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“March 2013” 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 #42 of 86 Hotels in San Jose
Egham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
26 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“March 2013”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

This hotel is perfectly situated for exploring San Jose. It backs onto Central Avenue which is the main street of the city. There is a beautiful plaza just outside the hotel which contains a lovely old theatre and is always buzzing with life. Most of the city sights are within an easy stroll.
The hotel staff are very friendly and helpful, the breakfast room is on the 5th floor with a great view over the city and the breakfast itself is very good. There is free internet access and a free gym near the breakfast room.
The hotel overall has a vintage feel to it which I found refreshing - the downside is that there is no built-in air conditioning and, if you need it, it consists of a very noisy plug-in unit. All the rooms we used were clean and of a decent size.
There is a piano bar and restaurant by the hotel lobby, I did not use it but it appeared to be popular.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Alexander M, Guest Relations Manager at Gran Hotel Costa Rica, responded to this review, April 10, 2013
Thank you for sharing your review, the next time you want to visit us enjoy a lunch or dinner or our restaurant shared with the best live music (piano - Jazz) with a unique and very relaxing atmosphere.
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748 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 (130)
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New York City, New York
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2013

We stayed in downtown San Jose for one day and this place was the perfect hub for a quick lap around the main tourist spots; Teatro National, Mercado Central, and Correos de Costa Rica.

The rooms we small but comfy. We did not have a/c but were able to open a window and had a ceiling fan that worked fine. There was also hot water for a shower.

There is a great restaurant/cafe on the ground floor to have cocktails and good food. Breakfast was served on a higher floor that had a lovely view of the city and the food was perfect (eggs, meat, fruit, etc).

Everyone who worked here was really nice. In general, the downtown area was a little shady but we felt safe at this hotel.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Alexander M, Guest Relations Manager at Gran Hotel Costa Rica, responded to this review, April 10, 2013
Thank you for writing your review about our hotel, do you know that Yes we have portable air conditioners in selected rooms of our hotel. The next time you want to visit us, if you wish you can send an e-mail to this address: mercadeoyventas@grandhotelcostarica.com and I'll happy get you a room with air conditioning to make your stay as pleasant as possible.
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Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
87 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2013 via mobile

I know this hotel was only 100$ for the night but it really isn't even worth that much. First off the rooms smell like old mold. Our tv is plugged into the wall with a faulty extension cord that is wrapped in duct tape, can you say fire hazard. The walls are so thin that you can hear everything. We can hear the conversation not only next door but across the hall. Our room has zero AC just an old fan that sweaks every time it goes around. Glad that our stay here was just for one night.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Alexander M, Guest Relations Manager at Gran Hotel Costa Rica, responded to this review, April 10, 2013
Thank you for your review, we are going to keep in mind your complaints and to take action as soon as possible repair the facilities in the room and that this does not happen again. I know that the hotel has Yes portable air conditioners in selected rooms and in addition our rooms have the particularity that all are completely different
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Boston, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

We stayed here recently and the hotel is as described, step into the past. Our room was comfortable although the stand alone air con unit was extremely noisy. We were part of a large group and the buffet meals provided left a lot to be desired, we then tried the a la carte restaurant and found the food excellent, perhaps our tour group were too keen on price and therefore the buffet was done down to a price and not up to a standard.
We overlooked the plaza and found the bustle of the entertainers and hawkers a delight to watch and hear. We would certainly stay here again for the atmosphere which is lacking in most modern hotels.

