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“What a Great Place!”
Review of La Paloma Lodge

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La Paloma Lodge
Ranked #3 of 8 Hotels in Drake Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Fairfax, Virginia
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“What a Great Place!”
Reviewed May 21, 2013 via mobile

We had a terrific time at La Paloma. The owner, manager, and staff went out of their way to make us feel welcome, quickly learning our names and interests. The guides really know their stuff and couldn't have been nicer. We went scuba diving with Giant Mantas and sharks, saw tapirs, coatis, sloths, four monkey species and more on our hikes to San Pedrillo and La Sirena stations in Corcovado Park, and also enjoyed the mangrove boat tour and the night hike with Gian and Tracie, the "Bug Lady". We logged over 85 bird species during the week. The weather was hot at the end of March but the ceiling fans in our deluxe rancho made for comfortable sleeping even without air conditioning. The food was varied and quite tasty. The only problem was that the week ended too quickly. We'd happily go back again.

Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank David R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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479 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (126)
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English first
London, Ontario CAN
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 2, 2013

We stayed at La Paloma for a week in April. After researching various eco-lodges in the Osa Penninsula, we chose La Paloma based on the many good reviews. We were not disappointed- we highly recommend this lodge to anyone looking for the accommodations and lovely surroundings of an all-inclusive resort packaged in a small lodge setting. The Corcovado Park tour, Cano Island snorkeling, Mangrove tour, Night Bug tour, horseback riding, kayaking and hiking trails offer small group experiences with the diverse wildlife and plants in the area. Unfortunately the terrain would be a challenge for anyone with mobility issues. The staff was great - Jessica, Tibs, Alex, Abraham and Jamaica always greet you by your first name and stop to chat or ask about your day. Walter was a super guide on the Corcovado and Mangrove tours. The room choices are unique, well-designed and well-maintained, The standard rooms are close to the lodge but with the lush vegetation surrounding the building, the rooms feel secluded and private. Rancho #1 was beautiful - the view excellent! We were entertained by a troop of capuchin monkeys outside our room and a shy coati who each morning descended from the tree by our deck. The family style seating at dinner is a great way to meet and mingle with other guests at the end of the day. The food was fresh, delicious and well-presented with just the right sized portions. No typical buffets, heat lamps and warming trays here! La Paloma is an idyllic, memorable spot and we would love to return there in the future.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank dandl972
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 29, 2013

Where else can stand in your shower and see a monkey hanging from the eaves seven feet away from you? This was my second visit to La Paloma Lodge and it was everything I remembered it to be.

Lush, humid and hot, but oh-so beautiful. The staff was amazing, the food delicious, the walk to the beach lovely, the sounds of the birds soothing, etc. There's just so much to like about it.

I recommend the mangrove tour in a big way. Nowhere else will you experience the vastness of wildlife and bio-education.

The lasting memories from this trip will center around the fun conversations we had with the other guests. Each night we'd gather for drinks and apps before the family-style dinner, and the chemistry among the group was great. I think we got lucky -- there was a nice mix of late-30s to early-50s-aged couples and their 8 to 16 year old kids. The kids would circle up and play cards from the time they returned from excursions until dinner was served, and then they'd request a kids-only table.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank SeattleLoni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Omaha
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed April 20, 2013

My husband and I spent a week at La Paloma in October 2011 and loved it! While it wasn't exactly the beach vacation I was hoping for, it was certainly an adventure. One thing that amazed me most was how much luxury that the staff could provide that far off the beaten path.

Overall, the resort is fairly quiet as many people are either out adventuring during the day then just plain tired at night. I would definitely recommend the Bug Lady walk at night as well as a stroll up the beach path. Gustavo was our guide for most of the other excursions and he was fantastic as well.

It pretty much rained the entire time we were there, but once you get used to being wet, it's not really a big deal. I would certainly recommend ponchos and flashlights - they are a must!

Things to know:
- The location is REMOTE
- There really isn't any nightlife to speak of here
- It is so humid that your clothes will not dry on their own, but they have a dry room that you can use for free
- If you're like me, you can expect to wake up around 5:45 or 6 every morning - they pretty much operate on when the sun is up. However, everyone goes to bed by around 9, so it's not a big deal

Room Tip: Stay in one of the cabins if you can - the dawn breaking over the ocean is wonderful to wake up to.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank misskate125
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Paul, MN
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed April 20, 2013

My husband and I have been to La Paloma five times in the past ten years, which pretty much sums up how we feel about the place. It's hard to imagine returning to Costa Rica without including La Paloma. We've come to know some of the guides, especially Randall, quite well and appreciate the effort they make to show us what is special about the Osa. Although Nichole, the former manager, has left and we miss her, Jess is just as warm and welcoming and just as knowledgable, so the change has not made a difference in how La Paloma functions. We have stayed in sunset ranchos, which are spacious and open to the breezes. The food has always been fresh and plentiful and that has not changed, either. We enjoy the quiet atmosphere and focus on nature. If you are looking for night life - beyond insects, bats, and the odd ocelot - La Paloma is probably not the place for you.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank XuxaL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 17, 2013

The location, the rooms, the staff, the food, the activities and facilities -- all perfect. The most attentive staff I have ever come across. How many places do you go where you hug the manager and the owner upon leaving? This is a very special place to which my family and I will be returning.

Room Tip: Every room has a great view, but spend a little extra for a "rancho"
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank rpeyster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 6 Contributor
146 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
Reviewed April 15, 2013

We really enjoyed our 4 nights here. Staff, guides, lodge Manager, all interesting, professional and nice people. Lodge is very clean, and the grounds are beautiful.
We stayed in 1 of 3 smaller units. The room is lovely, but the lighting is terrible. This is not due to lack of electricity, but old, inadequate lighting fixtures. The showers are big, open to the outside with a huge windows. Unfortunately, the tile and grout are worn out, which after a day doesn't bother you as you can't see as the lighting is so bad. Dinner is served family style, which I thought was fun, and I actually lost some weight with the smaller portions. A good thing I guess.

Also, all the day trips leave at 6-7am, very early to avoid the heat. We thought the nature viewing was nice, but not spectacular. Also, we booked a day fishing trip with another couple, which turned out to be a disaster, too long a story to add.
We liked the Lodge, but for the $$ we spent and the time spent to get there, I can't say we would go back. I have read a couple recent reviews listing the negatives and i would agree with them. The staff is the main draw here IMO.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank UpperWS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about La Paloma Lodge

Property: La Paloma Lodge
Address: Drake Bay, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Drake Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Drake Bay
#3 Family Hotel in Drake Bay
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Drake Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — La Paloma Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We have outstanding views of Drake Bay and the Pacific Ocean from our Lodge. Our standard rooms are large and include a private bath and an ocean view balcony. Our ranchos are one and two-story private cabins that also offer balconies with stunning ocean views. They hold up to 6 people and are very spacious. Some are equipped with a bathroom on both the upper and lower level, and are suitable for families or two couples traveling together. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
La Paloma Hotel Drake Bay
La Paloma Drake Bay
La Paloma Lodge Costa Rica/Drake Bay

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