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“Outdated and overpriced” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Villa Lapas

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Hotel Villa Lapas
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Costanera Highway, Camaronal, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Camaronal
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
1 review
“Outdated and overpriced”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2009

We stayed at Villa Lapas for the last 2 days of our trip. The first impression we got driving to the place from the top of the hill was "Wow, this place looks shabby." Our impression didn't change for the remainder of the stay. Frankly, I am suprised that this hotel was recommended to us by the travel agency.

The rooms and everything in them was very dated. Beds, furniture, ripped sheets, bathrooms, and wall all had signs of heavy wear. The walls are very thin and you can hear your neighbors television. The water in the shower was barely luke warm. There is no alarm clock in the room and the wake up call system is not consistent due to power loss so be prepared to wake up on your own. Suprisingly the food was also overpriced for Costa Rica ($22 per person for dinner buffet, $18 for lunch buffet) with no alcohol. There was no other option for meals at this restaurant and there is nothing else close in the area (walking distance).

On the positive side: This hotel is located in the rain forest and the staff is friendly. The skywalk tour is interesting, although it's more of the same if you had spend time in the forests up north. If you like to be in the middle of the forest and being exposed to beatles, iguanas, mosquitoes and frogs then this maybe the place you will like.

  • Liked — Located on a preserver
  • Disliked — Room, bathroom, value for money
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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128 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
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English first
long island
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2008

I stayed here for 2 nights and was happy I did but probably would have been restless if I had stayed longer. Food was medocre but setting splendid! I was on the all-inclusive and it included alcoholic drinks which a previous reviewer said was not included. Definetely go on the SKYWALK tour. Feel free to e-mail me as I will gladly share any details about my stay with you.

Stayed December 2007
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wilmington, nc
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2007

We stayed at this hotel to break up the drive between Monteverde and Manuel Antonio. The rooms are decent, but not quite worth the $130 they charge (all-inclusive). The AC units are small and never quite catch up with the humidity outside. They obviously don't check the rooms as the one we stayed in hadn't been looked at in a while judging by the multiple piles of toad poo in the bathroom.
The grounds were absolutely beautiful. We saw Toucans outside both days we were there and there were dozens of other species also. It is tucked right into a little valley with a little river/creek running right next to it.
We did the all-inclusive route with food as I didn't think there was any other options in the area. It was very much like cafeteria food. Not real bad, but also not worth the money you pay to stay there per night. When we checked in, no one explained the details of the all-inclusive meal plan to us. I only knew that alcohol was not included. I walked over to the bar area and grabbed a Pepsi out of a huge bin of drinks sitting there. One of the waiters ran up to me and took the drink from me telling me it was not included in the plan and that I had to have a fountain drink. The rule is not that big of a deal (a Pepsi is a Pepsi), but they need to work on their approach as they made me feel like I was stealing something. Maybe I didn't mind paying for a Pepsi???
All in all it was a decent place that just tries to charge resort rates and they just don't have the facilities to deliver.

  • Liked — Grounds and close proximity to Carara Park. Loved the Macaws!!!!!
  • Disliked — Over-priced for Costa Rica.
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Travelers are raving about these Camaronal hotels

Toronto
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2007

We stayed at the Villa Lapas for two nights, May 25-26, 2007.

Our tour was accomodations only, so we were not part of the all-inclusive plan that is offered at Villa Lapas, and boy, we wish we were. Since we got such a fantastic rate on our tour, we originally didn't mind that we had to pay for our own meals, which, in our experience prior to Villa Lapas, had been very reasonable (we always had a choice no matter where we were in Costa Rica in regards to food - and it was good, cheap and nutritious).

Since we were not on the all-inclusive, we paid for our meals. No problem. The lunch we had the first day was very reasonable as it was a la carte and there were lots of choices. For example, I got a cheeseburger and two beers, and my boyfriend ordered pasta and two beers. Tab was $18 - which we thought was great! Dinner, however was a different story.

When we got there - a buffet was laid out. We took a quick look, saw very little selection, and asked for the a la carte menu. They told us there is no a la carte available - just buffet. Since we had never
had an unreasonably priced meal in Costa Rica in the entire 8 days we were there, we decided to go with it. When the bill came, we were
floored...$20US per person not including alcohol, which was $6 per cocktail. That doesn't sound like much - but considering we had previously enjoyed four course meals including beer for less than $20
TOTAL elsewhere at VERY nice restaurants in San Jose even, we were a little peeved.

The next day we decided to scope out the area to see where else we could go. The answer is NO WHERE. Jaco is 30 minutes away by car, and
the nearest town is Tacores, which is a little sketchy and had one soda. We were stuck eating the buffet or we could starve.

