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“Management makeover needed”

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Hotel Alta Las Palomas
Ranked #2 of 15 Hotels in Escazu
Certificate of Excellence
Berkeley, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Management makeover needed”
Reviewed May 15, 2013

There is no question that the Hotel Alta is a lovely hotel. I have stayed there many times over the last several years. I have two problems with the hotel. One is the price: under the prior management, the hotel was a real bargain, now it is more on the expensive side. But that is not its biggest problem. The hotel, under the previous owner, was a place where all the staff enjoyed working there. When the hotel was sold last fall, a new manager was brought in, and the staff is now unhappy.I heard this not from one or two disgruntled employees, but seemingly from everyone. i inquired about a number of my favorite staff people, and several of them have left. And there were some other clear signs, even though the staff continues to do an excellent job, despite the manager. It's a real shame, because the staff has been together for years, and was/is a charming, attentive lot. The other problem is that in trying to upgrade the hotel, the new ownership has made some interior design decisions that for the most part are uninspiring. They appear to borrowing from the W chain and others of chic, post-modern look, but if you have been to the Alta, you'll know that this is not a good fit.
I did hear that the new owner also owns Nature Air. I am sure he knows how critical staff morale is for a boutique hotel like this. if staff morale and sensible pricing can be restored, this place could really start to humm again: because basically, the bones of this hotel, the view, the locale, are hard to beat. Sadly, now, this great hotel feels lifeless, and is in need of a visionary who appreciates it.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Chris B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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397 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
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  • Cleanliness
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Virginia
Level Contributor
86 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2013

We loved this Hotel. Quaint architecture, amazing views of the city, a pool, and restaurant, amazing bathroom, very spacious bedroom, closet, sitting room, and balcony. But what is truly amazing is the friendly staff. Our 6-year son really 'hit it off' with Cindy at the front desk. Tell her 'Hi from Little Winke" when you go, which you must go.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank luvtravel023
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 24, 2013 via mobile

This hotel is stunning and quaint. It's an old hotel that has been recently updated.

I just love the feel of an old building that's updated with gorgeous interior designs but still maintains its charm through things such as the old shingled discolored roof and old growth foliage.

The service is really great too with fine dining and "little favors". For instance, my husband asked for an iron and ironing board and they offered to have housekeeping iron his clothes as a "little favor".

Overall we really enjoyed our stay.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank danielabobi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenville, South Carolina
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 17, 2013

My wife and I stayed here for one night before our departure flight at the end of our vacation. I agree with previous reviews that the architecture feels almost medieval, very neat. Service was great and the view from the balcony is beautiful. The hotel sits on a hillside in a part of town that felt oddly like a Malibu area of this city. The room has an extensive minibar. We had dinner here and the food and service were excellent. Breakfast was included (continental, there were other options you could pay for) which consisted of a large assorted fruit plate and various breads with homemade jam, and don't forget the coffee of course. It oddly enough was a refreshing, healthy breakfast.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LAS0707
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Level Contributor
136 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed April 14, 2013

Like many others, this was our overnight stop at the beginning and end of a holiday to Costa Rica. At the end of a very long day's travel, it was great to be able to check in quickly and go to sleep in a clean and comfortable room. Even although somewhat fatigued by our flights, we couldn't help noticing the design of the hotel. From the outside it looks fairly modern, but which a nice organic shape, but inside it has the feel of a cross between a grand hacienda and a cathedral built by a slight eccentric. It is definitely not a dull, concrete box.

The staff are friendly and welcoming and the restaurant enjoys a high reputation. When we stayed we were somewhat surprised at the number of things on the menu that were - "not available". That is to be expected in some of the less easily accessible parts of Costa Rica, but not in the capital city surely? The most surprising thing was to be told at an early breakfast on a Friday that there was no bacon or sausage left - and the hotel was pretty quiet.

The small garden is very pleasant and quiet with a mixture of sunny and shady spots and a clean pool - although we didn't use it.

Our only other criticism would be that it would be good to have ceiling fans in the rooms. Air conditioning is not necessary, but a ceiling fan would have been great.

Despite that, as a pre or post flight stop, this is a good choice.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank WBT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SC
Level Contributor
28 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed April 11, 2013

We stayed in Alta hotel 2 night: one upon arrival to Costa Rica, and the other - prior to the departure. It's an unusual place indeed: inside it feels like... a clean medieval castle. Strange but true.
Very nice staff. The dinner at the hotel restaurant was a bit expensive. The breakfast is included, consists of toasts, jam and fruits (+coffee and OJ). We asked for extra toasts and jam (simply excellent) - and got it both times (free, of course). It pays to be nice;)))
More items can be ordered form the menu, but you will have to pay extra. So, if you planned to consume a pound of bacon for free , or save on lunch, you will be sorely disappointed;)))

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank ikhulor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Devon
Level Contributor
17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed March 27, 2013

I stayed here for two nights with a group of 25 travellers. It is perched high up a hillside above San Jose, and is just a perfect to relax after a long flight. Would have loved another couple of nights.
It is built on several levels, the dining room, bar and pool on the lower level. Each room has its own secluded balcony/patio looking out over the pool and gardens. The decor is quite majestic, and architecture quirky, yet contemporary. Lots of little curvy nooks and windy corridors.
The beds are just so comfortable - the best pillows in Costa Rica.
The bar is friendly and well stocked, but a little expensive.
Sadly the breakfast let our stay down. Very little choice - we had to fill up on cakes, or go hungry. Very few of us stayed in for dinner, as it was very expensive. Such a pity, as the choice looked good.

Room Tip: All nice, but as it is on different levels, you would have to consider mobility difficulties.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Annecxt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eugenia F, Manager at Hotel Alta Las Palomas, responded to this review, March 28, 2013
thank you very much for your lovely comments.

We’re very sad that you didn't take a dinner in our beautiful restaurant. I always talk to the group leader to offer a special price and menu for the groups, if you decide to return, please let me know personally so that I can make sure to offer a special price for you and your group.

saludos,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Alta Las Palomas

Property: Hotel Alta Las Palomas
Address: Hwy 121 | Alto de las Palomas, Escazu 10201, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of San Jose > San Jose Metro > Escazu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Escazu
#1 Romantic Hotel in Escazu
#4 Family Hotel in Escazu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Alta Las Palomas 3.5*
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Alta Las Palomas is a collection of 23 rooms with private balconies and expansive views of costa Rica's central valley. This means you'll often find an adventure-weary traveler dining at la luz restaurant+bar, kicking back and soaking up the views after an epic expedition, or regrouping to head out again. Their roomy balconies leading you to an exotic garden scene, or if staying in the master suite, the mountains, and volcanoes beyond Valle de Santa Ana. Local organic farmers supply the ingredients for la luz restaurant+bar whose menus feature an eclectic mix of influences. Let our chef indulge your senses with an exquisite culinary experience at la luz restaurant+bar, renowned as one of the best restaurants in San José. *We are not pet-friendly ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Alta Hotel Escazu
Hotel Alta Las Palomas Costa Rica/Escazu

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