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“not Costa Rica” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Villa Caletas

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Villa Caletas
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   2 km after Punta Leona | Herradura, Jaco 12358-1000, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 43 Hotels in Jaco
Basel, Switzerland
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“not Costa Rica”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

We spent 3 nights at Villa Caletas in mid-December. The place is not bad, as everyone says the views are amazing. That's about it and , i would say, the views are spoiled by a stupid anphitheater they built in order to enjoy the sunset, what these pseudo-greek-roman columns do is just spoil the views. The worst about this place is the decoration, it is just not in line with the nature that characterize Costa Rica. Who wants to go to Costa Rica and feel in France-Greece? Not me. Other negative points for me were:

- there isn't really a beach, you can see the sea but to swim is not very nice, the sea it also didn't look clean while we were there.

- the breakfast was not included (!) and this is not a business hotel, but the VC management probably missed that. Why would someone on holiday in the middle of nowhere (because that is where the VC is located) have breakfast not in the hotel? You simply have no choice! In general, I felt pushed to order something whenever I was either at the beach, pool side, or the famous anphitheater. I simply didn't feel free to go around the hotel premises without someone popping up to offer me to order something.

- this hotel belongs to the "small distinctive" hotel chains in Costa Rica. Now, I went to other hotels that belong to this association and yes, they are small boutique hotels. This one is not small, and it simply is not in harmony with the landscape. Beside, they like to say they are environmentally friendly as they recycle etc, but then they offer wines that come from Italy and France. I simply don't get it!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Manager_Caletas, General Manager at Villa Caletas, responded to this review, January 4, 2013
Dear friend, thank you for your review, we are happy to know that you enjoyed your room and the view at Villa Caletas. It is true that Villa Caletas is something special and in a certain way it is a matter of taste. Some will see a Magical place on the top of the mountain, some other like it seems to be your case ( with all our respect) may think that Costa Rica has to been just "Green".
We do sale wines from Italy, France as well as from may other countries around the world since Costa Rica does not produce local wine due to the lack of grapes in the country. On a final note we hope that you will come back to our beautiful country and enjoyed the "Pura Vida" again.
Best regards. manager@villacaletas.com
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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705 reviews from our community

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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 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (139)
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English first
Temiskaming Shores, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

My son and his girlfriend and I recently spent 2 weeks at the Los Suenos Resort which is only a 15 minute drive from the Villa Caletas. It was recommended to us that this was a must on our to-do list. We visited the restaurant for lunch on December 23 and were not disappointed. The scenery was breathtaking, the food was excellent and reasonably priced in comparison to anywhere else we had eaten (Los Suenos, Tamarindo, Jaco, etc), and the service was good. I cannot comment on the resort itself as we only experienced the restaurant but the grounds were beautifully maintained and very clean. The drive up to the Resort off the Highway was an experience in itself and well worth it.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Manager_Caletas, General Manager at Villa Caletas, responded to this review, January 4, 2013
Dear friends, thank you very much for your review, we are glad to know that you enjoyed not only the view but your lunch with us. Best regards, manager@villacaletas.com
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London
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2012

We stayed here over Christmas period 2012.

Highlights
Great views over the coastline, sunset every evening is truly amazing and local wildlife you can see is great from birds of prey, iguanas to hummingbirds and toucans.

Hotel is clean and well looked after and all of the staff are very pleasant

What you need to know

Staff level of English is very poor - given 90% of business comes from English speaking guests the management need to address.

Our package included breakfast however, when you ask for a latte this is apparently extra, we then found out that if you ask for any of the smoothies these are also extra ! On our last day I asked for pancakes and guess what this was also extra!! What they don't tell you is that you have a $15 limit per person on the menu after which they charge for everything - carving out the drinks mentioned above which are extra regardless. Basically there is no need for this and simply upsets the guests for the sake of a few "Colones"

Actual quality of food by western standards is average nothing bad but nothing great either

Spa staff are very nice and mean well but again you get a very average service

As a UK traveller maybe it is a common American thing but in our bathroom they put a jacuzzi unit - we are not talking a nice bath with jacuzzi but a garden centre unit which not only was out of place but complete waste of space given you need to set it up for an hour before and get interrupted every day for half an our by a guy coming to industrial clean - maybe it is a matter of taste.

Which kind of summarises Villa Caletas - it is a good 4 star hotel - they try hard, mean well but ultimately fall short.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Manager_Caletas, General Manager at Villa Caletas, responded to this review, December 28, 2012
Dear Friends, thank you very much for your review. We are happy to know that you had a great time with us. We have paid close attention to your comments over the "included breakfast" and will find a solution so guests don't get confused with what is or not included. We work on a daily basis with our staff to give them the best "English" we can are will work harder.
We hope that you will visit us again and find by yourself these improvement.
Best regards. manager@villacaletas.com
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Brampton, Canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

This place has a stunning view overlooking the Pacific Ocean with their very pricey cocktails going on sale for $5 USD for the sunset. The hotel is beautiful and the scenery is amazing. It is totally worth the cab ride from Jaco and the overpriced drinks to see this view.

The food was very good, but also very expensive, and the service was just good, for the the prices I would expect more.

My recommendation is to go for the sunset and cocktails and go somewhere else for dinner.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 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.
Manager_Caletas, General Manager at Villa Caletas, responded to this review, December 27, 2012
Dear Friends, thank you very much for your review. We are happy to know that you had a great time with us and enjoyed your dinner at the Amphitheater. I just would like to underline that our drinks and our food prices are at the same level than other restaurants you will find around us ( for example at the Los sueños Resort and Marina). You can actually check them at our web site where you will find menus and prices of our restaurants and bar.
Best regards. manager@villacaletas,com
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2012

Pros - great view, decent service, wildlife around u (we saw a few iguanas, monkeys, sloths & birds).

Cons - remote location (10 km from Jaco, on the top of a hill), overly priced food & drinks, private beach is not really a beach (rocky) & requires a 15 min ride down the hill.

So we stayed there from Dec 12 - 15, booked our stay through hotels.com. BEWARE hotels.com bookers - we were given a 2 single-bed room with the worst possible view (looking at a couple of trees and a wall), and the front desk would not apologize or change our room. So they ended up pulling the 2 beds together to make a king sized bed! They wanted $75 a night for an upgrade to a good room with a decent view, which I wish I had known in the first place.

We were in shock that night looking at their food menu - USD $16 for a chick quesadilla! Overly priced, but tasty though.

I am giving them three staffs only because of the wildlife and staff (/excluding the front desk). Would not stay here again.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Manager_Caletas, General Manager at Villa Caletas, responded to this review, December 26, 2012
Dear Friends, thank you for your review. We are glad to know that you loved the view and the Wilde life around the hotel. After reading your comments it seems that you are blaming us more than everything for a reservation that you did with a third party online agency and for not giving you a free upgrade that you believe you were intalted to. When reserving with online agency, guests should pay closer attention to what they are doing, as the hotel cannot be held responsible for everything. Best regards. manager@villacaletas.com
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Naperville, Illinois
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 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, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Manager_Caletas, General Manager at Villa Caletas, responded to this review, December 27, 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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New York City, New York
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 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, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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, December 22, 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
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

Address: 2 km after Punta Leona | Herradura, Jaco 12358-1000, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Jaco
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Jaco
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Jaco
#2 Business Hotel in Jaco
#3 Romantic Hotel in Jaco
#3 Family Hotel in Jaco
#3 Spa 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 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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