We had a week booked at a regular suite at the Villa Caletas. On the website, the room looked quite good and we were promised an ocean view. Fast forward to check-in and our room is anything but. For a suite, it was on the small side and the private pool was walled in leaving no view at all. We then moved into the Zephyr Palace the next day as there was a larger suite vacant and definitely with the ocean view. For an extra USD300.00 per night on top, this seemed pretty worth it. The suite was great, a jacuzzi, large bathroom, walk-in wardrobe room, terrace etc...
However, it soon became apparent that this hotel was busy with weddings and parties so the exclusive use of the pool for Zephyr Palace by guests was out of the question as it was closed for "private parties". Didn't mind it too much since we were busy outside of the hotel.
That said, there were things like the most basic of services that were either missed out and ignored:
- a used bathrobe wasn't exchanged for a clean one for a week and was just left hanging. For a 5-star hotel and at USD750 a night, this should have been taken care of.
- obvious rubbish like empty water bottles, beer tops, napkins were just left where we put them.
- no late-night room service after 10pm.
- Only at the Zephyr Palace, room-service before 10pm had to be from the lunch menu. Choices limited.
- It took 2 whole hours and several calls to get the dinner menu sent to the room. Why was it so difficult to cook something as if we were in the restaurant but then just send it down anyway? This eventually happened but after a lot of hard work.
- Wake up call missed
- Breakfast came one day with half of it missing
- Concierge desk reluctant to call a perfectly reliable local taxi to get us into town and insisted on us using the hotel taxi which was 50% more expensive. If not, I was asked to call for a taxi myself!
- I requested a little table set with 2 chairs for the balcony so we could eat our breakfast outside our room. It never happened even though it was promised. Oh well.
- knocked a beer bottle over with the hammock (!), called housekeeping to mop it up before the ants got in (we picked the broken glass up ourselves quite happily) but this never got cleaned up. We were checking out the next day so I couldn't be bothered to call again.
All in all, Villa Caletas/Zephyr Palace is a beautiful hotel but it was massively let down in ways that could have been avoided so easily. It seemed all braun and no brain and for that much money per night, we felt a little neglected and not cared for. I don't why we had to suffer such an experience but all I know is that next time we're in Costa Rica (and they're definitely will be a next time in this stunning country!), we are not staying here again.