5.0
Excellent 1462 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 1462 Reviews
Beautiful lodge, horrible beds
Reviewed 4 days ago

The lodge, room, pool, and grounds were breathtakingly beautiful! Unfortunately, the beds were extremely hard and felt as if there were boards shoved underneath, no sleep. I was shocked since the price per night is extremely high, and the restaurant was mediocre at best.

A definite must see !!
Reviewed 5 days ago

Relaxing meets nature here at this unique resort. Visit the animals, gorgeous waterfalls and great food. The rooms are so unique. Take a shower in a waterfall. Great first night stay for the whole family. Everyone is so friendly and helpful. Whatever you need they are here for you. Great food, beautiful grounds and breathtaking views. You will be so glad you stayed, and will hate to leave.

AWESOME first night in Costa Rica!
Reviewed 5 days ago

I was on the fence about staying here our first night in Costa Rica, mostly because I didn't want to unpack my family one extra time. But we decided to go for it based on the great reviews and because I wanted to break up the 3 hour drive from San Jose to The Springs in Arenal. We were so happy we did! The place is like a combination of a small interactive zoo, with waterfalls & trails, and with an amazing hotel and restaurant on site.

We arranged transportation from San Jose through the hotel, which went very smoothly. The driver even stopped at a store to buy us water because we were thirsty, even though we didn't ask him to - it was a very thoughtful gesture. Upon arrival, the front desk called down to the Sloth caretakers to let them know we were headed down, so that we would still get a chance to feed them. We fished in the trout pond, where someone was there to help my boys (9 & 11) with their bait, and to unhook their fish. I saw the most beautiful violet hummingbird in the hummingbird garden - I could have sat there watching the dozens of birds all afternoon. Our favorite part was waking up very early the next morning and being the only ones in the butterfly pavillion, and in the toucan pavillion - most of the exhibits are unlocked for guests, which made for a very personal experience.

We went on the evening frog tour, and it ended up being a private tour. We also arranged for a trip to the nearby Paos volcano - I recommend it if you have the time. We actually pushed back our departure time so that we could spend an extra half day here - in total we were here about 24 hours but felt like we experienced so much.

The restaurant food was great for breakfast and dinner - we actually thought the lunch buffet that everyone raved about was just so-so. I think our absolute favorite part of the whole experience was the bathroom in our hotel room, which sounds like a silly thing to say, but you should have seen this bathroom! It had a cathedral ceiling, beautiful stained glass, a tall decorative waterfall and real greenery, a waterfall shower, a second steam shower, and a stone bathtub (in addition to the hot tub on the deck). It was unbelievable! My kids did a video tour of our hotel room so that we could re-live it when we got home. This was just the deluxe room, on the top floor, and we had a king bed plus 2 roll-aways for our boys so the setup was perfect.

I would definitely recommend this hotel, and it really is worthy of much more than just the stop-over from San Jose that we did. We also highly recommend the sister property, The Springs. It was very different from Peace Lodge in terms of the experience, so don't worry about feeling like you've booked the same place 2x if you're planning to stay at both. I wouldn't have changed a thing!

A total splurge but well worth it
Reviewed 7 days ago

We have the same rave review as so many other guests. This is the most expensive place we have ever stayed but wow was it a lovely experience. The service is outstanding, the rooms and grounds amazing, and all the attractions are phenomenal. We spent 2 nights and could have easily spent another 1 or 2 more, just enjoying all the many animal exhibits, relaxing on our balcony, or sitting in the warm pool... We greatly enjoyed feeding the humming birds and our daughter got to feed one of the ocelots raw meat!! An ocelot!! The hike was nice as well, although a little crowded if you get behind a tour group. We were sorry we didn't have time for the other trails, as they sounded really peaceful. Would love to come back here if we ever get the chance...

Bucket list resort
Reviewed 1 week ago

My beautiful wife was try to find a dream vacation spot in Costa Rica that would have Hummingbirds... she googled “ Hummingbird “ and La Paz Peace Lodge came up. Well this place is not cheap, but a dream vacation location can not have a price limit. After looking at the Web site and seeing what the rooms and the grounds we decided to book the room for 3 nights anyway. After a 5 hour drive from Guanacaste we arrived at the waterfalls just as the heavy clouds were hiding the mountains and everything is sight... we had a major panic attack because we thought the GPS took us to a simple waterfall... after asking a gentleman driving the bus directions we discovered we were only a couple Km’s from our destination... a couple more corners and just up on top of the next hill and we couldn’t believe our eyes... what a decadent property, beauty beyond words. We were not allowed to carry our luggage, the amazing staff took care of everything. Our private condo even had our name at the door... only 5 buildings with 4 condos in each, we felt like we had the place to ourselves. I have never seen a room with all the amazing features this place has. 2 waterfalls in the bathroom next to a Rock Jacuzzi tub. 2 different showers, a fire place, massive Balcony with another Jacuzzi tub, Hummingbird feeder... and a million dollar view. They had a swimming pool down below, Hot tub, next to a Fish pond... Jaguars, Pumas,Toucans, Macaws, Monkeys, Sloths, Butterflies, Ocelots, Frogs, Snakes, overall they have 26 different types of Hummingbirds migrating through the property, 3.5 Km’s of hiking trails to the 5 amazing waterfalls, a Spa, 2 bars, 3 different restaurants. The staff were the friendliest, most helpful we have ever encountered. We had the pleasure of meeting the owner Lee Banks who hung out and talked with us several times, the General Manager Roy Torres also hung out with us... they are very proud of what they have accomplished here at the Peace Lodge, they took time to visit with all the people staying at the lodge. The time they took to get to know the guests is amazing, you could see they wanted to make sure everyone was having the vacation of a lifetime. lee told us how he found the property and what inspired him to develop this amazing place, that is also a sanctuary for many of the animals here. I can say enough or show enough pictures to give you a idea of how spectacular this property is... it is only an hour drive from San Jose Airport so you don’t have to come from Guanacaste... The wife just discovered you can take a tour package from Tamarindo to the Peace Lodge.... however it is a 16 hour day, better off to book a room for a night of 3 and live life to its fullest here at the peace lodge, you will not forget, or regret it. It’s not just for couples, the whole family can enjoy this place... I didn’t even talk about hand feeling the Hummingbirds, they were the main reason we came here, that experience alone was worth the trip for us... all the amazing staff, Oscar, Daniel, Andres, Silvia, Roberto the vet, and Papa the keeper for the large cats. Thank you again to Lee and Roy for the time spent hang out with us, and sharing this amazing property with us... we will be going back.