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Copacabana Hotel & Suites 3.0

Jaco, Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Beachfront setting within walking distance to town  
  • Decent dining and all-inclusive packages available
  • Two outdoor pools -- one with a swim-up bar
  • Most rooms have mini-fridges and coffeemakers 
  • Some suites have kitchens and/or hot tubs
  • A spacious spa treatment room for couples 
  • Late night entertainment and music
  • Boogie boards and surfboards can be rented
  • Clothing optional areas and nudity-friendly resort (a con for some)
  • Free Wi-Fi and parking

Cons

  • Adults only scene with plenty of public nudity (a pro for some)
  • Certain communal areas and rooms show the hotel's age
  • Some rooms pick up music from the bar and pool
  • Hot water may be sporadic for filling hot tubs
  • No fitness center

Bottom Line

Open-minded singles and swingers of all ages will feel at home at this three-pearl, adults-only hotel on Jaco Beach with 33 rooms and suites and plans to expand. For a hint at the vibe, there are two pools: one clothing optional and one where nudity is required. The poolside sports bar, called the Naked Iguana, offers music or entertainment until the wee hours, and the restaurant serves all three meals. All-inclusive packages are available. Room decor is simple, and some have hot tubs, balconies, and full kitchens, but Standard Rooms are rather basic and could use some attention. For an all-inclusive option with a less naked party scene, consider the Hotel Club del Mar, farther down the beach.

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Scene

A unique and playful party vibe for adults

The hotel's entrance can be found just off the beach and is marked with a bright wooden sign. A gravel driveway wraps past the front into a small parking area where there are several large palm trees dividing a three-story beige exterior from the dark sand. A wooden deck has tables and chairs, iguana sightings, and a trickling fountain -- this area is part of the main restaurant with seating both outside or under shade with a bar attached. During the day -- between meals -- this can be a rather dignified place to read a book with the sound of waves in the background. The party action takes place in the back of the property, though at times, it can feel rather subdued, too. The clothing optional pool is surrounded by tropical foliage and acts as the resort's hub, with cushioned day beds and swim-up seats at the Naked Iguana Bar. Rooms wrap around this pool, though some face the ocean, and others are next door, behind a gate that holds the naked pool with a sign that says "If you want to peek then strip." Copacabana is part of the Swingers Club, along with another similar hotel in San Jose, and each month there is a different theme like Erotic Desire, Evil Sexy Month, or Seduction in White. The vibe attracts a mixed bag of guests: some are couples (older ones, too), some are brothers traveling together, some are groups, and some are solo travelers. Even those who are not staying here can get a day pass for drinking and partaking in the fun. Some ladies may be here in search of paid company.  

Rooms near the pool are likely to hear noise if going to bed early, as the entertainment can happen until very late -- it's a matter of how big the crowd is and the party buzz. This is a laid-back hotel that defies convention and judgement, but that doesn't mean everyone has to partake in the party scene. Romantics who are here for the kid-free ambience and affordable prices can find plenty of space on the beach for romance, with the bathing suits on.

Location

Walking distance to town and a casino 

Copacabana is a small property in the center of Jaco -- a bustling tourist city along Costa Rica's Pacific Coast. This is the closest beach area to San Jose (less than two hours driving), with two-and-a-half miles of darkish sand, low-lying mountains, and beautiful sunset views. Consistent waves and warm ocean temperatures make this one of the more popular surfing spots in the country and it's great for learning the sport, especially on the southern side. After the beach, downtown Jaco, a block away from Copacabana, is known for its party atmosphere. There are dozens of restaurants, bars, and shops to explore on the central paved road. A newer resort called Crocs has the biggest casino in town, and guests can walk there by following the beach. The area has experienced a great deal of growth in recent years -- some good and some bad -- and it attracts a mixed crowd, including families, international surfers (many from Colombia), and even some tourists who want to partake in the sex trade, as prostitution is legal here. Long-time locals are still present, though, and they work hard to keep the place from becoming too commercialized. Look for it, and one can find pockets of Jaco's authenticity as one of the country's foremost surf towns. 

It takes about two hours to arrive from San Jose's international airport and transfers to and from the hotel are available for a charge. Those who rent a car will have free parking at the hotel. For day-trips, there are excursions, like the rainforest at Carara National Park, popular for viewing wild Scarlet Macaws, and Manuel Antonio National Park. 

Rooms

Semi-renovated rooms with king-size beds and smoking optional

There are currently 33 rooms and suites with plans to expand. The hotel, when possible, is implementing renovations, and some rooms look newer than others. Standard Rooms, in particular, show their age and can be plagued with minor maintenance problems; these also have queen-size beds and are the smallest and cheapest option in the hotel. All rooms have white bedding, crimson accents, terra cotta floors, flat-screen TVs, and cable. Of course, some rooms have mirrors on the ceiling. Most come with mini-fridges and microwaves, and if guests are on the all-inclusive package, fridges will be stocked daily with water, soft drinks, juices, and beer at no charge. Views can look out onto the garden or pool, and some catch a partial glimpse of the ocean.

One-bedroom Ocean Front Suites have DVD players and hot tubs on the balcony that face the sunset. These larger units offer separate bedrooms plus a living room and kitchen, which is equipped with a full-size refrigerator, stove, microwave, coffeemaker, dishes, and cutlery. Renovated Junior Suites have in-room hot tubs. Studio units have garden views. 

Noise can be an issue especially on nights when the party is going until late and hot water can also be sporadic, making filling the hot tubs a bit of a crap shoot.

Features

Great seafood in restaurant and all-inclusive packages with nightly themes

The hotel sits along Jaco's expansive beach with fine volcanic brown sand and steady waves -- great for boogie boarding and surfing. Both can be rented from the hotel, and equipment is free for those on the all-inclusive package. The sand has great walking potential, especially at sunrise and sunset, and opportunities for beach volleyball and soccer. Two small but separate pools on the property have cushioned sun loungers, canopied day beds, and palapas for shade. One of the pools is clothing optional, while the other is nude only. Day passes are given out to non-hotel guests, which can change the scene depending on who shows up -- sometimes there is a crowd, and sometimes it's rather peaceful. The Naked Iguana bar has a swim-up bar, as well as tables and bar seats under shade for those who want to stay dry. Sporting events are shown on TV here and guests are often encouraged to play music.  

Waves Restaurant and Bar is open-air, next to the beach, and has a la carte table service for all three meals. Dinners have a nightly theme like Mexican, Asian, Seafood or Hawaiian Luau night -- as well as regular items like mahi-mahi and seared tuna. A fun offer from the kitchen is that the chef will grill catch for those who went fishing that day. Evening entertainment includes DJs, karaoke, dancing, and live musicians until late depending on the crowd. All-inclusive packages for the two bars include, wines, domestic and some premium spirits, and domestic beer.

There is an indoor spa above the naked pool with a spacious treatment room for couples. Massages, exfoliation treatments, manis, pedis, and waxing are available. Surprisingly, there isn't a fitness center here, so guests who want to stay in shape will have to work out in their rooms or on the beach

The hotel staff will clean a free load of laundry for guests every fifth day of their stay. 

Ping-Pong, board games, and laptops to borrow are also available. Wi-Fi is free throughout the property.

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Address

From Banco de Costa Rica 200m South 100m West, Jaco, Province of Puntarenas 61101, Costa Rica

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