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All reviews pickup truck real costa rica local family exotic birds dining area two nights one night edward ticos land community cr drake bungalow sirena wifi balcony
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2 - 7 of 47 reviews
Reviewed 14 December 2017

We stayed here for 3 nights at the end of our Drake Bay trip. The location is quite remote and quiet (although there seemed to be a small pool bar across the street, which stopped playing loud music by about 8pm). It's difficult without a car, unless you're happy to stay just at the casa and walk from there (you can access the Naguala waterfall by foot, as well as the Los Planes Ranger Station and Corcovado, although when it's hot, book transportation). Ask them about hiking with Alfredo in Corcovado – he hikes in to meet you and you can visit his property deep in the jungle. Plan for several hours or a full day and be prepared for an intense hike.

Edward is the English-speaking member of the family and he's quite helpful. The whole family is really sweet, even though we couldn't speak to them in Spanish. They were always smiling and laughing with each other, which was nice. Our meals were all cooked by the mother, who was an excellent cook. These were the best meals we had on our trip. The other family members hung around the porch and common area, so it felt like we were staying in a local family's house. It's too bad there wasn't an area to really relax in: the dining area had a few picnic tables, but no couch or place to put your feet up and hang out, so we would check our emails at the dining room table. Wifi was spotty at best and only available in the dining area.

We stayed in the bungalow, which was huge and clean, with 2 hammocks on the porch that were well-used by us. ;-) It would have been great to have a dresser/place to hang clothes in the bungalow, as there is ample room for more furniture. The property seems really high end from photos, but it's more of a basic accommodation. We were really happy we chose to stay here with this lovely local family. (Edward is even helping us deal with a cancelled flight with Sansa now, a few days after we've returned to Canada. Thanks Edward!)

  • Stayed: December 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank HenryLori
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 July 2017

We were welcomed warmly into this lodge, the family were so nice and accommodating. Me and my sister hadn't planned where we were going after the stay at Casa Drake, and the family helped arrange transport and made the process really smooth. The food was incredible, really nice. The rooms were really spacious too. Only issue was the length of time it takes to get to the beach, as the lodge is quite isolated. We had an itinerary planned and so taxis to take us to activities each day so for us it wasn't a problem, but i would recommend hiring a car if you don't have a tour planned. Also, the wifi did not work at times, but this was probably to do with the massive storms, and not fault of the family.

  • Stayed: July 2017, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank NatashaM1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 May 2017

We wanted to visit Corcovado National Park on our first CR trip in Dec 2016. We were supposed to stay two nights at Casa Drake and spend one night in Sirena but we didn't get the pass to stay overnight in Sirena. So we stayed at Casa Drake Lodge for 3 nights. The place is remote and very charming. The beauty of this place in fact is its remoteness. This is a family owned lodge, prices include breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are no restaurants or anything else nearby. You have to go by a vehicle to get anywhere except for a 20 min walk to get snacks/drinks at a local small store. If you walk around this place on the quiet street with no traffic, you will definitely see a lot of exotic birds! Toucans in the trees /Scarlet Macaws flying over head are all common in this place.

We were greeted by Eduardo's father (Jorge I think?) when we arrived by boat from Sierpe to Drake Bay. That boat ride in itself is amazing through the man groves! Please know that it is a wet landing in Drake Bay. Wear something that dries quickly or just shorts as the water gets up to the knees in high tide, wear water shoes or others that don’t get ruined. Make sure to cover your camera or other equipment in plastic!

Note that only Eduardo speaks a little bit of English. The father did not speak a word of English, nor did any of the ladies. We were OK since our son spoke fluent Spanish. The family member visiting them from SJ spoke good English and was also very curious to learn about other cultures and cuisine etc. But they only stayed for two days, so we mostly dealt with Eduardo. If he is not there, no one else speaks English and that could be an issue for some. But I don’t want to take away from the wonderful, caring family just because they don’t speak English.

We were picked up in a small modified pickup truck and driven for about 25 mins to Casa Drake. Given the remoteness of Casa Drake, the roads are a bit rough and unpaved. So ask to sit next to the driver if you have back issues etc.

We were welcomed with a welcome drink (non-alcoholic). We stayed two nights in the large bungalow that sits back on their large land full of fruit trees (star fruit etc) and colorful flowering plants. The bungalow had one queen bed and two double beds. It is a very large room with a large bathroom. The room was very clean, had large floral display of real flowers that are so exotic (ginger flowers and large palms etc). Shower is large too. The window in the bathroom is kinda right under a tree, so you see colorful birds through the bathroom window in the early morning! No bathroom fan here, as is the case in any of our hotels in CR. The shower itself could use more water pressure and a bit warmer water. Note that just like a lot of other hotels in CR, you cannot flush toilet paper into the toilets here. You have to throw them into a separate trash bin that gets emptied every day. The large bathroom is great but they need to put some hooks or hangers to hang clothes and towels etc. There is a large wooden bench in the bathroom where we could set clothes but it is far from the shower. There is no plug point to use an electric shaver in this bathroom. There are no hooks/hangers/closets in the large bungalow room when you change. Small things they could improve upon to make it better.

