I want this to be a fair review so in no way does Luna Negra deserve more than 3 stars and neither can I offer it any less since it does offer the necessary accommodations in a place (Puerto Viejo) where hot water is a luxury.
Firstly, I'd like to classify Luna Negra as a B&B but there was no breakfast so I'll just call it a B&S (shower). Breakfast would have been a nice gesture considering that we paid around $125 per night.
For that $125, we did get the largest "unit", which was the second floor 3 room apartment with a nice terrace. The site says that the place is like 100 meters from the beach, which is true, but it fails to mention that it's 15 meters from the road! The road, no matter how small is the main road that leads to town and has enough cars on it well into the night.
More about the place. It's run by a nice Dutch woman (Doreen) and consists of a two story building with a 2nd floor large apartment where we stayed next to a 1 room apartment where the owner resides. Both of them are above a pizzeria kitchen which is run by Marco..not sure what their arrangement is there but the pizza is really good!
Behind them is are a few more single story cabins.
Note, the layout of the apartment is such that it's completely open, there are two doors, and two large windows that lead to the terrace. If not fully closed and locked anyone can get in. Also, there is no safe anywhere on the premises. When asked about that, the owner shrugged and said "why do you need a safe? we live here, we're here all the time and we have dogs" Now, having researched Puerto Viejo a bit, what she says actually make sense. There have been quite a few theft and robbery incidents there and a couple cases that were worse, usually involving an attack on a secluded house. Luna Negra, albeit fully accessible from all sides is not secluded and I did hear the dogs bark one night, definitely a thief deterrent. If that sounds reasonable to you, then you have the right attitude for the Costa Rica east coast.
More about the apartment. It's got the bare essentials, walls and a bathroom with a shower. The shower has hot water which works all the time if you turn the knob just enough (it's a coil system which turns on when the water is running). We of course, didn't turn the nob correctly and had a few lukewarm showers before figuring it out.
The larger bedroom has two basic beds with mosquito nets (you may need them). The first night I must have stuck my hand out of the net and paid dearly for it with a 'handful' of bites (pun intended). The other bedroom is a box with a bed. It was supposed to have a fan there but we didn't find one. Good thing that it wasn't too hot and we didn't need it.
Finally, the terrace is nice and I guess is the best thing about this place. You can see the beach and relax on the many chairs or hammock. Note, there are two hammocks there but one is made for children. Having a second adult hammock there would have been a great addition, almost another half star worth :). Also, remember you're in Playa Negra which translates to black beach - a beach with black sand. It looks dirty and wild but it's not dirty. It is, however, wild but that's what you're here for right?
All in all, this is a decent enough place for Puerto Viejo, if you're traveling with a group and need a place with a couple of rooms and beds and very close to town but still away from it, Luna Negra may be for you. Don't forget to try the pizza.
- Also Known As:
- Luna Negra Hotel Puerto Viejo
- Luna Negra Costa Rica/Limon