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“One of a kind” 5 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
Cupertino
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“One of a kind”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2014

This hotel was started by an expert in pre-Colombian art who set it up as a guesthouse for researchers, archeologists, intelligent. Has a huge collection of local art and archeological reproductions, plus lots of nooks and crannies to sit peacefully and chat or relax. Interior is very spacious and quaint. Lovely outdoor garden area with tiny pool where you can watch the local birdlife. Restaurant is typical Costa Rican food -- good service, inexpensive, tasty, and filling. Ceviche is great.
Excellent gift shop with local art and crafts. Brief walk to downtown area. Gold museum is well worth a visit.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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290 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    100
    118
    46
    17
    9
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56
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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 (43)
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Maryland
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2014

We have stayed at the Don at least a half dozen times and when friends from out of the country go to San Jose this is where we recommend they stay. The location is excellent, the ambience is Costa Rican and the service is outstanding. The amazing art collection and comfortable lobby areas make this a destination in and of itself. It is an older building, so if you want a brand new corporate chain hotel stay elsewhere, but it will be your loss. You can rely on the gentlemen at the front desk for solid restaurant recommendations , directions and they can even tell you the best place to bumpy what you are looking for. All of the staff is friendly and helpful. I would give it 10 stars if I could.

Room Tip: If you have a problem climbing stairs or have a lot of luggage be sure to tell them you need a first...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled on business
    • 4 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
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Worthing, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2014

Like many guests, we stayed here for one night prior to taking a flight out of San Jose. The hotel has a lot of charm and the staff in reception and in the restaurant were all most friendly and helpful. Many of the older buildings in San Jose have been destroyed to make way for offices, impersonal hotels or even parking lots, and it is refreshing that the Don Carlos remains intact. The hotel is on the north side of the city centre and has a lot of charm. It is quite an easy walk into the city centre. We didn't feel threatened even at night but can understand that this may happen on occasions. We liked the hotel notwithstanding the rather dated look and feel to the bedrooms which would require attention if the hotel were to attract guests wanting to stay for much longer than one night. We thought the pricing was good value for money and the sheer quirkiness of the hotel made for a memorable visit.

Room Tip: Room 25 was quite a good size.
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Valence, France
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2014

After arriving in Costa Rica we stayed one night in San José before moving on to Limón. For the city that was more than enough, I find it an ugly city where I do not feel safe. The dangerous areas are incredibly photogenic for street photography, but it gets crossed off the map for tourists as an absolute NO GO.
Hotel Don Carlos is nice. We had spacious rooms with AC, and a view on the hotel's backyard and city. The public areas of the hotel are filled with little corners to lounge in, and national art or historic items. A free glass of punch on arrival, a safe in the room when you place a deposit, and a good breakfast in the morning with very friendly staff made this one fine stay for the night.

Room Tip: Invest a little more when possible to take one of the bigger rooms. The smaller ones are incredibly...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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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Chicago, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2014

The place is definitely eccentric with lots of art, history, and quirky touches throughout. I'm not sure how "authentic" it all is, but there are plenty of curiosities to explore which make this place maybe worth checking out for a night. The location is nice as well, on a quiet street just a few blocks from the city center. The rooms are very dated though, and there is zero sound barrier between rooms. We aren't too picky about this kind of stuff, but this place is quite ancient for the price - toilets don't flush well, broken beds, old upholstery, cloying flourescent lights, etc. Also, yes, the place is small, but doesn't have that quaint, owner-operated kind of personal service that we usually prefer. The service felt more corporate to us, even though it's an independent place. It's clearly been operating for a long time and doesn't really have that personal feel anymore. Could definitely use a makeover.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Bedfordshire, England
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2014

I stayed there twice on a 2 week trip in costa rica. the rooms are large and clean. the breakfast was nice and we ate in the restaurant for dinner twice and had very nice meals. the décor of the hotel is positively charming

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Netherlands
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
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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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 ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#25 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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