Other reviews have covered the special character of this hotel pretty well. To us, the highlight was the restaurant. The chef, Pablo, who was trained in Denmark, made us the most enjoyable meals we've had in a while.
I should also emphasize the personal level of service. The hotel is small (about 8 rooms), and when we were there in early August, there were few other guests. The new owners, John and Cici, went out of their way to make sure we had a pleasant stay. They and the staff shared a lot of local knowledge with us, and were very generous with their time. Without their help, we wouldn't have known about a nearby mangrove for kayaking, a local hiking trail, and a turtle conservation NGO that allowed us to accompany them on walks down the beach in search of turtles laying eggs.
Note that this hotel is in a less-touristed area, which has advantages and disadvantages. You'll be one of the only people on the beautiful beaches nearby, which is pretty amazing. But also consider that if you want to do common tourist things, like surfing lessons, you'll have to drive up the coast to Samara (about a 90 to 120 minute drive on dirt / gravel roads). I think that it would have been difficult to stay here without a rental car.
Also, we got driving directions that took us down the peninsula a bit, through Jicaral. The road across the peninsula from Jicaral to the southwest coast was the worst we experienced and should be avoided. Crossing up the peninsula a bit is much better - we drove back through Hojancha, which is more direct, and only had a small stretch of dirt road. We're told that the route through Nicoya is also good.
- Also Known As:
- Hotel Laguna Mar Costa Rica/Playa San Miguel
- 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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