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“It could be a good hotel, but beware booking online.” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Britannia

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Hotel Britannia
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   3rd Street Between 9th and 11th Avenues, San Jose 3742-1000, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #68 of 86 Hotels in San Jose
Houston
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“It could be a good hotel, but beware booking online.”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2010

The website looks good but the room we ended up in was horrible. No pool, that was my fault. But ended up in an interior room, without airconditiong, and next to the front desk which was noisy. I booked and paid for the hotel for 3 days but was so displeased that I found another hotel the next day. They did ask me what was wrong but the fact that they put me is what so obviously a crappy room put me off for any further reason to stay with them. One commendation was the guy at the entrance. Very helpful. I tipped him generously. Oh, and the restaurant. A seperate business, not uncommon, but very expensive and the food was not good. I rarely place a review on a hotel, and even more rarely walk away from 2 paid days of a hotel, but it was that bad.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
HotelBritannia, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Hotel Britannia, responded to this review, March 9, 2011
It is a shame that our hotel did not like you , however we appreciate your feedback to improve each day

Att:
Concierge
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47 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Santa Cruz, CA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2009

Visited on 11/2009 for my honeymoon. We showed up 3 hours late due to our taxi breaking down on the road driving from Puntarenas to San Jose. My wife and I were "upgrade" to a better room (#210) due to the inconvenience, turns out it was still a standard room and the first thing that greeted us as we opened the door were cockroaches scurrying on the hotel room floor. We were too tired to care about the roaches because we had arrived at 8:15 PM and our flight back to the US was leaving at 10AM the next day. Tired and hungry we trekked down to the hotel restaurant called "The Cellar". Food was a joke. Chef has no idea what fine food was. The fettuccine my wife ordered was spaghetti with a nasty acrid wine sauce. The casado I ordered was plain with no semblance of sophistication. The plantain was overcooked, meat was hard and the beans were canned. The restaurant had the gall to charge us $15 per plate. A joke! Walking back up the stairs we saw more cockroaches scurrying up the banister. There were cockroaches in our room all night. We were awake by LOUD traffic outside our window. Staff was nice but the hotel was a piece of garbage. Never again.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelBritannia, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Hotel Britannia, responded to this review, March 10, 2011
Dear Guest:

We are so sorry for the inconvenience;Costa Rica is a tropical country, so we are often exposed to this type of plagues, sometimes really hard to eradicate, but nowadays and for more than a year we have not any problems like you mentioned or another.

respecting the restaurant, serves international and typical dishes, the chef's specialty is French cuisine and each dish has the price indicated on the menu.

we appreciate your comments and apologize for the inconveniences caused during your stay,

Att: Concierge
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los angeles
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2009

We had to stay at the Brittania for two nights, our first and last nights in Costa Rica because it was near the airport in San Jose. Of the 5 hotels we stayed in through out the country, this was our least favorite by far.
First, San Jose has nothing to offer so hanging out in the city is not much of an option. Therefore, we were in our room a lot. The rooms are dated and although clean certainly not very nice. On par with a Motel 6 in US standards.
We found the staff to be friendly and helpful, which the only really nice part of staying here. The food should be avoided at all costs. Even the free breakfast was not worth eating. Dinner was expensive considering the quality....our party of 6 all ordered different items, and none of us were impressed by anything.
So if you need cheap accomodations, this would suffice, but if you are not into staying in a dingy motel 6 like atmosphere, then I would stay somewhere else. In our tour package from Latin Destinations, we were allowed to pick from a few different places in San Jose, so if we had to do it over, we would have taken our chances on another hotel.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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HotelBritannia, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Hotel Britannia, responded to this review, March 10, 2011
Dear Guest


Thanks for your comments

Our Hotel is Situated in a Victorian area, In Barrio Amon; Hotel has been declared a national heritage house,we are located a 6 blocks to the main central avenue, less than 5 minutes walk from downtown,there are a variety of fast food restaurantes or with menu , also many museums, cinemas, theaters and others, and our nightlife is very active.

Att
concierge
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Chicago, IL
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2009

We stayed here for one night only because we had to fly out of San Jose the next morning, and this was the cheapest option presented by LatinDestinations.com (the site we used to book our tour). For one night, it wasn't terrible, but I don't recommend it.

We stayed in Room 204, which was clean and small and located right across from the check in desk. The problem was we got the noise from the street (traffic all night) and the lobby (people coming and going, water fountain in lobby, etc).

