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“Quiet and a great place to get away” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Catalina

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Hotel Catalina
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Calle Hidalgo | South Jaco Beach, Beachfront!, Jaco 4023, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 19 Jaco B&B and Inns
mjulietc
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Quiet and a great place to get away”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2008

I am so glad I looked at all of the reviews for Hotel Catalina before booking. I could tell that it was a great place by the people who had a good experience there. It was everything they said. All I can say is that if you didn't have the experience you were hoping for, then don't blame it on the hotel -- it might just be you.

Naomi was so helpful and pays attention to everything going on -- I swear she can read your mind when you need a taxi or anything else.

To comment on another post: It is an informal process -- I was a little worried that I wouldn't have a room too, but NOT TO WORRY -- you can trust you will have a smiling face greet you when you check in.

Don't stay at this hotel if you plan to be loud. The people who stay here want a vacation, not a loud party.

There is no TV and no radio -- who needs to hear anything but the sound of the ocean and the animals in Costa Rica.

The rooms are clean and as far as I'm concerned have everything one needs to have a vacation. I felt very safe there -- Dino will let you know if anything is going on!

You can walk to the Zip Line Canopy Tour -- great fun!!!

My suggestion when you stay here: Walk to downtown Jaco on the beach and catch a cab home after you enjoy some fish tacos at Bubbas or pizza at Rioasis.

ENJOY!

  • Liked — quiet
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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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77 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    62
    10
    2
    0
    3
See reviews for
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Buffalo,New York
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2008

My husband and I enjoyed our stay, for six days, at Hotel Catalina so much that we intend to return there next year. The owners, Naomi and her mother, Sandra, made us feel so comfortable. We immediately felt at home, despite our "real" home being in Buffalo, New York. It helped us to be staying at a place which is owned and operated by Americans. I struggle with speaking and understanding Spanish, so it was so helpful to be able to get all the information I needed, in English from Naomi, to plan our day sight-seeing. The beach front location is fantastic. We were only steps away from the ocean. Our room was crisp and clean and had a lovely view of the waves. I especially liked having the kitchenette in our room so that we could have snacks handy all day.

  • Liked — friendly atmosphere
  • Disliked — no restaurant in hotel
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2008

Bottom line, TERRIBLE customer service, shabby bare bones rooms, nice spot on the beach, but not worth the unfriendly atmosphere. We have been traveling in Costa Rica for several months and have not had a single bad experience with hotels until now. We have always left as friends and very happy. To hear the story of how insanely badly we were treated, read below:

We booked this place the morning we were heading to Jaco. They dont take credit cards as security, so we told them we'd be arriving late so that they wouldn't give our room away if arrived later than hoped. Told them there were 2 adults and 2 children, although we have 4 children, because our two oldest planned to sleepover with our friends in the same town.

We arrived at the hotel and got a VERY cold reception. The first thing she said to us was "you said you had only two kids" I immediately explained that only two would be staying with us and that our friends were picking us up shortly and would keep our two oldest with them. She clearly didn't believe us. I told her I would be happy to have my friends come to meet her if that would help her feel more comfortable. She said no because friends aren't allowed on the property, but she then proceeded to accuse us of lying to her and used the fact that we arrived at 4 instead of 9 as further evidence of our "lying". (since when is it a crime to show up a few hours early?)

Then another lady came and accused us of calling the nght prior and saying we had three kids. When I told her I had not called, she pulled out the phone and looked up the call on caller id, saying "isn't this your phone number?" (It was not). We were in total shock! We had done nothing other than to enter their property with four children and were being treated as criminals in an interogation! We invited them to come check that night to verify that in fact we only had two kids with us in our room, but they were adamant that we were not welcome in their hotel because we had "lied" about the number of children we have.

They finally relented, very relunctantly (and believe me, after seeing the room and being treated that way, we did not WANT to stay, but were exhausted and since only staying one night did not want to spend time looking for another hotel) As they were finally leaving, my 12 year old son (much to my disapproval) muttered, "well, hope you don't mind a bad review on trip advisor". The ladies heard that comment and came back with fire in their eyes and insisted that we leave immediately due to his comment.

Clearly these people have been burned before, but do they need to burn innocent guests because of it? Could they not have just informed us politely that they were concerned about the extra numbers and asked if we had a plan of how to deal with this?

  • Stayed January 2008, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2007

My wife and I spent 4 nights at Hotel Catalina and were completely satisfied w/ the hotel and the management. The rooms are very clean, the location is prime and everyone at the hotel is friendly and inviting. An added bonus are the kitchen and refrigerator in each room. Keep a supply of light snacks and drinks bought at the supermarket a mere 1.5 km away, enjoy the wonderful view from the balcony if you have rooms on the second floor and you have the perfect vacation location!

An American mother and daughter team run the place very professionally and were very accommodating. Contrary to a comment from another poster, we had no issues contacting them and found their correspondence to be prompt and efficient. We're definitely staying there when we go back.

  • Liked — Staff and location.
  • Disliked — That we couldn't stay longer.
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Davis
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2007

We contacted Hotel Catalina through their website, and I sent an email a few days later, trying to find out availability and rates.

Didn't hear back from them. We even tried to call. The phone number is listed incorrectly on their website, and everywhere else.

After a week, we gave up. Today, 1.5 weeks later, I got an email giving me availability.

I have heard things are lax down in Costa Rica, but this is ridiculous. You can't wait a week and half just to get a response on availability. If we wanted to stay there, who knows how long it would have taken to get a reservation.

Stayed September 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ontario, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2007

We arrived in Jaco from SJO and were only staying for one night. I emailed the property directly and heard back from Naomi the next day. The process was very informal, and I wondered if we would actually have a room for the night since I had not given a credit card number or been asked for one. We pulled up to the gate and Naomi greeted us and said, "Lauren?" I thought this was so kind of her to remember my name. She was great. Love the dog Dino as well. The property is right on the beach, very clean and in the perfect location (away from the mess that is jaco) If you plan on being in Jaco, stay here.

  • Liked — The manager
  • Disliked — the town itself
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Scottsdale, Arizona
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
139 helpful votes 139 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2007

Great choice if you find yourself in Jaco. The hotel is south of all the mess and could not be in a better location. This place is basic, clean, quiet. Family owned and operated. We had a great stay and look forward to going back.

  • Liked — Owner/manager
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Catalina

Address: Calle Hidalgo | South Jaco Beach, Beachfront!, Jaco 4023, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Jaco
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 19 B&Bs / Inns in Jaco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Beautiful beachfront hotel, friendly and peaceful atmosphere. Rooms are clean and bright they have kitchenettes and private patios. Lush gardens, ocean breezes create the perfect relaxing getaway. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Hotel Catalina Costa Rica/Jaco

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