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“Beachfront luxury in a rugged town” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Tropico Latino

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Hotel Tropico Latino
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Santa Teresa de Malpais | Cobano, Santa Teresa, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #17 of 25 Hotels in Santa Teresa
Manhattan Beach
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Beachfront luxury in a rugged town”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2009

It's true that the Mal Pais/Playa Carmen/Santa Teresa area is not for the faint of heart. But for our "minimoon" after our wedding in Tamarindo, Hotel Tropico Latino was a perfect balance between a true jungle retreat and first-class luxury. We saw a huge iguana and a family of monkeys on and near the hotel's profoundly verdant, yet gorgeously landscaped, property. And we sipped well-priced gooey blender drinks from Adirondack chairs in front of a resort-style pool (and even had free wireless internet access!).

The bungalow was well-decorated and spotless, with huge showers in the bathroom, comfortable king-sized beds (which are not easy to find in the area), private furnished porches with hammocks, and vaulted hardwood ceilings.

I'm not a yogi myself, but the outdoor beachfront yoga spot nearly made me try it. The spa prices were temptingly reasonable (didn't indulge because we ran out of time).

The restaurant is run by someone who cares about food. There is a rotating menu, including lots of fresh seafood, and a staff who really cares.

The location is perfect. The place is as quiet as anyone could want. Because it is so close to the water, the entrance to the hotel at the road seems miles away and keeps the noise out. But the best part is that restaurants and shops are extremely accessible by foot, which is not true of many of the area's hotels.

Loved, loved, loved it.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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272 reviews from our community

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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 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (55)
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English first
Kokomo, IN
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2009

I attended Pura Vida Adventures surf camp here last spring. I 100% suggest this surf camp. Your life will change. The instructors of Pura Vida and my camp mates were simply radical. It was very hard for me to get back to the grind of the "corporate" lifestyle after experiencing surf camp in such a beautiful setting.

http://puravidaadventures.com/

This was my first time in Costa Rica. Mal Pais/Santa Teresa is surreal. It is like taking the quiet country back roads of the United States, putting them in a tropical setting, adding an amazing beach w/awesome surf and you can start to get the picture.

Pura Vida set up all of my accomodations at the Hotel Tropico Latino. I honestly think they put me in the best room. (but I bet everyone who stays here, thinks their's is the best room:) I was in a building of approx 6 units. It is called the Beach house. Everything is made out of teak wood. The bathrooms are all tile. The front porch has a large bed to lay on. The only thing that seperates you and the ocean is a quiet area of palms n tropical plants. There are hammocks there for you to just chill and relax, too.

The whole grounds are like a botanical garden. They were simply beautiful. It is actually hard to describe if you have never been. There were lil geckos on the walls and lizards and monkeys to be seen on the grounds, too. Sometimes, if you were lucky, you could also catch a glimpse of horses running wild along the beach.

There is a spa and yoga studio on the premises. They are both open air. I have never experienced an outdoor massage or yoga class. It was the coolest ever! There were also people practicing capoeira in the yoga class. Very cool to watch.

The restaurant served great food. Creamy yogurt, rice, sausage, all the tropical fruits you can think of! Lunch and dinners were rockin as well. As far as food goes in the Malpais/Santa Teresa area, there are plenty to choose from. Chinese, pizza, falafel, Argentine roasted chicken, you name it, it's here. The whole area is very international!
The bartenders at the Hotel Tropico Latino took excellent care of their guests. They were helpful and quick to answer any questions you might have.

There are also security guards who patrol the grounds day and night. I walked the beaches as a female w/my friends and felt totally safe at night. This is like anywhere in the world, you must use common sense when you travel.

At the time of my stay, I was very homesick for the USA. My children were not with me and I think that is why. I wanted them to experience this amazing place w/their mama! Now, that I am back home, I can appreciate the experience provided by the staff of Pura Vida Surf Adventures and the Hotel Tropico Latino. I am already planning my next trip back. Godbless n peace/Dios te bendiga y paz

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Geneva, Switzerland
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2009

We wanted to get back to basics, but stay in a nice, well located, clean and safe hotel. Tropico Latino did not disappoint. I had read mixed reviews on this site regarding both security and cleanliness, but we stayed in Bungalow #7 and the room was clean, safe and perfectly located.

