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“Your own personal paradise.” 4 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
San Francisco, California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Your own personal paradise.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

We loved La Paloma! We stayed here for three nights - a family of four in Bungalow #1. We loved the rustic but perfectly accommodating rooms. Even though it was June we didn't miss the A/C. The property is small and private so if feels like your own little oasis. Some of the best food we had in Costa Rica was here, even our sometimes picky kids loved it. The organized trips were great - we did Corcovado and the Mangrove Tour. Our guide Randall was wonderful. We saw lots of animals and learned so much about Costa Rica. Our son had an earache and La Paloma made sure that we got the medicine we needed before we flew home. We didn't have to worry or plan anything while we were here. It was a true vacation.

Room Tip: Go for a bungalow. The views are outstanding. And you might wake up to a monkey opening a coconut f...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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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304 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (70)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
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  • Spanish first
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English first
Boston
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2014

I agree with all the positive things mentioned in previous reviews but wanted to add my experience as a single mom with a 7 year old boy. La Paloma is so personal and attentive that my son felt his needs were met for speed (Cano boat tour with playful dolphins), animal adventure (monkeys and hermit crabs on the beach), and plain food (pancakes and steak). But I also felt my needs were met. Within the first day, I felt relaxed (awesome massage), nourished ( awesome ceviche!), and intellectually stimulated (awesome naturalist tours). Seeing my son so content while chilling on a hammock was just what this stressed mom needed. We had an amazing bonding time, and my son asked to go back as soon as possible. I agree.

Room Tip: Room 1 has stunning ocean views on 3 sides. No a/c but we didn't mind with breezes and ceiling...
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  • Stayed June 2014, 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.
New York City, New York
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2014

My only regret about staying at La Paloma is that we didn't stay longer! My husband and I decided to visit Drake Bay after talking to some friends who stayed elsewhere, and because of their trip we thought 3 nights would be enough. I easily could have done another night and day!

Rooms: they have a set of rooms right next to the main lodge where you eat/meet up for tours. We didn't stay in those so I can't speak about them except to say that those have A/C. My husband and I stayed in one of the cabins (#6) and while we loved it, we both agreed we wouldn't recommend it to everyone. The cabins aren't completely sealed off, so if you aren't one to accept a bug or two in your room then La Paloma isn't for you. It didn't bother us at all, but if a moth and a gecko will freak you out then stay in one of the rooms. Our cabin had a queen size bed, twin size bed, and two lounge chairs with ottomans, so it could easily sleep three. The best part of the cabin, though, was the deck! Between activities, we'd sit on our deck or lay in the hammock and stare off into the ocean. A couple of times we spotted some wildlife (monkeys, toucans), but mostly we'd just read.

Food: all food is included in your stay, and in spite of being a very pick eater (which I'm not proud of!), I enjoyed everything I had. For every meal there are two options (seemed it was usually a chicken and a fish option for dinner; pancakes or french toast and some egg dish for breakfast) and a veggie option as well. Dinners consisted of a soup/salad, main course, dessert, and glass of wine. When you're on an excursion they pack a lunch for you which was full of fresh fruit, all the makings of a delicious sandwich or salad, and dessert. Upon returning from your morning activity, snacks and fresh juices would be waiting for you in the main lodge.

Staff: all the employees were courteous and friendly. Can't say enough great things about them! Whether it was the person leading an excursion (we did snorkeling at Cano Island and the Corcovado Park hike) or a waiter, La Paloma's employees are all so helpful and pleasant to be around. I can't even single one person out because everyone is exceptional at their job.

Other: the lodge has a nice pool to lounge by, and the beach was just a five minute walk from my cabin via a wooded trail. You can (and should!) kayak around the property on your own with their kayaks. They offer massages, which I don't think most people took advantage of. I had a massage, and she was amazing. She came to my cabin, so I enjoyed the sounds of the ocean during my massage and she did a wonderful job finding the knots in my back and really taking the time to work them out. (It was also only $60 for 90 minutes, so really I should have had a massage every day!)