There is a common kitchen/ large dining area in the two story lodge. Everyone gathered for meals there. Our family of three are vegetarian and we had informed them of it early. They were kind enough to ask us in advance what we can/cannot eat. We were pleasantly surprised with the number of delicious vegetarian meals they served us each day. Some portions were too small as it’s not as filling when you don’t have meat on your plate...The desserts were healthy and delicious! They served a different fresh juice at each meal, using the locally grown watermelon, papaya or star fruits (not the sweet variety but tasty still). The Mother, the young lady Maria and whoever else was in the kitchen on any given day are all wonderful cooks, always with a smile on their face. When were there during Xmas break, they had their own family visiting from San Jose. We got to meet them, with very sweet, very well behaved kids. It felt like we were all part of one big family during our stay there. PS: We even got recipes of their soup and the wonderful cucumber salad dressing!

One disappointing thing is the wifi. There is none in the bungalow nor in the rooms that are right above the main dining area. They have multiple modems but only some are turned ON. In the three days there, we almost never got a decent wifi connection. Whenever I asked, they would fiddle with something and it didn’t work anyway. Only one night, I really needed to connect with my phone, so I insisted on it and they turned on another modem and it worked alright. We had noticed that the kids were watching soccer games/scores but we couldn’t connect. My guess is that only the family used this third modem. While we didn’t go to CR to be on our phones or internet etc, we needed to get in touch with family via what’sapp. Once we got back from our day trips/tours, there was nothing to do at all in our rooms and it was dark by 5:30 pm to go outdoors and walk about. So having wifi would help to ipad or catch up on emails etc. Note that there was no TV in the bungalow or any of the other rooms. One large flat screen TV was in the dining area but we were told it didn’t work. We never saw it being turned ON.

Given the vegetation around and the rain on and off, there are plenty of mosquitos. The roof of the bungalow does not touch walls (typical of jungle lodges elsewhere I think). This means that lots of mosquitos come in along with other bugs too. We were given a large fan, so that helped at night to avoid getting bitten too much.

On our 3rd night, we had to move to one of the smaller rooms above the dining area in the main building. This was not the best part of our stay there. There are I believe six rooms on the second floor. Our room was very small with one double bed and one single bed with a very small balcony overlooking the garden. There was no space for our luggage, no hooks or hangers or anything to hang our clothes. There was no lock for us to leave our stuff and go down or out of the lodge. We asked them to fix it and they went and bought a lock right away and fixed it within a few hours. We were impressed that they were able to go buy a lock in such a short time given the lack of stores there. The glass blinds are missing panes leaving large open spaces for mosquitos to get in at dusk. Tons of mosquitos that bit us a lot in this room as the standing fan was very weak and something else that bit us that troubled us for two weeks after our return to USA. Everything is made of wood which is beautiful including the spiral staircase from the dining area to the second floor. This means that you heard every creek and foot step outside the room and the convos from the next room. Importantly, the bathrooms are downstairs and you have to go down each time to use the washroom. There is one washroom on the first floor behind the stair case but others are outside. They didn’t have hot water in the shower or sink there. No mirror at all in the bathroom to shave! Several minor issues in these bathrooms that are shared bathrooms. If there are not too many people, then you could kinda get your own bathroom but no guarantee that someone else is not using them. There are about 4 bathrooms outside.

The balcony on the second floor has hammocks that you can use to relax and often can see scarlet macaws flying by overhead! The surrounding property of this lodge has lots of fruit trees/flowering plants/banana plants etc. We saw toucans, monkeys and other birds too. We saw lots of colorful birds by walking on the dirt road nearby with my camera in hand. There was an occasional motor cycle from one of the properties on that road, otherwise no traffic at all here. I felt safe alone as a woman walking alone with my camera and spotting several colorful birds. I saw scarlet macaws flying overhead more than once.

We had booked a tour of Corcovado NP through the lodge. We were driven to the beach where we got on the boat and got to Corcovado. The boat ride was quite rough for many people. I personally didn’t mind but the guys driving that boat were having some fun on the ocean with high waves. Some found that the rough ride hurt their back a lot. The guide booked for our tour was great, we had a nice time in Corcovado, saw lots of birds/animals. Just ask the lodge to book this for you. They are very helpful and flexible.

Speaking of flexible, we had soaking wet clothes and some that needed washing. They did that without hesitation. We paid extra for it even though they didn't ask for it. It’s just that due to rain and no dryer there, clothes just didn’t dry on the clothesline. We had no place to bring in and dry them in the rooms where there was very little space and no chairs etc. They have an older washer sitting outside near the outdoor bathrooms that doesn’t use hot water to wash. This could be a bit of an issue if bed bugs get into the towels/clothing imho.

I want to say that we wouldn’t hesitate to go back to Casa Drake because of the warm and wonderful family atmosphere. We would only stay in the bungalow but not the smaller rooms in the main building. All in all, we had a very nice time here in this peaceful and quaint/remote lodge with good food and nice people.

We thank this family for making our stay very memorable! We hope to be back here again some time soon.

  • Stayed: December 2016, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank rkramadh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 January 2017 via mobile

We enjoyed staying at the family lodge for three nights. Rooms were clean and comfortable. The food prepared was so delicious (much better than the Costa Rican food that you can find in most restaurants). All families were very nice and made us feel at home. Edward also kindly helped with arranging the ground transportation for us when our flight was cancelled, that was a great help to us as we don't speak Spanish. Everything was just so perfect which made our first trip in 2017 amazing.

Stayed: January 2017, travelled with friends
Thank Mimi0212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 February 2016 via mobile

I stayed there at casa Drake for two nights. The house is beautiful as well as very clean. The food cooked for us was amazing. Super fresh and healthy. A different fresh squeezed Juice for every meal. The meals were very inexpensive. I would highly recommend this place to stay if you are in Bahia Drake. The family is very welcoming and super friendly.

Stayed: February 2016, travelled with friends
Thank Isak M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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