When our travels took us to Costa Rica, we drove the winding and unmarked roads from San Jose to La Luz, an intimate restaurant located in Escazu. Founded in 1997, the award-winning La Luz is situated within the 23-room boutique Hotel Alta Las Palomas and was purchased by the current owners, Alex Khajavi and Juanita Miranda, in 2013.
Set into a hillside, La Luz, as its name suggests, was built to let in the light. A wall of windows overlooks the pool and affords fantastic views of the valley and the mountains in the distance; a mix of blue sky and green lushness during the day and a soothing landscape of twinkling lights after dark.
Gleaming herringboned-patterned wood floors mirror the patterned wood-beamed ceilings. The elevated bar/lounge area offers comfy seating with deep upholstered chairs—perfect for a drink in front of the fireplace. Abundant tropical plants and flowers enhance the space.
Want to dine outside? No problem. Wonderfully secluded seating is available on the terrace. And if you decide to stay at the hotel, we highly recommend ordering room service at least once during your stay. Our meal served on our private balcony with a view over the valley was so good we may have indulged twice.
But what about the food, you ask? The restaurant was named “one of the best in Central America” by Conde Nast Traveler and for good reason. Chef Leiman Umaña sources some of Costa Rica’s best tropical produce from the restaurant’s farm in Salitral to create his Mediterranean menu.
We loved the chef’s pejibaye cream soup, a luscious take on the region’s peach palm fruit. Ceviche, pastas, terrific wine—the selection is perfect without being overwhelming. The hot chocolate was one of the best we’ve had in any of our travels and the coffee, oh, the coffee. It’s everything you’ve heard, times ten. Maybe life really is sweeter in Costa Rica. Pura Vida!