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“Budget hotel with pluses and minuses” 3 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 #20 of 86 Hotels in San Jose
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Houston, TX 77005
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
“Budget hotel with pluses and minuses”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2010

After arriving after midnight, we had to get up at 5 am and found we had no bath towels. They charged us $2.50 for two cups of coffee made in the room. The ac was barely adequate, and the elevators are small. The carpets in the hallways are not very clean, but the room was. The staff is friendly, and they have computers with free Internet. The location in the center of town is great, and they have security at night.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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624 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
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ohio
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2010

We stayed at the Balmoral the night before leaving Costa Rica and enjoyed our stay. The hotel is nice. We appreciated the free parking, although it is difficult to find the parking entrance, and liked the location. Breakfast was included with our room and very good. Also, it is very nice that the departure tax can be paid right at the hotel.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 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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Bettendorf, Iowa
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2010

We recently returned from a Gate 1 trip to Costa Rica, and the Balmoral was the initial and last hotel of the 6-night stay. We were skeptical, since the trip was inexpensive, but we were pleasantly surprised by this hotel and the others on the trip. The staff at the desk were kind and friendly, even when we checked in for our last night and encountered a tour of several dozen teenagers trying to check in as well. The desk staff, especially Silvia and Evan, were very helpful, going out of their way to help us return our rental car, print boarding passes, suggest a good museum we could visit in limited time, and even dial the phone for us so that we could call my son. The rooms were spotless. They are basic, but in the same way that many European hotels are basic, and we were very comfortable. The hotel is centrally located, although it was a challenge to find on the first night, because the street in front is turned into a walking street sometimes, and the GPS wanted us to turn onto it. A quick call to the front desk provided excellent directions, however. The restaurant was good the first night, not nearly as good the second night when it was much busier. I would recommend finding another restaurant, unless you are tired and not too interested in what you eat. The food was okay, but service was weak. Overall, you won't go wrong staying at the Balmoral.

  • Stayed June 2010
    • 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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New York City, New York
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2010

Don't stay here if you're expecting anything fancy, but it's a nice clean hotel with great service. The people at the front desk were extremely helpful and nice. We also liked that there's an area with computers for use. The continental breakfast was pretty good. The parking garage can be a little difficult to find, though!

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Los Angeles, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2010

Overall, this was the best value hotel we stayed at during our entire trip to Costa Rica. I wouldn’t quite give the hotel a 4 star rating as they claim on their website, but the hotel is clean, our superior room was spacious and comfortable and the staff was friendly and accommodating. Although our room faced a busy street, we were able to sleep just fine by closing the bathroom window. The room has a functioning air conditioner, mini bar, a flat screen TV with a good English channel selections and comes with a hair dryer and toiletries. They also have hotel security guards at all times so you feel safe there. We walked within a mile radius of the hotel during the day and found a couple of great typical Costa Rican restaurants. There's a flea market a couple of blocks from the hotel where we were able to buy souvenirs to bring home. There are also a few shops outside the hotel where you can buy bottled water and snacks to keep in the mini bar. We stayed here our first two nights and our last night in Costa Rica. The breakfast buffet was really good and their coffee was excellent! They also have a lively bar where you can grab a few beers. It took us about 45 mins (with traffic) to get from the airport to the hotel. If I ever visit Costa Rica again and need to spend a night or two in the city, I would definitely stay here again. One note, please beware of pickpocket thieves when walking the busy streets of San Jose. My wallet was stolen out of my backpack on our last day in C.R. while walking to the local super market. Luckily; my wallet had no money and only had a couple of credit cards. If you carry a backpack, carry it in front of you and be aware of your surroundings. When I mentioned this to the hotel staff, they were very courteous in letting me borrow their phone to immediately call and cancel my credit cards.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Puerto Rico
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2010

We stayed there for a week, the service was excellent. Adriana at the front desk is the best one ever!!!

  • Stayed May 2010, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Elkins Park, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2010

The Balmoral Hotel is rated with Four Stars, located in the very heart of downtown San Jose. Thanks to the help of several kind police officers, we were able to find the hotel the second time around. The first time we tried, late at night after flying down to Costa Rica, we went around in circles for a half hour. The staff were helpful and friendly overall. The hotel has great bones, meaning that the physical structure was solid well maintained, with the notable exception of the unfortunate decision to install wall to wall carpet in a tropical climate in areas without air conditioning, where tile floors clearly were the more appropriate choice. There was a strong odor of molda and mildew throughout the hotel unfortunately. The furniture was solid wood, stylish mid century and the rooms spacious. The breakfast was excellent. The staff obliging and helpful in the hotel. In the restaurant, the music was so loud that it was impossible to relax. When I mentioned that as a four star hotel they were required to have a full service restaurant that provided comfort for the guests, the manager took the statement seriously and lowered the music. In the lobby, then put on soft classical music. Another drawback that was, frankly, embarrassing, was to see young working girls with elderly gentlemen with whom they clearly had a professional arrangement openly going back and forth to the rooms and chatting with staff. Perhaps it is the difference between the expectations in the US and more relaxed ways in Latin America, but it pretty much discounted the hotel as a choice place for families with children, in my opinion. I'd prefer staying out of the center in a place without carpeting and in a more family style setting next time.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 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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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
#11 Business 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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