We booked a 5-night stay with Villa Caletas via a groupon deal for the off-season, so we were able to get quite a good price. There's been a number of complaints about Groupon's travel deals not living up to what they had promised, but I'm pleased to say that Villa Caletas did not fall into that category.
Located about 5 minutes outside of Jaco by car, Villa Caletas is an eco-friendly resort carved out of a mountain with fantastic views and decor. Essentially, everything you see on the website is an accurate representation, if not an under-sell. The rooms have fantastic climate control, are well maintained, and come equipped with high quality furniture. Due to Villa Caleta's location you are going to see a good amount of wildlife (toucans, hawks, lizards, coatimundis, and occasionally monkeys) though nothing dangerous. The spiders are prevalent outside, but never invaded the rooms and kept to themselves. We had a view of the mountains from our porch in our junior suite, along with a jacuzzi outside.
The service was excellent. We arrived much earlier than we had expected to, but the staff were able to accommodate us almost immediately. Room service was very responsive, and maintenance was able to fix a small issue with our TV with ease. The servers at the restaurants and bars were very friendly and accommodating, and the concierge gave us great recommendations in terms of restaurants and bars in Jaco and excursions. One thing that really stood out to us was that when my girlfriend got a severe ear infection and she needed to see a doctor, the concierge was able to find one to come in from town immediately. The doctor showed up at the door in less than 30 minutes.
Unfortunately, there are a couple of valid criticisms. The food is really off-value for the money paid. When you keep in mind there is cheap, delicious seafood all around you, as well as good quality beef, it's a bit annoying to have to pay 14 bucks minimum for in some cases sub-TGIFridays level food -- some of the food lived up to it's value, but these were rare cases. We avoided the more expensive entrees because essentially, you are looking at close ~$40 per entree, and when the food doesn't impress you before that point, it's unlikely to do so. The bars were considerably better value; the bartenders knew their stuff, and the wine selection was great.
While it's somewhat expected that a resort would want you to spend most of your money there, it's disappointing when the value isn't coming through. You can get to town by having the concierge book you a car, but this is going to cost you $40 round trip for what is a 5 minute or less drive. It's hard to get a taxi (which are very affordable and safe) if you aren't in town, and it's nearly impossible to walk to Jaco from the resort, so this leaves you with little option. The excursions are also generally a little more pricey than some of the same ones you can find in town.
This isn't enough to stop me from recommending it; considering we booked our room for 50% off, it was a wonderful experience at a luxury resort, and by and large we were treated like royalty. Further, Costa Rica lacks a culinary identity somewhat, so the food issue is somewhat par for the course.
Final word: if you have some extra money, Villa Caletas is a great option for Jaco
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Villa Caletas, a luxury 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