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“Overrated. Not worth the money.”

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Cala Luna Luxury Boutique Hotel & Villas
Ranked #4 of 24 Hotels in Tamarindo
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 April 2014

Luxury, boutique hotel. Cala Luna really is only one of these adjectives. For Costa Rica, it is overpriced for what you get. The location is not exactly on the beach. The beach itself is rugged and there is no place to swim. The rooms are nice but small. They need desks. You share the rooms with multiple species of ants. Howling monkeys make it impossible to sleep past 5:30. The restaurant has good quality food if a bit overpriced. The problem is that the portion sizes are highly variable and the service is interminably slow. The service is really where the hotel falls down. Their attitude seems to be, "We've got you here. We're going to bilk you for all your worth and don't give a damn if you come back." Our first impression was a surly front desk staffer that insisted she only had one room which was near a barrier wall and in an area of the property that smelled of raw sewage. Upon pointing out that the room only had one bed and our reservation was for a room with two beds, she smiled embarrassedly, and another room magically opened up in a much better location! This was the tip of the iceberg. We contended with transportation rates that spontaneously increased despite previously agreed upon terms, lack of cleaning of the room during agreed upon times and a masseuse who was 20 minutes late for an hour appointment and then proceeded to provide the worst massage I have ever experienced in which she did not actually do any massage but stretched my joints in strange ways as if she might be trying to tear some ligaments. In case your wondering, this was after explicitly declining her "special stretching technique" prior to beginning. When I brought this up with the front desk staff, te response was, "Yes, we've heard such comments before." ??? Stay elsewhere.

  • Stayed: April 2014
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8  Thank DrBenway23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calaluna M, Guest Relations Manager at Cala Luna Luxury Boutique Hotel & Villas, responded to this reviewResponded 5 May 2014

Dear DrBenway23,
Thank you for taking the time to write us a feedback and thank you for your positive comment on our good quality food. I am really sorry we could not live up to your expectations regarding your stay at our hotel. I have consulted with my colleague staff members to see where we could improve our services in the future. Thanks again for taking the time to review our property. Warm greetings, Ann Vervoort

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Reviewed 27 April 2014

We stayed here, the 5 of us, for four nights, in a villa with two bedrooms and a private pool. Villa is very nice, spacious, very nicely decorated (and not ostentatious). Small pool was a joy for the kids and us. Bigger pool next to the restaurant was nice as well. Good buffet breakfast. All staff very nice and efficient. Would only suggest a bit more equipment in the kitchen of the villas, and maybe a breakfast with more choices (or changing a bit from one day to the other). Overall great experience, well do to all the staff!.

Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
1  Thank afderoide
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calaluna M, Guest Relations Manager at Cala Luna Luxury Boutique Hotel & Villas, responded to this reviewResponded 5 May 2014

Dear Afderoide,
Thank you very much for your review and for appreciating so much the decoration of our villas. When we contracted the French interioir designer to help us with the decoration we agreed with him that we wanted an eco-chique touch with driftwood from the beaches nearby and recycled wood from the coffee plantations, with warm brown and golden tints and a vivid turquoise to remind us of our location. As to your suggestion of the equipment in the villas, we are actually making an inventory and will use the coming month to complete the missing items. Our chef is eager to explore more breakfast buffet possibilities. Warm greetings from the land of Pura Vida,
Ann Vervoort

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Reviewed 22 April 2014

My husband and I celebrated his birthday at this unique eco chic boutique hotel and could not have been more thrilled with it. It's beautifully done in every respect, yet very casual and laid back. (And we are super picky.) The rooms are spacious, the bathrooms very large and well appointed. The food is fantastic, a wonderful breakfast buffet is included. The hotel is dedicated to sustainability in every way possible. They even have a free tour of the property for people who are interested in this sort of thing. The pool is lovely, and the beach is a short walk down the hill. Not a swimming beach, lots of rocks, but great for sunsets (and free cocktails) every night. Even the howler monkeys favor this beach at sunset. They also enjoy the trees by the pool, so entertainment abounds. We were there during spring break season, so lots of kids. Don't know what it's like during other times. But the best part of the hotel is definitely the staff. They know their jobs and are very good at them. It must be a great place to work because everyone was very happy and friendly and actually quite funny. They helped me arrange a romantic dinner poolside in one of the cabanas for a birthday surprise with a special menu that was divine. If you want to be in the middle of all the action, including the incessant vendors on the beach, stay in town at the Diria. If you want a totally chilled, quiet, classy place, this is the one for you. We can't wait to go back.

