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“The Very Friendly Hostel” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Luz en el Cielo Eco-B&B/Hostel

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Luz en el Cielo Eco-B&B/Hostel
50 metros antes del centro de Montezuma, Montezuma, Costa Rica   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 14 Montezuma B&B and Inns
Montezuma, Costa Rica
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“The Very Friendly Hostel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2011

I intended to only stay one night, but had such an amazing time that it became a couple of days. Luz en el Cielo reflects what a hostel should be... an inexpensive, basic living,and a meeting place for friendly people. Breakfast is included... the best gallo pinto and pineapple that I have had. The rooms and bathroom are clean and basic with fans and lights. The kitchen is orderly, and best of all, the people are very welcoming. You could always find someone that is up to do something whether it is waterfalls, beach, party or cooking a meal. The 5 min trek from the beach to Luz en el Cielo is a smallish hill but well worth it.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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124 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    86
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 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 (19)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Peterborough, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2011

Having consulted Trip Advisor, we decided that this was the place to stay in Montezuma.

We had two beds in the cabin, that is apparently not quite finished yet. I realize that profits are everything but it would have been better to finish construction before packing it with bunks. The windows were without bars or screens so they could not be opened unless you wanted the room even more full of mosquitos and all of your stuff stolen. This wasn't so bad in itself, but the lack of a fan was inexcusable. When it's 30*C out and humid and the bunks are so close together that you can't sit on the edge of one without your knees touching the adjacent one, sleeping is difficult. To make things worse, the neighbours have two dogs, one large and one small that bark all night without so much as a rest. Earplugs do nothing for barking. I realize that this has nothing to do with the actual hostel but it is something that you should consider.

There were only two keys for the 8 bed cabin. I'm no math expert but I believe that 6 more are actually necessary. This means that you must track down a staff member or the security guard every time you want in. Or, just leave the cabin open to theft as was often the case.

The free breakfast is a small pile of beans and rice (you will be very tired of this by now if you've been in Costa Rica for more than a week), a single slice of toast and a banana. Bananas are about seven cents American each while a slice of toast works out to be about ten cents. The price of the rice and beans works out to be negligible when the quantity purchased is large -- maybe five cents a piece? So, for your $3-5 extra, you get a twenty-five cent breakfast. After staying at a number of hostels that include breakfast, we expected the standard "tea/coffee with unlimited toast and fruit," which is also a healthy breakfast.

One of the nice features of the cabin is that it has running water, as was shown to us when we checked in. It even has a bathroom outside the door. Unfortunantly the water is turned off every night, so once whatever is in the lines is gone, that's it. There's nothing as nice as starting your day with half a shower and then having to wait for a different shower to rinse off the soap, before you have some dry, flavourless rice and beans for breakfast. It wouldn't be so bad if you'd been able to sleep through the stifling heat in the dead calm with two dogs barking close-by the night before.

We changed hostels to one that offered a private double with private bath for less than the cost of the dorm. The room was even cleaned daily.

Luz en el Cielo does have potential. If the cabin were modified to have some type of airflow, whether it be windows that can be opened or even a fan, it would be a lot better. As for the dogs, maybe an arrangement can be reached with their owners or something. All of Central America has barking dogs at night, but none matched the consistency and volume of these two that actually sounded like they were coming from a nearby accomodation. More breakfast should be available, perhaps even a bit of variety. Bananas may be the cheapest fruit but there are others that aren't far off. If the water must be turned off nightly, at least inform people. Mosquito nets are necessary when staying in the cabin (a staff member suggested we wear repellent to bed AND get a net). It feels like a rip-off to have to pay extra for them.

The staff are friendly and helpful, even if they are high all the time. The kitchen is nice, open and clean, as is the common area. There are monkeys in the trees that you don't see if you stay in town. I can't speak for the main accomodation area, as it may not share the problems that plague the cabin.

Room Tip: Don't stay in the cabin.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
LiveLaughLove000, Manager at Luz en el Cielo Eco-B&B/Hostel, responded to this review, May 15, 2011
We appreciate you taking the time to give us your feedback. Since your stay, multiple improvements have been made here at Luz. We now have fans in the cabina. Breakfast has been revised to include eggs, a variety fresh fruit, toast, coffee and gallo pinto (a traditional Costa Rican breakfast). Our policy regarding keys is designed for security purposes, as well as guest convenience (nothing to forget at the beach, waterfall, etc.). Providing a safe, comfortable, relaxing atmosphere is one of our goals at Luz en el Cielo.
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Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2011

Abbie is a strong young woman whose vision is impressive by any standard. I wish her and Luz en el Cielo the best in achieving her goals.
Rob clearly thinks about ways he could be improving the hostel all the time, talking to guests about their expertise that could benefit the hostel. He is consistent and responsible, as well as engaging and fun.
Francois and Tomas (sp?) were great fun, and Tomas was our crab champion when crabs swarmed Montezuma after some rain.
Water pressure isn't great.
Breakfast is gallo pinto, fruit, and coffee.
It made me a little sad to learn that my friend and I were the first to offer dinner on our last night as our tip for the staff's generous help.
$2 for towel rental during your stay, $2 for bed nets for the entire stay.
Love the hammocks.
Learned how to make sushi, and then ate it with about 10 people.
Birds and monkeys all about the property. Internet was consistently good so long as the town had it.
Pet dogs, so if you're allergic or afraid, may not be the best place for you.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Arnhem, The Netherlands
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2011

Sincerely, I have never been in a hostel before with such genuinely friendly and helpfull staff as at Luz en el Cielo.

