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“Pura Veda”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Villas Estrellamar

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Villas Estrellamar
Ranked #36 of 44 Hotels in Jaco
Toronto
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Pura Veda”
Reviewed March 25, 2009

Villa Estrellamar is an awesome place to stay for budget travellers...it's like a 5 star for people who are used to living in hostels and are in Jaco to experience the culture. Please don't stay here and complain if you just want to pay the minimal and expect 5 star standards.
This is a great place to experience the culture. It's 2 minutes walk from the beach and right off the main street.

The staff is the best assest of this place. The Owner ,Tom, quite but inviting (what else could one expect from a owner...how many hotel owner do we see when we travel in North America???)
Manager Johnny, he is simply the best, keeps you entertained. The reception staff starting with Sandy, Sandra and Alejendra...they make your stay a wonderful experience.
The room service girls make sure to make your room look like a presidential sweet everyday with different artwork by using only 4 towels.
There is a great resturant on site with awesome cooks and serving staff...Veronica and Venessa are really hard working.
You will see the gardeners working thoughout the day and security all night long.
Beautiful garden, pool area and a cute hut w/ hamlocks and chairs to lounge.
Everyone in this hotel works extremely hard at what they do, they make sure to make you feel at home.
I travelled alone and had an awesome time. You are never alone...if you don't want to.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jsurf101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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38 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
28 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed March 17, 2009

My boyfriend and I traveled here the middle of February for reading week this year. We had been looking to go to an all inclusive but there were not any deals to be had and found this place by chance. We paid a great price, in fact the price of the package was cheaper than a flight here. We had very few problems, and when we did the staff were quick to help and very friendly. The owner was always out talking to everyone and knew us all by name.

We decided not go for the meal plan and room--really, even if i did it again I would have gone the same way. If you opt out of the meal plan you get the bungalow which is far superior. We got to eat out every day (or theres the choice to cook yourself) and in the end it wasn't any more expensive than booking at a 4 star all inclusive-- except for the fact that you could choose what you ate and always had a change of scenery. If you wanted to eat at the hotel it is pretty cheap, actually cheaper than most places outside of the hotel so its worth booking the bungalow and trying out the restaurant and then if you don't like it you're not stuck with the meal plan you can always go out elsewhere.

They gave the 2 of us one of the bungalows, it had 2 bedrooms, 2 air conditioners and a bathroom (no tub). The kitchen was fully stocked with all you need to cook (no oven, just hotplates but what would you really need the oven for in that kind of heat) and the fridge was huge and stocked everything we needed. We got bags of ice from the lobby and were able to make drinks that tasted better than at all inclusives in our own room. If you went to the supermarket beer is less than $1 a can and we would buy that to have in our fridge as well. The rooms were always clean, sheets were always laundered and we were very happy.

The grounds were well kept, the pool was perfect temperature and always clean, the hammock area is just as sweet as everyone else makes it out to be in the reviews and yes there are iguanas and centadors that are always roaming the place....I think their nest is under the pool somewhere.

We only tried the restaurant once (mojitos) and weren't really impressed but it was for breakfast and we were the only ones there--the staff were really nice and I heard lots of other great reviews from other people about the place so I would have probably given it another try had we been there longer.

We took the public bus out to Manuel Antonio for the day, did a horseback tour to the Bijajuel waterfalls, visited this butterfly conservatory (one thing probably wouldn't reccommend), saw the crocs at Tarcoles, took surfboards out and nearly killed ourselves (i'm a good swimmer but those waves are INTENSE and don't let them fool you). We had a great time, there is soooo much to do here and for the most part its pretty inexpensive (especially in comparison to the tours I've done in Mexico, Cuba and the Dominican). You can book tours in the lobby or you can always cruise around town and check out all their prices. We booked with a few different people and never felt swindled.

All in all I tell everyone about my little secret: it was a great great place and I would go back in a second. PURA VIDA!!!

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Kate H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed March 1, 2009

The best asset to this resort is its staff. Starting with manager, Johnny, waitresses, cook, hard working gardener and cleaning/laundry staff.
State of the main two storey building is pitifull. BEWARE OF BEDBUGS. If after night you have see on your body red marks, you have been bittten by these night creature. I have been. Owners do not bother with upgrades, sure they do not charge much, but is the low price worth being early breakfast for night creatures feeding on your blood? There is no furniture in rooms. Beds are made of wooden platforms with matress on top of it. Shower in no better shape than rest of the room. Old airconditioning will not let you sleep at night, you have to turn it off.
I would nor recommend second floor rooms. They are not habitable

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tranda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Jaco hotels

Ontario
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed February 28, 2009

Hello,

My husband and I just returned from a week in Costa Rica at Estrellamar. We really enjoyed our time here!

Hotel - the grounds are beautiful! The pool is great... there is an excellent hammock area to relax in. We were in a hotel room and it was smaller than anticipated, but definitely functional. The beds were comfy and the sheets were changed daily when the room was cleaned. Every day the cleaning staff would make animals out of the towels and use hibiscus flowers to decorate them... a very nice touch! The shower was very hot with great water pressure. I would recommend bringing your own beach towels or buying them there. The hotel doesn't supply them.

