Traveling to Costa Rica’s Caribbean coastline was once like venturing out into the great unknown. Only the most rugged of backpackers dared to walk its shores, braving the reggae influences for a chance to chill-out in Puerto Viejo. While development is certainly much slower in the Caribbean (thankfully so), more travelers are starting to realize the beauty of venturing to its shores; as a result, towns such as Puerto Viejo and Cahuita are beginning to offer a wider range of accommodation options suited to any type of traveler, dreads or no dreads.
One such example is Kenaki Lodge. A new, luxury cottage complex, Kenaki Lodge lies just four kilometers away from the Cahuita Bus Station, down a pot-holed, gravel road. It’s certainly not the only establishment in the area; yoga studios, expat-run restaurants, and a smattering of hotels and lodges also dot the way. However, you won’t find the same condos and sprawling resorts that dominate the Pacific side. Around Kenaki Lodge, the main thing to do is go for a stroll along the beach or nap with a book in hand on a hammock. Sure, there are adventure activities around the area, and the stunning Cahuita National Park is a must-see. But if you are looking for a place to relax and recharge, we can’t imagine a better place in the area than Kenaki Lodge.
We knew we were in for a treat when our taxi driver was the first to tell us, “ Oooo, Kenaki Lodge, very beautiful place to stay.” Our expectations set high, we pulled up to a large and spacious garden overlooking the ocean. Our taxi driver was correct—this place was gorgeous.
Isabelle, the German expat and founder of the lodge, immediately came to meet us and guide us to our room. Kenaki Lodge offers only 3 private rooms and 3 fully equipped cottages, insuring a unique and private experience. The décor is Balinese-style—tropical woods, high ceilings, and a natural cooling system. There’s no air conditioning in the guest rooms, but you certainly won’t need it. Keep in mind that this is a place to unplug and recharge, with only the sounds of the ocean waves and howler monkeys to lull you to sleep.
Our room was modern and comfortable, with chic design elements. We loved the color scheme, as well as the design details that accentuated the Balinese architecture. For just a couple of nights, the guest room was the perfect choice for our stay. However, if you want to extend your vacation, then look no farther than one of Kenaki’s cottages. Dan’s first remark when he stepped inside a bungalow was to warn: “Casey, I think this is what you will want your house to look like one day.” He was certainly right. The cottages come with fully equipped kitchens, Wi-Fi, satellite TV, a laundry area, a living area, separate bedrooms, and a private porch. It’s no wonder that many of the guests who come to the cottages return time and time again, often staying for months at a time. The cottages boast everything one would need to live comfortably, with plenty of room to accommodate a family.
If staying in the guest rooms (not the cottages, as there is a fully equipped kitchen), then breakfast is included. Isabelle makes a lovely assortment of breads and jams, eggs, gallo pinto, fresh fruits, coffee or tea, and juices. In my mind, there’s no better way to start your day than with Isabelle’s homemade breakfast, with ocean and garden view.
Should you be feeling a bit adventurous, the Kenaki Lodge is unique in that it boasts a dojo. The outdoor arena is where the taekwondo and personal defense classes are held (great for children with lots of energy). The area is also used for massages, and can be rented for events.
We highly recommend the Kenaki Lodge as our choice of accommodation if staying in or around Cahuita.
Note: Due to its secluded location, access is easier with a car. However, Kenaki Lodge can rent bicycles as well.
We were guests of Kenaki Lodge. All thoughts are our own.