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“Good with some reservations” 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   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 8 Hotels in Drake Bay
Certificate of Excellence
manchester
Level Contributor
29 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Good with some reservations”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2010

This is a difficult review to write because we loved our stay here -but it was much more because of the location and the wildlife than the lodge itself. There were minor irritations,like no proper hot water for2-3 days despite our requests to have sufficient for more than 30 seconds.Also little things like chipped plates and cups just lead you to question the high charges that you pay to stay here. Views were wonderful but the open air bathrooms were a little strange- especially at night when all kinds of creatures could fing their way into your bathroom .Like a bat we encountered for exmple.We had to keep the toothbrushes on the side table because apparently the monkeys like to steal them!!!!
Worst of all when the lights are on at night all kinds of bugs float around the room.
Food was of good quality - not exceptional and lunchtime salads every day became a bit much at the end.
But Drake bay is wonderful and the wildlife viewing is spectacular.The diving around Cano is fullof sharks and rays and there are whales and dolphins in the oceans.
The local beach -Cocalito is beautiful and unspoilt.

So to summarise - I 100% recommend this place - and expect some would love the closeness to nature. Finally the staff were excellent especially Vanessa and all the serving staff were really friendly.The guides were brilliant and made us really enjoy the trips.

  • Stayed July 2010, 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
    • 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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346 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
    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 (85)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
71 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2010

This is what happened when we left LA PALOMA LODGE in Costa Rica. From the moment the staff welcomed us by our names we felt at home. Our room had a glorious view of the jungle with a fantastic animal soundtrack day and night. The dining room is warm and inviting, the food delicious, the pool enchanting (big toads come to mate at the actual pool at night). The organized tours with Randall as our guide were unforgettable. Swimming at a waterfall close to a crocodile, seeing dolphins, boas, all kinds of momnkeys, macaws mating... how can it be any better? The night tour with the bug lady was amazing in spite of the rain. My advice, drop everything you are doing and go there now.

  • Stayed May 2010, 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
    • 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.
Bruges, Belgium
Level Contributor
56 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2010

Very, very, very friendly staff (Sue, Tracy, Nicole, ...) We felt very welcome from the first step in the hotel. The rooms are luxurious but it still feels like you're in the middle of the forest which is incredible, the reason to go to Costa Rica! Perfect mix between luxury and nature!
The trips were very well organised and the guides speak very well English, are friendly AND knowledgeable! Also the food was delicious! If you go to Corcovado, you got to stay in this place!

  • Stayed April 2010, 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.
Landenberg, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2010

We wanted an exceptional experience with nature and found so much more than we expected. No TV, phone, air conditioning. Instead, constant adventure and leisure according to what we wanted, warm fresh air with a fan right over the comfortable bed and a knock at the door with coffee, instead of a phone ringing with a wakeup call. Plus great food and the guests were also friendly and fellow nature-lovers. Eating family style and having drinks and snacks before dinner, we got to know many wonderful people. The worst part was leaving.

  • Stayed March 2010, 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
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GLOUCESTER
Level Contributor
58 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2010

La Paloma is a very, very unique place set right in the midst of what is surely one of the world's most prestine and beautiful natural locations. You are a lucky member of humanity if you are fortunate enough to spend time here. If you are most interested in Disney type attractions, nightlife, and shopping, do not come. There is nothing here for you. If you love nature, birds, animals, tropical rain forests, secluded beaches, hiking, snorkeling and maybe even bugs, this is the place for you!! (Oh you must also like heat and humidity) The Lodge is very comfortable and fits almost perfectly into it's surroundings. Almost like a big flower set down in the middle of the tropical profusion around it. The rooms, or ranchos, are spaced far enough apart for privacy. Ours was the farthest away (Number 7) from the main Lodge and felt like a private slice of heaven in the jungle. Every morning aroung 5:30 the howler monkeys and birds start their wake up call. Then around 6, an angel appears at your door with coffee. This you carry to your balcony where the morning show begins. With the beautiful blue Pacific in the distance, your performers will entertain you until you are ready to get up and start the day. We had so much entertainment each morning that it was truly difficult to tear ourselves from the deck and take a shower. McCaws, which always seem to announce themselves, Toucans, monkeys, butterflies, woodpeckers, hawks, and on and on and on. The ranchos do not have screens, by the way, (they do have mosquito nets for the bed) so we would always do a little morning search before wandering very far from the bed. The worst we ever found was a pretty moth about 7 inches long. Biting insects such as mosquitos were almost nonexistant. I think nature is in such a perfect state of harmony here that they are not an issue as they are in the US. The staff, service and food were all outstanding. There are usually two choices at each meal. ( This is the rain forest, not New York City) and everything we tried was very good. We cannot say enough good things about the wonderful staff here. They were all so friendly and warm that you almost felt like you were on vacation with them. Indeed my husband's "Spanglish" had staff and quests laughing pretty hard a few times. Their masseur, Hemillo, (hope I spelled that right) had enough knowledge and experience to help me with a very bad neck problem. ( I spent too much time looking up at birds I think) The activities that we participated in were outstanding, and others that we didn't do where highly praised by other guests. We had such a wonderful time just enjoying the pool, beach, our own rancho and the lodge area that it truly didn't seem neccessary to do much else. In over 40 years of traveling, without reservation, La Paloma Lodge is one of the most relaxing and enjoyable places that we have ever been.

