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“Watch Out!” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Balmoral Hotel

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Balmoral Hotel
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Central Avenue between 7th & 9th Street, San Jose 1000, Costa Rica   |  
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Ranked #19 of 86 Hotels in San Jose
Miami, Florida
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Watch Out!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2012

The security at this hotel is very discrimitory. Maybe they don't like Americans but they made my traveling companion change clothes upon our arrival. Then I watched others walk out of the hotel with the ame or worse attire. Completely unacceptable......I thought I would get some resolution by telling them I was checking out but they didn't care. They were ready to take my key. This was not my first stay but it was my last.

Room Tip: if you are a female dress as if you are in Saudi Arabia and ask for a room facing the mall. The b...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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548 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (86)
Date | Rating
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English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2012

We flew into San Jose and stayed here for 2 nights. The presidential suite that we stayed in was larger than our apartment and really affordable. The breakfast buffet (included in our cost of the suite) was run by an amazingly talented chef. It was one of the best meals we had in the city. The front desk staff was kind, knowledgeable, and always helpful. You are in the center of San Jose and can walk everywhere. If you are going to San Jose, stay here!

Room Tip: Try the presidential suite. Affordable and comfortable.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Carmel Valley, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2012

I been traveling to San Jose, Costa Rica 12 years now. A friend of mines recommended the Balmoral Hotel for me to stay back in 2002 from that year to now 2012 I only stay at the Balmoral.
They have the most friendly staff that take care of you when you get out of the taxi they grab your bags and take you to the check-in counter where the ladies behind the counter welcome you with a big smile. After checking in your bags are carried to your room and the cleaning ladies come to check on you to see if you need extra towel, soap, tooth paste, and so on...... they make sure your safe is working properly before they leave and if you need anything extra for mini bar in your room they will bring it. All bed linen are nice and clean and if you need anything extra they will bring it to you. The night shift Francisco team makes sure that if you need laundry done, wake up call, or help using their computer they will help steer you in the right direction. The guards on Francisco team watch for your safety exiting the taxi at night. Balmoral Hotel by far is the best hotel in San Jose to stay. I recommend anyone that is traveling to San Jose to stop by and meet the friendly staff and take a tour of the recently remodel rooms and hotel. I travel there at least 6 times a year and I stay with my 5 Star Hotel.

Room Tip: All rooms are remodel with new equipment
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
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Vancouver, Canada
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2012

Like many travellers to Costa Rica, we spent just a short time in San Jose before adventuring to other parts of the country. We chose the Balmoral for its central location so that we could make the most of our very limited time in the city.

As a place to sleep, it did the job. Unfortunately, the air conditioning system was being serviced during our stay (which they didn't bother to tell us about until we received a note under the door in the room), so it was a bit uncomfortable but I assume this was not normal.

The room was a bit dreary. The only windows were small and faced other buildings, allowing only a minimal amount of light in and with absolutely no view of anything. The lamps had frayed cords and power outlets were limited (the combination of which meant a bit of a leap of faith, as we quickly unplugged a lamp in order to charge our mobile phones...).

For the price, I can't complain too much, though, since I wasn't actually electrocuted at any point.

Location was as promised. Easy walking distance to several main attractions downtown, located on the main pedestrian thoroughfare, and fairly direct ride from the airport. We rented a car from Thrifty, which has its downtown facility a walkable distance away, so that made getting out of the city easy too.

The breakfast was very good. Tasty food and a reasonable selection of items. Attentive and friendly staff, and a beautiful, comfortable atmosphere.

Wi-fi was limited to the lobby and did not have a very strong signal. Other services were pretty much non-existent, but I wasn't expecting anything.

Interestingly, the hotel seems to get worse the further you are from the public areas. The restaurant is spacious and lovely, the lobby is a little darker and smaller, the hallways upstairs are darker still, and then the room was less comfortable again.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Atenas, Costa Rica
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2012

Balmoral Hotel has become our "home away from home" for overnights in San Jose. The location is excellent for downtown sights, an easy walk to museums, Teatro Nacional, the mercado, the parks on the north side of town. The restaurant (and the breakfast that comes with the room) is excellent. The bilingual staff is very professional, very friendly.

Room Tip: Rooms on the front, overlooking the street (a pedestrian mall) are roomier and worth the extra money...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Syracuse, NY
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
50 hotel reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2012

This hotel came highly recommended by our Costa Rican friends. However, after a week in the rainforest we pulled into San Jose on a weekday evening at rush hour and I think our city senses were just zonked a bit. We spent one night here before heading out to the airport the next morning. It's location is really good for exploring downtown San Jose, right in the center of the Points of Interest...but if you're in town just to catch a a few zzzs before flying home, like we were, it's probably better (and more convenient) to stay at a chain in Alajuela.

We paid for an average room and it was just that - no window but comfortable bed and a nice hot shower. The staff was super friendly and helpful, and the breakfast buffet was really good. There is a guest parking garage for off-street parking. The resturant/bar area is really nice, and the hotel opens to a mall on the main level with a pharmacy, candy store, and a few other shops.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Northern Kentucky
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2012

Excellent location downtown. Convenient to stores, the Mercado Central, the Cathedral Nacional, museums, and restaurant. It has its own very fine restaurant, and breakfast at the restaurant is included with the rooms. It is a lot more than you would get in a U.S.A. motel "breakfast included" meal. There is a chef who will fix your eggs and pancakes as you want them to be. The rooms are very comfortable and clean. To top everything off, the friendlyness of the staff is the best I have run into at any major hotel. The staff have been there a long time and obviously enjoy their work. They will recognize and greet you when you return, even if you have been away for months.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 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.
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Additional Information about Balmoral Hotel

Address: Central Avenue between 7th & 9th Street, San Jose 1000, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
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 Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Family Hotel in San Jose
#10 Business Hotel in San Jose
#15 Romantic Hotel in San Jose
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Balmoral Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 113
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hotel Full of Life, Where Everything is Within Reach! The Balmoral is a lively, full service, landmark hotel located on the famous Central Avenue in the historical and vibrant heart of downtown San Jose, Costa Rica and only 10 miles away from Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO). The Balmoral is ideal for both leisure and business travelers. Within walking distance of the hotel, you will find San Jose's main art, cultural, financial, government and historical landmarks, as well as some of city's best entertainment, shopping, and healthcare facilities. From the hotel, you can also take a wide variety of one-day tours to discover Costa Rica's natural beauties. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Balmoral Hotel San Jose
Balmoral Hotel Costa Rica/San Jose

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