I met my dear companion at Hotel Aranjuez, where he had already stayed a few days. We used it as our home base for the first half of our Costa Rican vacation. Bear in mind this is a BUDGET hotel, the four stars are relative to that consideration, this is a small family run hotel, it in no way compares to any large corporate hotel. I rate 4 stars for ease of use, value for money, convenience of location, performance of staff.
This hotel is an eclectic conversion of a number of residences, attached into one hotel by covered walkways containing a veritable jungle of plants. It is located in a fairly quiet neighborhood near a hospital, walking distance (for us) to downtown, parks, museums, bank, reasonable restaurants and a great Saturday organic market. The area is likely not attractive to most American travelers, but we walked around at night, ate at local restaurants , Soda Isabel and Costellos, in particular, without fear.
Due to a mis-communication, we ended up using 4 different rooms! All the rooms are very basic, linens clean though thin and scratchy (towels are air dried); all rooms have a safe (which is very nice!); every bed was very comfortable; television reception was good, WiFi was variable. Unfortunately, rooms that have windows on the street tend to smell of car exhaust during the day when there is traffic.
Recommend room 24 and 34 for quietness. Room 30 is too close to the lobby for sleeping later than 6 am. Recommend taking a room with a bath unless you are on a really tight budget. Room 20 (shared bath) had no wifi signal. Room 34 was the nicest of the four.
Staff was very accommodating for all needs, most speaking English and being very patient for our terrible attempts at Spanish; accommodations were made for refrigeration of medication; laundry service is available for $10 for a small (by American standards) load; washed, dried and folded; completed in about 8 hours. Black coffee and tea is available at all times, Glen makes it best!
Breakfast buffet is the best by far of all 5 hotels used in Costa Rica, a huge assortment of fruits, tapas, desserts, and beverages as well as made to order eggs and pancakes, hot traditional dishes like plantain and gallo pinto.
The hotel also sells tour packages of which we took advantage, with great satisfaction to Tortuguerra/Laguna Lodge and the Braullio Carillo national parks.
Concerns or negatives we encountered: Be advised that they prefer dollars to their own national currency! But they return your change in Collones, after figuring the exchange rate to their advantage, which was not unexpected, but the staff insisted that it was advantageous to the customer (it was not!) it was at first very confusing and then not worth mentioning (the house always wins) . Plan on using dollars and go to the nearby National bank for obtaining money in dollars for very low fee ($4 plus your own bank fee).
The standard of cleanliness is good, but the environment and being mostly open to air makes the encounter of insects likely; some travelers will object to this.
All in all, it was a very good experience, the negatives (offered only for accuracy) being quite insignificant in comparisons to the positives.
Recommend this hotel without hesitation.