The enchantment of Santa Teresa and Malpais, Costa Rica, is in their miles of perfect pale gold beaches, fringed to the high tide mark by lush trees and flowers with outcroppings of rock where tide pools form. Densely wooded hills rise steeply from the coast and ovelook fifty miles of beach and mountains virtually untouched by man.
Santa Teresa - Mal Pais - Costa Rica
The enchantment of Santa Teresa and Malpais, Costa Rica, is in their miles of perfect pale gold beaches, fringed to the high tide mark by lush trees and flowers with outcroppings of rock where tide pools form.
Malpais is situated on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica specifically on the southern tip of the Nicoya peninsula.Also known as the Hawaii of Latin America. There are several beaches to swim, dive or snorkel though it's main attraction is it's unique conditions for surfing and it's pristine subtropical nature. The Cabo Blaco National Park is located 3 Km south, a paradise for tourists, students of biology and ecology. Santa Teresa is a colorful pueblo of fishermen, farmers and artisans. Life is regulated by the season, the tides and the phases of the moon and punctuated by fervent soccer on sunday and the saturday night dance. MalPais and Santa Teresa without a doubt are very attractive places to relax and enjoy the golden rays of the Pacific sunset.
The teak furniture is imported from indonesia, the antique four poster beds are curtained with voluminous mosquito nets and cooled by overheads fans.
While being well distanced and private from its neighbors, the tiled en suite bathroom are partly open to the sky for showers under the sun or stars. All our bungalows are open to nature on all sides
Primary building materiales are bambu and teak following tropical asian traditions. For a deceptively delicate charm not previously seen in Costa Rica.
“Breakfast, lunch, dinner, full bar service.”
Milarepa Hotel – Rates 2009
January, February, March, April, July, August 2009
Beach front bungalow $230
Ocean view bungalow $210
Garden view bungalow $190
May, June, September, October, November 2009
Beachfront bungalow $210
Ocean view bungalow $190
Garden view bungalow $180
Latest Reviews about Milarepa Hotel
“OMG! Milarepa is so wonderful!” - Milarepa
Dec 11, 2007
My husband and I just returned from Costa Rica. We spent five days at Hotel Milarepa and couldn't have been happier.
We checked in at 6pm and were greeted by Sammie who was absolutely charming. She got us settled in our ocean view bungalow where a bottle of wine awaited us (per my husband's instructions when reserving the room).
After a quick clean up in the open air bathroom and a change out of our travelling clothes, we hit Soma for a lovely dinner by candlelight.
As we had arrived in the dark, we were very excited to see the property in the daylight. The tropical trees lent the perfect amount of shade and, best of all, were home to a family of howler monkeys. The other three bungalows were just as lovely as our's. Each tucked into the landscape perfectly. Nothing is overdone yet it's all very elegant without ever losing the casual vibe so prominent in Costa Rica. The teak furnishings have my husband and I re-thinking our decor choices here at home.
We ate most meals at Soma and must sing the praises of Chef Jim. The food never disappointed be it scrambled eggs with avocado or fish tacos or sesame crusted tuna with ginger sauce. And the portions, well I just called them "guy size" as they were so generous. The wine list was limited but we never picked a bad one. Beer was a reasonable $2.50 a bottle and made for the perfect late afternoon refreshment.
Along with Sammie, the other staff members who aided and abetted in our wonderful escape from real world were Lorenzo, Christina, Trish and Carmen. They were all wonderfully knowledgeable about the area and how to get about. Co-owner Phillipe was the perfect host inquiring without ever hovering.
Should you ever need to completely unwind and tune out the rest of the world, you must book a bungalow at Hotel Milarepa.
“Rustic, natural retreat w/ AMAZING restaurant!” Milarepa
Dec 4, 2007
Milarepa is set in the middle of nature... it was such a natural delight. It had only four bungalow which kept the grounds intimate, super-quiet, and very cozy. It felt like we were the only ones on the property even though all four bungalows were filled. The beach in front is extremely rocky, but only about 5 mins. either direction will take you to a beautiful wide open beach setting.
