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“Familiar and enchanting hotel in downtown San Jose”
Review of Hotel Santo Tomas

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Hotel Santo Tomas
Ranked #8 of 84 Hotels in San Jose
Certificate of Excellence
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Familiar and enchanting hotel in downtown San Jose”
Reviewed October 15, 2012

I was traveling on my own and I found this hotel very convenient and close to many San Jose attractions. It is quite affordable with spacious rooms. The staff are very friendly and helpful. I stayed one week and they arranged all my tours while there and gave me directions and information for anything I needed. The last day of my staying my booked transfer never came and I was 30 min late for my flight, the owner Thomas had no trouble to offer me a ride and took me to the airport. Honestly, nowadays you don't see people going that extra mile, Thank you Thomas!!! If you want to feel like at home and having the time of your life exploring Costa Rica, this hotel is a great option.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank julioabril
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AdvisorHST, Owner at Hotel Santo Tomas, responded to this review, October 23, 2012
Hola Don JulioApril, Glad to know that you did not miss your flight and made it safe home. Your excellent comments about the hotel being quite affordable , spacious rooms and friendly staff , is what I think most travelers are looking for today. Its nice to know we are hitting the nail on the head. All of the hotel staff is trained 24/7 to assist with all types of information along with arrangements for travel, tours and with car rental. I hope you can return in the future and again thank you for the wonderful comments. Warmest Regards Thomas
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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (257)
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Surfers Paradise, Australia
Level Contributor
336 reviews
221 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 274 helpful votes
Reviewed October 11, 2012

Six weeks in to my CA trip this place was a very nice place to spend a few nights. Big room, hot shower and a comfy bed. A little older but the whole place has a nice feel and only 4 short blocks into the main part of San Jose. Staff were helpful and owner was attentive without being overbearing. WIFI in room and also a computer to upload photos etc. Breakfast light but did the trick and a coffee machine in the lobby. $115 for 2 nights. I can see why people keep coming back here when in SJ. Swimming pool.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank MJS1966
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AdvisorHST, Owner at Hotel Santo Tomas, responded to this review, October 23, 2012
Hi MJS1966, WOW , thanks for such a great , short, concise and accurate review. No need for me to say anything else. I just hope the rest of your Central American travels are going well and I am happy we could provide you with some wonderful memories of Hotel Santo Tomas and Costa Rica. Journey well . Thomas
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America
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed October 11, 2012

Problems with this hotel:
Bed Bugs-waking up in the middle of the night with itches all over whole body...
Breakfast- very important when i choose a hotel. In a fruit capital of the world, you get 3 bite size (not exaggerating) pieces of fruits, 1 egg, and a toast with jam and coffee. Dont choose the cereal option because you can't serve yourself and you'll get half a bowl and too much milk. NOT a BUFFET. Don't be stingy with the most important meal of the day.
Parking- I've never even heard of a hotel where you have to pay an extra $10 a day to park, and you feel like a prisoner because you have to ask the front desk to open the gate everytime.
Gym- please dont call this a fitness center. there is 7 old pieces of weight equipment, 2 bikes and 2 80's ellipticals. And theres the smokers section right next to it.
Pool and Jacuzzi- too dirty and little to swim, better to make a koi pond.
Location- You wake up in the morning with the sound of traffic honking and smelling exhaust.
Other- 2 of the 5 days there was a plumbing problem and no water.
SOME GOOD THINGS: the all the staff was helpful and gave good tips on what to do and they did clean everyday.
If you're interested to see homeless sleeping on the side of the streets, get stuck in traffic (car and human), and be afraid of your safety stay in the city. The number 1 thing we would've changed about this trip was to stay on the Jaco area beach. We ended up driving 3-6 hours a day to see the nature.

Room Tip: choose the beach!
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank Christina G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AdvisorHST, Owner at Hotel Santo Tomas, responded to this review, October 13, 2012
Hi Christina G. This is from Thomas the owner of the hotel and I do apologize that you were not happy with your stay in San Jose and the hotel. As your title states ( “Choose a hotel near the beach”) . which is what we are not, it is clearly identified in our hotel description that we are located in downtown San Jose. You may have over looked that fact when you selected the hotel. I was able to verify your stay in the hotel with your boyfriend, in what room you stayed in and when. You bought the cheapest multi night package offer from Expedia, including your airfare, hotel & rental car and you elected to stay for 5 nights in San Jose. It clearly states on the booking information before you booked that parking is not included. We charge a small fee of $10.00 dollars plus tax for 24 hours in our secure, surveillance recorded, covered off street lot. The other parking options are on the street ( not recommended ) or in a public parking lot across the street for $1.25 per hour or $30.00 US dollars per day. We always recommend to our guest to take an airport taxi to San Jose and have the car rental company deliver your car the next morning , before starting your travels.

