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“Luz de Vida- A surfer hotel without the low price!”
Review of Hotel Luz De Vida

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Hotel Luz De Vida
Ranked #26 of 26 Hotels in Santa Teresa
Annapolis, MD
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Luz de Vida- A surfer hotel without the low price!”
Reviewed March 21, 2006

Luz de Vida's website is way better than the actual hotel. It is NOT an appropriate place for a romantic getaway. It's not terrible if you ignore the high price. If you take into account the nightly rate we paid ($80), it's terrible. The rooms are extremely austere and not really clean, the pool area is pretty shabby, as are the rest of the grounds (but nicely landscaped, especially taking into account the dry season). If it were a surfer crashpad for $30/ night, maybe even $45 due to the great location, it would be worth it, but certainly not $80. The manager/owner, upon telling her nicely that my opinion was that it was overpriced, was a little annoyed. She asked me if "I had been to Costa Rica before". It was my impression that she was condescending to someone she thought an amateur traveler (which I am not, but didn't say).
Our room was right next to the main dusty road, with trucks going by easily heard.
The bartender, a cool girl from San Fran, was really nice and friendly.

We switched to Milarepa, which is even more expensive , but worth it.

Bottom line: Decent place for wealthy surfers/backpackers. All others beware.

  • Stayed March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank xmike5000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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72 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
New York
1 review
Reviewed March 3, 2006

This place has a lot of potential, because of the beachfront location and nice grounds, but the owners and staff need a lesson in hospitality. We had booked what we thought was a two-room suite (we were two couples) but were given one room. When asked, the answer was a shrug. Shame on us; we believed the Web site! Bad, overpriced food, slow service.

So we left after 2 nights and went to the Ritmo Tropical (great place in Mal Pais, highly recommended).

Bottom line: Don't bother.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bolder1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Santa Teresa hotels

A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed February 11, 2006

A group of us were planning a trip to Costa Rica and we were about to book our stay at Luz De Vida until one friend stumbled across this website. After reading the reviews we immediately changed our plans and stayed at a very very very nice bed and breakfast called Casa Cecilia. While we were in the area we decided to visit Luz De Vida and we were not happy with what we saw. The hammocks by the opening to the beach were super crowded and the beach was super crowded. The pool area had dirty cups and trash everywhere and it looked like someone puked all over the lounge chair cushions. There was a DJ by the beach playing this loud trance music and there was a trash sculpture right next to the hotel, lovely! The only good thing about this place is that the waves were breaking better than anywhere else during our "non swell" stay. If you just want to surf and don't care about anything else then stay here.

  • Stayed January 2006
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cornwall, England
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 17, 2006

Just got back from 3 weeks staying at the Luz de Vida hotel. The location is incredible, right on the beautiful beach - as close as you can get. The rooms are basic and not v. secure, plus there are a few safety issues with the showers - don't touch the shower head when the water is running unless you want an electric shock! Mind you, from what we saw of the electrics elsewhere, this seems to be fairly standard. Our fridge didn't work, nor did it get fixed when we mentioned it, but we managed fine without it. The rooms were cleaned every day, and had great air conditioning!

The main downside to Luz de Vida is the attitude of some (not all) of the owners - some of them seem to be very arrogant, and as experienced by other reviewers, their friends and family were prioritised way above us paying guests. Friends of the owners were regularly served better food and got served at the bar when we were told that the bar was closed.

The waiters and bar staff were brilliant, but the person who manages them was quite obnoxious - she is on very good terms with (or is related to) the owners, hence had the same kind of snotty attitude.

The food was great, but we opted to go elsewhere for dinner because both the bar and restaurant were always completely deserted, despite the fact that all the rooms were fully booked.
Breakfast started off great, but rations were mysteriously halved halfway through our stay, so we went to Malpais Surf Camp for breakfast instead - you have to try their banana pancakes!
A word of warning - don't get roped into the $75 New Years Eve celebration at Luz de Vida - it was ghastly - way too formal and cringe-makingly unrelaxed! 'Dave' the guitarist was not the star attraction we were expecting either! We ended up leaving early and going over to Tropico Latino where they had an excellent band, a big fire, and lots of dancing and general frivolity!

I was really worried before we arrived at Luz de Vida, having read all the negative reviews, but we did have a really amazing time - we just couldn't allow the few negatives to overshadow such an amazing place. We're already planning another trip to the area - we're going to see if Tropico Latino or Malpais Surf Camp (a really fun, vibey place) have any room, but if not, I honestly do think we'd go back to Luz de Vida - you can't beat the location, and the downsides weren't bad enough to totally put us off.

Pura Vida!

  • Stayed January 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank streakyp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Costa Mesa, CA
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 8, 2006

Read all the negitive reviews and was concerned, but was only place we could get reservations for first week of Jan. Got there and wow what a location! I was always a bit concerned about previous postings mentioning theft, so took lots of precaustions. It would have been nicer if they had better security. Think that the Christmas season made the place more secure with lots of people around all the time and staying there.

Surfed right in front of the hotel and it was great. The hotel itself is located right on the beach in a excellent location and the gardens, pool and restaurant were very nice. Had dinner at the hotel the first night and was very good - but found it a bit strange that the place was completely booked and very few people at the bar - restaurant?

Went other places in following nights and they were packed (Mal Pais Surf Camp on Wed. nights is the place to hang as they have live band and you can ride the mechanical bull).

Rooms have a few issues, as previous posters mention, they don't seam secure (windows that don't lock good or are open), bathrooms were dinky (execpt in the bugalows), toilets did not seam to work well, and AC didn't work in one of the rooms.

Hired staff was very nice and helpful, but owners did seam to have a bit of a chip on their sholders... Overall had a great time. Location was one of the best.

  • Stayed January 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Beachparks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed December 6, 2005

We had no problem with the property. The staff were responsive and helpful. Stayed there after Tropico Latino was booked, but our friends that stayed at TL liked our cabina more because we had a fridge.

The free breakfast was great and quite good. Gallo pinto, eggs, toast and guava jelly, great coffee.

The location was great, with palm grove right on the beach and great surf out front.

The people complaining in the other reviews need to go find a Best Western somewhere, this place was a good value. $80 vs $130 at the TL, which had no breakfast and no fridge.

BTW- the Tropico Latino was burglarized while we were there, Luz de Vida was not. We had a safe that we utilized and we did not have any problems. They had a night watchman just like the more expensive Tropico Latino.

Overall a great trip. Mal Pais/Santa Theresa was incredible and this property was fine.

  • Stayed November 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
daytona beach
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed June 22, 2005

Stayed in Luz De Vida in May. Had similar experiences as previously wrote. Tropical Latino had it all over this place but you will be lucky to get in so make reservations in advance if you want to check this area out. The beaches here are beautiful however the overall vibe of this area does not feel good. Most of the locals, travelers were not friendly. Met some people later on this trip after we left this area and they had their car window broken out.

  • Stayed May 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank trocket
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

Property: 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:
#6 Spa Hotel in Santa Teresa
#19 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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