5.0
Excellent 1446 Reviews
Jetsetter Verified
This Hotel meets our standards
Our editors have been here and it has met our standards

What We Love

  • Rate includes unlimited access to the La Paz Waterfall Gardens
  • Just an hour away from the international airport
  • Views of the La Paz River Valley and the Poás Volcano
  • Spacious rooms with Jacuzzi tubs, oversize balconies and rainfall showers
  • Guests are permitted in the park before it opens and after it closes — optimal bird and wildlife viewing times
  • Hiking to the five cascades of the La Paz waterfalls

What To Know

  • Colibries Restaurant often hosts noisy tour groups for the lunch buffet
  • One night at Peace Lodge isn't enough, but you won’t need a full week
  • Perfect pick for honeymooners, or an exciting introduction to Costa Rica in the wild for families with children
  • Peace Lodge will not be wild enough for extreme wilderness aficionados
  • Smoking is permitted only on the balconies of the guestrooms
  • Free WiFi

Amenities

  •  Eco friendly
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
Bedroom Eco Fireplace Jungle Rustic property Resort cottage Villa

Overview

The Review

A little natural history background explains what’s unique about the Peace Lodge experience. First came the La Paz Waterfall Gardens, a privately owned 70-acre preserve that American owners Lee and Cindy Banks created as a themed environmental park to protect the land. Without cutting down one tree, the park opened in 2000 with 2.2 miles of hiking trails and viewing platforms connected by walkways along the falls that plunge through a canyon.

It’s an extraordinary eco-park, and guests of the on-site boutique Peace Lodge are invited to roam freely. And there is nothing ordinary about Peace Lodge, which spills down the northern slope of the Poás Volcano. The roadside reception hall overlooks the villas below, which are tucked into forest and garden vegetation and are accessed via stone pathways. {“type”:”img-inline”,”src”:”/static/images/product/properties/2182/prop-97537-1323275600-full.jpg”,”width”:”275″,”caption”:”Set at 5,200 feet, villas at Peace Lodge spill down the northern slope of the Poás Volcano.”}

Your name will be on the door that opens into the spacious, colorful quarters, with grand views. Timbered ceilings, hand-laid wood floors and huge stone fireplaces share the space with a canopied four-poster kingsize bed of rough-hewn timber, fitted with a fluffy down comforter. You can settle into a loveseat in front of the fireplace or a two-seater rocker and hammock on your private balcony, which has its own mosaic-tile Jacuzzi tub.

All the rooms have at least one Jacuzzi, 37″ flatscreen TVs, stereo, DVD player, minibar and fridge. But book a Deluxe Room for the sensationally cavernous grotto of a garden bathroom, a tribute to rain forest whimsy: The faucets are color coded, with a red frog for hot, blue for cold; there’s a jumbo Jacuzzi centered below the skylight; and at the flick of a switch a cascade tumbles down the seven-foot rock wall, landscaped with bromeliads, orchids and ferns.

Peace Lodge has yet to win culinary kudos, but breakfast on the restaurant terrace or in your room comes with great fresh fruit and juice and fine Costa Rican coffee. The buffet lunch — typically tasty local fare — is served in the Colibries restaurant. For ambience and pre-fixe dinners, try the guests-only upstairs restaurant, Vista Poás. And at sunset the lakeside Big Trout Bar is a favorite gathering spot for predinner tapas and fresh fruit drinks.

How to Get There

Peace Lodge
3 miles north from Gas Station, Varablanca
Heredia, 1973015 Costa Rica

Reviews

5.0 Excellent 1446 Reviews
Not worth over $400+/night
Reviewed 3 days ago

The waterfall garden is very pretty but it’s crowded like a zoo. There are many large group of tours from the cruiseship, and individual visitors. The restaurant is also occupied by these large groups for lunch. I was expecting a more quiet and relax garden.

Our room, 423 is located on the ground level, if you sit in the balcony, you can hear all people walk by you and their conversations. If you use the jacuzzi in the balcony, the room across can see you from its window or front door. ( lock of privacy)
The sound insulation in the room is poor. You can hear all activities from the room above you! ( walking, toilet flushing, and water running) The guest above us decided to use his jacuzzi at 6am in the morning. Our room felt like an earthquake!
The room is also a little aged. Especially the wood vanitity counter. It’s cracked and has tiny ants ran in between the gaps and near the faucet. The closest hanging rack is very high. You can’t reach it without a stool.

The dinner restaurant is pretty good, both food and service. Breakfast is not included in the room. The welcome drink is tasty!

The reception staffs are friendly and helpful.