The BEST part of Milarepa is by far their restaurant... it was truly some of the best dining we have ever had. Every dish we had was unbelievably fresh, and truly exquisite... so yummy.
Also the staff was tremendous!
“Destination Wedding Bliss!” - Milarepa
Jun 19, 2007
My husband and I were married at Milarepa in May. It was the perfect location for a small wedding. We booked all 4 bungalows and the restaurant so that we could have the place to ourselves. It was the most amazing place to be married as it was so intimate and romantic. The bungalows are beautiful and the furnishings gorgeous. During our 3 night stay we ate most of our meals at Soma and the food was the best we had in our month in Costa Rica. If you're in the area it's worth going for a very romantic dinner or delicious breakfast.
“Can't wait to return” - Milarepa
May 19, 2007
My wife and I just returned from a a fantastic trip to Costa Rica. The absolute highlight being our time spent at Milarepa. After a week of "roughing it" we decided to treat ourselves to a grand finale to our vacation. We stayed in Bungalow 4, which was located directly on the gorgeous white sand beach and wide open to nature. The personable staff members made us feel welcome without that overbearing approach I've found in other places. Caroline (the owner) informed us the tide pools, right out front, that became our low tide hide away. The restaurant (Soma) far exceeded our expectations. The tamarind pork ribs are the best I've ever had (and I've tried a lot). And our server, Samantha, makes hands down the tastiest mojito we've encountered, anywhere. Maybe too good.... We've already booked for next year!
“Wonderfully romantic” Milarepa
May 15, 2007
We spent two nights in one of the open air bungalows on the beach at the Milarepa. It was gorgeous. The bungalow opened out to the ocean, so we'd fall asleep to the waves crashing into shore. Even though there are other bungalows, they are far enough away from each other that you feel like it is your own private place on the beach. There is just a peaceful and romantic charm exuded at the Milarepa. They also have a great restaurant and we had probably our most romantic dinner ever there. This was my favorite accommodations for our honeymoon.
Milarepa Hotel is a great place to go if you just want to get away and relax. It is completely private as there are only 4 bungalows. We were often the only ones on the beach during the daytime so it is definitely not a haven for tourists. If you want something that is off the beaten path but still somewhat luxurious, this is the right place for you.There is very little shopping and it can be difficult to leave the hotel grounds at night as the road is not well-lit at all. There is not much to do besides walk along the beach and wander around the main road on which the hotel is situated. We stumbled upon the Baraka Cafe which is about 20 minutes up the road from the hotel. It is a great little cafe which is perfect for a snack or lunch.
Soma, the hotel's restaurant has AMAZING food. It is a bit pricey, but definitely worth it since the presentation is beautiful and you can spend a couple of hours enjoying a long meal. The mojitos are the best I have ever had. The only downside is that there were several dogs that wandered around the hotel grounds. They didn't really bother us, but it was a bit irritating to see them lurking while we were trying to enjoy a romantic meal. We also loved the restaurant at Florblanca, which is next door to Milarepa Hotel. That restaurant is not as intimate as Soma, but still very good. We especially loved the sushi. Florblanca is about a 5 minute walk from Milarepa Hotel. The road is a bit dark so I would caution people to be very careful. That being said, we felt very safe and our biggest concern was running into animals rather than being bothered by people.
We stayed in Bungalow 3 which is simple but beautiful. It was very clean. We had the occasional bug or small lizard, but that is to be expected when you book a place right on the beach and in the middle of the woods. The bathroom was incredibly clean despite being partially open. The staff swept and cleaned our room every day so that helped to cut down on the sand and bugs that may have accumulated.
We got massages by the beach and although this was a nice experience, the massages are expensive and not that great. One note of advice: all of the extra services (ie massages, yoga lessons etc) must be paid in cash while everything else can be charged to a credit card.
