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“Comfortable Hotel, Helpful Staff” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Santo Tomas

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Hotel Santo Tomas
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Avenue 7 Between Streets 3 and 5 | 250 Meters West from INS Building, San Jose, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Special Price
10% Off 3 nite Min. Stay
Ranked #11 of 86 Hotels in San Jose
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Comfortable Hotel, Helpful Staff”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2013

My fiancé and I stayed with Thomas and his team at Hotel Santo Tomas for two nights during our Costa Rica vacation. The staff was very professional – they provided a map of the city, helped us make dinner reservations, gave us advice about navigating San Jose airport, etc . Our room was clean and comfortable, and there were nice common areas throughout the property. The free breakfast was very tasty. Only slight negative is that our room on the ground floor was a bit noisy due to echoing in the pool / restaurant area, but it was not an issue at all on the upper floors!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
AdvisorHST, Owner at Hotel Santo Tomas, responded to this review, August 25, 2013
Hi Sureel S, Great review you have posted Thank You so much! We are the only San Jose hotel offering all of the out door areas, pool and jacuzzi in in downtown. Go out walk the city and come back for a nice soak and happy hour drink. Again thanks for the outstanding review and I hope you will return. Thomas
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684 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (199)
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Cape Girardeau, Missouri
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2013

I highly recommend this hotel. It is within walking distance of downtown, and it is absolutely spotless. Once you enter in the front door, you are greeted by friendly hotel staff. The place is immaculate. The rooms are very quaint, and each one is different. Although the hotel is not air conditioned, you don't really need it given the high elevation of San Jose. I absolutely enjoyed my stay here. Breakfast was included in the prce of the room, and the eggs were cooked to order. There are many "sodas" (Costa Rican family restaurants) within walking distance. You get a very hearty meal for around 2,500 colones (about $5). There is one across the street that is actually Colombian owned, and the food is great. Some of the best soup I have ever tasted. The meal somes with beans and rice, and they are excellent. This hotel is a great choice if you are in San Jose. They will also book optional tours for you.

Room Tip: Since I was travelling solo, my room was small, but it was all I needed. If you have more people in...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AdvisorHST, Owner at Hotel Santo Tomas, responded to this review, August 22, 2013
Hi David, WOW what a great review , Thank You ! We offer 5 different room types on our website at the best prices to be found. You booked one of my economy rooms at $52.00 US , great deal for a single person or some one staying lots of nights to have dental work done as well. Spotless and immaculate, those are two stand up terms I credit to my wonderful cleaning staff, run by Rocio along with Pablo, Carlos and Jeffry. I will be sure they see your fantastic praise! Warmest Regards, Thomas
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Seattle
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2013

A little hard to find but worth the search. Centrally located with some good restaurants close by. Ricardo at the front desk was very helpful and friendly. He even helped to set us up with some white water river rafting.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AdvisorHST, Owner at Hotel Santo Tomas, responded to this review, August 25, 2013
Hi Dave from Seattle, Great meeting, speaking to you about diving and Divers Alert. I know your were excited about your trip to Cocos Island. I have been there twice and it is outstanding. I will make sure Ricardo sees your review, he is a great guy. Thank You Thomas
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Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2013

My wife, 5 yr old daughter and I stayed here for just one night upon our arrival to Costa Rica. They were helpful in getting us the info we needed to safely use a taxi at the airport and as well as briefing us on an appropriate price to get to the property. The staff was helpful, and on the morning we checked out, they were flexible in allowing our car rental company to park our rental in their private lot while we finished up a leisurely breakfast.

We found the accommodations to be interesting (an old mansion, converted to the hotel), and in an area with easy walking access to food (La Criollita was good!), a grocery, and many other shops. I don't know that I'd walk around in the neighborhood much after dark, however, during the day, it was just fine.

Our room was *very* large--pretty sure it was #8--and had been the home's dining room. Very neat with tall ceilings! We really liked the space, hot showers, and comfy beds. The hot tub with the water slide down into the pool was great! The pool itself is not for the faint of heart--very, very cold!--but the hot tub was heavenly. The free breakfast was very simple, but satisfying.

All in all, we'd stay here again!

