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“Part of honeymoon” 3 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
King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
27 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Part of honeymoon”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2013

Flew into the capital and thought this was the "Historic District" - good luck. Try walking the streets at night with a knife or gun because you can't go six blocks in any direction and hope to make it back. We walked 3 blocks until I took my wife back to the hotel. Luckily I carry a knife and didn't mind any of the people in my area to know I had it with me. This city is not safe.

The hotel itself is old as dirt. I mean literally, the rooms are absolutely tiny and the beds are awful. Don't expect the rooms to be safe either because this is not a safe city.

The bright spots are in the waitstaff which was curteous and helped us with our awful Spanish and most speak great English. At night the downstairs bar/dining area does make you feel like you were in a nice old city which this was over a hundred years ago. A man played the piano that was supremely talented. The morning breakfast is on the top floor which has a great view of the city and you can even eat on an small outside seating area. Breakfast is mediocre, but has fresh fruit you can take with you.

I wouldn't recommend this area.

Room Tip: Don't stay in the capital unless you absolutely must stay here.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank matthew 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, January 10, 2014
Thank you for your comments which are much appreciated. The upgrade of our rooms is included in our master renovation plan and we will take in consideration your comments. Regarding the safety of our city we actually don`t have major, not to say none, incidents to qualify San Jose as dangerous let alone to walk around armed.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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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Ramsbottom England
Level Contributor
58 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2013

This hotel was central but dated and the air con unit was free standing and noisy. Don't take a room at the front as the central square is noisy with the crossing on the road making beeping noises all night so did not make for a restful sleep at all.
The breakfast room is high up on the 5th floor so there are views over the city but it lacks character, the city is not a pretty place.
Close by is the main pedestrian street with the usual shops and the mercado is worth a trip just a few hundred metres away from the hotel. This is a good place for a coffee and cake or snacks from the Sodas. We were delayed by heavy rain so had to buy umbrellas which proved hard to find and asking was difficult as we speak limited Spanish.
The hotel restaurant/cafe outside had reasonable but pricey food with an outdoor area so quite nice for our first meal in the country and the burger was ok.
As our flight was delayed we missed our first night but no room was available when we arrived which was annoying, they said they had sold it but they did provide a large suite for us several hours later so we had much more space on the first stay but the last day of our trip back at the hotel was in a room with the smallest bathroom I have been in for many years. Did not complain as we were leaving at 5.30 am to get the plane home.

Room Tip: Ask for a room away from the front or the square/plaza.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 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?
Thank nabbthis
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, January 10, 2014
Thank you very much for your much appreciated comments. We are working on a large renovation plan and include larger bathrooms and insulate the windows towards the main plaza so the noise during the day will not disturb our guests.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level Contributor
36 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2013

Very antiquated and smelt musty.
Room small and took ages to get hot water to run, No tea/coffee making facility and quite noisy especially if at front of hotel
Breakfast good (buffet style) and centrally located.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank bambi123Uk
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 29, 2013
Thank you for your much appreciated comments. We apologize for the hot water inconvenience as the heater broke down, we already replaced it by a new one. As for the rooms try to book a superior room which overlook the National Theater.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these San Jose hotels

Portland, Oregon, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2013

My husband and I stayed here for 1 night on 10/08/13. prior to setting off on our trip to Nosara.
The front staff were so helpful and friendly....they also arranged to take care of our car for the night.
The Breakfast was served upstairs in the Dining Area,,,,which is absolutely beautiful...You imagine that your back in the 50's when everything was done in such a Glamorous fashion..Our Waiters were so friendly and helpful. The hummingbirds were just buzzing around and the waiters also made sure that these fabulous little birds had food to eat.
We would recommend this hotel to everyone. ..We had a great time.
Marianne and Jan.Tauc

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Marianne T
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 29, 2013
Greetings toward Portland, Oregon and thank you for your nice comments. We will congratulate Victor and Manuel, our breakfast waiters, as well as the front staff. We hope to have you back soon here in Costa Rica 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.
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
54 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2013 via mobile

Centrally located, perhaps the best thing about this hotel is its location. I assumed the hotel to be average at best when I got a room for $60 via American Express Travel. Room (#321) was incredibly small, without AC, and would serve better as a sauna than a place to sleep. View to a mountain of electrical equipment was also less than charming. Breakfast offering was excellent, but not a single person offered any assistance in any way from start to finish. Perhaps the best gallo pinto I have ever had in Costa Rica. On my next visit to San Jose I will undoubtedly return to the Presidente.

Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
Helpful?
Thank Travis D
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 29, 2013
Thank you for your much appreciated comments. Please try to book next time a superior room overlooking either the Culture Square or National Theater. Please feel free to contact us and we will assist you in booking.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bridlington, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2013

I stayed at the gran hotel at the beginning and end of a two week trip around Costa Rica, the first night stay was great, but the last night was dreadful, the room reserved for me was supposed to be a superior room, but because they were overbooked I was put into a standard room which was awful, it was right next to a generator, small and very hot. I was given two drinks to make up for the inconvenience, big deal !!
As I was leaving at 5.30 am I was told that I could have some coffee and toast instead of the breakfast that was included in my rate. When leaving I asked at the desk about the coffee and toast and the young man was very rude and said he knew nothing about it. This experience has put a damper on what had been up to then, a lovely holiday in Costa Rica. I sincerely hope that this doesn't happen to anyone else.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Shazza391
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 29, 2013
Thank you very much for your much appreciated comments. Unfortunately we had to block 8 rooms due to technical difficulties in electrical wiring and therefore had to downgrade some rooms. We sincerely apologize but hope to have you back soon at our historical property-
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Knoxville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2013

This was our first time staying at the Gran Hotel, but it will not be the last! it is a beautiful place with exceptional service. It is a great location, next to the National Theater and the Gold Museum (which is a must see) in the hub of downtown. There are a lot of typical sodas (restaurants) nearby and all the sights and shopping you could want.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank rlane962
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 29, 2013
Thank you for your nice comments, we hope we will have you back soon here in Costa Rica 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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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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