Milarepa Hotel: "Needs TLC"
We stayed at the Milarepa Hotel for one week in February and fortunately we had the beach front bungalow which is a heavenly location. The simple bamboo and concrete structure with shuttered doors and windows was, in my opinion, exactly right for a beach location. The restaurant has gourmet food at dinner. I can't say the same for breakfast.
Now the negatives - The bathroom which is partially open to the sky is fine but the wooden flooring over part of the structure should be replaced immediately - it looks rotten and had spaces where the crabs crawled in. There are no amenities other than soap and towels - no wash clothes, no shampoo or lotion, and no hair dryer. The safe is on the floor so you must get on your hands and knees to open and close it.
Even though there are only four bungalows, the owner or owners never made any attempt to welcome us or see that we had everything we needed for the visit.
I think the owner is basking in past glory since this place has been written up in a couple of travel magazines, including Budget Travel. Right now, I recommend some attention to detail and guests.
Milarepa Hotel: "Paradise on earth"
I dont even know how i would start this... there are so many amazing things to say. This hotel truly makes you feel like you are part of their family.
There are only 4 bungalows, so the service is above and beyond anything you could hope for. Any questions? ask Hillary at the front desk. She is always there to greet you with a big smile and attention to detail. Anything we needed or wanted to know about she attended to with care.
The resturant, Soma is beyond delicious. From the fruit in the morning, to fish tacos for lunch, to a VAST assortment of gormet dinner options, you will not be disappionted. I acctually have an allergy to dairy, and they went out of their way to get me soy milk and a tofu option. Without being asked.
Our bungalow was stunning. overlooking the beach it was the definition of relaxation. The bathroom is open air, so you can shower while watching nature... or if you are lucky, the howler monkeys that inhabit the trees above.
Take a surf lesson from Mic, the aussie surf guru or a mind boggling massage from Chris, a tiny little girl with healing power in her hands....they cater to all your needs. We will be going back. for sure. We wanted to book our dates before we checked out.
Milarepa Hotel: "Authentic and exotic small hotel with everything you need"
My 24-year old daughter and i just returned from a relaxing and memorable stay at the exquisite Milarepa Hotel hotel. From our first view of the large bungalow with the heavy wooden doors open to the lovely surf until our departure five days later, we had a wonderful experience. The bungalows are spaced apart for absolute privacy and quiet and better to enjoy the sounds of nature abounding: howler monkeys, birds of all kinds, iguanas (alright, no sounds but fun to watch); they are decorated in lovely indonesian furniture with mosquito netting over the beds, large open bathrooms with a huge tilled shower open to the sky, and spacious patios. The young chef prepares fresh fish with lovely sides comparable to any asian-fusion restaurant, breakfasts are hearty burritos or egg scrambles with fresh fruit and absolutely delicious; i took a pot of freshly brewed coffee to my patio every morning to start the day. The owners are lovely and laid-back and the staff will arrange anything you want to do; we went on a fishing trip with a local and saw whales and dolphins up close, took surf lessons, rented a four wheeler to drive around town.
This is not a luxury property in the class of the four seasons hotel with the service and accomodation like every other four seasons around the world; rather it is an opportunity to enjoy a lovely authentic small hotel in a beautiful setting with luxury that is unique to costa rica and a refreshing change. We loved every minute of our experience at Milarepa Hotel!
Milarepa Hotel: "this is paradise"
Everywhere we stay is now measured next to Milarepa Hotel. The chic bungalows feel almost like a luxury camp with nature all around, the beach is magical and the fresh, simple food is truly spectacular. We also made the mistake of going to Flor whatever it's called next door and got a rude reminder of just how good Milarepa Hotel's food is. I'm an australian living in NYC so I know beautiful beaches and good food. Caroline has hit on the perfect combination. The open bungalows and showers will not suit people who want to be pampered in an air conditioned cocoon, but if you get it.. this is THE definition of tropical beach paradise.
Milarepa Hotel: "Ommmmmmmmmmmm"
After reading the other travel advisories, I am positive that they have mistaken the Milarepa Hotel my wife and I visited with some devious imposter. Or maybe I´m just less high maintenence?
