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“The Quintessential Diamond in the Rough” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Casa Caletas

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Casa Caletas
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   puerto coyote nandayure Guanacaste, Nicoya, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 8 hotels in Nicoya
New Orleans, Louisiana
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“The Quintessential Diamond in the Rough”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2010

I know nothing about the owner's environmental record, and I don't know much about the plight of sea turtles in the specific areas other reviewers have referenced. What I do know, however, is that Casa Caletas is a beautiful, new and modern boutique hotel situated in Playa Coyote, virtually in the middle of nowhere. When my girlfriend and I were forced to find a place to stay when confronted with sunken, impassable roads and flooded bridges, on our way to Montezuma, we accidentally stumbled onto Casa Caletas.

We walked up to the front desk at sunset, and the view from the hotel, on the top of a hillside, overlooking the Pacific Ocean and lush Costa Rican forests, took our breath away. The rooms were clean, comfortable, and very modern. There was a big, flat screen TV in our room (which we never turned on), and the complimentary Wi-Fi was very helpful. The grounds were very well maintained, and the pool was small but terrific. (I have never had a better view from a pool.) There is a restaurant on-site, though apparently it is closed when they are not expecting guests, but the bar was well-stocked. They also have kayaks available for people wishing to explore.

We would have paid anything, literally, on the night of our arrival, but the rate was as reasonable as any I saw in Costa Rica. Casa Caletas literally saved our vacation.

Two further things to note. First, we stayed at Casa Caletas for several days, and the did not provide us (nor did we see) any sort of maid service. It's a small hotel, and I imagine that they don't call the maid in unless they are expecting guests. If you stumble on Casa Caletas at the last minute, as we did, you may not be able to enjoy those things that require the services of additional employees (such as the restaurant or a maid service). I, personally, did not find this to be much of a problem. Second, there is very little around Playa Coyote and Casa Caletas;' it is almost completely undeveloped, and it can take awhile to get to. If you want a beach all to yourself, to relax and focus on the natural beauty of Costa rica, this is the place for you. If you are looking for nightlife and action, sticks with Tamarindo or Montezuma. For my money, it's a great way to spend a couple of days.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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27 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Santa Barbara, California
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2010

After reading the negative reviews its evident that the individuals writing those reviews haven't really stayed at the hotel. This must be some group of individual that are trying to stir up controversy for their own cause. How would they know so much about the ownership and deatils of the area.
We have stayed at Casa Caleta several times and have recommended to all my friends and their experience was the same as ours. I don't know who and why someone would use this format to wirte a review when they have never stayed in this hotel. All you need to do is visit this place and see why we continue to return.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2010

A similar experience to the earlier reviewer - my friend and I were attempting to make it to Santa Teresa from Nosara and after hours of driving down dirt roads and nearly drowning in a couple of rivers trying to cross, we had nearly resigned ourselves to having to sleep in the car, when we discovered Casa Caletas, the only place around for miles. We were very impressed - we were offered a discounted room rate which was very generous considering we had no bargaining power (as they informed us the tide was too high to cross that night), and shown to our air conditioned room. I could not have asked for a better wake up in the morning - a very chill atmosphere with beautiful views, a nice breakfast in the shade, and a little swim, and we were on our way the next day.

A perfect stop on a road trip. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2009

We've stayed at Casa Caletas three times over three years. Once we got to stay in the Owner's Suite, which is complete with a kitchen, living room, laundry facilities, and a plunge pool outside. But all of the rooms have great views of the Estuary. The food is good, although we're always there with a rental car so we tend to check out some of the local eateries in San Miguel, Costa de Oro, or Caletas. I was compelled to write the review, however, because of the integrity of the staff. We'd already checked out and were at the little grocery store in San Francisco when I realized I'd left my WEDDING RING behind... (I sometimes take it off at night and leave it on the nightstand). We sped back to the hotel, and the staff had already cleaned the room. We looked all over and didn't find the ring... I was about to go rummaging through my luggage to see if I could find it, when the woman who'd cleaned the room came racing over from the laundry facility... turns out it had been in the sheets, which she'd scooped up and brought to be cleaned. She could have very easily said "lo siento", and told me she didn't find it. Those are the moments of truth that tell you the character of a people and a place.. I am very grateful to Casa Caletas and will definitely stay there again.

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Monica CA
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2009

Okay, all else equal this place would get a 5+.

We stayed there for 5 nights, and had more fun each day. Us: my husband and I and our 10 yr old girl and almost 3 year old boy. The place is small and in an amazing site. Its on an estuary that is full of life. We saw cool new wildlife every day--monkeys, giant iguanas and all a manner of birds. The hotel has kayaks for you to take as you like out the 300 yards to the beach, and if you look, even a life preserver for the little guy. We discoverd we loved trying to surf the kayaks on the very gentle waves. It is part of a ranch, so you can ride horses, to beautiful vistas. They have an 'infintiy' pool, small and simple, completely gorgeous, and really fun. They have some pet tiny Nicoya deer, who are very friendly, and which the childrent were nuts over. So charming! We were all very happy the whole time.

