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“The Beauty and Beaches of Costa Rica Away from the Crowds” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Laguna Mar

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Hotel Laguna Mar
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Between Coyote and Playa San Miguel | Front of the School Javilla, Playa San Miguel 5301-48, Costa Rica   |  
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50% off room rate
Kensington, Maryland
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“The Beauty and Beaches of Costa Rica Away from the Crowds”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

If you're looking to experience the beauty of Costa Rica's western coast and its magnificent beaches, book a room at Hotel Laguna Mar in Javilla, Costa Rica. I stayed there during the first week of December (2012) and it was one of the best vacations I've ever had!

Located in remote Guanacaste, the hotel provides a convenient ‘home base’ to explore nearby beaches. You’ll want to visit several of them for different experiences. One beach may offer gentle waves in a sheltered cove. Another will have interesting rock formations and the kind of waves surfers dream about. The one thing they all have in common however is that they’re undoubtedly some of the most beautiful, expansive and pristine beaches you’ll ever see.

Getting to Hotel Laguna Mar is easier than it seems. Simply book a flight on Nature Air from San Juan to Punta Islita. This can be done online. Once there, it’s about a 45 minute drive to the small town of Javilla. Drew, the owner of Hotel Laguna Mar, or his assistant Anjelica can help you make arrangements to get there. My recommendation would be to rent a car (4 wheel drive is a must on the dirt roads) so you can explore beaches and towns at your leisure.

In fact, once you book with Hotel Laguna Mar, the proprieter will send you several pages of information to help plan your stay. For instance, he gave us arrival tips for the San Juan Airport, provided currency conversion information, recommended beaches to explore, and offered to arrange many types of excursions including a turtle nesting tour, a horseback tour, surf lessons, a waterfall tour and kayaking. Seeing the stunning sunset while on horseback was unforgettable, as was helping endangered baby sea turtles make their way to the surf after sunset.

The hotel itself is a modern luxury in a beautiful and remote setting. Glancing around the open air lobby, you’re surrounded by mountains, farms and jungle Rooms are large, extremely clean, and nicely furnished. (With hot, hot, showers!) And the atrium pool is perfect for cooling off after a walk home from the beach or stargazing in the evenings. Get a drink, stick your feet in the water and chat with your friends before heading ten feet over to the restaurant for dinner.

Dining at the hotel holds unexpected pleasures. Chef Pablo trained in Denmark and Italy and has a flare for showcasing Costa Rican cuisine with his high end culinary talents. He’s also a delight to chat with as he makes the rounds to describe his daily specials. I consider myself a ‘foodie’ (having eaten my way through Manhattan and DC) and would definitely rate Chef Pablo’s meals as four and five star.

After a week at the hotel, I felt relaxed and rejuvenated, as if I had been away at a spa. I got into the Costa Rican groove ( Pura Vida) and away from the hustle and bustle of my normal routine. I'd go back in a heart beat.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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145 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (31)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

I spent a week at Laguna Mar (first week of December 2012) and loved every minute of it. The hotel is nestled in a quiet neighborhood in the remote town of Javilla which is a beautiful, laidback, piece of paradise. We flew into Punta Islita airport via Nature Air from San Jose, CR. The airport is about a 30 minute drive from the hotel. The hotel owner, Drew, was kind enough to arange for transportation to the hotel but if you are going to rent a car, they can arrange to meet you at the airport. This is a very remote area but frankly, I found the signage easier to follow than the signage in N. Virgina:) The hotel has close access to some of the most beautiful virtually deserted beaches I have every seen. The hotel is a newly built, modern design - very comfortable rooms and a great pool to relax by when you aren't out and about exploring. I was originally planning to travel alone and was assured that it would be safe for a single women however I decided to invite three friends and it was a good choice as this is an experience to be shared with friends. It makes a great destination for a girls trip although I would have felt safe travelling alone in this area. The restaraunt is a real star (check out the reviews under Hotel Laguna Mar restaurant). The chef is very personable and chats with the patrons regarding different options to customize your meal. The food was so outstanding we considered it a foodie vacation and had difficultly transitioning back into our normal lives and living without Pablo's great cuisine. The hotel's owner is very attentive to the patrons and will make sure you are happy during your stay. Michael is also very attentive and will make sure you have what you need. I would advise you to rent an SUV as the roads are not paved and the location is remote so a vehicle will give you more choices for exploration. Playa San Miguel is only a 5 minute car ride. We walked there one day but it is not a stoll you'll want to take when the sun gets really hot because you will wilt before you make it back to the hotel. There are several other gorgeous beaches within an hours drive worth visiting - the first morning we were there I witnessed a sea turtle walk up the beach, dig a hole and lay her eggs! Increditble. Some of the tours we took include releasing rescued baby turtles that recently hatched onto the beach and watch them make their way into the ocean (via Turtle Trax), the mangrove tour with Freddie the boat guy, horseback riding in the mountains and watching the sunset, kayaking and snorkeling in Samara Beach. Angelica can assist in setting up the tours for you and suggesting others which can be done prior to your visit or on the fly during your visit. We also drove to the small town of Punta Islita which is about 45 minutes away - Stop by the non-profit art museum to view and purchase art made by some of the locals - it will make a great souviner to remind you of this wonderful part of the world. The town of Samara is also worth a trip. It is about a 90 minute drive. While there, check out Guptos restaurant. We spent 2 afternoons there lounging under the palm trees - this restaurant is situated on yet another gorgeous beach with calm waters. The restaurant has a private area to change in or out of your suit as well as wash off the sand. The food is also terrific and as you lounge in their chairs on the beach the staff (ask for Alan) will keep your glasses (and bellies) full. You can ride a horse on the beach - no need to schedule in advance- you'll see the guides on the beach ready to take you along. Samara also has shops and art worth checking out. I would schedule at least a day there to fit everthing in. On the way back to Javilla, stop at the public beach on the way out of town and pick up a fresh coconut w/straw and enjoy the coconut milk. By the time our week had ended, we felt rejuvinated and energized and we are working hard to hold onto all the great feelings and things we experienced in this tropical paradise. This is a great place for people who want to unplug, relax and breath. Hotel Laguna Mar made the perfect headquarters for the perfect vacation.