The restaurant was the final straw... At least $12 for every main dish. $12 for casatas (the typical Costa Rican beans and rice meal) is outrageous and about double what you pay in other parts of Costa Rica. I ordered the vegetarian lasagna, which was horrible and the only vegetarian option. Breakfast is included in your room, but it is not worth it. You get two choices: "typical" beans and rice or "American" breakfast. I ordered the American, and got the equivalent of one scrambled egg, spoiled cheese and a piece of lunchmeat. I noticed a fellow guest that ordered the "typical" breakfast left it largely untouched. To top it off, the plastic cup they served a mystery fruit juice in was dirty (it looked like lipstick... do they really reuse plastic cups?) It was a terrible ending to a great week-long trip in Costa Rica.

I didn't have time to explore the neighborhood, so I can't say if there are worthwhile things nearby. But if you only have one night in San Jose before or after a flight, pick a hotel closer to the airport. Coming into San Jose from Manuel Antonio, we passed the international airport, then it took us two hours to get to the Britannia because of rush hour traffic. Going to the airport in the morning took about 40 minutes.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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HotelBritannia, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Hotel Britannia, responded to this review, March 15, 2011
Dear Guest,

Thanks for your comments,

We really sorry for all the inconvenience caused during your stay,

We are located in Barrio Amon, and now most of the buildings are used as offices, so after 7:00 pm there is not much action beause most offices close at that time.
the reception begins to work at 6:00am and ends around 10:00pm or 11:00 pm, however there is always someone to assist you if necessary or if a guest needs something they can call the reception at any time and always someone to help, on the other hand the fountain is turned on until 7:30 approx .

About the breakfast Our typical breakfast is rice and beans, which in Spanish is called " gallo pinto",and not everyone likes.

Thanks ,
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Mariposa, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2009

This was out first trip to Costa Rica, and the Britannia was recommended and booked by our travel agent. There are two parts to the Britania, the old stately home, and the newer 3-4 story add-on. Can't speak to the amenities or condition of the add-on building, but my wife and I found the original home part to be quite nice. We stayed in room 8 (if memory serves) which if we were to open the large sets of doors that made up most of one side of the room, would open directly into the entry foyer. The room itself wasn't quite in the corner of the building, but was within a few feet of the street intersection. Our room was quite large and clean, though the bathroom area wasn't anything to brag about - rather small and well, just a bathroom. We had an in room honor bar and safe (of which you had to obtain a key for at the front desk and incur an extra $3 daily charge.) There was also cable TV on which you could find an occasional English speaking program. Two PCs were available for internet access for a small fee, and a restaurant downstairs in what was once the home's wine cellar. It also had a tiny gift shop off the lobby.

Now be prepared, because the hotel is located right in the middle of an urban area, so traffic out on the streets starts at 6:00 AM and finally quiets down around 11:00 PM, and Costa Ricans honk at everything. We were told by our driver from the airport not to venture out walking at night so we didn't, but we found walking around in the daytime not frightening at all and there were quite a few nice shops nearby. Looking at the part of the city around the hotel though resembled a cross between a rundown neighborhood and a bordertown.

I found the hotel staff to be friendly and the front desk particularly helpful in booking a last minute excursion to Carera Reserve when a pre-booked tour was cancelled because of the big earthquake they had just had in Poas before we arrived. The restaurant downstairs was adequate and the food fine to good. The service was a little lax but not unbearable. Breakfast was more the opposite where the service was good, but the food merely OK. Be a little leery of the expiration dates on the snacks with the in room honor bar as they can be quite stale - don't think any of the maids check that at all.

As I mentioned we had a large bank of doors that opened onto the main foyer. These were a source of mild irritaion because there was a 3/4" gap underneath them so that anything that went on in the foyer (not that there was ever much) you could hear, but presumeably anyone in the foyer could hear into the room as well. We ended up nightly stuffing pillows and towels there to afford us the rest of the privacy the gap denied.

They do take security there seriously as one morning one of the doormen chased off a street person who had tried to plant himself in the lobby.

Another thing, they charge everything in colones, so understand that your credit card company will charge a 2-3% service charge for converting it to USD. I can honestly say though that we never had to convert currency our entire stay in CR - everyone was more than willing to accept greenbacks.

We spent three days there before transferring up to Arenal... I can say that if you're taking day tours from the Britannia or need a nice place to spend a night before flying out, it's more than adequate. To spend any length of time there "relaxing" you'll be sorely disappointed. I'd honestly give it a 3 1/2 star rating - better than average, but not quite very good.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
HotelBritannia, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Hotel Britannia, responded to this review, March 15, 2011
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your comments,this is what makes us better every day.

Our currency is the colon and that's why most things are charged in colones when paying by credit card but when you pay in cash you can do it with the currency that you wish, usually we recommend to our customers to change some dollars for Colones for paying a taxi or if you want to buy something in stores or smaller stores.