Eating: The restaraunt's fine, but very overpriced (like Tanga's on the beach) compared to the restaraunts in San Francisco nearby. They have this amusing habit of forgetting part of your meal often, but they are very nice-you just need to remind them.

Rooms: The rooms are reasonably clean, just some spots behind doors that dont get much attention. They are not gigantic, and the loft ladder is enough to give anyone with young kids a bit of heartburn, but with rules and blockades it was OK.

Another amusing thing--I emailed for directions before I left to the reservationist and got back--I am not joking--"I have no idea (how to get there)"!!! They never gave me directions...I wish I had known--buy the best map you can get your hands on and you'll be fine. The rental car map is amusing--it has towns on it that dont seem to exist, and the ones that do arent on there. No big need for GPS though. Oh yeah and check that they charge you the rate they quoted in $$ not more because of some exchange rate glitch.

So all of this and they would easily score a 5+. The big issues for us are all in the environmental impact area. The (German) ranch owners also owns the land abutting playa caletas, a long beach that is supposed to be protected endangered turtle habitat. They don't respect the easment, and they converted the wetlands immediately adjacent to corn fields. This is a major nesting site for the nearly extinct leatherback turtle, as well as several other species.
The hotel also blasts a giant light across the estuary in the eve. It looks beautiful, but it is hard on many critters who are confused by the light.

  • Liked — the location, the kayaks, the pool, the tiny deer
  • Disliked — the eco issues, some issues with cleanliness, no decaf coffee
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maryland
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2008

My wife and I rented a house near Playa Coyote, and found this hotel while we were researching the surrounding areas. The food is very good, the hotel is beautiful. The pool has a fantastic view of a private cove, and great surfing is not far down the beach. The hotel staff is friendly, and the type of people who stay here are families and couples. This location is safe and clean, and is a great place to stay for a few days. The rooms are beautiful, with plenty of local hardwoods and lots of ambiance.

If you get hungry, eat some of the good food at the hotel (moderately expensive compared to other local options), or go down to Tanga's right on the beach. It is literally a shack, but the food is fantastic. It is also relatively inexpensive. There are some other local options as well, and two small grocery stores within a short drive or a modest walk from Casa Caletas.

I highly recommend that anyone who is interested in Casa Caletas try it for a couple nights. Yet, I also recommend staying in more than one place in Costa Rica, as the different areas vary widely, and travel in this area is VERY SLOW because of potholed dirt roads. Don't expect because it looks close on the map that you will get anywhere fast. You will be very disappointed, and spend lots of time in the car. We scheduled activities including zip lining, horse riding, ATV riding, snorkeling, scuba, ATV, white water rafting, and more, and we spent much of our vacation in the car getting to those places. We had a hardcore diesel Toyota Land Cruiser, and we used every bit of its extensive capabilities.

Now for the 3rd world country warning. There are rivers everywhere, and not all roads have bridges over them. They are currently building a bridge over the river that runs into the ocean at casa caletas, which looks like it will be complete soon, but it is not yet done. If you visit Casa Caletas, the bridge may be finished by the time you get there. I STRONGLY advise that you check travel sites for details about the seasons- we were there in the rainy season, and many roads are impassible. If you visit in the rainy season, ask if the bridge is complete. Not all seasons are created equal in central america. Hear me now, believe me when you get there!

When we got to within half a mile of the house (and hotel) upon our initial arrival, we encountered the 'water crossing' that we had been warned about. We had already crossed several small streams less than a foot deep. We had declined the optional coverages on our $60,000 Land Cruiser, and when I walked the river to see how deep it was, it came to the middle of my thigh (and I am 6'1"). We had traveled for 17 hours since we left our house, and we were panicked. We didn't realize that we were walking distance to the house, because we had never been there before. My wife was crying, because we were tired and stressed. A local happened by, and he assured us that our rental was a 'fine car' that would easily make it through the water.

There was also a detour, but it would add another hour+ to our trip. Signage on the dirt roads is spotty, so we were worried that we would miss it if we tried to find the detour. We drove through the river in 4wd low mode in 1st gear (the trick is to go SLOW), with the water briefly touching the hood as the front end was pointed downhill into the water and it was a couple inches above the door sills as I drove through. No water leaked in. This would end up being one of the tamer driving experiences on our trip- we took some 'summer roads' with an ATV tour guide who was on his ATV (we followed him home from a snorkeling trip that we had booked on the southern tip of the peninsula) because he had told us that he knew a shortcut to get back) that I will never ever forget. We had arranged an ATV tour with him for later in the week, but he canceled it after we arrived safely at the house because he said that the ATV tour would be lame compared to what we had driven in our rental car. We drove through 4 or 5 deep rivers (some almost as high as my hip), sometimes even up/downstream for a ways in order to stay in the shallowest part to cross. We drove up sheer mud hills with the pedal down in 4wd low with mud flinging in the air, white knuckling it the whole way because AAA doesn't service those locations. :o) I was almost crying tears of joy when I returned the rental car because I couldn't believe that we had gotten it back in one piece.

