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“We loved our stay here!”
Review of La Palapa

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La Palapa
Reviewed 29 January 2013

We just returned from an 11-night stay at La Palapa and could not have been happier. Yes, it's rustic; and no, it's not the Ritz. But it is very reasonably priced, the ambience is out of this world, and the staff could not have been nicer . . . especially Ferdinand!

For the money, I thought breakfast (included) would be Continental, but there is a choice of Continental, American, and Costa Rican. And the smoothies are addictive. Try the banana / strawberry.

We rented SUPs from Marco (Costa Rica Stand Up Paddle Adventures) for the entire stay. Marco is a Costa Rican and retired dentist; we also hired him to do a little sightseeing, rather than renting a car. Well worth the investment. His wife, Lydia, is an artist and has a shop on the circle adjacent to Nougie's. Lovely wearable art.

We loved dining at Nibanna -- the Greek pizza is outstanding.

We hated to leave!

Room Tip: We stayed in #7, which is away from the restaurant noise.
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  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank debnahant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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72 - 78 of 153 reviews

Reviewed 18 January 2013

I waited a couple months to write this review because I hate leaving negative reviews that have an impact on someone's livelihood but I use Trip Advisor for all my travels and if people aren't honest this site would be worthless. I'll start with some positives: Great location, friendly staff, on the beach and great breakfast buffet included.

The main reason for my low rating is that I was robbed here. While we were next door at dinner someone used a crow bar to pry open the door and stole my bag which was all packed up since we were leaving very early the next morning. The night manager was a European guy and he was absolutely no help at all. I was shocked at how unhelpful he was. Literally shrugged his shoulders and said I'm sorry. I had stayed at a hostel the night before and went there to use the phone and internet to call my banks and have credit cards cancelled.

The next morning the owner was extremely helpful. He drove me to the next town 30 minutes away because the police in Costa are a joke and only "tourist police" will help you and the "tourist police" in Tamarindo decided not to show up that day and no one knew when they would. He also went to his house and got an old bag for me to put my toiletries and a few other items the thieves missed.

There is zero security at this place. The keys to all the rooms hang in the lobby and nobody watches them. Anyone could come in off the street and grab a key. There's no lighting outside the rooms so the people eating dinner 30 feet away never noticed someone breaking into my room. Lighting would ruin the ambiance but the door frames are rotting so a child would have the strength to break one with a crowbar. The owner's wife told me "There's a of crime in Costa Rica you have to be very careful with your bags." so clearly she knew that locking them in one their hotel rooms was reckless. This is just unacceptable. If guests can't safely leave a bag in the room don't operate a hotel.

Aside from the robbery here are the reasons for the bad rating:
- Bugs everywhere, yeah I know it's Costa Rica I spent 3 weeks there at places half the price of La Palapa and never saw near as many bugs
-The shower drain was clogged (that's just lazy management)
-The bathroom window was just a screen so the music from the restaurant next door was loud in the room ALL day
- Lighting in the room was very poor and even in the middle of the day it was hard to see
- The AC unit was 6 inches from the bed upstairs so my friend was freezing while I was downstairs sweating
- The walls are paper thin, I could hear every word of a TV coming from somewhere and banging around from what I think was the kitchen

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled with friends
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3  Thank TXtourst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
lapalapacabinas, General Manager at La Palapa, responded to this reviewResponded 22 January 2013

Dear readers and clients,

We were a little shocked and disappointed to read this comments. Just to go over a few points:
We are very sorry for those who is going on with this young man, know that we are working on each negative customers comment. Maybe we're right to note us that way but if we could also note our customers we would assign the same note. Fortunately, at least Tripadvisor give us the OPPORTUNITY to respond to our customers that help better understanding the story because we also believe that we deserve the rules of the hotel to be respected.

As mentions young man, yes effectively his bag has been stolen and we really regret that and had taken the appropriates security measures. But we cannot tolerate this attitude either.
The room was reserved by two young men. When they arrived they didn t want to pay the room at check in, and this rule applies to all our customers and well displayed on the reception and mentions by all personel when customers arriving.

Our staff is always trying to help our customers with any questions or problems, but we must also say that the young man who was EXTREMELY drunk this night when came at the reception to declare the robbery.

Thank you for mentioning our kindness as we were feeling bad about what happened and that because it s extremely rare it happens (2nd time in 3 years).

We also be personnaly stolen but NOT in our Hotel, that you mentionned, but on the beach that was 1h from our place. We think that you didn t untestend the story or just want to justificate your review.

Regarding the rooms by itself we are not a 4 stars hotel and don t pretend to be it but our place is clean and we also improve every year our rooms as soon as we took this hotel, that is quite recent.

I just also want to remind you that you said us: ”I had been stolen in each pays when I visited, it’s not my first time”. So, we just want to say to you be carrefull and to apply the elementary security in your futures trips. Don’t come back to your room at late night drunk and with girls what is logically forbidden.

P.S. We want that all the clients who want to have any informations about our hotel, to visit our reviews on other site, like a booking site or to take the time to know us through our website. Thank you

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 January 2013

First of all I would like to mention that the cabanas on the beach are lovely and have a great view over the ocean. The housekeeping was also great and cleaned our room every day.