For example, if you come in without making a reservation and the place happens to be full for the night, the staff will always try to arange another place for you to stay, which is just one of the many thumbs up for the friendly service.

This hostel has a very nice open and relaxed atmosphere, which makes it a great place to just hang out with other guests or staffmembers. Montezuma is a relaxed little town to spend your holiday, but at night I preferred just to stay at the communal platform at Luz' to cook, socialize or just relax in one of the hammocks . And yes, there are guests and staff members present who smoke weed, but if you have problems with that, why are you spending time in Montefuma in the first place?

This is a hostel so I don't expect any kind of luxury, but the only thing which was a lack in my opinion is the absence of lockers. I don't have any doubt on the safety of this place, but still it's kind of annoying that you have to go ask the staff everytime that you need your wallet or any other valuable from the safe. Installing individual lockers doesn't have to be a big investment though all guests would appreciate it I think.

Furthermore I can only tell that Luz en el Cielo is not just a hostel, it's an experience.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Charleston, Illinois
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2011

My friend and I stayed in Luz en el Cielo in August and had a great time. We actually extended our trip an extra day because we liked Montezuma so much. The location is perfect - it's quiet because it's right on the edge of town. Breakfast is included and "family dinner" nights were a great way to meet and hang out with other guests. The owner is so nice and helpful, props to her for making it such a great place.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Toronto, Canada
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2011

We came to Luz en el Cielo seeing it had fantastic reviews on Tripadvisor, but for us it didn't live up to its reputation. Don't get me wrong, it has great potential! There are just some basic things that need a bit of work.

Kiwidiwi's review (below) is spot on, but I would argue you won't find a place in Montezuma without noise at night - street noise, beach noise, drum circles. It's part of being in Montezuma; it may be a small town, but it's bustling.

What I would add is that there are no lockers in Luz en el Cielo (or if there are, we weren't told about them), which is why I didn't give this place an "average" rating. The lack of lockers felt like an enormous oversight on behalf of the owners.

Like I said, though, the place has potential. The staff is very friendly and helpful, the bunks and common rooms are clean (though some of the guests certainly were not), and I liked the laid-back vibe.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
LiveLaughLove000, Owner at Luz en el Cielo Eco-B&B/Hostel, responded to this review, February 10, 2011
I am very sorry to hear that you were not fully satisfied with your stay at Luz en el Cielo. We will take all of your comments to heart and make sure that other travelers leave here without negative perceptions.

To address your concern about safety; we are a very safe hostel and have never had the need for lockers. (We have never had a problem with theft at Luz en el Cielo, and plan on keeping it that way.) We have a lock box in the office that we encourage guests to keep their important belongings in. The only people allowed upstairs are guests and employees. There is always somebody on duty, so nobody comes or goes without being seen. (We are the only hostel in town that has a security guard)

The day after I read your review, we started constructing lockers, I agree with the added security measures. You can never be too safe!

Cheers!
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2011 via mobile

After reading a lot of bad reviews about hostels in montezuma we decided to go to one that did not have any on tripadvisor. Although the hostel is "mwha - ok" it could certainly use some improvements. 

The location is not very good. It is next to the main road which gives some noise during the night and there is not, as to many other hostels at the beach, a nice view. Although there are sometimes monkeys climbing and jumping from the trees.  One thing about these trees is that it gets really warm because it prevents the ocean breeze from flowing through it. 

Also, the larger dorm for eight persons has no fan or whatsoever. Here again, because there is no breeze it can get really hot. 

There are Mosquitos here... And the hostel owner let's you rent a mosquito net for two dollars a night. 

The breakfast is the cheapest breakfast we ever got in costa rica. Just some rice, beans, one banana and one toast. A 0,20$ breakfast. Most of the hostels in town which don't provide breakfast charge 10 - 12 dollars a night. This breakfast is not worth the 3 - 5 dollars extra.

The community room is far to small. Was probably big enough when the new dorm cabin wasn't there. But now this hostel with 20 beds instead of 12 is to small.

Now the staff is helpful and friendly but some of them are constantly smoking weed... 

So in the end this hostel needs some improvements to become a good value hostel. It could become a really great hostel but at this moment I cannot recommend it. 

  • Stayed January 2011
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
LiveLaughLove000, Owner at Luz en el Cielo Eco-B&B/Hostel, responded to this review, February 5, 2011
I am sorry that you didn't enjoy your time here at Luz en el Cielo. It is disheartening to hear that you had such a disappointing experience. Thank you for your criticism, we will take everything that you said into consideration while continuing to improve our strong reputation in Montezuma..

Just to clarify, bug nets are rented for $2, one time charge for as long as you stay. We pride ourselves on making a typical/healthy Costa Rican breakfast, which most guests feel is worth the extra couple bucks.

Pura Vida!
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Additional Information about Luz en el Cielo Eco-B&B/Hostel

Address: 50 metros antes del centro de Montezuma, Montezuma, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Montezuma
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 14 B&Bs / Inns in Montezuma
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Wake up to the sounds of the jungle. Luz en el Cielo B&B/Hostel is located just out of Montezuma's town center. Montezuma is a small beach town with a huge heart and a lot of charm. This newly renovated, classy hostel is great for budget travels, families and couples. We currently have three dorm rooms in the main lodge, one dorm cabina with it's own balcony and bathroom, each equipped with new mattress, sheets and furnishings. We also have newly built private cabinas as of January 2012. Enjoy using our wireless internet, communal kitchen and lounge. Breakfast is included with every stay, as well as coffee all day. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Luz En El Cielo Eco-b&b/ Hotel Montezuma
Luz En El Cielo Eco-Bed And Breakfast/Hostel

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