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“Hidden Gem” 4 of 5 stars
Review of La Palapa

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La Palapa
Beach Front Hotel, Main street in Tamarindo, Tamarindo, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Top Contributor
96 reviews 96 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
“Hidden Gem”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2014

My family and I ate here but didn't stay at the hotel. Dinner was very good--probably the best meal we had in Tamarindo. Great ceviche and fish dishes. Fairly priced, casual vibe (but not overly casual) and nice location right on the beach. We ate at Pangas the night before and felt that the food here was much better, although the decor wasn't as impressive.

Stayed March 2014
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107 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    57
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    10
    6
    3
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18
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10
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
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English first
Edmonton, Canada
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2014

One of the great things about La Palapa is the location. Most of the rooms have the lanai facing directly towards the beach-our room did not. Still it was great having our room basically right on the sand so we could come and get drinks from our fridge or use the bathroom. Not sure what room number we were in but I think it was not as well appointed as a couple of other rooms I saw. The tile was old and worn and the bathroom could have used some updating. No place to hang clothes. The beds were comfortable and it was pretty quiet even though we were close to the kitchen. Truly we did not spend a lot of time in the room-nice to come back to a room with air conditioning after a day in the sun!
Esther provided us with great service at breakfast and then again one night when we sat at the bar. Henry was also very fun and friendly. Leo greeted us at check-in and was very apologetic when our room was not ready for us upon arrival-made it all good!
Massages on the beach were fantastic. Breakfast was okay. Staff was helpful and generally friendly. Would stay here again but in a different room!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2014

Bad: Paying $120/night I didn't expect luxury, but I did expect clean and didn't have stained linoleum floor, rusted fridge, window screens with holes. Coming back from a night tour to a room full of large red ants. Being switched to the only open room with had a pull out couch. The couch mattress was at least 20 years old and flat as a pancake - they had even put a large piece of plasterboard to try to keep a person from sinking.
WE booked the turtle tour through the hotel. AWFUL tour - don't do it! We did inform the desk and they were able to get us a 33% refund. The tour guide didn't tell us anything about the turtles, treated us like children making us sit in the dark, no lights for walking...
Only 6 sun chairs.

Good: Location is nice - lots of shops and restaurants within walking distance. Nice beach, clean, some what rocky. Enjoyed having breakfast out on the sand (service is slllooow). Air conditioning. Leo is an asset to this hotel. He speaks English very well and tried to help us with our room and tour pro

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2014

We were a group of 2 couples staying for 5 nights in two separate rooms. Like other reviewers mentioned this is not a 5 star luxury hotel, its a rustic, beach bungalow boutique hotel and the staff are outstanding. Upon check-in we were greeted with shots of Miguelito a traditional costa-rican drink of coconut cream, coconut milk and guaro(costa rican rum) that took the edge off of a long travel day. the rooms were lofted with the bed on the top area - nice large, firm matresses, one member of the group is really tall 6'4 and his legs did hang over the bed (fyi). we had maid service and change of towels every day which was nice after long days on the beach. The bathroom is in need of some updating with modern fixtures and water pressure control, but at the price per night it's easy to overlook these things. You are right on the beach and within a few steps you can be in the water. The hotel has a restaurant were we enjoyed complimentary breakfast each morning of 3 selections, continental, american express and tico time. The options are basic : eggs, toast, cereal, yogurt, fresh fruit, orange juice or traditional costa rican food. The staff is what makes this place truly a great vacation spot, Leo and Rodolfo are excellent and do all they can to make your stay exceptional! We went on a tour of the Rincon de la Vieja organized by Leo and it was fantastic!

The restaurant changes to more fine dining at dinner time with white tablecloths and white napkins, which at first was stuffy for us, but we decided to give it a try on our last night. Yummy fresh seafood and meat. We tried the red snapper crusted in macadamia nuts, a shrimp stew, blackened tuna and spicy chicken curry. Prices are a bit higher for Tamarindo and close to NY prices with entrees around $25-32. They also have a great selection of french wines and our waiter gave an excellent presentation of the correct way to open a bottle! He also offered us free shots of tequila as it was our last night!

Would highly recommend this spot to any no frills - just beach traveller, looking for a rustic spot to unwind right on the beach with great staff!

Room Tip: All rooms are right on the beach! Rooms for 4 people have a bit more updated amenities but are close...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2013

We stayed in Lapalapa for 5 nights and the location and the staff made it a fantastic experience. Our room was practically on the beach and you could actually hear waves if you open the windows. Though the rooms were mediocre but clean and worth the price. We relied on Leo the receptionist/manager/tour guy for all our vacation planning and things to do needs. He was spot on, reliable, trustworthy and always gave the best advice. I felt that the staff made it their personal responsibility to make sure we had a great time by going above and beyond the usual hospitality expectations. Special thanks to Leo, people like him are an asset to every organization and I hope the owner is well aware of that fact !! Cheers to Lapalapa and wishing you all a happy new year.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2013

Our family went to supper at La Palapa while on vacation and it was fantastic! They were able to seat all 8 of us by the beach and it was beautiful. I would go back again even if it was just for the Guacamole Dip!

Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013

2nd stay at this hotel, stayed 3 weeks each time.
Big bed, kitchenette, restaurant and beach right outside your door, in town, friendly staff, breakfast included...wow...what more could you ask for. Massage on the beach 1 1/2 hr for $30.00ish, wonder full....and the sunsets OMG

Room Tip: only 2 rooms have kitchenettes.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about La Palapa

Address: Beach Front Hotel, Main street in Tamarindo, Tamarindo, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Tamarindo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #19 of 60 Specialty Lodging in Tamarindo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated just 15 metres from Tamarindo Beach, this family-run hotel offers air-conditioned rooms with ocean views, cable TV and a minibar,king size beds, private bathrooms, private ocean view terrace,Free wired internet access. La Palapa is located a 2-minute walk from Tamarindo’s various shops and bars. The hotel offers free parking. You can go scuba diving or turtle watching in Las Baulas National Park, just 1 km away. Guests can enjoy typical local food in the restaurant, including varied choice of breakfast. There is also a bar with a terrace, surrounded by palm trees. Rooms at La Palapa have simple décor and wooden furniture. Each room includes a safe and tea and coffee-making facilities. The hotel offers 24-hour security and surveillance cameras in all areas. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
La Palapa Hotel Tamarindo

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