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“The fact that you're staying in a rainforest seems purely circumstantial.” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel & Club Punta Leona

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Hotel & Club Punta Leona
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Playa Blanca | Punta Leona, Jaco 1000, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #16 of 43 Hotels in Jaco
Los Angeles, California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“The fact that you're staying in a rainforest seems purely circumstantial.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

OK so there are some incredible things about this location and some incredibly frustrating things about this location.

THE GREAT
The hotel is situated in several square miles of beautiful rainforest. There are scarlet macaws, toucans and white-faced monkeys in the trees literally above your chalet, and a wide variety of bird, insect and animal life to be seen. There's a butterfly farm that you are free to walk around, and huge iguanas wandering about the paths.

The beaches are beautiful - especially the white sand beach. They are private and not packed with tourists. The water is generally very calm, and if you snorkel you'll see all sorts of colourful reef fish in the rocks, such as trigger and puffer fish.

Compared to the tourists areas of Jaco and Puntarenas the resort is private, safe and relatively quiet.

THE NOT-SO GREAT
The clue is in the name. Hotel & CLUB Punta Leona is a holiday club, and it's set up to be just that. It's not set up to be an eco-destination at all. The resort is a sprawling estate comprising of vacation lets, hotel rooms, private properties and entertainment venues. There's numerous bars, a disco, loudspeakers at the pool area, rowdy guests at the weekend, and a lot of locals driving in for a day at a private beach. You have to wear a brightly-coloured, event-style, tamper-proof wristband for your entire stay. You can't remove it at any time. This allows you access to some areas but not all, and there are security checkpoints around the property to allow you entry by flashing this wristband. However if you want to go to the ice cream parlour 100 metres from the main chalet complex the guard won't let you along a road past private apartments, and you have to walk around the entire estate to get there.

By European/US standards the quality of services is mediocre at best. The buffet breakfast is good enough, by the evening a la carte meals off a laminated sheet are very poor quality at relatively expensive prices (average $70-100 for a family of four). The rooms are tiny, and although they are clean they are basic. Now this is a Central American rainforest and so you do need to adjust your expectations - however, make sure you do before you arrive.

As I said the estate is vast. It's over two miles through rainforest just to get to reception. You need a car to get to/from the estate to the nearest road/town, and even in the complex to get to the white sand beach.

There is very little access to the rainforest at all. There are no marked trails and reception recommend you don't even go there without a guide. Two escorted walks are available but spaces and scope are limited. There's ziplining and kayaking and other adventure options (at a cost) but nature is not the priority.

The majority of people are here to drink and be merry. It's upsetting to be in a rainforest and have people setting off 5-minute firework displays on a Saturday night, or letting their dogs chase the birds along the beach in the morning. People take photos as they hand feed bread and sugar sachets to the 'not so wild anymore' monkeys. The fact that you're staying in such a stunning and ecologically important location seems purely circumstantial.

That being said - IT IS STILL A STUNNING LOCATION and I'd still recommend coming here IF you can overlook the numerous, really unfortunate and serious compromises.

  • Stayed December 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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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466 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (57)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Armagh, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I visited here for a conference, I thought the accommodation was good, I stayed in one of the chalets, and it was very clean (along with the entire resort) and comfortable. If you are going, expecting the lap of luxury maybe this is not the place for you. However, there are multiple swimming pools, two beaches (Playa Blanca has a gorgeous sunset). If you go all inclusive the food available is reasonably repetitive, but there is a big variety so I was not bored of it after a week. If you are happy to walk around and just relax then I recommend it, and if you want to do sightseeing it would probably be a good idea to get a car.

Room Tip: All I can say is the chalets are comfortable and clean.
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  • Stayed December 2014, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

My mom and I went and stayed here scoping out wedding locations. We had 2 nights, and cancelled one after the first night. We were "upgraded" to a room with a deck, as opposed to just a window. I am glad they put us in pretty much the most basic room so that we could experience what our guests may experience when coming to the hotel. We were in the Salvamar rooms, which are really cute but VERY small. Everything seems to just go half way to being nice they even mark how many of each towel you have been left and what charges you'll incur if they're missing. I haven't seen that since college spring break trips! The double rooms are double size beds, not queens, so if you were thinking as 2 couples or a family you would share a room, it's too small. We toured the apartments as well, which were nice but basic. They had their own pool, which would have been good to keep all of our guests in that one building but it's kind of removed from the rest of the resort. The main restaurant was being redone while we were there and it looks like it's going to be very cool when finished. But while we were there, they were having all meals buffet style in the restaurant by the pool and it was very old and not too well maintained. The bathrooms by the pool are awesome and there's a nice tiki bar between the two main pools also. There is a lot at this resort and it could be a very nice top destination but it needs a lot of maintenance and upkeep. If you're looking for something affordable to just bring the family or get together with friends, this is fine. But when you're asking people to travel out of the country for a wedding, I would rather have something a little nicer and better maintained.

Room Tip: Salvamar rooms are very small. If you're traveling with children, go with one of the apartments...
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  • Stayed November 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Port Richey, Florida
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

It is a reasonably nice place - it's way off the road so pretty quiet. It is on the beach but it's not really a very nice beach; it's average. It has all types of accommodations and seems to be a hodge-podge of sorts: There are apartment type condos, hotel type rooms, and some villas. We stayed in the Salvamar rooms which are little four-plexes some with a small sitting balcony out front. The room was actually very cute but SO small even just for my daughter and I it was claustrophobic. Bathroom was average size and the water pressure was very poor. We paid $107 per night including tax and honestly I think you can find a nicer place that this for that price if you shop around. Wi-fi worked pretty well throughout the resort. You just needed to look for the closest access point to get the best signal.

