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“Beautiful and tranquil hideaway” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Desire Costa Rica

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Hotel Desire Costa Rica
Santa Barbara, San Jose 4013009, Costa Rica   |  
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7th night free
Ranked #47 of 85 hotels in San Jose
Scottsdale, Arizona
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Beautiful and tranquil hideaway”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013

We arrived in the afternoon and were only able to stay for one night but we really liked it! The staff was friendly and attentive, our room was beautiful and the grounds were gorgeous! We pretty much had the place to ourselves which was a bonus. It is high up in the hills so if you are coming here it is probably best to plan on staying exclusively on-site.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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15 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2012

This was our first time in Costa Rica and it will not be our last. We were met at the San Jose airport by Geovanni, one of the drivers used by the hotel. He had looked us up on Facebook and recognized us right away. We were greeted warmly and taken right away to our hotel.

Carmen welcomed us and checked us in without delay. Room 105 - the other reviews are right... best room there! We had a huge room with lots of dark wood, and an outstanding view. My only comment on the room is that the mattress was a little on the elderly side... not a major issue by any means.

Saturday night is the busiest night of the week as locals enjoy coming to enjoy the facilities. Sunday was busier as well, then we had the place to our selves for most of the week which was wonderful. It was very quiet, which is what we enjoy. It is loud on Saturday & Sunday - the rest of the week Henry and Carmen would set it as loud or quiet (or off) as we asked. No problem.

The staff are excellent - Henry and Carmen are always happy to bring drinks or food as requested. Carmen makes a mean pina colada... wonderful! Anna & Katya cooked wonderful meals and Wendy & Laura kept our rooms clean. One of the pleasures of a small resort is that we had a chance to get to know everyone's name and that always make the service more personal.

Katya & Anna kept us fed with very tasty fresh food. The menu had plenty of choices and all that we tried were very good. Not amazing - but good. No complaints in that area.

The grounds are immaculate... there were a few gentlemen around constantly pruning, trimming, etc... and the pool was kept quite clean. We enjoyed the sun beds when the weather was agreeable, and as we had run of the place, we also enjoyed reading in the living room, porch, etc...

If you are looking for a big party scene or lots of action and entertainment - this would be a bad choice for you. We wanted quiet, and that's exactly what we got. We met some wonderful people and totally relaxed.

I'm sure we'll be back again, and we'd certainly recommend this hotel to any one looking for a relaxing holiday. Of note - we hired Geovanni to take us on day trips, canopy tour, etc... and that is the way to go. There are tour groups available, but by the time you add your cab fare to meet them, plus the excursion, they are very pricey.

Room Tip: 105 if you have a choice!
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Buenos Aires, Argentina
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2012

Is a wonderful hotel with amazing views , the rooms are really nice and clean. The food was amazing with a large menu. The staff took care of all our tours and they help us with anything we need. We love to be nude so to find a clothing optional place for couples only in Costa Rica was great!!!! Is Close to many good tour like Poas Volcano, La Paz Waterfall, White water rafting and Canopy, just ask the front desk they will do it for you.

Room Tip: I love room 105 the view is amazinggggggggg!!!!!!!!!!!
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Nicaragua
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2012

My wife and I visited the Hotel Desire complex. This hotel has huge, well tended gardens with hidden areas and many different types of accomodation to stay at. This is a romantic setting with breathtaking views from many of the rooms. Intermate evening meals in the restaurant. We relaxed by the pool, had cocktails and just chilled out on the four-poster beds. The hotel area is very interesting with wood being featured thoughout the whole building. The bedrooms were spacious and luxurious, and reminded us of our honeymoon! Do you self a favour and visit this resort.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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San Juan del sur
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2012

We had a great time at Hotel Desire satyed for 4 nights All inclusive... great party on saturday with many local couples and amazing pool party on sunday. Helpful and friendly staff.. Then we move to Jaco .. transfers and massages were included!! we will be back!!!

Room Tip: Don't know the name of the room but was 105, Great room with AMAZING VIEW
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2012

Quality and comfort with breath-taking views. This property consists of a main hotel with all of the rooms styled differently. There are also free-standing houses in the grounds that can be rented separately, if you prefer more seclusion. In the main hotel, where they serve the meals and the bar, the wooden paneling and features are just wondeful (no plastic here!). There are two swimming pools (clothing optional) and loads of gardens and grounds to walk around. There are so many flowers, plants and fruit trees to discover. Great food, good staff and only 20 minutes from the airport. Definately worth a visit.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2011

September 2011 (The rainy season)

If you and your crazy friends want a place with privacy for a take-over than this may be the place for you. If its you and your significant other(s) its probably a waste of time. For us, it was a big disappointment.

