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“A must-do for a Costa Rican rain forest experience!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of La Carolina Lodge

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La Carolina Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Portland
1 review
“A must-do for a Costa Rican rain forest experience!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 July 2014

Adorable cabins, scenic location off the beaten path, a nice break from the heat. We swam in the cool river, then jumped in the outdoor, woodstove-heated hot tub overlooking the river. Alejandro took us (eight family members ages 3 to 75) on a beautiful horseback ride, and we also were allowed to help milk the cows. The family-style meals were delicious with a wide variety of offerings. And all of the employees were very friendly and helpful. In the states you would pay more per night at a Hotel 6, but let me tell you, you get much more for your money at La Carolina! Be sure to go!

  • Stayed July 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank DianeN5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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317 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    278
    28
    9
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See reviews for
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (57)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Whitby, Canada
Level Contributor
38 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 July 2014

I recently spent a couple of nights at La Carolina and I only wish I could have stayed longer. I don't have a car so I have to admit La Carolina was a bit of a challenge to get to (a 4X4 is required for the final 7 km road) but it was worth the journey! The property is expansive (over 150 acres) and beautiful, with jungle hiking trails, pastures with grazing horses and cattle, wildlife, and a riverside hot tub. A $15 horseback ride is a wonderful way to see more of the property. La Carolina is a working dairy farm, so you can even get involved with milking the cows if you'd like! The staff is very much like family and are helpful. The family-style meals provide a great way to get to know the other guests and, of course, are prepared using locally sourced foods. Granted, this kind of intimate and authentic Tico experience may not be what everyone is looking for (Rob O) but if that's what you are in search of, this is the real deal! And with meals included it's also a great value.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Tasha182
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saint Sauveur des Monts, Canada
Level Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 July 2014

The site is amazing. Everywhere you look, there is beauty. We loved it, the kids loved it. Don't miss it. It's a once in a lifetime experience. More spanish would have been useful to communicate better with the staff but we managed. Be careful though, following the GPS coordinates could put you in a lot of trouble. Follow the direction on the website.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Pascale T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sacramento, California
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 July 2014 via mobile

What can I say, this place is amazing. Like a piece of heaven, lit up with candlelight and filled with flowers and birds. Three nights was perfect, plenty of time to soak in the serenity before we headed to a busier area. The food is good home cooking and plentiful, I was hardly hungry when it was time to eat again! Alejandro and Juan are wonderful caretakers of the animals and land and the ladies do a great job as well. Our cabin, the house on the hill, was lovely and rustic. I have not one bad thing to say about La Carolina, except that I don't know when I will make it back. But the memory of standing on the porch, looking out at candlelit jungle while the river rushed by won't ever leave me. Stay here, you won't regret it.

Stayed June 2014
Helpful?
Thank chandra s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Odense, Denmark
Level Contributor
26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 July 2014

This place is so special! Let me sum up:

The staff: So friendly and helpful.

The food: Simply amazing! Tasty, fresh, local and from their own produce. Yum!

The place: Beautiful houses and porch in the main house, were we sat round the outdoor fireplace, or had dinner along the long table with other guests.

The rooms: We stayed in a private house a bit from the main house, and it was very simple but so nice. Huge terrace with hammocks and two bedrooms.

The weather: Rainy as hell, but hey: June is rainy season and it's in the rainforest, and we got to experience the most awesome thunderstorm that went on for hours one of the nights...

If you're looking for perfect hotel conditions do not go here.
If you want a really special experience (that also pushes you a bit out of your comfort zone), you should go here!

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank DanielGjoede
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
46 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 June 2014

This was probably one of our favorite experiences in Costa Rica. The owners, Bill and Karien, were both on site during our stay. They were pretty busy but managed us a night in the very super river cabin with its own wood-fired spa bath and then for a second night in a neighbours private cabin. The food was simple but hearty authentic tico fare. We also loved the horse ride, wandering around the property and doing the farm thing - milking cows etc. The surroundings are beautiful - incredible volcanic mountains, mist, open plains and cattle country. The gardens are beautiful and inhabited by some great birds including Toucans. The staff are warm and welcoming - you feel very much at home. Although they are not licenced, Bill made a plan to obtain us a couple of bottles of red wine for our dinners. This is a special place to chillax, read and recharge the soul. Stay here for sure - but give yourself a couple of days. The best of tico hospitality with a touch of US and Dutch too!!

Room Tip: Take the room riverside with the private wood-fired spa bath. You'll love it!! Oh and the sound...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank David C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lansing, Michigan
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 June 2014

My husband and I stayed in the Toucan cabin for three nights and had a wonderful time. The back deck of the cabin with wood fired hot tub was a perfect place to relax and read, the property is beautiful, and we loved our visit to Rio Celeste. I'd never ridden a horse before and had a great time on the horseback tour of the property. The food is also fantastic- grown on site and prepared over a wood stove by a very lovely group of ladies in the kitchen.

We thought that two nights might have been better than three based on the activities available in the area. Also, some reviewers have commented about having problems because they didn't speak Spanish. Our Spanish is mediocre at best and it wasn't really a problem - the staff was still very helpful and generally good at interpreting our charades when we didn't know the Spanish word for something.

Room Tip: Toucan cabin is awesome and worth the extra $$
See more room tips
Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Sarah C
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££
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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