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“La Paloma Lodge, Drake Bay, Costa Rica” 5 of 5 stars
Review of La Paloma Lodge

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La Paloma Lodge
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Drake Bay, Costa Rica, Drake Bay, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 8 Hotels in Drake Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
1 review
“La Paloma Lodge, Drake Bay, Costa Rica”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2012

My husband & I just had a wonderful vacation, staying 5 nights at La Paloma Lodge, in Drake Bay, Costa Rica. All the staff was just wonderful. They offer small well organized tours of the rain forest, snorkeling & diving trips, and my favorite the river boat tour of the mangrove jungle. The food was just great, breakfast, lunch and dinner included in the price. Their rooms are fabulous and consisted of a beautiful balcony area that opened up to the ocean and the jungle--where you could see lots of animals right from there. We didn't need air conditioning as they situated their rooms for a cool ocean breeze. We stayed the extra 2 nights just to relax, although we could have taken more tours right from the lodge.. There are lots of things to do right at the lodge versus traveling all around Costa Rica to see other places. We would definitely recommend La Paloma Lodge for young adults to moderate and active senior citizens. Their sidewalks are a little narrow--so we wouldn't recommend for people who have problems with balance, bad hips or knees.

Room Tip: they have private cabins--but every room is fabulous.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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339 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (82)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2012

We stayed 3 nights at LaPaloma and I can't say enough wonderful things about both the lodging and the customer service. The rooms are wonderful cabin type structures but not rustic. I understand they also have a 'bank of rooms' that are attached to each other, although we didn't stay in those. The best view cabins are #1 and #2 (and big enough to house two couples or a family). We also stayed in #6 which was lovely (smaller) and had a good view that I would be thrilled with (had I not stayed 2 nights in #1 and been stunned by the view). The only surprise was that part of each room is open air - as the bathrooms don't have windows and the wall to the bathroom is 3/4 so there is a nice breeze the flows from the front and back of the cabins. In the end that open air design didn't bother us as we slept with the sliding doors wide open for a nice cross breeze. Besides the beauty of the rooms, which are lovely inside, the staff are just top notch. Many are excellent English speakers (a shout out to Nicole, Jamaica, and Sue) and they are there to meet all of your needs. We took two tours through the hotel...a snorkeling tour and a Corcovado guided hike. The guides for both of these spoke English very well and gave us an exciting day trip. On the snorkeling trip, we say whales, dolphins and turtles (although the turles never let us get close) and we went to three different sites and saw a wide array of fish, including a whole school of big fish. Our Corcovado guide found us all sorts of interesting critters and many spottings of monkeys. Near the end of our hike he invited us to swim at the base of a waterfall and the setting was just special and unreal and oh so fun! The food was fabulous, the grounds are pristine and beautiful. Others in our group joined the bug lady for the night hike and the mangrove tour and said both were great. If I got to revise my trip, I would have stayed 5 nights at LaPaloma.

Room Tip: Wonderful views from all rooms, but #1 and #2 are really spectacular
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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San Francisco, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2012

So incredible! We cannot say enough good things. Getting there is thrilling (small plain, dirt road, boat, hike up a hill). Every moment is an adventure -- hikes in empty wilderness, guided nature walks, empty beaches, beautiful birds, scarlet macaws, unbelievable starry nights. The planning and organization was so professional. Everything was taken care of and we always felt safe and well cared for. The staff was super nice. I wish I could bring our deluxe bungalow back to San Francisco. You can tell that that this place is independently owned and loved like a part of the family. They spare no expense. They don't nickel and dime you. They seem to really enjoy what they do. The other guests are respectful and fun to be around. Really, really exceeded expectations. Thank you La Paloma!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, Ohio
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2012

Awesome, awesome stay at La Paloma. Bungalow was great, clean & had amazing views (see photos!) The staff was so friendly & helpful, including everyone who took us on our excursions. The grounds were beautiful, meals were yummy. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Seattle
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2012

