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“Stay somewhere else”
Review of Barcelo San Jose

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Barcelo San Jose
Ranked #12 of 78 Hotels in San Jose
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 2, 2014

The only good thing about this place is the free breakfast buffet
Upon arrival I asked for a king suite received a double instead. I was told my room was ready but when I got to my room there were no towels. I had to call the front desk as well as guest services multiple times just to,get towels before midnight. When calling to ask about cabs there was no one at the front desk and when I went down stairs to the desk there was no one there as well. The pool was very dirty and there was no one cleaning it or looking like they were going to clean it.
As you are in the middle of no where I would recommend an excursion just to get away from is boring hotel. The restaurants are below sub par and cost a little too much for crappy food . The hotel as a whole could use a complete remodel.
I would highly recommend staying somewhere else if you would like to enjoy your trip to Costa Rica

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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1  Thank Jeanean B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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508 - 514 of 1,457 reviews

Reviewed January 1, 2014

The hotel desk was fantastic. The concierge Mr. Webster was helpful and friendly. Andrey at the front desk was also extremely helpful and a fantastic Spanish teacher. The breakfast buffet was great. Get there early before the crowd. The Junior Suite should be called Executive Suite because I have paid 5 times as much for less in other cities. If you are staying for a few days, then it is well worth it for the upgrade and you will rarely experience greater value for your money. All of the personnel are wonderful. The restaurant by the pool is fantastic although a little understaffed at peak times, but perhaps that is difficult to predict. In spite of having too many guests, the food was still fantastic, the chefs friendly, and the waitresses patient and friendly.

Room Tip: Choose a room higher up if you go to bed early because this hotel is popular for weddings, meetings...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Robert H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Monica C, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Barcelo San Jose, responded to this reviewResponded March 17, 2014

Dear guest; it’s wonderful for all of our staff here at Barceló San José Palacio to know that your stay with us was so pleasant. We have greeted and congratulated Mr. Webster and Andrey on your behalf!

We are very pleased to know that our suite was to your convenience, and that you enjoyed dinning in our restaurants. We will make sure to pass along your amazing reviews to our different departments.

Thank you so much for your suggestion about the staff in the pool area this will be address with our manager’s team.

We hope we can have you again in our hotel so we can keep exceeding your expectations!
Best regards,


Luana Sanchez
Servicio al Huésped / Guest Services
Hotel Barceló San José Palacio

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Reviewed December 27, 2013 via mobile

Let me start by saying this: I would stay here again because it is convenient for my husband and me. We went to Costa Rica during Thanksgiving 2013 to visit family and friends as well as get a little sun. For the first leg of our stay, this location was perfect for what we needed to do.

If what you want is to sightsee and walk around in a quaint neighborhood, this hotel is not for you. You need a taxi/car rental to go anywhere as it is right by a highway (more on that later), meaning, there is no food or shopping you will get to on foot. Unless you do your eating and shopping right at the hotel. Period.

The hotel is large, the staff is friendly and helpful, the food is edible and the rooms are clean and not too dingy. The hotel could use an overhaul to modernize the furniture and bathrooms, but still good enough. Nothing scary.

It is a very business-traveler oriented hotel. There is almost always some kind of private event going on because it has a bunch of event spaces large and small, so it's always abuzz with a graduation party, some seminar, conference, or 50th birthday celebration. You are likely to witness some sort of large scale soiree, albeit peripherally.

It was a little annoying that on the one day we went to the pool, they were doing some very loud clean up around the pool area, strangely, in the middle of the weekend (instead of after hours) and that was a real nuisance as we wanted to relax. But that's as bad as it gets, which is not that bad in the grand scheme of things.

The breakfast is a large, very nice all-you-can-eat buffet full of options and even an omelet station. That was the best part: The breakfast.

It is close enough to the airport, but let me tell you, traffic in San José can be insane, so no matter how close you are, the traffic issues are such that a 20 min ride can turn into 2 hrs. Not exaggerating. Wish I were.

Back to the highway situation: I slept like a log, but my husband couldn't sleep well because of the car and huge tractor-trailer/semi-truck action that starts on said highway promptly at 4 a.m. So get a room that doesn't face the highway (those have good views of a newly built soccer stadium and gorgeous mountains, which give that side interesting visual interest but may sacrifice your sleep.)

We ate at all of the restaurants within the hotel. Ok. Not great, but all edible. My only bad experience was getting a rare steak when I wanted it medium, annoying, but again, not the worst thing that can happen in a hotel. I'm clear on that.

If you are an animal lover, you'll probably see some cute racoons at night by the pool and gardens... Funny.

All in all, the place is solid if you are there for business. If you are there for pleasure, less so. But solid, utilitarian, full service, "we'll get you what you need" kind of place. Summary: If you have one night in San José, you need a great breakfast and a taxi to the airport in the morning, this works.

Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
3  Thank TracyLSpence
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Monica C, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Barcelo San Jose, responded to this reviewResponded March 17, 2014

Dear guest.

We appreciate dearly that you took the time to give us all of this helpful feedback about your stay with us; we can offer you many services in our full service hotel as you point out we have 4 different types of restaurants in our hotel and 24 hours room service, a spa, a beauty salon, tour desk, a travel agency, gift shops, tennis courts, racquetball and squash courts and amazing sauna and steam room and great trainers here at our gym! Also a beautiful pool surrounded by a magical garden that you will find nowhere else in San José!! Here at Barcelo San Jose Palacio we have created for our guest their own paradise in the middle of the city; and to top all of that we have the most prepared concierge staff that can advise were to go in the san jose area and all around of Costa Rica, and help you meet all of those special requests! We will surely take into account all of your suggestion to improve our services to make sure that your expectations are exceed every time you visit us in our beautiful Costa Rica!

Hoping to have you soon back in our hotel!

Best regards.
Luana Sanchez.
Guest Service Department.
Barcelo San Jose Palacio.

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Reviewed December 27, 2013

I enjoyed staying in this hotel. Meals were good, room was good, but I was a little disappointed with service. Our room did not have any coffee and it took over an hour and two calls to get it. Another problem we ran into was mini-bar: it broke after couple days and it took them whole day to try to fix it. Finally they offered us to switch the rooms but we asked them to switch fridge - 15 min later it was good. I am not sure why we had to come out with the idea. Overall, if you don't have to deal with service desk, rooms are very clean, comfortable and we had a great view.

Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
2  Thank Tatsera
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Monica C, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Barcelo San Jose, responded to this reviewResponded March 17, 2014

Dear guest:

On behalf of the Hotel Barceló San José Palacio we are pleased to hear that you enjoy stay with us.

Please accept our most sincere apologize for all you inconveniences, I have passed this review to all the departments involved in order to follow up your suggestions.

Thank you again for your comment and thank you for choosing Barceló San José Palacio, we hope to see you soon.

Best regards,
Liz Cerdas R.
Guest service

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Reviewed December 25, 2013

We went to the Palacio last night for the dinner buffet. When we arrived we were seated on the patio. It was fairly cool and breezy. We asked about being seated inside and they said all the tables there were reserved earlier.
There was one table where the people had just finished eating and had left just after we arrived. That table was never cleared off or reset.
We did have our dinner on the patio but I was cold the entire time. The food was good but they ran out of turkey around 8pm. We had arrived at 7:30 and the dinner was supposed to be open until 10pm. The fillet was a little tough but tasted ok. I will say the desserts were all good and the fruit and vegetables and salads were great.
I was disappointed that they did not take our request seriously and that they did not move us indoors as there was plenty of room. We left around 9pm so would not have affected anyone eating later.
Over all it was an unpleasant experience being cold but we had good company and most of the food was good. I would not recommend it for any big dinners but it might be OK for just an evening meal.
Diane Reid
Atenas

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Service
1  Thank Diane R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 22, 2013

It is true that this hotel isn't that close to the centre of San Jose or any tourist attractions, so if you want to do the 'San Jose tourist' thing then maybe go elsewhere, however, if you want a decent place to stay before or after a flight or onward journey, the San Jose Palacio is perfect. I wasn't too bothered about going into central San Jose and wanted somewhere I could laze by the pool and get a good nights' rest on the final night of my holiday, and this hotel fitted the bill perfectly. The pool area is lovely- landscaped with plenty of both sun and shaded areas, comfortable loungers and even hammocks. The bedrooms were clean, and very spacious, with enormous beds and a great view of San Jose. The hotel offers a free shuttle to the airport, which is a good perk and saves the hassle of negotiating with taxi drivers. My only two slight criticisms of the hotel are of the food- neither the meal I ordered from room service (a very pink hamburger topped with a random piece of packaged ham) nor the buffet breakfast were very appetizing and service in the two restaurant areas I visited (the pool bar/restaurant and coffee service at breakfast) could have been more forthcoming. The level of English of most of the staff, apart from the people on reception, was poor- unusual for Costa Rica, and not what you would expect in a chain hotel. Apart from those two slight negatives, it was great place to stay.

Room Tip: Rooms at the front of the hotel have great views over San Jose
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Catherine1981London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Monica C, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Barcelo San Jose, responded to this reviewResponded March 17, 2014

Dear Guest,

We are glad that you spend your stay in our beautiful country at the Barcelo San Jose Palacio Hotel. It is wonderful for us know that you like the swimming pool, our bedrooms and also that the free shuttle service from and to the airport was convenient for you.

