The staff at Mar de Luz were very helpful. The garden and pool area are delightful. But I felt like I was staying in the secure compound for Jaco. Jaco has become a dump. It is sleezy and the streets are filled with people I would prefer not to encounter. It was the only place in Costa Rica where I was a bit nervous on the street. A very pleasant American warned us, I believe accurately, that "This is not a safe place to go out at night."
That of course is not the fault of the people at the hotel. We used this as a stopover for travel elsewhere. If I had booked two days, I probably would have eaten the second and gone elsewhere, far away from Jaco just to get away.
I am not horribly put off by beach behavior, we live in San Diego, where believe it or not, I have noticed a dope deal or two being carried out at local beaches. But I did not feel safe in Jaco. I feel sorry for the owners and staff of this hotel, because it is a pretty clean if funky budget beach hotel with a nice pool and garden. Unfortunately, it is in Jaco.