For our wedding, we decided to take a trip to Costa Rica. The (now) Mrs looked everywhere for a place that had JUST that view and feel that she wanted, and settled on Villa Caletas. Boy, was she right. Villa Caletas is AMAZING. First, when you turn onto their drive, prepare for an ascent into the heavens. Caletas is built, LITERALLY, on the top of a mountain. Their "driveway" is a mile long, if its an inch, almost straight up. Its scary because there is really nothing keeping you from tumbling down the side of mountain, except for some flower pots, and the view down is arresting. I've jumped out of a plane, but looking out and down on the world from Villa Caletas's driveway, even made me pause for a second to collect myself. Upon arriving at reception, the impressiveness continued. Caletas is carved right out of the rainforest; a swath of small villas intertwined with the jungle. There are only about 30 rooms at Villa Caletas, so it has a much more remote and intimate feel to it than, say, the Marriott. In short, I never felt like I was at a "hotel." Our reservation was for a junior suite, and after being given the KEYS, (like, actual, proper KEYS) to our gated walkway, front door and safe, we were off to our room. The room was small, but still somehow spacious, with a main room, separate bedroom, and bathroom. The crowning jewel was a totally private balcony overlooking the ocean, complete with table, hammock and jacuzzi. Beautiful. We dropped our bags and went to check out where the wedding would take place, and Villa Caletas has the rare distinction of being one of those places that looks EXACTLY like the pictures. Again, the view was amazing. (Its important to note that Villa Caletas is actually the lower tier of a dual resort. Their other location, Zephyr Palace is apparently WORLD CLASS.) Since this review is about the hotel, and not the wedding, I won't go too deep, but I'll just say that for anyone looking for a place to get married, you can't do much better than Villa Caletas. I can't really find the words to do the positives of Villa Caletas justice. There are passion fruit trees, raining fruit down as you walk the winding trails through the compound. The ground in front of you comes alive with each step, as geckos and brightly colored frogs scurry to avoid your step. Toucans and hawks dive in and out of view, darting from tree to tree. It is a visual masterpiece. The staff are frustratingly awesome. The waiters remembered our names. The maid saw (was not told or asked) that we had chargers plugged in, and some waiting to be plugged in, so she brought an extension cord on her next visit. When it rained, bellman walked around handing out umbrellas. The pool man, already weighted down with hoses and tubes and pool skimmers and bags of chemicals offered to carry my bags when he saw me walking with it. It was insane. We didn't have a single problem that the staff couldn't or didn't resolve QUICKLY and correctly.
Its not ALL gilded lillies though. Villa Caletas IS expensive. We had a Groupon, so that was the only way we could afford it. The meals at the restaurants on site were pricey (not TERRIBLY so) and the price for the wedding itself was astronomical. There are also many stairs, and a good deal of distance between most of the rooms. My brother stayed at the opposite end of Villa Caletas from us, and it WAS quite a trek to get to his room and back. I'm in excellent shape, but even I was out of breath by the time I got there. (full disclosure, you won't really mind the walk though, since the view through the forest is just so awesome.) If you ask me or the wife though, we'd tell you it was worth it. Both of us remarked, "but I don't want to leave Caletas!," when it came time to move down the street to the Marriott. If and when we make it back to Costa Rica, I'm definitely looking into Villa Caletas again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Villa Caletas, a luxury romantic boutique hotel inspired by tropical Victorian architecture with a touch of neo-classical influence shining like a jewel among resorts, prized not only for its location, design and décor, but also for its outstanding facilities and first class service. Villa Caletas expresses a truly unique combination of mountain and seaside resort. Nestled 1150 feet above the Pacific Ocean, this unique hotel overlooks the Nicoya Gulf to the crescent beaches of Jaco, Herradura offering spectacular 360-degree panoramic views. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Villa Caletas Hotel Jaco
- Caletas Hotel Herradura
- Villa Caletas Costa Rica/Jaco