Food - We got the hotel package that included breakfast and dinner at the resort. This was really a good way to go... we were quite happy about it. For breakfast, you could choose from 8 or so dishes off the menu... including a typical American breakfast (eggs, toast, bacon, etc)... Dinner was good too and consisted of an appetizer (1 of 2), main course (1 of 3), and dessert (1 of 2)... dessert was definitely the weakest part of the meal... it was good but not overly impressive... In Costa Rice, beans and rice are price controlled so they are eaten at almost every meal (breakfast, lunch, and dinner)... sometimes on the own, sometimes together... I like beans and I like rice but I was getting sick of them by the end of the week... the best local restaurant that we ate at was Los Amigos... it was fabulous! We had chicken fingers, fries, strawberry-spinch salad, and a huge smoothie! I would definitely recommend it... Los Amigos also has 2-for-1 drinks during happy hour (which includes smoothies)... so cheap!

Jaco Beach - We really liked this little town! The hotel is only about a block from the beach. The main street is nice. It is touristy (as it is their main industry) but there are some really cute shops. We also went to Maxi Bodega, which is Wal-Mart in Costa Rica. It was nice and had lots of good groceries. Jaco Beach has a lot of good activities in it but to get to the bigger attactions (volcanoes, parks, etc), they are further away.

Activities - We went kayaking and snorkeling with Kayak Jaco. It was awesome! My husband and I ended up being the only people so we had a great time with our guide, Kevin, who was from Buffalo, NY originally. We also took the bus to Manuel Antonio. It was a nice park and we saw lots of animals. The beach there was great too. I would probably spend the money and get a guide next time but we did okay on our own. We took a day trip with Nolitours to see Riocon volcano, Liberia, and an animal refuge. It was definitely worth the money. We had a good time. Our second last day there we went zip lining with Los Suenos (spelling?). It was nice but I was terrified (I am such a wimp)... they were good about it and ending up sending a guide down the zip lines with me.

Overall, we had a great time. We love vacations where we get to experience the 'heart' of the country, rather than just another Americanized resort. We like the combination of relaxing time in the sun and time to explore and see the highlights of the area we are in. Our hotel was great for us... but if you are looking for something luxurious or fancy, you are going to be disappointed. Let us know if you have any questions. We will be happy to share our experience.

Thanks!
Heather :)

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank PinkLibby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LAKEFIELD
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed January 14, 2009

Loved this place I have been three times to Jaco and this place is great. Be sure to get the bungalow that contains a small but good kitchen, comfotrable bedroooms and patio. I cannot wait to get back to this place. Be opened minded in your nearby food selections - go for the Latino dishes. Easy to have breakfast and lunch at your bungalow. Hot showers. Cool pool - not crowded. A great location close to the town but off the main street.
ENJOY

  • Liked — bungalow
  • Disliked — restaurant
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank KikiinCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2009

Villa Estrellamar is a great little resort and it's only a block off the main street in Jaco Beach. Staff are wonderful. Bartender - Vernica - FABULOUS! Johnny(the manager) awesome man. He will bend over backwards to help travelers out. Great sense of humor!! He's the best!

Jaco Beach is about 1 hour from Manuel Antino National Park and 2 hours from San Jose (worth the drive!). You can even take a local bus to and from Jaco ($2.00 each way) to the National Park. Best place to eat "Taco Bar" in Jaco..good bang for your buck!

WARNING----Major riptides in Jaco. If you want the beach go to Hermosa Beach ($5.00 cab ride) or go to the National Park. Admission to National Park $10.00 US.

Went on my own for Christmas...had a great time. Johnny thx for making it the best trip that I've ever taken...C u in March 2009

  • Liked — the staff!
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank ShaunToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, CA
Level Contributor
40 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed December 2, 2007

I would love to agree with the other positive reviews but I can't. We stayed there on our last day in Costa Rica and I couldn't be more happy that we were not staying there for more than that. We didn't get a villa room (maybe that was the problem) and we got a room next to the restaurant facing the pool. The room was dirty and small, and it reminded me of a cheap businessmen hotel I once stayed in Hong Kong. It looked like it was split from a much bigger room. The bathroom was weird, I need to step inside the show in order to close the door, and walk to the opposite end of the room to use the sink to wash my hands (no joke). There was a functional TV, but there was also a spider and web next to it. The A/C was very old, it was so loud I couldn't talk to my friend. Also, the window unit A/C was installed on top of a closet so there was no way to adjust the setting on it, so we let it run for a bit and then had to turn it off because it was freezing cold. Of course then we had to open the windows and let the breeze (and unfortunately mosquitoes) come into the room. I was bitten so badly, my arms are still red and I really can't say much of anything positive for this place.

  • Liked — Convenient location
  • Disliked — Bathroom layout
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Meygun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Villas Estrellamar

Property: Villas Estrellamar
Address: Jaco Center (next to Payless Car Rental) | Apartado 3, Jaco, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Jaco
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant
Hotel Style:
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Jaco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 29
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Conveniently located in the center of Jaco and only a moment’s walk to the beach, shopping, dining, nightlife and casinos. We offer abundant space to enjoy our large pool, relaxing hammocks, and lush landscaping and invite you to Mojitos Restaurant and Bar for friendly service and excellent food. Accommodations include a choice of standard rooms or bungalows featuring air conditioning, cable TV, telephone, mini-refrigerator or furnished kitchen, safe, and private terrace. 3 Star rating. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Villas Estrellamar Hotel Jaco
Estrellamar Hotel Jaco
Estrellamar Resort Jaco
Villas Estrellamar Costa Rica/Jaco

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