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“Paradise Plus” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Rustico de Playa Perla Negra

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Hotel Rustico de Playa Perla Negra
Ocean Park
Level Contributor
34 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Paradise Plus”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 26, 2008

Just what the doctor ordered. We spent sixteen days in Costa Rica over Christmas vacation and all of them fabulous. After a night or two in San Jose we drove to La Perla Negra. If your just looking for a place to relax, you can't do better. We walked on the beach, went diving, saw monkeys, shoped in town etc. Puerto Viejo is no better or worse than other small towns and we found an early morning walk on the beach to town enjoyable. The hotel staff was excellent and the atmosphere very relaxed and friendly. We didn't understand the showers till the second day but if you run them slow they stay hot. the pool was rarely used so it's perfect for a dip or light exersize. The horses on the beach and the sunrises were also highlights. It's nothing like Cancun, Mazatlan or other tourist destinations, thank heavens! But we wouldn't have traded the experiece for anything. For the price it is an amazing deal.

  • Liked — Relaxed, Laid Back Atmoshere
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Maverick12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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181 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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45
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (30)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Colorado Springs
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 28, 2007

My wife and I selected La Perla Negra because they were one of the few places that would allow us to bring our dog. But we ended up being very happy with the hotel and especially the hospitality and will almost certainly stay here again on our next trip to Puerto Viejo.

The rooms are not fancy and the shower water was pretty cold, but the folks who run the place and work here are incredibly accomodating and helpful, and they speak english. But the best thing about this hotel is the location. It is about a 4 minute drive or 20 minute walk to Puerto Viejo... close enough to go to town easily anytime, but far enough away to be on a different section of beach. The beach here, which is less than 50 meters away from the hotel (we could hear the waves crashing from our room), is solitary, desolute, clean and absolutely beautiful. Trust me, this is the best beach in the area! You will have it completely to yourself.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Cold water showers
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Garrr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surrey, British Columbia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 15, 2007

My husband and I spent two nights at La Perla Negra Beach Resort in Puerto Viejo de Limon, Costa Rica, in early October 2007. While the weather was great, the hotel itself was average and the town of Puerto Viejo de Limon, located about 2.5 kilometers away, was a dump. Lots of ganster wannabes and poverty. Don't get me wrong, there are nice, honest people in the area, but with little if any police presence and no infastructure in the area (seems like the country of Costa Rica has left the Caribbean Coast to rot), this is no place for a woman or children to be hanging out alone.

Okay, La Perla Negra Beach Resort looks as nice as any property in the area. The new American hotel manager, a woman named Suzanne, is genuinely nice and friendly, but the yin and yang of the place just is not right. But then, I found the entire Puerto Viejo area to be lacking, so when the toilet in the room beside ours backed up and flooded our room, it just seemed par for the course.

We upgraded from the $45 USD per night room we had initially booked to a $100 USD per night, two year old condo, because we wanted a king size bed and air conditioning. The condo, we discovered to our dismay, had no sound proofing (you could literally hear everything in the rooms beside us), two and a half bathrooms (but no bathtub, only two very small showers), beautiful tiled floors, very little lighting (strangely, there were next to no windows, instead of the floor to ceiling windows one would expect, and no sky lights), pillows that were the worst I have ever experienced at any hotel/motel in my life, and a smell of insect repellant that just refused to go away. The one nice thing was that the condo had a king size bed and air conditioner (which worked only part of the time) in the master bedroom.

I cannot recommend La Perla Negra Beach Resort, because I would not recommend anyone spend time in Puerto Viejo de Limon. Instead, stay 18 kilometers north, in the quaint town of Cahuita, for a genuine Costa Rican Caribbean experience.

  • Liked — Not in the town of Puerto Viejo de Limon
  • Disliked — Too close to Puerto Viejo de Limon
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank sassy_erika
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Puerto Viejo de Talamanca hotels

surrey, british columbia
Level Contributor
143 reviews
75 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 337 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 10, 2007

My wife and I spent 9 nights on the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica in early October 2007. The first 7 nights were in Cahuita at the Atlantida Lodge (fantastic experience. See review under Atlantida Lodge in Cahuita). Our next two nights (October 7 and 8, 2007) were at La Perla Negra Beach Resort outside of Puerto Viejo de Limon. I had previously stayed at La Perla Negra Beach Resort in February of 2006 (my earlier 2006 review is posted on TripAdvisor).

I was especially interested to see what was going on at La Perla Negra Beach Resort, given that it had dropped to number 25 of 27 properties in Puerto Viejo on TripAdvisor, primarily as the result of an extremely poor review in August of 2007 by someone claiming to be a United Nations affiliated group that experienced racism when trying to get a room (although it appears as though they never actually stayed at the property).

First of all, as coincidence has it, La Perla Negra Beach Resort is under new management as of September 2007 (but not new ownership). Suzanne, an American who speaks English and Spanish and has been in Costa Rica for a couple of years, is the new manager. She is very nice and wanting to ensure that her guests have a good experience. Secondly, there are two lodging choices at La Perla Negra Beach Resort: regular rooms in the now 14 year old original hotel (approximately $45 USD per night for a double) or one bedroom, two level condos in the 2 year old condo development in the back of the property (approximately $100 USD per night).