Although I'm just repeating what so many other reviewers have said, I have to add my enthusiastic endorsement of La Paloma. We stayed in 5 different places during our Costa Rica trip, and La Paloma was our favorite by far. Our room was beautiful and comfortable. The staff is warm and professional. The tours we did, especially with Randall, were lots of fun - we saw a great assortment of wildlife and learned a lot about the flora and fauna of the area. We also loved the "bug lady" walk. The communal dinners may not be for everyone (as noted in a recent review), but we found the other guests to be interesting, and the interaction was a big plus for us. The food was quite good. I hope we can go back some day.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lexington, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2012

My wife and I spent four nights here and wish we had booked more. Getting there takes some work--small plane from San Jose to grass runway, 4WD vehicle for 20 minutes, and then wading from a beach to get in a boat--but it is lovely. It was definitely the highlight of our very enjoyable recent trip to Costa Rica. We had a two-story bungalow, which was more than enough space for us (it could have slept three more). It was nicely appointed and had a nice view from the second floor and from the porch on the first floor. The open (no walls above three feet) “club house,” where we ate and which had couches and chairs (plus the monkeys mentioned by other reviewers), was also very nice. The food was very good and, although the choices were limited because of the remote location, each of us found something we liked at every meal. (The choices at lunch one day included a Nicoise salad with tuna caught by a guest.) The staff (from Sue, the owner, and Nicole, the manager, on down) was also very friendly and helpful—the lodge had a much more personal feel than most other places we have stayed. Unlike one of the reviewers below, we enjoyed the "communal" meals. The cocktail hour before dinner was also fun, as it gave us a chance to meet other guests, a very interesting, well-educated, and international group of people. The best part of staying at the lodge was the excursions. We enjoyed all four of the excursions we took, including three day trips and the night-time excursion with the “bug lady.” The trips included modest numbers of guests (four to eight) and a guide and boat captain. We had two different guides for our day trips, both of whom were excellent, though the two trips with Gustavo were especially good. His knowledge of the natural world in Drake Bay is remarkable (he has a degree in biology and grew up in the area) and his enthusiasm for nature is infectious. We saw many different animals, including two kinds of peccaries, four types of monkeys, a tapir, turtles, a caiman, and crocodiles (one was “surfing” in from the ocean to the river). We also saw numerous birds, fish, and dozens of False Orcas that followed our boat (after Gustavo found them by watching the birds). We recommend La Paloma highly to travelers interested in nature.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2012

We recently spent five nights at La Paloma with our two boys, 7 and 12. A highlight was snorkeling at Isla del Cano where we saw Hawksbill turtles, a school of barracuda and a white-tipped reef shark. We also got a bit of a lash from a jellyfish which put my children off for a second snorkeling encounter but it feels like a brush with a stinging nettle and the pain disappears. It is just a bit alarming when it happens. Another absolutely wonderful experience was walking in the Corcovado National Park with Randal, La Paloma's guide. He was delightful with the children and extremely knowledgable. We also did a tour to the mangroves which was beautifully peaceful. An alarming piece of news Randal shared was the influence of foreign interests in Corcovado with the Chinese and the Costa Rican government joining forces to build a dam which will have a huge influence on the Oso Peninsula and the completely nonsensical idea of a further international airport in the rainforest. When you travel through the waterways or experience the walk in the park and the harmony and serenity that exists there, it seems unfathomable that the government, once so progressive in things that protected the bio-diversity of this amazing place, could make such appallingly ill-considered decisions. My advice is to visit as soon as you can before the changes in the Oso Peninsula begin.

Room Tip: We stayed in a deluxe ranchero. A tip re the bathroom - do not leave anything in the bathroom. It i...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about La Paloma Lodge

Address: Drake Bay, Costa Rica, Drake Bay, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Drake Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Drake Bay
#3 Family Hotel in Drake Bay
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Drake Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3 star — La Paloma Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We have outstanding views of Drake Bay and the Pacific Ocean from our Lodge. Our standard rooms are large and include a private bath and an ocean view balcony. Our ranchos are one and two-story private cabins that also offer balconies with stunning ocean views. They hold up to 6 people and are very spacious. Some are equipped with a bathroom on both the upper and lower level, and are suitable for families or two couples traveling together. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
La Paloma Hotel Drake Bay
La Paloma Drake Bay
La Paloma Lodge Costa Rica/Drake Bay

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