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“The worst experience”

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Hotel Alta Las Palomas
Ranked #3 of 14 Hotels in Escazu
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 18, 2013

We went to this hotel like 2 weeks ago to spare the weekend. Everything started weird as we really didn't notice any other customers, and that brought our attention for such centric hotel. First, I want to say that the hotel was ok because it was what we were looking for: somewhere peaceful. But the catastrophe came at the time when we were paying the bill as they charged us $200 more for a tobacco smoking policy that - as per the maid's testimony - was in our room when in fact was in the room next-door when some clients checked in very late. They did smoke in the room's balcony and the smoke came into our room. We couldn't believe when the people at the desk charged us those $200 penalty for a room that costs $180, even worst, we weren't the ones committing such terrible crime.

Of curse the manager wasn't around for us to explain our situation better, and we were left by our destiny to accept an dishonorable charge. The hotel desk guy promised we were to receive a call from the manager to at least offer a discount voucher but as of today no such call has been made. This is for me - that fortunately have been in many hotels around the world - the worst experience ever. They just don't trust their clients and provide this terrible experience...

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank ADTiv
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 reviewResponded August 26, 2013

dear tripadvisor traveller,

The gentleman that I spoke to about this matter is not the one who wrote this complaint, as he admitted that he had smoked in the room, so I suppose the lady that was with him is the one who wrote this.

The Alta does have a strict non-smoking policy for the comfort of our guests. Also, within the last year, Costa Rica has passed stringent anti-smoking laws, and smoking is not permitted in public places, even in outside restaurants, but only in areas more removed from people, like side walks and parking lots.

In checking our room registry, no one was in any adjacent room while this couple was here. We’re sorry that the lady feels that this fee was excessive, but in reality in some cases, the $200 does not cover the cost of what must be spent in restoring the room for comfortable habitation by non-smokers.

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321 - 327 of 435 reviews

Reviewed July 30, 2013

After encountering many unhelpful front desk staff in recent travels, we were pleasantly surprised to stumble upon this enchanting hotel. Luis saved our trip and we look forward to enjoying more magical moments at this special hotel...

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank marcie87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2013 via mobile

Today was the first day of our Trip we book thought Nature Air. We were welcomed by a very articulate and nice young man and taken to the Hotel Alta. Wow what a place and view this hotel has. It has the feel and feel of a 1920s mansion. But yet very cozy rooms, tremdous views of down town San Jose... Beds and linens are fine quality. The meal was one of the best I have every had in Costa Rica, my son inhaled the sea bass and coconut sauce. The tuna was cooked to perfection. It was nice to have English broad cast on the TV. Two thumbs up for us. Beautiful setting and location. And the staff is first class. You do not get service like this in many places... Pura Vida...

  • Stayed: July 2013
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1  Thank Drchask
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2013

We really enjoyed the one night we spent in the unique Alta Hotel. The interior was tastefully decorated with furnishings straight out of the Restoration Hardware catalogue. The rooms were nice and had great views, though awkwardly laid out - remnants of the hotels previous incarnation.

We also enjoyed the on site restaurant and bar. Surprisingly good food at reasonable prices - rare for a hotel of this nature.

Overall, a beautiful hotel and perfect for our needs. We would love to stay here again.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Dan A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2013

Arriving at the Alta Hotel is like arriving at some sort of "modern" medieval mansion. With massively high ceilings and quirky (and obviously high end) decor, if you were promised luxury by your travel agent or online descriptions you will NOT be disappointed.

The service also was second to none. The staff were always ready and waiting to help. From calling our room to make sure we had anything to bringing our breakfast to our private balcony, I was thoroughly impressed throughout. They even made a wonderful arrangement for dinner under that hugely impressive Guanacaste tree.... AWESOME.

That brings me to the food... The BEST part of our stay. My wife has shiitake mushroom and goats cheese ravioli alla vodka and I had seared seabass and mixed shell fish - OH MY GOD!!! Incredible! We have eaten in some fantastic restaurants and La Luz @ Alta Hotel is up there with the best of them (if not thee best).

Bottom line - If you live in San Jose and want somewhere special to take your loved one or if you need to spend a night or two at the start or end of your vacation in Costa Rica look no further than Alta Hotel!!!

Did I mention the views are INCREDIBLE!!! :)

Room Tip: Room 44 has a fantastic view, however, most rooms do.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank AidanAMullan
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 reviewResponded June 27, 2013

Dear Aidan, thanks for your lovely comments. i hope you come back soon.

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Reviewed May 26, 2013 via mobile

Beautifully decorated in a Restoration Hardware meets Spanish castle type of way. The valley views are breathtaking. The restaurant is unbelievably delicious (and reasonably priced by US standards). My only complaint is that it is very far from attractions and with the no-address thing CR has going on, not many taxi drivers are able to find it easily when you are trying to get back after a long day of travel or shopping. No spa, no walkable eateries/coffee shops other than the hotel restaurant. Overall a fine experience.

  • Stayed: May 2013
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Thank Jbludorn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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1  Thank Chris B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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 Romantic Hotel in Escazu
#1 Business Hotel in Escazu
#4 Family Hotel in Escazu
Price Range: $101 - $282 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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