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“Perfect”
Review of Hotel Laguna Mar

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Hotel Laguna Mar
Certificate of Excellence
Indianapolis, Indiana
Level Contributor
123 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
“Perfect”
Reviewed June 28, 2013

My wife and I took our 3rd trip to Costa Rica in June 2013. I have a progressive neurological disease that is affecting my stability while walking, and wanted to visit some of the more remote areas of this beautiful country while I can still walk fairly easily.

We saw Playa San Miguel/Coyote on the map and learned that the only roads into the area are unpaved, so this sounded like a great location to visit during the "Green Season". Our original plans were to stay at a bed and breakfast not far away, but when we arrived, they had forgotten about our reservation and did not have a room ready. After waiting for about a half hour, for them to find supplies (like light bulbs), we decided to let them know that we'd changed our minds about staying there and would find another place to stay.

I'd read a lot on TripAdvisor about Laguna Mar, and some of the other people we contacted in preparation for our trip had wonderful things to say about it, so we decided to see if they had any rooms available. Luckily for us, they did.

The moment you step onto the grounds of this hotel you know it is someplace special. From the moment that we started checking in until we were waving goodbye, every person on the staff made us feel like we were their most important guest, and they were there to make our stay the best it could possibly be. You sensed a genuineness about this caring attitude that made us feel like it was much more than just good training and personnel policy.

Though they obviously had specific job roles, everyone, despite their position, did whatever needed to be done to provide the assistance that was needed at that time. I've never been anyplace where this works so well. And they had a way of looking for ways to help without being overbearing. It just felt like they were good people who really cared about their guests.

Hotel Laguna Mar is not on the beach (though only a short drive away) and is situated in a little village about 1/2 block off the main (dirt) road. The architecture is unique from anything I've seen in Costa Rica. The pool is L-shaped, with cool water, and there is a jacuzzi as well. Lighting in the courtyard at night is enhanced by large cubes that change between soft, gentle, soothing (not glaring) colors.

The rooms are spotlessly clean, with very appealing lighting, high quality bedding, dependable wifi, large showers, quality bath products, and we saw no bugs.

The chef here would fit at any of the finest 5 star hotels in NYC or LA. Though he is from this area and grew up here, he received culinary training in Denmark and Italy. The dishes were presented beautifully and were perfectly prepared. Did not expect this in a remote location like this.

We went several places in the area, but most enjoyed the beauty of the beaches. Because we were here during slow season, we only saw one person briefly during a 3 hour walk on Playa San Miguel, when the tide was out and the beach was very wide. Later in the day we went to Playa Coyote when the tide was in and we saw no one. Hard to believe that places like this still exist.

We cannot recommend this place high enough. Wish we could give it a 6!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank David S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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228 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
Date | Rating
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English first
Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 25, 2013

I heard about Laguna Mar Hotel through my friends Ben and Kevin. The minute I heard about it, I was interested. I immediately contacted Drew, the owner, and soon after, my cousin and I were on the way to Costa Rica.

We flew with Nature Air from San Jose to Punta Islita, the flight was great and the view from the plane magnificent. Milton, the owner of 4 X 4 was waiting for us. Thank God we contracted him for our transportation during our stay in Javilla because there is no public transportation there.

When we arrived to the hotel we were so impressed, Michael was expecting us with a tropical drink and a big smile. He was so helpful, friendly and professional that we immediately liked him, from then on, he was so attentive to all our requests and needs.

The rooms were impeccable, clean, and equipped with everything that you require in such a remote place as Javilla. You find plenty of towels (bath and pool towels). Toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner, hand cream, soap for face and body. You also find a hairdryer. The mini bar includes some candies, chips, mosquito repellant, sun blocker, and other goodies. There is cable TV and WI-FI.

Later that evening, we got to meet the great chef, Pablo. It was the most pleasant surprise to find such a high quality chef in the middle of the tropical forest. He catered for us the best meals we could have dreamed of. Every day, he baked fresh home-made-bread, made ice cream of exotic flavors, and prepared the most exquisite seafood dishes. One day I ordered lamb and it was delicious, so tender and juicy. After trying the first dish he prepared for us, we decided that we had to eat there every day during our stay and we did. He spoiled us!

