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“Beautiful, quiet place”

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Drake Bay Wilderness Resort
Ranked #6 of 8 Hotels in Drake Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 23 June 2007

It is a little hard to separate what I liked about this resort from the increadable area that is Drake Bay. First, the area is beyond compare as a tropical wilderness. The Corcovado park, waters teeming with whales and dolphins, and the coral reefs would make a stay at any hotel a great experience. There are about 10 places in Drake Bay which all seem equally good for outdoor activities. What sets them apart is the experience back at the resort grounds.

We spend 6 nights at Drake Bay Wilderness resort for our honeymoon. We enjoyed every minute of it and would go back in a hearbeat. The grounds are beautiful and well groomed. The rooms are neat and clean, but without TV, telephones, or clocks. Not to worry, the tropical birds and the sound of the surf woke us up every morning. One highlight is the open air bar, where the guest and staff tend to congregate after dinner. Watch your tab, as any drinks other than water are added to your bill. The specific feature that made our decision was the free use of the kayaks in the river behind the grounds. It was great to come back from the jungle and paddle upstream to lay in the water and watch the howler monkeys.

The food was great, and served with an elegant presentation. Even the picknick lunches were above average.

The activities seem to be typical of the area (although I have not done any of the other lodge's activities I did observe the other groups). Their equipment seemed to be in average to above average compared to the other properties. The staff are first rate. Very patient with the guests, and very good at adjusting activities to the group. Both guides are true experts on spotting wildlife, and everyone on the grounds truely seems to care about the guest experience.

We are younger people (early 30s), but this laid back and relaxed atmosphere was what we wanted. If you expect to come back from the jungle and party at the bar, this might not be the right property for you. None of the places in Drake Bay are set up for the all-enclusive party holiday crowd, and I hope it stays that way.

  • Stayed: June 2007, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank winnydpu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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253 - 259 of 344 reviews

Reviewed 16 April 2007

First things first,
You have to like to go outside, second you have to like tropical paradises and all that comes with them. Great food, Great vistas, great adventures, great relaxation, etc.

My wife and I had just recently married, this trip to Drake Bay was part of our honeymoon. We stayed all over Costa Rica but no where, and I mean no where, did it look like paradise except when we got to Drake Bay. There are lots of beautiful places in Costa Rica but this place made fantasy island look like a banana plant on your back porch. Herbert is quiet but doesn't take crap from whiners, Marlenne is sweet like your mother away from home but running the hotel takes a lot of her attention so trying to catch her for a chat can be tough. The staff are at your every beck and call, fulfilling almost any reasonable request, all with a smile. The food is wonderful despite the complaints I read on here. I think that most people are used to strictly Americanized food and when they don't have all that processed, overly fat saturated, over seasoned, garbage they think they're being fed poison. You will only eat fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats from this rain soaked tropical paradise. All the food is prepared fresh daily before each meal Herbert and Marlenne have a farm close by that provides adequate amounts of dairy and meat and the ocean and plant life provide the rest. Tropical fresh fruit juices are squeezed right in front of you. We had fresh mangoritas one evening while sitting at the bar. Wildlife abounds and if you think you need a telescope to see it you'll be shocked when it's hanging off the tree in front of your cabin. That's right you have your own cabin. With hot water and always an impressive view. The cabins feel very private tucked back amongst the tropical flowers and trees. An immaculate tropical garden is the resting place for the entire resort and every inch of it could be shot as a postcard. We had no problems with money or unimpressive tours. Our expectations were very realistic though (we knew there wasn't a tank of dolphins for us to swim around with) we would hardly blame any resort for not producing a particular animal for us to view. Now that you understand the resort isn't a marine zoo, it is surrounded by some of the most plentiful aquatic life on the planet. You'll see something if you're not blind. There is only one thing that anyone need to do in order to make up their minds about booking a trip to Drake Bay Wilderness resort, check out the website and you'll see exactly what it's like to visit one of the few tourist friendly, pristine paradises left in Costa Rica. We booked our next visit before we even left. ---

  • Stayed: March 2007, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank JMSL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 September 2006

This is a terrific place to stay. My family and I visited Drake Bay Wilderness Resort this year and had the best time of our lives. This resort in right on the beach! We love the tours and their wonderful food. The owners, Herbert & Marleny Michaud, were very happy to have us and made sure that our family enjoyed our visit. My two boys loved their beautiful butterfly farm and swimming at their pool.

We hope that you visit their place and enjoy it as much as we did.

  • Stayed: August 2006, travelled with family
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5  Thank aaromasdf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 August 2006

We stayed at the Drake Bay Wilderness for 4 days at the beginning of August. The location is absolutely beautiful and it is a lot of fun getting there!! Our cabins were clean, albeit simple, but the views were more than enough to compensate. Food was OK (omlettes at breakfast are excellent) but we weren't there for the food.

My main frustration stemmed around the complete rip-off "Dolphin Tour". As billed on their own website, "You will be able to see and swim with dolphins" and they talk about the 20 species we might see. The guidebooks also mention a dolphin specialist who is supposed to take you on the tour. Although I understand that no one can guarantee what we might see, I at least expected to get a wonderful educational experience for my family. We paid a significant additional fee for this tour (I think it added up to an extra $400 or so for a family of 5) and all we did all day was drive around in a motor boat seeing if we could spot any dolphins (no toilet on board, I might add..). Our tour guide was a very friendly girl who served us dinner each night, but who had no more knowledge about dolphins than my 13-year-old son! We ended up spotting a couple after lunch, but there was certainly no option of swimming with them. We saw far more dolphins on other occasions in Costa Rica when we weren't even looking for them! I still feel very resentful that we spent so much money on something which was so clearly not what was promised/advertised. We would much rather have gone on the tour (which was included in the price) to Cano Island where, incidently, other people saw dolphins and whales without paying the extra $400! The tour to Corcovado National Park and the horseback riding day trip were a lot of fun, however. What a shame that this one negative can taint the overall experience... I also think that a smile on the owner's face once in a while would not be amiss and might have prompted me to discuss this with him in private rather than on the web - he was often grumpy and abrupt although he did seem to soften by the end of our stay.

