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“A Great Find” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Cabinas El Mirador Lodge

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Cabinas El Mirador Lodge
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Bahia Drake, Drake Bay 79-8150, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #7 of 13 Drake Bay B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Loveland, Colorado
1 review
“A Great Find”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2013

We spent a few days simply driving around Costa Rica and seeing the sights/animals at our own pace. On the road towards Puerto Jiminez so we can get into Corcovado we happened by Cabinas El Mirador. What a great place! The cabins sit on a ridge top providing great views of the rain forest and are nice, clean, and very relaxing. Great food & full bar in the restraunt. Food was reasonably priced and eating outside provided great views of the rain forest & animals/birds. We saw our first toucans while sitting outside our cabin in the morning. We stayed only a single night but would love to return. One of the best places we stayed while in Costa Rica.

Room Tip: We stayed in cabin 3. All cabins have good views from what we saw.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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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95 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (11)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Gatineau, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2013

My boyfriend and I stayed at this lodge for 5 nights and it was by far our favorite place in Costa Rica for many reasons: the view from our lodge was beautiful and we got to see many animals at that very spot (toucans, monkeys etc), the family is so nice and go out of their way to give great service, the tours are amazing and the guides were very good, the 3 meals served (included in the price) are delicious and very filling and they even made me vegetarian food. If you decide to go on a personal day trip they even suggest to pack you a lunch! As the lodges are built out of wood it is normal to have some insects in your cabin especially at night if you leave the lights on. would not even think of staying any where else if I go back to Drake Bay! Thank you for the great service!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2013

We spent 4 nights at Cabinas El Mirador in April before heading to Corcovado from Puerto Jimenez.

We arrived after a slightly hairy trip by boat from Sierpe (extra high tide so the waves were much bigger than 'normal'). after the beach landing we were met by someone to help with the bags and Michael was on the road with a quad-bike to take it up to the cabin. As the price was per person (plenty of home cooked food included) we were able to spread out into 2 cabins. We had the top cabin in a group of three about part way up the hill. Our room slept 6 and had great views of the bay. The kids had one underneath with their own bathroom. Our balcony was a great place to watch the birds in the early morning.

Many comments have been made about the insects and the steepness of the hill - yes there are insects - we saw very few mosquitoes, the biggest issues are the sand flies and you have those all up the Pacific coast - so use insect repellent! The hill is steep but short, I wouldn't recommend it for people with strollers or prams, or if you are super unfit but its hardly a show stopper.

Michael is certainly off the wall but he is funny and his humour is very European (by that I mean he understands and can deliver perfect sarcasm with the best of us!). He couldn't do enough to help us. The boat trip in was organised for us and he even drove us to Puerto Jimenez at the end of the trip!.

The rooms are clean and serviced daily. The food is simple and filling - certainly not Costa Rican in terms of what we have seen here but nice nonetheless. There is a water filter for you to refill you bottles but if you have a sensitive stomach as I do I would recommend buying bottled water. The shower is cold but manageable. As everything is open to the elements (mosquito nets not glass) expect your clothes to get a bit damp.

Michael organised a night tour with Tracie the Bug Lady and a trip to Isla Cano for snorkelling for us. The latter was worth the trip - we saw quite a lot including Eagle Rays and a shark. The divers saw Manta Rays. If you like frogs, a quick walk around the property and night with provide you with lots of opportunities to photograph them.

I would definitely stay here again if I every come back to Drake Bay.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Kidderminster, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2013

First off, Michael is slightly crazy but in a good way and couldn't be more helpful. You get used to meals being at 6:41 :)
We stayed three nights at the end of our holiday and it was a perfect end. All meals are included, we arrived just after lunch and were made a sandwich, and on our last day we cheekily asked for a sandwich for the road and were each given an enormous picnic! Meals at the lodge all come with great juices. The food is nothing fancy, just homemade, Costa Rican and tasy. Everyone sits together in the evening to eat, when we stayed there were older and younger couples and friends from Costa Rica, Italy, Canada, Russia, Israel, England, Austria, Germany and France - quite a mix! But with only 12 people at a time it's very friendly.

The lodge is on a steep bank but so close to the beach that it's literally just a stumble to the sea. Also def worth watching the sunset from the lookout. Loads of wildlife up here too - it's very hot before the sunsets!

We took the tour to Corcovardo which was brilliant - def recommend. The only time we took a guide at any of the forests but it was worth it - only way to do the park in our timeframe but worth it just for the boat ride.

