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“Nice grounds... clean...” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Club del Mar

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Hotel Club del Mar
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   Jaco Beach | 300 meters south of El Arroyo Service Station, Jaco, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #9 of 42 hotels in Jaco
Santa Ana, Costa Rica
Top Contributor
107 reviews 107 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“Nice grounds... clean...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

Negatives only two.. bad beds... cheap mattresses with nothing to pad them.. Also, full size, not queen beds... made me a little claustrophobic as I am used to minimum a queen in every hotel that I have been in for the past 20 years... Second, the shower water was tepid at best for an evening shower.. could never be described as hot. But in the morning it was very hot. Either the HWH was turned off, everybody took a shower at the same time, or they have solar hot water heaters which I did not see.
Well maintained.. Met Phil one of the owners who was quite cordial. Priced for tourists.in restaurant and bar. Lunch menu was very limited...
Grounds are beautiful with pool in the center, beach at the far end and lapis rojas in the trees.. I liked the place and may return during the green season for a 40% discount and apartments for the family in total..

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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213 people have reviewed this hotel

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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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (53)
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Largo, Florida
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2013

This was our first time in Costa Rica and what a wonderful way to start a 14 day trip. We stayed at the Hotel 3 days and had a wonderful time. The staff was very helpful. The room was wonderful and the beach was amazing. We would recomend this to anyone and would definitaly would go back.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Fort Lauderdale
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2013

First time here.Had business.Will be back.I love the location.Had ceviche.I am always leery unless I make it myself because of the Hershey's....It was excellent.I will return here. Lovely view......No problems.AC was broken they moved us to another room.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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New Jersey
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2013

We first stayed at Hotel Club del Mar briefly about 10 years ago, we enjoyed our stay and made sure to book it for this trip. We just finished a 9-day stay. We booked a two-bedroom condo and it was the closest to the beach (room 13). We were on the second floor and we had a great view and could hear the ocean.

We were there to surf every day and the location is perfect to walk right out to the beach. There are a lot of surf classes and it tends to get crowded on the weekends, but we were able to enjoy plenty of great waves. For us, the location can't be beat.

We didn't use their concierge/tour services. Their board rentals were $15 half day/$30 full day, with a discount for longer rentals, but we were able to walk down the beach and rent two boards for $15 each day (for both boards). If you're taking surf lessons, however, i believe board rental is included.

The staff was always very nice. We did have a little snafu upon check-in. They had the dates wrong and our room wasn't ready. That was ok, but when I said that I had dealt with Victor and had email confirmations, the response was a shrug, and "Well, Victor isn't here", until another staff member finally swept in and arranged to put us in another room for one night. And she gave us a small discount for our troubles.

We love the pool and always ended the day with a late night swim.

We've stayed all over Costa Rica and would definitely stay here again. With the attentive security staff, we always felt safe.

We didn't eat at the restaurant much, but we had a mahi special one night that was outstanding.

Room Tip: I highly recommend room 13. It is closest to the beach, on the second floor, with a great view.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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Toronto
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

I have mixed feelings about Hotel Club del Mar. Our room was "nice" but we were promised ocean view and we could barely see the ocean through the trees from our 2nd floor room in the main building. We were too tired to ask to be moved so it remained a bit of a sore point throughout our 4 nights there.

The food was definitely mediocre and the breakfast (continental included) was a real disappointment. They served a modest sized plate of various fruits. I would have preferred to have chosen my own fruit. It also came with 2 thin slices of "toast"... barely toasted and so cold that the butter wouldn't melt on it. Dinner tasted like it was heated from a package.

The service was great, especially at the front desk, where the staff were very friendly and helpful. The grounds were tidy, the pool was great (definitely a bit too warm!) and lots of lounge chairs.

I personally thought the beach was pretty nice. Yes, it was rocky near shore but we were usually out there when the tide was out so it was beautifully sandy to walk along. We found it to be an easy way to walk into town to shop a bit. It's NOT a great swimming beach due to the waves and rip currents. I stayed near shore and enjoyed the waves that crashed over me.

I didn't realize (until reading another review just now) that there is a concern about crime. We walked the beach after dark, walked along the main drag in Jaco and took a taxi back... no problem. In hindsight, probably not a good idea.

All in all this was a good hotel for the price and I'd stay there again... but would insist on an ocean view next time!