Other than the food issue - we were VERY pleased with Villa Lapas. Room assignation is VERY IMPORTANT. We were lucky in that they gave us the master suite even though we paid for a standard...king bed, sitting area, little dining table, everything. Plus it was HUGE. We walked by and saw the other rooms and all we can say is that we lucked out bigtime! (We also lucked out in other places too since they automatically upgraded us to the master suites or deluxe rooms - must be because it's the low season or they just like us :P heh heh).

The grounds were beautiful but watch out for the road when it rains! The bricks become covered in some sort of slimy algae and we were slipping down the road all over the place. We ended up taking the route around the other rooms to get to the main building instead.

The canopy tour was very nice - but since we had just come from Monteverde and its glorious Skywalk, it was a little bit of a let down. But it's a haven for great birdwatching and wildlife...we had little poison dart frogs stuck to our door at night!

All in all we had a great time - just remember to go with the all inclusive plan - $40 more per person per night - but worth it as there's no where else to go!

  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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UK
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2007

The location of this hotel is spot on for birders, and with a free bar, good food and fantastic rooms it is no wonder why it is difficult to get in! It is really close to the Carara NP and Tarcoles Estuary which are two of the regions birding hotspots.

The food was lovely and the location of the hotel in the forested valley is really beautiful, especially with a King Vulture gliding over!

The bathrooms were fantastic, large, clean and the bedrooms had aircon and ceiling fans enabling you to relax in comfort. This hotel is head and shoulders above the rest in the area and is probably one of the best in the country

  • Liked — the bathroom
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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Malverne, New York
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
201 helpful votes 201 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2007

We stayed at Villa Lapas for 2 nights toward the end of a two week organized tour of the country in January 2007. Compared to the other hotels and eco-lodges we stayed at during the trip, this one was disappointing. To be fair, we must add that we didn't have a chance to compare it to other lodges in the immediate area and therefore aren't sure of the relative value etc.

The grounds are OK but not as well maintained as other places we stayed and and as they could be - e.g. we saw one of the housekeeping staff sweeping the debris, including scraps of paper, from the floor of one of the rooms right into the gravel drainage area in front of the room. Rooms are arranged in motel style rows facing the river and there is a second row of rooms or villas behind these where occupants can drive up and park in front of their accomodations. The air conditioning in our room worked, but those in some of our fellow travelers did not or was very noisy. The room was clean, there was a ceiling fan in addition to the a/c but the bed was extremely low and the sheets were paper thin. The bathroom was large and clean. There was an in-room safe available for $3 per day. The buffet breakfast served in the restaurant next to the lobby was generous and included an omelete/egg station. As this was included in our tour, we have no idea of what the price would have been for independent travelers.

There is a pool and a jacuzzi (with cold water, as is apparently typical all over the country). There is a large screen TV in an open room with concrete benches covered with cushions but this was not a comfortable place to sit. There are a few hammocks and several lounge chairs facing the river. There is also a pavilion with a pool table and a foosbal game. There is a nature trail in the rainforest across the river which is accessible by hanging bridge and a zip line which was undergoing maintenance the day we arrived. At the far end of the property, a new zip line station is being built.

On the grounds, accessible over a bridge is another restaurant and an artisans' craft village with three gift/souvenier shops and a chapel arranged around a plaza area. Our group had its dinners in this restaurant. Dinners were buffet style with a nice selection of salads, soup, hot dishes, vegetables and several flavors of ice cream with toppings for make your own sundaes. On Sat. night, you could also get freshly grilled chicken breasts or a grilled seafood dish, but this was not available the next night. Two or three juice or cold drinks were available as well. On Sat. night, a musician played keyboard and took requests from the diners. There was a small dance floor too. Again, we don't know the price charged for the dinners so we can't comment on the value.

The hotel isn't far off the main road and road noise could be heard while outside the room. The hotel is convenient to the Taracoles River and Cararas National Park. Boat tours of the river are offered nearby and the late afternoon tour was absolutely beautiful. Crocs are abundant in one part of the river and the variety of birds is amazing.

  • Liked — Convenience to national park, Taracoles river tour etc.
  • Stayed January 2007
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kill Devil Hills, NC
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2006

The grounds of the hotel were nice, but the service was poor. We stayed for 3 days and our room was never cleaned the entire time. When we brought this to their attention, they never sent anyone to the room to even bring clean towels after asking them 3 times. We ended up leaving there a day early and staying at another, much nicer hotel in the area. However, they refused to give us our money back for the last night (we pre-payed for 3 nights) and only did so after arguing with them for over 30 minutes. The rooms definitely need a little updating as well...like an air conditioning unit that doesn't keep you awake all night. I wouldn't recommend this hotel.

  • Liked — Nothing
  • Disliked — Room cleanliness, rudeness of staff
  • Tips/Secrets — Don't stay here
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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 Hotel Villa Lapas

Address: Costanera Highway, Camaronal, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Camaronal
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Camaronal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Villa Lapas 3.5*
Number of rooms: 58
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Also Known As:
Lapas Hotel Jaco

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