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“Great Hotel”
Review of Barcelo San Jose

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Barcelo San Jose
Ranked #11 of 78 Hotels in San Jose
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 13, 2011

Stayed here with Caravan tours. Hotel was super, very clean, modern, spacious rooms, bewautiful pool area, away from the husle & bustle of San Jose yet close to everything.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank ReadyToTravelYUL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nmurillo, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Barcelo San Jose, responded to this reviewResponded April 8, 2011

Dear Guest,

On behalf of the staff and management, I would like to thank you for visiting us at the Barceló San Jose Palacio Hotel in Costa Rica.

We wish to thank you for your comment about our hotel, we are happy to know that your stay with us was to their full liking and be assured that we take all the comments of our guests very seriously

We realize that every guest has a choice when traveling and we thank you for making Barceló Hotels your choice.

Sincerely,



Daniela Ramirez
Guest Service Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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721 - 727 of 1,530 reviews

Reviewed March 5, 2011

Ended up staying here for a total of 7 nights (some of which was the result of a problem at the other Barcelo property in town (see my earlier review of that one:
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g309293-d581123-r98247957-Barcelo_Palma_Real-San_Jose_San_Jose_Metro_Province_of_San_Jose.html#CHECK_RATES_CONT), which caused us to be transferred to this superior hotel in the same chain of properties.

The property here looks good. The staff are good about keeping the grounds looking beautiful, keeping the leaves out of the pool, sprucing up the common areas, and it looks, mainly due to the majestic lobby, like a great hotel, perhaps even a 5-star one, upon entering. But the service here, as in similar hotels throughout Costa Rica, is very hit or miss. The hotel is set up on a hill immediately above the main highway between the airport and San Jose. So you have the disadvantages of lots of street noise (or I should say highway noise) that will bother light sleepers (fortunately I am not one) without the advantages of actually being in the city. You thus need a taxi, and because of the location of the hotel atop a hill and away from other businesses, it is hard to avoid using the hotel taxi service - huge vans that await hotel guests at all hours right outside the hotel.

One of the "hits" in the service (as opposed to the "misses") for us was that we were charged the "tico price" for taxis from the hotel. In other words, we were always charged about the same as we would have been had we been using one of the red licensed taxis (with the orange triangles and the meters), which we otherwise always use (you should too whenever possible - and if necessary tell the taxista to "ponga la maria" i.e. "turn on the meter"). But it was probably because we spoke Spanish and my significant other is Latina and in fact Tica that we got this treatment.

(Usually, in other similar hotels in this country where the hotel taxi service has their customers as a captive audience, you must pay about double for use of the big vans to cart you around town. To test this, go somewhere with the hotel taxi, and then return to the hotel using a red taxi and compare.)

The pool looks nice, but, once again like other hotels in San Jose and throughout the country, the water is cold. The hotel chooses not to waste money heating the pool at all. Quite a contrast with the warm air and sunshine and the ice-cold water of the pool, which is spotlessly clean, as it is regularly cleaned by the housekeeping staff, yet mostly unoccupied by the sunbathers lounging by the pool. Nice place to read, sunbathe, or sip a drink from the poolside bar-restaurant though.

The "misses" were the failure to make the pool swimmable, as noted already, and also the unpredictability of the service - some staff were nice and competent, and others were apathetic and incompetent. Upon entering and exiting the hotel, it seems the staff ignores you here, to a degree I have never noticed anywhere else, even in Costa Rica. Everywhere else, hotel staff will respond when you say "buenas" or "buenas tardes" upon passing by the concierge or other staff at the door. But here, there were a few surly individuals who completely ignore the guests as they come and go, and pretend not to hear you, as though you do not exist. That would be okay, but the real problem is if you actually want something to be done, or something to be fixed, and that is a problem that manifests itself at the reception desk and originates with the management hiding behind in their office.