  • Stayed March 2010, 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.
London
Level Contributor
13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2010

We stayed at La Paloma Lodge at the end of Feb, beginning of March and it was just amazing. The owner, Sue, met us from the boat and made us feel very welcome. Once she found out our luggage had been delayed she quickly found my husband some swim shorts for snorkeling the next day.

Our room was gorgeous - a cabana style with big doors opening out onto a balcony (with hammock) looking over the forest and the sea. It is very humid there, but fans kept the room nice and cool. We ventured down to the beaches below but the undertow was too strong to go in much beyond ankle deep - beautiful though. Just before sunset we were delighted when a Coati wandered past our balcony, swiftly followed by a toucan - our first sight of both so very exciting! Dinner is served 'family style' which I didn't think was much 'my style' but it was actually great to chat to the other guests, all lots of fun. That night we went on the "bug lady" nike tour. It was fascinating - I like bugs but I think it would also be interesting for anyone - even bug-squeamish folk.

We set off to Cano Island the next day. There were only 5 of us all together and the others were diving so my husband and I had a guide (Gustavo, great guy) for snorkeling to ourselves. Don't expect the Great Barrier, but the visibility was ok and we saw White Tip sharks and loads of fish including a school of around a thousand Big-eyed Jacks that were swimming together - it was like watching an underwater ballet, just beautiful! We stopped on the way to watch a Humpback whale with her small calf, very lucky to see. Back at the lodge, my husband had a massage on our balcony which he rated very highly and was only $35.

Early start on day 3 for our day trip to Corcovado. Another wet landing, but this time with extra surf - should have kept my snorkel from yesterday ha ha! The park is just beautiful with the rain forest coming right down onto the beach. We were greeted by half a dozen scarlet Macaws and a RAF squadron of Pelicans - that was it, the six of us from our lodge, our guide and the ranger were the only people there - bliss! I don't have words to describe how beautiful and majestic the rain forest is - we certainly feel very very privileged to have experienced a place like that. Gustavo is a knowledgeable and passionate guide and spotted lots of wildlife for us. After lunch we hiked up to a waterfall past the crocodiles in the river. We witnessed some Jesus Christ lizards walking on water - something I didn't quite manage to replicate in my attempt at the river crossing! By this stage my hiking boots had produced some pretty impressive blisters on my city-girl feet, so I didn't take a dip in the water fall, but everyone else did and said it was nice and refreshing.

We spent 2 1/2 weeks in Costa Rica and in hindsight I think this was my favourite location of our trip - the scenery, wildlife and peace is unbeatable. The staff are friendly and we would recommend La Paloma without hesitation.

  • Stayed February 2010, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Brighton, England
Level Contributor
40 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2010

We stayed at La Paloma lodge and had such a great experience.
The lodge is surrounded by rainforest, and we went on excellent tours into the national park, had great scuba diving, and a fascinating evening hike with the bug lady. We saw so many varieties of birds and animals – it was like being in a David Attenborough show!
We returned to a wonderful room, with glorious views, and whilst I tried to read a book and relax in the hammock - it was difficult because I could not take my eyes off the rainforest and the next amazing creature to walk or fly past our room!
My husband strolled down to the beach to fish, and returned with a chilled wine and beer to watch the sunset.
A real highlight was the fellow guests. To be perfectly honest we were not looking forward to dining family style with strangers, a romantic table for two is far more up our street. However our fellow travellers were so much fun, we swapped stories and pictures, and we have got great ideas for future holidays from our well travelled friends.
A special mention must go to the staff. Andrea who organised everything, Nicole who treated us like royalty, Sue, Tracey, Mike and many more. Everyone was warm, helpful and nothing was to much trouble for them ( including tracking down an adaptor we lost at San Jose airport and getting to the lodge the next day!!).
We were very reluctant to leave and whole heartedly recommend this lodge to you.

  • Stayed March 2010, 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

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 On the Beach Hotel in Drake Bay
#3 Family 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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