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“Avoid Jaco”

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Hotel Balcon del Mar
Ranked #24 of 42 Hotels in Jaco
Miami, Florida
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Avoid Jaco”
Reviewed 30 September 2011

The Hotel Balcon del Mar is located right next to a police station in Jaco, a very dicey town on the Pacific coast. While the ocean views are lovely, crime is ever-present. Drug dealers sell on the street with impunity and there are plenty of prostitutes cruising near the hotel. My advice is to stay out of Jaco altogether. It's impossible to avoid all the craziness around you and relax. We were booked at this hotel by Sunnyland Tours - another outfit that did not meet our expectations. They should have chosen a safer haven for us; we were on our honeymoon. The rooms are very sparse and worn, and the service was dismissive.

The beach at Jaco is NOT for swimming, as the rip-tides are rough. If you're a surfer, this is the beach for you. We recommend that you stay near the national parks further South.

Room Tip: If you must stay at this hotel, make sure you're on the 4th floor. However, there is no elevato...
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Anita A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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196 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
109 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 July 2011

I don't think I would ever visit Jaco again, but honestly, I'd probably return to this hotel and request room 409 if I had to. We got really, really lucky with our room, as it was very spacious and on the top floor. I had seen other rooms that were very cramped and ours wasn't like that at all. We had an ocean view, air conditioning, TV, and there was free WiFi across the whole property. My only complaint was the noise from outside and the lack of hot water. No one on our floor had hot water nearly the entire time, and that's just unacceptable when you are paying to stay at a nice hotel. It didn't even get warm, so it was quickly in and out for us.

We used Jaco as a home base for visiting the Manuel Antonio National Park, and taking a Crocodile tour of the Tabacon river. We didn't swim in the ocean as there are dangerous riptides there, and didn't shop because everything was geared towards tourists. When we were at the hotel, we ordered drinks and sat by the pool, watching the sun set over the ocean. That was really, really nice and became an evening favorite.

The hotel was very clean and like I said, our room was very, very spacious so we had no complaints. If you need a wheelchair accessible room, ask for one on the first floor, as they do not have elevators at this hotel.

Room Tip: Ask for room 409 or 107
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank mlove17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Elizabeth City, NC
Level Contributor
477 reviews
117 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 190 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 February 2011

Located right on the Pacific Ocean, with a spectacular view of the water, we were excited about staying here. However, the door to our room had large gaps (explaining the gecko getting into our shower), the rooms were awkwardly laid out, and the whole place felt cramped and jammed around the central pool. Food at the restaurant was not good at all -- poor quality (hot dog slices for breakfast?), monotonous. They did offer free Wifi. The worst part of our two-day stay was the fact that the pool maintenance crew yelled back and forth to each other, beginning at 5:40 am, awakening us! To be fair, when we complained to the front desk, the noise did stop. The cleaning staff on our upper floor also yelled back and forth to each other while working. We traveled with a group of 15 with Overseas Adventure Travel, and our fellow travelers echoed our ratings of this hotel.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Grice-Fearing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Jaco hotels

Toronto, Canada
1 review
Reviewed 20 January 2011

We stayed for a week in Jan 2011, the hotel looked nice, just like the website pictures, hotel faces the beach and the setting sun, very nice view from our room, we had buffet dinner half the time and a la carte the rest, restaurant provides excellent south American food, restaurant overlooks the beach and setting sun as well. The waiters, front desk and other staff were very nice and very accommodating, I asked for extra towels for the room and for the beach, they were delivered to my room 5min later, wake-up call also on time, waiters were friendly. The room itself was a bit small but had a panoramic view of the beach, it also had a free digital safe and the air conditioner was very quiet and worked like a charm. The main street is just 5 min walk – very central location in town. They have a security guard on site at night, I saw him walking around our floor at 5:45 AM, and also at 11:45PM (watching us get out of the car in the pouring rain) on the days that we had day trips and had to leave early but returned late. The weather in Jaco was very nice (except for the 1 day when it poured). The beach is very pebbly, and is more of a surf beach ( I didn’t see a lot of surfers though), it was acceptable still because the waters were very warm and the beach is shallow for quite a stretch so that you can goof around in waist deep waters. We took surfing lessons, if you go to the end of the beach (behind Hotel 9 – beginners surfing area, you can rent a board for 10$ for the whole day, on the strip they ask for 50$ for a 2h lesson including board, but there is a surfing “school” right on Bohio street offering it for 35$, or just go rent a board for 10$ and goof a round)
if you are looking to go to Tabacon (hot springs) then I would contact the Grayline tour person (Luciano?) at the Best Western (hotel about 10 min drive away), he offers the same rates for Tabacon (139$) as other do for Baldi.
There is day trip booking office at the Balcon hotel as well, we found the prices to be at the going rate of other similar tour providers,
The tour provider of the Balcon del Mar are very nice, and had the best prices for a hired driver (there is no accurate map and signs are sketchy, we talked to a few ppl who rented cars and decided to hire a driver to get us to arenal – 3.5 hrs away) we ended up booking a tour to arenal area (volcano), but the volcano was not really offering any molten views at the time, I was told that it has been quiet for the past few months. Anyways, the driver – Johans, was very good, driving though deep fog and pouring rain in the dark to get us back to our hotel.
Overall, very happy with hotel.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LO1111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 January 2011

