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“Beautiful colonial style, good location, good room, forget the pool” 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 #28 of 86 Hotels in San Jose
Netherlands
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“Beautiful colonial style, good location, good room, forget the pool”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2014

This hotel is situated on 15 minutes walking distance from what is supposed to be the central square and shopping streets of San Jose. Any expectation of this city is one too many, by the way. In daylight it's kind of o.k. At night the streets are roamed by thiefs, robbers and transsexual hookers, no further than a couple of blocks away from the hotel. But don't let this put you off from visiting this hotel if you want (or need) to stay in San Jose. This hotel is furnished in a very pleasant colonial style. Rooms are allright but nothing special, Buffet breakfast is ok. Returning from Tortuguero National park we arrived half an hour too late for dinner, but the kind gentlemen that are probably running the in-house adjacent restaurant for decades let us in and served us a good meal anyway. Hotel has an excellent service desk for reservations for trips and hire cars. Don't organize from home, but do it via these guys, they do an excellent job for their customers. All in all: friendly staff and very good value for money.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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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299 reviews from our community

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 (45)
Date | Rating
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English first
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
42 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2014

I stayed here for two separate one night stays in April. My first room (#14) was probably one of their smallest rooms, but it was cozy and a respectable size for one person.

My second room(s) were #6 and #3. #6 was probably my favorite of the three, large and opening up into the courtyard. However, when I went in to brush my teeth at night, a cockroach greeted me on the counter. I tried to capture him under a cup (my response to all bugs that are too big to squish) but he was too quick for me.

The night manager very kindly tried to exterminate the little guy, and moved my room without my asking when he couldn't. Normally a cockroach would indicate a lack of cleanliness to me, but honestly, the rooms here did seem very clean. I suspect it's just an unavoidable part of being in a city hotel such as this.

I appreciated the kindness of the gent at the front desk, suggesting the room move and not making me feel like a goof for being creeped out by a bug. A big bug, but a bug nonetheless.

The food in the restaurant was delicious, and the atmosphere was very welcoming. The maids always smiled and greeted me, and I generally felt very welcome at this property. Would stay again!

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Telford, United Kingdom
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2014

We only stayed overnight on a recent tour of Costa Rica. The receptionist was exceedingly welcoming, friendly and helpful. It started our holiday on the perfect note. A quirky hotel with a very happy, family feel. The room was perfect and the hotel itself is perfectly situated to walk into the centre of San José. We didn't eat in the restaurant but perhaps we should have done as what we got in town was not great and considerably more expensive. We left before breakfast for out trip to Tortuguero. We would happily return for an extended stay,

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Stockholm, Sweden
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2014

The outside of the hotel is very nice and the staff is service minded and helpful. The rooms could do with some updating but they are very big and there are rooms with more than two beds. The hotel is within walking distance to the gold museum (10-15 minutes) as well as cafés and restaurants.
There is no air conditioning and the showers take some time to get warm, but it's clean.

Room Tip: Some rooms face a street with more traffic (towards the side of the hotel, not where the front entra...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Prescott, Arizona
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2014

Hotel Don Carlos is unique in that it was the home of two presidential families. They are small and have a nice restaurant with good food. They include a very nice breakfast buffet with great fresh fruit and good food. They also have computers with free Internet access.

Room Tip: We had two different rooms, one before our tour and one after, and both were very noisy. I am not s...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2014

I was apprehensive about staying here after reading several reviews complaining about the noise but my stay was extremely pleasant. I loved the fact that this hotel was the base of scientists who started the ecotourism movement in Costa Rica. The history of this wonderful country can be felt in every room with the art, architecture and antiques. It is a series of houses linked together and there are several places to squirrel away some time reading or chatting with fellow travellers. It is a good neighborhood for walking at daytime but be careful after dark. Don't walk alone.

Room Tip: Pay for a superior room so you have a window. Try to get a room at the back of the facility on the s...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Berkeley, California
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2014

When I first walked into the lobby, I was taken aback by the beauty of this hotel.There was art EVERYWHERE! And not cheesy hotel art either. There were beautiful wood carvings, colorful stained glass windows, and vibrant paintings all throughout the hotel. The jewelry displays from the gift shop had some gorgeous, affordable pieces, too.

The staff was absolutely charming and professional. They made me feel appreciated as a guest. My room was super clean, the bed was very comfortable, and the bathroom was very modern with HOT WATER!!!! Something I missed while staying elsewhere. I figured after a week and a half of budget accommodations, I could splurge on a nicer hotel and I'm glad I did. the room was very quiet, too, so I got a great night of sleep both nights.

I was given meal and drink vouchers. The food was really good, too! They also helped set up a Volcan Arenal tour with a visit to Tabacon Hot Springs. Listen to me when I tell you, take this tour! I was in awe with the beauty of the volcano and have never been anywhere so magical as the hot springs. It is a happy place I go to when having a crappy day.

I highly recommend staying at this lovely hotel! I will definitely stay here next time I'm in San Jose.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • 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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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:
#15 Business 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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