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“Location and that's it!” 3 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 86 Hotels in San Jose
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Location and that's it!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2014

Obviously the hotel is old! The rooms are small and the bathroom has no standards. The hot water basically is luke, but even for this you have to leave it on for more than 5 minutes. Breakfast was quite poor, but the fruits were very fresh. The restaurant has nice food though and the staff are friendly.

Stayed March 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sandor T, General Manager at Gran Hotel Costa Rica, responded to this review, March 30, 2014
Thank you for your much appreciated comments. We hope to have you back soon at the Gran Hotel Costa Rica and be abel to show you our upgraded product on which we are working hard during this coming year.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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624 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 (107)
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caribbean
Top Contributor
110 reviews 110 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
167 helpful votes 167 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2014

Lunch day one was magnificent vegetarian roasted platter of mixed veg for two. So good we booked a dinner for next and final night thinking it would be special. It was the opposite - food was a platter of 'surf and turf' for two - awful! It was various piles of stew beef/pork, chicken or fish fingers overcooked, ceviche, fried plantain, two clams, chips and salsa all served on bed of shredded cabbage! I was quiet ill after as well which on a travel day is not nice. Wine special was a Malbec that was over the hill and tired. Waiter trying to helpful remembered I had asked for bread the lunch before so brought me bread and butter. So typical in Costa Rica the bread was stall and the butter was a oil spread which was off! Why at what is an expensive restaurant do they do theses things? Costa Rica food preparation sucks 90% of the time - go to MacDonalds! In a land where they can grow beautiful food why are there no chefs?

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Sandor T, General Manager at Gran Hotel Costa Rica, responded to this review, March 30, 2014
Thank you for your much appreciated comments. We apologize for any inconveniences you may have had and we are reviewing our menu too to see if we can change some items that are not to the liking of our customers. We hope to have you back again at our historical property.
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San Jose, Costa Rica
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2014

I booked on-line as do most guests after viewing the hotel website. Upon arrival the first thing I see is a large sign on the check-in desk notifying that cash is not accepted. Debit or CC only. WHAT?? Questioning why this isn't in evidence on the website I get a vague answer that it's just "policy". For how long has this been policy I asked and was told only for a few months.
Upon checking in to a different hotel nearby and relating the above to the manager I was told there is a 'new administration' about 6 months ago. He thought the policy quite amusing.
I had a standard room--221-- that did not, as website promised, look out on a courtyard but instead the hotels noisy A/C units. The room's overhead fan speed modulator was broken allowing for only one speed--fast.
Better deals/rooms in the same neighborhood.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled on business
    • 2 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sandor T, General Manager at Gran Hotel Costa Rica, responded to this review, March 30, 2014
Thank you for your much appreciated comments. We will take in consideration all the details you mentioned and improve the overall hotel experience. We hope to have you back at the Gran Hotel Costa Rica soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tucson, Arizona
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2014

This was my first trip to Costa Rica and I would definitely use this hotel again. The room was clean and comfortable with more than enough space. It had almost all of the amenities I required, and what it did not have, I asked for and received within a reasonable time. The staff was extremely friendly and courteous. I had a great view of the square and the National Theatre (a real gem). The location is convenient for poking into the shops and stalls and seeing a few sights. San Jose is really just a one or two day stopover on the way to the mountains and/or the beaches. For my money, this is the place to stop. My only disappointment was that the "original 1930's bathtubs" were not the oversized claw-foot that I had expected.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sandor T, General Manager at Gran Hotel Costa Rica, responded to this review, March 30, 2014
Thank you for your nice and positive comments, we hope to welcome you back soon at your home away from home the Gran Hotel Costa Rica.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2014

Based on the reviews, I wasn't expecting much, but although our room was tired, it was clean, although a bit stuffy (it sounded like we had air conditioning, but I think we were above the air vents of the kitchen?). The breakfast buffet is on the top floor in what would once have been a grand room. If you want a shiny and new hotel, don't stay here, but if you want to stay in a charming hotel (albeit one that could use a bit of a face lift) in the centre of the city, then this is a good choice.