No televisions, no phones, no room service, no martini bar, no internet. To those of you that find these facts alarming, Milarepa Hotel is not the place for you. Though, nothing in life is without flaws, I found our vacation to be be everything I`d imagined and more. I did not encounter any afformentioned foul smells (unless you find the sea offensive) or any over abundance of insects (considering we were in the jungle). What I did find was beautiful white sand beaches, simple yet stylishly done cabinas, a very helpful but not overbearing staff, fresh and creative cuisine, relaxing massage and yoga, and exactly the peaceful and relaxing Costa Rican experience we were looking for. We´ll be back for sure.
Milarepa Hotel: "Pura Vida!!!"
My family and I just returned from our second stay at Milarepa Hotel and found things better than ever. Milarepa Hotel has a Zen like quality that we wish we could just pack in our bags and bring back home. The open aired cabins offer just enough nature to remind you you´re in Costa Rica, while the mosquito nets fend off most crawling or flying pests that have been known to scare off us "gringos" in the jungle While we shall always carry fond memories of Caroline´s Provencal-Style French menu, especially her salad Nicoise, the new chef has nailed modern fusion cuisine. Blending local flavors with Asian-Latin classics. Restaurant Soma kept everyone from my 6 year old daughter to my gourmand husband happy. After one very unpleasant (and overpriced) excursion to the restaurant at Flor Blanca we never strayed again. By day my son and Husband enjoyed the excellent surf just down the beach, while my daughter and I explored the tide pools just in front of the hotel (low tide only) and played in the pool along side the owners children. The staff are not the type to sit waiting hand and foot but always happy to mix up a fresh fruit smoothie (or a damn good mojito).
I´m shocked to read that there are those that did not walk away with the same unforgetable experience that we´ve had, but I guess that just leaves more availabilty for those of us who´ll be returning again (and again).
Milarepa Hotel: "Romantic, relaxing, hip and what a beach!"
Imagine laying in the canopied bed with your honey and gazing through the tall trees (sometimes adorned with howler monkeys) at the most exquisite stretch of beach. The huge windows are all open and give you the feeling that there are no walls at all, the roof suspended by jungle vines. This is my lasting memory of Milarepa Hotel.
I mostly disagree with the negative posts...there was no construction, just the sounds of the surf and the wildlife (especially the howler monkeys and the birds in the morning at around 5:30-just in time for sunrise). The grounds did not smell like sewage (although due to the scarcity of water during the dry season, an open toilet in the otherwise-cool bathroom can stink a bit). The staff were friendly and accomodating. There were no ant problems and not one mosquito.
The only problem we had , and it was the last night, was that my wife's Teva sandals were stolen from outside our door overnight. The night watchman said it may have been a monkey that did it, but we are pretty skeptical of that. So be aware. And I do agree that the mattresses should be of better quality , but this is certainly no fleabag motel-it is very tastefully decorated and perfectly fitting of the area...
The tidal pools are incredible to hang out in during low tide. You can hardly believe it later on when the water covers the huge rock formations that they were ever there in the first place.
Santa Teresa is gorgeous-have a great time...
Milarepa Hotel: "Gorgeous setting and incredible food but..."
I was there in May of 2005 for my honeymoon, and the resort was beautiful. The food at the restaurant was so damn good, and it was the best I got in Costa Rica. It's a good idea to bring some extra money jsut so you can eat here morning noon and night. The other food in town was alright depending where you go, but this leagues above it. It's a bit North of the town. A very long walk, but you probably will have a car if you made it all the way to Mal Pais/Santa Teresa.
However, before you book a trip here there are a few things that you should be aware of.
1) At least at the time of year I was there it was blazingly hot and humid. I realize that the hotel can't control the weather, but just be aware.
2) The beach has a steep pitch and there is a rock reef just below the tide line, so be careful when you swim. (The water is warm too, which is nice)
3) Bees tend to congregate around the fresh water tap, shower, and toilet in the outdoor bathroom. The grounds crew at the hotel will spray these areas for you if you report it, but if you allergic to stings, be wary.
