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“Don't miss this gem of a resort”

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Hotel La Palapa Eco Lodge Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Portalon
Reviewed April 1, 2013

We chose to stay at La Palapa on the south pacific coast for the last week of our 17 nights in Costa Rica to avoid the commercial excess of Manuel Antonio and to just chill out.What a great decision, 20 mins away from Manuel Antonio and yet in its own world in the village of Portalon.
We coudn't have wished for better hosts. Manuel, the owner, is a fanatical gardener and the grounds are a stunning array of exotic planting. As a bonus the place is full of birds, we saw a greater concentration of bird life at La palapa than we had seen anywhere else in Costa Rica, The bungalows are spotlessly clean, spacious, private. and the veranda is a great place to be with a long drink, by day or by evening. The pool quality was perfect and the Portugese fish casserole was excellent. Nothing was too much trouble for Manuel and Christina and their enthusiasm for their envirinment was boundless. Just a short walk up the lane there was a pair of Chestnut-mandibiled Toucans nesting and a little further beyond you can take a dip in the pools and waterfalls of the river while watching Kingfishers.
Really good value, with quality!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Jim_Kathy_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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164 - 170 of 336 reviews

Reviewed March 23, 2013

We finally left one day early although we were fully paid because it was such a negative, hostile and scary experience.

Thankfully we had two wonderful VRBO stays during our recent month-long trip to Costa Rica or La Palapa would have ruined our vacation. At first we were excited because the grounds are beautiful and the pool perfect. But then the owners became very overbearing and insistent on unreasonably controlling the behavior of their guests. The owner screamed at me 3 different times so that every guest on the property could hear.

This property shouldn't be listed on VRBO. It isn't a "villa," it's a bad hotel with bad service. The bungalow kitchens aren’t equipped enough to even make coffee or reheat leftovers. The living room had two twin beds and no comfortable furniture. We invited three couples we met who were also renting bungalows on the property to our living room for happy hour. Although there were only 5 bungalows on the property and the guests in our room represented most of those renters the owners actually showed up at 9:00 p.m. on Saturday night and angrily insisted that we were being rude to the other guests.

The owner repeatedly loudly verbally abused me for asking for something I could make tea in for our rental kitchen and at breakfast in the dining room. Although they had water carafes I was told I couldn’t use one. He screamed that I only wanted to use a kitchen because I was cheap and wanted to cheat the hotel. The owner actually said "you are to only use one tea bag per cup." When I suggested that the "customer is always right" especially since all I wanted for breakfast was hot water he screamed at me "no, not when the hotel is perfect." We asked one day to skip maid service and was told "No. We must go into your room every day."

The dinners were inedible at $20 per person. The owner loudly complained about hating to cook for vegetarians. The wireless only worked in the "restaurant" but you weren't allowed to bring even a bottle of water with you to check your messages. And if there were more than 2 people on the internet already you couldn't get on. When I said I needed to conduct some business the owner informed me that I shouldn't be working while I was there.

We received no notice of these very strict rules. We wouldn't have rented if they had made clear the lack of amenities/privacy as well as the control that the hotel owner expected to exert on his guests.

If you are expecting a low budget hotel this might be an okay place to stay. But we weren't. We were expecting to be able to treat our one bed-room like a little home away from home. Instead it was five days of trying to avoid raising the wrath of the owner.

Room Tip: Don't rent here unless you want to be mistreated and bullied by the owners.
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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10  Thank MarnitaB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mbraganca, Owner at Hotel La Palapa Eco Lodge Resort, responded to this reviewResponded December 5, 2014

People with drinking problems are not welcome to La Palapa.
This is the case of this couple that drunk all day Rum bothering at all times other guests.
Finally they decided o live earlier the resort because I did not tolerate this kind of behavior no longer, and also because other guests press them to live.
The review is based on lies that we are not aware that ever happen on the resort, because the lady threatened and promised that was going to all internet sites to say the worst about La Palapa, and for what we can read the promise was kipped.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 2013

Nice place, But if you require Internet service, It does not work from your room, only from the Pool area which we were told. What we were not told is that the Internet service is extremely poor due to this place is so rural, and you have to try and log on to their service which takes you about 20 attempts, and then all of a sudden you find your disconnected,and this is a major problem,if you require good internet service.Other guests had the same problem,When I asked the owner why it was so bad, he said it was because of electrical surges on his property.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Randy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2013

