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“Service is below average - quality of hotel was above average.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Gran Hotel Costa Rica

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Gran Hotel Costa Rica
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Central and Second Ave. Between 1 & 3, San Jose 527-1000, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #39 of 85 Hotels in San Jose
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Service is below average - quality of hotel was above average.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012 via mobile

Central location, free wifi + computer room, free gym, fridge in room, cable tv, a/c, great buffet breakfast, reliable hot water, nice and clean old fashioned hotel. (thumbs up)

Apart from the enthusiastic guy who took our bags to our room when we first got there the service was minimal. The front desk refused to hold our bags for the day when we did a trip, unless we paid full price for another night ! They laughed when we asked for the hair dryer that wasnt in its holder in the room then gave us one from under the front desk and forget getting help from the depressed, too-busy-doing NOTHING-to-deal-with-tourists in foyer tour agency (she missed our business).
(thumbs down)

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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647 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (113)
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English first
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2012

We stayed in this hotel for 5 nights and loved it. It was within walking distance of the gold museum, jade museum, market, church and numerous other attractions along with shopping, It was about $4 - $6 in a cab to the mall depending on traffic.
The lady at the tour desk went above and beyond to arrange tours for us and all the staff were great! We found it noisy on the first night which was Saturday night but after that the square was a lot quieter in the evenings for sleeping. The room was great and had windows facing out in two directions which was wonderful for watching people in the square.
If I am ever back in San Jose you can be sure I will stay at this hotel again.

Room Tip: If you have problems sleeping with noise pay a little more and get a room with a/c. The location of...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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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Kitcat22
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
54 hotel reviews
Reviews in 61 cities Reviews in 61 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

I love classy old hotels, and this 1930 Historic-Architectural Landmark should have been one of them. Gran Hotel was THE place to stay in early San Jose. It is located amid national monuments, museums, squares, and pedestrian streets (read no night traffic noise).

I've posted pictures that show my main objections: The promised "Bedroom with one or two Queen size beds" had double beds with remarkably old, worn, hard mattresses.

The wall over the headboards is dirty, like years of dusting the headboards has led to buildup of grime. It shows up in the pic as an inch of brown/black filth, wipes off with damp washcloth.

The bathroom light switch is grimy, as is the door casing near it going into the bathroom.

Desk staff, esp Mr. Luis Martinez, was surly. First, they couldn't find my registration. I provided them the confirmation #, and they said to come back at 2pm. Told me I could NOT check in early. When I got to my room (they eventually did find one for me with early check in), my sink's hot water faucet spun freely, not turning on the water. I reported it to Mr. Martinez, and went out for 3 hours, came back and the faucet was still not fixed. As I walked out of the room to see him again, I came across two service staff, told them the problem, and within 5 minutes a maintenance technician was fixing my faucet. I give the service and maintenance staff 3 or 4 stars. Mr. Martinez gets zero stars.

I'd expect this lack of attention to detail from a 1 or 2 star old hotel in el centro, but surely not from a hotel that brags about being the nation's only Patrimonio Historico and charges 4 star rates. I should have read addie00063's review.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Birmingham, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
47 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012 via mobile

The hotel is clean and has a lot of history. Our room was small but ok by Costa Rican standards. Had an AC unit and was comfortable.

Location is good for access to the main museums etc, but feels really unsafe in general. 3 different tour reps told us to be wary of our belongings when out in the day, and definately not to leave the hotel at night!!!

The major complaint I have is the set of traffic lights right outside which made a really loud chirping noise every time the lights are in red! Our room was on the front of the hotel and the windows wouldn't shut properly so all you could hear all night were these traffic lights which made it a terrible nights sleep!

The hotel is great for a couple of nights, but any longer than that and you'll need to make sure you get a room at the back if the hotel.

5th floor breakfast restaurant has amazing views over SJ.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Playa Conchal, Costa Rica
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

This hotel nex to the National theater is a nice hotel with a lots of history behind, the service at the cafe is excellent .
The location is excellent and the staff is friendly. The tour desk is helpfull.
Coming back !

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Toronto
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2012

- champagne (cava) served at restaurant was completely flat
- old, decaying rooms with bottom-end budget 1980s renovations.
- no a/c and no screens on windows
- stale smell in room
- 'courtyard view' was view into cavity filled with vents and other hotel infrastructure
- but the real problem was the service.. no instructions on use of archaic safe. was unable to reopen safe and was refused assistance by hotel staff who had a key to open it. I was told I had to wait until morning by the surly front desk staff. I pleaded with him twice explaining that my medication was locked inside and I had to take it before bed. He reluctantly explained the method for opening the safe but I had to ask a series of questions and all he would give me was mostly one word, robotic answers. In the end it didn't work and I was unable to sleep and was quite ill by morning. A new member of staff was behind the desk in the morning and he too was reluctant to help but after some time he agreed and it took two minutes of his time to make the trip to my room and unlock the safe. I cannot believe the callous disregard for the health and well being of guests.

We went to the Crowne Plaza Hotel Corobici (paid the same price) and it was a world of difference. Clean, comfortable and good service. The Gran Hotel runs on the fumes of it's past glory and location, a 1 star hotel with 0 star service. Never again!

Room Tip: any other hotel is better
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2012

JFK and others may have stayed here but this hotel has seen much better days. Once the grandest hotel in Costa Rica, its time has certainly passed. Room was very basic and stuffy. Bath taps struggled to produce water either hot or cold, showers were pretty much drips. Breakfast wasn't great, but the dining room on the top floor had terrific views of the surrounding area.

Room Tip: Pay extra for a room with a view - the inner courtyard rooms are grim.
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Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Additional Information about Gran Hotel Costa Rica

Address: Central and Second Ave. Between 1 & 3, San Jose 527-1000, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of San Jose > San Jose Metro > San Jose
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Casino Hotel in San Jose
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Gran Hotel Costa Rica 3*
Number of rooms: 105
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the absence of a major first-class hotel in the country, the Constitutional Congress of the Republic of Costa Rica enacted the law number 34 on November 22, 1928, which was actually a contract subscribed on October 3, 1928, by and between the first owner of the hotel, Dr. Luis Paulino Jimenez Ortiz, and Cleto Gonzalez Viquez, President of the Republic. It granted a series of fiscal benefits to the contractor, in exchange for the construction of the hotel. There was also a provision according to which the Government was granted for twenty years the right to have at their disposal for free two apartments at the hotel for lodging foreign diplomatic representatives of extraordinary nature. Grand Hotel Costa Rica is today operated by the Elite Hotels and Resorts Costa Rica hotel chain. It is the only hotel in Costa Rica that was declared a historical and architectural monument by the government of Costa Rica. Located in the heart of the San Jose between national monuments, squares, museums and pedestrian streets, the Gran Hotel Costa Rica is just a few steps away from the cultural landmarks and entertainment venues. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gran Hotel San Jose
Gran Hotel Costa Rica San Jose

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