To build on and update the prior reviews, we had a super overall stay with no complaints. and this was the rainy season when the hotel staff is lighter and the town is virtually 60% closed.

The owners arranged Yoga and massages and even prepared a balm for our children's sunburn. Breakfast was very good (the only meal we ate there) and the front desk was incredible in arrranging ATVs delivered to our door and even getting my surfboard back to San Jose so we could fly instead of taking the ferry.

The surfing was excellent with waves for all of us (expert to beginner) in warm water with a sandy bottom (rocky area is obvious and should be avoided).

As far as the area generally, I would recommend flying as the earlier reviews are accurate on the oveland trip from San Jose. We rented a car and drove and it was a great adventure, but we flew back as once was enough!

Lastly, the charm comes with one warning and that is that the dirt roads are either dust or mud and neither is great. Travelling is messy, but the hotel is an oasis by virtue of its cleanliness and walking distance location to a market, restaraunts and surfing.

Go to Montezuma via ATV to see the waterfalls and zip line and swim. Surf right out front and everywhere in between to Playa Hermosa.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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, Manager at Hotel Tropico Latino, responded to this review, June 23, 2012
Thanks for your feedback, we highly appreciate it.

Yes, we have to admit we had some reviews out there that were not as great but we have new vision and management aimed towards making our clients feel good, happy and enjoy their vacations The hotel is doing better very day now.

I'm glad you decided to come and try it out for yourself and that you had a good experience. As you said, september is a more quite month with very little tourism coming to town and this makes it also nice time of the year to come because everything is really green and its less crowded. The vibe is a lot more melow.

We get some good south swells during this time of the year, you should come visit us agin this next September. I'll try to get you a good deal for your family!

Warm regards.
Roberto
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Corpus Christi, Texas
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2009

We had been in Costa Rica for the first time since Aug. 17th, staying in Tamarindo when we decided to hit the road to see more. We took the ferry from Puntarenas over to Paquera and drove. We landed in Playa Carmen after dark and needed to find a place to stay. The first place we tried (which had no AC-we wanted AC) referred Tropico Latino to us. So, we decided to give it a try. It was dark out when we arrived so obviously we could not see the property for what it had to offer. Wandering thru the tropical trails to the office in the dark, I knew we had found the right place to stay. It was like walking through a rainforest...a tropical paradise. The pathways were dimly lit but just enough to see the grounds and it was amazing. It was actually intoxicating!! We checked in to Bungalow No. 12 which was 2 rooms that share a bathroom. We were traveling with a friend. Our room had a king size bed and the other connecting room was a double. The bathroom was huge w/2 separate sinks and a large walk in shower. We walked onto the patio and there was a king size bed out there as well for lounging on during the day or evening while you listen to the music....being the sounds of the waves. The furniture was beautiful, all wood...we were thrilled and it was soooooo quiet which I loved. We could hear the waves and knew that the beach was close...how close we would not find out until morning. When morning came we were was just blown away The beach was RIGHT THERE IN FRONT OF OUR ROOM. We walked around to check out the place and with each passing moment we were even more amazed at the beauty of this property. It is a tropical paradise. We saw lots of squirrels and parrots. Our room was nice but not super modern, but it was perfect for us as we did not plan on spending all of our time there. We loved its rustic/local feel. There are numerous activities: yoga/surf lessons/spa/pool/restaurant/plus many more all on site. The restaurant had a great breakfast but for lunch and dinner we ended up eating at Zula's just across the street. We discovered Zula's our first night because the hotel restaurant was already closed. Zula's is great! We met the owner of Zula's and became quick friends with them.

