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“Loved this place.”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of La Carolina Lodge

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La Carolina Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
44 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Loved this place.”
Reviewed February 27, 2012

A very special place, we had the river cabin. Spent every evening in the hot tub, after a wonderful dinner. The horse ride was amazing, also lots of birds to see.

  • Stayed February 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank JunebugJohnson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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323 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (57)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Philadelphia, PA
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed February 23, 2012

We visited La Carolina lodge for a wedding a few weeks ago and couldn’t have been more pleased with the experience. The lodge is tucked away in the lush rainforest, next to a rushing river, and the beautifully landscaped grounds invite you to wander and explore. The property includes a main lodge with several rooms and shared bathrooms, a large wrap-around porch with rockers, perfect for wasting an afternoon reading and listening to the river. The communal table next to the kitchen accommodated our large party and the fireplace was a lovely place to unwind next to after dinner. The three meals the lodge provides are cooked over a wood burning stove and we left with huge admiration for the kitchen staff who prepared such fresh, satisfying meals every day for a group that had multiple dietary requirements. The staff was warm and friendly, always with a smile. The owners were visible, helpful, and took obvious pride in the lodge. We thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them and their sweet children.

The rooms we stayed were basic, with comfortable beds, mosquito netting (which was not necessary), and lit by candles in the evening. We were not expecting fancy, but the sounds of the jungle and the river will give you a better night’s sleep then the Ritz. The shared bathroom was clean and hot water was plentiful. The only glitch was when others would get into another shower at the same time, the water pressure would dramatically decrease. We had a chance to view the honeymoon cabin and would have loved to have partaken of the private hot tub and porch. Perhaps next time.

We did not have time to take the hike to the waterfall, but other guests raved about it. The short hike around the property gives you a nice taste of the pasture areas and the jungle. We had a fantastic and exciting horseback ride with Alejandro, who was a joy to watch on his horse. Most of all, we enjoyed simply relaxing on the grounds, playing in the river, lounging in the wood fire heated hot tub, sipping coffee (best we’ve ever had) and watching the toucans feed on the lawn. Being totally unplugged in such a beautiful and relaxing setting was truly a treat and we plan on returning in the future.

Room Tip: If you like to sleep in, do not stay in the lodge room that backs up to the kitchen. They get thing...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank teahouse77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Naperville, Illinois, United States
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 22, 2012

La Carolina Lodge is totally what we were looking for in our Costa Rican vacation. Located on an isolated farm --where most of your food is raised, the Lodge has as idyllic setting along the banks of a roaring river. The hot tub- right by the river -is heated by a wood fire and is a great place to relax after a hike. If it's rainy, snooze in a hammock on the enormous porch. At dusk, the candles along the paths and on the porch are lit. Gather around the fireplace in the evening to chat with other travelers from around the world, and continue the conversation over a dinner of cooked over a wood burning stove and grill. Snuggle under the covers in your plain wood frame house, blow out the candle, and listen to the sounds of the rain forest outside your window. At breakfast, watch the amazing rainforest birds and ask if the sloth is near the lodge that day. Then head off on a hike to the gorgeous Rio Celeste (it's BRIGHT BLUE) , or a horse back ride. Then it's back to the hammock or hot tub 'til supper. AAAAHHHHHHH---This is the life!

Room Tip: La Carolina is a series of wood frame cabins -- you get the whole cabin to yourself unless you'r...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
3 Thank Leeannerocks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed February 9, 2012

La Carolina is its own destination. The adventure begins with the rugged, rural roads traversed to get there, taking you to a remote and authentic piece of Costa Rica. The Lodge is set along a swiftly moving little river in a lush tropical paradise filled with toucans, monkeys, and other exotic animals you are likely to see there. The cabins provide "rustic luxury": they are simple but well designed, with big porches, hammocks, rocking chairs, and fire-heated jacuzzis (as part of the ecological theme, there is a little electricity used on the premises). The cabins are spread out, and the entire lodge doesn't accommodate too many people, so one always feels the sense of being simply a guest at a friend's ranch--but this feeling comes mostly through the hospitality and warmness of the staff and owners.

