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“Good hotel for short stay in San Jose” 4 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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35% off room rate
Ranked #18 of 86 Hotels in San Jose
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
81 reviews
73 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Good hotel for short stay in San Jose”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2012

I stayed in this hotel for a week for work in San Jose - it is a nice hotel in a not-so-nice location. I didn't know anything about San Jose before this trip, but if I came again I wouldn't stay in downtown San Jose. If you want to shop though then this would be the place to stay - it is close to bars and restaurants and San Jose sites - but go out of San Jose as much as you can - the rest of the country is incredible! That being said - the hotel is nice enough, the rooms are very spacious and clean, and there is free wifi, the staff are helpful and can speak enough English to help you get by, and as previous reviews had suggested, excellent water power in the shower! The coffee in the hotel restaurant is excellent, as is the food - the breakfast buffet is good as well. Friday nights they have live music which is amazing so I recommend going down to the bar. My suggestion to people arriving at the international airport though is not to use the hotel for transfers from the airport if you are arriving late - I arrived very late and the transport never showed up and I was left waiting - just get a taxi from the airport - it should cost you around US$35.

Room Tip: The superior rooms are better as you have an enclosed balcony to make things less noisy.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Liztiz1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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803 reviews from our community

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Vail, Arizona
Level Contributor
25 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2012

Although touting itself as the "new" Balmoral, this hotel still needs work:

Rooms:
We understand that the "new" Balmoral is consciously "greening" its services and infrastructure, but when bedroom and bathroom fluorescents are so dim as to require turning them ALL on at once simply to read or shave, it defeats the purpose...
Also, the useless little table and chairs in the "sitting area" would be better dispensed with and the entire room redesigned to expand the bathroom...

Bathroom:
Whomever decided that A) bath towels should be hung INSIDE the shower area and B) the hand-towel bar should be directly beside the toilet (yes, the towel fell...Guess where?) should not be in the hotel design business...

Restaurant:
The Patio Restaurant while attractive, needs to work on both service and food preparation; their Arroz con Pollo arrived lukewarm and one was hard-pressed to find any pollo amongst all the arroz. The Tiramisu was was lacking the usual cake, was served in a champagne glass and was overpowered by the completely unnecessary addition of cinnamon...Breakfast service was adequate, but weak coffee and a dearth of pastry selections detracted from the overall appeal.

Special mention:
Francisco at the front desk was exemplary in his attention to his guests' needs and gave excellent advice and service in arranging tours...Unfortunately, his choice of rental car agencies, Hola, turned out to be questionable since we are having a dispute on a promised refund from Xavier when we were forced to cut our vacation short.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lindsay H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

I stayed at the Balmoral because of its location downtown. The rooms have been upgrade and are very clean and the water pressure in the shower is fantastic. If you travel much to Costa Rica you know this is a pleasant surprise.
The most impressive part of my stay was the staff. The front desk, bell, and room staff are all very nice and helpful in every way.
For that reason I will continue to come back. And the water pressure of course

Room Tip: I personally like the 5th floor
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 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
Helpful?
Thank Todd S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2012

The hotel has a great location right in the heart of the capital city. You can walk everywhere and explore the area very easily.
We just needed a place to stay for one night before our flight out of San Jose the next morning. Our travel agent selected this one since we didnt need anything fancy or expensive. Well, we certainly got what we paid for.
The front desk didnt have our reservation or any records of our payment. Well, I pulled out our reservation confirmation and payment receipt and they quickly changed their tune. Something seemed a bit shady.
They dont have King size beds so my husband and I shared a Queen. WARNING: The rooms dont have SAFES!!!! If we wanted a safe we would have had to downgrade to a room with 2 single beds!! Are you kidding me?? So I just locked my pasport in my suitcase.
The breakfast in the morning is okay, nothing great.
The bathrooms were clean and the showers were spacious.
I'll try another cheap hotel the next time I need a quick place in San Jose.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tina C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aguadilla
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2012 via mobile

My first time in Costa Rica. I purchased a tour package from travel agency and was very happy with the location, food, service and staff @ this hotel. Being in the center of town gives you the flexibility to shop, sightsee, visit casinos, restaurants and historical sights all in walking distance. Not a fancy place but it does have class when it comes to service and cleansiness. I would consider without a doubt staying once again plus recommend it to others as well!

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank lizit1965
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2012

This was our first trip to Costa Rica. We were in town as part of the Credomatic Music Festival. www.quattrosound.com We stayed in Balmoral for a few days. The rooms, restaurant and personnel were all top notch. The rooms were very clean. The menu selection in the restaurant was great. I really enjoyed the salmon dish with capers. Or, a bit more authentic dish..the ceviche was just as delicious.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 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
Helpful?
1 Thank kevin c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vega Alta, Puerto Rico
Level Contributor
18 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2012

Great location. Breakfast was good. The staff was very helpful. This is not a luxury hotel but then again you are in the middle of San Jose, a very old crowded city. Rooms were clean and made everyday. A bit noisy if you are looking to sleep in late.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Helpful?
Thank Sheila A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
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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:
#9 Family Hotel in San Jose
#15 Business Hotel in San Jose
#17 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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