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“Great place from which to walk the city” 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 #43 of 85 hotels in San Jose
Atlanta
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Great place from which to walk the city”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

Warning: If you must have air conditioning, this is not your stop. However, San Jose's temperature is usually mild, as opposed to the weather on the coast, so check to see what averages are predicted for the period of your stay.

We visited in mid-February, 2013, and the fahrenheit temps never got past the low 70s in the daytime and the mid 50s at night during our stay. It was also the dry season. We had spent the previous two nights in over-the-top comfort at the Intercontinental Hotel in the suburbs, so we had something to compare with. We had been on a Panama Canal small ship cruise and were extending our stay for two nights to see more of the city itself, its museums, and to sample some of the local food. Our stay was very pleasant. Yes, the hotel is old and some of the rooms are small, but the staff is good, attentive and pleasant. The room has a good TV with only a few English-language channels. They even have a concierge, of sorts, in the lobby area. The restaurant is good, not great. It's very pleasant to sit in the breezeway with a drink and watch the passersby, and the hotel is PERFECTLY located to walk and see the city. The main plaza is right next to the hotel, and the Costa Rican National Museum (excellent) is just 5 blocks or so away. The marvelous old opera house is just across the street from the hotel and the gold museum is around the corner. The Jade Museum is about 5 blocks in another direction, uphill, but not too uphill. There are many small restaurants around. My wife, 67, and I, 70, enjoyed the stop. We were ready to go on after two nights and part of three days, but we were VERY glad we'd taken the time to see the town.

Room Tip: Rooms on the outside walls would be better than ours. We were on an airshaft. We just chose by pri...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Alexander M, Guest Relations Manager at Gran Hotel Costa Rica, responded to this review, April 10, 2013
We thank you very much for taking the time to write a review about our hotel, which is very valuable for us. Regarding the air conditioning I must tell you that our hotel was declared historical heritage - architecture and due to this reason we cannot make deep remodeling in the infrastructure of the hotel.
Next time you decide to visit us please send me an email to mercadeoyventas@grandhotelcostarica.com to me, Alexander M., and I will make sure to give you a room with air conditioning to make your stay and your wife as pleasant as posible.
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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 (89)
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Vancouver, Canada
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

We stayed at the Gran Hotel on 3 separate nights on our recent trip. Each night we were a different budget priced room but each time the room was very clean and comfortable. The price included a breakfast buffet which was very good. Location wise you couldn't ask for more, close to museums and restaurants and right across from the Teatro Nacionale we could walk wherever we wanted to and feel safe. Definitely a good place to stay.

Room Tip: We had 3 different rooms on 3 different sides of the hotel, all were fine.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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 writing your review about our hotel. The next time you want to stay again in our hotel, you can contact us to: mercadeoyventas@grandhotelcostarica.com with great pleasure I will help you personally with the theme of the rates so you can choose the one that suits you in your next stay.
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Espoo, Finland
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

This hotel has seen three U.S. presidents, Pele, Tyrone Power etc. It was built in a grand style of the 1930's and is located smack bang in the centre of the city, within a very short walking distance from the main attractions of the city, Teatro National, Mercado Central, post office and the Gold Museum. Also it has the pedestrian shopping streets just around the corner.
The breakfast buffet, included in my rate, was the best during my whole three week trip in Panama and Costa Rica.
So far, so good.
I guess the main issue is that the hotel, being so old, had small rooms. Of course I could have booked a larger room but then the price became an issue. I had booked a "standard room". Guess you do get what you pay for. It is also pretty big so the staff remained somewhat remote compared to smaller places. The biggest problem was the non-existence of a/c. It did have one of those propellers (ceiling fan in the official lingo) in the ceiling which helped a bit. But overall the nights were pretty uncomfortable.
As a whole I would say that it was fine for maximum three nights, not for longer stays. (One can of course ask if there is any need to stay in San Jose for any longer period?) The location and breakfast sure made for some of the downsides but all in all I just might look for a smaller alternative the next time I stay in the city.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Alexander M, Guest Relations Manager at Gran Hotel Costa Rica, responded to this review, April 10, 2013
Thank you for share your review. There are two important things that is good to know for the next time you want to visit us; all our rooms have the particularity that are different even in the same category as it is the case of the Standard room where you stayed. Moreover, the hotel possesses portable air conditioners in selected rooms. Next time you want to visit the city of San Jose feel free to contact me at this email address: mercadeoyventas@grandhotelcostarica.com and gladly I'll get you a more spacious room with air conditioning in Standard category.
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Egham, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
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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New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
16 helpful votes 16 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
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
17 helpful votes 17 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
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
26 helpful votes 26 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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Additional Information about Gran Hotel Costa Rica

Also Known As:
Gran Hotel San Jose
Gran Hotel Costa Rica San Jose
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 Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#22 Business Hotel in San Jose
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Gran Hotel Costa Rica 3*
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