Speaking of nice guys...we had the pleasure of meeting the owner, Marco, just by chance our first morning there. We were enjoying our coffee on the patio when he walked by to check out the morning surf. We said hello and the conversation went from there. Very nice guy. His vision for this property is amazing!! He was very laid back and easy to talk too. We saw Marco a few times throughout our stay, and the day we were leaving he made sure to stop by and ask how our stay was. We thought that was great...he cares for his customers.

It rained also...which was amazing!!!!

As for the town...it was GREAT. Now if your looking for the hustle and bustle of a "tourist" town this is not the place. It is very laid back and quiet! We had a blast during the time we spent exploring. It has everything you need and the beaches were amazing. The surf was epic.../I/we do not surf butweI know good waves when we see them. There are several areas very close for good fishing, snorkeling, tours and boating. We rented ATV's for a day, these were very nice for seeing and feeling the country, I recommend renting these for your entire stay. ....Playa Carmen, Santa Teressa, Mal Pais and a trip to Montezuma and surrounding areas were the favorite parts of our trip.
"Besides laying in the bed watching surf in the morning!"

All in all I would rate our stay at the Tropico a 10...as great. We will definitely be back!!!

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
La Ronge, SK
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2009

We stayed at the Tropico Latino Lodge during our honeymoon (Feb '04). We chose it as a middle of the road price choice and thought that it would be good enough for sleeping, as we planned to spend all our time on the beach anyway. We booked one of the beachfront bungalows but had to stay 1 night in one of the Garden rooms. This room was less than impressive - the walls were thin, it was not super clean, and it generally felt pretty tired. When we got to our private hut the next day we were blown away. It was amazing! It had a king size bed and french doors that opened to a view of the beach and ocean right on the doorstep and even had a front porch with a hammock.

The staff were friendly and welcoming. The restaurant was basic but served good food. The pool was nice to dip in to cool off, as it was about 40C while we were there! This is an amazing surfing area and there are lots of surfer dudes and dudettes hanging out in the area. Overall it just had a really laidback and fun atmosphere. By far the worst part was just getting there (the roads - I use that term loosely - leading to Santa Teresa were horrendous, but worth it!)

HINT: Book a private beachfront bungalow - they aren't much more money than the standard rooms and they are well worth it for the privacy and proximity to the beach

  • Stayed February 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La Ronge, SK
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2009

We stayed at the Tropico Latino Lodge during our honeymoon (Feb '04). We chose it as a middle of the road price choice and thought that it would be good enough for sleeping, as we planned to spend all our time on the beach anyway. We booked one of the beachfront bungalows but had to stay 1 night in one of the Garden rooms. This room was less than impressive - the walls were thin, it was not super clean, and it generally felt pretty tired. When we got to our private hut the next day we were blown away. It was amazing! It had a king size bed and french doors that opened to a view of the beach and ocean right on the doorstep and even had a front porch with a hammock.

The staff were friendly and welcoming. The restaurant was basic but served good food. The pool was nice to dip in to cool off, as it was about 40C while we were there! This is an amazing surfing area and there are lots of surfer dudes and dudettes hanging out in the area. Overall it just had a really laidback and fun atmosphere. By far the worst part was just getting there (the roads - I use that term loosely - leading to Santa Teresa were horrendous, but worth it!)

HINT: Book a private beachfront bungalow - they aren't much more money than the standard rooms and they are well worth it for the privacy and proximity to the beach

  • Stayed February 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alajuela, Costa Rica
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2009

I went to Mal Pais and Santa Teresa for the first time, I was impressed by the natural beauty of this area. The surrounding forest touches the sea, giving an impression of being "lost in paradise" Tropico Latino is a nice lodge, with a convenient location, right in front of the the white sandy beach. The bungalows are spread out in the property, inmersed within a small forest, it provides privacy, quiteness and a feeling of being in the jugle but steps away from the facilities the hotel provides. Although the construction is old and needs some update in their windows system, the beds and with their lights you can enjoy your stay: read your favorite book on one of their hammocks or chairs by the beach, zipping your favorite drink, watch the sunset, or take advantage of their spa or yoga classes.