Jim at Castaways Travel had warned me that it was not the swinging place the website and brochures made it out to be and I told him that was all right, I wasn't looking for Hedo. What I was looking for was a well run hotel in an old mansion, of some sophistication above San Jose but with San Jose nightlife available. I didn't get that either.

First, its way above San Jose, 30 to 40 minutes above and that makes it significantly cooler than San Jose. You go to the top of the hill and then partway down a dead end one lane road where there's a gate with a sign that says, honk for attention. The gate was open but we honked anyway, nobody came. We drove in and stopped in front of an old house. There was a simple wood framed window in the wall, another on the next wall and when I looked in it looked like a room that had been modified to be an office.

I went around, and stepped down into an empty reception. We cried, "hola?" but no one came. Then a woman was wandering around and saw us there, she was the day manager and she wondered if we had a reservation. I pulled out my printed e-mail confirmation and we were in. Later I learned that there was only one other couple staying there. If I was the manager and I had only one couple at my inn, I would be very aware if I had a reservation for a second. I probably would be waiting by the gate to make sure they didn't miss the turn. (The website offers speedy 24 hour check in.) But I was to learn this was just the first of the many ways I felt the administration of the Hotel Desire, San Jose, missed the telling details.

We were given a map of the resort that listed the "Prude" side and the "Nude" side. My companion had been there a year earlier (There had been only two couples there that time too.) so she knew where our room was. The manager said she could have my suitcase taken out to our room. I joked and said I could manage as long as all of the paths were paved. I found out that they weren't.

Adriana lead me through the main building and out to the grounds, past the nude pool and the outdoor hot tub. (The other couple was in the hot tub, but with their clothes on.) Then she lead me through a gate in a wall (there was no pavement through the gate, just some clay and a couple of rocks). Then we walked through a very nice garden, around an abandoned solarium, outdoor bar and ping pong table under a collapsing tent. We walked down a gravel road that had so many weeds that you didn't notice it was gravel until it crunched under your feet. To the outbuilding with our room at the top. There was no paved path leading to or from our building.

The whole place is a bizarre combination of details and lapses. Our room had a nice wardrobe and no place to lay out your suitcase. The wood floor was well polished but it sank under our feet, popping and moaning. There seemed to be a large grounds keeping staff, the lawns were well trimmed, the plants cared for and weeds growing through the dirty pavement.

There were nice curtained beds by the pools and rain water sitting on top of the vinyl covered mattress. The signs make it clear that the resort is for adults only but they haven't removed the ancient and rusting playground equipment. In the main building there's some very nicely carved wooden doors with a store bought paper sign tacked to them that says, "stay out, employees only." There's a chef to make your meals when you order them, and it takes more than a half hour for them to be made. (And the fair is simple and the taste bland.) They have a menu for Breakfast and Lunch that is used for dinner as well. The is a leather embossed logo and name on the menus, for the La Catalina Hotel. In fact there were several paper signs nailed to telephone poles on the way up the hill giving directions to La Catalina but out front it only said Hotel Desire. As there is no outdoor lighting after dark, they gave us a wind up flashlight, that could not be turned off.

The Good:
Its isolated, which means you have privacy. The staff is friendly. Its has reasonable rates for an "all inclusive."

The Bad:
The management seem incompetent. We wandered into several places where old empty liquor bottles were left about. An old slide was laying by a path, the shade netting was growing moss. We didn't take our clothes off outside as we felt conspicuous. No, DVD player. The driver from San Jose to their Jaco Beach resort appeared to be not well acquainted with the local roads.

The website said there would be a lingerie fashion show the night we were there, (it describes a themed party for every night of the week). I bought my companion a bustier and matching panty at Victoria's Secret. When we learned there were only four guests in the whole place we figured the show was canceled, but no staff said anything one way or the other. The staff never said anything about the scheduled daily activities and we never saw any.

Conclusion:
Don't go! Unless you bring your own party with you and you feel the need for a lot of privacy. But otherwise, for your $250, you can get much better accommodations, closer to the action, with lights, a regular restaurant and modern conveniences.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Hotel Desire Costa Rica

Also Known As:
Hotel Desire Costa Rica San Jose
Address: Santa Barbara, San Jose 4013009, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of San Jose > San Jose Metro > San Jose
Hotel Style:
Ranked #47 of 85 hotels in San Jose
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Desire Costa Rica is an All Inclusive, Lifestyle,Clothing optional ADULT/COUPLES ONLY Resort in Santa Barbara, overlooking the valley of San Jose and 20 minutes from the airport.It is for couples that do not have to be nude and that are not offended by nudity. ... more   less 

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