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“Don't think twice! A Tropical Paradise!” 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
Monrovia, CA
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Don't think twice! A Tropical Paradise!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

La Paloma Lodge is a great home-base for people wanting to explore the Osa Peninsula. The lodge has amazing activities at its fingertips- from snorkeling and diving to mangrove tours and trips to Corcovado National Park. What sets La Paloma apart is the expertise of its guides- they are friendly, knowledgable, and genuinely want to show you around. The food and hotel staff are also top-notch. You won't go hungry here! Everyone you meet- from the people serving you dinner to the manager will make you feel at home. The other thing worth noting is how spotlessly clean the grounds, rooms, and common areas are- everything is kept in pristine condition, which is not an easy feat in the climate. Take the time to make the trek down here- you'll be glad you did and will be rewarded with a great adventure!

Room Tip: We stayed in a Rancho, which was two stories and perfect for either a small family or two adult coup...
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  • Stayed December 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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305 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 (70)
Date | Rating
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English first
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

We stayed for 4 nights and were looked after like royalty. Jess and Tebs do a fantastic job running the show and made us feel very welcome. They also gave us great advice on the tours available and other things to do in and around Drake.
The only problem with La Paloma is that we did'nt want to leave.
Keep up the great work - you truly have a fantastic team, in an awesome part of the world.

  • Stayed August 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.
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013 via mobile

We stayed for 4 nights and wish we stayed longer. We flew from
San Jose (45 min) and the hotel picked us up (rode in a truck then a short boat ride).
Situated next to the ocean in a forest setting, it is a heaven for nature lovers. We stayed in 2 BR rancho with ocean view, clean and comfortable. Everyday we woke to the sound of birds and howler monkeys. There were capuchin monkeys, sloth, scarlet macaws, toucans and so many other creatures around the lodge.

We kayaked around the area, which was nice. Mangrove tour is a must as we saw many more animals (boobies, frigate birds, spider and squirrel monkeys, crocodile and caymans etc).

We took the boat to Sierrena and hiked for 5 hours but it was very easy flat walk. We saw tapirs here (smile). The boat ride was a little bumpy.

We also did the snorkel tour. It was nice though not as spectacular as other places we have been. We did see reef sharks and sting rays, and the group that went the next day saw many turtles. We chose to walk back to the lodge from the beach which took about 2.5 hours. It was a very nice walk, weaving in and out of many beaches.

Service is superb. Jessican was very helpful. Food is super, delicious and high quality. They also have laundry service and can dry your shoes overnight if needed (very helpful as nothing dries here).

In all, it was a dream vacation and We are hoping to visit again.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Eugene, Oregon
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Palm Beach, Florida
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
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
50 reviews 50 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
23 helpful votes 23 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
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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 Romantic 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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