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“The most enjoyable place we've ever had the pleasure of staying.” 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 #4 of 8 Hotels in Drake Bay
Derby
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“The most enjoyable place we've ever had the pleasure of staying.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2012

Not only are they fantastic rooms in a stunning location with very attentive service and delicious food, but the whole place has an understated sense of fun and enthusiasm which makes it impossible not to relax into and enjoy yourselves. We were very sorry to leave.

Room Tip: book to go.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 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.
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299 reviews from our community

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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
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aqlollipop
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2012

What an amazing Costa Rican adventure we had thanks to La Paloma! We were a group of 5 (ages 8 - 69) and visited in early August, we stayed in a Sunset Rancho (#1) for 6 nights. After reading all the reviews here before our trip we made a decision to focus most of our trip at La Paloma because it seemed to offer what we were looking for in terms of wildlife viewing and adventure. We did not regret that decision and felt that our 6 night stay was just the right amount of time. They took such good care of us during our stay! The food was fabulous, and anytime we had concerns over whether or not our picky kids would eat the offered selection, we were immediately offered the option to make something just for them (often quesadillas or pasta). The kids took advantage of this a few times but overall ate and enjoyed the food, all prepared fresh on the premises, including the fabulous bread! The tours and guides were universally wonderful, we saw many, many animals both around the property and on the tours. We did the bug lady tour, the mangrove tour, the cano island snorkel tour, the San Pedrillo hike, horseback riding, and a whale watching trip (not all of us did all of those but we each had something going on each day). This was a great time of year to see whales, we saw a lot, even on our snorkel tour. This was the rainy season, but we were told that we were experiencing a pretty dry rainy season. It did rain every day in the afternoon, and overnight as well, but it was pretty tolerable, not a downpour in most cases, and even when it was we were wet anyway so it didn't matter. We brought ponchos but didn't ever really use them. It was hot and the rain usually felt good. The ranchos don't have screens on the windows, but we had no trouble with biting bugs at all (they said we wouldn't and they were right!) we slept with the windows open and only the kids opted for the bug netting over their bed. The ceiling fans over the beds made it very comfortable to sleep. Which brings me to my one gripe, in our Rancho, the twin bed on the 1st floor was the only bed without a ceiling fan over it. my mother-in-law slept in that bed and she said the first night was pretty hot, but after that she got used to it and it wasn't so bad. But I really found the ceiling fan indispensable for sleeping so she must be hardier than I. The open air shower was the most wonderful thing in the world. I wish I had a shower like that at home. My kids even loved it and they were nervous about it after i told them about it at home. But after their first shower when a tiny frog jumped in (about the size of my thumbnail) they were completely enchanted (they might have felt differently if the frog were larger but they loved that little guy!), for the first time in their childhoods they were volunteering to take showers daily! The pool was very refreshing and we were in there many afternoons to cool off. The staff even brought some inflated pool toys for the kids to play with. The beach was also beautiful, but the surf was pretty rough and getting in was challenging because there was a fairly steep drop off right near the shore that then goes right back up on to a shallower packed sand sea bed. But the beach sand is fairly coarse (lots of shells!) and so your feet just sink in as you are trying to get in and out. We let the kids play with us in the water during low tide, but at high tide it was just too rough for them, the current was very strong. They didn't mind too much as there are plentiful hermit crabs on the beach and they had a great time building homes for them... La Paloma is high on a hill, so when you arrive you do have a climb ahead of you, and there is a separate climb getting back from the beach. That said, they do have what they called the "jungle limo" in which they offered to drive my mother-in-law up and down to the dock and the beach. She didn't take advantage of it the first day, but after that, she was on board and the kids often hitched a ride as well. Once you are up at the property things are all fairly level and it's not an issue. Of course the advantage of the hill is the views which were spectacular and worth it all. We also had several massages, and they were fabulous. Definitely have one while you are there, she is really good and the price is amazing, I was wishing I could take her home with me. I think that about covers everything. Truly you will not regret your choice to stay here, it was spectacular. I have to thank previous reviewers for once again pointing me to the perfect place...

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, Florida
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2012

La Paloma exceeded all of our expectations. The accommodations were lovely. We had a view of the water and grounds. The food was excellent and we are very picky. All food is provided by the lodge. We had tours daily. The guides were informative and fun. Everything ran smoothly. Our experience was so good that we can not wait to come back. My boys still talk about the staff as if they are all good friends of theirs. We made many new friends in other countries and states.
There are plenty of activities to keep you busy or if you prefer relaxation is easy. Can't wait to go back. If we go to Costa Rica again we will be sure to spend more time at La Paloma

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakland, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2012

I've stayed at many wonderful hotels all over the world in recent years and always wondered which one would finally motivate me to write my first tripadvisor review. La Paloma Lodge is the one. My husband and I just spent 5 incredible nights there, where we had amazing food, adventures and relaxation. I wanted as much of a jungle experience as possible by day and still feel comfortable at night. La Paloma had everything I was looking for. The highlight of the hotel is the staff, which will go above and beyond to make sure you're happy. On the first night my husband got a very bad stomach flu and was very sick for 24 hours. I was so grateful to how helpful everyone was, changing our tour that morning without any fees and bringing water to the room every few hours. Tens at the bar makes wonderful drinks and Jessica's smile makes you feel like you're visiting friends. The food was delicious!!!! Home baked bread and muffins and the freshest fruit I've ever had. If you're lucky to get Randall as your tour guide, you will learn so much. His enthusiasm about nature is truly inspirational. I can't wait to visit The OSA again and see my friends at La Paloma!!!