4) While the room (cabana/hut/whatever) was very cool and simple, the mattress on the bed was very thin, and unsupportive and rested on the slats of the bedframe. This would be my biggest complaint against the hotel, and for the amount of money your are spending on the room I would expect a very comfortable bed. The bed in the $20/night roach motel I staye in in Las Juntas was more comfortable.
5) Mal Pais-Santa Teresa is overrun with Americans. This is good or bad depending on your point of view, but for my trip, coming from Southern California, the last thing I wanted to experience in Costa Rica was a town full of Southern Californians.
Milarepa Hotel: "Gorgeous beach, stylish hotel"
Just got back from a 4 night stay at Milarepa Hotel. We found the hotel to be just what we were looking for: stylish, romantic, friendly, reasonably priced with yummy food, all situated on perhaps the most beautiful beach I have ever seen.
There are only 4 bungalows. Each is well distanced from the other and is open to the elements. No AC or screens, but there is a romantic mosquito net over the four poster bed. (We did not see a single mosquito during our entire stay). The bathrooms were the best part of the room for us. The huge shower is open to the sky and the trees above (the sink are and toilet are covered. The furniture is all unique asian style and there was plenty of room in our bungalow.
Pool & Beach
The pool was on the small side, but there was never anyone else in it, even though the hotel was fully booked. Great view of the ocean from the pool, and most importantly the staff was always ready to serve us drinks poolside.
Food & Bar
Amazing, fresh, creative food prepared by a surfer chef from California. The restaurant prices would be considered expensive in Costa Rica, but we found the food to be on par with NY restaurants, for half the price.
This is a very small hotel and the experience is more like staying at a friends hip beach house. So don't expect traditional hotel amenities, like room phone, tv etc.
Mal Pais: Milarepa Hotel: "Romantic Getaway"
Beautiful place, very romantic and secluded. The staff was excellent very helpful and kind. We made many friends here I would reccomend it to anyone. The food is very good too try the white bean salad I still think about it. This place is a little ways from the town but manageable. The Flor Blanca Hotel is next door so late night drinks or munchies isn't a problem. The Bamboo cabanas are tastefully decorated Indonesian style with mesquito nets and comfy beds. It's perfect for couples.
Mal Pais: Milarepa Hotel: "paradisiaque"
Milarepa Hotel est certainement l'un des plus beaux endroits qu'il m'est été donné de voir dans ma vie de voyageur. c'est un petit paradis sur terre et j'y retournerais. luxe et simplicité mélés, convivialité et accueil des propriétaires, tout est fait pour un séjour inoubliable. le restaurant soma est excellent, les chambres sont romantiques et les singes vous regardent prendre votre douche dans la salle de bains à ciel ouvert....Milarepa Hotel : pura vida !
Mal Pais: Milarepa Hotel: "Where do I begin"
We just returned from a week at the Milarepa Hotel although after 2 nights we left and moved into a villa next door. The first evening we arrived (Saturday) the restaurant was closed for a private party, although it worked out fine since we were invited to eat and drink at no cost to us and we met some very nice people. The second day the restaurant was only open for breakfast and everyone left at 7:00PM. The property is very secluded with very little lighting and the power goes out all the time. The receptionist did leave us some candles just in case the power went out. We decided to go next door for dinner and we walked on the beach to get there. It was so dark it was impossible to see anything. Before we knew it there were crabs crawling all over our feet, to the point that when we finally made it to the restaurant, I had a crab claw attached to my sandal that I had kicked off my feet. It was like a horror movie. The restaurant gave us a flashlight to get back to our bungalow's which helped us avoid being attacked by crabs again. When we returned to Milarepa Hotel not only was the property infested with crabs, but the entire swimming pool had been invaded by crabs. It was 9:00PM and we had no where to go but to our bungalows, which not only had crabs, but if you kept the light on the bugs swarmed you. The ceiling fans did nothing to cool the rooms off so you would lay in bed in a pool of sweat. It was the worst night. No one gave us a heads-up about the crabs, there were no flashlights, very minimal lighting, and at one point someone was walking around the property in the middle of the night and we were all alone. If there was an emergency we had no idea how to reach management or anyone.
