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“Great place once you get up the hill”
Review of La Paloma Lodge

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La Paloma Lodge
Ranked #3 of 8 Hotels in Drake Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Lemont, Illinois
Level Contributor
77 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Great place once you get up the hill”
Reviewed 5 March 2014

Getting here was a bit of an adventure itself. The hike up the hill from the boat dock was somewhat intense, perhaps because we were not expecting it. Staff did make golf carts available in subsequent trips and a few of us did take advantage of those. Also, there is another hike at the opposite end to get to the beach. The beach is fine for swimming and boogie boarding, but not so much for snorkeling. They do offer a nice half day snorkeling trip to Cano Island. Other than the two hikes, I thoroughly enjoyed La Paloma.

It does have 4 air conditioned units, all tied together and close to the main eating area. The a.c. rooms are incredibly spacious with large bathrooms, and include a deck with a hammock.

For the purists, most of the rooms are "open air", which simply makes for truly experiencing the jungle! No t.v. in any of the rooms or even main eating area; wi-fi at the main eating area.

I thought the food was really good and servings were more than adequate. They have fresh snacks every afternoon when you get back from any side trips you may arrange. Plenty of fresh fruit in the mornings.

I particularly liked simply sitting back and doing a fair bit of bird watching from the deck of the main eating area. They have minimized encroachment into the jungle and as such the wildlife is "right there". Plenty of birds and mammals to see without even leaving the lodge!

By all means take the night walk with Tracy (aka "the bug lady") and her husband John, more on that under attractions.

Staff and guides were all incredibly nice. Somehow they caught wind it was my birthday and they prepared a delicious birthday cake, which was a big success!! Staff that saw me bird watching were quick to help out and take me around to areas where some of the neater birds (toucans in particular) were common.

Can't really address "value" as this was part of a prepaid package, so I'm not really sure what the cost to us was on a per night basis. However, looking at prices on their website, I'd say it's a good deal IF you want to really experience the jungle.

Take advantage of the side trips to Corcorvado National Park as well as Cano Island.

I highly recommend La Paloma and would go back.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank heron48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
La_Paloma_Lodge, Manager at La Paloma Lodge, responded to this review, 1 April 2014
Thank you for your review as well as the beautiful pictures you posted of your stay with us at La Paloma Lodge.

It was a pleasure to share your birthday with you (and birthday cake) and we hope to see you again in the future!

Jess
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (123)
Date | Rating
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English first
Honolulu, Hawaii
Level Contributor
79 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 February 2014

First, you board a small boat at a muddy beach. Next, you take a short ride into a canal that reminded me of something out of "Apocalypse Now". Then, you take a 1/4 mile hike up a fairly steep grade. Finally, you're at the lodge. I report all this, not to berate the lodge, but to allay any fears one might have initially.

We had one of the 4 air conditioned rooms. It was VERY NICE, and the air conditioning made sleeping easier. I would recommend it. The other rooms are NOT air conditioned, and don't even have screens on any windows. Great if you enjoy the insect life up close and personal, at potentially all hours of the day and night. The one day, the maid left our windows opened, we found a HUGE spider in the bathroom. Also, you are warned not to leave food and small items out, as monkeys will enter the rooms and take it. That, said, WE ENCOUNTERED VERY FEW BITING INSECTS. I did not have to use any repellent during our stay.

The beach is picturesque but not good for snorkeling or surfing.

Food was good and quantity was enough.

Staff were all very friendly and sincere.

Wi-Fi at the pool, and dining area, but not in the rooms. No TV. No gym.

All and all, a very good experience. It does seem to be on the pricey side, and having not stayed anywhere else, I can't say it's a good value.

If you can afford it, it's safe bet for a good time.

Thank you everyone at La Paloma Lodge for making our vacation great.

Room Tip: Get an air conditioned room.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank oahusquid x
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
La_Paloma_Lodge, Manager at La Paloma Lodge, responded to this review, 1 April 2014
Thank you for your review of La Paloma Lodge.

The adventurous arrival for many is all part of the jungle adventure. We are aware that the hill, especially upon arrival can be a little daunting, and to that end we always make the golf cart available.

I'm glad that you enjoyed your stay with us and hope that you continued to enjoy the rest of your trip in Costa Rica. We hope to see you here in Drake Bay, again sometime!