The one saving grace for this hotel, in my opinion, is the breakfast buffet, which is the best I have found in San Jose hotels (and I have been to many of them). If you prefer continental, American, or tico, it's all here. After eating here, you don't need lunch. The service seemed to be very good here as well - nice staff, attentive and efficient.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank TravelandFoodGlutton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nmurillo, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Barcelo San Jose, responded to this reviewResponded April 8, 2011

Dear Guest:

On behalf of the staff and management, I would like to thank you for visiting us at the Barceló San Jose Palacio Hotel in Costa Rica.

Thank you for taking time to answered Trip Advisor’s survey, it is a great opportunity to receive important feedback from our guests and take the necessary actions in order to improve all of our services.

Please accept our most sincere apologize for the inconvenience you endured during your stayed at the San Jose Palacio.

We hope you give us the opportunity to serve you again in the near future to improve the inconvenience that you had on your last stay.


Thank you again and I hope that we can serve you again soon at the Barceló San Jose Palacio or at any Barcelo Hotels & Resorts.

Sincerely,



Daniela Ramirez
Guest Service Manager.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 2, 2011

Beautiful hotel, great food, near everywhere.
Had lots of questions about where to go while I was staying; where to eat, shop, etc. So, I have to point out the great customer service there; specially the lady from guest service, Renate. She helped us through everything.

I sure come back again!!!

  • Stayed: February 2011
    • Value
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    • Service
Thank Iheartsea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nmurillo, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Barcelo San Jose, responded to this reviewResponded April 8, 2011

Dear Guest:

The Hotel Barcelo San Jose Palacio is very proud to know that your stay was exceeding in your expectations!!!

For all of us, as part of the Barceló Hotels and Resorts, we strongly believe that each guest has a unique experience and it’s glad to know that yours was wonderful and we like enjoy with you more special moments like that.

We do appreciate very much that you chose us to be your host in Costa Rica, and thank you so mucho for share with us a moment that mean so much for you.



Daniela Ramirez
Guest Service Manager.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2011

Stayed there for a few nights with mixed feelings. They actually gave me the key to someone else's room as I checked, I asked to see manager and it was actually he who had given me the key. He was quite unapologetic and verging on ignorant, but upgraded the room eventually when I argued, that it wasn't a trivial error.
The reception staff are generally nice, but takes double the normal time to check in or do anything, which is even bad for laid back Costa Rica. Front door staff are nice and the hotel grounds are nice if inside is a little dull. Location isn't bad if you have a car, as quite near high way.
Overall pretty ok, just hard to get over the rudeness of the manager I met.

Stayed: February 2011, traveled on business
Thank etabe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nmurillo, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Barcelo San Jose, responded to this reviewResponded April 8, 2011

Dear Guest

Receive a warm Greeting on behalf of all the staff and management at Barcelo San Jose Palacio Hotel.

We deeply appreciate the point highlighted by you, and we would like to inform you that it will very useful for us in order to keep in our great opportunity of continuous improvement, in that way we can offer an exceptionally warm service.

Our main goal is to offer our entire guest a friendly, attentive and timely service in where you will feel appreciated and welcome and providing our guests with impeccable service from arrival to departure. It is the feedback from our guests that enable us to continually improve and exceed those standards.

We are truly sorry that our resort did not fulfill your expectations.
Once again we are truly sorry that we did not meet your expectations and we will be glad to bring your confidence back to our Barceló Family.

Sincerely,



Daniela Ramirez
Guest Service Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2011

First of all, don't eat at the buffet unless it is included in your hotel room rate. I paid $27 US for lunch. Breakfast is about $17 US. Rip off!!!!

Staff for the most part were friendly but not super friendly.

Location is ok but bordered by 2 highways so you can't really walk anywhere. If you're looking for somewhere to go for a good run then run towards the big new stadium. There is a huge park there. Little tricky getting there due to the highways though.

Fitness center is ok. It is small and in the mornings it is packed. Also, no A/C in the fitness center so it gets warm and stuffy.

You can get free wireless internet if you sit out by the pool. Otherwise its $10 per day.

