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“Hidden Jewel in the Jungle” 5 of 5 stars
Review of La Paloma Lodge

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La Paloma Lodge
Drake Bay, Costa Rica, Drake Bay, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 7 hotels in Drake Bay
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Hidden Jewel in the Jungle”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2013

The perfect spot for a rainforest adventure. Getting there is half the fun. From landing at Drake Airport, the taxi ride through the river, to jumping into the boat between waves, to the cayman sunning by the landing dock, the adventure builds!
The staff awaiting our arrival were so gracious and enthusiastic that we hardly noticed the climb to the club house. The entire staff with whom we interacted during our four day stay were fabulous. All spoke English and praised our lame attempt tp communicate in Spanish. Our every need was immediately met with a smile.
The grounds are exquisite. The buildings are all nestled into the natural setting. Sitting on our balcony watching birds, butterflies and monkeys within arms reach was one of our favorite activities.
The food was delicious, plentiful and locally sourced. Each meal featured wholesome, healthy choices. The meals provided by the guides on our daily adventures were fantastic. Each guide demonstrated superb culinary skills at lunch time!
Every guide was knowledgable, enthusiastic, and committed to preserving the ecology which makes the region so special.
Some reasons why some folks might not love La Paloma are some of the things we treasured:
The place is very isolated.
You will want a flash light to find your way back to your room after dinner.
The beach is about a five-ten minute hike along a steep and somewhat uneven pathway through the forest. It is beautiful once you arrive but don't expect to find anyone serving cocktails to cabanas!
The pool is clean though small. Again, no swim up bar here.
The days start and end early. Most trips leave by 6:30 am so folks turned in early.
There are no TV's or phones in the rooms.

Room Tip: Room C was lovely. Great views, close to clubhouse, quiet while attached to other rooms. No bathroom...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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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281 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 (63)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Houston, Texas
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2013

We wanted our first trip to Costa Rica to be an authentic taste of the country and all that it has to offer. We didn't want to stay at one of the huge resorts near Guanacaste. A small lodge was in order and La Paloma has so many stellar reviews online that it was an easy choice. We stayed at the lodge for a whole week and loved the experience. The staff is friendly and enthusiastic and arranges everything for you, giving you a rundown of the next day's events/tours the night before. The villa was spacious, clean and offered beautiful views of the Pacific from both levels. The food was delicious and fresh at every seated meal and we especially enjoyed the beautiful candlelit dinners where we had a chance to meet many different guests from all over the world. We were even treated to an hour of Capuchin monkey antics at the pool one day. Those are photos we will treasure forever. If you want a truly Costa Rican experience nestled in the rainforest with monkeys, Macaws and Toucans around every corner--You must visit La Paloma Lodge!!

  • Stayed March 2013, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

La Paloma is the perfect blend of luxury and being completely 'off the grid'. My wife and I stayed at La Paloma for a portion of our Honeymoon last June. Of all the places we visited while in Costa Rica, La Paloma and the Osa Peninsula were our favorite by far. Our room was amazing...the view was perfect and we loved the indoor/outdoor design. Having a thermos of fresh coffee brought to my room every morning was also a highlight! The staff treated us like gold and made us feel completely comfortable and welcome the whole time. They do a perfect job of taking care of your every need without ever getting in your way. I can't say enough how wonderful they were.

We also had a great time doing the optional excursions. We went horseback riding, snorkeling at Cano Island, and spent a full day doing a guided hike of Corcovado. Also, the night hike with the Bug Lady was incredible.

Food was great and dining with the other families was a great time. We got to know a lot of great people during our stay there.

And again, I absolutely cannot say enough about the staff. They made us feel so welcomed and so comfortable. We absolutely can't wait to make it back to La Paloma.

  • Stayed June 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
    • 4 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.
Chicago
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

Super views of jungle and ocean from rooms. All kinds of wildlife on or near property. Beach and plenty of walking trails on property. Easy walk into town but no need to go there. Service was the best.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 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.
Calgary, Canada
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

Spent four nights here in February 2013 with kids that are 11, 9 and 7. Had and an amazing expereince and it was the highlight of our three week trip to Costa Rica. No doubt this is more expensive than other options, but once your excursions are paid for, you don't have to pay for anything other than a few drinks at the bar. Favorite excursion was to the Mangrove. Saw several troops of monkeys swinging through the trees and lots of other amazing wildlife. Also really liked the day trip to Corcovado and snorkelling at Cano island. Seeing other tours at these places, you come to realize that La Paloma has hired the most professional guides and has the nicest and least crowded boats. Service at La Paloma is very discreet and subtle, but also very good. Food was excellent and our Rancho was gorgeous and spacious. We weren't sure about dining with other families, but once we did it, we really liked it. Was interesting to meet people from all over the world. If it doesn't break your bank account, I would highly recommend La Paloma.

Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
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Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

We had a magical time staying for three nights at Paloma Lodge and received a warm greeting from Jess when we arrived. Location second to none, but lodges needed more protection from monkey raids! However, although overall we enjoyed our time at Paloma Lodge, a couple of things affected the quality of our stay. Firstly we were told that communal eating was the order of the day at supper time, but when we started to loosen up and chat away to other guests, we were rudely encouraged to leave the dining room before 8.30pm. We all had to eat supper and leave the table, when they wanted us to, whether it suited us or not.
I am a vegetarian, and I had to fill In forms stating this. At one lunchtime, we were the only customers on the premises, and we ordered a vegetarian noodle dish. Halfway through I realised that it contained chicken pieces, as did my companion's. The pieces of chicken were very small, and I think that they were hoping that we wouldn't notice.While we appreciate that obviously mistakes happen, and Jess, who was not present at that time, did later apologise, the waiter's sneering behaviour was totally unacceptable.
As it transpired, we met some lovely fellow guests at Paloma Lodge, but would have chatted to them anyway without the regime at supper.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
lizzy06osa, Gerente at La Paloma Lodge, responded to this review, March 20, 2013
We are sorry to see this average review. At La Paloma we strive to have all of our guests leave happy and with magnificent memories of their experience.
We serve dinner family style. However, if requested we are glad to provide a private dinner table. We hope that by eating together people from around the world will make friends and actually many of our guests exchange e-mail addresses before leaving the Lodge and some have returned together for their next vacation.
We never want anyone to feel they are not welcome to stay in the clubhouse as long as they want in the evening. Our guests often stay up until 10:00 or 11:00 playing board games; we enjoy this convivial atmosphere. There may have been confusion as our staff reminds our guests going on the Night Hike to prepare for their departure about this time.
I apologize deeply for the mistake regarding your vegetarian meal preference. Two of the owners' children are vegetarian, so we understand how important it is to serve accordingly. I can vouch for the staff in saying that this was an honest mistake. We would never try to pass off a meat dish as a vegetarian one in hopes that it wouldn't be noticed. Moreover, we always do our best to accommodate all special diets.
We pride ourselves on having polite and helpful staff, and feel that this is reflected in all of the other reviews. We do have English speaking staff, but as we employ local people, many of them have some understanding of English but are not fluent. I believe the waiter was at a loss for words more than anything else. It was actually the waiter who told me about the food mix up, his confusion and embarrassment
We appreciate constructive criticism as it aides us in continually improving our service.
Jessica Porter
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington, United States
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

The Osa Peninsula offers a unique opportunity to experience an ecologically dense area without sacrificing on relaxing beach days. La Paloma makes this unique place even more special. Combining outstanding wildlife tours (Bug Hike, Mangrove Swamp Tour, Snorkeling near Cano Island, Corcovado) with amazing beach relaxation (Cocolito) makes this place an ideal vacation for differing interests. Access to beautiful nearly deserted beaches and outstanding wildlife opportunities all organized by a helpful staff make the Osa easy to experience. The outstanding customer service begins with the staff booking your flight to Drake and transportation to the Lodge. Having Jess organize tours and offer recommendations help you make the most of your time in the Osa. The rooms are perfect for the setting and the food impressive and made all the more special given location. The staff make a huge effort to get to know you and make your vacation feel truly unique. Can't wait to go back.

Room Tip: Awesome porch in Cabin A, however a little close to the lodge for a truly secluded feeling.
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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
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

Also Known As:
La Paloma Hotel Drake Bay
La Paloma Hotel
La Paloma Drake Bay
La Paloma Lodge Costa Rica/Drake Bay
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 On the Beach Hotel in Drake Bay
#2 Family Hotel in Drake Bay
#4 Romantic Hotel in Drake Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
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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