The package you purchased was a bit less then $48.00 dollars per night for the 2 of you, minus Expedias commission ( ouch ). This includes free Wi-Fi along with a FREE hot cooked breakfast for the both of you. This consists of a fresh fruit plate, two fresh made in season juice selections, fresh Costa Rican coffee, tea, toast, jam, eggs cooked to your selection, gallo pinto, cereal and different sauces and spices. This is advertised as a FREE Typical Costa Rican breakfast, something to start your day, not a free buffet.

The insects that you mentioned were mosquitoes, when you voiced your comments to our front desk staff, Doris our assistant manager inspected your room and we sprayed. As it is our rainy season and we do live in the tropics , we do sometimes have insects.

Photos are posted on all sites showing what the gym equipment is and they are there on Expedia to see as well, I am sorry that I could not provide you with the latest state of the art gym equipment, I will review my budget and see about making some improvements.

In reference to the plumbing , the entire valley of San Jose awoke with over 500,000 residents with out water. A main water line had broken due to previous earthquake damage. A few days earlier we had suffered a big quake. My tanks ran dry that Saturday morning at 6 am and it took me 3 hours to get them filled from a fire truck and to re-prime the pumps and be back on line, I was personally there working with my maintenance staff and I am sorry to say yours is the only complain we have had. I do apologize again for this inconvenient. I am glad that you found the staff helpful and yes we do clean everyday. A most gracious Thank You for your comments and scores: Thomas
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Ingham, Australia
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed October 10, 2012 via mobile

My impressio of central San Jose leans toward the negative, and the neighbourhood that Hotel Santo Tomas is in does not lift that view. However, the hotel itself and the staff are great. it's a nice setup behind those gates.

From the airport, it's about a $20-25 cabfare (it is metered in colones - about 10,000-12,500. So if you are wanting to get to/from the airport in Alajuela, just keep that in mind.

Our double room was not big but was clean and cosy. After 36 hours of travelling, we were happy to just shower, collapse and sleep! The bathroom was a long narrow space but was clean and did the trick. The shower was pretty weak but the water is warm so at least that balanced out.

They do a lovely tipico breakfast so it does start your day well.

We weren't in San Jose except as an overnight pitstop so I don't know how well based the Hotel is for tourist exploration, but it is quite a ways from La Sabana Metropolitan park (3.5km) in a pretty ramshackle area. That said, it is pretty good value and if you don't mind the distance, I would recommend it.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank cyutravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed October 9, 2012

Hi. This our third time staying at Hotel Santo Tomas and each time it has been great! I really enjoy the restaurant....the waiter is really nice and can make a great "cafe con leche" and a pinneaple smoothie. The food is great....especially the grilled chicken with rice and beans. The owner, Tomas, is super nice....he let me husband use his phone to make an international call. He knows the ins and outs of Costa Rica. The hotel is loacated in the center of town. Ohh and if you want Mexican food....the best place in San Jose is "Huaraches"....highly recommended!!! Do not go for Italian food in San Jose....it is not good!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank Xochitl F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AdvisorHST, Owner at Hotel Santo Tomas, responded to this review, October 23, 2012
Hola Xochitl F, Thanks so much for the great comments about Carlos in the restaurant and everything he tries so hard at. He has been with me many years and is a wonderful part of our organization. Your comments about the location are on spot and we are more than happy to assist with all types of information . And just the fact that you have stayed three times says it all again thank for very much . Thomas
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Philomath
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 8, 2012

