I just want to start off with saying that my wife and I absolutely loved staying at this place and would also love to go there again with our children. I would describe this place as roughing it, luxuriously! I know that sounds counter intuitive but hopefully this will help explain my thoughts about this.
From the very start, it was crazy! We had bought this trip through a travel agent and were not aware of what in consisted of to get there. We got on a tiny 8 seat plane where I could see out the cockpit window as we were landing on a tiny runway (photo shown below) attached to a unique airport (also photo below) if you would call it that. Then we got off the plane and there was no one there so we were just standing for a while. Then this van showed up and called out our names and picked us up. The van drove along a pretty rough dirt road and then straight into a small river (photo shown below) which while crossing it the driver said that if we got stuck we may have to get out and carry our bags to the other side but the crossing went totally fine. Then we drove to a really small run down town where we got out on a beach and there were two guys there driving a small motor boat that we got on and they loaded our bags. We then boated maybe a mile over to the hotel. The hotel consists of a main check in and dining area along with several small units that are fairly spread out and overlooking the bay (very nice view!). Right when we were checking in, there was a sloth just sitting in a tree directly across from the dining area (photo below) that we were able to watch as we ate our lunch.
Activities: The hotel had two different activities set up each day which were included in the costs and you could just choose which one you wanted to do or none if you were not interested. We did things live scuba diving, guided wildlife hike (best guided tour we had in Costa Rica), and a boat trip. Each one was great and we did not hear of anyone who did the other trips being dissatisfied. You could also just walk down to a really private beach which was nice, but the sand wasn't as soft as others and the swimming was ok but it stayed shallow pretty far out and had little tide so we saw kids playing in it quite a bit. There were also, little trails around the hotel that you could do, one just followed a stream a ways into the forest, one followed the beach for a LONG ways (you could easily go 20 miles if desired) and another into the small town of drake. A person could also just check out a kayak and either take it up the stream a ways (which I saw many monkeys while doing) or out into the bay area and around there. It was really enjoyable!
Services: The help there was very friendly and the place was kept clean. When you checked in, they just took down your name and you could just charge anything you would want to the room so you did not have to carry around your billfold. Then when you checked out, you could just write down tips for whoever you wanted and include that on your credit card bill which was very nice. Also, most things are included already with your stay but if you were wanting some wine at night or something like that you could just charge it and they offered it at very reasonable prices! A really nice option that they also offered was for doing a load of your laundry for either $5 or $10, I forget which. It was super nice though because they would wash, dry, and fold it for you and have it back in your room by that evening so a person would not have to bring a lot of clothes nor have a huge bag or dirty clothes when you leave. The meals were set up at a specific time and there were two different choices available. There were just a set of tables in the dining area laid out such that you just sat around with other guests and discussed things. It was really nice and the food was very home made and great tasting. I am sure the limited choices and company could bother some people but we really liked it. When you did one of the activities, there was food brought with so that a lunch was provided on them. I did see some rooms that did not have air conditioning but ours did and if you get uncomfortable sleeping when it is pretty humid and warm, a person might want to make sure that you have a room with air.
Wildlife: All I can say is there was wildlife everywhere! All the different birds, monkeys, lizards, and other animals that we saw was crazy! Just walking in for breakfast one day I saw two different groups of 20+ monkeys, a sloth, a coati, and I have no idea how many different birds. There is wildlife all around and we talked to people who just sat on there patio one day and I could not believe everything they saw. It is like having your own personalized rain forest built around you!
I can see how this place might not be the right fit for everyone, but we absolutely loved it and are already planning on returning there in the future!
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- La Paloma Hotel Drake Bay
- La Paloma Drake Bay
- La Paloma Lodge Costa Rica/Drake Bay