  • Stayed March 2014, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sandor T, General Manager at Gran Hotel Costa Rica, responded to this review, March 30, 2014
Thank you for your much appreciated nice and positive comments. We hope to have you back soon at your home away from home the Gran Hotel Costa Rica.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Swansea, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
83 helpful votes 83 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2014

The Gran Hotel is without a shadow of doubt a quirky place to stay. It is bang in the centre of San Jose right next door to the National Theatre built in 1897, so cannot be beaten for location. So what is the 'but'?

The hotel dates from the end of the nineteenth century and today very much reflects the décor of the 1930's - and is desperately in need of updating. For example, the windows are the original single glazed metal frames which no longer close properly. Consequently the rooms at the front and back are somewhat noisy. The front ones suffer from the sound of an audio signal from the traffic lights indicating to those with visual impairment when it is safe to cross the road. The signal does not respond to pedestrian activation but sounds every time the traffic lights halt the traffic in one direction so takes place right through the night! The back rooms face a pedestrianised street so one has the sound of revellers and street hawkers to contend with. The hotel seems to recognise the noise problem and provides ear plugs to guests but double glazing and properly fitting windows would go a long way to reducing the noise problem.

The rooms have free standing air conditioning units which are vented through the windows rather than being built-in. They are also noisy so best not left on overnight.

We stayed there twice at the beginning and end of a holiday so have experience of two rooms. 301 on the front corner of the building has windows facing two directions - the road with the traffic light warning signals and sideways to the National Theatre. On our second stay we had room 303 which had two king-size beds plus a single and faced the Theatre. This was a far quieter and well appointed room but the bathroom was extremely cramped with no external window and lit by a single 40w halogen light bulb above the handbasin! Room lighting was also somewhat poor in the bedrooms with just one bedside light in room 301 to serve the king size bed. There was only one bedside light in room 303 but at least it was located between the two beds so both occupants had light to read in bed.

The public areas again reflect a 1930's décor and the foyer is a very large open area but somewhat sombre having a dark wood decoration. There is a cordoned off area at the back of the foyer with a notice explaining that the seats were used by President Kennedy during a stay at the hotel so have been preserved!

Outside there are arcaded terraces where coffee, drinks and snacks are served and clearly the Gran Hotel is still the place for people to meet.

The food we were served at our buffet dinners and breakfasts was very good. Main meals were taken on the fifth floor and the small open balcony running across the front of the hotel with tables for two was a great location to take breakfast. The waiting staff in the restaurant were very efficient and friendly. The same could not be said for those serving on the outside terraces who seem to regard customers as a bit of a bother; they should also learn to smile!

One more thing - we couldn't understand why all the pictures in the hotel needed to be straightened. We altered them in our rooms and were sorely tempted to rehang all those in the foyer!

Today many visitors to San Jose seem to have opted for the more up market chain hotels and during our stays at the Gran there seemed to be youth groups staying there.

If you require a hotel with up to date décor and modern facilities then perhaps the Gran would not be your first choice. On the other hand if you want to experience a hotel from the grand old days of colonial travel then this will fit the bill. At least it is a place to experience even if light sleepers are kept awake at night.

Room Tip: Ask for a room on the side facing the National Theatre.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Sandor T, General Manager at Gran Hotel Costa Rica, responded to this review, March 30, 2014
Thank you very much for your very detailed comments which are much appreciated. The hotel is actually elaborating the master refurbishment plan which takes into consideration most of the inconveniences you had during your stay and for which we sincerely apologize. We hope to have you back again so you can enjoy an improved hotel experience.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Ramon, Costa Rica
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2014

Landmark hotel, great location (no parking), dated rooms, can be loud on lower floors from street noise, over priced. Better newer options same price like Sleep Inn a few blocks away Great little cafe on the plaza for people watching.

Room Tip: Higher the better facing east.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sandor T, General Manager at Gran Hotel Costa Rica, responded to this review, March 30, 2014
Thank you for your much appreciated comments. We hope to welcome you back soon at our historical property.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 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:
Ranked #39 of 86 Hotels in San Jose
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Gran Hotel Costa Rica 3*
Number of rooms: 105
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Gran Hotel San Jose
Gran Hotel Costa Rica San Jose

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