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“Great location, restaurant and price. The rooms??? Not so much.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Balcon del Mar

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Hotel Balcon del Mar
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Bohio Street, Jaco, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #31 of 42 Hotels in Jaco
Miami, Florida
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Great location, restaurant and price. The rooms??? Not so much.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2010

Landed at Balcon del Mar after arriving in Jaco' with no hotel reservations. The plan was to arrive early enough to scout out hotels on the beach. After cruising down each street on Jaco's main drag, I stumbled across the Balcon del Mar. I was attracted to the hotel's exterior, its location, (on beach, next to a police station), free parking, pool, and price. A sign outside the hotel read: $60 a night for 3 night stay, $70 for 2 night stay, and $80 daily rate. Needless to say, we stayed. The rooms are bare bones. Nothing nice, special or fancy, but doable. The beds aren't great and the rooms are outdated but it did serve its purpose. I was able to get wifi on my balcony and even though the pool isn't heated and was a bit cold, it was nice to take a late night dip. The restaurant is pretty darn good and cheap. The ceviche mixto ROCKED and it's only 2500 colones, about 5 bucks. For the price, the hotel was a good choice for a first timer. The corner restaurant, El Bohio, rocks! The fish is fresh, good and relatively cheap. Had a whole fried snapper almost every day and my friends had the mahi and tuna. All were fresh, filling and good. The Bohio is also a favorite hangout for expats and locals alike. The hotel is also right off Jaco's main drag so it's easy to walk to and from the strip. If you're looking for luxury, this is not the place for you. (Villa Caletas is!) But, if you're looking for budgetbeach front accomodations, this place is it.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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89 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
new york
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2010

I have been going to Jaco Costa Rica for five years now and I have stated in my past reviews that we Americans have basically ruined Costa Rica by driving the price up everywhere. 5 years ago you could get a deal just about anywhere, now you have to look for them. This hotel proves my point. Its nothing more than a motel 6 but triple the price. In all fairness the staff was nice, the pool was ok, and its right on the beach. But half a block south right next to the police station of course, you have the drug dealers and hookers hanging out on the corner. The rooms are nothing special, the bed was uncomfortable, and the maid never came to clean my room even though I was gone all day. And when I came in one night I ordered a dessert from the restaurant and they gave me a stale piece of chocolate cake and charged me ten dollars for it. If this hotel was forty to fifty dollars a night I wouldn't complain. but for ninety dollars a night you could find much better places to stay.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2010

The reception staff were only friendly when we arrived asking for a room - it went downhill from there. On check in, we asked the receptionist for advice about our next destination (Montezuma), as there is a boat directly from Jaco - she told us that she had friends who could recommend places to stay and would ask them. When we returned to reception to ask her what her friends had said, she told us she would not ask them, and we should go to a tour operator if we wanted any information about Montezuma. She directed us to the operator next door to the hotel, who wanted to charge us more than most other tour operators in Jaco. We were surprised by such a rude response from the receptionist who had been all smiles when we checked in. Having spent a week in Costa Rica already, we were used to the friendly and helpful nature of the locals - which this receptionst put to shame.
We took a superior room at the hotel, which was comfortable and had a good sea view. The hotel restaurant was awful - grilled sea bass came fried and undercooked. The buffet breakfast was OK, but you can't go too wrong with fruit and pancakes.
The location of Balcon de Mar was convenient, as most shops/bars were round the corner and the beach was opposite. However, there are nicer hotels in a similar pricerange (i.e. the Posiedon). I would not go back to this hotel.

Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
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Fredonia, Wisconsin
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2010

Stayed here two nights. We had a room facing the pool. The windows do not close so you can hear everything outside very clearly. In our first room we did not have a doorknob on the inside of the door. Just a little hole where one should be. The door was warped and didn't fit well and we had a tough time getting out of it. The TV also did not work. The front desk sent maintenance up and fixed the problems. A couple hours later the A/C went out. Maintanence came back. It worked for a couple of hours and then quit again. About 10p.m. we moved to another room. We had ants in the beds and all over the bathroom, including the toilet!

You cannot swim in the ocean across the street because of the rip tides. The police station was directly next door.

The food was OK but the restaurant was loud at night.

