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“Terrific” 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 #31 of 86 Hotels in San Jose
Certificate of Excellence
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
118 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Terrific”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2013

I just came back from my second trip to Costa Rica...and again spent my last day at Hotel Don Carlos. The staff is exceptional and responds promptly by phone or email. I would recommend a room not on the first floor (too noisy with street traffic and folks arriving late). The hotel is chock full of culture, sitting areas, outdoor dining, etc. rooms are great. The food in the dining area is very good but the staff there did not speak much, if any English...and service was slow. But you know what... It was part of the culture...it made me relax and enjoy. I wouldn't stay anywhere else. When I arrived this time, they did have someone to help with luggage. A delightful man who is a deaf mute...with a fantastic attitude and huge smile! Loved him!

Room Tip: Not on first floor
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
Helpful?
Thank SGTAS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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362 reviews from our community

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Whitstable
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2013

e only had one night here en route to the Caribbean Coast.
We did not arrive until 2200.
It is a beautiful building and full of artwork and wonderful ceramic tiles. It is on several levels with different courtyards, adding real charm to this old colonial building.
The bedrooms are large but rather basic, as is the bathroom. However it is all clean.
We had to leave early the following morning and there was no problem with the staff providing us with a packed breakfast.

Room Tip: Any of the rooms would have been OK as the street outside does not appear to be noisy at night.
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  • Stayed April 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
Helpful?
Thank zintilis44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Olympia, Washington
Level Contributor
231 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
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
Helpful?
Thank Hal72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
119 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 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
Helpful?
Thank VancouverWomble
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anderson, California
Level Contributor
20 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 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
Helpful?
Thank SJNorthernCA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
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
Helpful?
Thank heididewa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tambor, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 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
Helpful?
1 Thank Lynns_CR_Adventure
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
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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 ) Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#15 Family Hotel in San Jose
#16 Romantic Hotel in San Jose
Price Range (Based on Average Rates):
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Don Carlos 3*
Number of rooms: 36
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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