Be sure we will discuss all the points highlighted by you in order to improve our standards.
Thank you again for giving us the opportunity to get involved to secure your loyalty and regain back your confidence.

Liz Cerdas
Guest services

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Reviewed December 20, 2013

What an incredible stay at the Barcelo. I only wish it had been longer!

After reading mixed reviews on this hotel, I was not sure what to expect when we arrived. But we LOVED our stay the Barcelo Palacio. I'm not sure if the hotel is under new management or newly renovated, but we did not have ANY of the negative experiences described in some of the previous reviews.

We booked a Club Premium suite and were upgraded to a Junior Suite upon arrival. (In the future, I would book directly at the Junior Club Premium Suite level, to be certain we had the beautiful room and amenities available. It was undoubtedly worth it. We peeked at the standard Club Premium rooms as well, and they were also very nice, just not as large. However, I'm not sure that the Club Premium benefits were the same for the different room types, although they were both at the "Club Premium" level. That was, admittedly, one of the frustrations when booking: we had great difficulty trying to figure out what exactly the Club Premium level included.)

The Junior Suite was excellent: one half bath, one full bath (en-suite), a large desk (we were working while traveling), a comfortable living room, beautiful views throughout the suite, a balcony, a separate bedroom with great storage and a very comfortable bed/pillows, and a beautiful en-suite master bath.

I'll admit, it was a hassle figuring out what exactly the Club Premium included when we were booking. The 1-800 Barcelo answers seemed uncertain, and no one ever answered the phone at the direct hotel number. We needed good internet for work and I did not want to hassle with getting a taxi to restaurants, as we were only in San Jose for an overnight. So the Club Premium seemed a very good fit.

At least at the Junior Suite Club Premium Level, the Club Premium included: free wi-fi for one device (Good wi-fi! We had video conferences), free unlimited snacks (meats, cheeses, skewers, potatoes, fruit, desserts), and free drinks (house wine, champagne, beer, water) in the Club Premium lounge (6 AM - 10 PM). This alone was worth the $25 difference from the standard room. However, the Club Premium lounge also offered a convenient business center (printing, faxing, etc. at no additional charge), an attentive staff, and concierge check-in & check-out.

The hotel itself was grand. We travel regularly for work and pleasure, and we would rate this hotel at US 4 star standards. The lobby was impressive and regularly offered live music. The grounds and gardens were beautifully maintained. It was an oasis tucked in the middle of a bustling San Jose. The pool was also beautiful, though not heated, and offered hammocks and incredible views of the city. The free (convenient) shuttle to the airport saved us significantly in regards to other comparable hotels.

We would love to return for a 3-5 day stay here at the Barcelo, before heading out to tour other areas of Costa Rica. It was a resort in the middle of the city! You can enjoy the hotel for several days, without ever needing to leave the hotel grounds. Or the hotel is a great jumping-off point to tour San Jose and greater Costa RIca. There were four on-site convenient restaurants, though we cannot attest to the service as we only used room service. There was no additional charge for the room service, and the $10 margarita pizza was great. The (free) breakfast had great variety, though none of the offerings were especially tasty (skip the eggs). However, the champagne for mimosas and the cappuccino machine were a very nice added touch.

We had traveled in Costa Rica for 4 weeks, and by Costa Rica standards especially, the Barcelo is excellent. Book it with confidence!

Room Tip: We stayed in Junior Suite 511, and LOVED it! Though I think the other junior suites might have had...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank 0nVacation
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Monica C, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Barcelo San Jose, responded to this reviewResponded March 17, 2014

Dear Guest,

Receive a warm greeting from the staff of Barcelé San José Palacio. Thank you very much for your comments; they are such great motivation for us.

we are very glad that you did enjoy your stay here and that our services was of your satisfaction, also it is very nice that you mentioned our Club Premium which is one of the benefits of the executive floor and it includes great variety of unlimited snacks, drinks, a very modern coffee machine a beautiful and complete business center and a comfortable living room with have his own TV.

We are glad that you like our rooms and that it have more than you expected, also our beautiful gardens.

Thank you for your comments and for choosing Barceló San José Palacio for your stay, we hope to see you very soon.


Liz Cerdas
Servicio al cliente
.

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Additional Information about Barcelo San Jose

Address: Residencial El Robledal | La Uruca, San Jose 458-1150, Costa Rica (Formerly Barcelo San Jose Palacio)
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of San Jose > San Jose Metro > San Jose
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in San Jose
#2 Luxury Hotel in San Jose
#17 Business Hotel in San Jose
Price Range: $89 - $166 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Barcelo San Jose 4*
Number of rooms: 254
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Barcelo San Jose Palacio Hotel San Jose
San Jose Barcelo
Barcelo Palacio Hotel Costa Rica
Barcelo San Jose Costa Rica

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