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“Great vibes.”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of La Carolina Lodge

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La Carolina Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
west virginia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
“Great vibes.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 8, 2009

We came upon this place because we were looking for a place to stay late one day. It was a long drive across bumpy roads, but worth every stone and pothole. When we turned into the driveway, it was a peaceful and welcoming turn of events. The place has a low stress vibe with no problema.....

The rate is steep until you consider three homemade meals, activities such as horse back riding and the wonderful wood fired hot tub next to the river are all included in that rate. The guided hike to the hot springs was an added bonus.

The family style meals really adds to the experience, though we could not understand the words of some of our fellow travellers. It did not matter as we all were there to enjoy the peace and quiet, the wildlife that abounds. and the constant sound of water running off the mountain in the stream underneath our window.

If you find yourself in this area, by all means make the trip. Its well worth it.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ullr2001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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324 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
playa potrero, Gte
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 8, 2009

Clean, all-inclusive and absolutely unparalleled. Rustic and a slice of the real Guanacaste, La Carolina is what every lodge in the province should look like, but, for some unknown reasoning, doesn't.

We've lived in Guanacaste for a number of years and, whether attending a wedding, slipping out of town for a romantic getaway, or entertaining friends, we've stayed at a few different places near Rio Celeste. None of them, however, even compare to La Carolina.

From food, to horseback rides, to the river-fed, wood-burning jacuzzi, La Carolina is the place we head when the San Jose crowd comes to our neck of the woods. The owners are down-home, amazingly kind, genuine and all around good people; their staff, tried and true. Meals and horseback rides on their 150 acres are included, as are the incredible bird-sightings: in the mornings tanagers, toucans, and honeycreepers make use of the banana bunches tacked onto the trees in front of the dining area.

Things to remember: bring a couple bottles of wine, dominoes, and a bird-book and you have the makings of a wonderful night.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bjacobsc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 15, 2009

This is a beautiful old farm house and cabins only about 7 kilometers off of a paved road near Rio Celeste in Costa Rica. The lodge itself was rustic, yet spotless. There is limited power and they light the entire property with candles at night. The showers were hot and mountains made air conditioning un-necessary. They had a hot tub that was heated with water from the river that was heated by a fire. It was the perfect place to end an evening. The property itself was stunning with beatiful flowers and tropical plants everywhere you looked.

The entire staff was extremely nice and took the best care of you. No one in my group spoke a lot of spanish, yet the staff was very patient and helpful even though they spoke only spanish. The meals were basic, very tasty and extremely fresh. Alejandro was an amazing tour guide both horseback riding and hiking. This was by far the highlight of my vacation.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank wschic386
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wisconsin
Level Contributor
23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 17, 2009

This is a great place to check out if you want to feel close to nature and rural Costa Rican culture.

Accommodations:
We loved our little cabin by the river. Comfortable bed and clean sheets. Also had electricity which we weren't expecting. Close to the wood-fired hottub!

Food:
Very traditional Tico food. Simple and delicious. Cooked over a woodstove with local ingredients --- they grow the black beans there!

Outings:
We went horseback riding twice, hiked through the national park --- crossed a river, walked up the river and saw some great wildlife.

People:
Service is top-notch and the guides were good. We also enjoyed the family style meals with other travelers.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank fionnbahr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, NC
Level Contributor
179 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 5, 2009

We had a wonderful night in the cabin by the river. It happened to be a full moon. The place was as described on this site and their website. We enjoyed the group meals and meeting the other guests. One needs to get there on time as they serve promptly at the time stated. The ladies at the lodge cook each meal over a wood stove. The meals were typical Coasta Rican and we enjoyed them fully. It was fun to chat with fellow travelers from other countries ie Germany and Canada as we are from the USA. The main "hotel" had very small rooms and we were grateful to have a large cabin all to ourselves. At night they light the walkways with candles. It is very beautiful and romantic. Around 10pm someone came to blow out the candles. He said hello and was friendly and went on his way. The cabins are real wood cabins with a private bath. The hot tub was heated with a wood burning fire. Alejandro was our guide to the Rio Celeste. He was awesome-full of information and let us go at our pace while he pointed out naturally grown citronella and the local monkeys! He also gave us a guided tour on horseback of the lodge property, included in the price. It is a bumpy ride to the property, which we took in a rented vehicle, but so worth it! A very laid back atmosphere and very peaceful!

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank NC5Travelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Panton, VT
Level Contributor
24 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 4, 2009

My wife and I spent 6 night at La Carolina lodge in February, 2009. The lodge is set on a rare piece of level ground in the country near Volcan Tenorio. The lodging is rustic and simple and the staff warm and friendly. The food is simple, but tasty... you'll need to make runs to the neighboring cantina a couple kilometers away for beer or wine. Evening is mostly lit by candlelight - bring a flashlight for night time reading. We stayed in a room in the main lodge for 3 nights and in the cabin near the river for another 3. Both were comfortable, this is rustic living, you might see through a crack in a board to the outdoors, but insects were barely a concern. Bill, the owner, has built an inspiring natural hot tub at the edge of the river. It is made of local stone and the water is fed by gravity through a wood fired stove wrapped with copper pipe. We sat immersed there one late morning watching a sloth and her baby feeding in a cecropia tree at the water's edge.
La Carolina can arrange hikes and horseback riding with the excellent guide, Alexandro.
We really enjoyed our visit there... did I mention the Toucan's feeding at the bananas every morning.... the very friendly and capable staff... We look forward to our return.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Panton_VTJ_paul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pepperell, Massachusetts
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 24, 2009

We had bad weather during our stay at La Carolina but it didn't dampen our spirits. We still did some great birdwatching, took a soggy but super fun horseback ride. We really enjoyed the other guests too. It attracts birds of a feather! Our kids thought the outdoor hot tub, heated river water, was really cool. You could watch the water cycle through cooper tubes around a huge container of burning wood! The food was straight Costa Rican cuisine. We had a wonderful guided hike to see the Rio Celeste. Really fun trip!

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank aoeandc
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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