful of the green mossy stuff that sometimes grows on the sidewalks and pathways in the wetter areas of Costa Rica. I fell stepping out of the van on our way to Arenal from the airport because of not having a strong footing on that mossy stuff. I just wasn't expecting it. La Paz was just fine.

I slipped a couple of days later on a twilight hike in Santa Elena. There were tree roots sticking up out of the pathway and because it was dark and the path was a little steep, boom! I had already warned the people hiking behind me that if anyone's going to peel out, it will be me.

The third time I slipped was on a curb. Suddenly, it was just missing a chunk of concrete and that's all I needed to fall right on my butt.

I wouldn't say I'm clumsy or anything. I have limited ankle movement in both my feet so I'm constantly stumbling and even slipping. It sucks but that's the way it goes. You'll be fine.
Auntylynne is offline  
Jun 12th, 2004, 09:23 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
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Thanks Terri & Auntylynne for your detailed responses and reassurances. We will definitely walk down to the falls. I'm glad, though, that we can take a shuttle bus back & not have to walk back up.
Kwoo is offline  
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