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“Okay for touring the area”

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Taranova-Villas Palmas
Reviewed August 6, 2011

The location is good if you wish to tour the area. I wouldn't choose this location if the idea is to spend much time at the hotel.

The city of San José can be visited by bus (although there are some issues crossing an extremely busy street to get to the bus stop...). Mostly we toured with the car. The traffic directions are very poorly marked in Costa Rica. After it had taken us once 2,5 hours to find the highway on the other side of the city, we started askind directions to get to the right road from the reception. And they were able to give very precise instructions how to find the road we want to go to. This was excellent.

The appartement had a downstairs living area and kitchen and three bedrooms upstairs. Everything was okay, there was plenty of room but the age of some of the things was very visible (you see the stained bed cover on one of my photos). For example, several lamps were not working but the light bulbs had not been replaced. But the apartment was clean.

There was some traffic noise from the highway.

There were some good restaurants within walking distance as well as a grocery store and post office in the same shopping center (although it took ages for the post cards to arrive to their destinations...).

Staff was friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled with friends
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13  Thank kauris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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43 - 49 of 57 reviews

Reviewed June 3, 2011

...stayed a week with my husband, our pregnant daughter and her husband and my
brother and his wife! The unit was just perfect for us! It had everything we would have
wanted in a unit- and more. The staff were extremely accomodating and courteous.
The unit and surrounding areas were kept tidy and clean. The place is also close
to almost everything you could imagine-restaurants, the bank, grocery, drugstore,
souvenir shops, even a casino!!! We checked in on a Sunday and the following day, we
had breakfast prepared by Sol Tropical Tours ( a lot better than the breakfast at
Denny's)!
We only booked 2 tours from Sol Tropical because we have rented our own vehicle.
Christian was an absolutely amazing tour guide! He showed so much pride and
respect for his country that perhaps he deserves a special award from the
government! Mark, who heads the Sol Tropical,is another guy who is worth mentioning.
His tours were exactly designed the way a first-timer in Costa Rica would want it to
be.! I am sure we would have loved the rest of the tours if we have taken them too!
I would definitely recommend Taranova-Villas Palmas and Sol Tropical Tours to
anyone! Muchas Gracias to Villas Palmas and Mark and Christian!

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled with family
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25  Thank Floramon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 26, 2011

We had a 3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath timeshare, for 2 weeks. It had all the conviences of home, swimming pool, very friendly staff, and worked for our needs. We used it, as a homebase, as we took off, for Jaco Beach for 3 nights, Nuevo Arenal, for one night, and Atenas, for 2 nights.
I had read on a previous post, that the sheets and towels were sub-standard, so they must have replace them, before, we got there. They change sheets and towels, twice a week, and have daily maid service.
A tour company provides any tour you could want. We had a rental car, so found the location, great, for hopping on the local freeways, etc.
Free Internet in the office.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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14  Thank Claudiagenna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 4, 2011

We used it for a home base for day trips - and it was pretty good for that purpose, it's not a resort or 4 star hotel. With that in mind it was a very good place to stay in San Jose.

Our apartment was the 3 bedroom place, so it was plenty roomy. A small living room area with a futon & TV, the bedrooms and 2 bathrooms were upstairs, so there was a comfortable breeze - no A/C. Downstairs there was a large living room areas also with a TV, a kitchen, dining room and an outdoor table facing the common area. Off of the kitchen was an outside sink and clothsline.

The only downside - which also is good thing - was that it was close to the highways, so the traffic noise came through.

We had a rental car - if you want to drive, be sure to get a GPS. If you don't want to drive, the tour company seemed to be enjoyed by those who took their tours.

Stayed: March 2011, traveled with friends
13  Thank mhectorgato
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 24, 2011

We also used this RCI timeshare for the week of March Break (March 12 - 20). We had unit 11 right beside the garbage cans (although we did not smell it, we didn't make use of the hammock outside our condo). As mentioned this is a condo unit with a small pool that I didn't see anyone use or sit near. Parking is available should you choose to rent a car. Taxis are available but you can easily walk down 300m max. to the Best Western Irazu to catch one. The complex has a gate where you ring the bell to enter. There is someone at the front desk 24-7. There is WiFi outside the main reception (reliable and high speed; i.e. can use SKYPE on your iPhone/iTouch). Room cleaning service at your discretion by hanging the sign on your door. There is a $150 deposit requirement; upon departure $100 is returned to you ($50 is kept for cleaning service).

