I lived in Costa Rica for three months in 2004. Originally I started out in Tamarindo, but fell in love with Montezuma after visiting a week or so into my trip and decided to move there instead.
I lived in in one of the Luz de Mono casita's for the length of my stay and...quite frankly...it was simply amazing.
First thing you must remember, however, is that you are pretty much in the jungle - so keep in mind that this isn't a 5-star resort with the amenities one is accustomed to having when paying for accommodations.
The hotel is made up of Casitas (little houses) on the edge of town. There is a main office that also has a small, cabana type building right next to it, where I believe they hold different types of events (music, yoga, etc). I was there in the low season...so they never had anything going on.
Each Casita is surrounded by trees, foliage and are mostly secluded from one another. Brick & stone pathways lead between and to each casita...but be careful....many are uneven or missing...so it is easy to stumble. Each Casita is different...some more expensive than others. I stayed in one that was pretty much like a studio apartment. The sleeping/kitchen area in one open area...though the kitchen area was down a few steps. The kitchen area just had an older refrigerator and a small microwave. The sink and dining table was actually located on the covered porch of the casita. The floors in the casita were tile and the small bathroom was nicely laid out with a shower you walked down steps to enter. There was rarely warm water and, after a heavy rain...the water was brown for a day.
There were *tons* of bugs. But again, this is the jungle and I was there in the rainy season. I ended up buying mosquito netting to drape over my bed so they didn't land on me at night. There is no glass on the windows...only screens...though several of mine had huge holes in them. These were eventually fixed after a few weeks. Though overall, I always had to have a can of RAID handy. I did notice that my casita had a problem with termites in the wooden beams above the porch and living area.
The manager of Luz de Mono was very nice. She made me feel very welcome as I was a single girl traveling on my own. The woman who cleaned the Casita each week did a great job...though because my spanish skills weren't quite up to par...we had a hard time communicating at times. Mostly I just smiled and used my hands to communicate when I wasn't trying to practice my rudimentary spanish skills.
However...one very important thing I must point out is that theft is a very serious problem in the area. Not only to Luz de Mono, but pretty much every hotel in Montezuma. In the first two weeks I lived there, 4 other casitas were broken into and throughout my stay I heard of at least a dozen more people having their rooms broken into at other hotels. Anything of value was stolen, including passports. I thought I was pretty lucky until a few weeks later the same thing happened to me.
All in all, they made off with about $5000 worth of equipment. Because I was staying in Costa Rica for three months...I had a lot of creature comforts along that I wouldn't have taken with me on a shorter excursion. They made off with my laptop, digital camera, mp3 player, portable bose speakers, external hard drive, wireless mouse & keyboard....pretty much everything I had that had any monetary value.
The property usually has a security guard roaming around at night...however, he was "off sick" this particular evening. I'm still a little suspicious as, in all the time I was there, this was the only night the hotel didn't have a security guard on duty.
Would I recommend Luz de Mono? Yes, but only to those who are ok with toughing it out a little. There are bugs, things are not spotless and shiny...it is more like a luxury camping trip....which, in my opinion, was exactly what I wanted.
Also, Luz de Mono means light of Monkeys. There are, quite literally, dozens of monkeys around the property. They would work their way around through the trees and many times I'd have them less than 5 feet away from me as I sat at my wooden table on the porch reading. They never bothered me...though if I ever left any food outside next to my sink or on the table...they'd make off with it.
I wish I had more photos to share with you...but the 400 or so pictures I took were stolen along with my laptop and camera. The few I had here were the only ones I had uploaded to my webserver from the internet cafe before everything was stolen.
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- Also Known As:
- Luz De Mono Montezuma
- Luz De Mono Hotel