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“Hotel Catalina & Naomi were great!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Catalina

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Hotel Catalina
Ranked #5 of 28 Jaco B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
NJ
Level Contributor
16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Hotel Catalina & Naomi were great!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2009

My friends and I absolutely loved Hotel Catalina. It is a great option for moderate budget travelers looking for a nice, quiet place to stay on the quieter (and in my opinion MUCH nicer) end of Jaco Beach.

There were four of us and we rented two rooms, two in each room. There were two beds-a single and a double, a small kitchen with hot plates, sink, hand towels, pots, plates & fridge and a kitchen island with two bar stools. The kitchen was nice as we went into town and grocery shopped for breakfast, lunch and (sometimes) dinner options for the week.

There is also a very nice balcony with two wooden chairs and a table outside. We had the balcony rooms upstairs (the AC rooms) which helped me feel a bit safer.

The pool was small but cold and refreshing and a nice break from the sticky sand on the beach. But having the beach right across the small street was amazing. We woke up almost everyday and laid on the beach with mats loaned to us by Naomi. We would swim in the ocean and lay in the sand, break for lunch and usually spend the latter part of the afternoon by the pool relaxing and playing with Dino- the world's greatest dog!

The hotel was on the more quiet end of Jaco, which was about a 10-15 minute (hot) walk into the main strip, but only a 2 dollar cab ride into town. If you do not have a phone, you will need Naomi to call a cab for you, or you can try at the hotel next door. This was never a problem for us as Naomi was more than accommodating and made sure we always had a cab to get into town if needed. Which brings me to my last point, Naomi was great!

She was extremely helpful and kind and always made sure to let us know if she would not be around in the evening so we could arrange a cab. (Which helped the 4 of us girls feel very safe) She would even offer to pick us up anything when she rode into town. She was helpful with advice on where to eat, what tours to take, where to go out, etc. She also gave us a helpful map on the first day and instructed us on how to get into town and where everything was. She was the best!

If I ever go back to Jaco, I will make sure to stay at the Hotel Catalina again!

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — no blankets in the rooms.
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with friends
    • 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
Helpful?
2 Thank KatieKate14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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104 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    81
    16
    4
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    3
See reviews for
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Bristol
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2009

Quiet well positioned spot on the beachfront. All clean, well kept large roomed accomodation. Naomi is a wonderful hostess with nothing too much trouble not that was anything out of place. Being able to walk 10 yards onto the quiet end of the beach was great and it's a perfect retreat when Jaco gets busy.

Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank MarknCathy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2008

I have been going to Jaco almost every year since 1994 and I can't imagine staying anywhere other than the Hotel Catalina. I still can't believe I found this place tucked away at the south end of the beach away from all the noise of downtown Jaco. And it was exactly as the website described it. Naomi and Sandra are always so welcoming and make me feel right at home from the minute I get there(usually in the middle of the night) The rooms are clean and comfortable and you can't get any closer to the beach. The garden setting is perfect for enjoying the sunset each night and the hotel dog Dino is more than happy to keep you company as the sun goes down.
All the rooms have a kitchenette which comes in very handy when you just don't feel like going into town to eat. But it's a beautiful walk along the beach when you do venture out. I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone who wants a nice quiet beach vacation, whether you are single, a couple, or family.
I can't wait to go back again next year.

  • Liked — The quiet and private setting
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled solo
    • 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
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank jrcheetah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roma,Italia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2008

I was excited for my second trip to Costa Rica and as I drove down the beachfront street that lead to Hotel Catalina the view was beautiful just as I remembered it. When I arrived in front of the hotel I was instantly embraced by the gorgeous atmosphere and welcoming owners. The kind faces of Sandra and Naomi put me at ease. My room was spacious with a kitchenette and private bathroom. I also had a balcony where I watched some of the most incredible sunsets over the water. I was able to spend a significant amount of time at Hotel Catalina, longer than most vacations, and during my stay I was never disappointed with the service or accommodations. Everything at the hotel remained consistently pleasant. I have done a lot of traveling around the world and Hotel Catalina unquestionably ranks among my top destinations. The Hotel Catalina and the gracious owners are truly the real deal if you are looking for a vacation filled with warm hearted people and beautifully equipped accommodations directly on the beach then Hotel Catalina is the only place to stay when visiting Jaco, Costa Rica!

  • Liked — The welcoming atmosphere and beachfront location.
  • Disliked — The walking distance to the center of Jaco, but the hotel was still a relatively central location.
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled solo
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank ginmarsem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mjulietc
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
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
Helpful?
2 Thank mjulietc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buffalo,New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 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)
Helpful?
3 Thank wavehugger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 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)
Helpful?
6 Thank rachgot2ski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Catalina

Property: Hotel Catalina
Address: Calle Hidalgo | South Jaco Beach, Beachfront!, Jaco 61101, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Jaco
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 28 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, simple and bright they have kitchenettes and private patios. Lush gardens, ocean breezes create the perfect relaxing getaway. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Catalina Costa Rica/Jaco

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