This review is written by someone who has stayed at the Hotel Santo Tomas on many occasions through the years. For myself and my fellow travel buddies, HST has become our hotel of choice when entering and departing Costa Rica. We have had the opportunity to visit many hotels near HST and throughout CA and SA. and find HST to be the best combination of friendly, knowledgeable staff, amenities, ambience and price. A BIG-SHOUT OUT from Brad, Doug and Nick to our friends Thomas, Mauricio, Carlos, Doris, and all the other good folks we see each time we visit. You have helped us on many, many occasions to create wonderful "on the fly" vacations while in Costa Rica. I agree with other reviews that cast HST in a positive light. For those who say the neighborhood is "rough and gritty" , I say the location is central to a host of great cultural opportunities and experiences not available to me in my sleepy U.S.A hometown. We hope to visit again soon when schedules permit. Good-bye for now.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Brad P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AdvisorHST, Owner at Hotel Santo Tomas, responded to this review, October 23, 2012
Hi Brad P, what can I say to a brunch wild and crazy guys !!! Always a pleasure to have everyone stay and I genuinely look forward to your next visit. I have showed your comments to the staff and it put a big smile on their faces. A Big Thank You from Everyone at HST. Thomas
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New York City, New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 30, 2012

After reading pages and pages of reviews on hotels I decided on Hotel Santo Tomas for my first stay in Costa Rica. It has more of a bed and breakfast feel to me than a hotel but that made it even more appealing for me anyway. Once I booked my room, I got an email confirming my stay as well as some very helpful tips including about how much a taxi should be from the airport, warning of scams taxis might pull and directions from the airport. Unfortunately, due to a language barrier and also not knowing highways or roads at all, our fare was still higher than estimated but that's bound to happen anywhere. Someone gave a bad review because they said that they felt unsafe and it was in a seedy area. From the outside the area does look a little seedy - BUT!!! once you are inside it's all smooth sailing from there. The staff is extremely helpful and friendly and I never felt safety was an issue. In terms of cleanliness I would rate an A+. Also, I'm used to some boxed muffins and cheap OJ for breakfast at hotels so the made to order breakfast and fresh coffee/juice was a pleasant surprise(there's 3 choices which I feel is pretty generous). If you want a few drinks, I do suggest seeing Carlos at the bar for happy hour as well. I would definitely recommend to friends and if I return to San Jose, I will book here again!

For those new to San Jose I would suggest reviewing a map if you're staying more than a night and want to see the town. The calle's/avenues go in evens and odds and street signs can be hard to locate as they're not on every corner.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank KatH607
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AdvisorHST, Owner at Hotel Santo Tomas, responded to this review, October 4, 2012
Hola from Costa Rica to Kat H, Kat you are correct we are more of an Inn, large B&B than your standard boring hotel. The hotel during the past 23 years has grown from the initial 6 rooms and one property with very limited facilities to 30 rooms and three joining properties and full facilities . One of the few downtown San Jose Hotels to offer all of the amenities we do.
Your on the spot comments about once you are inside the hotel are wonderful and I genuinely do appreciate your opinion about the cleanness and the FREE breakfast. Its great to have someone truly appreciate what we are giving away and it truly is a significant cost for me.
We have free hand maps of San Jose in all of the rooms for our guests and I am in the process of printing new ones and because of your suggestion I will include a brief description on it describing on how San Jose is laid out and how to easily read and use the map. Fantastic idea on your part
Thank You very much for all of your comments . Looking forward to seeing you in the future . Warmest Regards Thomas
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Additional Information about Hotel Santo Tomas

Property: Hotel Santo Tomas
Address: Avenue 7 Between Streets 3 and 5 | Barrio Amon, 250 meters west of INS Building, San Jose 10101, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of San Jose > San Jose Metro > San Jose
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in San Jose
#4 Best Value Hotel in San Jose
#5 Romantic Hotel in San Jose
#6 Family Hotel in San Jose
#11 Business Hotel in San Jose
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Santo Tomas 3*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A great downtown location in San Jose, Costa Rica. Hotel Santo Tomas provides free hot cooked to order breakfast, FREE Wi-Fi 20 Mbps, security box, swimming pool, hot Jacuzzi, gym, secure on site parking. Only four blocks from San Jose, Central Avenue and an easy stroll to most local attractions. Offering 30 non smoking rooms and has been newly renovated and expanded. Also available 24/7 : tour, travel & car rental services, currency exchange and laundry for our guests. Come and enjoy our wonderful open air gardens, flowers and covered terraces all to enjoy the volcano views here at Hotel Santo Tomas in San Jose, Costa Rica. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Santo Tomas Costa Rica/San Jose

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