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Cala Luna Boutique Hotel & Villas 4.0

Tamarindo, Province of Guanacaste, Costa Rica

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Gorgeous pool with cushioned lounge chairs and shaded cabanas
  • Pavilion-style restaurant specializing in locally sourced cuisine
  • Intimate open-air spa set in a jungle-like setting
  • Free morning yoga classes
  • Free nightly sunset cocktails and mocktails at the beach
  • Spacious two- and three-bedroom villas with private swimming pools
  • Free use of cruiser style bicycles
  • On-site garden provides herbs and vegetables for the restaurant
  • Cooking classes held at the sister property, an organic farm
  • Free breakfast included in the room rate
  • Free Wi-Fi

Cons

  • The hotel is not located on the beach
  • The nearest beach is a five-minute walk and is rocky with no access to swimming during low tide
  • It’s a 20-minute walk (or five-minute cab ride) to downtown Tamarindo
  • No fitness center on-site (but access to one at a nearby Langosta Beach Club)
  • The guest rooms lack desks

Bottom Line

A serene, wellness-focused 31-room boutique retreat on the outskirts of bustling Tamarindo, Cala Luna has an organic, beachy ambience. A large pool, lounge, and restaurant serve as the hotel's social center while an intimate spa and yoga pavilion are tucked away in the jungle-like surroundings. Couples hide out in upscale, bungalow-style rooms with vaulted ceilings and spacious baths while families prefer the two- and three-bedroom villas with private pools. The hotel’s wellness focus is emphasized by daily yoga classes and a restaurant that uses organic and sustainable food sources, some from the on-site garden. While not located on the ocean, a five-minute walk along a landscaped path leads guests to a secluded beach, although it is rocky and not suitable for swimming, especially at low tide.

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Scene

A mellow, upscale boutique hotel that caters to families and honeymooners seeking a relaxing, wellness-oriented vacation

Inspired by Moon Bay in Sardinia, which in Italian translates to Cala Luna, the intimate boutique hotel caters equally to honeymooning couples as well as families. The overall design of the hotel mixes the a Mediterranean feel with organic, upscale beach appeal. The open-air lobby features columns crafted from trees indigenous to Costa Rica, a relaxing color palette, and sophisticated low-slung furnishings finished in white and taupe surrounding a sprawling tree-trunk table that looks like it was weathered into artwork by the sun and sea.

Just steps from the lobby is the hotel's social center, a trio of restaurant, sparkling pool, and chic, open-air lounge that combine to keep guests in a blissful trance of vacation happiness. Ringing the pool are a collection of cushioned lounge chairs as well as a handful of cabanas outfitted with sofa-like benches and wispy linen curtains, prime spots for relaxing between dips. Under the shade of a palapa roof is La Caletta, a tapas-style lounge and bar. A glass container of flavored water is fitted into a knotty piece of driftwood, white daybeds are topped with colorful pillows, and the bartender is on hand to churn out tropical concoctions as needed. Guests can also be found lounging with books in hand at the beach -- a dramatic rocky point that juts out from the jungle.

Location

In the small beachside community of Playa Langosta, close to busy Tamarindo

Set on a private gravel road in a neighborhood with many luxury villas, hotels, and condos, Cala Luna is located in the small community of Playa Langosta, adjacent to the much larger and busier town of Tamarindo.

  • Five-minute walk to Langosta Beach
  • Five-minute drive to Tamarindo
  • 30-minute drive to Playa Grande
  • 30-minute drive to Hacienda Pinilla Golf Course
  • 75-minute drive to Liberia Airport
  • Two-hour drive to Palo Verde National Park
  • Four-hour drive to San Jose International Airport

Rooms

Luxurious bungalow style rooms and multi-bedroom villas with gated entrances and private pools

Cala Luna has 20 bungalow-style rooms with either one king or two queen beds and 11 two- or three-bedroom villas with private pools. The units are scattered along gravel paths bordered by lush, jungle-like foliage. The rooms and villas continue the beach-inspired, earthy color palette found throughout the hotel with sea glass-blue tiles in the bathrooms, seashells mounted on the wall within lit frames, and driftwood pieces hanging like beads from the bottoms of colorful lamp shades.

While the individual guest rooms are small (about 170 square feet), they are cozy, air-conditioned cocoons perfect for hiding out and napping after a day in the intense sun. The vaulted wood ceilings with exposed beams make the rooms feel more spacious and the bathrooms are larger than expected. One section of the bathroom holds a long dual vanity with oval-shaped white vessel sinks and granite countertops while the other holds the toilet and an open shower set above a big, deep soaking tub finished in soft blue tiles. The serene color palette is attained through the use of neutral-color ceramic tile floors and taupe-hued furnishings, such as cabinets that hold mini-refrigerators and flat-screen TVs. Beds are covered with soft waffle-woven coverlets and crisp white sheets, contrasting the graphic headboards that depict colorful swimming and swirling sea life.

The two- and three-bedroom villas have private gated entrances into driveways from the gravel road as well as paths that connect the villas to the heart of the resort. Covered terraces equipped with cushioned lounge chairs overlook the private pools ringed with well-coiffed grass. Inside, the villas feature open living and dining areas with wood tables and chairs that comfortably seat six, but the living areas with low-slung sofas and concrete side tables attached to the walls may feel a bit cold to some. Kitchens are well stocked with cookware and utensils necessary to throw a proper dinner party, but the too-small refrigerators seem lost in the space and the decor is drab an uninspiring. The bright, spacious bedrooms in the villas are similar in style to the guest rooms, and outfitted with lime green and Mediterranean blue pillows and lots of whimsical driftwood accents.

Features

Two restaurants, a small spa, and numerous activities to engage guests such as nightly cocktail parties, morning yoga, and cooking classes at an organic farm

Cala Luna is bent of providing guests with a wellness-focused vacation and they attain that goal on many levels. Guests can sign up for therapeutic body treatments, including a therapy that combats migraines and one that realigns the muscles after travel. Treatments can be arranged in the privacy of the villa, on the beach, or at the bungalow-style spa with an outside shower and treatment rooms open to the elements -- a thick jungle of greenery and trees. Adjacent to the spa is a large yoga pavilion, used for morning classes and retreats held at the resort.

The hotel also strives to use only ingredients produced with a low carbon footprint at the restaurants -- Cala Moresca and La Caletta Lounge. The chef adapts menus to use ingredients grown specifically in Costa Rica. They source trout from a river near San Jose rather than importing from other countries, pick herbs and vegetables from their garden on-site or from other local organic farms, and have also established a list of organic and biodynamic wines. The owner's organic farm, La Senda, also produces produce for the hotel and guests are encouraged to tour the farm and participate in cooking classes.

Other amenities available to guests include a stable of cruiser bicycles that guests can use for trips into Tamarindo, sunset cocktail parties at the beach where different nightly drinks (with or without alcohol) incorporating herbs from the garden are served, and an on-site surf camp, Tamarindo surfing Academy, founded by a former pro-surfer and member of the family that owns the hotel. 

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Address

Tamarindo 50309, Costa Rica

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