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“Bad Surprise”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Villa Caletas

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Villa Caletas
Ranked #2 of 44 Hotels in Jaco
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Naperville, Illinois
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Bad Surprise”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 December 2012

We stayed on December 5 and 6. A nice property but it appears they are letting it go. Although the rooms were clean, the outside of the building is in need cleansing. The property is showing its age. Even the shrubs are growing into the sidewalk area's.
We also stayed at The Parador down near Manuel Antonio was more than expected, spic and span clean, overly friendly staff, tremendous experience. I expected more from Villa Caletas.
Lastly I made an error in leaving a jacket after check out. The hotel found it and said DHL wanted over $100 to send it to the US. Regular mail would cost over $50. How can this be true? This is still not resolved. The cost of the lightweight jacket new was less than $100. Very dissappointed with their service. They were going to charge me to send it back but I can't even get them to this this after trading numerous emails. I urge you to go elsewhere.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Julie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manager_Caletas, General Manager at Villa Caletas, responded to this review, 27 December 2012
Dear Friends , thank you for your review . We are glad to know that you enjoyed your room. Talking about what you will see around you at Villa Caletas is a bit about " the Style" of the hotel. One might call it "let go", others will see "The Magic touch of Caletas".
Concerning your Jacket, it is true that DHL is asking 74 000 Colones ($150.00) to send it from Costa Rica to the USA Illinois, the package weight is 1.3 kg, about 30 cm long / 20 large and 10 cm high.
You can actually check the price by yourself at DHL web page, they offer an option to check prices worldwide. The regular post service from Costa Rica is asking for $ 99.00 with insurance. We are waiting for your answer. We can also keep it at the hotel and wait for somebody that could pick it up for your during a trip to Costa Rica if you believe the cost of the freight is not worth the Jacket.
Best regards. manager@villacaletas.com
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1,283 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (263)
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English first
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 December 2012

I am not much of a reviewer. As long as the good outweighs the bad as is the case with most luxury hotels we're happy. I have never felt compelled to review a place until I had the unfortunate experience of staying at the Villa Caletas. This was by far the most unpleasant "luxury" hotel experience we have ever had. From the second we arrived, the staff was rude and acted like we were there for them and not the other way around. The vibe was pretentious, gaudy, and snobbish. The staff also seemed completely indifferent – no pleasantries or welcoming. This is not the place you stay at if you enjoy/appreciate the little things nice hotels usually like to do for you. We never felt or were made to feel very comfortable.

Hotel – not the ideal location to get around if you don’t rent a car. The hotel will charge you $20 (one-way) to go into Jaco, which is about a 15 minute ride. Do not exchange currency here as their exchange rate was the lowest we experienced while in the country. We had a mishap while exchanging too. The guy at the front desk could not compute the rate and shorted our change. Luckily, we caught it, and naturally, he did not apologize for the mistake.

Rooms - the room itself was fine (Jr. Suite Superior), but located in an isolated building outside the main security gate, which we did not like because we felt removed, nor the walk back to our room at night in the dark. One of the managers did offer us an upgrade and let us check out the room before deciding to move or not. The upgraded room was much smaller than what we were in and considered it to be a downgrade, so decided to stay put. Even though the problem wasn’t resolved, the hotel did not try to reconcile any further.

Food – only has one restaurant that’s open regularly – overly expensive with poor value and quality.
(On Saturday night, they held a concert in the amphitheatre. We thought it might be fun and looked into going only to find out they charge their own guests $15pp to attend which also gained you access to the main restaurant. Since we didn’t pay the only dinning option was their really expensive place that’s only open every once in a while. After spending a lot to stay here in the first place, I was surprised they would charge for such a thing)

Beach – just a heads-up this is not really a beach. It’s a rock cliff with some beach chairs on it. There’s a shuttle that takes you from the main hotel to the cliff that leaves every hour and picks up on the :30 to bring you back. Both times we went down (once to the beach and once after an activity which dropped us off there) the shuttle was more than 20 minutes late picking us up. No apology from the driver, just a scowl. I have read numerous reviews telling similar stories about their shuttle service being late and the hotel doesn’t want to take responsibility for offering a service if cannot fulfill.

Overall, this was just a huge disappointment. We did not feel this place was worth was cost and that the value was poor.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank GregS875
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manager_Caletas, General Manager at Villa Caletas, responded to this review, 22 December 2012
Dear Friends, thank you for your review. We are sad to know that you did not enjoyed your stay with us. It is true that the hotel is at the top of a mountain and far from the noise of the city, but being in the middle of the rain forest and only 15 minutes away from town is ( we believe) not that bad.
We are glad to know that you loved your Junior Suite Superior that are conveniently situated 100 meters from the main gate and where our bells boys can pick you up with our golf carts at any time just after calling them. I am very happy that you are talking about our Concerts, i would like guests to know that we do have an annual festival at the hotel, and we are very proud to say that the main idea of these concerts is to promote arts and help young guitarists in their career with part of the proceedings. (that explain why we do charge guests and non guests). We are sorry that you had to wait for the shuttle after your tour with the Hotel's private
boat. As you will understand these are two different activities. The shuttle goes up and down every 30 minutes to and from the beach, tours from the Gulf of Nicoya can come back at different time due to tide, current or just because guests are enjoying it to much !!.
On a final note we hope that you will keep an overall "good vibe " of your trip to Costa Rica.
Best regards. manager@villacaletas.com
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 December 2012