Thanks
The concierge
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new york city
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2009

We stayed here 2 nights and it's a pretty decent hotel. It's near a shady area but we felt safe. there is even a 24 hr security guard. It's pretty close to town, within walking distance to main center. the restaurants we tried were Papa Pez and Nuestro Tierra. both were good. the free breakfast was minimal (choice between an american or typical breakfast). i did see a cockaroach in the restaurant... oh well,i guess they are everywhere and you can't avoid them but still outta sigh outta mind! The room had a huge bathroom w/comfortable beds. It felt like one of those plantation houses in New Orleans. overall it was pretty decent place to stay.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelBritannia, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Hotel Britannia, responded to this review, March 15, 2011
Dear Guest,


Thank you for your comment

In fact we had a plage of cockroaches time ago, but after much work already Eradicate

The concierge
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McLean, VA
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2009

The Britannia Hotel is the worst, most poorly managed hotel I have ever stayed in - and that's saying a lot. As part of our ten day vacation in Costa Rica, we were required to stay in San Jose for one night by our travel agents (Latin Destinations - who, other than this little misfortune, were quite terrific).

The hotel itself is in a very seedy, dirty, and crime-ridden area (we were told by our driver that we needed to be in our room by 5:30 at night - and he wasn't kidding). The grounds are well kept and Brittania looks like a lovely hotel from the outside and when you first walk in. The details are where it falls apart.

First, we were one of maybe two rooms (of 15) booked in the hotel that night. Where do they put us? First floor with a window facing a nightclub. This nightclub was unbelievably loud - waking us up at 11 PM for about 3 hours. Further, our hotel allowed a truck to park right in front of our window - obscuring an otherwise heinous view (maybe we should be thankful for that?) It was so loud that we didn't dare even peek out the window for fear of being attacked by a drunken mob. When we brought this to the manager's attention the next day, there was no apology or show of concern.

Second, the bellman and the front desk people were constantly staring at us as we came and went - didn't say anything, didn't smile, just glared. This made us both very uncomfortable throughout our stay, as we thought that anytime we left the building they were rummaging through our belongings in our room.

Third, you have to pay $3 for use of the safe. $3? To use a beaten-up safe from 1952? No joke. It doesn't help that the glaring personalities surrounding us also had a spare key...

Fourth, the dining area. This was disgusting and perhaps the single worst experience of the trip. There was a layer of dust covering everything in the restaurant - not just a little bit - perhaps an inch thick in some places - so bad that you couldn't read the wine labels. It was so awful, that we ate dinner in our room that night - granola bars and water. The breakfast (which was included in our package) was expectedly awful - eggs were undercooked, plates/cups were filthy with floating bugs and dirt, and my "sausage" was a piece of sandwich meat pulled from a package.

The only time anyone seemed to care about anything that happened at this hotel was upon checkout when I mentioned to the concierge (if you can call her that), that we'd be writing about this place in TripAdvisor - and even then, it was just a slight jump...

Lest you think I'm just being picky about the experience, we met three other couples (one at the hotel and two later in our journey) who had identical thoughts about the hotel and the city. None of us could get out of there fast enough.

There is quite literally nothing positive I can say about this place or San Jose in general. If you must stay the night in that city, please stay elsewhere. If you can swing it, try to fly into and out of Liberia. San Jose isn't remotely convenient to other interesting and exciting areas of the country (like Monteverde, Arenal/La Fortuna, or the Pacific Coast) - 4 hours to anywhere. You'll have much better luck in Liberia, and the rest of Costa Rica for that matter.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelBritannia, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Hotel Britannia, responded to this review, March 17, 2011
Dear Guest,

Thanks for you comments,

it's a shame that nothing like you or seems you so wrong,San Jose is like any other big city in the world, with positive and negative aspects , just as I tell you that a few years ago we have a new mayor and every day sanjose is more attractive for tourism.

already mentioned, the hotel is located in Barrio Amon, one of the fist neighborhood in San Jose, also the hotel was built in 1910 In this neighborhood most of the houses are national heritage, and its beautiful buildings.

we really sorry to hear that the driver scare you with all this wrong information.

On the other hand, the safe box are rented, so it is that is priced at $ 3, this year we plan to buy them and able to provide it like free service.

The restaurante is a Cellar, that is why was a layer of dust covering the bottles of wine.

we expect for a next visit to Costa Rica, be more comfortable.

Att:

concierge
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 Hotel Britannia

Address: 3rd Street Between 9th and 11th Avenues, San Jose 3742-1000, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of San Jose > San Jose Metro > San Jose
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #68 of 86 Hotels in San Jose
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Britannia 3*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
No more endless searching for a hotel in downtown San Jose. Get form Britannia Hotel's services the best of lodging and tours to Costa Rica. Britannia's convenient spot is well known for getting out the best of your romantic, adventure, natural or relaxation trip to Costa Rica. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Britannia Hotel San Jose
Hotel Britannia Costa Rica/San Jose

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