We stayed two nights at La Palapa. The lodge is beautiful and quiet and the owners are very nice and service-oriented. The pool is amazing. A great place to stay for families. Two nice beaches are only a short drive away. You have easy access to the Manuel Antonio area but can avoid both the crowds and high prices.
Only minus: the cleanliness of the room was acceptable but not as excellent as the rest of our stay.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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Thank slothsrock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2013

We stayed at La Palapa for 4 nights and loved our stay and our wonderful hosts. The location was perfect for us, very removed from the resort and tourist areas but only a short drive to amazing beaches, towns, and resturants. We had a car which I think is key to enjoying the area to the fullest. La Palapa is beautiful and the private bungalows were more than we hoped for. We had a large private patio where we enjoyed cocktails with local fruit daily. Breakfast is included and dinners are available nightly. The dinners were amazing and we ended up eating their most evenings as the food was delicious! The grounds are filled with flowers, birds, wildlife and a few noisy roosters (helped us get up early every morning and enjoy the day..). Cristina was amazing booked all our tours and provided us with much information before and during our staff. I really can't say enough about how lovely our stay was here. This is truly getaway experience. We will be back!

Room Tip: The bunglows are amazing, some have more private patios ask to have a patio that faces the gardens.
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank sdavis_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 13, 2013

The pool is the perfect temperature. The bungalow is the perfect size and comfort. The gardens are the perfect lush. The breakfast is the perfect "typical". The hosts are the perfect hosts. The weather and surrounding areas are amazingly perfect. The location to beaches and swimming holes is perfect. Our stay in La Palapa was relaxing to the max, and a great vantage point to the attractions in the Manuel Antonio area.

Room Tip: All bungalows are well situated. We were directly in front of the swimming pool and still private.
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank CindyP190
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2013

If you're looking to get AWAY from the crowds but still within 20 minutes of all the excitement, this is your place! First: you should really have a car to stay here. Of course you can take public transit and taxis, but the whole point of staying a little "off the path" is that you have completely private beaches and access to locations where you will not find tourists. Our stay was lovely. The rooms are very spacious, tons of birds around the garden/property, very nice hosts, and good food. WiFi was available in the bar/dining area, but not in the rooms (which was nice). Everything was clean. We had a great time.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank courtwshr1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel La Palapa Eco Lodge Resort

Address: Meters From Main Road 800 | Manuel Antonio - Quepos - Puntarenas, Portalon 60602, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Portalon
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Portalon
Price Range: $44 - $173 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel La Palapa Eco Lodge Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel La Palapa EcoLodge Resort, that is called by the clients ¨THE LOST PARADISE¨, has a policy of practicing always the best and lowest prices of all region, and is located outside of the town of Portalon, offering an incredible wildlife variety of fauna and flora, that makes a perfect place and the paradise for passionate wildlife lovers. Served in its open-air restaurant, La Palapa offers a traditional Costa Rican breakfast, including fresh fruit and local dishes such as Gallo Pinto. Meat, fish, rice and bean dishes are on offer for lunch and dinner, and are prepared using produce grown on a local organic farm. The property also offers excellent powerful free WiFi. Our airy bungalows are painted with warm colors and decorated with unique original objects imported from North Africa, to create a very warm and special atmosphere. All are non-smoking, have very comfortable beds, ceiling fans, private terrace with bamboo table and chairs, cool tiled floors, private bathroom with hot shower, large furnished living room with an extra bed, fitted kitchen with refrigerator and screened windows that let in gentle breezes and melodic sounds from the jungle as you fall asleep. The most beautiful beaches of all Central America are inside the Manuel Antonio National Park, and the famous beaches of Matapalo with a sea Turtle Refuge Centre, Playa Linda, and Dominical are very near the resort. The La Palapa Resort is away from the confusion of tourist centers of the region but near everything and is considered one of the most beautiful and well-kept in Manuel Antonio - Quepos - Matapalo - Dominical and Uvita area, surrounded by unique tropical gardens with a Swimming-Pool with a large collection of rare plants, located in a virgin Tropical Rainforest, with 149 acres (60.5 Hectares) of land with a private waterfall only for the clients of the resort. This property also has always the best-rates compared with other locations in Manuel Antonio – Quepos – Dominical and Portalon area! Guests are happier about it compared to other properties in the area. This property is also rated for the best value in Manuel Antonio – Quepos – Dominical and Portalon area! Guests are getting more for their money when compared to other properties of the region. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel La Palapa Eco Lodge Resort Costa Rica/Portalon

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