This is a beautiful hotel at the top of a cliif with wonderful views and was our favorite part of the trip.
Room: Our room was the best part of the hotel. After receiving a great value on Groupon we were able to afford the junior suite which is off in a separate building. Our room had a private terrace and jacuzzi as well as a private pool for the building. My favorite moments were enjoying breakfast or a drink on the terrace watching the macaws and toucans. Wifi and Cable were also great in the room and made the trip effortless in terms of doing research during the trip.
Food/Drink: Were definitely overpriced and only so so based on what we had. Breakfast was the best value but since our room had a refrigerator i was just as happy going to supermarket in Herradura picking up snacks and relying on those.
Beach: Was not worth the trek pool is a much better deal for sunbathing and relaxing
On grounds jungle trail: was very steep make sure to grab walking stick or wear hiking boots
Overall i would recommend Villa caletas for the views alone. Head into Jaco for dinner the food there was excellent.

Room Tip: Junior Suites were beautiful. We took a peek at some of the other rooms and they were much smaller...
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  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sabs624
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manager_Caletas, General Manager at Villa Caletas, responded to this review, 22 December 2012
Dear Friends , thank you very much for your review. We are happy to know that you had such a great time with us and that you enjoyed your Junior Suite Superior. They really boast a great view,
and as you said Macaws and Toucans are your closets neighbors ! Best regards
manager@villacaletas.com
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Heredia, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
105 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 December 2012

We truly enjoy coming here for cocktails and watching the sunset from the amphitheater that offers the most breathtaking views of colors, lightening on the horizon and a serene place to let your mind relax. Great place to entertain out of town guests during sunset.

Personally, we preferred staying at the hotel back when it was small and less built-up however, the amphitheater is still lovely and the location is the only part of Jaco that we enjoy visiting.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Katma_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manager_Caletas, General Manager at Villa Caletas, responded to this review, 22 December 2012
Dear Friends, thank you for your review, we are happy to know that you enjoyed the sunset from the amphitheater. We do hope to see you soon back with us. Best regards. manager@villacaletas.com
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
27 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 December 2012

This is a beautiful hotel at the top of a cliif with wonderful views. The service was excellent.
The rooms were good but a bit small.
Restaurant is good but expensive. Beef dishes should be avoided.
Make sure you are there for sunset as the vew is fantastic

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank seni0r1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manager_Caletas, General Manager at Villa Caletas, responded to this review, 22 December 2012
Dear Friends, thank you very much for your nice words. Best regards.
manager@villacaletas.com
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sto Domingo, CR
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 December 2012

We recently returned from our 10th stay at Villa Caletas (3 Zephyr + 7 VC ) and thought it was about time to add our review. To make a long story short, we first discovered VC back in early 2005. Recent university grads at the time, cash was tight, but this being our first trip together, we wanted to treat ourselves to a something special. As such we decided to stay 1 night in the Standard Deluxe room. We were not disappointed. The place is stunning. The views are gorgeous, the ambience is warm and welcoming, and the hotel is well-appointed with unique art and design. It instantly became special for us, so when we decided to get married 3 years later; we both knew this was it. But I'll digress for now and give you my view of the good/bad/should know:


GOOD:

- VIEWS: some of the best I've seen in the world (and I've lived on 6 continents so I've been to a few inspiring places)

- ROOMS: We've stayed in the STD Deluxe, Villa, Jr. Suite, Sr. Suite Superior, Oriental, Egypto & Africana rooms .The more you spend the fancier the rooms get, but I'd gladly stay any of them again. All are well equipped, comfortable and most have great views.

- SERVICE: In all my stays I never experienced anything but top notch service. The staff in each department are well trained, ready to accommodate, helpful and genuinely very friendly.

- FOOD (*most of it: see below): The food is quite good, but not mind blowing. My main issue is the inconsistency in the offering: some dishes are excellent and some are mediocre at best.

- HOTEL: It's surrounded by nature, it's spacious, amenities such as the amphitheater and pools have been well thought out, there's lots of unique art, all the rooms are different and it just has a luxurious feel to it.

- VALUE: VC is not the cheapest place in the world, but compared to similar class hotels in CR I believe it offers good value. The rooms seem well priced and they don't try to gouge you too much on food/drink. Example: local beer is under $5, lunch plate $10-15 and dinner $15-30.


BAD:

- PATRONAGE: this one of those 'little things' that bugs me. As mentioned, we've now stayed there on 10 occasions including a wedding at the Zephyr Palace, but every time we arrive we get the 'first time here' speech. I'm not expecting the red carpet, but as loyal customer it would be nice to at least get a "we're happy to have you back with us" as a means of acknowledging our patronage. Keeping guest records in a computer should be pretty easy.