Overall my husband and I agree that La Paloma was the highlight of our trip to Costa Rica. We would return without hesitation, but we would only recommend it to our friends who enjoy being outdoors and can handle a bug or two.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hartford, Ar
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2014

This place is great. It has the best location of all the surrounding resorts. The service is outstanding. All the staff sincerely want to give you the best experience. Everyone from the pick up guy at airport to boat transfers to Jess waiting at the dock were ready and waiting for us. We had suite D which was great. Two sides are pretty much glass, one side ocean view the other jungle view. There is wildlife all around the resort, monkeys, sloths, toucans and scarlet macaws. The naturalist guide (Randall ) was great, so knowledgeable and passionate about the rainforest. Traci the bug lady is the same. It was so quite and peaceful here. And there was never any worries about security. I could leave my camera, I phone and purse on that table in the Club room and go off wondering around looking at animals and never have a worry about it. The food was great and plentiful. There were always snacks waiting for us when we returned from a tour. They also have a dry room so you can dry your wet shoes or clothes overnight. And laundry service was reasonable also. I could go on and on about this place, I can't think of anything negative. As far as I am concerned, there's no need to stay anywhere else.

Room Tip: Suite D has AC and the best view, also close to the Club Room.
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  • Stayed May 2014, 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.
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2014

After finishing grad school in NYC I wanted nothing more than to escape everything and feel a million miles away. But I also wanted to feel pampered in a comfy hotel. La Paloma fits the bill! Most people tend to spend 3 or so nights but I spent 5 and could've stayed longer.

I'm a bit surprised that this place is listed as a 3 star hotel on here. To me it felt like a 4 star.

The only way to/from the lodge is via boat. The speedboat was waiting for me when my van transfer from the airport arrived, and only took about 5 minutes to get to the lodge. One of the lovely staff people were waiting for me with a vehicle to drive me part of the way up to the lodge (on other days the vehicle wasn't offered, but it's only a 5 minute walk, if that). I expected to be offered a beverage immediately upon arrival, but instead I was seated at a table with an amazing view of the water, and even better... an amazing view of a spread of fruit, juice, homemade bread - and was then given the option of a couple of different lunch entrees. Throughout my entire stay the staff were absolutely charming, called every guest by their first name, and were perfectly attentive. The food was also great & plentiful through the entire stay.

Everything is gorgeous. The wood floors & buildings are stunning, the lounge area is comfortable, the grounds are lush & natural, the pool area is relaxing, and my room was beautiful. I asked for a room with A/C and closable windows. To be honest I've got a bug phobia, so it was important to me that I could seal off my room. Many of the rooms/bungalows onsite are not able to do that so you get, ahem, wildlife in your room - so make sure you request what you're up for. I didn't have a clear water view from my room, but still greatly enjoyed the hammock on my porch. Once I drew the curtains on the two windows facing the clubhouse, my room and deck were completely private.

For excursions I did the Corcovado trip, the Cano Island trip - which were both included in my rate, and I also did the extra Mangrove trip. I enjoyed all of them! Randall & Walter are fantastic guides and lovely people. I'm not comfortable snorkling, but I still enjoyed the trip out to Cano Island with the scenery and a bit of time just swimming in the warm water. All of the excursions were on covered boats, so you can limit your sun exposure.