  • Stayed June 2010
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2010

My wife and I stayed here for two weeks in March. We had previously been booked at Villas Estrellemar which itself is worthy of a review. We moved to Balcon Del Mar after one night at the Villas. I found the staff very friendly and the rooms very nice and cleaned daily. The beds were not very comfortable and the pillows were awful. Also when the hotel was busy at night the noise level inside the room was awful. The restaurant staff were friendly enough but were a bit anal about meal times. Dinner never started before seven pm and breakfast 7-730 am. The staff did not appreciate anyone taking coffee in the morning before they were ready to serve breakfast. Outside of those few issues I thought it was a decent enough place to stay. We did have one small issue with a cleaner coming into the room at nine at night using their pass key, we had the lights down and were watching tv. When we confronted the staff person about this intrusion she claimed she was in the wrong room by mistake, she didn't knock before entering and I have to admit I wondered about this. In any event, there is a secondary latch lock on the doors but I hadn't put it in place.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Oshawa
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2010

We have been to this hotel twice in the last month, first time Jan 26-Feb 2, 2010...our last visit was March 2-9, 2010. We feel that for the money this is the spot to be in JACO! The hotel is VERY clean, the food is incredible. The restaurant is Peruvian with a menu most nights, weekends the buffet was still wonderful with lots to choose from. The beach is beautiful, black sand and sunshine!!!! Costa Rica is definatley a favorite destination, as we have been there 5 times!!! For the money, Hotel Balcon Del Mar provides it all!!!! Beach, food, people, staff, all were EXCELLENT!

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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North Carolina, USA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2010

We spent 6 days in this hotel during Christmas break. We had room 402, which is what they called an "apartment", a suite with 2 bedrooms. One bedroom has one queen bed with view on the pool, another room has 2 queen beds with view on the side of the hotel and the beach on the side.

Pros: the staff obviously tried to be nice, you can feel that they had bad reviews in the past and that they were working hard to make good impression. Speaking some Spanish and being friendly definitely helps "build contact". They responded diligently whenever asked for standard small issues (additional towels, help with the safe inside the rooms, etc).
The pool is nice, with several basins of different depths and temperature. The fact that the pool is easily seen from most rooms makes it very safe for kids. The beach is just across the street, you can't dream of an easier access. Rooms have air conditioning.

Cons: well... there are quite a few, unfortunately. First of all, do not expect luxury in your rooms. Our beds were old, cracking on every move, mattresses should also have been changed several years ago, but I guess that this is okay if you do not have any back pain (bed sheets were fine). There is a hot water tank obviously heated by the sun and shared for all the rooms. So if you take a shower in the night or early in the morning, you may be one of the lucky ones having hot water. Otherwise, expect cold water in your shower. With 80/90 degrees outside, this is not a show stopper either.

More of an issue for us was the hotel neighbours. There is a bar next to the hotel, called the Ganesha, that turns into a dancing place of some sort at night, and it is very, I mean, very, noisy. During our stay, 4 nights out of 6, we could not get asleep before 4 AM (we were in the room with the view on the side of the hotel and beach) because of the loud music. Although our windows were closed, the vibrations from the bass speakers were so loud that the cups in the cupboard were choking on their plates! We tried to complain to the staff, they told us that they would do something, then after nothing changed the following night, that this was part of the normal consequences of having neighbours. They could not change our room as they were full... if given the same room,s I would definitely not go back to that place, but I would recommend it if you get a room on the pool or the other side.
Also, I do not recommend their onsite tour agency. We bought a Volcan Arenal tour with them, which was nothing more than being dragged from tourist shops to tourist restaurants, before finally staring at an empty field in the dark and been explained that lucky people sometimes would see sparkles in the dark... whereas I know very well that you can walk on trails, get close to the volcano and hear its sound, then get to observatories on the right side and actually see something. This tour is a complete rip off.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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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Additional Information about Hotel Balcon del Mar

Address: Bohio Street, Jaco, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Jaco
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Spa Hotel in Jaco
#17 On the Beach Hotel in Jaco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Balcon del Mar 3*
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Also Known As:
Balcon Del Mar Jaco
Balcon Del Mar Hotel
Hotel Balcon Del Mar Costa Rica/Jaco

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