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“fabulous wilderness adventure” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of La Paloma Lodge

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La Paloma Lodge
Ranked #3 of 8 Hotels in Drake Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Barrington, Rhode Island
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“fabulous wilderness adventure”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 22, 2014

I have never written a review before, altho i refer to the comments always when travelling. Having done numerous family trips, this definitely rates as one of the best for a combination of adventure, wildlife and comfort. Just wish it was not such a long trip to get there. Everything was top notch and we will definitely be back - and may even do an overnight hike next time. Just wish we had had more time to actually relax (our choice - so many things to do) recommend at least 3 full days - but next time this will be our only stop for a week to combine both the wildlife opportunities with some down time.

Room Tip: We had room 1 - fabulous views - lots of birdlife between 1 and 2
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank 4sights
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La_Paloma_Lodge, Manager at La Paloma Lodge, responded to this review, April 2, 2014
We're so glad that you found us to be the right balance between adventure, wildlife and comfort. It is the combination that we aim to achieve here at La Paloma Lodge.

We look forward to your next week long visit and to trying some new vegan recipes!

Jess
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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455 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (117)
Date | Rating
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English first
Denver, CO
Level Contributor
20 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 17, 2014

We had a great time in Drake Bay. The Corcovado National Park was inspiring. We saw more exotic animals there than we have seen anywhere including sloths, howlers, spider monkeys, etc. our guide, Randall, was very knowledgeable (Ohio State Graduate). The snorkeling at Cano Island was good for fish, but does not have the diversity of coral formations that you can find in the Caribbean. The Lodge staff was wonderful. We were glad that we had reserved a room with air conditioning since we are not used to humid weather. Food was very good.

Room Tip: A/C helps a lot
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank StephenJBop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La_Paloma_Lodge, Manager at La Paloma Lodge, responded to this review, April 1, 2014
Hi Stephen,

We're glad you enjoyed the diversity that surrounds La Paloma Lodge. We hope to see you again!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle
Level Contributor
18 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 13, 2014

I have traveled all over the world and stayed at many wonderful places, but this is one of the top 5. This is truly an amazing lodge in an amazing place run by amazing people. Jess has to be one of the most welcoming hosts ever and she's clearly hired the most interesting and unique staff. From the minute we arrived, we were welcomed with a delicious lunch and beautiful views from the dining room. Meals are family style so you really get to know the people and the staff and all the food is wonderful and plentiful. The rooms are beautiful with views of the lush tropical forest and the ocean. The beds are super comfortable too! The tours and guides are some of the best I've ever taken. The snorkeling was really great and an added bonus was the lovely lunch served on one of the most pristine beaches. We loved swimming before and after lunch in the warm ocean and seeing lots of monkeys and macaws on our stroll around the lunch spot. The next day was equally as amazing. We saw so much wildlife on our walk through the Corcovado National Park and our guide was skilled at setting his scope so we got a perfect view of the wildlife. I'll never forget the smile on the sloth's face as her baby snuggled up to her. And that night we went out with the "Bug Lady" and saw the most amazing things! This is such a special place that you must put it on your bucket list or you will be missing out on one of life's greatest experiences!

Room Tip: All the rooms are great. You can't go wrong!
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Cathryn B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La_Paloma_Lodge, Manager at La Paloma Lodge, responded to this review, April 1, 2014
Dear Cathryn,

Thanks for your comments with regards to your stay with us here at La Paloma Lodge. It was truly a pleasure to meet you both (and hear another Scottish song).

The sloth is still making an appearance from time to time and hopefully will do so again when you return to visit us!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
168 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 9, 2014

My husband and I just returned from 5 nights at La Paloma Lodge. We had a wonderful time with some wonderful people. Our decision was made by what I had read on TripAdvisor, so I thought it would be good to add some additional thoughts perhaps not covered by others.

As you may know, La Paloma Lodge is very isolated (you take a boat to get to it after landing in a small plane and then taking a car). So, all your meals are included and eaten there. The food was outstanding! (I had been a little worried about this.) Also, eating dinner at night "communal style" was so enjoyable and truly enriched the experience. Initially, we were curious about how well this would work. In fact, as there are visitors from throughout the world at any given time, very interesting conversations occur. And, as it's a smallish lodge, over the days one gets to know almost everyone, at least in passing. This added an extra dimension to our trip. You can be as public or private as you like.

We stayed in a rancho which is a 2-story amazing villa overlooking the Pacific Ocean but nestled in the jungle. There's no describing this level of luxury and relaxation. This is definitely "getting away from it all" at its finest. A rancho can sleep a family, I believe, though there were only 2 of us.

The staff were incredibly accommodating and took care of anything and everything we needed. I can't say enough about the staff and the incredibly knowledgeable guides.

Room Tip: Ranchos do not have a/c, so if you want that, choose a room instead.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jpjpjpjpj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La_Paloma_Lodge, Manager at La Paloma Lodge, responded to this review, April 1, 2014
Thank you so much for your kind review of La Paloma Lodge.

We do our best to create a comfortable 'Garden of Eden' in which to enjoy all of the natural treasures that there are to enjoy here in the Osa Peninsula!

We hope to see you again sometime!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lemont, Illinois
Level Contributor
76 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 5, 2014

Getting here was a bit of an adventure itself. The hike up the hill from the boat dock was somewhat intense, perhaps because we were not expecting it. Staff did make golf carts available in subsequent trips and a few of us did take advantage of those. Also, there is another hike at the opposite end to get to the beach. The beach is fine for swimming and boogie boarding, but not so much for snorkeling. They do offer a nice half day snorkeling trip to Cano Island. Other than the two hikes, I thoroughly enjoyed La Paloma.