Room Tip: we were in 314 between the pool and the beach. Great!
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank CJABQ11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calaluna M, Guest Relations Manager at Cala Luna Luxury Boutique Hotel & Villas, responded to this reviewResponded 5 May 2014

Dear CJABQ11, Dear Christina,
You are absolutely right when noticing that this must be a great place to work and I am glad that our staff radiates this energy! Thank you for being so interested in the sustainability program of the hotel. Our free tour, which we call symbiosis tour, focuses on all efforts made by every member of our staff to respect our surrounding nature with its beautiful flora and fauna.
We too hope to welcome you and your husband Ron again in the very near future. Warm greetings, Ann Vervoort

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Reviewed 21 April 2014

We stayed at the Cala Luna for the second half of our holiday in Costa Rica. Having had a fantastic week exploring the Osa Peninsula we hoped for chilled, beach downtime in Tamarindo. The Cala Luna delivered this for us in style. A group of 3, we stayed in one of the villas with private pool, 2 bedrooms, kitchen and living room. The villas are spread out amongst well cared for gardens within the hotel complex. The accommodation was far larger than we had anticipated, a real Villa in fact, well laid out with 2 en suite bathrooms, fridge, big living room etc. Everything worked well for us in terms of the air con and cleanliness as well as the discretion, friendliness and efficiency of the staff. We made good use of our own pool but also enjoyed the main hotel Swimming Pool which is a lovely place to lie, read, soak up the sun and sip a cold Imperial! The restaurant was fine if not spectacular but there are many good alternatives to be found in Tamarindo itself. Lunch time snacks from the pool bar were tasty and hit the spot when a big meal was not required. The hotel is a short walk from a beautiful beach but care needs to be taken here regarding swimming as there are rip tides. We booked surfing lessons and other activities through the hotel and found these to be excellent in terms of quality and value. Tamarindo itself is a laid back surfing oriented town. There are good restaurants and bars to be found and a fair few independant shops to poke around for souvenirs, crafts and clothes. The hotel is a 15 minute walk or a short cab ride away from the town centre so close enough to the high life (!) but far enough away not to be bothered by late night revellers. We spent a great week and would definately visit the Cala Luna again.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Mark G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2014

We recently had travelled through Costa Rica, ending our journey in Tamarindo at Cala Luna
The resort hotel Cala Luna is located just off the beach 5mins drive from the main town, or 20 minutes walk along the beach or roads. It is in a quiet spot And the beach is pretty much to yourself though it isn't the best part of the beach as there is plenty of rocks. The main surf breaks are located on the other side of town too.

We stayed in the two bedroom villa that had 2 bathroom and your own private pool.
The rooms consisted of a king bedroom with larger wardrobe, safe and attached ensuite while the second bedroom is slightly smaller and consists two single beds with a wardrobe, though an in room iron and ironing board is only available on request.
The living area consists of a fully equipped kitchen except for a kettle and teabags. There is plenty of living area if you wanted time away from the main resort though I was a little bit disappointed with the standard/finish on the villas, the bathrooms feature old showers and you are given the minimal amount of towels considering you have a private pool attached, the main couch was inflexible and the TV only had Spanish channels. It certainly did not provide a feeling of luxury.
The private pool is a good size and we put it to good use but even some of the outdoor furniture and arrangement seems like a bit of an after thought. The villas are located further from the beach than the main rooms which is also a downside.

The hotel pool area is a step up and feels a bit more luxurious than the villas, the bar and restaurant are located either side of the pool and are a great spot to spend a lazy day, they have a large number of lounges and day beds, so you should always be able to find a spot to chill out.

