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“After 4 trips, we STILL LOVE LUZ” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Luz De Vida

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Hotel Luz De Vida
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Playa Santa Teresa, Santa Teresa 02254, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #23 of 25 Hotels in Santa Teresa
Washington, DC area
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“After 4 trips, we STILL LOVE LUZ”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2009

There are of course, a ton of options in Mal Pais & Santa Teresa, and as I mentioned in my 2006 review, we've stayed at or visited many of them. While Luz is not a 5-star hotel, we're not comfortable with the concept of a 5-star hotel in this place (although we love an occasional meal at Florblanca :-). So, given the ideal being a rustic bungalow as close to the beach as possible, with a pool, a bar, a good restaurant, and a beautiful setting, we continue to find ourselves drawn to Luz, and extremely happy there. Yes, the bungalows are best, but the rooms have been upgraded and the upstairs ones are really pretty cute. Things go wrong at every hotel (trust me on that)... remember where you are, remember the pura vida mantra... hit the beach and enjoy. This place provides the perfect base for a perfect time in a wonderful area. Enjoy!

  • Liked — The location!
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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63 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Stockholm
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2009

My husband and our friend stayed at Luz De Vida three nights in January 2009. The positive things are that it's right by the beach, the pool area is nice and the people in the reception were helpful. However, I was not impressed with the experience because I thought it was way overpriced.

The cabin we got was really simple, not at all as nice as the pictures on the web site shows. If it hadn't felt so worn I would have thought it was brand new and they weren't done docorating it yet. The walls were totally bare and there was no storage, just some open shelfs that did not feel clean enough to put clothes on, and there were no lights by the beds so we could read at night. The curtains had a big stain on them that looked like blood, which i sincerely hope it was not. They seem to have some problems with the water and toilets but nothing that bothered us too much. We had a problem with our safe and tried to get help from the reception, and a guy came after we had been there several times and he only opened it without explaining how to use it, so we still could not use it. The restaurant is ok for lunch, but we went there for dinner the first night and it was the worst meal we got during our 4 week stay in Costa Rica (and the most expensive too, I think). We all ordered different dishes and all of them were really bad.
Overall it was not a terrible experience but I don't think it's worth the money at all. There are much nicer places in Santa Teresa to a much lower cost, for example Zula Inn a bit north or Buenos Aires a bit south. None of those are by the beach however.

  • Liked — Good location, nice pool area and hammocks by the beach
  • Disliked — Cabin not as nice as web site would have you believe, restaurant
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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USA
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2008

The location is great however.. the toilet in the room was broken so every time we wanted to flush we had to take off the top and fix the mechanism. Also, the water supply to the room was sometimes cut off completely. Whilst this is understandable since part of the appeal is that the hotel is remote, it seems fairly shoddy at $110 USD per night. Also, there are no nets on the windows which may be worrysome for some people.Our unfortune is my husbands wedding ring disappeared, which although the is not the fault of the hotel, they were very unfriendly and unhelpful concerning whether anyone ie the massage thepist or other staff had found it. We got the feeling whilst staying there that we were an undesired intrusion into the lives of the staff. The most friendly person there was one of the groundsmen! Finally, be careful where you park your car as someone backed their tow bar into out rental car and we are now facing huge expense to fix it since the culprit did not own up to the damage they caused. So all in all great location but watch your stuff closely and don't expect too much from the staff.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — staff were rude
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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nikkip84
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2008

I went here in March of 2006 and i fell in love with Mal Pais. I have traveled all over the world and this was by far my favorite trip. i do recommend staying in a bungalow if you go b/c my boyfriend and i stayed in a regular room and it was kind of small. But the other couple we went with stayed in a bungalow and it was beautiful! The food was excellent! Not one complaint and i am normally a picky eater. The food in Mal Pais was the best food that i have ever had in my life(I recommend their Tuna Sandwich for lunch if it's still on the menu! ) . The resort was not like a 5 star hotel, it's more of a laid back, relaxing resort where the bungalows have a good distance from their neighbors, they are really nice inside and the grounds are amazing. The staff was nothing but friendly and welcoming. The maid service was great, except that they did not speak any english but what else would you expect in a different contry. This is the kind of vacation that i think everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. My boyfriend and i will definately be going back! And when you are here, make sure you take a visit to Mary's Restaurant in Mal Pais, it has the best brick over pizza! :)

  • Liked — The tropical environment
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed March 2006, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2008

I decided to get married in Costa Rica, but I live in California. I thought it might be hard, but thats what me and my husband wanted. Luz de vida made this and easy and fun experience to plan.

We wanted a casual atmosphere with the beauty of costa rica. I researched alot, and I now I did the best choice by choosing Luz de Vida. It is such a beautiful place, the gardens and bungalows with beach front.

Luz de vida staff was so helpful, I was able to have my own wedding and fluent in english.