It does have 4 air conditioned units, all tied together and close to the main eating area. The a.c. rooms are incredibly spacious with large bathrooms, and include a deck with a hammock.

For the purists, most of the rooms are "open air", which simply makes for truly experiencing the jungle! No t.v. in any of the rooms or even main eating area; wi-fi at the main eating area.

I thought the food was really good and servings were more than adequate. They have fresh snacks every afternoon when you get back from any side trips you may arrange. Plenty of fresh fruit in the mornings.

I particularly liked simply sitting back and doing a fair bit of bird watching from the deck of the main eating area. They have minimized encroachment into the jungle and as such the wildlife is "right there". Plenty of birds and mammals to see without even leaving the lodge!

By all means take the night walk with Tracy (aka "the bug lady") and her husband John, more on that under attractions.

Staff and guides were all incredibly nice. Somehow they caught wind it was my birthday and they prepared a delicious birthday cake, which was a big success!! Staff that saw me bird watching were quick to help out and take me around to areas where some of the neater birds (toucans in particular) were common.

Can't really address "value" as this was part of a prepaid package, so I'm not really sure what the cost to us was on a per night basis. However, looking at prices on their website, I'd say it's a good deal IF you want to really experience the jungle.

Take advantage of the side trips to Corcorvado National Park as well as Cano Island.

I highly recommend La Paloma and would go back.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank heron48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La_Paloma_Lodge, Manager at La Paloma Lodge, responded to this review, April 1, 2014
Thank you for your review as well as the beautiful pictures you posted of your stay with us at La Paloma Lodge.

It was a pleasure to share your birthday with you (and birthday cake) and we hope to see you again in the future!

Jess
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Honolulu, Hawaii
Level Contributor
77 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 28, 2014

First, you board a small boat at a muddy beach. Next, you take a short ride into a canal that reminded me of something out of "Apocalypse Now". Then, you take a 1/4 mile hike up a fairly steep grade. Finally, you're at the lodge. I report all this, not to berate the lodge, but to allay any fears one might have initially.

We had one of the 4 air conditioned rooms. It was VERY NICE, and the air conditioning made sleeping easier. I would recommend it. The other rooms are NOT air conditioned, and don't even have screens on any windows. Great if you enjoy the insect life up close and personal, at potentially all hours of the day and night. The one day, the maid left our windows opened, we found a HUGE spider in the bathroom. Also, you are warned not to leave food and small items out, as monkeys will enter the rooms and take it. That, said, WE ENCOUNTERED VERY FEW BITING INSECTS. I did not have to use any repellent during our stay.

The beach is picturesque but not good for snorkeling or surfing.

Food was good and quantity was enough.

Staff were all very friendly and sincere.

Wi-Fi at the pool, and dining area, but not in the rooms. No TV. No gym.

All and all, a very good experience. It does seem to be on the pricey side, and having not stayed anywhere else, I can't say it's a good value.

If you can afford it, it's safe bet for a good time.

Thank you everyone at La Paloma Lodge for making our vacation great.

Room Tip: Get an air conditioned room.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank oahusquid x
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La_Paloma_Lodge, Manager at La Paloma Lodge, responded to this review, April 1, 2014
Thank you for your review of La Paloma Lodge.

The adventurous arrival for many is all part of the jungle adventure. We are aware that the hill, especially upon arrival can be a little daunting, and to that end we always make the golf cart available.

I'm glad that you enjoyed your stay with us and hope that you continued to enjoy the rest of your trip in Costa Rica. We hope to see you here in Drake Bay, again sometime!

Jess
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paradise, California
Level Contributor
19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 24, 2014

My husband, teen-aged son, and I stayed at La Paloma Lodge in 2006 and had a magical experience. This year my husband and I had the opportunity to return and I was worried that my previous experience had become so overblown in my mind that I would be disappointed on the return visit. Not so! La Paloma is every bit as wonderful as I remembered it. The staff is great, the rooms are simple but beautiful, the naturalists are incomparable (Randall and Walter in particular) and in my view La Paloma has hit the perfect balance of providing comfort while introducing patrons to the natural world. If the possibility of having an interesting bug fly into your room at night sends shivers down your spine, this is not the place for you. If you're more interested in the wine list than the toucans just off the dining room, than this is also not the place for you. Go to a Marriott Hotel and spare everyone your complaints. If however, you want unobstructed views, howler monkeys to wake you up each morning, naturalists who know what they're talking about and staff who are committed to making your stay the experience of a lifetime, go to La Paloma. It really doesn't get any better than this!

Room Tip: The "fitness center" consists of unlimited opportunities to hike, snorkel, and kayak. If...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Linda D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La_Paloma_Lodge, Manager at La Paloma Lodge, responded to this review, February 28, 2014
I'm so glad to read that we re-met your expectaions after the gap between your first and second visit (and hopefully there will be more to come.)

Our aim is always as, you so nicely put it, " to hit the balance of providing comfort while introducing patrons to the natural world.."

It was a pleasure to have met you both and I hope to see you again.

Jess
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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 
Also Known As:
La Paloma Hotel Drake Bay
La Paloma Drake Bay
La Paloma Lodge Costa Rica/Drake Bay

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