The staff are friendly and helpful but seem to be either overwhelmed or on Costa Rican time as nothing happens quickly, even at breakfast.
People in our group did also have some issues with incorrect charging but we did not experience this issue ourselves.

All in all, my experience was enjoyable but the product and service provided did not meet my expectations of a luxurious resort. I stayed at a number of other resorts thoroughout my trip to Costa Rica and feel they all offered a better experience.

Room Tip: No international sockets in bathroom, or room so bring your adapter if you are not from nor America.
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Bigcat84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2014

I really wanted to love the Cala Luna and give it 5 stars, however based on more than a few major problems I cannot.

The Story:
I'll give you the cliff notes. Check in was a breeze…nice staff, prompt service. We were escorted to a large, clean, 2 bedroom villa with a private pool. At first glance the accommodations seemed perfect. An hour after fully unpacking I noticed the master bedroom air conditioner was leaking onto my big fluffy pillow (on top of the king sized bed). I'm not sure why the air conditioners were located directly underneath the beds to begin with…?? Anyway, I called the front desk and someone came to fix the problem.

Fast forward to midnight that same evening and I awoke with drops of water bouncing off my forehead. Obviously the air conditioner was not fixed as it was leaking onto my face. To make matters worse, when I switched on the light there were flying, roach type insects on top of my bed. Yikes! I was livid and exhausted as my husband and I tried to push the bed away from the air conditioner. In the morning I was ready to check out and make our way to the pedestrian Marriott resort 30 minutes away.

The tour company, Pacific Trade Winds could not have been nicer or more professional as they returned my calls immediately and only wanted the best outcome for me and my family. Consequently, I decided to let Cala Luna management rectify the situation and agreed to move to another ( fully functioning suite). The resort agreed to comp us a few dinners for the inconvenience which I thought was fair and I appreciated the gesture.

During our 3 night stay we enjoyed the resorts delicious food and nice pool. Although my kids were disappointed that the Cala Luna beach was very rocky and not swimmable.

The thing that I'm most disappointed about was that upon check out we noticed that the resort DID NOT comp us the dinners that they promised. Our cab was waiting for us so the concierge said to email him and he would take care of it once we got home. WRONG AGAIN. I did as he suggested and the reply back was that they would refund our credit card (for 2/3 dinners) by the end of the week. That was five days ago :( Such a bummer. The management seemed so genuine, but they did not follow through. Would I stay at Cala Luna again? probably not. You might have better luck. The bottom line is someone, manager, staff, whoever... needs to be less tranquilo and more on the ball when it comes to following through on promises made.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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5  Thank cree8iv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 April 2014

We found this to be a lovely place to stay. We were a family group in a 3 bedroom villa, with its own pool. Great space, plenty of room, although the kitchen had limited plates and cutlery. The main pool was great for kids, and a nice place to spend time. Also lovely beach nearby to walk on, though not suitable for swimming. The restaurant and bar staff were great - very helpful and attentive. The reception staff organised several excursions for us, and were very helpful. Not an easy walk into the town (20 minutes on rough road without footpaths), but there were taxis available.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Graham L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cala Luna Luxury Boutique Hotel & Villas

Address: Tamarindo 50309, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Tamarindo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 24 Hotels in Tamarindo
Price Range: £149 - £371 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Cala Luna Luxury Boutique Hotel & Villas 4*
Number of rooms: 31
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tucked on Costa Rica's pristine Playa Langosta, the most exclusive, relaxing and private area of Tamarindo Beach, just steps from the Pacific Ocean, Cala Luna Luxury Boutique Hotel & Villas is a tropical oasis just two-and-a-half-miles south of Tamarindo Airport. Every inch of this exquisitely lush resort seems to embody the immortal words of author John Steinbeck "We don't take a trip. A trip takes us." With experiences and adventures that tempt, transport and delight, this one-of-a-kind place welcomes those on a quest for the extraordinary. ... more   less 
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