Room Tip: Room 7, the rancho deluxe was so private!!! It's the last one so it's the longest walk, but...
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  • Stayed July 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2012

We had a fantastic time at La Paloma. The accommodations were beautiful, the food was delicious, there were monkeys in the trees, and most important, the staff was incredibly friendly and welcoming-- they made you feel completely at home. Special thanks to Jessica for being such a wonderful host, especially for the kids! And the guides who led the tours were fabulous: We went snorkeling with Brainer (not sure I spelled that right) and saw white-tipped reef sharks and tons of fish, then had a relaxing picnic lunch on Playa San Josecito. The next day we went on the Mangrove tour up the Sierpe River with Randall, who located an unbelievable diversity of animals, from sloths and three species of monkeys to scarlet macaws to mangrove boas and a crocodile. And the day after that we went to the Sirena Ranger station in Corcovado, again with Randall, who continued to share his extensive knowledge with us, and the animal highlights included spider monkeys, a bat inside a heliconium plant, a shag-carpet caterpillar, and even an anteater. The big lady's tour was also very cool, even for those of us who were not courageous enough to put a tail-less whip scorpion on our faces. We could have stayed another week and hung out at the beach and walked the trails along the coast-- but we had already exceeded our budget. If you can afford it, staying at La Paloma really is a once in a lifetime experience.

Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
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Arizona
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2012

Our family of 4 just returned home from a fabulous 5 night trip to La Paloma Lodge. Our rancho had spectacular views of the ocean and jungle, super comfortable beds and lovely bathrooms.

Everyone we interacted with made us feel welcome and helped with whatever questions we had. Each of the tours we took went very smoothly - well organized and efficient. The food was also lovely, and just the right amounts - not too much, and not too little. My kids even ate a number of things they wouldn't have eaten at home!

Our hope was to see lots of wildlife, and we did. We took the San Pedrillo tour, the mangrove tour, the night (Bug Lady) tour, and the snorkeling tour. I think the mangrove was the favorite for all of us. We really enjoyed all of the information our guide Randall gave us, and his enthusiasm made seeing the animals that much more fun. We saw all 4 kinds of monkeys numerous times, except just once for the spider monkeys in Corcovado - but they did some nice tricks for us. There were also plenty of reptiles - crocs, caimans, lizards, snakes - as well as numerous different birds, and a large group of dolphins swam with the boat on our way out to Cano Island. Beautiful. We kayaked on the river right by La Paloma - it was easy and again, we saw monkeys! One jumped right across the river from tree to tree.

We even got to experience a group of white-faced monkeys jumping on and around our cabin and just generally hanging out for over an hour. One or more of them had also invited his or herself in to partake of some pretzels and gumdrops we had in our room. Pawprints were on the mirror, sink, etc. It was hilarious.

We saw howlers (with babies) at least three times on the property (once from the main lodge and twice from our rancho). A sloth also made an appearance, but we could only see his back as he was huddled in his tree. We even saw an anteater on our return to La Paloma at 2 in the afternoon.

Finally, I can't fail to mention the swimming beach - Playa Cocolito - it was fun at high tide, and then our last day we went down there (10 minute walk) at low tide, and it was even better - boogie boarding, jumping in the waves, etc. Wow. Beautiful.

All and all it was just a wonderful vacation!!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2012

We had the most wonderful stay at La Paloma Lodge for our honeymoon. Our private rancho was gorgeous, with original hardwood floors, terrace with hammock, two bathrooms with hot water, and a fabulous view of the ocean and the jungle. Be prepared to hear monkeys having fun in the nearby trees! It is no coincidence they choose to hang out there, thanks to the easy access to mango trees and other fruits (humans should not feed them though).

The location was ideal too. La Paloma has a large, beautifully landscaped property perched on a hill in the middle of the jungle, with a swimming pool, and with quick access to the beach and to the river. The food was delicious, with fresh fruits & vegetables, and bread made on premises. Wifi and laundry service are available, which was particularly convenient.

The staff was friendly, professional, and very attentive. The activities offered are diverse and exciting, including hiking in the Corcovado national park, scuba diving, and massages. Do not miss the "bug" lady tour offered by La Paloma Lodge: Tracie is an expert in entomology and will surprise you with fascinating facts on insects; her and her husband Gian's passion for nature is highly contagious.

Room Tip: We loved our rancho #3, although I understand all ranchos have a view of the ocean and similar ameni...
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  • Stayed May 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 1
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 Family Hotel in Drake Bay
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Drake Bay
#3 Romantic 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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