Cabins are basic but light, airy and cleaned daily. We even had a cold shower just outside which (although I can't really imagine it now sitting in England) was a God-send!

Room Tip: We were in cabin 9 which is slightly further down the hill - up hill to breakfast but more secluded...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Lucerne, Switzerland
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

First of all, forget about the worrying bad reviews. This is the place to go in Drake Bay for the best value. On the first look, 46$ per person appears to be pricy, but its not. It includes 3 very good meals which are worth at least 35$ (in Drake Bay). Yes, you can stay in Drake village for 15$, but really, the location and view of El Mirador (means lookout) is 5 star resort like.

ROOM:
I havent seen all the rooms, but its true, most are bunk to bunk which makes it semi-private. We were fortunate enough to get the solitary bungalow which really was private, spacious, bright and with a nice balcony to peer into the bay. There are no windows, only mozzie nets and curtains, but you'll very appreciate it when the evening breeze cools you down a bit. There were surprisingly few insects in the room, although its not possible to keep them 100% out (its surrounded by forrest, so i dont see why travellers complain about bugs). The bed was comfortable and the room cleaned daily.

LOCATION:
Its about 7 minutes to walk uphill, just next to the village. Since the village is not pretty, you wont feel that its remote. If you add 4 minutes going uphill, you'll reach the lookout platform. From there you overlook the hotel and bay, you can chill in a hammock, spot the colorful birds nearby and eventually gaze at the sunset.

FOOD:
For breakfast they served us fresh fruits, scrambled egg with everything in it, coffe/tea, milk and juice. In general, meals are very healthy and a good mix between local food (rice'n'beans) and light western food. If you go on a trip, what we mosly did, they prepare a lunchbox to take away. Dinner always was a 3 course meal: Homemade soup, tasty main mostly with salad, little desert. All in all, we loved the food and enjoyned to be in company with the other guests. Dont expect a private candlelight dinner, it feels more family-like.

Even though my review sounds like an advertisement, there was not a single bad thing about El Mirador. Its a simple accomodation with 3 tasty and healthy meals included in the reasonable price. You wont find hotel in this pricerange that offers you a comparable view. I also found the staff very helpful and friendly. They also offer trips for the same price like everywhere in the village, even dives were the same price like offered in the dive shop. TIP: if you want to go into corcovado, there are much better and cheaper options from Puerto Jimenez. In every case, you'll overpay it heading from Drake Bay (where everything is more expensive).

Room Tip: ask for the seperate bungalow
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
indiana
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

Have been visiting here every year since 2005, and seen all the changes. The view is the best, the homemade meals are always tasty and healthy, with vegetarian options, and the tours are excellent, with knowledgeable and fun guides. The surf lulling you to sleep at night, the macaws and parakeets waking you at dawn with their flyovers, and all the outgoing friendly down to earth people you meet at breakfast and dinner while you compare notes on sights and experiences keeps me coming back again and again. I have hiked to waterfalls with local friends, and even helped press sugar cane by old fashioned labor up at El MIrador's organic garden. Rooms are simple and very clean, and all cabins have electricity and floor fans. One cabin being remodeled on my recent trip will even have aircon. Be forewarned, it is a rather steep hike up to the lodge- but well worth the sweat.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Liberia
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

We stayed here for the first part of our honeymoon and could not have been happier! The room was simple, but clean and beautiful. It had an AMAZING view of the ocean... so nice to go to sleep with the sound of the waves and watch the sun rise and set from the balcony. The food was EXCELLENT. Meals are served with cold water and delicious natural fruit juice, and there's coffee and tea all day. We booked a package with tours, which we scheduled once we got there... all those were great, too. The owner is super nice and bilingual. If we're ever in Drake again, we would gladly return!

  • Stayed January 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cabinas El Mirador Lodge

Address: Bahia Drake, Drake Bay 79-8150, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Drake Bay
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 13 B&Bs / Inns in Drake Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Cabinas El Mirador Lodge has one of the most spectacular views in the Osa Peninsula. Spend the day hiking in Corcovado National Park, snorkeling on Cano Island or relaxing in a hammock watching the sunset over the pristine waters of Drake Bay. Our rustic installations is located 80 m above sea level, and the hotel has 3 hectares of land with 200 m of beach front in Drake Bay with an amazing view of the Pacific ocean. The bay has beautiful beaches and tropical forests as well as the flora and fauna that is characteristic of the Corcovado National Park. We offer the best value in Drake Bay! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Cabinas El Mirador Hotel Drake Bay
Cabinas El Mirador Lodge Costa Rica/Drake Bay

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