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“Amazing!! Perfect for serious wildlife lovers. Eco luxury at its best.”
Review of La Paloma Lodge

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La Paloma Lodge
Ranked #3 of 8 Hotels in Drake Bay
Certificate of Excellence
london
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Amazing!! Perfect for serious wildlife lovers. Eco luxury at its best.”
Reviewed 16 July 2011

This place was paradise for us. The setting is beautiful, with so much wildlife on the doorstep. We opted for a 3 night deluxe package including flights from San Jose, I won't say too much about the lodge as I don't want to spoil it if you are going here, but let me just say you will not be disappointed. This place really made me think about how damaging a lot of the things that we do to the planet really are and really brought home the need to help preserve what is left for future generations of people and animals. All the trips were incredible (Corcovado and Cano Island, also the night tour) and the reason people make the journey here is for the wildlife, so expect to get up early and go to sleep early and don't be afraid of the bugs (the cabins do not have windows). For us, this made the experience, but for others looking for 'margaritas and swimming pools' as one wildlife guide said, this is not the place. The staff were amazing and the guides exceptionally knowledgeable. This area needs to be preserved and numbers of visitors limited to continue to be the haven for the exceptional wildlife that it is today. I really hope that the area does not become more developed. What Paloma Lodge has achieved sets the standard for all of others and perfectly compliments this incredible part of Costa Rica.

Room Tip: We went for a deluxe bungalow. All are amazing.
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  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank somersetgirlLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Ann Arbor, Michigan
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 July 2011

If you’re going to Costa Rica, don’t bother to go anywhere but La Paloma Lodge in Drake Bay. It’s like The Garden of Eden minus the snake and guilt. It's a paradise! It has to be one of the most beautiful spots in Costa Rica, bar none.
My family and I spent five perfect days there May, 2011. Why was it so wonderful? Let me count the ways. First, the proprietors Sue and Mike Kalmbach, and staff were solicitous, witty, unerringly professional, and truly capable—beginning with arranging flights and taxis to and from Drake Bay—we didn’t have to worry about a thing! No matter what activity we had planned for ourselves, they anticipated and provided for our needs--dry bags for boat travel, towels, mosquito nets, extra water bottles, before we were aware that we needed them. They offer a variety of excursions--The Bug Lady (everyone loved this) snorkeling/diving, guided day trips to Corcovodo--and there are more that we simply didn't have time for. Honestly, anything you might wish to do in Costa Rica can be arranged by the La Paloma staff. My advice--don't look elsewhere for tours. There are dozens of operators, and we did use an outside operator for our trip to Corcovodo and afterwards wished we hadn't done so. The difference between other options and those offered by La Paloma is the level of expertise. Sue and her husband Mike engage only the best. For example, Gustavo, a former research biologist, was truly passionate about the natural environment and his knowledge and commitment come through on his tours.
Next, there is the food--again, ahh, so delicious. Meals are included in the room packages and they are exceptional. One night we chose between Mahi-Mahi and barbequed chicken, another between tenderloin and shrimp scampi, a third night was fajitas with either chicken or fish. Lunches and dinners were equally delightful. However, the ambience at dinner was particularly inviting. Guests enjoy a cocktail hour, and then sit together at tables of six to eight. The chairs are draped in lovely chair covers, the lights dimmed and the night hums outside the open-air dining room. The whole experience is enchanting.
Finally, the accommodations are perfect. Our family stayed in a 5-person rancho. Our hill-top porch view was the Pacific coast framed in tropical trees and flowers, many of which were in luxurious bloom Toucans, humming birds, and the occasional monkey dotted the landscape as well. On a practical note, the showers and beds were excellent.
We did travel to other locations while we were in Costa Rica, and although each had its own charm, nothing compared to La Paloma. It has to be one of the most outstanding eco-lodges in the country. I would return in a second. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to do so.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank syentz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
1,041 reviews
399 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1,157 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 July 2011

I stayed here for four nights for a long weekend at the back of a business trip to the US.

I agree with the prior reviewers about the quality of the accomodation. I was in a standard room, but even that room was very nice with wooden floors, comfy queen bed, large bathroom and piping hot water. My room had a warp around balcony with a hammock, and since the property is surrounded by jundle it is like being in a luxurious tree house. Got good pictures of white faced monkeys and sloths close to the room!

Service was uniformly excellent, both at the time of making the booking in terms of information and prompt response and upon arrival.