In regards to the restaurant, now it is run by one of the best chef's in town, Al Chile Viola used to be the best eatery in town, now the Tropico Latino is their home. Mediterranean fare with great taste and reasonable pricing, highly recommended.

If the mediterranean food is not your way, or want to try something else, please take a peak at the Tabaconcito Verde a bit upnorth from the hotel, it has international cuisine, well done and tasty. Run by a couple, both cook and take care of the attention of clientele. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are just fine, and very cheap. The appearance may be more like a small soda, but you gotta try it.

I cannot wait to go back to Santa Teresa, I don't surf but I may even try it!!!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Manager at Hotel Tropico Latino, responded to this review, June 23, 2012
Thank you so much for sharing your experience at the hotel. I'm happy to hear you liked the surroundings, the property, the privacy and the sunsets.

Things have changed a bit and we now have a new restaurant with a well known chef that has an international cuisine menu. Maybe you will find an option that better suits your needs this time.
I invite you to try it out!

Please let me know when come again and I'll happy to give you an upgrade!

Warm regards.
Roberto
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Tropico Latino

Address: Santa Teresa de Malpais | Cobano, Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Santa Teresa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Santa Teresa
#10 Family Hotel in Santa Teresa
#13 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Teresa
#13 Romantic Hotel in Santa Teresa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Tropico Latino 3*
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tropico Latino is an intimate beachfront boutique hotel located in Santa Teresa, a breathtaking white sand beach on the Pacific Ocean of Costa Rica's Nicoya Peninsula. Situated on four acres of unspoiled tropical beach, you will find beautiful swimming areas and also outcroppings of rock where natural tide pools form.Our exquisitely-designed tropical bungalows and suites, built with exotic hardwoods, are surrounded by abundant tropical gardens under an old forest canopy, giving you the feeling of landing in paradise. Immerse yourself in the most pristine natural environment and experience the wildlife of Costa Rica right outside your window. Howler monkeys, hummingbirds, iguanas and bright flowering heliconias are just a few examples of what you will see.All of our accommodations feature luxury amenities, including wireless internet, air conditioning, ceiling fans, hot water, security safe, mini-bar, coffee maker and complimentary coffee. Ask for our new beachfront suite, featuring its own beautiful private saltwater pool and Jacuzzi. Relax poolside or lounge in a beach hammock under a grove of coconut and almond trees as you watch the sunset. You will love it!Tropico Latino resort features a full-service Spa and yoga studio. The Spa offers professional massages, wraps, exfoliations, facials, and other services such as acupuncture, manicures and pedicures. What makes our Spa different is that we create our own 100% natural healing and beauty products from ingredients like papaya, cucumber, coffee, coconut, almonds, carrots, honey and mint.Our yoga center offers daily Vinyasa Flow yoga classes and retreats. We have two beachfront open-air decks were you can receive classes while you listen to the rhythm of the waves at the ocean's edge. Yoga lessons will keep you centered, flexible and relaxed during your stay. Our classes are complete with mats, blocks and straps, and are open to everyone, from beginning students to experienced practitioners.Your stay would not be complete without a delightful dining experience. Our open-air beachfront restaurant combines a relaxed, yet classy atmosphere with nationally-renowned organic international cuisine. You will find healthy options on the menu using organic fruits and vegetables, local fresh fish, seafood and meat.Our commitment with sustainability in Santa Teresa BeachTropico Latino is an environmentally conscious hotel. We coordinate and sponsor the Blue Flag ecological program and sustainable initiatives for the beach communities of Mal Pais, Carmen, Santa Teresa and Hermosa. We are very proud that in 2012 all four beaches obtained the ecological Blue Flag recognition award, which ensures the quality and sanitation of the water, beach clean-up projects, community informational signs, and environmental education. We also are committed to conserve the vibrant biodiversity and richness of the rainforest that surrounds the region. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tropico Latino Hotel
Tropico Latino Nicoya
Hotel Tropico Latino Costa Rica/Santa Teresa

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