Room Tip: Room #8 was nice. It was the home's old dining room, has two queen beds, and is very large!
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
AdvisorHST, Owner at Hotel Santo Tomas, responded to this review, August 22, 2013
Hi Peter, Yes room #8 was the original dining room and it has 15 foot high ceilings, as well as most of the downstairs rooms. All of the new rooms upstairs have 14 foot ceilings, in keeping with the original home. How many hotels can boast that! Some of our economy rooms don't have them, but for $52.00 US including Free Wi-Fi and Hot Cooked Breakfast , along with the pool and hot tub, hey no other San Jose hotels offers this! Wonderful your daughter enjoyed the pool area. Thank You very much for your kind words . Thomas
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New Orleans, LA
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2013

Stayed here two nights in early August for travel/pleasure. I found the atmosphere to be exactly what I was looking for - calm and relaxing, quiet, good restaurant with good service. Room was very comfortable nice bed, steaming hot water (a rarity in Costa Rica), very clean, with aged tile floors that felt great on bare feet. I felt relaxed and left alone, but staff were always around when I had a question or needed service. There is no air conditioning but I did not need it at all - I was in a balcony upper-floor room and slept great with balcony sliding door open, fresh air, and felt safe and secure with sufficient privacy to sleep nude. Hotel staff were friendly, helpful, with good advice/directions to places, and they hooked me up on a very pleasurable bus tour.

Those who have complained about this hotel being in a sketchy neighborhood seem to expect San Jose to be Disneyworld, which it is not, but San Jose is certainly safer than staying in Manhattan or Boston. I think most travel guides exaggerate claims of San Jose being a dangerous place.

I would recommend this hotel primarily to solo travelers, the backpacking crowd, lovers, or travelers with experience in navigating foreign cities. It may not appeal to families with small children, though I did see several families there who seemed to be enjoying themselves just fine. This hotel rivals any of the best boutique hotels in New Orleans' French Quarter with comparable atmosphere, with a great affordable price (about $85 a night). I would definitely stay here again. This hotel belongs in a Bernardo Bertolucci film - it's that kind of hotel.

Room Tip: Ask for an upper floor balcony room if you can get one.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AdvisorHST, Owner at Hotel Santo Tomas, responded to this review, August 17, 2013
Hola Gymnopedies, Very Cool review - Thank You , I really like your comment about it belonging in a Bernardo Bertolucci Film, I will definitely take that as a compliment and a sign that the place has real character. Also your opinion about San Jose is correct. Hey lets be real , how many mass shooting and terrorist attacks have we had here in Costa Rica ! It's a small/big city with 2.6 million, there's going to all types running around, that is what makes it a great Latin American experience, if you want the place to be like home stay home. My deluxe superior twin rooms upstairs are also a great value as well, lots of space. Again wonderful review and hope you come again Thomas
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San Francisco, California, United States
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2013

I trusted Family travelers review on tripadvisor and stayed one night here with my 5 year old daughter the first night we arrived in San Jose.

Hotel is very historical, very detailed decor and tiles etc, I liked it very much.

However the person at the desk was not welcoming and very unfriendly. We were very tired after 10 hors flight with a little one. We were very hungry so asked where we could find good restaurants. This front person said "One block that way (pointed) and make left and walk 4 blocks, you will see tons of restaurants". So we left and walk as we were directed, the street got sketcher and sketcher, there were many shops and lots of busy people with tons of cars with unregulated cars, busses, and trucks. We were not able to find any restaurant except Mos Burger and McDonalds.

We think this place is not very suitable for Family with kids. Maybe only advantage is that the zoo is nearby. But I am sure there is no family going to the zoo when they come to Costa Rica.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
AdvisorHST, Owner at Hotel Santo Tomas, responded to this review, August 14, 2013
Hi Shinya, Great to know you liked the hotel very much. Although one can not tell that by your scoring, I think it was unfair. Your perception of my front desk clerk may have off , just because as you stated, you were very tired and hungry after your 10 hour flight with a 5 year old. The place you are describing is Central Avenue in San Jose only a three minute walk form the hotel , 4 blocks south. As you were so tired , I am sure everything was just over whelming, I fully understand as I have traveled to other countries before and have had the same feeling, especially if you don't speak their language. The Gold museum , National Theater, Cultural Plaza and lots of local restaurants along with many other businesses that are San Jose are there. San Jose is the capital and as such, is a busy city. Sounds like you have never traveled to Latin America before. As previous reviews state, many families do have a very good time. I apologize that yours was not the case. Sincerely Thomas
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Kapaa, Hawaii, United States
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2013

I stayed here in April 2013 after changing my mind a million times. I had never been to Costa Rica, didn't know much about it, and was going to be traveling alone (female, 20's). I had read the reviews and felt pretty confident until I spoke to someone I knew who has family there and strongly advised against it. I went with my gut and made my reservation - I was not disappointed.