Room Tip: Make sure to ask for ocean view!
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Leeds, United Kingdom
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2013

This hotel was a really suprising treat at the end of our family holiday to Costa Rica. I booked it the night before we set off and then added a further night en route after our disastrous stay in Playa Grande - see separate review. The rate was really good and we arrived to find that we were in a 2 bedroomed condominium (no. 14) that was pretty much on the beach front. There was a fully fitted kitched, two separate bathrooms, 2 satellite TVs (one in sitting room and one in master bedroom). I seem to remember there was even a washing machine / tumble drier. It was so totally unexpected and we were delighted with it. There were french doors that opened out onto the sea view from both the dining area and master bedroom. Honestly you could have moved in and stayed there for weeks. The hotel pool was like stepping itno a warm bath and the sea was great fun with big rolling waves suitable for surfing. I would definitely recommend it as it is out of the main Jaco resort with its more commercial hotels. We went to Manuel Antonio as a day trip from here (1 hour each way). All in all a great stay.

Room Tip: We were in condo 14 which is right at the front, nearest to the beach.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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New York City, New York
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013

I am a bit conflicted about this hotel. Overall, I think it's better than average, but I cannot in good conscience say it was very good. I can definitely see how this can be a really great value, if you are traveling with kids or if you are an elderly couple, who just wants some peace and quiet and is not looking to get out much. Unfortunately, for me and my wife, we fall in neither category and the things we place a lot of value on were pretty average here. That being said, I will try to stay objective and provide as much insight as I can.

LOCATION
There is good and bad about the location. The good is that it is at the very end of the Jaco beach strip, away (about a mile) from the craziness and crime of Jaco center. It is also right on the beach, which makes for some breathtaking views. We also loved waking up and hearing the Pacific. Unfortunately, the beach is pretty rocky. The sand is black and has this dirty look to it. Plus, the ocean is always choppy and the tides and rip currents make swimming quite difficult, if not to say unadvisable.

This is the case along the entire strip and I am not taking points off here, but it should be made very clear for the benefit of full disclosure. The beach is largely a "look, but don't touch" proposition, unless you are looking to surf or boogie board. We like swimming in the ocean and lounging on the beach. I already explained the swimming part. Lounging among the rocks and black sand didn't look very appealing either.

The bad part about the location is that it's right near a fairly regularly used road. It makes the property more accessible, but it also means a pretty steady noise of passing traffic, including large trucks late at night.

GROUNDS
The grounds are extremely well kept and I have to give full marks to staff and management. Everything is clean and well cared for... the property also had a guard posted at all times, who keeps vagrants and outsiders away from entering the grounds from the beach. This provides a better sense of security and peace of mind. I would still recommend valuables are kept in a safe and all doors are closed and locked when leaving room/condo, since opportunity crime is ridiculous in Jaco. The pruning of the palm trees (with some sort of noisy device) did start at an oddly early hour for a resort, but this is a very minor complaint.

POOL
The pool is very spacious and fairly deep... 1.5 meters (~5 ft) at its deepest point. So you can swim around without having your knees hit the tiles and stand up, if playing pool volleyball is your pleasure, without exposing all of your torso to the punishing Costa Rican sun. It is kept fairly clean, although we did find tree leaves and insects floating in it toward the end of the day. The pool is the major attraction and the gem of the property, particularly given the beach situation. The location is good and cannot be seen from the road, yet offers the view of the ocean. Plenty of lounge chairs for the property's size and capacity are positioned all around the pool. There is a bar and BBQ stand as well, but it was not operating when we were here; probably because the high season was over and there weren't enough customers. The one big complaint about the pool is that the water got really, really warm in the afternoon. The staff tried to address the issue, but the hose pumping cold water into the pool was insufficient.

RESTAURANT
The restaurant and bar, Las Sandalias, offers convenience, but little else. In a way, it is a typical hotel-ajacent operation. We had dinner here once, lunch once, and breakfast daily. The service, which I will cover separately, was very good. However, the menu being offered is basic and the food is diner quality at best. The selection and quality do not merit the price, which was what you would expect to pay at mid-level US restaurant - ($60) for lunch with drinks (two each). To be fair, the price does include a 10% service charge and whopping 13% tax.

Our continental breakfast was complimentary (included with room rate), but we were quite a bit disappointed to find out that this was not buffet-style, but rather served. Instead of helping ourselves to the fruits we liked and having all we could eat, we were limited to a medium-size plate of fruit, which included a piece/slice or two of papaya, pineapple, watermelon, banana, mango, apple, strawberry, and cantaloupe... or basically a small fruit salad. It also included toast - white bread only - with a couple prepackaged diner-type single serving packets of jam/jelly and butter, and juice, tea, or coffee. The juice tasted watery, more like Sunny D than real orange juice, and coffee got thumbs down from my wife, who is a regular coffee drinker. Perhaps our expectations were off, but we felt this was not a great value, to the least.

STAFF
The staff was very friendly and super helpful! I already mentioned that the service we received at the restaurant was excellent. But we also got helpful advice on how to navigate Jaco, how much the taxi ride should cost to and from hotel ($4), help with transfer to the airport, using the phone and the like. Overall, almost everyone, including the owner, was absolutely wonderful and helpful. I say "almost everyone" because we did have one incident, which left a bad taste in our mouths.

