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“Perect first night” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Don Carlos

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Hotel Don Carlos
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Avenida 9 y Calle 9, San Jose, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #26 of 85 hotels in San Jose
Olympia, Washington
Top Contributor
112 reviews 112 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Perect first night”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2013

We have stayed here the first night of our last two trips to Costa Rica. Nice little place with all sorts of interesting artwork. We spent the mornings, before breakfast, just looking at it all. The rooms were spacious and comfortable. We were impressed that on our last trip, with the plane more than 4 hours late, our midnight arrival went smooth. Breakfast is good, best enjoyed on the streetside seating where you can watch the sparrows, doves, and parrots along with the waking city.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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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282 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (42)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Vancouver, Canada
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2013

This hotel is glamourous upon arrival, the architecture, paintings and attention to detail make you think that you have found a pure gem of a hotel to stay at! Alas, once you are inside your room it becomes quite obvious that external appearances are misleading! There is so much going on outside keeping the grounds spotless, the tiled floors polished,the waterfall area neat and tidy....that they have lost focus on the main reason tourists stay at your hotel.....for a good clean bedroom, bathroom and a good bed for some quality sleep! Needless to say, the bathroom smelled awful and even though we were staying only one night my wife had us buy some disinfectant to clean the bathroom. The carpet by the bed was quite dirty and the wooden flooring had been moped but was also dirty.......if you wiped a damp cloth on the floor it came up black! The beds matteress was worn out and had seen better days numberous years ago at which time it shoud have been retired. Another thing missing is a small refridgerator....especially in a hot climate! Maybe they want you to purchase your drinks at the bar, but if you have water or food...you are at a loss! Once again, the front desk staff were exceptional and the breakfast excellent! It is really sad that the management can not see that if they rectified these problems that they would have a GEM of a hotel and one of a kind in the area.

Room Tip: Rooms away from the waterfall and common area as I am sure that in peak season it gets very noisy an...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Anderson, California
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2013

We went through a travel agency for our trip to Costa Rica and we stayed here for our first night
in Costa Rica. We flew into San Jose and Hotel Don Carlos is about 20 min from the airport so you get a nice view of the city. We had a shuttle drive us there. If you do not know the city we recommend having a shuttle it is a little confusing to drive. We did get a rental car to drive to Arenal and it was well worth it since we were given very good directions from our travel company. Hotel Don Carlos was a very unique place to stay. Historical, food was excellent and service was good. Rooms are clean and older but go with the historical feel of hotel. We enjoyed staying here for the feel of Costa Rica. If you do not want to stay 20 min from hotel then this would not be where you would want to stay. There are other hotels to stay at closer.
If you plan to go to Guanacaste area or Tamarindo fly into a closer airport like Liberia because we were unaware that San Jose was about 3 to 4 hours from Tamarindo.

Room Tip: 2nd floor rooms were very quaint and nice.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Seattle, Washington
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013 via mobile

We have stayed twice at the Don Carlos and had a better experience the first time. We must have had a room farther from the busy street the first time - or maybe bus routes have changed in the intervening 10 years. This time, our street-facing room invited extensive bus and moto noise that interfered with our ability to sleep. Also, the front desk recommended a restaurant that was a real tourist trap (Nuestra Tierra - don't go there!). Otherwise a lovely place, though, central to city sites and with a tasty restaurant and great patio. The breakfast and welcome cocktail are a nice touch and the neighborhood and staff gracious. A fine choice if you want to be in the city.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Tambor, Costa Rica
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013

I have stayed at the Don Carlos twice. It is an interesting place. It used to be someone's mansion, I think, so the layout is different. Not fancy, but I think nice by Costa Rican standards. The price is right and the location is good. The staff is friendly and helpful. The first room I stayed in some years ago was quite large but the furniture was mix and match. When I stayed last November (2012) they upgraded our room for some reason (to be nice?) and it was really nice. All the furniture matched in an old world Costa Rica style. The room was a bit noisy in the morning, but that is to be expected in CR, especially downtown. The restaurant in the hotel was nice for lunch, (we sat in a window corner looking out on the street - cool!) but when we went for dinner there wasn't enough staff so we saw where it was going so left and went somewhere else. The nice thing is that the streets in the immediate area are really nice - old colonial - and you can walk to a few places at night. Also, you can walk to downtown San Jose (probably best in the day) for sightseeing, museums, and shopping. The staff is great, but both times I made the reservation over the phone and asked for a discount for not using a "travel website" (which they gave me) the clerk at checkout "forgot" to give me the discount, so had to remind them. We stayed at 2 other hotels recently for something different and didn't like either one near as much. We live in CR now and have to go to San Jose occasionally; for us Don Carlos is the place to stay.

Room Tip: There is no elevator and I think it is 3 floors.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Clermont, Florida
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2013

Stayed at this hotel for one night. Steve the desk clerk what so nice you almost couldn't relieve it. When you check in the price inlcudes tax, one drink, breakfast, unlimited calls in costa rica and one international call for about 5 minutes. they are very helpful and the hotel is made up of 3 mansions. they have art all over the walls, a very interesting hotel, would highly recommend this if you want to stay in san jose and not stay in a traditional hotel. we stayed with another couple and it was his birthday. we bought a cake at a bakery and had it for lunch. we only ate one half and they were going to save it so we could have it for dinner. when we went back they had put it in the trash but gave each of us a dessert of our choise which we very nice. it was the one place where you felt like they REALLY wanted you there. some rooms don't have a/c or refrig. the rooms are simple but nice.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

I stayed at Hotel Don Carlos for one night on my way to the rainforest. The art and inner courtyard give the hotel charm and character. The welcome drink and lunch we enjoyed upon arrival was fantastic. The room and bathroom were very clean, however the pillows were uncomfortable. The staff were very helpful in recommending restaurants and arranging for a cab.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Hotel Don Carlos

Address: Avenida 9 y Calle 9, San Jose, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of San Jose > San Jose Metro > San Jose
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#22 Business Hotel in San Jose
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Don Carlos 3*
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Don Carlos Hotel
Don Carlos San Jose
Hotel Don Carlos Costa Rica/San Jose

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