I must say for anyone planning their first trip to CR, the first best and only thing you should know is that the only legit taxis are red in color, clearly marked, and have a meter. If they do not (or if some guy throws your bag into the trunk of a random car and opens the front passenger door only to realize your "driver" claims to speak not a lick of English) get out immediately! Hard lesson learned after a 13+ hour day of travel and lacking sleep with my brain a few beats behind. Lucky for me it was just some guys trying to make a quick buck and not someone with ill intent. Anyhow, be warned.

My first night I stayed at the Radisson, because it was supposedly within 5 minutes of the airport. However, due to road construction and my winning "cab" driver it was about a 25 minute drive. I should have gone straight to Hotel Santo Tomas. I would have been much happier, and turns out it was only about 5 minutes from the Radisson (which by the way, felt like something in SoCal and lacked any sense of local culture).

Hotel Santo Tomas greeted me with a friendly smile and excellent English skills - luckily because my 7th grade Spanish is sadly lacking. I hate that I cannot remember names... I wrote them down but have moved a couple times this year and cannot locate them. In any case, the two younger guys who work the front desk checkins and guest activities were awesome. I was incredibly pleased with their recommendations for my scheduled tours - all the companies were professional, courteous, friendly, and really made the trip. I would have been lost without the direction of HST.

In addition to great staff (hotel restaurant breakfast server as well as dinner server were excellent), the owner personally greets each guest. None of it feels forced or overly polished - Thomas takes a genuine interest in his guests, takes the time to find out about them, remembers everyones names (the whole week, they were all "on it").

The property is awesome - old world charm, tiled everything, great decor. Well worn but well loved and immaculately maintained. The housekeeping staff was also very good, always courteous. Honestly I think the only complaint I have was my room was a tad noisy, being between the courtyard and the pool area. But to be honest, I was on vacation and relaxing - it didn't really bother me. It wasn't like anyone was being obnoxious - quite the contrary - every other guest of the hotel that I spoke with I found to be wonderful people. I think this place attracts good people :)

Overall, I would stay again and recommend it 10x over. Thank you Thomas and your staff - you made my first trip to Costa Rica memorable and amazing.

All the best,
Nicole

Room Tip: Take advantage of the breakfast each morning - totally worth waking up "early" for. Also...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AdvisorHST, Owner at Hotel Santo Tomas, responded to this review, August 14, 2013
Hi Nicole, Fantastic to know you were able to , unwind, relax and recharge your batteries! We have lots of clients, especially single females that state what you did about being safe and well taken care of. Your review is great and I am happy you allowed us to arrange your day tours and other travels. We do this for many clients. I enjoy meeting and greeting guests in the morning and try to be there almost every day. Again Great review and Thank You so very much! Thomas
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Additional Information about Hotel Santo Tomas

Address: Avenue 7 Between Streets 3 and 5 | 250 Meters West from INS Building, San Jose, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of San Jose > San Jose Metro > San Jose
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Romantic Hotel in San Jose
#9 Family Hotel in San Jose
#9 Business Hotel in San Jose
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Santo Tomas 3*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A Great downtown location in San Jose, Costa Rica . Hotel Santo Tomas provides Free Hot cooked to order breakfast, FREE Wi-Fi 10 Mbps, security box, swimming pool, Hot Jacuzzi, Gym, secure on site parking. Only four blocks from San Jose, Central Avenue and an easy stroll to most local attractions. Offering 30 non smoking rooms and has been newly renovated and expanded. Also available 24/7 : tour, travel & car rental services, currency exchange and laundry for our guests. Come and enjoy our wonderful open air gardens,flowers and covered terraces all to enjoy the volcano views here at Hotel Santo Tomas in San Jose, Costa Rica. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Santo Tomas Costa Rica/San Jose

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