We were trying to book a boat tour and asked the guy at the front desk to help us with the booking. It turned out that the hotel was offering the same tour and this staff member, instead of calling the agency we wanted to book with, attempted to push us to book through the hotel. In the process, he quoted us a slightly lower price ($120 per person) than what we had seen in some brochure. When we agreed to book through Club del Mar, he made a quick phone call and then gave us a voucher to fill out. Suddenly, the price became $140 per person. Needless to say, we were taken aback and reminded him that not two minutes prior he had quoted us $120. He replied that he made a mistake.

This sounds like a plausible explanation, were this not a very popular boat tour, which was booked by several other hotel guests. Perhaps this was mere miscommunication and this is a difficult thing to prove, but we felt like he was trying to gouge us and rather shamelessly and crudely at that. We didn't make a big deal of it and just asked him to call us a taxi, so we could go into town. Later, we booked the same exact tour through an agency in town for more than 30% less than $140 per person. I am quite certain everyone is already making money at the price we paid, the boat operator, the transportation company, and the booking agency. So to charge 30%+ extra qualifies as gouging in my book, which is why I took the time to describe it here.

That being said, I want to stress that this was just one individual and everyone else on staff was absolutely wonderful. Both my wife and I are extremely grateful to the staff for making our stay more pleasant! Muchas Gracias!! :)

ROOM
We stayed in a ground-floor condo and we loved a lot about it. First of all, it is extremely spacious, with high ceilings, a full bath (standing shower, no bathtub), bedroom, kitchen area, walk-in closet, and a rather large common area. This is where a lot of the value is, if you are traveling with kids. The common area had what looked like a pull-out couch. The bed was queen size.

The condo is also fully equipped to allow one to be completely self-sufficient. This is where a lot more value is found. The kitchen area had a sink, stove, a full-size fridge, microwave, toaster, juicer, dishes, cups, glassware, silverware, pots and pans. Basically, you get a fully functioning kitchen. There is a nice supermarket in town. If you would rather cook your own meals, the condos at Club del Mar give you ample opportunity to do so. One word of advice, should you decide to do so, keep all food in the fridge... even chips and bread. Costa Rica has these tiny, crazy ants, who get on everything with any sugar or flour content, unless it is vacuum sealed. They are harmless (I think), but it is no fun to reach into a bag of chips and have your hand covered with these things, not to mention eating a whole lot of them together with your chips and salsa.

The common area was well furnished. Besides the aforementioned sofa, our condo also had a nice dining table with chairs (seating 4), coffee table with two large comfortable chairs and a flat screen. The bedroom also had a TV, but this was a more retro model, and was additionally furnished with night stands, dresser, mirror, and a couple of benches. The bed was rather hard, but not totally uncomfortable. Both rooms had ceiling fans and Euro-style air conditioning wall units. In addition to the walk-in closet, there is another closet (with a safe) right at the front entrance.

Our condo had three entrances/exits, including two facing the ocean, with absolutely gorgeous sliding glass double-doors. One of these had a cement patio-like area with two lounge chairs. The real kick was that the condo also boasts a washing machine and a dryer! I am not sure how well all the appliance work because we actually like to go out to eat when on vacation. The fridge, air conditioners, and TV worked quite well. The walls were pretty thin. Thankfully, nobody was staying above us because staff would walk in the upstairs condo, we could hear everything.

Inside the condo was very clean. The condos and the property overall can definitely use a facelift, though. It's mostly small things like the missing control knob on the stove, missing or broken battery covers on remote controls, missing or not working pieces in some of the blinds, chipped plates in the hotel restaurant, and the like. The bathroom next to the hotel restaurant and front desk resembled more of a public transit station facility in terms of its appearance. The phone inside our condo did not ring, so when transportation arrived early to pick us up for a tour or other activity we received a knock on the door instead of a phone call. Our wake-up call was a wake-up knock. :)

So there you have it. If you got through all of this detail, I hope you found it helpful. Club del Mar is not a bad place to stay when visiting Jaco. I am sure there are plenty of other options which are far worse. But pace your expectations. This is not a five-star or even a four-star resort. After our 5-night stay, I would rate it as a solid three-star hotel... more suited for families... with some good amenities, but in need of a refresh.

Room Tip: It is a small resort, but try to get a condo further away from the road. Also, (I didn't mentio...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Hotel Club del Mar

Address: Jaco Beach | 300 meters south of El Arroyo Service Station, Jaco, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Jaco
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Jaco
#5 Spa Hotel in Jaco
#6 Family Hotel in Jaco
#7 Romantic Hotel in Jaco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Club del Mar 3.5*
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Hotel Del Mar
Resort Del Mar
Hotel Club Del Mar Costa Rica/Jaco

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