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“Overall the best your going to find at Pavones”

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La Ponderosa Beach and Jungle Resort
Ranked #1 of 5 Pavones B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 20, 2012

Overall the best your going to get at Pavones

The cabanas are all hand built by Marshall and Angela the owners who are on property and are very nice people. They are american expats and also speak good English. If you are taking your family and you want to surf than Angela can hook you up with activities. Also they can include food with your stay which will keep you from getting sick and ruining your trip. Overall, they run a very good operation.

The reason I didn't give them all stars is because it was very expensive. We stayed in their largest room and had just about all our meals there and at the end of a 4 day stay we were close to 1500.00 dollars. My wife and I had to laugh because our stay at the Marriott Los Suenos -- full luxury, was less than La Ponderosa. You heard correctly and the reason is in a big part because they are charging 15 dollars a meal for what consists mostly of beans and rice.

We live in Santa Barbara and for 15 dollars a meal we can get pretty much any kind of food we can dream of. I mean really we could be having fine cuts of filet mignon at an expensive restaurant for close to the same amount of beans and rice with a small bit of chicken or whatever. Nevertheless, you are partly paying for the security of not getting sick. Still the price was high for both the room and the food. Not to mention it is about a 20-25 minute walk to Pavones point. You really should get a car and than the stay at La Ponderosa would be much better all around.

The long and short of it is that it is clean, and the owners are really nice, and the compound is safe, Marshall has built everything from hand hewn wood from the land so it is the picture of sustainability. They have air conditioners so that is great. overall I would recommend it to someone going to Pavones but I would tell them they have to rent a car from Golfito because it is a nightmare to walk or ride a bike to the point for a glass off surf.

Also speaking of the point. I was there in 1988 and amazingly not a hell of a lot has changed, other than the fact that the point is more crowded and the wave seems less interesting. I'm sure Pavones has it's days but now there is a little localism coming into the scene taking away the magic of the wave and area. In fact I had to laugh because there is this bald guy in his 40s- or 50s(I won't mention names) who comes from Florida every year and is specifically trying to "teach" the local surfers how to be jerks and localize their spot, jsut so he can be "in with them" and take the pick of the waves. Honestly it's laughable. And of course he can't even surf very good. We should be teaching local kindness... after all it is the surfers who bring in the money to this isolated town.

Back to my review of La Ponderosa. If I were to ever go back to Pavones again I would rent a car and stay at one of the cheaper units at La Ponderosa. That is also what I would recommend to my friends. But with that said, I think the wave is a bit over rated and for the money to get there I would take a surf trip somewhere else. But if you really want to surf the "second longest" wave in the world (supposedly) than stay at La Ponderosa but rent a car because it's way out of town and a far walk from the point. Which has its advantages…as long as you have a car. It is good to be far from the grungy little town(a liquor store, school, restaurant, and a police station. Thats about it.) So it's nice to be far away from that and there are a few scrappy little waves at the end of the road that assuming you have a car you could hit up. Pavones used to be a poor surfers wave, where it took a lot of guts and endurance to get there now it costs money. It's not cheap to do this like it once was.

Room Tip: The best place to stay in Pavones but get a car because it's far from the town and the point. Th...
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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5  Thank Carrie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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47 - 53 of 89 reviews

Reviewed July 22, 2012

This was my second stay in two years and I loved it again! The hotel owners, Angela and Marshall, are very knowledgeable and hospitable. I like the location which is a bit removed from the main part of town. There is a beach right across the road from the property so you can go to sleep with the sounds of the ocean rather than loud partying. My room on the upper level (La Lapa) was very spacious, with A/C and ceiling fans. There is a safe for valuables and also wireless internet if you need to remain connected. The housekeepers keep the rooms very tidy, and the on-site restaurant serves tasty food, a mix of local and American-style, very convenient if you don't feel like going out to eat. But speaking of that, try also the Italian restaurant, La Bruschetta, which is a couple minutes walk down the road. Great pastas, pizzas and steak - everything homemade by a real Italiana. Another plus at La Ponderosa is the beverage fridge in the common area, stocked with water, sodas, beers and wine. Which means cold drinks are never far away, even if you forgot to pick them up at the store. The common area also has a TV, ping-pong table, and plenty of movies, books and magazines. The lighted pool is a great place to relax and cool off in the evening. There are extensive gardens with a wide variety of tropical fruits (the restaurant makes fresh juices from fruit grown on the property) and also walking trails to explore. You may very well see animals like toucans, spider monkeys, sloths, scarlet macaws, coatimundis, a variety of butterflies, and at night, kinkajous. If you're in Pavones to surf you need to be ready for a good walk to the main point, or you'll want to have wheels as I did since I was part of a group on a trip organized by Kristy Murphy's Siren Surf Adventures, which by the way provides excellent surf teaching and coaching. If you don't have your own wheels, the owners at La Ponderosa can help arrange a taxi pick-up or drop-off at Golfito airport. The property is probably not the cheapest place to stay in Pavones but I think it's well worth it. I loved the relaxed atmosphere and will definitely stay there again!

