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“Historical elegance” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Gran Hotel Costa Rica

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Gran Hotel Costa Rica
Ranked #38 of 84 Hotels in San Jose
Prince Rupert, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Historical elegance”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

I enjoyed my stay at the Gran. I found the service (especially in the restaurant) to be excellent. Daily live music, wonderful breakfast buffet overlooking the city, and a fabulous cafe Americano were highlights. My room was not fancy or newly decorated, but it was clean and well-kept.

Room Tip: This hotel is in the heart of a busy city, so if you want a quieter experience, perhaps consider ask...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 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
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kate C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sandor T, General Manager at Gran Hotel Costa Rica, responded to this review, September 25, 2013
Thank you for your much appreciated comments, we hope to have you back soon here in San Jose at your home away from home.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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891 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (140)
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Milwaukee, WI
Level Contributor
28 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

It's an old hotel, badly in need of renovation. I would definitely not recommend it and would not have chosen it if I had been making my own plans. I was with a group, and we each had our own rooms, and that was very illuminating--every room was different. Mine was small but adequate, with a tiny window and a functional albeit noisy AC unit (of the old swamp cooler type). Another person had a room much like mine but smaller. One of our party one floor up from us had a large room but the AC unit was completely nonfunctional. Another person had a truly appalling room that was so tiny she could barely turn around, no AC, dirty, and one tiny window overlooking a very noisy street corner. All of our rooms were noisy with the window open, so even semi-functional AC was a plus--these rooms were all hot. But one of our party had a room that actually looked like one of the pictures on the website--a spacious corner room overlooking the square in front of the hotel with windows on two sides and a bathroom in good shape. So, apparently, it is the luck of the draw. The desk staff were actually quite helpful and friendly to us, and the common areas were nice. The location was great and that was why we had it. We walked a lot around town and it seemed very central. The breakfast was adequate and there was plenty of food, but one of our party mislaid his breakfast ticket and you would think he had lost the keys to the crown jewels. What a fuss! Overall, my experience was OK, but the place is definitely not worth the price.

Room Tip: Good luck. I don't know if they would let you look at any, but I would definitely ask to see wh...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank LNinWI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these San Jose hotels

Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
29 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

We stayed in the Gran Hotel the last 3 days of our visit to Costa Rica because of the central location in downtown San Jose. We enjoyed the nicely decorated square where we could watch the gathering of people enjoying the Christmas decorations and bringing their young children to feed the pigeons. The location put us in walking distance of the local points of interest. Our room was on the front side of the hotel and it was nice to be able to look out upon the square but beware of the noise. I was forced to wear earplugs in order to sleep. Even after the noise died down, the traffic light "chirped" the entire night. Taking a shower was a challenge - constantly adjusting the water going from cold to hot to hot to cold. There is a certain quaintness to this old hotel and service from employees was cordial, price and location was right but don't expect modern.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank TXTraveler6756
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013

First let's start with the room: Boiling hot with no AC, cracked caved-in tile in the bathroom, no hot water and a trickle at that, bed as hard as a rock.
Now let's move on to the customer service or complete lack there of.
Our flight was delayed and we would be arriving in Costa Rica a day late, so we requested to change our reservation to our last night in San Jose through Orbitz. Was on the phone with Orbitz multiple times to request and confirm the reservation change which they ensured us went through. When we arrived at the hotel they said they had never received our reservation through Orbitz. I showed them the printed confirmation to no avail. They suggested we contact Orbitz to which we replied to use their phone. The front desk staff said they were unable to make international calls, which is laughable for a supposedly top tier hotel. They told us to go outside and find an internet cafe. Did not offer to hold our bags. After getting in touch with Orbitz again we returned to the hotel to finally get into our room. We were then told the hotel was 100% booked. Finally someone from Orbitz contacted Dixon, the operations manager who said he would work something out for us. We waited a total of 2 hours standing in the lobby until we were finally given a room. We requested an upgrade for our wasted time and were merely given nods and smiles in reply. I would be scared to see what our original room looked like if the room we were given was truly an upgrade. It was one of the most uncomfortable rooms I have ever stayed in in my life.
Instead of being treated like guests we were treated like unwelcome beggars. An overall awful experience.

Room Tip: Do not choose a cheaper room! It might be a broom closet.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank EmmaHRM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Petersburg, Florida
Level Contributor
24 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

I'm sure this place was amazing in the 30s, but now it's time for a few upgrades. Don't be fooled by their beautiful lobby...that's the bait and the hook. Service at reception was terrible. The thought of sleeping on the floor crossed my mind when I laid down on the hard mattress. The room was hot all night from the vents blowing hot air straight into the tiny tiny window that had a view of...the vents. San Jose gets chilly at night, but this night I slept without sheets. Breakfast wasn't good. Sorry I'm not being creative right now. If you want a nice Hotel go down the street to Hotel Presidente.

Room Tip: Go somewhere else....
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ariel M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

We stayed twice at the Gran Hotel Costa Rica on our trip over the holidays. The first time was fine and we liked the location of the hotel so despite the service we booked it again for our departure which we now regret.

After one night in the Gran my girlfriend and I both woke up with bed bug bites up and down our bodies. It was disgusting. When I approached the front desk to let them know that they had a bed bug problem, they did not show a sign of concern. This is obviously not the first time this has happened. I would highly advise avoiding this hotel.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Garth W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
seattle, wa
Level Contributor
19 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

We stayed here two nights just before Christmas, due to late arrival at airport and the fact we couldn't get into our hotel in Manuel Antonio for two days. We thought it might be fun to see the capital of Costa Rica and this hotel sounded well placed and historic. It IS historic, but badly in need of restoration. Our room was extremely small and totally lacking in charm, the bathroom even worse. The windows wouldn't close, which was a problem because of the noise outside the room. We turned on the air conditioner to drown out the outside noise, which worked in a good/bad way--it sounded like a jet plane. As for seeing the capital of Costa Rica, we should have skipped it. Enjoyed the Pre-Columbian museum quite a lot. Did not enjoy the stage that had been set up exactly next to the hotel with a blaring DJ and band for several hours. It meant no one could sit in the outdoor restaurant or terrace. Believe all the other reviews about this hotel and about San Jose--I should have.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank pattimae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gran Hotel Costa Rica

Property: Gran Hotel Costa Rica
Address: Central and Second Ave. Between 1 & 3, San Jose 527-1000, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of San Jose > San Jose Metro > San Jose
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Luxury Hotel in San Jose
#7 Casino Hotel in San Jose
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Gran Hotel Costa Rica 4*
Number of rooms: 107
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the absence of a major first-class hotel in the country, the Constitutional Congress of the Republic of Costa Rica enacted the law number 34 on November 22, 1928, which was actually a contract subscribed on October 3, 1928, by and between the first owner of the hotel, Dr. Luis Paulino Jimenez Ortiz, and Cleto Gonzalez Viquez, President of the Republic. It granted a series of fiscal benefits to the contractor, in exchange for the construction of the hotel. There was also a provision according to which the Government was granted for twenty years the right to have at their disposal for free two apartments at the hotel for lodging foreign diplomatic representatives of extraordinary nature. Grand Hotel Costa Rica is today operated by the Elite Hotels and Resorts Costa Rica hotel chain. It is the only hotel in Costa Rica that was declared a historical and architectural monument by the government of Costa Rica. Located in the heart of the San Jose between national monuments, squares, museums and pedestrian streets, the Gran Hotel Costa Rica is just a few steps away from the cultural landmarks and entertainment venues. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gran Hotel San Jose
Gran Hotel Costa Rica San Jose

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