I have mixed feelings about writing this review - the hotel was fantastic & I love singing their praises, but I also kind of want to keep it a secret! :)

  • Stayed May 2014, 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Flagstaff, Arizona
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2014

I just want to start off with saying that my wife and I absolutely loved staying at this place and would also love to go there again with our children. I would describe this place as roughing it, luxuriously! I know that sounds counter intuitive but hopefully this will help explain my thoughts about this.
From the very start, it was crazy! We had bought this trip through a travel agent and were not aware of what in consisted of to get there. We got on a tiny 8 seat plane where I could see out the cockpit window as we were landing on a tiny runway (photo shown below) attached to a unique airport (also photo below) if you would call it that. Then we got off the plane and there was no one there so we were just standing for a while. Then this van showed up and called out our names and picked us up. The van drove along a pretty rough dirt road and then straight into a small river (photo shown below) which while crossing it the driver said that if we got stuck we may have to get out and carry our bags to the other side but the crossing went totally fine. Then we drove to a really small run down town where we got out on a beach and there were two guys there driving a small motor boat that we got on and they loaded our bags. We then boated maybe a mile over to the hotel. The hotel consists of a main check in and dining area along with several small units that are fairly spread out and overlooking the bay (very nice view!). Right when we were checking in, there was a sloth just sitting in a tree directly across from the dining area (photo below) that we were able to watch as we ate our lunch.
Activities: The hotel had two different activities set up each day which were included in the costs and you could just choose which one you wanted to do or none if you were not interested. We did things live scuba diving, guided wildlife hike (best guided tour we had in Costa Rica), and a boat trip. Each one was great and we did not hear of anyone who did the other trips being dissatisfied. You could also just walk down to a really private beach which was nice, but the sand wasn't as soft as others and the swimming was ok but it stayed shallow pretty far out and had little tide so we saw kids playing in it quite a bit. There were also, little trails around the hotel that you could do, one just followed a stream a ways into the forest, one followed the beach for a LONG ways (you could easily go 20 miles if desired) and another into the small town of drake. A person could also just check out a kayak and either take it up the stream a ways (which I saw many monkeys while doing) or out into the bay area and around there. It was really enjoyable!
Services: The help there was very friendly and the place was kept clean. When you checked in, they just took down your name and you could just charge anything you would want to the room so you did not have to carry around your billfold. Then when you checked out, you could just write down tips for whoever you wanted and include that on your credit card bill which was very nice. Also, most things are included already with your stay but if you were wanting some wine at night or something like that you could just charge it and they offered it at very reasonable prices! A really nice option that they also offered was for doing a load of your laundry for either $5 or $10, I forget which. It was super nice though because they would wash, dry, and fold it for you and have it back in your room by that evening so a person would not have to bring a lot of clothes nor have a huge bag or dirty clothes when you leave. The meals were set up at a specific time and there were two different choices available. There were just a set of tables in the dining area laid out such that you just sat around with other guests and discussed things. It was really nice and the food was very home made and great tasting. I am sure the limited choices and company could bother some people but we really liked it. When you did one of the activities, there was food brought with so that a lunch was provided on them. I did see some rooms that did not have air conditioning but ours did and if you get uncomfortable sleeping when it is pretty humid and warm, a person might want to make sure that you have a room with air.
Wildlife: All I can say is there was wildlife everywhere! All the different birds, monkeys, lizards, and other animals that we saw was crazy! Just walking in for breakfast one day I saw two different groups of 20+ monkeys, a sloth, a coati, and I have no idea how many different birds. There is wildlife all around and we talked to people who just sat on there patio one day and I could not believe everything they saw. It is like having your own personalized rain forest built around you!
I can see how this place might not be the right fit for everyone, but we absolutely loved it and are already planning on returning there in the future!

  • Stayed February 2014, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Weymouth, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2014

We were fortunate to have the corner room which overlooks the ocean and tropical forest, the views from the balcony were stunning. The monkeys kept us entertained as were confined to our room due to having eaten something that disagreed with us, the staff could not do enough for us. We only managed to go on one or our three planned trips, the one we did go on was excellent and the guide was amazing. We only managed to eat dinner in the restaurant twice, eating 'family' style is an interesting experience as it gives other guests the opportunity to share their experiences with you.

Room Tip: Room D gives you stunning views. It has A/C is quiet.
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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 On the Beach Hotel in Drake Bay
#2 Family 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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