Room Tip: If you don't like noise use the provided ear plugs
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Alexander M, Guest Relations Manager at Gran Hotel Costa Rica, responded to this review, April 10, 2013
We thank you for taking your time and write a review of our hotel. Regarding to the breakfast buffet I am very surprised of your description since our breakfast buffet is one of the best in the area which offers a wide variety of fruits, typical food of Costa Rica, cheese, granola, cereal, oats, milk, chocolate, pancakes, eggs, jams, tea, coffee, etc. In addition our guests support the high quality of our breakfast buffet in this page of Tripadvisor. Do you know that our hotel was named historical - architectural heritage and for this reason we must retain its classic and elegant style without changing your infrastructure. At the same time we invite you to staying with us the next time you visit the city of San Jose.
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Telford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
89 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

We visited The Gran Hotel on the first day of our holiday in Costa Rica, having visited once before for lunch. The hotel is over 80 years old, elegantly designed and authentically finished. The location, overlooking the National Theatre has to be the most endearing aspect of San Jose. Our rooms, which overlooked the city/square/theatre were tastefully furnished and impeccably clean. The hotel overall was just what it said on the tin - grand. We had dinner despite arriving late, a mixture of seafoods, salads, meats and salsas - absolutely delicious. If you like sterile new Holiday Inn style hotels, this is perhaps not the hotel for you and you could stay at an airport hotel. If you love fine architecture, great views, period features and great food the the Gran Hotel is perfect. It was very noisy outside the hotel but it is in the absolute epicentre of Costa Rica's capital city - so a little less sleep was a small price to pay for the wonderful experience and morning views.

Room Tip: Superior rooms on the 3rd floor were spacious
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Alexander M, Guest Relations Manager at Gran Hotel Costa Rica, responded to this review, April 10, 2013
Thank you very much for your review, which describes very well not only our hotel but the large environments and life that you can breathe in the unique surroundings of the hotel. Now we invite you to stay with us at the hotel on your next visit and thus you can enjoy our music concerts live instrumental (piano - jazz) in a spectacular and very relaxing atmosphere.
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Dallas/Fort Worth
Level Contributor
18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

Really the center of where you want to be, but not all rooms are great. This is an old charming Hotel, with great beds, wonderful staff and really clean rooms and common areas.That said, rooms vary greatly in size and view. Those rooms that overlook the plaza are delightful if you want to see and hear the street entertainers. They usually finish by 7pm so the music doesn't bother sleep, until street venders start hawking their wares at 5:30am.

Room Tip: Bigger rooms are below Presidential Suite.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Alexander M, Guest Relations Manager at Gran Hotel Costa Rica, responded to this review, March 22, 2013
Thank you for your feedback, for us is very important, since the location of our hotel and the personalized service provided by our Staff are two of our greatest strengths.

The next time you want to visit in our hotel, let us know in which room you want to stay in a specific manner by sending us an email to this dirección:mercadeoyventas@grandhotelcostarica.com and warmly we will offer a room away from the noise and all the action that has the heart of downtown San Jose, so it can rest in a pleasant way.
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Luton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
45 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

Staying at this hotel is like being transported back to the 30`s, it is a truly iconic hotel. The ground floor is very interesting from architectural standpoint but also from the decorative finishes and furniture.The Hotel is in need of some modernisation and this is particularly relevant to the rooms but in doing so would no doubt lose some of its character. The ground floor bar and outdoor restaurant area is the place for people watching and to get a feel for San Jose. Not the most quiet of hotels and everyone staying there gets to know of the crosswalk chirping signals for which the hotel equips each room with ear plugs! Excellent breakfasts served on the 5th floor in a room with an option to eat outside. Worth a stay for its position and history.

Room Tip: Front elevation very noisy
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Alexander M, Guest Relations Manager at Gran Hotel Costa Rica, responded to this review, March 22, 2013
Thank you for your review, your description on our hotel is very accurate. Since our hotel is an unique landmark point of reference in San Jose.

The hotel provides very good maintenance but we don't want to alter their original pieces such as precious woods, apartments and real estate that dates back to the Decade of the 30´s, since it is the national historical heritage and thus we will continue keeping it, so it never lose its essence of classy and chic hotel.

On your next trip to Costa Rica if you visit again San Jose and want to stay in our hotel please send me an email at this address: mercadeoyventas@grandhotelcostarica.com directed to Alexander Mora and I shall get you a room that is far away from the noise of the street to make your stay more pleasant.
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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 Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Casino Hotel in San Jose
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Gran Hotel Costa Rica 3*
Number of rooms: 107
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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