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“Good food, better setting” 4 of 5 stars
Review of El Hicaco

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El Hicaco
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El Hicaco, Jaco, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #29 of 49 Specialty Lodging in Jaco
San Jose, California
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Good food, better setting”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2014

My girlfriend wanted a place to dine by the beach that wasn't a bar and served something more high-end than street food. We wandered to El Hicaco and it turned out pretty well. They had a trio playing on the beach (flute, guitar, and hand drums) that was rather outstanding and certainly added to the experience. About all I can say for the food, wine, and service was that it was all pretty decent quality and met our expectations.

It was about what we'd expect from a similar style restaurant on the beach in northern California, both in terms of quality and price. That is to say, expensive and quality somewhere between "good" and "very good." It definitely seemed more oriented toward tourists. But for what it was, it fit the role perfectly. The beachfront location made up for any shortcomings.

We returned twice for coffee the following days in the afternoon. Again, price and quality were around what we expected (not cheap, but not a rip-off). Service quality during the daytime when things are slower takes a steep dive back down to normal Latin American levels where the customer is basically forgotten after the order is delivered. You pretty much have to flap your arms wildly to get noticed and ask for the check two or three times (doesn't matter if in Spanish or English).

Basically if you've dined at a reasonably-priced restaurant on a beach in the US you can expect a familiar experience here, only with worse service during the day. Still I give it an extra point for being in a lovely setting and having great music in the evening.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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29 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    7
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Solo
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Pedro Sula, Honduras
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2014

This was by far one our best dining experiences. We love to eat out, and when traveling it can be difficult to choose a restaurant with better that average food and service, plus atmosphere. El Hicaco has it all!!! From the moment we walked in after a long drive and checking into our hotel (will review that later), we felt we were in a comfortable place with staff that cared about our time there and our experience.
Not sure why others have had less than good experiences there, and sometimes people can have different expectations, but I appreciate excellent food and excellent service - AND know the difference.
We were waited on by at least 3 people, and the manager kept coming to see how we were. The food, ceviche, fish cakes, and caprese ensalada were all great! While it might be a little pricey for some, it was about what I expect in the US for someplace nice, but not as good as El Hicaco.
I also was pleasantly surprised that they had some single malt scotch! It is difficult to find in Central or South America. You can find blended whiskey, but I do not like the blends. They had Glenfiddich 12 & 18 year! And the price per glass was about a third of what they charge in the US! Great news for a devoted scotch drinker.
Highly recommend El Hicaco if you are even close to the Jaco area in Costa Rica.

Room Tip: This is not a hotel! I hope the owners change their status on TA to reflect this!
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2014

I dont usually write reviews but this is necessary for everyones sake. DO NOT GO HERE!!

1) Overpriced
2) Lobster is NOT FRESH BUT FROZEN CHUNKS OF SOMETHING
3) FISH NOT LOCAL
4) ALL alcohol is watered
5) server insulted my wife on two occasions
6) LOUSY service

Do NOT eat here ! 0/5

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wading River, New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2014

This was a fantastic ending to our fantastic trip to Costa Rica! The atmosphere was beautiful as we sat beachside and enjoyed a wonderful, authentic Costa Rican meal. The sounds of a saxophone player that rivaled Kenny G added to the beautiful atmosphere at this beautiful restaurant. I would highly recommend!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Avalon, New Jersey
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2013 via mobile

I are there twice on my trip. The food quality was awesome, the ambiance was great and the service was excellent. I was shocked about the prior reviews. I think management fixed the issues. I will certainly go back again.

  • Stayed December 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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Miami, Florida
2 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013

The food was very good, unfortunately the service was awful. And awful would be an understatement. Great ambiance, but I can't reiterate enough how bad the staff treated our party. As far as the food is concerned would definitely recommend the lobster, sea bass, shrimp combination.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013 via mobile

Very well appointed and situated. Dine as the Pacific tides in, feet from you, with light accents and music pumped onto the beach. Best food from our time in Jaco. A seafood place of class. Service kurt. That's a shame. Tip in cash required.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El Hicaco

Address: El Hicaco, Jaco, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Jaco
Hotel Style:
Ranked #29 of 49 Specialty Lodging in Jaco
Also Known As:
El Hicaco Costa Rica/Jaco

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