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“A real gem!” 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   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 8 Hotels in Drake Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Eugene, Oregon
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“A real gem!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

We are a fairly fit couple in our mid 60s, and this place was perfect for us. We did the 4-day package which included two excursions, one very long one to Corcovado Natl. Park and a shorter one to the waters near Cano Island for snorkeling. My husband also did the bug walk. All of these activities were excellently organized, fun, and extremely informative. We saw more wildlife of all kinds than I ever imagined, and the guides were so friendly and enthusiastic that I think we would have had fun even if we hadn't seen so much. From the price, I had pictured that it might be more development and luxury and less nature and adventure, but thankfully I was wrong. If you are looking for pampered luxury, this is not the place. You have to walk some steep and possibly slippery tracks to get to the beach or go out on the excursions, which leave from the dock; if you have a small child, it will be a real pain. But for adults or older kids, these short walks are not a problem, and the rest of the experience more than makes up for it. The staff could not have been more personal and friendly, or as willing to do whatever it takes to make sure we had a good time. For example, my husband ended up with no contact lens solution when we arrived, and they called around to all the neighboring villages with pharmacies until they found it, then had it delivered to us by dinner time. The food was very good, we thought; though not elaborate, it was fresh and thoughtfully prepared. I'm picky when it comes to seafood, but I enjoyed all the seafood served there. All in all, I thought the price was well worth the experience.

Room Tip: We had Room D, a corner room, which had a great view of forest canopy on one side and of the ocean o...
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  • Stayed December 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.
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343 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 (83)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
West Palm Beach, Florida
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

Actual travel date: June 2011 (I couldn't choose that far back so I am going to just tell you here!). I traveled to La Paloma in Drake Bay with my family and while getting there was quite an adventure (plane to jeep to boat to tractor), it was totally worth it. This was probably the most amazing hotel/travel experience of my life; I am literally saving money to go back. It is not cheap but it is worth every penny. The lodges (raised cabins on stilts) are incredible... all wood with beautiful ocean and rainforest views. While they are not air conditioned, there are these slits between the top of the wall and the roof that allow in a great breeze and ceiling fans so you are never hot. The top of the shower wall is open so you can look outside while you shower and even see MONKEYS (awesome!). The staff is welcome and warm and the family style meals allow you to really bond with other guests in a really fun, summer camp kind of way. The food is, in a word, incredible. Local produce and fresh caught fish are complemented with delicious juices and fruits. Whoever their chef is, I wish he was mine! We were attracted to the eco-focus of the resort and they do a great job at being eco-friendly while still making your experience luxurious - American resorts should learn from them (you CAN help the environment and still be five-star!). While we were there we explored the forests on foot, shopped with the local merchants that the resort brought to the lodge (I love that they help support the locals by allowing them to sell their handmade items there), went horsebacking riding on the beach and in the mountains (incredible! An experience I will never forget), went snorkeling and hung out on the beach. Oh, and watched the monkeys swing past our cabin, screeching and swooping through the trees. As I write this, I wish I were back there. If you are on the fence or sorting through different places to stay, stop your search: this resort will exceed all of your expectations.

Room Tip: Anything facing the ocean!
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Derby
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
19 hotel reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
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.
aqlollipop
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
16 hotel reviews
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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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Oakland, California
2 reviews
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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San Francisco, California, United States
2 reviews
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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Additional Information about La Paloma Lodge

Address: 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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