The rest of the employees were also very helpful and friendly. Angelica was always ready to please us with whatever requests we had. Alvaro, the bartender, was also there for us, to mix any drink that we wanted.

I highly recommend Laguna Mar Hotel for the excellent service of the staff, the beautiful surroundings, the peacefulness and tranquility.

My advice: 1- Hire a driver to take you canopying, kayaking, and to visit the surrounding areas. We hired Milton, the owner of 4 X 4 and it was the best thing that we did. 2- Bring comfortable clothing, walking shoes, hat (the weather is hot and humid). 3-Expect to explore nature and enjoy the beautiful flora and fauna of Costa Rica!

Room Tip: All rooms are pleasant, the second-floor rooms have a beautiful view.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Margarita G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta Ga
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed June 15, 2013

I am sitting hear on my private balcony at Laguna Mar after a 3 day stay at Laguna Mar in mid June. I won't bother to repeat all the great reviews of the hotel. They are all true and my 5 star rating is well deserved. I will just focus on some tips and ideas if you plan to visit.

1) Do not follow an EZ find GPS to get to the hotel by inputting it as a point of interest. If you do you are going to add at least an hour to your time and go on one of the great off road adventures of your life. You can input a few major towns first then the hotel. I will let the hotel staff tell give you directions.

2) Eat dinners at the hotel. All the food was find but the real value is at dinner when Pablo is cooking. Pablo grew up here but had/has a danish girlfriend which gave him an opportunity to study at a culinary school in denmark. What can I say he is a five star chef all the way and is an integral part of your experience at this hotel.

3) Have a vehicle (4x4). Exploring the area is fun. I did not use Milton but he is across the street. You kind of need to go exploring during the day. Dont be a herded tourist!!!!

4) Go horseback riding from the Rhodside about 3 kilometers down the road. Good food and coffee there, Run by a couple of expats. The horseback riding was so fun. We went down a jungle road to the beach then he lets/encourages you to run / gallop the horses. We did and it was a blast. Interesting characters to talk with also.

5) Don't be shy. Although Drew was not here during our stay, you are in great hands with Angellica and Michael. They are wanting and looking for opportunities to help you. Want breakfast on your balcony then just ask. Need ice. Ask. You really sense when they say mucho gusto, they mean it. Michael is not perfect with his english but he has got to be one of the better customer service people I have come across.

6) All the beaches are great but Playa Coyote is the best. If you want to hang out at the Casa Caletas Hotel/Pool and have lunch that was fun while exploring the beach and going kayaking. Kayaks are $10 a day but you need to go at the onset of high tide so ask around.

7) Get the earplugs. Rooster, Birds and monkeys galore. They dont stay up late with internet and TV like you and I so they start there course early 4:30 am. Get the soft earplugs at the front desk and you will be fine.

8) Go for the Penhouse. For only about $10 or so bucks more, you get a bigger room and private balcony. I imagine the noise is a little worse here because you are higher up.

9) Went fishing with some local fisherman in a Panga. $30 for 1 1/2 hours. We cut it shorter than planned as they were not biting great but it was a great experience.

We have come to Costa Rica on four other visits. You wont find this clean/modern or attentive hotel anywhere else in Costa Rica.

Pura Vida

Sam

Room Tip: #9 All the way but bring earplugs!
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Srockrae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bogota, Colombia
Level Contributor
185 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed June 13, 2013

I had the opportunity to spend a night at the hotel while touring the Pacific Coast of the Nicoya Peninsula. What a pleasant surprise to walk into a beautiful setting. The staff was amazing, friendly, helpful - the food was excellent at the restaurant. This place is charming, classic, beautiful and peaceful, all at the same time.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Marti_R_Cortez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 5, 2013

Picture this: A SoBo chic boutique hotel, arguably the best seafood you’ve ever eaten, set alone well off the beaten path, with amazingly friendly and available staff, and a town rooster serving as your daily alarm clock. That’s Hotel Laguna Mar. The outstanding, personalized service furnished by each staff member was a staple of our 5-day honeymoon stay and I have no words for Chef Pablo’s food. I’m writing a letter to Anthony Bourdain, he needs to know about this man.