Room Tip: Upper level room called La Lapa is very spacious and has a newly renovated bathroom.
  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank LLyMi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 23, 2012

My Family and I stayed for a week and loved it!! My four year old Emma loved the pool and my one year old loved the hermit crabs on the beach. The owners were great and we will be back as soon as possible. We had a very relaxing trip.

Room Tip: La Lora was a great room
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank deanam4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2012

wow. very positive experience. room choice depends what you want to spend.......the more expensive cabinas are worth it if you have the budget, but el nido where we stayed was a pleasant indoor/outdoor experience - the room itself was small, but we used it sleep (etc:) only, and the separate entrance to the bathroom posed no difficulty at all, and I am VERY picky on this matter. the nido's living room itself is open-air, with a couple chairs and picnic table. we ate dinner frequently at the ponderosa, and angela surprised my marco with the authenticity of her foccacia, her pasta and pizza. dinner gives you a good chance to get to know other guests, and we hit the jackpot in this respect - joe-jim-mike-alex of the 'old guys rule' surfing crowd kept us amazed and in stitches, and the second group - ladies of siren surf adventures - kept us amazed and in stitches. the ponderosa is not close to the point break, but we walked some days, hitchhiked some days (great way to meet locals and american expats), and rented a quad one day....and we received many gracious rides from fellow guests. the pool had flowers falling into it at dusk, and i won't even try to describe how 'NOT AT WORK' i was feeling every sunset in the pool with my Imperial. Angel is sweet - ask questions. and Marshall is a riot. my suggestion? if you like Club Med, do not go to Pavones. It ain't for you. Otherwise, be ready for a very, very laid back experience, rising at 5:30 a.m. and going to bed at 9:00 p.m. p.s. whatever you think you need, bring 50% of that (if it is more than a backpack, it is too much) and 10 times the sunscreen.

Room Tip: i found A/C necessary to sleep..........keep your requirements in this arena in mind - bring wax ear...
  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank lisa m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2012

Just returned from travel to Pavones, Costa Rica with 2 friends. Our accommodations at La Ponderosa were very pleasant and relaxing. Angela & Marshall, the owners, are laid-back but were very helpful with all requests. They arranged for massages, horseback riding, surf lessons, jungle walks, and more. The salt water pool was delightful.

(If traveling from CT, I'd advise against using Liberty Travel, 994 Farmington Ave, West Hartford, CT, as they are not knowledgable or professional.)

Room Tip: For 3 of us, we chose La Lora, with small frig -- worked well for us.
  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank JoAnne B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2012

I just had the best travel experience of my life (so far). Anjela is wonderful and her place is a piece of paradise. The sound of the ocean will cure your insomnia.
Anjela knows all the best things to do in the area. Everything she suggested was totally worth while. She made my friends and me feel like we were completely at home.

Room Tip: The three of us stayed at La Lora.
  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Olechka17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2012

We stayed here for a week and loved it.The rooms are very nice and clean.The food was excellent with good service.They have a nice clean pool to cool off in or you can cross the quiete road / track and you are on the beach.We had a very relaxing time here with some great surf.We would stay here again and would recommend it to anyone else going to pavones.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank ZAQWSX4546
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about La Ponderosa Beach and Jungle Resort

Address: Pavones Beachfront, one mile south of river | PO Box 81-8250, Ciudad Neily, Pavones, Costa Rica (Formerly Cabinas La Ponderosa)
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Pavones
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in Pavones
Price Range: $60 - $125 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
La Ponderosa Beach and Jungle Resort offers beach front accommodations in the pristine Southern Pacific side of Costa Rica. A great place to see wildlife with 14 acres of gardens and jungle with trails to waterfall and ocean view tiki hut. Pure relaxation: with option of all-inclusive meal package or a la carte meals at on-site private restaurant, massage, swimming pool, game room or yoga. Adventure: world class surfing one of the longest waves in the world, horseback riding, jungle tours or great fishing. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Cabinas La Ponderosa Hotel Pavones

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