- DINNER MENU: while I have had some amazing dinners there, I've had too many so-so dinners. it's usually the 'protein' dishes which are the let down. The formula goes like this: under-seasoned protein + cup of plain rice + steamed veggies which creates a very bland and boring meal. I've learned to order the pastas or risottos at dinner which are much better.

- STAFFING: the pool areas (in both CV and ZP) where we spend most of our time tend to be understaffed. There have been a number of times where I was ready to order food/drinks but saw no one for 30-60+ minutes. More so in the low season.


CONSIDERATIONS
Things to keepin mind:

- ISOLATION: the location is outstanding, but it's also isolated. This means you're either at the mercy of the hotel's facilities or need to drive to Jaco for more options which is about 15 minutes away (taxi $10-15/way).

- BEACH: the Caleta's beach is rocky and not good for swimming. It's not a beach hotel. If you're looking for the best of both worlds, rent a car, go to the closeby beaches for the day and enjoy the pools/sunset in the afternoons at VC.

- BUGS: yes there are bugs outside but 1) this is Costa Rica and there are bugs period 2) the hotel is on a jungle mountain top. I've had no issues with bugs in general or in my room there.

- STEPS: the rooms are scattered over a hilly property. As they say, some rooms are 'a number of steps away'. Personally I prefer it this way as the separation creates privacy. However I can understand that some people would certainly not like to be in the furthest rooms.

- VACATION TYPE: VC is not a spot to for partying (besides special events) and it's not great for kids (I think they'd get bored quickly). It's great place for couples or mature families. It's meant for relaxing, romance, and an appreciation for its surroundings.

- SPECIAL EVENTS: they host a lot of special events, weddings mostly which means they tend to close off certain areas.

- FACILITIES: it's a boutique hotel with about 45 rooms. There's a small gym, a nice spa, a communal hot tub, 3 small pools by Hotel standards: one limited to the Jr. Suite Superiors, one at the Zephyr and one for VC (though some of the rooms have private pools). A bar at the beach that serves drinks and a bit of food , a bar at the VC pool, and 2 restaurants (one's often closed in the low season). Plus the amphitheatre which is great for sunsets. Tour desk, small gift shop.

- WEATHER: Late December to April is best weather wise. May to Nov is a gamble. For example when we arrived on Nov 14th, a couple we spoke to said it rained every afternoon while they were there, but we didn't get any rain for our 4 days. Personally I like the low season as we've been lucky with the weather and it's nicer when there are fewer people around.

For the personal reasons above and all it has to offer, VC is our favorite hotel in CR. Often people ask me "Manuel Antonio or VC" since MA also offers many high-end hill top hotels. If you're looking for diversity MA is tough to beat as there are many more options closeby including better beaches and a great (but touristy) natural park. However, I've been to a number of the high end MA-hotels, and if you're talking strictly hotel, I prefer VC. It's hard to explain but it just seems to have a better 'feel' to it. In the end, if you have time try both. But we know you'll love VC as have the many friends and family we've recommended it to.

We'd like to thank everyone at Villa Caletas for treating us so well and providing such great memories. You haven't seen the last of us,

Nic & Ana Gremion

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank N_Gremion
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manager_Caletas, General Manager at Villa Caletas, responded to this review, 11 December 2012
"Woow..!! Dear Nic & Ana, thank very much you for your review. As stated in your tittle it is indeed comprehensive and i believe that you have "catched" the true values of the hotel and of all our staff. It is also a nice reminder for us that there is always room for improvement and that we must work harder on a daily bases so we can give our guests the service they deserve. Be sure that we will share it with all our staff and that every department will receive criticism gracefully, thanking you for your honesty. Have a great day. Best regards
manager@villacaletas.com
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Chicago, Illinois
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 December 2012

By far the best place in CR to stay. They have a spectacular view overall. Very happy to stay here. Staff were really hospitable and caring. Rooms were really different and stylish w/ lots of details. I dont mind to come back here again. -C & C

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CherylP716
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manager_Caletas, General Manager at Villa Caletas, responded to this review, 11 December 2012
Dear Friends, thank you very much for your review. Have a great day.
Best regards. manager@villacaletas.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Villa Caletas

Property: Villa Caletas
Address: 2 km after Punta Leona | Herradura, Jaco 12358-1000, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Jaco
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Jaco
#2 Romantic Hotel in Jaco
#2 Family Hotel in Jaco
#2 Spa Hotel in Jaco
#2 Luxury Hotel in Jaco
#4 Business Hotel in Jaco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Villa Caletas 4*
Number of rooms: 45
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Villa Caletas, a luxury romantic boutique hotel inspired by tropical Victorian architecture with a touch of neo-classical influence shining like a jewel among resorts, prized not only for its location, design and décor, but also for its outstanding facilities and first class service. Villa Caletas expresses a truly unique combination of mountain and seaside resort. Nestled 1150 feet above the Pacific Ocean, this unique hotel overlooks the Nicoya Gulf to the crescent beaches of Jaco, Herradura offering spectacular 360-degree panoramic views. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Villa Caletas Hotel Jaco
Caletas Hotel Herradura
Villa Caletas Costa Rica/Jaco

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