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“Great time at Drake Bay Wilderness Lodge”

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Drake Bay Wilderness Resort
Ranked #7 of 8 Hotels in Drake Bay
Certificate of Excellence
A TripAdvisor Member
Indianapolis
13
Reviewed June 10, 2006

We stayed at Drake Bay Wilderness resort during the first part of June 2006. We had a very good time at the resort, but going during the rainy season probably hurt our experience. We are avid fishermen and the water was extremely murky and stirred up which hurt the inshore fishing. We didn't catch the roosterfish we were hoping for, but we took a few yellowfin tuna and wahoo offshore which made delicious dinners. In all the food was above average. The tour to Corcovado with guide Manuel was a definite highlight. He has an incredible ability to find wildlife and we saw sloths, monkeys, and lots of other odd forest creatures. The lodge's grounds are well groomed and full of interesting plants and fruit trees{starfruit, avacado, mango, cashew, banana, etc........]. The lodge owner Herbert is a friendly, but quite guy. He was helpful as was the whole staff. We would definetly recommend the lodge. It's not the Four Seasons, but its definelty a very nice place to vacation.

Stayed: June 2006
3  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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252 - 258 of 335 reviews

A TripAdvisor Member
florida
16
Reviewed April 29, 2006

Our stay at Drake Bay Wilderness Resort was a very unique and amazing experience. The location is very relaxing and secluded, but we also had plenty of things to do. The hotel had tons of activities for the day and evening. We had our clothing washed everyday and after visiting Corcovado our hiking boots where so wet, but they also had a shoe drying service which was more than convinient. Sometimes you forget to appreciate little things like that.
We went fishing on one of our days there and caught 4 yellow fin tuna..the kitchen staff prepared the tuna into sushi and we where eating fresh sushi 4 hours after we caught it! it was by far the best sushi i have ever eaten.
If you decide to go to Drake Bay, you have to try Marleny's (shes the owner of the hotel) home made chocolate chip cookies, they're delicous.
The staff was very welcoming and pleasant..they where extremely humble. Over all we really enjoyed our stay at Drake Bay Wilderness Resort and i highly recommend it to people that have an appetite for adventure.

  • Stayed: December 2005
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6  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2006

We stayed 4 nights at this resort. It's hard to compare as each resort in the area is so different - none can have 4 stars in all categories (location, food, hills, rooms, accessibility, tours). Remember that all are hard to get to: roads, electricity and choice in anything are luxuries.
The grounds at DBWR are outstanding and level (a blessing). Many resorts (ie las Palomas, Agulia de Osa) are on a cliff, requiring a lot of up and down to get to the restaurant or to the trails, boats, beach etc. There is an almond tree outside the bar that attracts raucous macaws - lovely! Monkeys, iguanas, even an anteater came by for a visit. The river is right there for a kayak and swimming. The trail to corcovado passes the resort and is easy to follow to Rio Claro, with monkeys along the way.
The rooms are adequate, nice for the area, don't expect much luxury here and I don't think anyone in Drake Bay has air conditioning (I asked). Try to get an outside room (ie not the middle of a group of 3) for max airflow. There are fans that help. Either way, sunrise and the birds will wake you up, sleep is not really the focus here - it's all about getting out early to see the animals before the heat of day.
The tours are great but you don't always have a choice - the tours are set by consensus after dinner between all guests, so there needs to be enough (4) to do something. If you can't decide, go on the one with the least people, and with the telescope. There's only one scope, and it makes a difference to have this when looking for wildlife. The guides will help and take photos with a digital camera thru the telescope - way better photos. The resort uses Shawn for dolphin tours (ask for him at any resort - he is truly amazing, enthusiastic and famous in his trade). You can book your own tours in town at Corcovado Adventure Tours - they have a very fast boat, primo equipment and vest lifejackets.
At DBR, the food is unfortunately not that great and uninspired. The dining room is hot, but it's a great time to make new friends and see what everyone else did that day. Even the best resorts here have family style seating (ie everyone at long tables), enjoy your neighbours! We went to Aguila de Osa right across the river (easy to get to) for dinner one evening. It was $35US per person including wine and an unbelievable feast!! The chef is incredible there, strongly encourage you to do this one night if you are anywhere close by... any local will tell you this is the most awesome restaurant around (we ate with the mayor).
Herbert the owner is indeed gruff and odd, stand your ground if you really want something. It's weird to have such an inhospitable host - staff explain it by saying he spent a long time in the army, but they like him as a boss. You can negotiate - there was a woman who took only room and breakfast, eating elsewhere. If food is important you could arrange a price for this and spend your $ on dinner across the river or in the village. (i'd recommend Aguila de Osa but the people we met there had the room at the top of the hill, needing to sit down and take a break before they got there...)
This resort has a fantastic location, enthusiastic staff and comfortable accommodation. Food is blah.

