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“Best value and best service in San Jose, Costa Rica”
Review of Hotel La Amistad

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Hotel La Amistad
Ranked #33 of 76 Hotels in San Jose
Vienna, Virginia
Level Contributor
68 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Best value and best service in San Jose, Costa Rica”
Reviewed December 27, 2009

We stayed at Hotel La Amistad twice during our nine day vacation in Costa Rica - when we first arrived in San Jose for two nights, and on our final night in San Jose before we flew back to the United States. During the other six days, we traveled to both Arenal / La Fortuna to tour the Arenal volcano, and to Playa Jaco (Jaco Beach) for some relaxing fun in the sun.

If I had to pick one thing to highlight about Hotel La Amistad, it would be the exemplary customer service at the front desk. Everyone there was extremely friendly, very professional, and 100% competent - it was truly a pleasure to interact with them. And a couple were American ex-pats, and they were willing and eager to share their collective information about San Jose and Costa Rica in general.

In addition, the concierge, hotel staff, and restaurant staff were outstanding, and provided excellent service to we travelers.

If and when we return to San Jose, the Hotel La Amistad will definitely be our destination of choice.

Should anyone wish to contact me about the hotel, San Jose activities, or Costa Rica in general, please feel free to do so.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank George B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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232 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (32)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
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English first
Silicon Valley
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed December 9, 2009

I have stayed at the Amistad maybe 15 times over the past two years. Previous to the Amistad, I stayed at the Presidente, Holiday Inn, Sleep Inn, Gran Oro, and others closer to the airport in Alajuela such as the Molina. My most recent stay was Dec. 1-7 with my partner. I read the previous review and was somewhat surprised to read about the hotel being full of middle-age men and prostitutes since supposedly we were there at the same time. There was a doctor convention in town and every morning we saw the same doctors and nurses in the lobby. Yes, we saw some prostitutes but it was no different from Mexico City, Panama, Rio or any other Latin American city.

The hotel is great, the only reason it gets any marks down is due to the commuter train which is close by. The maids and management are the best in the City. I have stayed in the budget $79 to $149 and would recommend them to anyone. The free wi-fi and breakfast is a nice touch.

The Calderon Hospital is up the street and around the corner is Cafe Mundo -- not anywhere near ghetto. The City of San Jose is not Buenos Aires so do not expect european elegance. Costa Rica is a developing nation and has a lot of poverty, but no worse than many areas of metropolitan cities in the US. Behind the hotel, the Zoo is a couple of blocks away.

The only problem I have ever had staying there was due to noise from an American couple staying in the next room being drunk and obnoxious on holiday.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank parkssv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jacksonville, Florida
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed December 7, 2009

This hotel is for middle-aged American men looking for prostitutes. When we arrived to our room we set our stuff down on the bed to find a red stain on the comforter (it might of been blood but I wasn't getting close enough to find out). There were also cigarette burns and white crusty stains as well. For as nice of a hotel this seemed to be, it just seemed weird to have comforters in such bad condition. We went down stairs and told them and they were quick to change the comforter and sheets for us.

The next morning we (my husband and I, we were on our honeymoon) went down for breakfast. I had an odd feeling the entire time, like something was off. I finally said something to my husband about the feeling and he said that he had noticed I was the only female in the hotel, we were surrounded by middle-aged (and older) American men. We started listening in on their conversation and heard they were all talking (quite perverted) about the girls they had the night before. We quickly realized they were talking about prostitutes. After breakfast we headed back up to our room and were greeted by one of the prostitutes at the top of the stairs.

I really left with a bad taste in my mouth. I checked reviews on here and did not notice anything about the type of hotel it was..but then again I usually only read the first couple of sentences and might of missed it. Just be aware of the situation if you plan to stay at this hotel.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Sabu226
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Prospect Heights, Illinois
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed December 5, 2009

November 14-15,2009 - Pleasantly surprise - the hotel was an excellent choice - Clean rooms, polite and helpful staff - lobby decor - well done. Unique layout of the hotel. Very pleased with our choice.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank blikeu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
70 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed December 3, 2009

Hotel La Amistad offers amazingly affordable rooms and the staff is very responsive by email and very helpful. They are equally gracious onsite. We stayed there for our first and last night in Costa Rica.

