On the last week of January, 2016, I visited Costa Rica for a project I was working on for the blog, on the subject of “dental tourism”. I spent two nights on Playa Jaco, which was the closest beach to San Jose and located in the Central Valley. This happened to be one of the most visited beaches, because it is the closest beach to San Jose (just under two hours away). I was fortunate enough to get to stay at Jaco Laguna Resort, Jaco’s only 4-star beachfront resort, which is on the quiet south side of the beach, but within walking distance to the town center, where you can find shops, restaurants and activities that the area has to offer. The location felt as if you had your own private beach away from it all, but wasn’t isolated from things you may want to do if you chose. It was like the best of both worlds.
I have never been to Costa Rica before and was hoping to be able to see different regions in my short stay. The dental office I was working with was in San Jose, however, I did manage to visit the ocean, the mountains and the jungle on my visit. This entailed a lot of driving, sometimes on very difficult roads, but was it totally worth it. However, the ocean and my stay at Jaco Laguna Resort, was by far my favorite part of the trip and just to note, the roads to the ocean aren’t hard to travel on, the mountains, is a whole different story.
I was traveling with my husband, my adult son, and his girlfriend. Each couple stayed in an oceanfront double queen bedroom on the third floor, rooms 21 and 22, which I feel had the most direct view of the ocean and the amazing sunsets every night.
Each room was appointed with a Caribbean vibe themed decor. It’s amenities included: private entrance, air conditioning, alarm clock, cable television, laptop safe, flat-screen TV, clothes rack, closet, towels, linens, hairdryer, bathrobe, shower, telephone, radio, desk and free toiletries. Did I mention, free WIFI (which is always a plus)?
The 26-room, intimate beachfront resort had everything you could want in a tropical destination. With rooms overlooking the pool, just steps away from the Pacific ocean and surrounded by palm trees, you couldn’t help but feel instantly relaxed when first entering the property.
The pool was extremely clean and at a very nice temperature, not to warm, not too cold. The pool area provided lounge chairs and lounge beds that you could enjoy sunning, napping, reading, sipping on a cold drink, nibbling on some snacks from their Tiki bar, or just relaxing. They also had a children’s pool. Jaco Laguna Resort also had many on site activities including; massages, surf lessons, stand up paddle-board lessons and bike rentals, not to mention their full-service restaurant, offering Costa Rican dishes, as well as a variety of offerings that would please even the pickiest of eaters.
On our second night, we had dinner at their restaurant, during sunset, at a table situated right on the beach. The food was delicious and the ambience of the sunset was stunning. We started with a chilled fish ceviche, perfectly marinated in lime juice and served with tortilla chips, then each of us got a traditional Costa Rican dish that we all enjoyed very much. I had the red snapper with hearts of palm in a vegetable cream sauce, my husband had beef tenderloin, flavored with Costa Rican coffee, my son had the teriyaki tuna and his girlfriend had their chicken dish with gallo pinto.
The next morning we dined in their open air, second-floor restaurant for breakfast. They offered a choice of traditional Costa Rican style breakfast, as well as traditional American style breakfast. I , of coarse, wanted to eat what the locals (ticos) eat, so I got the gallo pinto with eggs, my husband got the burrito desayuno, which was huge and he was full for the day, my son got the pancakes and his girlfriend also got the gallo pinto with eggs. The view was even as spectacular from the second floor as it was, directly on the beach. It was a lovely start to our day, especially the Costa Rican coffee. It’s the best!
They also have Tiki bar on the beach that has snacks and casual fares, and of coarse tropical drinks and cold beers. This is considered a favorite spot to have a cocktail and watch the sunset by locals and tourists. The restaurant and tiki bar is open to the public and as far as I could see for miles down the beach, it was the only one directly on the beach. Most all of the bars and restaurants in town were on their main street and a few blocks away from the beach.
The staff was very friendly and welcoming and the entire property was spotless. They had a guard at the gate in the main entrance and safe parking for their guests. Besides the beach, pool and the restaurant and Tiki bar area, they also had pretty landscaped gardens and grassy spaces that surrounded the building. Next to the resort was a town beach for the public that didn’t get too busy. There was a building on the other side under construction, but the noise wasn’t even noticed at all. In my opinion this was a perfect location in the Playa Jaco region. If you are traveling as a couple, family, with friends or alone, it has something for everyone.
We felt very safe and comfortable our entire stay and appreciated all the polite and gracious staff members that were always smiling, with an, “Hola” and was eager to assist us with any questions we had. Although we weren’t able to book any activities because of time restraints, the hotel would have been able to make any arrangements for local excursions if we were interested.
Our stay at Jaco Laguna Resort was even better than I anticipated and I will never forget the sunsets on that beach. My only regret is that I couldn’t stay longer. I hope to return to Jaco Laguna Resort in the very near future and I highly suggest this as great spot to stay if you are visiting Playa Jaco, Costa Rica. Please visit their website here to book your stay at Jaco Laguna Resort. I have stayed at many beachfront resorts, all around the world, but I can’t think of one with a better sunset than they have here at Jaco Laguna Resort.