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“Convenient, Comfortable Hotel” 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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Ranked #22 of 86 Hotels in San Jose
Certificate of Excellence
Pasadena, California
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Convenient, Comfortable Hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2014

I stayed at this hotel for five nights. The room was on the smaller side, but since I was traveling alone, it was spacious enough for my needs. The furniture and décor were all outdated but clean and serviceable. The bathroom and shower was very small and cramped. The bed was comfortable. The room was very clean and the maids cleaned the room thoroughly every day. The girls at the front desk spoke very good English and were very helpful.

The hotel is centrally located right in the heart of downtown San Jose. All the major attractions, restaurants, and shopping areas were all within a five block radius of the hotel. The hotel is inside a pedestrian only area so the neighborhood was very crowded and the panhandlers were aggressive but I never felt unsafe. Just keep a wary eye out and firmly tell the panhandlers who approach you "No!" and you will not have any problems.

I had a couple of issues with the hotel. The walls were very thin and I could hear every little noise. When I checked out I asked the front desk to call a taxi to take me to the airport. After a couple of minutes of waiting the parking lot valet told me my taxi arrived. I followed him outside with my luggage and saw that the taxi he had waiting was not an official taxi but one without markings and without a meter. I was not willing to trust an unofficial cab because I was likely to get ripped off or worse so I told the valet that I was only going to get into an marked official taxi cab. Fortunately, there were several official taxis waiting on the street outside the hotel so I was able to take one of those to the airport.

Room Tip: My room was on the fourth floor and the back of the hotel so I had no issues with street noise.
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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658 reviews from our community

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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 (104)
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English first
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2014

Driving through the older, not so appealing & almost shady part of San Jose, I was starting to regret booking my stay at the Balmoral. I felt scared to stay in this area because it was congested with so many people and traffic. I chose this hotel originally solely on price and location near the SJO airport because our flight was scheduled to leave at 0730. When we entered, the receptionist and bell hop were very courteous and helpful. Our package included breakfast but knew we couldn't wait for the 0600-0900 breakfast serving because we wanted to be at the airport by 0530-0600 so they packed each of my family a sack lunch filled with muffin, Danish, banana & juice. The rooms looked modern, appealing & roomy. Since we arrived late at night, around 2100, it was nice to know that they had a nice restaurant which serves both American & their native food- a large variety. Our servers, all 3 delivered excellent care that night. Unfortunately I forgot their name but it was on wed. night around 9:30 pm on Aug. 7, 2014. The next morning, they gave us a wake up call & our shuttle was right on time. Overall, what seemed a little skeptical at 1st because of location turned out to be great place to stay for my family.

Room Tip: They upgraded our room without requesting for it
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Service

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Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elkhorn, NE
Level Contributor
47 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2014

This part of San Jose felt dirty. The hotel is old, but they have updated all of the common areas (lobby and plaza level with shops). Rooms were very clean, but old. Opened closet door and they smelled horrible. Not sure how to avoid in the damp weather? Old tubs, sinks, and faucets, but they get the job done. Glass front doors on hotel website picture have been replaced with a metal roll down garage type door?!? Staff was very helpful, spoke english well.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2014

Another beautiful stay at the Balmoral. great location. A+ Breakfast. Very nice and clean room with very hot shower. The hotel staff are excellent. a great team of workers. I cant wait to return to the Balmoral in October.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

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Bay Area, CA
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2014

I'm a woman and was traveling alone. I had to be in San Jose for a couple of days and I wanted a hotel that was safe and close to restaurants, stores, pharmacies and local sites. Situated right on the Avenida Central, the pedestrian walkway, the location of Hotel Balmoral couldn't be more perfect.

The hotel building architectural is a bit disjointed (the lobby is accessed either through a parking garage or by elevator located in the small shopping mall on the first floor), but once you find your way around it's not too bad. My room was simply but functionally decorated, very clean with a working air conditioner, plenty of hot water in the shower.

Things I liked: perfect location! The hotel staff is amazing! Everyone was very friendly and helpful, good command of English. Tours to attractions outside of San Jose can be arranged by the staff. The hotel serves a complimentary, tasty buffet breakfast every morning. There is free wi-fi all through out the hotel that is reasonably fast and, at least for the duration of my stay, worked all the time. International calls to the United States were free!

Things I didn't like: I had a room with a window to the outside but the location of the window (really high up) still left the room dark. I would have liked brighter lights in the room. The street noise often lasted until well past 10pm; not unexpected due to hotel location, but still took some getting used to.

Overall, a positive experience! Definitely recommended.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled solo
    • 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.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2014

Once again, I got the opportunity to spend a few days in beautiful San José, Costa Rica and I will only stay at the wonderful, luxurious, amazing, BALMORAL HOTEL!!! I LOVE the people there who are so sweet and helpful and they make me feel as if I am a part of their family instead of a visitor. I love the service that they provide, always going out of their way to make sure that my every need is met and that I am completely comfortable. They have an incredible staff, from the front desk clerk, to the maids they are so wonderful! My room is exquisite! It is clean, private, and comfortable. The gym is also a great way to get in a few minutes of my work out and the restaurant downstairs is amazing! The food is incredible! I even ordered room service a few times and the food came in a timely manner, was fresh, hot, and enough food for 4 people on one plate! You get to see all of the local people and visit local shops, as well as seeing all the wonderful street vendors. There are historic parks within walking distance and if you like, tours are available. What a wonderful way to experience their great culture! If you are looking into visiting Costa Rica, please stay at the Balmoral Hotel. I promise, you won't be disappointed! I'm going to Costa Rica again in about two weeks and you best believe that I will be staying at the Balmoral Hotel once again!

Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014 via mobile

3 of my friends and I stayed here for 2 nights while in SJ. We came to the city unexpectedly so we didn't get to research hotels. We asked our driver for good hotels and he recommended the Balmoral as the best.
We rented 2 rooms which were next to each other. The room itself was average. Clean but dull. The beds were basically twin sized mattresses. The walls are so thin we were literally having full blown conversations from our separate rooms. My bed creaked every time I turned on it. The only positives about this place were that they offered a free breakfast, which was above average, and location is prime. The hotel is walking distance from just about everytime and one block from Hotel Del Rey. Be aware they charge $36 if you decide to bring a girl back with you and only one girl in the room at a time. Lame...
Overall, I didn't enjoy my stay here. Had the walls not been so paper thin, it would've made out stay more enjoyable but still avg at best.

  • Stayed July 2014
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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.
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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:
#8 Family Hotel in San Jose
#14 Business Hotel in San Jose
#19 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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