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22 - 27 of 44 reviews
Reviewed 4 June 2010

Despite the owner ripping me off, a leaky roof and fire ants in my bed, I had a wonderful trip. Miraflores has a casual tropical ambiance, the food is good, and the people who work there are lovely. I enjoyed my second-story bedroom in the attractive upstairs lodge (the downstairs budget rooms are dark and damp), going to the beach and meeting interesting people. However, being a month-long guest one sees things that short-term guests often don’t see or choose to ignore. Unfortunately, the owner Pamela Carpenter has serious ethical issues regarding money and being honest. She runs Miraflores like it’s her private fiefdom—or thiefdom. During my stay, a long-time staff person, two other guests, and several locals stated that Pamela isn’t straight in the way she charges people. Beware—there’s a reason there are no rates, and no refund policies, posted on her website or at Miraflores Lodge.

Upon booking my stay, Pamela asked for a “deposit” when she meant full payment. The first 2 weeks of my stay, it rained constantly and the roof in my (prepaid) room leaked everywhere except the bed. There were 3 large puddles on the floor in my room! Pamela (deceptively) acted like the rain was coming in the windows, when actually the roof leaked. After two weeks of rain and leaks, Pamela replaced the roof. This resulted in my not being able to use my room or the lodge for 3 days. Pamela’s TV was frequently on from midnight to dawn which prevented me from sleeping 4 nights. Another night fire ants in my bed were stinging me so badly, I had to go to another bedroom to sleep.

When I mentioned these inconveniences in the expectation of some acknowledgement of my being inconvenienced, Pamela overcharged me on my food bill! Because she told me she’d give me some free meals in exchange for working in her cafe, I worked 10 hours—bailing her out several times when no one else was there to wait tables. She’d also told me she would pay the 10% service charge because I was on a “meal plan” and eating in the café almost daily. My last night there, I was shocked to find that I had been overcharged on my food bill—with no free meals on it, and with the service charge added! When I reminded her of her agreement to give me some free meals in exchange for working in her cafe, and to not charge me the 10% service fee, she responded (twice!) with an imperial “So?” When I replied that she couldn’t change our agreement at the last minute, she shouted at me “Yes, I can!” She then rounded up my bill and charged the rounded up amount to my credit card! Needless to say, I was shocked, appalled and angered at her using me for free labor. Her behavior is mind-boggling unethical and illegal!

Pamela’s personal boundary/control issues also result in unprofessional treatment of her paying guests. She frequently snaps at guests—usually individuals, not couples or groups. On my 4th day there, after 3 days of rain—when I was the only guest in the lodge—Pamela snapped “You should have only one towel on the towel rack at a time! You’re taking over! That’s why I wanted to put you in the apartment, so you’d be contained!” (As it’d been raining torrentially for 3 days, it was impossible for anything to dry on the out-door towel rack.)

If you’re with a partner or a group and she’s racking up your bill, or if you’re drinking with her and listening to her talk, Pamela can turn on the charm. My advice: stay away from Miraflores! There are plenty of other places to stay Playa Chiquita. You don’t have to stay in a place run by a deceitful, unscrupulous owner.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled solo
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1  Thank starcompass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MirafloresEcoLodge, Owner at Miraflores Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 15 August 2010

In response to Imogene.
Thank you for having been a month long guest at our Lodge where, as cousin of my daughter's law partner, we offered you a reduced price,paid one month in advance at $20. a night, including a full tropical breakfast., a painting studio and full hotel services. .
My staff and I have done all we could to serve you.
Of course some times thing do not always work out how we would have wanted that.
We apologise for that .

Thanks for your mail It has offered me a great opportunity to get a better picture of who you really are.

Pamela

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 February 2010

3 women and myself just returned from 8 days at the Miraflores Eco Lodge. It was wonderful. I would go back in a second! The rooms are open air, with hammocks to lounge in, balcony showers and king size beds with mosquito netting. We stayed on the top floor of the lodge where you really felt like being in a tree house. I loved all the jungle foliage, waking up to howler monkeys and hearing the rain on the roof at night. The owner, Pamela Carpenter, prepared a lucious breakfast each morning complete with CR coffee, homemade breads, fruits and eggs prepared your way. She also arranged for expertly prepared dinners which were better than any other meal we had. It was an experience that I will remember always and would recommend to anyone who wanted to get out of the rat race and relax in a beautiful, carribean location. .

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled with friends
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1  Thank katefur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2009

My girlfriend and I loved staying at the Miraflores Ecolodge and have to give special recognition to the owner, Pamela Carpenter. Pamela went out of her way to make sure all of our needs were met, including arranging a special taxi to the border, making dinner reservations, and spending ample time talking with us about her experiences in Panama and in Costa Rica.

Her life story is amazing - born in Panama in the Canal Zone, helped to start a political party before having to flee the country, and started her own organic flower business that ultimately provided her the means to built the Miraflores Ecolodge (which she designed herself). Plus, since moving to Puerto Viejo she helped to setup a Monkey Bridge to ensure that the local howler monkeys can make safe passage over the street. It was a special treat to have the opportunity to spend time with you and we recommend you visit the lodge! And, the service was great - felt like they were going out of their way for us

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank MatthewNeagle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 March 2009

We stayed 4 nights (more than we wanted to originally). Pamela, the owner, runs the place with Californian charme while - having been in the area for a long time - knowing the locals and the things to do around Viejo / Manzanillo, even in bad weather. The breakfast comes with plenty of home grown, delicious fruit. We loved the place.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank KonradBerlin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 February 2008

Attracted to the carribean coast, we travelled to Manzanillo and came across Miraflores and went to find out if there were any rooms available. We booked in for one night and ended up staying for seven. The people at miraflores, (pamela, lucas, mayla, and others whose names I've forgottem or spelt wrongly) gave it an extra special feeling, The warmth of the people here made it difficult to leave.

if you want to spent time in rustic cabin type accomodation, have great homemade breakfasts, listen to the sounds of the jungle as you fall asleep and wake up to sloths hanging about in the trees, then go here. If you want a homogenised hotel experience, stay away and leave the place for folk who love a truly magical and wonderfully warm time.

Stayed: February 2008
1  Thank petesloth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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