Perched 1,200 feet above the sea on a promontory south of Punta Leona, these elegant rooms sequestered in the jungle have jaw-dropping views of the surrounding foliage and sea below. Spectacular sunset views should be enjoyed from the Amphitheater Bar, even if you stay elsewhere. Freestanding suites and villas are gorgeous, but rooms in the main building are far inferior; if a villa isn't within your budget, do try to get one of the deluxe rooms with a shared pool. Victorian,
French Colonial, and Hellenistic motifs are combined throughout, with Ionic columns, varied artwork, cookie-cutter trims, and cane chairs. The regular pool is rather small and chilly, but the Zephyr Palace complex has an impressive infinity pool with amazing views. Few suites in the world are as lavish as the Imperial suite at the Zephyr Palace, equipped with a private gym, sauna, walk-in closet, and big-screen TV that ascends from the foot of the bed. The closest beach, Playa Caletas, is attractive but small and rocky and can be accessed by a 20-minute shuttle ride or via a 1.5-hour hiking trail. Though a great place for romance or relaxation (onsite spa and yoga), this hotel has little to offer kids or active travelers.
Off coastal hwy., 3 km (1½ miles) south of Punta Leona, on right, Tárcoles, 61102, Costa Rica
/2637–0505; /2257–3653-in San José
Apr 19, 2014
This place was a gem! It's nice because it's easily accessible by major Hi ways but far inland that you can't hear anything but the wilderness. The resort is located at the top of the hill and nested nicely in a rainforest setting. However, let me warn you if you're afraid of critters and insects... There are tons! Highly recommended bringing a small flashlight because at night, the walkways can be hard to see AND there are things like... snakes and
lizards hanging out in the middle of the stairways! Par for the course I suppose. Also be careful of spiders. Can't detect them very well unless the sunlight is hitting the webs a certain way... They look poisonous. The resort has a private beach which you can access via shuttle (see their schedule) or you can hike down. Like we did. Let me warn you again it's not a leisure hike. There are parts that are steep and slippery. Highly recommend picking one of the walking sticks provided. It's a def workout and once you get to the bottom it's quite nice and peaceful. Of course, it's not going to be like Hawaii sand, but it's shallow enough you can swim pretty far out. Also recommend swimming shoes because of the rocks. Watch out for the big crabs that lurk around the shore. The food was great! Not bad priced and a variety. Breakfast is the best because the vibrant morning colors shine at it's peak. But of course, the coliseum seating for the sunsets are to die for if it's a clear day. We were lucky and had nice colors to see. Jaco is about 5 miles away. It's very touristy but I suppose to go into town once or twice for dinner wasn't bad. I do recommended the super market in Herradura. You can stock up on snacks, fruits, etc... Great bakery too ;) the massage we got was excellent. It overlooks the valley and the therapists were very skilled (I'm a massage snob). The gym was ok. You can still get a good workout but it's HOT since it's outdoors. Great view of the ocean and mountains though. And finally the infinity pool. It's great and relaxing. The only problem is it's a small area so sometimes you'll be SOL if you get there late because all the lounge chairs are taken. But the staff and guests are usually accommodating and will move stuff around so everyone can enjoy the pool. Again, the staff were phenomenal. At first the check in guy seemed uninterested but I figure that's his personality then we talked to him some more and he was better. We will def book this again!
