San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Huge Ramada Resort Planned in Jacó

Jacó is already the central Pacific’s most developed beach town, with malls, offices and supermarkets galore, but a new resort in the works will bring the town to a new level – and attract a new group of investors, if developers’ wishes are fulfilled.

The $45 million Ramada Resort and ResidencesJacóBeach will include a fourstar, 72-room resort and 228 fully furnished apartments housed in six 10-story towers. Its planned features include not only classic resort must-haves such as pools and a spa, but also an innovative time-share system that will allow owners to profit on their properties when not using them by allowing Ramada to rent them, as well as to exchange time at their properties for time at other condos worldwide.

The developer, Costa Rican real estate firm Grupo Zeta, took on the project as its first incursion into the tourism market after 35 years in operation here, Marketing and Sales Director Alvaro Valverde told The Tico Times. The group owns the supermarket chain Megasuper, as well as three industrial parks in the Central Valley cities of Cartago, Alajuela and Heredia.

“Over the years we’ve developed office buildings, residential areas, malls, free zones (industrial parks),” he said. “Because tourism development has become such a focus for  Costa Rica in recent years, we decided last year to investigate the possibility of diversifying the group’s projects a little more.”

Following a study of the northern, central and southern Pacific coasts, the company chose Jacó. The town’s rapid growth rate, proximity to San José and existing infrastructure were all factors in the decision, Valverde said.

Ramada entered the equation in an unprecedented manner. The international hotel chain has never before lent its name to a residential complex, according to a statement from Grupo Zeta.

The first phase of construction, scheduled to begin in October across from the Best Western Jacó Beach Resort, will include the hotel – with two pools, wireless Internet, air conditioning, conference room, business center, game room, spa and fitness center, bar and restaurant – and two of the 10-story towers, which will have 38 apartments each.

Four more towers will be raised during the second phase of construction, with all construction complete within four years, the statement said. Grupo Zeta expects $80 million in sales during the first years of operation, with 150 jobs created by the first phase of construction.

According to the resort’s Web site, the towers will feature 12 penthouse apartments, parking lots, terraces, satellite TV and fully equipped kitchens. Residents and renters alike will enjoy the characteristics of a full-service resort; the towers will also include shops, a restaurant and bar, room and laundry service, 24-hour concierge service, maintenance and housekeeping, shuttle service to the beach or stores in Jacó and wireless Internet.

An affiliation with Resort Condominiums International (RCI), an international timeshare network, and its Personal Use Reservation Exchange (PURE) program, will allow purchasers of Ramada apartments in Jacó to exchange a stay there for a stay in other resorts around the world, according to a point system, Valverde said. Owners will also be able to rent out their apartments when not in use.

Meanwhile, Ramada takes care of everything and rents the apartments using RCI’s reservation system, making owners’ experiences worry-free, Valverde said. The owner of the apartment receives 65% of the rental fee, with RCI receiving the remaining 35%.

These rental time-share systems are “a trend on an international level… in Costa Rica it’s growing as well,”Valverde said. Now, the residences are in a “pre-sale” period during which buyers can acquire the apartments for $260,000-300,000, a 25% discount off the regular market value, he added. For more information, visit


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