On day 3 we decided to move next door to a villa. What we found was that the crabs came out after rain and the only way to get around after dark was to have flashlights since the crabs tend to run away. The villa did have crabs on the property, but it was very well light, and they had flashlights for our use. The ceiling fans were great. We were able to sleep comfortably (without nets over the beds). The management was right on the property so it felt much more secure.
When we decided to move, we explained to the receptionist we wanted our family to be together instead of separate bungalows and we didn't want to make a fuss or complain. We didn't ask for a refund, but said we would like to use the pool etc. during the day. On day 4 the owner of Milarepa Hotel Caroline came by our villa and was very rude, accusing us of stealing her keys to the 2 bungalows we had rented. We explained we planned to still use the pool and possibly the showers since we were still paying for the bungalows. We were immediately put on the defensive. Not only did we not complain about our experiences and pay for an additional 5 nights we didn't use, but Caroline wanted her keys back right then and there. She was throwing us out but refuse to give us a refund.
To top it off , when we woke on day 3 after packing our stuff to move the night before we we missing 4 tee shirts, 3 pairs of shorts, and I pod and a pair of sunglasses. We are not saying someone at Milarepa Hotel was to blame for this, but the night when we were all alone and we went to dinner, anyone could have come up from the beach and taken our things. There was absolutely no security and very little lighting. We didn't want to believe some stole our clothes and held out the possibility we fogot to pack them. It was not so. It could have been the airlines, we will never know what happened to our things.
Again, we tried to stay on a positive note with Milarepa Hotel and not make waves, but when Caroline the owner came by with an attitude after all we had gone through we though our experience deserving a write up on this web site!
Mal Pais: Milarepa Hotel: "it should be called Milacrapa"
This place should be called "Mila CRAP a"
It stunk. It was dirty, had not one amenity and charged top dollar for the minimalist look...so basically i paid $150 a night for a bed and that was it.....there were bugs everywhere in the cabin...and i had to put my clothes on the ground bc there were no chairs and i am sure bugs were getting in my clothes. The outdoor bathroom would have been cool if the toilet didn't clog and there weren't huge spider webs all over the outside and I didn't have to use the old soap from the guests that were there before me.. Additionally, the staff was more interested in themselves than the guests and one night were partying and laughing so loud - i couldn't sleep. Also - i was charged top dollar for everything I did outside of the hotel like they arranged a horseback riding tour for $75 and i met some people at the hotel 2 doors down that only paid $30 for the same tour. The same things happened with the taxis. I really regretted staying there and moved to "The Place" that was so much better for much less money. I would also recommend Horizons. But this hotel really really was a major disappointment. You can spend much less money in this area and stay in a much better place.
Mal Pais: Milarepa Hotel: "Service?"
My wife and I recently returned from our honeymoon in Costa Rica and were thoroughly impressed with the country and accomodations in general with one excpetion; Milarepa Hotel. If you are a local chum of one of the staff or a rich tourist who likes to flash your money, I'm sure you will receive the attention you desire. If you are a normal traveller you will likely find the staff pretentious.
When we arrived, we checked out our room and found magazines left there by the previous occupants and a large hairball under the sink. The light outside our bungalow was also burnt out and was not replaced in the four days we were there, even though we informed the staff the first day. In another instance, a guide had left a message for us which we never received and thus missed the time change of our appointment.
The hotel's one saving grace was the excellent food. The resaurant was superb. However, it is open to the public so why not stay at a hotel with good service and simply make a trip to the Milarepa Hotel to eat?
Having travelled extensively in Europe, Asia, North America, and Oeceana, I can assure you that the value to price ratio of the Milarepa Hotel is far below standard.
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