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“could be so much better”
Review of Hotel Luz De Vida

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Hotel Luz De Vida
Ranked #27 of 27 Hotels in Santa Teresa
Reviewed April 4, 2011

Arrived on xmas day 2010...our Cabina was right on the dusty road than runs the lengh of Santa Teresa, so that wasn't great.
Rooms are fairly dated, and water cut out on several occasions during our 5 day stay.

The people on reception were strangely incapable of basic communication.

We had a very unfortunate incident occur on our stay - the hotel booked us a taxi (and we agreed our destination and a price before we got in the cab). However, the driver then refused to take us to where we agreed, and ended up punching me in the face when we said we werent willing to pay (he tried to kick us out the cab in the middle of nowhere).

Obviously this wasn't Hotel Luz Da Vidas fault strictly speaking, but it was their reaction to it that was so dissapointing. Something like this can ruin a holiday, but they didn't seem to care that they had booked us a taxi with the local psycho! And when I asked to report the driver to the police, they were not helpful at all.

The beach front that Luz Da Vida sits on is truly stunning - and chilling out in the hammocks and surfing infront of the hotel bar is great - however I feel that the owners are happy to rip tourists off with high rates (on rooms, and drinks etc) and offer poor service.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank adrianmarciante
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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17 - 23 of 72 reviews

Reviewed February 6, 2011

Stayed here for 16 days, had a great time. The staff was very friendly, the beachfront fantastic. This is where the best surfing happens, and we love to watch. (a little too old to participate) Beach bar at Happy Hour is busy with lots of folks watching the sunset and surfers. The beaches in both directions are awesome, white sand stretches with rocky points to explore the tide pools or even swim in. Shore fishing is alot of fun, too. The negative reviews are posted by 'all inclusive' types, and bugs are everywhere in Costa Rica, so don't be swayed. Great place for families, we will be returning.

Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
Thank CRWanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 11, 2010

The pictures that we saw outside the hotel made us think it was a perfect spot. We felt taken for granted when we stayed there eventually. The quality of the beds was terrible, there were no mosquito nets so our daughter got her face eaten by mosquitoes during the night. The entire property was occupied by the owners' friends, and we felt unwelcomed hanging by the beach in the evening, as if we were barging in on a private party. The room was dirty, and very low quality. The breakfast was the only nice thing, with also the location. I will not stay there in my next stay in town. Oh, and the pool IS dirty, was cleaned only once when we were there.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank VBretonne35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2010

After much research, we ultimately decided to stay at Luz de Vida for our spring break family vacation. We were two families travelling with 4 kids between the ages of 6- 10 yrs old. Overall, we were happy with our choice. The location could not be beat. If you are not looking for a 4 star hotel experience, and want something a little different, this is for you. The resort is fairly small, with only about 8 bungalows and maybe 10 hotel rooms. The pool was great (especially because it was very hot when we were there!)and there is great access to the beach. The grounds are very tropical & well maintained. The beach area has several hammocks & lounge chairs to hang out in. There is also a small game room with a pool table, foos ball, & ping pong....which was a hit for our kids.

We stayed in a garden view bungalow. There were two twin beds downstairs and then a small loft with a queen bed. Overall, we found the bungalow to be simple and sufficient, but a little small. The air conditioning worked great, & the maids were very meticulous. The biggest downside was that we found the bed to be extremely uncomfortable. We were also able to hear the road traffic, which wasn't a huge deal, but a bit of a distraction ( The hotel rooms are even closer to the road).
We ate many times in the hotel restaurant & found the food to be fairly well priced and decent. We even celebrated my son's b-day there on our last night & the restaurant staff was very accomodating by letting us decorate & play a video on the big screen.

Our primary reason for choosing this area was for the surf, which did not disappoint. The boys got plenty of surf in & the waves were also perfect for the kids to swim, surf, & boogie board (the water was 86 degrees!). There are beautiful tidepools to explore as well. This stretch of beach is really quite beautiful.
We were in the Mal Pais area over "Holy Week," so there were a lot of local ticos that filled the beach & the hotel. You can buy a day pass at Luz de Vida. A few times we felt like we were in the middle of spring break! I don't think it's normally a problem.

We were able to walk to a few restaurants, but would still recommend a car. My husband and I stayed at Flor Blanca several years ago for our anniversary. It was perfect for just the two of us, but has also increased in price! I think we got the most for our money at Luz de Vida. We might consider renting a house next time, but overall would recommend this hotel to families/couples looking for great beach access & decent accomodations.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank Kalena-Travels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 23, 2010

Santa Teresa/Mal pais was the 2nd stop in our trip of Costa Rica. First, I would like to say that Santa Teresa/Mal pais (the two areas are so small they kind of merge as one) is beautiful, peaceful and has a definte hippy vibe. Being from San Francisco my bf and I loved it. Beachfront hotels are scarce on the Nicoya pennisula and I found that Luz de Vida was the beachfront hotel that was more reasonable in price. We stayed in one of the poolside bungalows and while we enjoyed the private porch which was surround by lush greenery the room it self was okay. It was a little dingy (see pictures). But it worked and we were rarely in our room anyway. We spent most of our time on our porch or on the beach. The BEST part of this hotel is the beach location. It wasn't cluttered with tourists since the hotel itself is small but you could tell that it was where the locals were at. Each sunset was absolutely stunning swinging on one of the hamocks on the property. During our stay my bf did some surf lessons through Luz de Vida. Amid was the surf instructor and he was great! Very personable and my bf got up on the board on his first try! If you are looking for a beachfront hotel without breaking the bank while mingling with locals, Luz de Vida is the place for you!

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank fstauffer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2010

The location is great but te pool was a little dirty and the room was unimpressive. There were ants everywhere and they invaded our toiletries and luggage. The bed was not comfortable and there were holes in the sheets. It did not feel clean and I never walked around with out my flip flops on, not even in the shower. The private sitting area in front of our bungalow with the hammock was nice but the traffic was loud. The room down te street (although 200mts from the beach) was 1/3 the price and WAY nicer. If the price was 1/2 what we paid (100$) it would be doable but you can hang out on the beach for free and that is really the est thing they have to offer. My advice: stay somewhere else and spend the extra money on a hammock that you can hang in one of the trees that line the whole area!

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Thank blawclaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 16, 2010

Very artfully and tastefully done. It's all about relaxation in the rainforest - no TVs. New construction and super-friendly owner and staff (Argentinians). The place is up above the dust (very important) and a short ways from the beaten path.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank ATV_Junkie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa
Hotel Style:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Santa Teresa
#7 Spa Hotel in Santa Teresa
#20 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Teresa
Price Range: $95 - $130 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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