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“it was great in 1930, but someone has messed it up”

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Gran Hotel Costa Rica
Ranked #39 of 85 Hotels in San Jose
Cambridge, Canada
2 reviews
“it was great in 1930, but someone has messed it up”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 15, 2013

We paid $220.00 for a suite for one night. If the price was $65.00 the price would fit the hotel standards.
The worst issue was the beeping of those street crossing light warnings designed to assist blind people. It makes loud sounds all night long. Its right outside the room. Hardly slept on the cheap mattress poor quality sheets. For a historical hotel the internal furnishings are of the lowest quality, and uncomfortable. Hallway smells of cock-roach poison. breakfast included - that price is right.
San jose itself has so many police it feels like cell block 9 on lock down after a riot, dirty place..
Also ate dinner at hotel as it was raining. The Main coarse was good. The bread stale. Only one bottle of wine on menu. An $8 dollar bottle for 40 usd. $110. USD for two. Bad lighting. and cheap table and chairs. Saw one lady fall to the floor as leg broke off ugly chair.

Room Tip: Avoid this city and avoid this hotel
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank cornerstone1969
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, November 18, 2013
Thank you for your much appreciated comments. The hotel is since June under a new management and is undergoing a major refurbishment process which will help resolve most of the issues you commented on. As we always had award winning comments on our restaurant we will review your comments specifically and act accordingly to resolve all issues. We hope to welcome you back at our renovated property in the future and thank you once again for your time you have taken to let us know your opinion on the hotel and our city.
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895 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (140)
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Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 7, 2013

We were very excited to book into this Grand old hotel until we checked in. The staff
were generally helpful. Unfortunately the facilities in the room are more like a 2* hotel!
Bedside lamp not working. Shower not working properly, water either too hot or too cold,
with very low water pressure. Staff could not rectify above defects. No power point to
charge our phones. Only bath towels provided, no hand towels. Room has no air conditioning,
can be stuffy. Poor privacy as windows face other bedrooms.
Breakfast hall is nice but quality of breakfast is poor.
I definitely would not recommend this hotel.

Room Tip: My description is for a standard room
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jamesljt
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, November 18, 2013
Thank you for your much appreciated comments. We are aware of the deficiencies of an almost 90 year old building and are working hard to maintain the standard up to our 4 Stars. We also apologize we could not meet your expectations but nevertheless hope welcoming you back in the future as we are undergoing a major refurbishment process to improve our product. Also the next time we recommend you not to book a standard room as they all face an interior patio and other bedrooms windows but instead one of our superior or deluxe rooms which all face the city, National Theater or the Culture Square.
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Travelers are raving about these San Jose hotels

Atenas, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
148 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 28, 2013

We have lived in Costa Rica far a while but this was our first visit to the Gran Hotel. It is just off the central avenue located next to the national theater and a busy plaza. This is an old style hotel so don't expect a modern Marriott. I agree with others that it is ready for an upgrade but I loved the classic 50's - 60's feeling. The staff is wonderful and will take care of you. The restaurant is okay but the outside seating allows you to absorb the daily lives of the locals. The wait staff is over the top, especially Victor. We had a corner deluxe room. Very spacious. Small bathroom. Funky old windows that opened to let in the cool breeze and sounds of the city. Portable AC is not the most efficient. The wi fi is probably the biggest negative. Otherwise I recommend you enjoy the Pura Vida of San Jose at the Gran Hotel.

Room Tip: Don't reserve a standard room. Way to small.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Howard P
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, November 1, 2013
Thank you very much for your nice comments on our property. I will personally congratulate Victor for being mentioned in a review. We hope to have you back soon here at your home away from home at the Gran Hotel Costa Rica.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
37 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 21, 2013 via mobile

Tripadvisor locates this hotel several miles away from the city centre. In fact it could not be more central. It is opposite the Opera house.
The public areas of the hotel reflect the "Gran" in its name. The reception area is panelled with dark wood, and contains furniture from the visit of JFK in 1963. The breakfast room is like a formal ballroom. Unfortunately the buffet does not match up to its surroundings. The rooms are in need of updating and are quite tired. We stayed twice here in a "superior" room. The rooms had views out towards the Opera House, but I suspect the standard rooms would have views towards the interior of the building. Our first room was quite small. The second was larger. Both had refrigerator and air conditioning. Lighting was quite dim.

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank kevhigg
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, November 1, 2013
Thank you for your much appreciated comments. We are indeed in the renovation process of the rooms and hope to finish by the end of this year. We hope to have you back here in your home away from home at the Grand Hotel Costa Rica.
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San Jose, Costa Rica
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 9, 2013

I have stayed at the Gran Hotel San Jose many times now, and they are consistently the best in customer service. The Hotel is beautiful, located next to the National Theater in central San Jose, and has great food as well. The restaurant staff and menu are great, and you can enjoy beautiful piano music while you dine.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kenneth W
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, October 12, 2013
Thank you for your much appreciated comments. Always nice to have guests enjoying a historical property in the city center in front of the National Theater and enjoying hospitality combined with history and culture. We hope to have you back soon at your home away from home in Costa Rica.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Level Contributor
27 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 7, 2013

Spouse has friends in SJ and chose this hotel for us from recommendations. I booked online and was able to secure a great rate - I thought. Almost 100 year old hotel NOT KEPT UP. "Deluxe " room had one lamp, no couch as promised, broken bed (bed board's not connected to frame), windows that would not lock (lock broken and flapped in breeze), extremely dim - one - light in bathroom, phone not working for four days! Second day they had bed pulled out and were working behind it to try to fix said phone. Next day told it was fixed but - NOT! Finally told them to leave it alone!!! Two electric plugs available - one had their clock plugged in and the other had a PORTABLE (ROLL ABOUT) air conditioner plugged in to it. BTW the A/C was one who's water drain had to be emptied at least twice a day including at 2 am!

Bad hotel? YES. My spouse should have had a hint when they did not have room to show him when he check with them a month earlier.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lynne 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, October 12, 2013
Thank you for your most important comments which are much appreciated. As we started a complete overhaul of the hotel just recently I would like you to invite you back to our old historical property and enjoy our upgraded master rooms. I hope to welcome you back to our hotel and enjoy a relaxing and beautiful stay with us at the Gran Hotel Costa Rica
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Madrid
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 25, 2013

A charming hotel in the best possible location in San José just across another gem which is the National theatre. Takes you to another time. I love these kind of hotels, so well preserved, and they are not so easy to find anymore.

Room Tip: As it is such a good value book the best rooms because the standard ones are very small.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Marenlared
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sandor T, Director General at Gran Hotel Costa Rica, responded to this review, September 30, 2013
Thank you very much for your comments which are much appreciated. We hope to have you back here at your home away from home.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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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