Despite the owner ripping me off, a leaky roof and fire ants in my bed, I had a wonderful trip. Miraflores has a casual tropical ambiance, the food is good, and the people who work there are lovely. I enjoyed my second-story bedroom in the attractive upstairs lodge (the downstairs budget rooms are dark and damp), going to the beach and meeting interesting people. However, being a month-long guest one sees things that short-term guests often don’t see or choose to ignore. Unfortunately, the owner Pamela Carpenter has serious ethical issues regarding money and being honest. She runs Miraflores like it’s her private fiefdom—or thiefdom. During my stay, a long-time staff person, two other guests, and several locals stated that Pamela isn’t straight in the way she charges people. Beware—there’s a reason there are no rates, and no refund policies, posted on her website or at Miraflores Lodge.
Upon booking my stay, Pamela asked for a “deposit” when she meant full payment. The first 2 weeks of my stay, it rained constantly and the roof in my (prepaid) room leaked everywhere except the bed. There were 3 large puddles on the floor in my room! Pamela (deceptively) acted like the rain was coming in the windows, when actually the roof leaked. After two weeks of rain and leaks, Pamela replaced the roof. This resulted in my not being able to use my room or the lodge for 3 days. Pamela’s TV was frequently on from midnight to dawn which prevented me from sleeping 4 nights. Another night fire ants in my bed were stinging me so badly, I had to go to another bedroom to sleep.
When I mentioned these inconveniences in the expectation of some acknowledgement of my being inconvenienced, Pamela overcharged me on my food bill! Because she told me she’d give me some free meals in exchange for working in her cafe, I worked 10 hours—bailing her out several times when no one else was there to wait tables. She’d also told me she would pay the 10% service charge because I was on a “meal plan” and eating in the café almost daily. My last night there, I was shocked to find that I had been overcharged on my food bill—with no free meals on it, and with the service charge added! When I reminded her of her agreement to give me some free meals in exchange for working in her cafe, and to not charge me the 10% service fee, she responded (twice!) with an imperial “So?” When I replied that she couldn’t change our agreement at the last minute, she shouted at me “Yes, I can!” She then rounded up my bill and charged the rounded up amount to my credit card! Needless to say, I was shocked, appalled and angered at her using me for free labor. Her behavior is mind-boggling unethical and illegal!
Pamela’s personal boundary/control issues also result in unprofessional treatment of her paying guests. She frequently snaps at guests—usually individuals, not couples or groups. On my 4th day there, after 3 days of rain—when I was the only guest in the lodge—Pamela snapped “You should have only one towel on the towel rack at a time! You’re taking over! That’s why I wanted to put you in the apartment, so you’d be contained!” (As it’d been raining torrentially for 3 days, it was impossible for anything to dry on the out-door towel rack.)
If you’re with a partner or a group and she’s racking up your bill, or if you’re drinking with her and listening to her talk, Pamela can turn on the charm. My advice: stay away from Miraflores! There are plenty of other places to stay Playa Chiquita. You don’t have to stay in a place run by a deceitful, unscrupulous owner.
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com and Priceline so you can book your Miraflores Lodge reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Miraflores Lodge Costa Rica/Limon