Jun 14, 2011
When my fiancee began looking into destination wedding venues , the ampitheater at Villa Caletas was at first glance her dream wedding ceremony location. She wasted no time in contacting the Wedding Coordinator at Villa Caletas – Yanny Pacheco. The first email she sent to her inquiring about wedding information/packages was on January 12, 2011, three weeks following our engagement. She requested to schedule a call with Yanny, figuring it would be
quicker via phone than email to get all the answers we needed in order to plan ahead. Yanny confirmed that she would call me on Monday, January 17 at 5pm. When the call from Yanny never came, my fiancee called Villa Caletas and was told that she would call me back that evening. The following day, she called Villa Caletas and was told that Yanny would not be back at work until January 25th. She was also told that there was no other staff member who would be able to assist her in any capacity regarding general wedding information. To cut this part of the story short, several attempts via email and phone were made to obtain more detailed information about the venue with Yanny and other staff at Villa Caletas -- with no success. Yanny was consistently non-responsive and flaky. At this point, we probably should have made the decision to no longer have our wedding there but we weren't yet ready to give up on our dream wedding location. We enlisted the help of another wedding coordinator, who is based in the US and who has successfully done at least one wedding at Villa Caletas and who specializes in destination wedding planning. Hiring a wedding coordinator definitely helped in speeding up the response rate from Yanny and other staff at Villa Caletas. Unfortunately, the back and forth communication and little negotiating that was needed took an additional two months, at which point, as frustrated as my fiancé and I were getting with Villa Caletas, we had spent the past three months trying to make it work with them so when the contracts (ceremony, reception, and guest rooms) finally arrived, we felt we had finally made real progress! However, we decided that we needed to do a proper site inspection in order make the final decision on whether to have our wedding at Villa Caletas. We received the contract on April 13, 2011 and were told that they had to be signed by May 2, 2011, or we would lose the date and the room reservations. Although we were left with little time to plan our trip, we made it work! Villa Caletas is a stunning location for any event. It’s very unfortunate that it is being managed so poorly. When we got to Villa Caletas, we liked it. The views are amazing and the rooms are better than we expected. Even the food, which initially didn't meet our expectations (we're not food snobs) improved significantly after we mentioned it. We had requested one minor change to the contract: to have the cancellation policy of the contract revised to state that we would get a refund in the event of a natural disaster in Costa Rica that would renders us unable to physically get to Costa Rica and/or Villa Caletas. We were told that this minor change to the contract would take only a few days to make. When we left Costa Rica, we were ready to sign the revised contract and were so excited to have our wedding here! Unfortunately, the revised contract never came. A few days after leaving, we hadn't gotten the contract. A few days then turned into a week, and a week turned into a few weeks. By the 3rd week of not getting the contract after our visit, my fiancée was having nightmares about dealing with the management for another 9 months before our wedding. Ultimately, we decided to pull the plug and cancel our wedding there. In hindsight, we're glad we did because our hair has fallen out from stress before the wedding! After informing them that we're cancelling our plans with them, Frederic, one of the managers at Villa Caletas, emailed us to ask why we pulled out. I figured the right thing to do was to talk to him man-to-man, so I reached out to him before posting this review. - On May 17th- Dear Bartek, Yanny just copy me your mail, saying that you do not want to have your wedding here any more. I must say I am a bit confused, it took me a week to make some research for you to find out if there were some Good Insurance localy for your wedding. You must have seen my mail where I am speaking about the fact of being in touch with you so we can organize the menu of tapas. You came here and I think we did everything we can to win your trust. I would like you to explain to me a little bit more where and when we have a stop taking your wedding as our major concern. Thank you very much, Best regards ..... - On May 21st - Hi Frederic - That's understandable. We've spent a lot of time thinking about our experience and happy to talk to you about why we pulled out. Are you available to talk this weekend? - Bartek Frederic has yet to respond.
Jul 12, 2004
We loved our suite here with our own private pool. The views from the restaurant are incredible, as are the sunsets. I would definitely recommend having a car here, that way you can get to the beach on your own schedule and eat outside the hotel. The one thing we found misleading was that our room was called "partial ocean view." The only ocean view was from the middle of the pool! Finally, we thought we had negotiated breakfast to be included,
but then learned that they had just tacked it on to our room rate! The overall lesson is to carefully negotiate the room rate and be careful about extras. However, this is a one of a kind hotel, in a beautiful setting.
May 15, 2004
We really loved this place. It is very creative in its design and archetecture. The rooms were lavishly appointed. Amazing bathrooms. Try for the newer rooms that are not attached to the main building. Fresh flowers on our bed every nite was a welcome touch. The views from the ampetheter and dining area are spectacular. Toucans and other exotic birds were abound. I think that this is the nicest and most unique property that we saw at our time
in Costa Rica. Highly recommended!