Jess
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paradise, California
Level Contributor
20 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 February 2014

My husband, teen-aged son, and I stayed at La Paloma Lodge in 2006 and had a magical experience. This year my husband and I had the opportunity to return and I was worried that my previous experience had become so overblown in my mind that I would be disappointed on the return visit. Not so! La Paloma is every bit as wonderful as I remembered it. The staff is great, the rooms are simple but beautiful, the naturalists are incomparable (Randall and Walter in particular) and in my view La Paloma has hit the perfect balance of providing comfort while introducing patrons to the natural world. If the possibility of having an interesting bug fly into your room at night sends shivers down your spine, this is not the place for you. If you're more interested in the wine list than the toucans just off the dining room, than this is also not the place for you. Go to a Marriott Hotel and spare everyone your complaints. If however, you want unobstructed views, howler monkeys to wake you up each morning, naturalists who know what they're talking about and staff who are committed to making your stay the experience of a lifetime, go to La Paloma. It really doesn't get any better than this!

Room Tip: The "fitness center" consists of unlimited opportunities to hike, snorkel, and kayak. If...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Linda D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
La_Paloma_Lodge, Manager at La Paloma Lodge, responded to this review, 28 February 2014
I'm so glad to read that we re-met your expectaions after the gap between your first and second visit (and hopefully there will be more to come.)

Our aim is always as, you so nicely put it, " to hit the balance of providing comfort while introducing patrons to the natural world.."

It was a pleasure to have met you both and I hope to see you again.

Jess
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kalamazoo, Michigan
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 February 2014

January, 2014

I re-visited La Paloma Lodge in later 2013 for my fourth time. Again, I experienced La Paloma's attentively polite staff, spectacular ocean views, flavorful meals, tastefully designed ranchos, and pleasant atmosphere. With staff and lodgings as a comfortable backdrop, I was able to observe this: When people from diverse backgrounds share exciting day trips on the ocean and in the jungle, and then return to the lodge for a nurturing evening meal around a common table, boundaries soften. The goodness of humanity is advanced, and “it is just another day in paradise.”

PS...As a result of my night bug adventure with Tracie and Gion, I got the humor of a Speed Bump cartoon in my newspaper that featured the trap door spider. I was thrilled to send the cartoon along to Tracie.

Namaste.
MiMi from Michigan

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank Mary H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
La_Paloma_Lodge, Manager at La Paloma Lodge, responded to this review, 28 February 2014
It's always a pleasure when we have you visit!

Aside from the trap door spiders, one of things I love most about the Bug Lady is that there is always something different to see on the tour.

We look forward to seeing you again.

Jess
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver, Colorado
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 23 February 2014

Can't say enough positive things about this Eco-lodge. Amazing service, location, activities and meals. The coziness of this lodge makes you feel like you are in the comfort of your own home. They went above and beyond to accommodate my dietary restrictions. We met the most amazing people from all over the world, which enriched our experience 10 fold. When visiting again, we will return to this lodge! Cheers!

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank mombylovesmango
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
La_Paloma_Lodge, Manager at La Paloma Lodge, responded to this review, 28 February 2014
Thank you for your recent review of La Paloma Lodge.

We always strive to meet individual needs, including dietary restrictions. I am delighted to read that we achieved the family-feeling that we aim to provide.

We look forward to seeing you again some day.

Jess
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charlottesville, Virginia
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 20 February 2014

La Paloma Lodge was perfect! The staff, the food, the ambiance, the views, the nearby attractions made this vacation one of the best that we've experienced in over 40 years of traveling. Family-style seating at meals allowed the guests to meet the others and form friendships that would have otherwise not occurred. Everything was anticipated by the staff and the pride that they all showed in their lodge, as well as their country, was palpable. We would return in a heartbeat!
Bob & Charlotte

Room Tip: Rooms A thru D are air conditioned, but the others have such good air flow that it hardly mattered.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Charlotte S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
La_Paloma_Lodge, Manager at La Paloma Lodge, responded to this review, 28 February 2014
Thank you Bob and Charlotte for your review of La Paloma Lodge.

With over 25 years of service we have tried to create a warm, home-away-from-home atmosphere in which to create memories that will last a life-time.

It was a pleasure to have met you and we hope to see you both here at La Paloma Lodge in the future.

Jess
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
73 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 February 2014

We spent time at this lodge in January and had a terrific time. The lodge is small and the service is very personal. The staff all know your name and quickly learn your drink and food of choice. The rooms are well appointed and the hammock on the balcony is a terrific place to pass the afternoon reading. The views from the rooms is amazing and one feels rested when you leave. The food was good and varied. The excursions offered by the lodge are fun and the guides are passionate about what they do. We all enjoyed the time spent here and would recommend it to travellers.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank AMSKJhb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
La_Paloma_Lodge, Manager at La Paloma Lodge, responded to this review, 28 February 2014
Dear Annie,

Thank you for your review of La Paloma Lodge.

Here we try to provide a comfortable setting in which to enjoy Nature's Treasures here on the Osa Peninsula.

We hope to see you all again sometime.

Jess
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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 On the Beach Hotel in Drake Bay
#3 Family 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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