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“a taste of eden...”

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Hotel La Palapa Eco Lodge Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Portalon
Reviewed April 8, 2013

Seriously...book today! This was my favorite place of my 10 day journey that included four hotels....I did not want to leave this place and often thought of the beautiful gardens, natural beauty, various animals, tasty food and yummy wine, proximity to a great beach and chill vibe while at other places...I felt welcomed, well taken care of and very safe and the grounds and feel of the place allow one to melt into the real PURA VIDA reality with ease...breakfast is delish, the pool was the perfect temp, i always found an internet connection when i needed it and the sense of community that the owners naturally create is refreshing...My favorite part was waking up to birds and other animals doing their thing....oh...I miss this as I hear the traffic in SF....again...book today

Room Tip: I really enjoyed the room we had...my friend got the big bed...but I appreciated the room in the fro...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank julesmarie23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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160 - 166 of 336 reviews

Reviewed April 7, 2013

Our family of four made La Palapa our home base for a week of eco adventures and exploring the Central Pacific coast of Costa Rica. What a spectacular setting, on the edge of the rainforest, packed with wildlife (and some farm life) that enthralled both kids and adults. The birder among us got up before first light and explored the grounds and beyond to see over 100 species of birds. The kids and lazier adult were happy with the grounds, short hikes to a waterfall and relaxing in the lovely pool at La Palapa.

We used our rental car to visit two post-card perfect undeveloped beaches within 3 km of La Palapa, and to take advantage of the tours and adventures that Christina helped us to find and to book...There were many from which to choose, and she helped us pick the ones that fulfilled each of our dreams of perfection.

Christina and Manuel are the fabulous hosts, making us feel welcome, helping us to find what we came for (whether nature, relaxing or an adventure) and we enjoyed every minute on the beautiful La Palapa property.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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Thank MADKapMA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 5, 2013

This beautiful resort is the perfect place for a low-key family vacation. We were surrounded by nature, including toucans in the trees and a sloth in the parking lot, but treated to delicious food and expert advice. The grounds are lovely. Christina and Manuel do everything they can to make you feel at home and help you see the area with the best guides. Our kids enjoyed socializing with others from Europe, South America and other parts of the US.The local beaches are peaceful and clean, with super-warm water and exciting afternoon waves. Manuel Antonio is a short drive away but i was glad to get away from the hustle and back to the peace of la Palapa. Dominical, a ten minute drive, is a nice little beach town with surfing and a good range of restaurants. A rental car is a must for exploring the area but navigating around is easy. Don't expect TV or air-conditioning- this is a very natural, quiet place.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Jennifer H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 4, 2013

Start with a sloth sighting right on arrival (like he was waiting!), a lovely pathway to a charming palapa with tables for dinner, and a beautiful inviting pool! This is how to start our adventure on the central Pacific coast of Costa Rica.

Christina and Manuel were lovely hosts. After showing us our private casita through a well manicured trail, we were surprised that we had a private veranda overlooking to we manicured grounds.

Its unbelievable the amount of love, sweat and care that Manuel and his crew must have put into this jungle setting in the last year. It is really beautiful.

The palapa was clean, nicely furnished and well appointed. A short stroll lead us to dinner under the palapa for a lovely chicken casado typical costa rican dish.

At night, I went out and found frogs, sloth, leaf cutter ants and heard birds. The birds also act as an alarm clock in the morning in a relaxing way.

Breakfast was buffet style and included. Other guests were there as well and it was great to discuss what they did the day before and exchange tips. Christina and Manuel were great to help up arrange a couple of trips that we would have otherwise missed. Nayauca Falls and a Mangrove tour.

If you need to catch up on email, the wireless in the main palapa area worked well for my iphone and ipad. It would drop if many people were using it, however this has been my experience in many other locales.

Fruit juices as well as adult beverages were available for a reasonable cost. ( I only had beer, but think they have fruity drinks and wine, however it's more of a laid back eco tour type environment, rather than a 'party at the resort' kind of place. If you looking for loud music and people partying, this wouldn't be your place. If you want relaxation and a quiet secure, safe and fun jungle adventure, this is it!!

We will definately return to this piece of paradise in Costa Rica! Thank you Christina and Manuel for a lovely, memorable, relaxing stay at La Palapa Eco Resort!

Room Tip: We had casita 8 and loved it, just a little way from pool and palapa, but all rooms seem really nice...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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Thank mpn7330
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
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.
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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 - $141 (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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