Bar is nice with live music most nights.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank Yoichi4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nmurillo, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Barcelo San Jose, responded to this reviewResponded March 9, 2011

Dear Guest,

On behalf of the staff and management, I would like to thank you for visiting us at the Barceló San Jose Palacio Hotel in Costa Rica.

Thank you for taking time to answered Trip Advisor’s survey, it is a great opportunity to receive important feedback from our guests and take the necessary actions in order to improve all of our services.
We deeply appreciate the point highlighted by you, and we would like to inform you that it will very useful for us in order to keep in our great opportunity of continuous improvement, in that way we can offer an exceptionally warm service.
We hope you give us the opportunity to serve you again in the near future to improve the inconvenience that you had on your last stay.

Thank you again and I hope that we can serve you again soon at the Barceló San Jose Palacio or at any Barcelo Hotels & Resorts.

Sincerely,



Daniela Ramirez
Guest Service Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2011

We started our Caravan tour here and stayed two nights. The hotel and grounds are beautiful. The rooms need a little updating, but they really weren't bad. They have everything you need and we enjoyed our stay. They have complimentary coffee in the room, but I had to ask for it... twice. No big deal. I didn't find a maid that spoke english so getting two handtowels was a bit of a chore. Again, no big deal. You cannot expect to go to another country and have everyone speak your language.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank Capnemo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nmurillo, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Barcelo San Jose, responded to this reviewResponded March 9, 2011

Dear Guest,

Receive a warm Greeting on behalf of all the staff and management at Barcelo San Jose Palacio Hotel.

We wish to thank you for your comment about our hotel, we are happy to know that your stay with us was to their full liking and be assured that we take all the comments of our guests very seriously, and we are reaching our Management Department and please accept our most sincere apologize for the inconvenience you endured during your stayed at the San Jose Palacio.

We realize that every guest has a choice when traveling and we than you for making Barceló Hotels your choice.



Daniela Ramirez
Guest Service Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 2, 2011

We stayed at this Barcelo hotel for 2 days with our tour group and really loved the hotel. I was very happy I had made a reservation here for an extra night at the end of the Caravan tour. They ended the tour at the Holiday Inn Aurola and that was really a low 2 start hotel as far as I was concerned. At first we thought we were too far from downtown San Jose at the Barcelo, but found out later that the city center was just a short cab drive away ($10). The Barcelo grounds are well cared for and very lovely, the pool area and bar were great for chatting and having a drink (keep to the really good Pina Coladas at $5). We ate several meals in the cafeteria and the food was (comparatively) decent, actually, some dishes were well worth it. Spent 2 days on a 3rd floor room and the extra day on a 5th fl room which I can say was a bit quieter, but both rooms were ample in size, clean and well equipped. The last night, we ordered room service and had the Plato Tipico ($12 ea.) brought up. The server opened our wine for us and we were very surprised at the quality of the meal! It was one of the better meals we had on our 10 day trip! The steak was very generous and so tender! Had no problems with any of the staff, all were quite nice and willing to give good service. We would highly recommend this hotel for Costa Rica travelers. This was one of 5 hotels I will be reviewing in the next few days.

  • Stayed: January 2011
    • Value
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4  Thank TXRosie50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nmurillo, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Barcelo San Jose, responded to this reviewResponded March 9, 2011

Dear Guest,

Receive a warm greeting from all the staff and management team of the Hotel Barcelo San Jose Palacio.

Thank you very much for your nice comment about your vacations in our Country and in our Hotel. We are really glad that you have enjoyed your stay with us and that you had the opportunity to visit different places in our country.

Our Hotel is a 10 minutes from the city but yoy can that a cab that can take to Down town and discover the wonders of a Costa Rica without artificial ingredients only that our hospitality offers.

We realize that every guest has a choice when traveling and we than you for making Barceló Hotels your choice.

Kind regards,



Daniela Ramirez
Guest Service Manager

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 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: $91 - $167 (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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