We decided to stay at Villa Caletas for four nights on our honeymoon and what a MISTAKE! We used tripadvisor to base our hotel selections on since this was the first time traveling in Costa Rica for 11 days. Out of the four hotels we stayed at during our trip, by far we least enjoyed Villas Caletas for many reasons.
First of all, we came from a four night stay at the Nayara Hotel Spa and Gardens which is an AMAZING resort with beautiful views of the Arenal Volcano. We paid a private transportation service to take us to Villa Caletas which is a three in a half hour drive. We arrived in our musty, unromantic, small room and the hotel staff graciously greeted us with a plate of fruit which they put on the counter. We decided to explore the hotel for about 10 minutes and when we returned there were hundreds of tiny black ants covering our tabletop and fruit. We immediately called the front desk to have someone spray our room and we waited, and waited and nobody came. In the meantime I walked to the concierge desk to see if they could help us. The lady working there responded, "What do you want me to do about it." I asked for Raid bug spray and she reached in the cabinet door and preceded to hand me Raid. My husband sprayed the doorways, etc while we patiently waited. About 30 minutes later I called the front desk for the second time and finally 15 minutes later a nice man came and sprayed, swept and mopped the floor in the area where the ants were.
Well we were a little irritated, but thought we need to give this place a chance. We wish we only stayed a night to see the sunset and moved on!
Besides the ants, which they had to spray twice for during a four night stay, the room had nothing to offer. It was unromantic, small, dreary, musty, and dark. The bathroom was basic and cramped, barely enough from for two people. Unfortunately we stayed in a standard deluxe room due to the deal we booked through a travel agency so we cannot speak for the other rooms, but we would not recommend our room unless you want to kill the moment permanently or you are staying with your brother.
The hotel overcharges you for the tours they offer. We booked the first tour through the hotel and learned we were ripped off $40 compared to what everyone else paid for the same trip. The following day we took a taxi to Jaco and booked our tours through the tour guides in Jaco to save money.
For being rated a 5 star hotel, we were very disappointed that breakfast was not included. Out of the 4 hotels we stayed at, Villa Caletas was the only one without this service. We only ate at the Amphitheatre restaurant twice because it is terribly overpriced ($65 for a chicken sandwich, pasta dish, and one cocktail), but we enjoyed the food. The nachos are very greasy and the chicken tasted like frozen strips they heated up, but the actual dinner plates were good. Drinks on the other hand are very overpriced and horrible. We tried probably 5-6 different drinks and we were disappointed each time. We finally went to Jaco and bought our own liquor and mix like the other hotel guests recommended.
The view is beautiful and worth a short visit to see the sun set one evening. We took the hotels private path down to the ocean to enjoy their private beach area. The walk is a little dangerous, but fun. We recommend you take the free shuttle service they offer unless you are a very active person. The beach area is beautiful to take pictures of, but not very swimmable. We saw a little cement island that they probably put in the water to lay on, but it was on shore so is was not useful. The entire beach is very rocky with a few small sand areas.
Nice, but very cold. We met several people at the pool and not one person went in the water besides my husband. I tried, but the water was unbearable for me. There was barely any sun around the pool chairs either. The man we befriended at the pool every morning suggested they put solar panels up so people can enjoy the water. When we brought the cold pool issue up to management, they shunned us and told us the water temperature was right.
The front desk personnel were horrible and gave us attitude. When I complained about the ants the second time in person, the man was unsympathetic, rude and told me every room has ants. What really put me over the edge was when we were checking out of our hotel and signing for our bill, I explained to the man that we were overcharged the day before at the Amphitheatre because the man made the wrong cocktail drink and charged us anyways. He did not believe me, was extremely rude and argued with me until my husband said to just forget it. The servers were good for the most part, but spoke little English so it was difficult to communicate concerns or requests.
Do NOT expect to be pampered or treated like a special guest in their hotel. When at the pool there was no one to be found to make us drinks on several occasions. We were told only 9 rooms were full when we stayed so you would expect a little more effort and personalized attention. When we expressed our dissatisfaction to several tour guides one day while zip lining, they let us know that Villas Caletas is not what is used to be. We were unsure what they meant exactly, but they named off several people that they knew who were employed there that we encountered.
I expressed my concerns in the survey we filled out upon check out and on several occasions after eating at the restaurant and ordering drinks so hopefully the hotel management makes some changes for the future guests.
After our stay, the travel agency sent us a review to see how our experience was at Villas Caletas. I expressed my dissatisfaction and concerns as well as pleasures during our stay. Unfortunately, the management responded with excuse after excuse as well as again horrible customer service. They said we should have filled out satisfaction reviews after food which we did. They said the water temperature was checked which is fine, but wouldn’t you raise the temperature if several guests are complaining. They said they offered to move our room….yes they did after several complaints and two ant sprayings. They offered for us to stay again with them I believe with a discount.
EVEN IF THEY PAID US, WE WOULD NEVER AGAIN FREQUENT THEIR VENUE AGAIN!!!!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear friends, thank you for your review. Ants, ants, ants, there are indeed ants everywhere in Costa Rica. We believed that we did everything that was possible so you had a great time with us. It turns out it was not enough. We hope you will change your mind and visit us again. We wish you and your husband the best in life. Best regards. firstname.lastname@example.org
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.