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“An UNFORGETTABLE Experience!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Cala Luna Boutique Hotel & Villas

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Cala Luna Boutique Hotel & Villas
Tamarindo, Playa Langosta, Tamarindo, Costa Rica   |  
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Ranked #3 of 21 Hotels in Tamarindo
Certificate of Excellence 2014
New York, New York, United States
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“An UNFORGETTABLE Experience!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

My first trip to Costa Rica and by far my best vacation thus far. The upscale hotel has amazing service and everyone is extremely accommodating. The one aspect i appreciate the most from boutique hotels is the personal attention; the staff was so courteous, warm and friendly. The food was delicious; one restaurant had unique blends of tapas while the other restaurant had an eclectic array of dishes... they grow their spices and vegetables fresh in the garden! I also enjoyed the fresh made breakfast and the handsome chef who personally made my omelets :-) Aside from him, my favorite was the refreshing fresh watermelon juice. The ambiance was very calming and tranquil with free yoga in the morning, on premises massages, peace and quiet poolside silence and greenery everywhere; it allows you to appreciate mother nature on a whole new level. The sunlit rooms are cozy and most importantly clean! If you're coming to CR anticipating activities, well the hotel offers an array of options to choose from but the top picks I recommend are surfing, paddle surfing, bike riding through town, horse back riding, zip lining, cooking classes (for real foodies!) and boat tours... we had a jam packed trip. Definitely don't miss out on checking out the cacti labyrinth; it's apparently the largest in the world and you will fall in love with the owner of the premises. Location is very convenient; steps from the beach filled with local surfers and brazilian bikinis. It's also walking distance from a strip of bars, restaurants and local shopping. Hands down best hotel i've stayed in.

Room Tip: I recommend the villas!
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  • Stayed January 2013, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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463 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    342
    85
    22
    9
    5
See reviews for
151
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (111)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Hoboken, New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

Great place for a light Tapas dinner. Amazing selection of plates... My family & I went and all got 2 or 3 things and shared and it was SO delicious. Not one thing was bad. Great cocktails too. The atmosphere was awesome... although it's just a view of the pool and the villas, it's really nice and tropical... they achieve the "costa rica" feel, especially when there is live music. I'd recommend eating here if you're staying at a nearby house or in town!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 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.
Sao Paulo, SP
Top Contributor
120 reviews 120 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
149 helpful votes 149 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

The hotel is very good and the staff is one of the best I've seen. The breakfast could be improved: the dishes are always the same and it is very difficult to get a juice without sugar.
However, the biggest problem I see in this hotel is it location. That's because while I was planning my trip, I choosed the hotel based on the location shown at Google Maps - just near Tamarindo Diria, on the sand of Tamarindo beach and surrounded by bars, shops and restaurants.
When I arrived there, however, I got really frustrated when I realized that the location shown at Google Maps is wrong and that the hotel is in the middle of nowhere, in front of the rockiest part of Playa Langosta. There are no restaurants outside, no bars, no shops and no beach - just stones - and it is impossible to dive into the sea or even to sunbathe on the sand.
If you don't care for the location or prefer to stay away from the city, Cala Luna would be the best choice. But if you are looking for a good beach hotel surrounded by bars and restaurants, don't stay there and go directly to Tamarindo Diria.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san francisco, ca
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

Great little boutique hotel. The monkeys are a bit loud in the AM, but it's a nice place. They need to upgrade the wifi since it does not work in most of the rooms. Needed to go to the lobby or restaurant-which was a hassle. Given the cost and quality, I'm surprised they haven't spent the $100 to buy a couple of extenders.

Room Tip: closer to the lobby has better wifi
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
irvine
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

We just got back from Tamarindo and staying at Cala Luna was a definite high point. When we arrived and saw our villa, we could not believe we were staying in such a beautiful place - it surpassed our expections. The villa was spacious, the grounds well maintained, the staff incredibly friendly, and the food delicious! After our first dinner there, we immediately decided we needed come back another night. The food was very fresh and well prepared, plus our waiter, Wilbert, was delightful. This was by far our best meal in Costa Rica. I would not hesitate to recommend this hotel to anyone and look forward to returning!