Room Tip: I had the room on the highest floor - it is large and has a private balcony. I loved waking up to t...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2012

Superior Luxury 7 Star Hotel With Genuine Above & Beyond Best Customer Service Care! Ian Schrager Tico Fusion Design Throughout, Quality Detailed Sophistication & Honored Tico Tradition.
Farm To Table James Beard Cuisine.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pomfret, Connecticut
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2012

I happened upon Laguna Mar quite by accident late one night while traveling along the Pacific coast of Guanacaste in CR- This is a new hotel with a beautiful swimming pool, bar area, and dining room- The owner,
Mr. Andrew Callahan is very accommodating and takes all of the steps to make sure that your room is comfortable, the cuisine is to your liking and your drink glass is properly filled. There is a good mix of locals,hotel guests,and expats dropping in for food and drinks. My days were occupied around the pool, at the beach, and taking tours recommended by the hotel staff.
All in all a nice time and I would highly recommend this hotel to any traveler in this part of the country.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carlsbad, California
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2012

We had the absolute best time at Laguna Mar! We stayed here while dropping off our daughter for a long term internship with Pertoma.org. She was accepted to be a research assistance for the group's sea turtle conservation project, and was kicking off on a 3 month stint. While at Laguna Mar, we experienced the most dedicated, and attentive staff! The hotel is BEAUTIFUL, super clean, super relaxing and the food is absolutely wonderful. The nights are casual, with locals and ex-Pats wondering by for food, drink, and good company. We were lucky to be there on a weekend night were there was music and dancing - so much fun! We felt like part of the wonderful local neighborhood, which is an experience you will not get at many places! Highly recommend this wonderful hotel - you will not be disappointed!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Corozalito, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

I was introduced to this hotel because I live in the area working with a sea turtle project, so all of us in the project are quite familiar with the coast of Guanacaste in Costa Rica. We were so happy when we stumbled upon Hotel Laguna Mar. The food, staff, pool, atmosphere, hotel design, and location truly make this place a gem in the middle of paradise. We return there often to pass the day, swimming, eating, and sometimes staying the night. It's simply one of those places where you want to be.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, New York, United States
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

My husband and I were introduced to Hotel Laguna Mar as we were searching for a honeymoon spot near the beach, with equal parts adventure and relaxation. We have wanted to go to Costa Rica for some and were thrilled when we started to learn more about the south-west / Pacific side of Nicoya Peninsula and we were introduced to Hotel Laguna Mar. We did not want to be in the middle of Tourist Central, and we loved the idea that this spot was near to adventure (surfing, fishing, ziplining, golf, hikes, etc) but even closer to relaxation (Playa Coyote, Costa de Oro, Playa San Miguel, Playa Islita). When we arrived, Drew and Angelica met us with open arms and a drink ready. We immediately fell in love with our room and the full staff at the hotel. Since we got there late, we decided to grab a bit in the hotel restaurant and we ate almost every meal there the entire week. Pablo (Chef) was top-notch...trained in Europe and adding the little extra that we didn't expect being in such a tiny wonderful coastal town. From our first day, Hotel Laguna Mar was our wonderful oasis to come home to, relax in the pool or hottub and enjoy an amazing meal at even more amazing/reasonable prices. This place is truly a gem. We woke up to howler monkeys and parrots outside our windows, and fell asleep to crickets and stars. Each day, Pablo or Angelica helped offer suggestions for what we had in mind - fishing with a local fisherman and purchasing our lobsters directly off the boat from the lobsterdiver, golf, zip lining, directions to the beautiful and most serene beaches I've ever walked. The estuary was 100% ours for the time we were there - at high tide it will be your own private saltwater swimming pool and was absolutely magnificent.

In all, I can't express how incredible the hotel and staff made us feel on our honeymoon. We can't wait to visit again. Thanks Drew, Angelica, Pablo, Micheal and Alvero! We love you guys!

Room Tip: The hotel has 9 rooms and we stayed in the penthouse. Each had plenty of room, a hot shower and a co...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Drew C, Manager at Hotel Laguna Mar, responded to this review, November 25, 2012
Thank you for your review! We really enjoyed having you stay with us at Laguna Mar!

From all of us at Laguna Mar,
"Happy Holidays"

Drew
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Hotel Laguna Mar

Address: Between Coyote and Playa San Miguel | Front of the School Javilla, Playa San Miguel 5301-48, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa San Miguel
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Playa San Miguel
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Laguna Mar 3.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Javilla's premiere boutique hotel. Located along the Pacific Coast in Costa Rica, Hotel Laguna Mar offers the best of both worlds — an exotic, tropical environment and the service of a fine four star hotel. Visit the real Costa Rica where the ocean water is warm nature completely surrounds you. Hotel Laguna Mar awaits your visit. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Laguna Mar Costa Rica/Playa San Miguel

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