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“My all time favorite place in the WORLD!!!!!”
Review of La Carolina Lodge

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La Carolina Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 6 June 2014

I live in Tamarindo, Costa Rica and every time I need to get away I always go to La Caroline Lodge. There is just something about this place that makes it absolutely magical! The gardens are beyond gorgeous, the stone hot tub heated by fire right next to the river is the BEST and the food cooked by Edwina and the other ladies over a fire-heated stove is to DIE for! Almost everything that you eat and drink at La Carolina comes from the far and is organic. The slow roasted honey-glazed are absolute heaven. But what really makes this place is the staff. The farm is a labor of love for owners Bill and Karien. Karien is super friendly and lovely and responds to emails really quickly. The ladies who work in the kitchen could not be more accommodating. I love the coffee at Carolina with fresh cows milk and there women always have it waiting for me when I go. Alejandro who runs the farm is the happiest and sweetest man you could imagine. He will take you for horseback rides around the farm and will also take you on a tour of Rio Celeste which is nearby. He knows everything about the flora and fauna in the park. If you want to see a real piece of Costa Rica, you must stay at La Carolina Lodge. They have a new cabin called Toucan that has its own private fire heated hot tub overlooking the river. Thanks again to Edwina, Ernestina, Alejandro and Karien for an amazing stay! I am already planning my next trip back!

Room Tip: Stay in el Toucan cabin with its OWN hot tub! :)
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank annietamarindo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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111 - 117 of 342 reviews

Reviewed 28 May 2014

We visited La Carolina May 17-18 for our honeymoon. We stayed in Playa Flamingo the first 4 nights and were reluctant to leave the beach...however once we got off the pan American highway on the road towards the lodge we were mesmerized by the scenery: volcanic mountains, wide open plains, fields of brahma cattle....it was breathtaking. We were so happy we chose this place! It is the perfect place to unwind....relax...and have a tranquillo time. We stayed in El Toucan the cabin was simple yet beautiful and private. The bed was comfy. We loved the hot tub on the back porch...it was a great place to soak, relax and hide from mosquitos! We loved how soft the water made our hair and skin...its better than lotion! The sound of the rain on the tin roof and the tropical birds and insects at night is awesome. We were actually woken up one morning by the sound of howler monkeys! The staff here is friendly and helpful....and the food is wonderful!! I am vegetarian and they are accommodating of your dietary needs.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Megan L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 May 2014

We stayed here in January and loved it. My girlfriend and I decided to go for the luxury side of things and stayed in their Toucan cabin. We usually don't do this but the rates were pretty resonable and figured why not. This place was great. I wasn't sure about the private outdoor hot tub when I read about it but the second I saw it and got in I fell in love with it. The food waqs great and the atmosphere was fun. The staff took time to point out any wildlife in the area and even helped us walk around with flashlights at night to see if we saw anything interesting. They helped us set up a trip to Cano Negro and I highly reccommend this if you like nature at all. We saw numerous birds and animals including many crocodiles and although our guide didn't say much he could spot anything we wanted to see extraordinarily quickly. I was a very big fan of La Carolina lodge and will be back again when I get the chance!

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Jeff T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 May 2014

This was truly the most relaxing, wonderful, romantic little spot we have ever found. A perfect blend of rustic and elegent. The food was all fresh from the farm, the staff was wonderfully accomodating and we fire heated hot tub was the coolest thing we had ever seen! We splerged and got the cabin with the private tub on the back patio (which we loved!), but the larger tub by the creek was gorgeous and wonderful too. If you are in the area and not sure where to go, you can't go wrong with this little dream spot.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Judy P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2014

We were in La Carolina for 2 nights and really liked our stay. Our cabin was La Amapola which was the perfect size for our family of 4. As described in the website, the place is really rustic. So if you're looking for high-end amenities, air-conditioning, and you are the type who wants to be constantly connected via phone/wi-fi, this place is not for you. La Carolina is off-the-grid, which I loved. It's truly an escape from the rigors and stresses of everyday modern life. We LOVED the communal meals and LOVED the food. Everything was fresh and very delicious. We met some great people during our stay. In fact, we ended up doing the hike to Rio Celeste with 2 other couples. We also liked the horse-back riding. It was my 7-year old son's first time to do it so he was a bit apprehensive. But Alejandro and the other boys made it such a pleasant experience, my son requested to do it again the next day! The hike to Rio Celeste was also a wonderful experience. Alejandro was a good guide. He did a good job explaining the flora and fauna. We were there during Semana Santa which was a big holiday week in CR so the national park was crowded. But the hike itself was still nice. I even liked that there was a downpour towards the end of our hike - it's a rain forest after all. :) We were supposed to stay for a 3rd night but we decided at the last minute to stay closer to the city as we were travelling back to NY on Easter which was a big travel day. Karien could've just as easily not refunded us (understandable since Holy Week is one of their busiest weeks) but she was so gracious and gave us back half of the day's cost. The staff was also warm and pleasant.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Sheila I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 April 2014

This is by far the most amazing place we stayed during our trip to Costa Rica. If you want to relax and experience pure Costa Rica then look no further. Our little cabin had a wood fired hot tub off the deck and a hammock that let you swing away your cares. Listening to the rain on the roof of the covered deck was magical. The candle-lit trails at night and the beautiful starry sky made the evenings purely enchanting. The staff were among the friendliest people you will ever meet. The kids loved milking the cows and horse back riding. This place is friendly at it's best, with most everything you eat being sourced from the gardens/farm of the lodge or acquired locally by trading crops they produced with other local farmers. My only regret was that we never spent more time there. This place will let you truly relax and disconnect like no other. Pure magic!!

Room Tip: They are all amazing and bring their own unique qualities. The cabin with the wood fired hot-tub wa...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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Thank HotelTek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 April 2014

Our family loved this place! We visited for two nights with our 1 and 4 year-old daughters in mid-March, and wished we could have stayed longer. Our cabin was La Mariposa, the one in the main photo for this listing. It was cute, cosy and clean, and right by the river, which lulled us to sleep at night. The property is wonderfully lush, with tall trees covered in epiphytes and full of bird song. Hummingbirds are everywhere, while toucans, woodpeckers and oropendulas are frequent visitors to the lodge's bird feeders. We were all delighted to see a sleeping sloth in a tree just above the parking lot - the girls still talk about how it waved us goodbye as we left (it stretched an arm as we drove off!).

The hosts, Karien and Bill, were extremely helpful, and were always talking to guests, answering any questions and ensuring everyone was enjoying their stay. The kitchen staff were fantastic, accommodating our request for vegetarian meals with vast amounts of delicious food. Our oldest daughter was too small for horse riding on her own, so Alejandro set her and me up with a horse for a quiet walk around the gardens together - this little extra effort helped make her stay even more memorable.

The rough road in from Route 6 is well signposted, and takes about 20 minutes in a 4x4. Make sure you fill up on gas before hitting Route 6, as there are no gas stations in Bijagua, the nearest town to La Carolina. We were running low, so Alejandro got a couple of gallons for us from the nearby village - it saved us a detour to Upala, but it's certainly cheaper to fill up at a gas station before arriving.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Ray W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about La Carolina Lodge

Address: San Miguel | Bijagua, Bijagua de Upala 21301, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Bijagua de Upala
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Bijagua de Upala
Price Range: £83 - £98 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 4
Also Known As:
La Carolina Hotel Province Of Guanacaste
Hotel La Carolina
La Carolina Lodge Costa Rica/Bijagua De Upala

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