They help me with all and I repeat ALL the details for the wedding. From flowers for the ceremony to decorations for the party, they got the DJ, getting a hairstylist, sending me several menu options.

We were able a couple days earlier to try the food for the party, it was so good. The owners are from Israel,so we choose their style of cusine and it was excellent. Apettizers were a seven course saladas delicious. The second course hummus and tahini was exellent. We choose fish for the main entree it was so fresh and with an amazing tropical demiglaze.For dessert instead of cake we choose gourmet "helados con frutas".

This means icecream with tropical fruit. It wast the perfect menu for our beach wedding.

Everthing was delicious and the presentation of the food was beautiful. The cheff did a great job, it was a delightful dinner and my guest all raved about the food.

It was also very helpful to have a detailed list of prices for each thing, It made my life easy.

We also had a wonderful reception barbeque for my friends and family that had traveled so far. The team at Luz de vida did a great job. It was a buffet barbeque by the beach with tiki torches under a palmleaf bungalow and sand floors, so cool!!!

The day of the wedding was perfect, it was exactly how I had imagined it to be. That morning we had a great day by the pool and swam in the ocean. A tropical breakfast with gallopinto.

They had two great hair stylist for me and the wedding party that day, it was a lot of fun. They took great care of us.

They accomodated us in a bungalow that was perfect for a bride the whole dowm stairs is open, and the bedroom is up stairs. It was perfect for all of us to get ready.

I really have no words to explain how It made me feal when after 5 month of planning, I walked out and everything was exactly what I wanted. The flowers, the altar, the tables, the food....

The ceremony was gorgeous, the altar was exactly what I had emailed that I wanted.They had a beautiful table all decorated with flowers were they were serving capirinas for the guest before and after the ceremony. Capirina is a brazilian drink and its very refreshing, perfect for the humid weather of Costa Rica.

We had a party for eighty people and everyone had so much fun.
My favorite was having a beautiful sitdown dinner, with amazing food in such a beautiful setting.

We were supposed to have the sit down dinner in the sand area, but beacuse of the weather we had to do it in the restaurant. Wich was still beautiful, its all open.

We had a great local DJ play, we all danced the night away under a huge bungalow with sand flors, so much fun. They even went the extra mile to gather a bunch of wood for what they call "fogata" a beach fireplace for the guest that decided to stay uplate that night.

At Luz de Vida they have a great team of proffesionals, they did such a great job accomodating my personal needs. Every one was so nice and helpful, I just want to thank them for making my wedding such a beautiful experience.

If any one is thinking of getting married in Costa Rica I highly recomend them, they are a good price and give and amazing service. All my guest have called me and thanked me for an amazing expereience, that made me so happy to now people travel so far and enjoyed themselves.

thank you Luz De Vida team you guys are wonderful!!!!I

  • Stayed May 2008
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Chicago, IL
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2008

Hotel Luz De Vida was absolutely great. It's on the beach, it has a great restaurant (make sure to get the Flalfel sandwich for lunch!), great pool, great location, great bungalows and a ton of other great stuff! It was like having our own home on the beach! It was kinda like Swiss Family Robinson...and we loved every minute of it!

Everyone was very helpful at the hotel and accomodating (they moved our Zip Line adventure since we got lost going to the location). And you can't beat sitting in a hammock watching the surfers and having a few Imperials in the late afternoon!

[Note: you are in Costa Rica near the rainforests, so there are lots of interesting creatures! We heard a few at night and there are couple very large Iguanas that walk around the property, but if you are more open to staying somewhere that doesn't try to be a Hilton or Resort, you will enjoy it. We certainly did.]

It was, by far, our favorite place that we stayed at while traveling around Costa Rica. Completely relaxing and wonderful! Take a break from all the chain resorts and do something different!

  • Stayed July 2008
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Buenos Aires
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2008

i was there with my girl friend,
i really loved my stay in this hotel.
the hotel is there over the beach , so we spend all day there, in the hamacs, reading, breathing paradise, all the time, and when we were tired of the sand just in a beautifull pool!
you can hear and see the monkeys! this is amazing, all the animals, all the nature,
i really recomend this hotel, for sure we will go next summer, it has something more than especial, even the workers,
they made us have the best time!
and of course you need to try the mediterranean food! humus, falafel, great food.
thanks alot
guido

Stayed June 2008
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Additional Information about Hotel Luz De Vida

Address: Playa Santa Teresa, Santa Teresa 02254, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Santa Teresa
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Spa
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Santa Teresa
#16 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Teresa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We have 8 garden view rooms and 5 pool view bungalows, all of them equipped with a/c, phone, safe and hot water. We also have an international cuisine restaurant, a spa and pool. We have a nice kids area, and a volleyball field. We are a beautiful beachfront resort in a nice piece of paradise. Santa Teresa, Costa Rica. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Resort Luz De Vida
Luz De Vida Hotel
Hotel Luz De Vida Costa Rica/Santa Teresa

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