All in all, it is worth the trip to Drake Bay but I wouldn't stay at this hotel again.

  • Stayed: August 2006, travelled with family
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7  Thank CanadianInUS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
New York, NY
126
Reviewed 28 June 2006

Our experience at Drake Bay Wilderness Resort was disappointing and disturbing.

We intended to stay there on our honeymoon- a hotel in San Jose made our reservation. We arrived and were shown to our room. We were interested in seeing the beautiful Osa & Corcovado area. When we tried to talk with both owners (Herbert & Marleny Michaud) about tours, they were completely uninterested in talking to us, suggesting that we first convince the other couple at the hotel to also pay them for a tour before they would discuss it with us! We tried again that afternoon, with similar results. When we told them that we were unhappy, they informed us that they would not return any prepaid nights. When they learned that we hadn't prepaid, Herbert threw an honest-to-god temper tantrum and insulted us for being Americans! We paid them a nominal amount as a goodwill gesture, and walked to another nearby lodge, where we spent a wonderful week.

The other couple also tried to leave Drake Bay Wilderness Resort, but they had pre-paid for 3 nights and the Michauds refused to refund anything, so they stayed.

My wife and I have pretty significant experience living and travelling in Latin America. Costa Rica is a wonderful country to visit, and the Michauds' poor behavior was completely out of line with that of any of the other terrific hosts we met in Costa Rica.

  • Stayed: June 2006
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26  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Indianapolis
13
Reviewed 11 June 2006

We stayed at Drake Bay Wilderness resort during the first part of June 2006. We had a very good time at the resort, but going during the rainy season probably hurt our experience. We are avid fishermen and the water was extremely murky and stirred up which hurt the inshore fishing. We didn't catch the roosterfish we were hoping for, but we took a few yellowfin tuna and wahoo offshore which made delicious dinners. In all the food was above average. The tour to Corcovado with guide Manuel was a definite highlight. He has an incredible ability to find wildlife and we saw sloths, monkeys, and lots of other odd forest creatures. The lodge's grounds are well groomed and full of interesting plants and fruit trees{starfruit, avacado, mango, cashew, banana, etc........]. The lodge owner Herbert is a friendly, but quite guy. He was helpful as was the whole staff. We would definetly recommend the lodge. It's not the Four Seasons, but its definelty a very nice place to vacation.

Stayed: June 2006
3  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
florida
16
Reviewed 30 April 2006

Our stay at Drake Bay Wilderness Resort was a very unique and amazing experience. The location is very relaxing and secluded, but we also had plenty of things to do. The hotel had tons of activities for the day and evening. We had our clothing washed everyday and after visiting Corcovado our hiking boots where so wet, but they also had a shoe drying service which was more than convinient. Sometimes you forget to appreciate little things like that.
We went fishing on one of our days there and caught 4 yellow fin tuna..the kitchen staff prepared the tuna into sushi and we where eating fresh sushi 4 hours after we caught it! it was by far the best sushi i have ever eaten.
If you decide to go to Drake Bay, you have to try Marleny's (shes the owner of the hotel) home made chocolate chip cookies, they're delicous.
The staff was very welcoming and pleasant..they where extremely humble. Over all we really enjoyed our stay at Drake Bay Wilderness Resort and i highly recommend it to people that have an appetite for adventure.

  • Stayed: December 2005
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6  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Drake Bay Wilderness Resort

Address: Desembocadura del Rio Agujas | Bahia Drake, Drake Bay, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
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 Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Drake Bay
#4 Romantic Hotel in Drake Bay
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Drake Bay
Price Range: £247 - £269 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Since it was founded in 1985, Drake Bay Wilderness Resort has continued to be a family run business. Our focus has been to take good care of our guests so that they'll feel right at home. We try to be as flexible as possible, taking into consideration people´s needs and we do our very best to fulfill special requests. For instance, we will prepare meals for special diets. Furthermore, the hotel is situated in one of the most beautiful locations in the area. It has large open areas with a bounty of beautiful flowers, tropical plants, big mango trees, and beach almond trees that attract the raucous macaws. The property gives you the feel of being in a private island since the river flows along the backside of the property and the whole front side meets the ocean. In addition to this, most visitors come to us by boat and the access by land to the hotel is a small path, unreachable by car, that is submerged in a jungle. Best of all, there is a paradise like view of the bay and ocean, reflecting the deep blue sky and, beyond that, hills bound in lush forests.We offer all sorts of extras that help make our guests' stay more comfortable and enjoyable. For example, we include a full laundry service. Kayaks close to the water are always at our guests' disposal. We have a restaurant, bar, swimming pool, dock, and hammocks to relax under the shade of a tree with the cool ocean breeze blowing on you. From our hotel we take guests on adventures in snorkeling, hiking, diving, canoeing and whale watching. Visitors often see four species of monkeys, sloths, tapir, caiman and a myriad of birds, including the scarlet macaw, mangrove hawk, toucan... ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Drake Bay Wilderness Hotel Drake Bay
Drake Bay Wilderness Resort Costa Rica

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