Although my wife and I had booked a regular double room at $45 per night, Suzanne up-sold us on a $100 per night condo, with beautiful tile floors, two and a half washrooms, kitchen, air conditioner, and King size bed in the upstair master bedroon (strangely enough, it also had four single beds crammed into the downstairs livingroom, with a sofa in the front kitchen area). Like many Costa Rican properties, La Perla Negra Beach Resort does not have King beds in its regular rooms, so in order to get a King size bed, we had to upgrade. And yes, my wife wanted a King bed, especially in a room with an air conditioner (temperatures in Puerto Viejo average around 90 farenheit/32 celsius in October). The regular rooms do not have air conditioners or fridges.

Pros:

1. Located approximately two and a half kilometers north of Puerto Viejo, 20 meters (66 feet) from the Caribbean Sea and a gorgeous beach, it has a good location. You can walk along the beach all the way to town in about 30 minutes.

2. Suzanne and the other employees are very nice people.

3. No telephone or television in the rooms (you are not on vacation to watch tv).

4. One of the nicer looking properties in the Puerto Viejo area.

Cons:

1. Small fresh water pool (15 meters by 5 meters in size).

2. Our room had a smell of RAID insect repellant that never went away. We had ants marching through the room, a dead crab in the sink, a resident mouse and multiple lizards on the walls (they're okay and found everywhere in the area...friendly little guys).

3. Our room had the thinnest, without sound-proofing, walls you can imagine. We could hear everything in the rooms on either side of us, and I mean everything! Very poor construction that resulted in a very poor sleep for my wife and I both nights.

4. Toilet in the condo beside us broke down on the second night we were there, resulting in the lower level of our unit being flooded. Not nice. Also, although the unit had two small showers in the washrooms, there was no bathtub, which my wife found especially troubling in a new condo development (regular rooms do not have bathtubs either).

5. Multiple power outages (problem with the entire area, not just La Perla Negra Beach Resort) and our air conditioner broke down and did not work on night two.

6. Does not take credit cards. You have to pre-pay for your room, in cash, when you arrive.

Conclusion:

Warning: Puerto Viejo de Limon is a dirty little town, over-run by ganster wannabes and other undesireables. Although it has some very nice residents and legit business people trying to make an honest living, the town is very much like an 1870's wild, wild, west town from the American frontier era. Little to no police presence and a very "unsafe" feeling after dark.

I remain of the view that La Perla Negra Beach Resort is one of the better hotel options in the Puerto Viejo de Limon area, but that is not saying much, given the general state of disrepair of hotel properties in the area. If you are planning a trip to the area, do your homework first and ensure that you bring your e-mail confirmation, including price agreed to, with you.

Stayed October 2007
Helpful?
3 Thank David P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
27 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 11, 2007

I'm actually the agent who booked the travel. We are a non-profit agency working just down the street from this hotel. We had heard awful things about this place, but wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt. We had a VIP and his family from the United Nations coming to town and our own hotel was booked. So we called and tried to book a room at this place. The German manager actually hung up on us during the call we placed to book the room. We didn't take it personally, thinking maybe he had an emergency or something and had to go really fast. When we showed up -- big surprise -- they didn't have our reservation and made a big deal about it in front of our VIP clients.

Not only were they rude to us, lied to us, changed the rate on us three times, but they also accused us of lying about being a non-profit and a travel agency so we could get a cheaper rate. I finally figured out at the end that they were doing so because our clients, the United Nations folks, who were from Uganda, were people of color.

Mind you, we're not only their neighbors of only maybe 500 meters away, but we are a non-profit foundation that not only works with the poor in their community, but also cleans the beach in front of their hotel. We thought they would actually be glad we were sending clients to them. Instead we were embarrassed and shocked. And we will certainly never send anyone there again.

  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank Scottytico
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Rustico de Playa Perla Negra

Property: Hotel Rustico de Playa Perla Negra
Address: | Playa Negra, Puerto Viejo, 500m from Bar Point, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca 87555, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #34 of 101 Specialty Lodging in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Rustico de Playa Perla Negra 3*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Black Pearl is a Beach Front Rustic Accommodation, surrounded by an ecological, quiet and out of town atmosphere.   You will find an atmosphere of relaxation in the South Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica. Enjoy the services of Puerto Viejo town as bars, nightclubs and restaurants with a variety of local and international food, surrounded by very kind and friendly people.   Our Rustic Beachfront Accommodation  offers you a unique style of sharing and enjoying the environment of Costa Rica's Caribbean,we do not sell you a room , we offer you peace, tranquility and good life view as it is in our place, whitout seals or stereotypes. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
La Perla Negra Beach Hotel Puerto Viejo
Hotel Rustico De Playa Perla Negra Costa Rica/Limon

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