We stayed in the hotel for 3 nights. We did not book in advance. I went to the place while my girlfriend was waiting (it was very difficult to find a place between Christmas and New Years). The (young) guy at the reception told me that he had a room but it was only for one night. I accepted it (better than nothing). Later he told me that he may have a room for longer and asked me how long we wanted to stay. I said that we didn't know yet ("maybe one night, maybe two, maybe longer..."). That was OK. I asked specifically when we had to decide how long we wanted to stay. The answer was "when you pay you decide how long you stay". We paid for one night and the day after and two days later for another night. We didn't write anything down (for the avoidance of doubt: we hadn't confirm anything whatsoever).
After the third night we told the guy of the reception in the morning that we would check out the day after. That was fine (obviously, because we did not agree anything else). When we came back at the hotel in the afternoon this guy told us that there was a problem because his manager put us in the hotel planning for an additional two days. The guy spoke about "our problem". I off course responded that I regret the misunderstanding but that it is with all respect not our problem since we did not booked the room for these nights. The guy acknowledged this but explained to us that his manager had a problem with the situation and that he wants us to pay the room for the 2 nights. After 20 minutes of arguing and the guy calling (probably with his boss) it was all of a sudden no longer a problem. The guy told us "its OK, no problem, but next time please tell us as soon as you know when you are want to leave".
The day after we checked out early in the morning.
This is the background. Now to the money missing part. We went to Cuba and for that purpose we still had a lot of cash money. We counted it while we stayed the hotel because we wanted to know how much it was. We wrote it down on a note put our money (euro's) in the wallet of my girlfriend and put it in the safe of the hotel room. And guess what: on the day we checked out (we went to Monteverde) we counted the money again. I still don't know why we did it. But we did it. And there was EUR 200 missing. We were extremely surprised as you will understand. The amount stolen was the same amount that we would have paid if we would have stayed an additional two nights.
I have emailed the hotel and the response spoke for itself: most of the words in the email were about cancellation policy, that we had to pay for the 2 night (again: we did not book the room for the 2 nights) etc. Shameless!

So if you go to this place (because the place itself is nice), don't put money in the safe in the room and that trust the people of the hotel.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Mark E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2013

Pros:
- friendly, hardworking staff
- excellent beach front location, ocean visible from most rooms
- delicious, filling breakfast with local and western options including eggs, sausage, coffee, tea, juice, and plenty of fruit
- restaurant part of hotel was enchanting, situated on the beach
- two girls offer massage services on the hotel property, starting at 20 dollars for half an hour. Massage was well worth it
- hotel close to everything we needed;supermarket, pharmacy, doctors office, surf shops,interbus booking office, bars and restaurants

Cons:
- discrepancy in quality of rooms, while all rooms are fairly simple, certain rooms have been recently upgraded and are more charming (we stayed in rooms 3 and 4, 3 was more modern with upgraded bathroom and nicer view)
- loud at night on weekends, especially Saturday with surrounding beach clubs. Night sound was not as bad. If you are looking for peace and solitude, would look at other hotels
- restaurant was slightly pricier than others in town, although we didn't eat anything but the included breakfast (see above. However, expect to pay 10 to 20 dollars for a decent restaurant meal in the area which was more than we anticipated

Room Tip: Would ask to stay in room 3 over 4.
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  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Wveej
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 2013

La Palapa is a beautiful, small but well kept and quaint hotel right on the beach in Tamarindo. Great alternative to the expansive and sterile Hotel Diria. Staff is extremely friendly, and the restaurant has some of the best food in town. Views of the sunset and sunrise are unparalleled.

If you're looking for a place right on the beach, this is your spot.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Sameer B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 November 2012

Unfortunately I booked this hotel based on the reviews on the site and was very disappointed.

Pros:
- great location, right on the beach - the only reason to ever go to this 'hotel'

Cons:
- DIRTY - the room was dirty; the kitchen bathroom were not cleaned, still had marks all over; cutlery had marks on it as well; we didn't use the kitchen at all as everything was dirty, I didn't want to use the dirty sink; fortunately the bed and towels were clean; the remote for the A/C was so dirty you wouldn't want to touch it.
- poor service - when we arrived there was a man at reception who just handed us the room; I had to ask about breakfast time and was told it started at 7am; at 7.30am we were told by the ladies that it only starts at 8am. The staff changes throughout the day and they don't seem to communicate. The men who are there in the evening seem to only take care of the restaurant; when we asked anything they just shrugged their shoulders. Everyone else we have encountered in Costa Rica was helpful and knowledgeable.
- noisy - there is a bar next door and the music was playing loudly late into the night

Room Tip: If you do go, ask for the room that is not close to the kitchen (noisy in the morning when they star...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank dublinia19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 October 2012

Spacious room, opens right up to ocean, palm trees, hammock...AMAZING! Very comfortable loft bed, cold AC, tons of storage space, even our own broom to sweep our sandy feet messes! Towels were a little tattered and the bar next door thumps and pulses til 2am, so if you plan on sleeping early, don't! Join them next door! Of course, after you hit up the on-site bar/restaurant for excellent food and 2 for 1 drinks! Amazing service and private, secure parking. Even during a tropical storm, well worth the trip!

Room Tip: I don't know if there are any rooms that AREN'T ocean front, so enjoy! Our room was right n...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank trulytracie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about La Palapa

Address: Main St, Tamarindo 50309, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Tamarindo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #28 of 83 Speciality Lodging in Tamarindo
Price Range: £57 - £96 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — La Palapa 3*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
La Palapa Hotel is a small family business of 7 rooms right on the beach! We just took over again on december 2016 !WE are just in the center of Tamarindo, next to restaurants, chops, banques, Pharmacy and supermarket. You will be 20 steps away from the beach, the sun, the sea! Come and relax at Hotel La Palapa ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
La Palapa Hotel Tamarindo

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