The flight schedule was reduced during the "green" (rainy) season so in order to make the most of my stay, I asked the lodge to organize a car to drive me from San Jose Airport to Sierpe (4 hours) and from there caught a boat (1 hour) to the lodge. I'm glad I did this as the boat trip was spectacular. I liked it so much I ditched my planned (included in the price) outing to the Corcovado National Park and did the mangrove boat trip and I would strongly recomend it. The lodge is very good at working with you to come up with a fair price if you want to swap included trips for non included trips. Nicole, the lodge manager, goes out of her way to assure all the details of your stay are just right. Absolutely go on the two hour night bug walk with Tracy. You will learn alll kinds of fasciniating details about insects!

I also went diving for two days at Cano Island. The lodge Divemaster, Ivan, is very good, but if you are a serious diver diving for many days, not that the lodge doesn't have a good dive boat. It's basically a floating bus with benches one behind the other. For one day, we used the boat of another resort, Aguilla de Ossa, which was a much better boat and ended up being cheaper as well. Cano Island is supposed to have the second best diving in Costa Rica after Cocos Islands, but it is hit and miss visibility wise. The two days I dived there was lots of plankton in the water and viz was very poor. There was, however, quite a bit to see but I wouldn't rate the diving as being fantastic. (I've dived in 103 countries and am picky so bear this in mind.)

The food is fantastic--healthy, fresh fare and vegetarians are well catered for.

They have WIFI in the common area but the signal is very weak from there. Most guests who needed the Internet ended up working in the Manager's Office, but I was cut off every time another guest connected onto the WIFI. It would be good if the Lodge installed another router in the common area.

Finally, if you are loking for peace and quite note that this lodge is very popular with American families and they don't have age limits which means you can get toddlers and babies. While they try hard to organize different excurions for families with small children and adults, sometimes it can get very loud on trips and around meal times, which spoils the peaceful ambience...

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank poleinahole1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
edmonton
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 June 2011

Our family of four (2 adults a 12 y.o.& 15 y.o.) spent 5 nights at La Paloma in March 2011. It was really an amazing adventure from the flight to Drake Bay to our boat ride back to the airport. Great food, great service and great adventures. The bungalow we stayed at was absolutely luxurious (for a jungle lodge). Beautiful hardwood floors spectacular views of the ocean and an amazing balcony. We enjoyed all of the tours especially the mangrove tour. The night bug tour is a must, snockling was fun and the Corcavado National Park Tour was amazing. All of the tour guides are very knowledgable and helpful on every level. Our children had a great time doing all of the activities. I will definetly go back.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank adventurerseeker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lowell, Indiana
2 reviews
Reviewed 9 June 2011

The trip and stay at la Paloma Lodge in Drake Bay would not be complete without our highest compliments to the entire staff of La Poloma. We cannot say enough about the high level of courteousness and attention to detail the lodge provides. From the moment we arrived and throughout our entire 6 night/7 day stay we were so impressed with the services, room and menu both myself and my wife could not stop complimenting the staff. I would consider both of us well traveled and this level of service consistantly is hard to find. Especially such hospitality from the staff.
The rooms were spacious, clean and set in such a beautiful location you will be hard pressed to leave as we were. In addition the amenities and extra activities provided by the hotel are well thought out and absolutely amazing to see.
We truly cannot wait to go back.
Thank you for an amazing stay!
Mark & Hilde

Room Tip: Actually you cannot go wrong with any room offered
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  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank fazios
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NY
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 May 2011

A lovely place to stay. Nicole and staff treated us like gold and were super accommodating. The cabins were lovely and view spectacular. Food was quite nice and really enjoyed the family style dinners in the evening. Snorkeling and Corcovado were absolute highlights.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank aliack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
santa rosa
Level Contributor
30 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 May 2011

incredible,personalized service, great (and healthy) food, stunning views from our room, privacy/romance, terrific--and thoughtfully planned--excursions: really, i can't imagine how it could have been better. from the moment we were greeted by nicole, to our farewell hug from vanessa, we were treated like privileged guests in a private home. we never missed air-conditioning, hardly saw a noxious insect, and did get to see a pod of whales close up while on a snorkeling trip.

Room Tip: book the sunset rancho package
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  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank bigtimegypsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about La Paloma Lodge

Property: La Paloma Lodge
Address: Drake Bay, Costa Rica
Region: 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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Drake Bay
#3 Family Hotel in Drake Bay
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Drake Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:3 star — La Paloma Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We have outstanding views of Drake Bay and the Pacific Ocean from our Lodge. Our standard rooms are large and include a private bath and an ocean view balcony. Our ranchos are one and two-story private cabins that also offer balconies with stunning ocean views. They hold up to 6 people and are very spacious. Some are equipped with a bathroom on both the upper and lower level, and are suitable for families or two couples traveling together. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
La Paloma Hotel Drake Bay
La Paloma Drake Bay
La Paloma Lodge Costa Rica/Drake Bay

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