You can certainly find less dramatic roads, especially when it is not the rainy season. It had taken us over 3 hours to get to our snorkeling trip over the potholed roads with only very minor stream crossings, and only an hour and a half to get back on the adventurous route- that is why we took it. I tell this story to illustrate that the road conditions vary widely, marked roads are sometimes not passable by any type of vehicle in the rainy season, and you should get an SUV.

We found out that another tourist family had tried to drive through the river the day before we did in their Jeep Liberty (or its central american equivalent) and drove too fast, and water got in the engine. They were told that it would cost between 3 and 10 grand to fix, whenever the rental car company finally got to them. They were still waiting for the rental car company to bring another car after 4 days the last we heard about them. They had declined the insurance, but insurance generally doesn't cover water damage anyway. They were stuck, out a lot of money, and probably pretty miserable. We felt really bad for them- that could have been us if we had happened to book a lesser SUV or if the local had not given us the good advice to drive slowly throught he river.

What is the point of this story? Here is how I would do Casa Caletas in Costa Rica if I went back- if you want to enjoy some activities. If you want to just find a hideaway and never leave it, then simply book Casa Caletas and you will love it. It is truly a beautiful place in paradise. Otherwise:
*Research the Season, book conscientiously
*Check the status of the bridge
*Book Casa Caletas for a few nights, and also some other locations so that you can see a little bit of everything. For such a small country, there is a lot to see in Costa Rica and it's not easy to get to the rest of it from the Playa Coyote area
*Bring cash- the exchange at the airport is very fair. You can easily excahnge back for USD when you leave. The local grocery stores will do a credit/debit withdrawal for you, but they don't tell you about the fees that you will find when you get back
*There is an exit tax at the airport. Save your change and loose colones to pay the tax. They also take credit if you spend all your cash on activities
*Get an SUV. If you are driving in the Casa Caletas area, you will be so glad you did
*Eat at casa caletas a few times, but also check out Tanga's. Their ceviche is great, also the shrimp, but my favorite is the garlic fish.
*Learn some basic spanish if possible, or bring a dictionary, as not everyone speaks english outside of casa caletas
*Tip the locals if they help you out, but watch out for scammers. It's pretty safe in general, but there are people who make careers out of american tourists. The Playa coyote area is safer than other really touristy areas such as playa del coco in the northwest of costa rica.
*Be more careful if you travel a lot- do your research. Stay away from the Nicaraguan border. Do your research on the areas you travel to. Costa Rica and Nicaragua are both beautiful- the border area... not so much.
*Expect adventure, find it, and enjoy it

  • Liked — Beautiful views, secluded location, friendly staff
  • Disliked — Roads to get there are bad, Internet access is spotty,
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Mexico
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2006

Let me start this review with some advice... do not decide to "wing it" the week before Easter in Costa Rica. You should definitely have a destination hotel reserved well in advance or what happend to me and my two buddies could happen to you - a miracle!

We decided to drive to Nicoya from Northern Guanacaste in search of adventure, surf, and a place to stay. Well... we drove all darn day down dirt roads, across rivers, through town after town, and past thousands of local vacationeers out at the beach celebrating Semana Santa - Easter Week.

Just when we thought we were going to be sleeping on the beach (again) we stumbled across Casa Caletas. We had not even parked the car when we were stunned by beautiful architecture, styling, and rustic detail - (not an oxymoron) like we had never seen. The woodwork at this boutique hotel is insane! and completed by master craftsmen.

As luck would have it, a couple who reserved a room did not make it to the hotel and we snagged the last of the 10 rooms on this property. At $170.00 a night this place was a bargain!

The room was so AWESOME! A queen size bed on the first level and two twins in a loft overhead up the sweetest wooden ladder in the world - superbly crafted! A large glass door opens to a private balcony overlooking the estuary, ocean and beach. Howler monkeys scampered overhead and huge iguanas lolled around on the branches.

The infinity pool gives you a killer view of the estuary that leads out to the ocean a short distance away - the view is truly amazing. The service was very friendly and the atmosphere was very laid-back. This was not a party hotel - the clientel was largely upscale and family-oriented - however - this would be the most incredible lover's retreat as there are many hideaways, and privacy everywhere.

Watercraft and kayaks are available for rent at their own private dock and horses can be taken into the surrounding hills for a great adventure.

The only disappointment was the food. Small portions and not much invention - however, local seafood restaurants (locally-owned) are just around the corner toward the beach and offered some of the best ceviche anywhere I have eaten.

Go to Casa Caletas - you will be blown away by the style of the place it is world-class. The views are breathtaking and the staff is discreet and friendly. What a magnificent place to stumble upon. Go to their website for more information. Just search on Casa Caletas.

  • Stayed April 2006
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Casa Caletas

Address: puerto coyote nandayure Guanacaste, Nicoya, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Nicoya
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 hotels in Nicoya
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Casa Caletas 3*
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Casa Caletas Costa Rica/Nicoya

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