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“A perfect balance between jungle and european refinement”

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Hotel Shawandha Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
71 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“A perfect balance between jungle and european refinement”
Reviewed 21 February 2012

I have been coming to Shawandha Lodge since it has opened in the mid 90s. At the time it really stood out as an island of taste and refinement among other indiscriminate tourist developments around the hippy town of Puerto Viejo. It is still my favourite place to stay in the area for the following reasons:
1. It maintains what I consider a perfect balance between a forest lodge and a tasteful environment. The French owners have taken care in the details from the mosaic-tiled bathrooms to little stone patterns dividing the paving slabs to the cabins, to the plants around the pool.
2. The communal areas: dining room, swimming pool, and paths to the cabins are superb. The individual cabins themselves are fine, with a nice porch with sofa and hammock. The furniture inside is very basic, with little storage space and very high humidity, but then one is in the forest with toucans nesting in the tree opposite …One thing that could be improved: sheets, bed spreads and sofa coverings are very tired and could use a change.
3. It is located halfway between Puerto Viejo and wonderful Gandoca-Manzanillo Park You can easily restaurant. bike it to bike it to both. It is 2 Km from the Jaguar Refuge Center.
4. I think it is very reasonably priced for what it offers.
5. The owner Mao and all the staff are extremely professional, kind and helpful.
6. They serve a wonderful complimentary breakfast.

Keep in mind that they do not serve or indeed offer any food except for breakfast or dinner. If you are hungry during the day you have to go out for food and drink (there are plenty of restaurants on the road and an organic restaurant very close). Other excellent restaurants in the areas are Maxi’s in Manzanillo and La Pecora Nera on the way to Puerto Viejo.

Shawandha Lodge is a place for nature lovers who want peace and total relaxation, not for “activities’ or clubbing. If birds and monkeys waking you up early in the morning bother you, this is not the place for you. If you love being in the middle of a jungle while maintaining some standards of comfort and refinement, than Shawandha Lodge is the place.

Room Tip: All cabins are fine, but since the are only nets and not glass windows try and get one not too close...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank remopigl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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463 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (39)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Stockholm, Sweden
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 February 2012

Shawandha was our first stop of our honeymoon and we really loved every second of the 5 days we spent there. Mao, the owner, welcomed us and made us feel like home the second we walked in the lobby for check-in. The staff was very nice and helpful, without being "cheesy".
The grounds are stunningly beautiful and everything is in total harmony with the rain forest. The attention to all the little details (status, flowers, candles, etc..) and how meticulously the garden is taken care of shows that the owner and the staff put their hearts in this place.
Each bungalow has its own porch with a hammock, a couch and a table, the room is simple but cozy with a comfortable bed and the bathroom is covered with beautiful mosaic. We loved the fact that the windows where only recovered by a mosquito net because it felt like sleeping outside... falling asleep to the "jungle symphony" and being waken up by howler monkeys was an amazing feeling!
Great breakfast (especially the fruit plate) and it's definitely worth trying the restaurant for dinner if you stay for a couple of days (try the salad with hearts of palms and avocados). Khaleb, the bartender, makes delicious cocktails and is very pleasant to chat with.
The lodge is located between Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo and the best way to get around is to rent a bike. The beach is just across the road and it's absolutely stunning to take a walk there in the early morning. Just a few more tips now : for swimming and watching the sunset, go to Punta Uva, which is only a 10 minutes bicycle ride. I would also recommend you to do the chocolate tour with Markus, you'll see his shop on the right side of the road direction Punta Uva. If you want to have a typical Caribbean meal you should absolutely go to "Selvin" which is within walking distance.
Staying at Shawandha was an amazing experience, and we can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank 83Olivier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 February 2012

Shawandha is in a great spot about halfway between Puerto Viejo and Manzanilla, along the main (but quiet) road with loads of nice little cafes, restaurants and boutiques. The rooms are all individual designs and are situated in separate little cabins in the forest. Nice pool, good breakfasts, and easy access to the beach. Taxis into PV are easy to get and cheap, or hire a scooter like we did and roam up and down the road at your leisure!

The staff here are particularly friendly and helpful, and went out of their way to help us when we needed it.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank VictoriaandAlex2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stockton, New Jersey
Level Contributor
160 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 January 2012

It was Tuesday night and the restaurant we wanted to try was closed. Although we hadn't seen any reviews of the restaurant at the Shawandha lodge several sources cited this hotel as having a good restaurant, so we thought we'd give it a try. Big mistake. On the plus side, the ambience is superb. This is a beautiful place. This raised our hopes. But these hopes were dashed when dinner arrived. I had the tenderloin with herbs of Provence. It wasn't tender, but then I don't think I'd have ordered it if they called it a tough loin. It was also an unappealing grayish brown color, was undercooked(I ordered it medium rare; it was really quite rare) and didn't have much flavor. Our grown son had the sea bass and said the flavors were out of balance. Much too strong for the delicacy of the fish. My wife had the shrimp with apples which was bland and uninteresting. Back on the positive side our waiter Caleb (who we had met before because he also works part time at the hotel we did stay at) was excellent, attentive and friendly--but he also grossly overworked acting as both waiter and bartender for several tables. If the restaurant had gotten any more crowded, he would not have been able to handle the load. Speaking of the bar, I should note that the Caipirhinos with which we started our dinner, while excellent, we're remarkably undersized--about half the size of the same drink served at other restaurants in the area. This an expensive place with the cost being comparable to our two favorite restaurants in the area (El Refugio and Malbec) . Guess you can't win them all.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Barry S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 January 2012

My husband and I stayed at Hotel Shawandha for 4 nights on our honeymoon. I'll start with the positives. BEAUTFUL grounds. We saw so much wildlife just on the paths throughout the hotels grounds (the "con" with this is that we had a few bugs and lizards in our bungalow - but what do you expect when you are staying in the jungle). The breakfasts were also great - fresh fruit, delicious coffee, and eggs.

Now for the drawbacks.... The service left much to be desired. When checking in, the girl only said a few words to us, we felt like we were really inconveniencing her to be checking in. We had dinner there one night. The food was okay, but the service was very slow and the prices are outrageous. The bungalows never really felt clean. The bed linens were always damp because of the humidity, the bathroom area was always flooded due to poor drainage from the shower and no shower curtain, and there were cobwebs everywhere. There was a miscommunication on our last day - we thought we had the room for 1 more night than they had us scheduled for. So, after being out and about all day, we came back to find that the maids had packed up our room for us (weird feeling knowing someone has packed up your dirty undies!) and our luggage was waiting for us at the front desk. Now, this could have been our error, so I won't knock them for this miscommunication, but the did not handle it well. We had no where else to go - not a good feeling when you are in the middle of the jungle. I asked if they knew if any other hotels close by. They reluctantly gave us the name of another place down the street (see review for Namuwaki - much better resort!).

I'll end on another positive note - excellent area! We loved Puerto Viejo. Definitely stay in this part of Costa Rica, but choose another hotel.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Denise K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Shawandha Lodge

Property: Hotel Shawandha Lodge
Address: Playa Chiquita, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca 7304, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
#5 Family Hotel in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
#6 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Price range (per night): ₹ 3,748 - ₹ 10,146
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Shawandha Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 14
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Hotel Shawandha Puerto Viejo
Hotel Shawandha Lodge Costa Rica/Limon

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