The staff and owners work together as a family, and so everyone seems quite happy. Everything here works essentially on the honor system, as one would expect as a guest at a friend's house. Once you've arrived, you are not charged for anything other than the price of your room (unless of course you need transportation to the National Park or airport). Everyone constantly is making sure that you're having a good time, are getting to do what you want to do, have a glass of wine or coffee in your hand, and are well-fed.

And well-fed you will be! Everything here is organically grown on the premises, from the wood-grilled bbq pork to the tropical fruit juices at breakfast to the coffee--and the milk you put in your coffee. Food is served family style, and the fantastic staff will make sure you have enough refills. The meals are held at the main lodge, which is the main point of congregation for guests, staff, and the owners. Hang out here enough, especially at night during dinner or afterwards at the outdoor fireplace, and you will have conversations with the owners, other guests, and even the Spanish-speaking staff (I don't speak Spanish, but it's amazing how easy it is to communicate with others--and how quickly language skills improve--in such situations).

Alejandro, the gentleman (cowboy) who manages the ranching part of the operation, is mostly responsible for my 500% increase in Spanish comprehension during the trip; he also is the tour guide for the horseback riding around the 70+ hectares of land, and he's not afraid to show you a few tricks as well.

Finally, the nearby Tenario NP is well worth the visit. The trails are well-maintained, but particularly the branch trail down to the waterfall can get a bit slippery (hence the installed cables for helping to pull oneself up the trail). The color of the water, the small jungle bridges, and the natural hot springs at the end were highlights.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank eecsf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hilton head s.c.
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed February 6, 2012

What a surprise. We traveled to see Rio Celeste but the highlight of the trip was the Carolina Lodge. This was my fourth trip to Costa Rica. I am not an expert but have spent over100 days in Costa Rica and have traveled to many areas. This lodge was everything I was looking for in a perfect Costa Rican experience. I am a world traveler and have never experienced the degree of hospitality that greeted us here. Upon arrival we stored our gear and were offered beverages and fruits immediately.
Everything was simple, clean and very tasteful. Dinner at candlelight, watching exotic birds at breakfast (including Toucans), soaking in a natural hot tub heated by a fire, was just some of the highlights. Activities included horseback riding and bird watching on site. White water rafting, coffee plantations are in the area.
We just cannot say enough good things about this place starting with the people to the natural beauty. We will definitely return.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank maggie s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed December 21, 2011

We spent US Thanksgiving there last year. The food and service we amazing. Rustic for sure, but totally relaxing, which is what we were looking for. Kids had a blast and the horseback ride was increadible!! For rustic, 5 stars. For a resort, 3, due to typical comforts.

  • Stayed November 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DennisonINC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Playa Grande, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed December 6, 2011

From the exceptionally prompt, and friendly response to our last-minute reservation, to the warm reception upon arrival, and throughout our stay, we felt right at home with La Carolina Lodge.
The accommodations are rustic, but clean, the beds comfortable. Each bed had a nice, functioning mosquito net, there was ample hot water in the sunken stone shower too. Heavenly.
The horses were healthy, happy and responsive, not just following the leader. Alejandro is an excellent horseman and guide.
The ladies sure can cook a great meal, with ingredients from the farm. Fresh home-cooked bread, free range chicken and eggs, fresh cow's milk which our son loved... wow, it is so great to get away from 'civilization' and get back to nature!
Our son, who is 3, enjoyed the setting... the jacuzzi was a big hit (like a big bathtub according to him) and just the right temperature... not too hot. The sound of the river gushing by while you sit in the jacuzzi after a horseback ride was amazing.
To awake with the sound of the birds, in a big comfy bed... we felt so rested and will definitely return.
Thank you to all the staff at La Carolina Lodge, and to the owner who was so professional yet welcoming and truly cared as to whether we were comfortable.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank FrijolesLocos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about La Carolina Lodge

Property: La Carolina Lodge
Address: San Miguel | Bijagua, Bijagua de Upala 21301, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Bijagua de Upala
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Bijagua de Upala
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 4
Also Known As:
La Carolina Hotel Province Of Guanacaste
Hotel La Carolina
La Carolina Lodge Costa Rica/Bijagua De Upala

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