Hotel Laguna Mar is beautifully set in the Costa Rican dry tropical forest within the rural town of Javilla. Following our drive from San Jose airport (4x4 is a must), Hotel Laguna Mar’s front desk and restaurant staff greeted us with smiles, our dinner table set, and clean, chic rooms ready and waiting.

The pool, which we used daily, is relaxing, clean and welcoming. The bar, which we used daily, is well stocked with drinks and conversation; it turned into our evening travel agent as we met other visitors from around the world and got recommendations on what to explore next. This was anecdotal, of course, as hotel staff are more than ready with great advice about local beaches and excursions. Our beach of choice, Costa de Oro, was only a few minutes away by car and breathtaking in the afternoon setting sun. We rented a car, thinking the chauffeur was an unnecessary luxury for our trip, but in retrospect, I think it’s a great option; worth the money for the comfort of local expertise on the road and easy to arrange with the Hotel’s help.

As an overall experience, Hotel Laguna Mar is one of a kind. One of those vacations where the people and place leave a permanent imprint. We left feeling as though we made memories and friends, and miss it already.

Room Tip: Penthouse suite is large and sunny with privacy and a great outdoor space.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PascarellaAbdel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado
Level Contributor
63 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed May 23, 2013

We live in Samara but needed a quick weekend getaway. We have a 4 wheel drive thank goodness. The road there from Samara is pretty bumpy and rocky. We never had to put it in 4 wheel drive, but nice to have. We had to cross a river also. We stopped at several of the beaches on the way and just took our time. We saw signs for the hotel all the way there. We knew we were near and came into a "town" and then all of a sudden, we had to turn to get in the driveway. It is a great area, but we did not expect the area that it is in. It is not on the beach, which doesn't bother us because we live on the beach, but with our car it wasn't a problem to access. When i booked it several days earlier, Drew was extremely helpful in arrangements via phone and email. We chose the penthouse up top 3rd floor with its own balcony. He did not give it justice! It was awesome! We were greeted with drinks and they took our luggage up, no elevator, and let us look around. Great pool and jacuzzi tub overlooking the rolling green hills. Nice breeze there too! The pool is very cool so when its hot, its perfect! The jacuzzi isn't much warmer, but that worked for us! The penthouse had its own balcony with table and chairs to relax on. Great views! The bathroom is large with a nice shower. Great lighting options for night time as a couple. Sheets were soft, plenty of pillows and a fridge to store water in. Our meals at their restaurant were amazing. We met the chef and learned of his education and experience. He loves what he does, you can tell by his dishes! We ate dinner there twice. My fiancé had the special, shrimp and beef and i had the best sea bass i have ever had. Their ceviche is delicious! Breakfast was good, pancakes are more like crepes, the bfast sandwich is the way to go.
Overall, we were lucky to go in off season, we had the place to ourselves. Staff was supportive and kind. Anjelica arranged our kayaking tour and it was just what we wanted.

Room Tip: Do the penthouse for more privacy.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Romy4424
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Myers, Florida, United States
1 review
Reviewed May 19, 2013

I spent a few days at Hotel Laguna Mar in May. Not only were the rooms modern and beautiful, the staff was amazing and the food incredible. When I arrived, I was greeted by a hostess with complimentary cocktails and a list of things to do in the area. This hotel is first class all the way. I stayed at several other hotels during my visit to Costa Rica but Laguna Mar was by far the nicest and most modern. Internet access in the rooms, big screen tvs, a gorgeous pool and bar, and most of all - excellent service. There is someone on call 24/7 to take care of any need you have - including a snack at 3am. I would recommend this hotel to anyone who appreciates beautiful boutique hotels in the middle of a rain forest. I cannot wait to go back!!!! Thanks Hotel Laguna Mar!!!!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Natalie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Laguna Mar

Property: Hotel Laguna Mar
Address: Between Coyote and Playa San Miguel | Front of the School Javilla, Playa San Miguel 50906, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa San Miguel
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Playa San Miguel
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Laguna Mar 3.5*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Javilla's premiere boutique hotel. Located along the Pacific Coast in Costa Rica, Hotel Laguna Mar offers the best of both worlds — an exotic, tropical environment and the service of a fine four star hotel. Visit the real Costa Rica where the ocean water is warm nature completely surrounds you. Hotel Laguna Mar awaits your visit. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Laguna Mar Costa Rica/Playa San Miguel

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