If for some reason you have to stay in Jaco, then you could do worse then this place. It does have a great location right on the beach, in pretty much the middle of town. It has a very nice pool, and the breakfast is not too bad either. That unfortunately is where the fun stops.

I am a bit of a light sleeper and I was awoken throughout the night by what sounded like pumps going on and off somewhere. Dogs barking are quite common and the odd siren as it is right beside a police station. It is also loud in the day as the glass balcony doors act like an amplifier for outside noises, mostly from the pool.

The wifi only works in the lobby, and the rooms need some attention as well. Pillows were terrible, the shower sprayed all over the bathroom, and I am not a big fan of antique furniture. All that and you need to wear a bracelet as well. My favorite.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Shmlav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 September 2010

Landed at Balcon del Mar after arriving in Jaco' with no hotel reservations. The plan was to arrive early enough to scout out hotels on the beach. After cruising down each street on Jaco's main drag, I stumbled across the Balcon del Mar. I was attracted to the hotel's exterior, its location, (on beach, next to a police station), free parking, pool, and price. A sign outside the hotel read: $60 a night for 3 night stay, $70 for 2 night stay, and $80 daily rate. Needless to say, we stayed. The rooms are bare bones. Nothing nice, special or fancy, but doable. The beds aren't great and the rooms are outdated but it did serve its purpose. I was able to get wifi on my balcony and even though the pool isn't heated and was a bit cold, it was nice to take a late night dip. The restaurant is pretty darn good and cheap. The ceviche mixto ROCKED and it's only 2500 colones, about 5 bucks. For the price, the hotel was a good choice for a first timer. The corner restaurant, El Bohio, rocks! The fish is fresh, good and relatively cheap. Had a whole fried snapper almost every day and my friends had the mahi and tuna. All were fresh, filling and good. The Bohio is also a favorite hangout for expats and locals alike. The hotel is also right off Jaco's main drag so it's easy to walk to and from the strip. If you're looking for luxury, this is not the place for you. (Villa Caletas is!) But, if you're looking for budgetbeach front accomodations, this place is it.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank lucytravels003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
new york
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 September 2010

I have been going to Jaco Costa Rica for five years now and I have stated in my past reviews that we Americans have basically ruined Costa Rica by driving the price up everywhere. 5 years ago you could get a deal just about anywhere, now you have to look for them. This hotel proves my point. Its nothing more than a motel 6 but triple the price. In all fairness the staff was nice, the pool was ok, and its right on the beach. But half a block south right next to the police station of course, you have the drug dealers and hookers hanging out on the corner. The rooms are nothing special, the bed was uncomfortable, and the maid never came to clean my room even though I was gone all day. And when I came in one night I ordered a dessert from the restaurant and they gave me a stale piece of chocolate cake and charged me ten dollars for it. If this hotel was forty to fifty dollars a night I wouldn't complain. but for ninety dollars a night you could find much better places to stay.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank benjybee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Balcon del Mar

Property: Hotel Balcon del Mar
Address: Bohio Street, Jaco, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Jaco
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Jaco
#11 Spa Hotel in Jaco
#16 On the Beach Hotel in Jaco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Balcon del Mar 3*
Number of rooms: 49
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Balcon Del Mar Jaco
Balcon Del Mar Hotel
Hotel Balcon Del Mar Costa Rica/Jaco

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