The Unit
We had a 3 bedroom (see pictures - more posted on general PHOTOS section) with one main bathroom. The Master bedroom had a full ensuite (shower/bathtub), toilet, bidet, sink etc. The main bathroom had shower, sink, toilet. There is also a vanity downstairs (toilet/sink). One room had a double bed; another room had 2 twins; the master had queen/double. There is also a futon in the central area on the second level. Downstairs the living room and dining room was ample size for 4 adults (would get crowded with 6 adults, in my opinion, but there is that sitting area upstairs as well). Two TVs - although we never turned them on. There is also a "mud room" with sink. The kitchen has full length refrigerator (just slightly bigger than European size). There was a microwave, kettle, stove. All cookware and dishes present - the all important cork screw!

The Location
It is literally 300 m from the Best Western Irazu... so if you have the time share for a week (Sun. to Sun.) I highly recommend you try to fly into San Jose on a Sat. and stay the night at the Best Western (which allows up to 3 adults in a room). It is about a 10 to 15 min. cab ride to downtown (which will cost you roughly 4000 colones - depending on where you're going downtown). RCI paperwork (when booking) makes mention of Sol Tropical as the tour operator (a previous review mentions this company headed by Mark). After several inquiries through email prior to our departure to Costa Rica, we opted to forgo Sol Tropical's "menu" of tours and decided to hire our own driver (exactly for the reasons the previous review mentioned was a disappointment). It will cost a bit more but when we hired the driver, we got to do what we wanted to see and when we saw something along the way, there was no issue about stopping or changing itinerary. San Jose itself is not a great colonial city by any means and you can do the core downtown in 2 days - easily. I suggest you stay in San Jose as your central location to travel around the country. You can also check out Nature Air for cheap flights to, for example, Manuel Antonio, which will spare you the "Costa Rican Massage" of the roads! Or as I said, hire a driver (we used Walter's Tours - he speaks English - walterramirezc@yahoo.com (506) 8873 4266), and definitely go to Arenal, Monteverde, Manuel Antonio. We were picked up at 7 a.m. and didn't arrive back until midnight (as requested) - like I said, you hire the driver for the day and indicate what time you want to leave and return.

All in all, b/c Villa Palmas is a time-share, we only paid minimal costs associated with the rental agreement. I would recommend it for adults or families with older children.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with friends
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21  Thank PolyglotTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 2011

My cousin and I spent a week here (in exchange for an RCI timeshare) and had a fabulous time. It is NOT a resort, that's true. But it can't be beat for its location just west of the city center, resident travel company, and the arrangement of the condos around a central courtyard (very conducive to meeting and greeting the other guests). We took a tour each day to a different part of the country and thoroughly enjoyed the contrasts (Christian is, indeed, an incredibly talented tour guide). Almost all of the tours included at least one meal and were a very good value. What an easy way to see the country!

The only downside (if it can be called that) is that Mark, the owner of Sol Tropical (the resident travel company), tries to accommodate absolutely everyone. This means that the pushy people could push your vacation off track if you are not forewarned! Just make sure you understand what you are getting (even if this means you have to sit down with Mark and calmly and clearly identify all the details). Things can get rushed on Monday morning when everyone is swarming around setting up their tours and you may think that you know what you are doing the rest of the week only to find later that everything has changed. We did find that some details of our tours were later changed but when we spoke up and identified to Mark or Christian what we needed, each made every effort to accommodate us. (This included Mark coming to the office on Sunday to drive us personally to the airport when he learned of an accident that was causing a terrific traffic jam). I will definitely return if I have the opportunity.

  • Stayed: March 2011
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10  Thank eswoodruff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 16, 2010

We got this apartotel in exchange for an RCI timeshare. Rated for up to 8, the 3 bedroom really is only enough for 6-7 (less privacy for the 7th). We went with our 3 sons, 16, 19 and 27. Good basic accommodation, comfortable but not luxurious, as the lone negative viewer seems to have expected. We definitely would go back there again.

Do remember that Costa Rica is a developing country. If your expectations are realistic, you'll be delighted. If you want to feel as if you haven't left the US or Canada, stay at the Best Western Irazú and eat at the Denny's down the street

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
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13  Thank BillF20639
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Taranova-Villas Palmas

Address: Metros Este 200, San Jose, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of San Jose > San Jose Metro > San Jose
Hotel Style:
Ranked #35 of 79 Specialty Lodging in San Jose
Hotel Class:3 star — Taranova-Villas Palmas 3*
Number of rooms: 7
Also Known As:
Taranova-Villas Palmas Hotel San Jose
Taranova-Villas Palmas Costa Rica/San Jose

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