  • Stayed: March 2006
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12  Thank combustion
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
washington dc
121
Reviewed August 15, 2005

My son and I traveled to Costa Rica for 12 days staying at 5 different hotels in 5 different areas. Drake Bay was supposed to end us on a high note but ended up making us wish we had ended our trip sooner. We went to Drake Bay in hopes of seeing whales & dolphins which is the package we signed up for with them. We didnt get to see too many whales & dolphins due to water conditions. The staff were not very friendly including the owner himself Herbert. On one occasion he mentioned to me that if I was going on the boat I should take motion sickness pills because they wont turn around no matter how sick I may become. It came off as somewhat rude and unfriendly to me. Meals are served within a window of time approximately 1 hour in length. Since meals are included you have to be there when they say. Also you dont get to choose what you want to eat. Most of the time the food was not very tasty and the portions are small. You will eat it since its all that is available. In addition for breakfast and dinner they make you sit at a large table with other guests who you dont know. While it wasnt so bad the 3rd and 4th day it was very awkward at first and doesnt offer any privacy. Also they dont allow much room between guests at the table so you barely have any elbow room. I was told by staff at the hotel that all kayaks but 2 had holes in them. I was also told by another staff member that any tips left for the workers should be given directly to the workers as management wont pass on the tips but keep them. The whole establishment seems geared towards money and not about customer service or the total experience of the visit.

  • Stayed: August 2005
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21  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
New York
110
Reviewed May 31, 2005

My husband and I stayed at Drake Bay Wilderness Lodge for a week in April 2005. The rooms consist of ocean front cabins with 3 rooms per cabin. The rooms are very basic with showers, no tv, phones or clocks. No a/c either but the trade winds kept the rooms plenty cool. Apparently, the town just recently got electricity. It was very relaxing to sit on our porch and read while listening to the sounds of the ocean and seeing the wildlife all around you. The grounds to the resort are well kept and we saw squirrel monkeys, iguanas and scarlet macaws right on the grounds. You can only get to the town by boat or by hiking through the jungle about 15 minutes. Most of the activities are arranged by the resort who hire their own guides. Drake Bay has excellent guides including Eric who helped us find a pod of dolphins to swim with, Oscar who took us snorkeling, Manuel who took us to Corcovado and Jualco who took us horseback riding. They all have a great eye to seeing animals we'd otherwise miss. It was fun practicing spanish with Omar the bartender every night. The food was edible. Not gourmet, but not unpalateable either. Overall, my husband and I had a wonderful time, filled with adventure and relaxation. However, we paid an arm and a leg for it.

  • Stayed: April 2005
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10  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2005

Wow! We loved it! My husband and I went to Drake Bay for our Honeymoon. We were treated like family. This is certainly a laid back resort, quiet and beautiful. We did not know what to expect. The flight and the airport were interesting, but we were greeted by our chauffer for the week, Oscar, right at our plane! He drove us to the beach and loaded our luggage onto the boat where we were whisked away to paradise. He was wonderful! When we arrived we were greeted at the dock by Herbert, the owner of the resort. We were immediately shown to the dining hall were had the best cinnamon rolls of our lives - fresh from the oven. This was only the beginning of our fantastic experience in Costa Rica. Herb and Marleny were very welcoming and our vacation was as adventurous or as laid back as we wanted it to be. I recommend the hammock tour - although all tours were amazing. We had expert tour guides on all of our tours. They were both friendly and knowledgable. The best part of the day was "bean dip" time. This is a great time to socailize with other guests and find out which tour to take the following day. Our only complaint was that we had to leave. Please say hello to Omar, the friendliest bartender on the planet! Thank you so much for the memories. If you can get it - we recommend the honeymoon suite. It is a great place for families too - we will take our children when we have them.

  • Stayed: December 2004
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11  Thank tdamon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 8, 2004

Drakes Bay Wilderness Resort is one of the best places I have ever had the pleasure of visiting...The staff is warm and helpful....the location cannot be beat...the day trips are unmatched..from hiking and seeing wild animals to playing with dolphins in the ocean...it is truly a dream...

19  Thank BENA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Drake Bay Wilderness Resort

Address: Desembocadura del Rio Agujas | Bahia Drake, Drake Bay, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
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 Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Romantic Hotel in Drake Bay
#4 Family Hotel in Drake Bay
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Drake Bay
Price Range: $331 - $406 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Since it was founded in 1985, Drake Bay Wilderness Resort has continued to be a family run business. Our focus has been to take good care of our guests so that they'll feel right at home. We try to be as flexible as possible, taking into consideration people´s needs and we do our very best to fulfill special requests. For instance, we will prepare meals for special diets. Furthermore, the hotel is situated in one of the most beautiful locations in the area. It has large open areas with a bounty of beautiful flowers, tropical plants, big mango trees, and beach almond trees that attract the raucous macaws. The property gives you the feel of being in a private island since the river flows along the backside of the property and the whole front side meets the ocean. In addition to this, most visitors come to us by boat and the access by land to the hotel is a small path, unreachable by car, that is submerged in a jungle. Best of all, there is a paradise like view of the bay and ocean, reflecting the deep blue sky and, beyond that, hills bound in lush forests.We offer all sorts of extras that help make our guests' stay more comfortable and enjoyable. For example, we include a full laundry service. Kayaks close to the water are always at our guests' disposal. We have a restaurant, bar, swimming pool, dock, and hammocks to relax under the shade of a tree with the cool ocean breeze blowing on you. From our hotel we take guests on adventures in snorkeling, hiking, diving, canoeing and whale watching. Visitors often see four species of monkeys, sloths, tapir, caiman and a myriad of birds, including the scarlet macaw, mangrove hawk, toucan... ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Drake Bay Wilderness Hotel Drake Bay
Drake Bay Wilderness Resort Costa Rica

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