Room Tip: Get a villa with a private pool!
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  • Stayed January 2013, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

We only went here to eat (and I also did some yoga) and cannot really comment on the hotel - other than to say that it looks really nice. We had dinner twice. Great food, mostly European, some Costa Rican touches. The tuna in the exotic marinade is delicious, same as most of the pasta. Lobster crepe is a let down. Meat is good too. Great selection of Belgium beers. Only place in 3 weeks in Costa Rica where they actually served us some bread (home made). Just do not go there at peak times (around 7pm, during peak season) the place then collapses a bit and it takes forever to get the orders - or like in the case of my sister and brother in law, the starter and main arrived at the same time.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

This Belgian run hotel has recently been refurbished and provides contemporary style with a local twist from the moment you enter its beautifully designed open-air lobby. I would not hesitate to recommend this place for couples, friends or families who are after some luxury accommodation in Tamarindo - a slightly hippy surf town that seemingly caters for everyone.

You don't get a beach view here, but do get large villas which are modern and very well furnished, ours having a kitchen, microwave, fridge etc as well as a dining table, big flatscreen TV and comfortable lounge area. Just as in the lobby, the designer had a field day, with interesting touches here and there which added character. There were TVs in each room and Wifi was good, but initially needed re-setting according to which part of the hotel I was in, which seemed needless. Free cocktails are served on the small, rocky local beach at sunset - just a two minute walk. The main beach/town is about a fifteen minute walk.

My main concern was the look and privacy of the garden of the villa, which seemed slightly unkept. It needed some love from a gardener. I was surprised no one came round to scoop the debris out of the pool every morning, though on one day, no housekeeping came round at all until mid afternoon and only after calls to the front desk. A blip, I am sure. The grounds are also not at all private - anyone walking the communal path could see straight into most of the grounds, so I never felt as relaxed as I should have been - from a security point of view as well as privacy. One afternoon, a non client facing member of staff walked right through the garden, past our pool and into next door while we were sunbathing - no, 'do you mind?' or 'excuse me' or indeed any communication - it was clearly just a short cut. Security staff also walked the front of our villa - its location (5) acted as a short cut from their post to the central path.

Food was generally good, with tapas at the bar and a mix of local and European/US food at the restaurant - from burgers and pasta through to salads and local dishes. The chef likes to throw salt into everything - someone needs to tell him it's not healthy.

We had a lovely chat with a young staffer from Belgium, who is clearly loving her new life in paradise. She was also a voice of reassurance when all the lights went out for about 10 minutes - something not untypical for the locality rather than the hotel itself, apparently. We were also visited by a skunk that evening, to add to the amazing tally of creatures seen (or in this case, smelt) on the trip to Costa Rica.

One final thing - young reception worker Carlos who was on duty when we arrived and when we needed front desk has a great future ahead of him in the hospitality business. Presentable, superb English, friendly, and just the right amount of chat (staff elsewhere in the country sometimes virtually interrogated me in an effort to be 'nice') - made for a great combination - in fact, all client facing staff were good in their own way.

Pros:
- excellent staff, friendly service
- clean, renovated villas
- beautifully designed hotel
- decent food
- large communal pool, decent loungers and service
- taxis are plentiful

Cons:
- lack of privacy in the villa
- slightly unkept look to the villa pool area
- random visits to the villa by staff (oh, and by raccoons x4, which was an interesting experience, but I would have been angry if I had young children).
- beach is unusable, so you will have to go into town by rental or taxi (short drive) for sun bathing

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Cala Luna Boutique Hotel & Villas

Address: Tamarindo, Playa Langosta, Tamarindo, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Tamarindo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 21 Hotels in Tamarindo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 31
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We're ideally located on a secluded slice of the pristine beach called Playa Langosta, where you can enjoy a sunset all to yourself . Our boutique resort offers our guests the finest amenities paired with the friendliest service, offering plenty of space, ample bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen and comfortable living and dining areas, our villas, have two or three bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen . Delight your palate with fresh, locally caught fish, vegetables and herbs grown right here at our hotel, and organic wines from the most revered regions on the planet in our Cala Moresca Restaurant. Our relaxed atmosphere and full attention to your needs also make Cala Luna an ideal retreat to celebrate your honeymoon or anniversary. ... more   less 
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