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“unfriendly eco-lodge”

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Hotel La Palapa Eco Lodge Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Portalon
Reviewed 19 April 2014

We just visited the place with our 2 kids. They have done a good job in keeping it green and clean but the couple is extremely rude and not a place to stay if you have kids. They need to first learn to be polite and friendly to their customers instead of reminding you to ' hold on' to your kids while being in their rooms. Never received any courtesy smiles or a friendly gesture from the couple in spite of paying an overpriced bill for their so called beautiful cottages. The whole of Costa Rica is a beautiful drive thru rainforest and there's nothing exceptionally different about them from others. They'll will charge you in the first place even before you leave, while others will charge you when you're ready to leave.
They will remind you of the things to be taken care of in their rooms with your kids when you go to eat Breakfast at their restaurant. (even though the kids may not have done anything to their property)
Not an easy place to find at first as they are pretty far in the interior. While we stayed in many other resorts at the same time, the friendliness and the warmth was definitely missing here....

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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4  Thank Chhavi M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 19 April 2014

The owners of this place are horrendous. There was no welcome or even a smile. It's also just a hotel with a dirty pool--not a resort. The locked my husband out of the gates before 9 pm and he had to climb over the gate to get back in. The male owner told us that we broke the rules and should have told the guard in advance that we wanted to leave. He then told us that if we didn't pay $300 USD he would call the police and "we would never leave the country.Staff aren't allowed to speak to visitors and act scared of the owners. They also ripped off the canopy tour provider we booked by keeping too much of the depisit. Do not stay here!

This hotel had destroyed the small town they took over by setting up a so called resort. The locals told us about how they wanted their old simple life back.

Far from everything and nothing spactacular. Choose another place!

  • Stayed: April 2014
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4  Thank hnikole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
mbraganca, Owner at Hotel La Palapa Eco Lodge Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 24 April 2014

La Palapa informs all clients at check-in, that for security reasons the gate closes at 9:00 p.m., so that they can let us know if they need to get in or out after this hour.
The night in question we served dinners to outside clients and the gate closed later. The night guard’s shift starts at 9:00 p.m..
These clients came back late, on foot and the night guard opened the gate normally.
After that, the husband, that was FULLY DRUNK, ran around the resort, ignoring the guard that was always present to open the gate in time, but instead he jumped the wall 4 times, carrying beer, destroying the entrance gardens on his way in and out and even running over a parking sign that he broke in the process, vomiting all over the resort.
In the morning, he said that he broke an over 15 year old tropical red palm tree (over 6 inches thick), because and I quote “I had never seen one like that and I was just playing around and I felt like breaking it! It was fun… what’s it to you?”
They left the bungalow in such bad condition that we had to disinfected and partially paint, besides the broken hangers and towels that we had no choice but to throw away…
Acts of vandalism like this one are distasteful and show lack of respect for other people’s property, not to say lack of basic education levels.
If you deliberately destroy our property you will pay for the damage caused. After accessing the overall damage, we think that $300 was a real bargain.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2014

Our family of 4 (kids are 12.5 and 7) stayed for a week very happily. Gardens are lush and gorgeous; they also make the villas feel very private. I LOVED that we were far from the tourist crowds of Manuel Antonio yet were an easy driving distance from so many activities.

Breakfasts beneath the thatched roof were relaxing, and offered plenty of options (rice and beans, eggs, great bread with jam, muffins, amazing fruit). We also pre-ordered dinners each day; loved coming back from a hot, busy day, swimming in the pool, having a cocktail, eating a relaxed dinner by the pool, then walking just a few steps back to our villa.

Cristina's recommendations regarding tours were helpful, and we appreciated her help in booking them. Made it all very easy.

We used our villa mostly for sleeping (no preparing meals or snacks, just the occasional juice/cocktail). Lots of folks have commented about not having cookware or coffee makers in the room (true, but there is good coffee during breakfast hours). I would have loved more comfortable (padded) pool furniture for lounging, shampoo, and possibly pool towels. It's true that the only free hiking trail is mostly paved. It's still worthwhile (we saw toucans and a huge parrot snake at the top, as well as amazing sunsets) but if you are looking for many kilometers of self-guided hiking trails, you'll have to go elsewhere.

You need a car rental if you stay there. Cristina arranged for us to take a private shuttle from the San Jose airport ($200), and we had a rental waiting for us in the morning.

La Palapa is small, so you don't get everything you'd get with a bigger resort. For example, meal options are limited, which might bother some. But I would not trade the intimacy or paradise feel for a bigger resort. I would have hated staying in one of the big tourist towns.

Would absolutely go back!

Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
1  Thank LindenBlvd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2014

Let me start with the positive. I really loved the gardens here. Manuel has done a beautiful job. Unfortunately we did not feel this was a place that makes you feel at home. When we first got there and walked up to register Manuel does not even look at us or say hi to us. That felt very unwelcoming. The rules made me feel like we were in grade school. There is no coffee pot in the room or pots or pans if you want to use the kitchen. You cannot take your own water out to the pool. I felt like I had to hide my water going out to the parking lot. We never hiked to the waterfalls on the property because it was $ 20 each. So $40 to walk on the trail where we are paying to stay at. That really annoyed me as they are an ecolodge and you would think you could hike on the hotel property ! The walk you are allowed on is an old driveway up the hill which was nice to see the sunset from the top of the hill. There is a little porch library, but the books are locked up. I never did track Christine down to unlock it for me. We stayed at 3 other places during our vacation that all had open book shelves for people to borrow or trade books from. What should have been a perfect place is just average because of what I felt was a "stingy " atmosphere. Even the staff don't smile or talk to you. You do need a car to stay here if you plan on exploring.

Room Tip: Don't stay at the pool bungalow if you want privacy. Everyone walks right by your window and can...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Naflick123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 March 2014

We had the most wonderful time in the eco lodge La Palapa in February: a lovely bungalow, the resort just a very special place, excellent food, trips to the coast and to the mangroves I will never forget and the most friendly hosts one can imagine. When we could find a transport on arrival, the host gave us a lift in his car to the beach. We were 3 friends staying at the lodge for only a a couple of days but it was clear to me that I would return with my children as it appeared to me as a very family friendly place.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank Kristin v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 March 2014

This is a great place to stay. Very peaceful, beautiful grounds and rooms, nice pool, good food and excellent staff. They can book a wide variety of trips for you and even arrange to have them pick you up right at the resort! A beautiful remote beach is only minutes away. Easy access to Dominical and Quepos. Good food at the resort, or they can recommend some good restaurants in the area. Christina and Manuel are excellent hosts. A very nice breakfast is provided every morning under the lovely thatched dining area. Could not ask for better service. Look forward to going back.
Mark & Susie

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank MarkSusieB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2014

For starters, we could not have had a better holiday than our last week spent at La Palapa. Before making our decision to spend our March break here, we carefully reviewed other guest's comments that were overwhelmingly enthusiastic, and can only add comments with similar delight. Cristina and Manuel are most wonderful hosts and give splendid advice for adventures depending on a guest's preference. We loved our accommodation, had wonderful breakfasts and dinners, admired the work Manuel has done on the gardens, finally asked for the same dinner twice in the same week because it was so yummy, and enjoyed the feeling of relaxation that came with being here. We recommend La Palapa 10/10 and must mention - last but not least - that La Palapa is the only place in Central America that serves the famous signature drink "Till Libre"(lemon and rum). For our last day we went into the rain forrest to see the Resplendent Quetzal and though the bird remained elusive it was the most wonderful experience. We sincerely hope that you can come here and have a similarly wonderful time. Cheers!

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank tilldavy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel La Palapa Eco Lodge Resort

Address: Meters From Main Road 800 | Manuel Antonio - Quepos - Puntarenas, Portalon 60602, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Portalon
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Portalon
Price Range: £33 - £120 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel La Palapa Eco Lodge Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel La Palapa EcoLodge Resort, that is called by the clients ¨THE LOST PARADISE¨, has a policy of practicing always the best and lowest prices of all region, and is located outside of the town of Portalon, offering an incredible wildlife variety of fauna and flora, that makes a perfect place and the paradise for passionate wildlife lovers. Served in its open-air restaurant, La Palapa offers a traditional Costa Rican breakfast, including fresh fruit and local dishes such as Gallo Pinto. Meat, fish, rice and bean dishes are on offer for lunch and dinner, and are prepared using produce grown on a local organic farm. The property also offers excellent powerful free WiFi. Our airy bungalows are painted with warm colors and decorated with unique original objects imported from North Africa, to create a very warm and special atmosphere. All are non-smoking, have very comfortable beds, ceiling fans, private terrace with bamboo table and chairs, cool tiled floors, private bathroom with hot shower, large furnished living room with an extra bed, fitted kitchen with refrigerator and screened windows that let in gentle breezes and melodic sounds from the jungle as you fall asleep. The most beautiful beaches of all Central America are inside the Manuel Antonio National Park, and the famous beaches of Matapalo with a sea Turtle Refuge Centre, Playa Linda, and Dominical are very near the resort. The La Palapa Resort is away from the confusion of tourist centers of the region but near everything and is considered one of the most beautiful and well-kept in Manuel Antonio - Quepos - Matapalo - Dominical and Uvita area, surrounded by unique tropical gardens with a Swimming-Pool with a large collection of rare plants, located in a virgin Tropical Rainforest, with 149 acres (60.5 Hectares) of land with a private waterfall only for the clients of the resort. This property also has always the best-rates compared with other locations in Manuel Antonio – Quepos – Dominical and Portalon area! Guests are happier about it compared to other properties in the area. This property is also rated for the best value in Manuel Antonio – Quepos – Dominical and Portalon area! Guests are getting more for their money when compared to other properties of the region. ... more   less 
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