  • Stayed November 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

I'm not sure how to structure this review, it's such a place of contradictions but here goes. Bear in mind this is written by a 50 year old Brit with a grumpy disposition.
Turning in to the resort off the main road you're amazed to find it's another 5 miles or so to reception! You pass through extensive woodland and forest before eventually arriving at the resort proper which is a large sprawling village. We arrived on a Friday afternoon and were allocated a selva mar apartment in Jamaica block. That's a quarter of a mile from reception but the resort driver took us up in a car.
The room was basic but spotlessly clean, air con was brilliant, coffee maker, fridge, 2 double beds. Big downside for us, nowhere to sit and have a afternoon drink other than a concrete bench outside? We enquired about upgrading to a room with a decking area but this was not possible as all the other rooms were allocated for the weekend. Wifi worked initially but continually dropped out as the resort got full.
Exploring the resort reveals forest going down to the coastline and 2 beautiful bays as picturesque as anywhere I've seen elsewhere.
Later that afternoon the rest of Costa Rica arrived and the resort transformed in to something reminiscent of an east coast UK holiday camp!
Breakfast time the next day was a scene to behold as a thronged dining hall catered for the all inclusive guests and the resident group of white faced monkeys added to the entertainment. The breakfast food was pretty good actually and the best by far of our Costa Rican holiday.
Relaxing by the pool was out, the noise was awful, they have a PA system with a broken amp, well I presume the volume switch is broken as it seemed to be stuck on full, keep fit, aquarobics etc did nothing to help the ambience. The beaches were very busy as well.
Now to my main gripe, evening dining, we weren't all inclusive and decided to dine a la carte. Service in all the restaurants is excellent, the food is not. I found the food mediocre and portions small. Nights 1&2 I stuck to steak, what made me then try seafood stuffed chillis is beyond me but it is without doubt the worst meal I've ever been served. 2 flaccid blanched red bell peppers with grey sauce containing remnants of prawn and fish, no accompaniments. The staff did their best to resolve the matter but the damage was done I'd eaten it and boy did I suffer later.
Whilst I'm moaning, twice I was short changed by 500 colons at the pool bar. I paid in dollars and got my change in colons. I let it go the first time, 2nd time it happened I complained and was given my change in dollars after that. Forewarned is forearmed.
It's also not easy to get off site, you can book a lift 3 times daily to the main road and then catch the bus to Jaco or Herradura, we tried it but the bus didn't show, ended up $50 in taxi fares to visit a fairly ordinary town.
As the weekend ended, the hoards depart and the complex takes on a completely different atmosphere. Wildlife abounds, scarlet macaws, toucans and all manner of lizards are everywhere, you will struggle to beat the place if ornithology or wildlife watching are your forte. We went on an evening walk in the woods, excellent, saw a pair of anteaters up a tree. Did the Monday morning bird walk, excellent guide, saw all sorts, tiger herons, mot mots, woodpeckers, and it's free.
In the end the place redeemed itself due to its natural attractions, I sussed the food situation as well, lunch at Playa Blanca restaurant, take away pizza at night, not the best situation but better than suffering the a la carte!
I would stay again midweek, there can't be a better place to photograph wild macaws, toucans, and all manner of wildlife, weekends avoid it all costs if possible.

Stayed November 2014, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Stayed for 2 nights in a clean and comfortable room. The setting of this hotel is divine, surrounded by trees, plants and wildlife - sort of 'tame ' jungle. The walks were wonderful, red Macaws and monkeys in the trees, delightful. There is a 10 minute walk to the beach passing 2 great swimming pools with lots of sun loungers. The breakfast was adequate but beware of the Capuchin monkeys trying to plunder plates of unattended food!

Room Tip: Too many rooms to comment on. In the restaurant try not to have a table round the edge of the room...
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  • Stayed November 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Top Contributor
99 reviews 99 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
93 helpful votes 93 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2014

My wife and I recently stayed at the hotel in order to get access to the Playa Blanca beach. We were truly amazed at how beautiful the beach was. It is a clean white sand beach. The vegetation was beautiful and the McCaw birds were quite a beautiful sight. Unlike other beaches in Costa Rica this is a private type of resort where you can buy resort membership with monthly dues and get access to the beach for you and your family members with out additional cost and get great discounts for lodging. The beach is kept very clean and there plenty of tables and picnic areas. You are allow to bring alcohol. The resort caters more to locals and thus the beach setting if much more family oriented. You are also able to get day passes to the resort for $50/person that includes a meal.

The beach had showers and a restaurant so it is very convenient for change clothes at the beach.

Overall we were had a great experienced.

  • Stayed September 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Bernarda L, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel & Club Punta Leona, responded to this review, November 3, 2014
Dear Guest, thank you very much for writing your comments. We are glad that you and your wife enjoyed your stay with us and that you had the opportunity to visit our beautiful Playa Blanca, which is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Central Pacific of Costa Rica. Indeed we are a hotel and a club and are oriented to the enjoyment of nature and relaxation for the whole family. Our hotel have several conservation and beach cleaning programs and for that we have won several awards. It was a pleasure serving you and we hope you visit us again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel & Club Punta Leona

Address: Playa Blanca | Punta Leona, Jaco 1000, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Jaco
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Business Hotel in Jaco
#6 Spa Hotel in Jaco
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Jaco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel & Club Punta Leona 3*
Number of rooms: 108
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Also Known As:
Hotel And Club Punta Leona
Punta Leona Costa Rica
Punta Leona Jaco
Punta Leona Hotel Costa Rica
Hotel & Club Punta Leona Costa Rica/Jaco

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