I'll never forget this place!
Reviewed 4 days ago

Wow! We had such a wonderful experience here celebrating our anniversary. We were greeted in the lobby with a welcome massage. After a short walk down some stairs, we made it to our room. Amazing! Our bathroom took up half the room, complete with 2 showers, a spa and a waterfall! There were live plants along the wall so it was like having a little bit of the rainforest in our room. Our balcony overlooked the La Paz Waterfall gardens, forest and Poas volcano in the distance. It was nice to hear the birds in the sanctuary. Our balcony also had bird feeders so it was nice to observe them as we sipped on some wine. Did I mention their is another spa on the balcony? We were here in March so the temperatures are nice during the day and get a little chilly at night so if you are cold natured, bring some warm pajamas. The rooms don't have a/c but do have a fire place. I am cold natured but was comfortable the entire time. It was very peaceful here and we were truly able to disconnect. There isn't much to do in the area, so you probably don't want to spend more than 3-4 nights here, but wow, it is so worth it! We can't wait to return!

Excellent place to unwind
Reviewed 1 week ago

The accommodation consists of luxury lodges perched next to the Waterfall Gardens which you share during the day with tourists. The lodges are somewhat eccentric with a bigger bathroom than bedroom. If you feel that all bathrooms should come equipped with an artificial waterfall this is definitely the place for you.

For breakfast we had the best Gallo Pinto (the local equivalent of rice and peas) we had anywhere in Costa Rica. Evening dining is smart and good.

There are very extensive grounds to walk around.

Even although this is a tropical destination it gets cool in the evenings due to the altitude so do take something warm to wear in the evenings.

Cannot be better!
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This place is amazing! Exclusive, great room, views, and most of all first class people! they will do anything to please you! I have never had an experience like that. If you have only a few days in Costa Rice you might want to come here to see the animals, the jungle, the waterfalls, and the rescue "zoo". The food is first class as well!
Will be back, for sure!

As Good as It Gets!
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

It is hard to describe this hotel and the adjacent Waterfall Gardens without using superlatives like “amazing” and “best ever!” But these terms are no exaggeration. I have traveled to 210 cities in ten countries in my life, and this hotel and the adjacent waterfall garden are in my “top five must-return” list.

THE GOOD: SERVICE - first, there is the service. Staff members Alberto and Jose met me in the lodge lobby, and immediately I knew I was in for a special visit. From check-in to check-out and everything in between, I was treated like a combination of family and royalty. I had to ask for very little, as my requests were anticipated. I was escorted to my room like a rock star, walking down the manicured steps to where my room had my name on the placard outside the door. During my stay, my single call to the front desk resulted in instant service with a friendly yet highly professional attitude. I didn’t want to leave!

THE GOOD: ROOM, GROUNDS, AND AMENITIES - the hotel designer managed to marry a rustic, “on safari” look with cutting-edge comfort and amenities. I have added pictures of the room to my review, but the images can’t convey the actual “feel” of the property. The trails and grounds themselves were sculpted perfectly into the hillside overlooking the Waterfall Park, animal enclosure area, and the stocked trout pond for sports fishing. In my room, my mosquito-netted bed - the net is for atmosphere, no bugs in these rooms! - was as comfortable as what I expect when staying at the Four Seasons; the bathroom had an on-demand waterfall next to the Jacuzzi tub, and the waterfall shower provided an experience unlike anywhere I have stayed. The huge windows with jungle-proof screens could be opened to let in the cloud forest night noises without letting in unwanted visitors (moths, dragonflies, etc.) – I slept with the sounds of running water and distant fauna calling out, making for the best rest ever. My in-room gas fireplace with comfortable couch gave me a haven to relax, cocktail in hand, while the wind rustled the nearby trees. And the second of two Jacuzzis in my room, this one on the balcony overlooking the cloud forest, provided the best morning soak I have every experienced – allowing me to listen to the forest awaken with a volcano visible on the horizon. Birds of every description flew by to say “Hello.”

THE GOOD: THE WATERFALL PARK ITSELF - another “once in a lifetime” experience, just a one-mile loop walk from your room. First is the animal sanctuary, with big jungle cats and birds rescued that cannot be reintroduced into the wild. The snake exhibit was excellent, the butterfly and hummingbird enclosures were entertaining and educational. Expert staff were on hand to answer questions in each area, not only knowledgeable and helpful, these experts clearly loved their work. But for me, this was all an appetizer before the main event, walking though the forest on manicured paths and safe, engineered stairs to the series of waterfalls that bisects the LaPaz valley in the center. I stood ten feet from a plummeting cascade of water descending from the cliff above…worth the price of the trip alone.

WHAT YOU MAY NOT EXPECT: two things may surprise the visitor, particularly US travelers that see Costa Rica as a discount hotel destination. Due to the high standards, concierge-level service, beautiful setting, amazing rooms, and the resulting popularity of this property, the room price is higher than you may expect when compared with other Costa Rican properties. Spoiler alert: you get what you pay for, and this experience is world-class.

The second surprise is the lack of room availability in-season: this is a small boutique property with a huge demand. Locals book the property for weddings and other life events months or years ahead. Book your room as soon as you know your travel dates…you may be disappointed if you don’t plan way ahead.

OVERALL: if you visit Costa Rica, at least visit the LaPaz Waterfall Gardens, which you can enter with a day pass. But if you can stay in the hotel, you should!