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Origins Lodge offers exclusivity, fine dining, solitude, and the ability to earn and redeem loyalty points in the Costa Rican rainforest. This luxury ecological boutique hotel opened in 2019 and is the American flagship for the Mantis portfolio, a member of Accor’s All Live Limitless program.
Whether you're looking for a vacation to relax in a hammock or whirlpool or prefer more active pursuits like hiking and zip lining, Origins Lodge offers something for everyone. Here's our Origins Lodge hotel guide to help you learn more about this lodging option in Central America.
In northern Costa Rica, facing Lake Nicaragua in the distance, this small, luxury resort is secluded in the rainforest and gives guests the feeling of being close with nature. Once past the main gate, guests are greeted by the general manager and given a brief tour of the resort. A refreshing towel and welcome drink are part of the arrival experience before guests are driven to their room via golf cart.
The lodge is small with seven accommodations (including six guest rooms and one with three bedrooms), which means guests rarely see other people outside of meal time, save for the staff and their naturalist guides.
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Earning and redeeming points
As a part of the All Live Limitless program, known as ALL, visitors at Origins Lodge can earn points during their stay. ALL works different from other loyalty programs in that you exchange points for cash discounts off of your stay as opposed to redeeming them for award nights. You'll need a minimum of 2,000 points to get about $48 (40 euros) off your bill.
Most of the resort is composed of individual bungalows containing accommodations. Public areas are built with thatched roofs and other natural materials, and include things like chandeliers made from coconut husks and furnishings made from reclaimed wood. The resort has its own workshop where many of these pieces are made or repaired.
In the main lounge, guests will find an infinity-edge pool, billiards table, local guide books, board games and impressive views.
Food and beverage
Before you arrive, the resort emails guests to ask about their dietary requirements, as well as what types of activities they want to enjoy. There is a full roster of free activities, but we’ll get to that a bit later. For meals, breakfast is included in the rates, while lunch and dinner can be added for a flat fee of $150 (drinks excluded).
Meals are served pre-fixe, although substitutions are catered for with great care. Breakfast is made to order and includes an impressive array of homemade breads and pastries, fresh tropical fruit and jams (including a really tasty one using the ojoche superfruit that grows on the property), and whatever egg or sweet dishes are preferred.
The hotel's Michelin-starred French chef regularly visits to prepare meals, and his team of local chefs operate under his tutelage even when he's not there. The food is prepared with meticulous presentation and uses local ingredients. Even vegetarians will have plenty of options beyond your average pasta dish or fried tofu.
Everything here is prepared with a wellness mindset, and many guests come here to get away from the chaos of daily life at home or even the hubbub of some of the country’s bigger resorts. Lunch consists of three courses, while dinner is a four-course affair.
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One of the complimentary tours for guests includes a visit to the organic gardens, which supply around 70% of the menu here. In dozens of stations around the resort, the resident Melipone bees (don’t worry, they don’t sting) produce honey used in meals.
In addition to the menu, which is always changing, there’s a substantial wine cellar and cocktail list. Guests can also order tasty juices or smoothies and, of course, locally produced coffee.
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Accommodations at Origins Lodge
Each of the bungalows is secluded and positioned along the hillside with excellent views of the surrounding valley and rainforest. It’s easy to walk around the property, although in the frequent rain, it’s better to use the in-room walkie-talkie to fetch a buggy ride.
One of the prized features of the bungalows is the furnished patio with plunge pool heated by a fireplace.
Inside the thatched roof bungalows, guests will find netted beds and comfortable seating areas. The circular mirrored panel at the top of the roof allows natural light during daytime, but during turndown service, it is closed like the rest of the window shutters for a comfortable rest.
There are power outlets and adjustable reading lights on either side of the bed, and the closets feature rain ponchos, robes and slippers, and umbrellas for guests to borrow during their stay.
Natural light streams into the oversized bathrooms with dual vanities stocked with all-natural toiletries in ceramic jars. There’s also plenty of nice extras befitting a luxury property like mouthwash, toothpaste, toothbrush, bug repellant and hand sanitizer. Most tropical-feeling is the option between an indoor and outdoor rainfall shower.
All-wood cabinetry contains the minibar, glass jars of filtered water, souvenir water bottles for guests to take home (and refill at stations around the resort) and coffeemakers with Costa Rican coffee. Each evening, large bars of Costa Rican chocolate are left by the beds. There is no air conditioning in guest rooms, but it is not needed thanks to the breezes that waft through the jungle setting and ceiling fans.
Guests don’t come here for TVs (there isn’t one on the property) or snazzy stereos. The focus is on nature and the stunning views, although the free Wi-Fi signal works amazingly well all around the resort.
The Villa Vertigo has three individual bedrooms, a full kitchen and a panoramic terrace with a plunge pool and fire pit. This is the highest point at the lodge, giving families or those wanting the most privacy some of the best views, too.
Origins Lodge amenities
Each bungalow features a guide detailing the vast array of wildlife as well as binoculars to borrow during the visit. Part of the excitement and value in the rates here is that there is a list of free activities that guests can fill their days with.
These include fishing, horseback riding, hiking and nighttime safaris where naturalists point out the resident nocturnal nightlife. Resident naturalists lead the tours, which are private, giving guests added luxury and convenience to schedule them when they wish.
They can also customize the experience around guests’ personal interests and needs. The resort is especially popular with birders who can experience a wide variety of flying wildlife (more than 200 individual species) in the area.
There’s also the option to pay for other activities, like a visit to a nearby coffee or cacao plantation and renting water equipment like tubes or stand-up paddle boards.
A separate spa bungalow has beds for couples’ treatments, an outdoor whirlpool and steam room with shower facility.
There’s also a yoga pavilion; the property has hosted quite a few yoga retreats given its wellness focus.
How to get to Origins Lodge
The resort is about 90 minutes from the international airport in Liberia and close to four hours from San Jose’s airport. Major carriers like Alaska, American, Delta, Southwest and United, among others, fly to both airports.
This means travelers have many options when it comes to redeeming miles for a visit.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card