The pros of this hotel are mostly those - the rate and the responsive staff. You can't beat the deal if all you need is a quick/easy place to stay. Also, we had one of the best meals of our vacation when we had dinner in the hotel restaurant. i was amazed at the quality of the food, the presentation, and the service. Really a terrific surprise. And the martini bar (and selection) is also great. The property was recently redone so many things are in really good shape - the lobby/restaurant/bar area , while small, is very attractive. They offer free inroom wired/wireless internet access, as well as a few computers in a common area that can be used. The rooms are small but clean and the bathrooms, while also small, have great tiled showers. Overall the feel is equivalent to a local european hotel in terms of size.

The negatives are the poor quality of linens/towels/amenities etc... The bedding and towels on both of our stays were stained, thin, and a bit threadbare. Upgrading those would make a big difference in the guest experience. There was a roach in our room one night - but in a city that's not so horrifying to me. I would equate the lobby/common areas in the hotel to a lovely family-run boutique, and the guest rooms to a european version of a Days Inn.

One should also be aware that this is a city hotel. You will pass through neighborhoods on the way that may make some folks feel uncomfortable, and you will see a steady stream of clientele taking advantage of the entirely legal profession of prostitution in Costa Rica. I'm not saying La Amistad is seedy or a brothel or anything alarming - but I wouldn't take a nervous traveller there, or someone who is particularly uptight. The guests feel mostly like experienced travellers on business or something other than tourism.

Overall I would recommend the hotel to flexible, experienced travellers who need a place convenient to San Jose, or who are looking for a great deal for a quick stay on their way to/from somewhere else.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank EMBMaryland_DC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mississauga, Canada
Level Contributor
31 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed December 2, 2009

We chose to stay in this hotel because it was such a great price. We were only staying one night in San Jose because we had an early bus to catch. Upon arriving, the check in agent, Rudy, upgraded us to a suite room. The room was very large. It had a kitchenette and jacuzzi. We had no problems with the room at all, although the showers are pretty low flow. We also ate at the restaurant and it was awesome food. All in all, it's a small hotel, but it's staff are great and friendly. And to all the reviews that complain about the prostitution -- you are in a different country, not everything will be as it is at home.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank misscan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La Canada Flintridge, California
Level Contributor
28 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed December 1, 2009

The hotel gives a feeling of a old house converted into many small rooms with bath. My confirmed reservation of queen size bed was denied upon my checkin and was instead given a room with no windows.. This was the beginning of many dissapointments. The area looked like ghetto and dangerous to walk. Behind the hotel is a train track and at night train woke me up many times. The bed was too soft for me, and I found some large size cockroaches in the bath room. The bathroom smelled bad even after using exhaust fan.

My food bill was inflated, and food bought by previous resident of my room was charged to me. Upon complaint after I returned home, the overcharged amount was not refunded. Room bill was also inflated, and the hotel refused to resolve the problem. Your credit card might be abused by the hotel. Not a good feeling when you return home.

All in all a bad experience, and will never stay there again

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank sshahusa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mkink, owner at Hotel La Amistad, responded to this review, December 11, 2009
Over a two month period this customer booked, cancelled, rebooked and then complained. This process took 26 emails to book a five day stay.

1. After booking and confirming the original reservation he continued to try to renegotiate the prices. After numerous attempts he cancelled the reservation.
2. He rebooked the reservation after the cancellation. Likewise, he tried to renegotiate the rates after confirmation.
3. His reservation was not denied. He was offered and accepted a free upgrade from a queen to king size room.
4. His questions about pricing were brought to our attention on a Sunday evening. There was a $14.50 discrepancy on a $500 bill.
5. We immediately acknowledged the problem and offered a credit.
6. The customer sent us an email stating ¨My stay at La Amistad was great¨ including seven other positive points about the hotel.
7. The credit was not applied to his account on the Monday, less than 24 hours after his checkout.
8. The negative review was posted.
9. As of December 11, we do not have an address to send the refund.


Unfornutately we occasionally have customers who use TA to work discounts. He left us a letter upon checkout on what a great stay he had. We were shocked to see this review.

Matt
Owner
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 Hotel La Amistad

Property: Hotel La Amistad
Address: Calle 15 Avenida 11, San Jose 1864-1002, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of San Jose > San Jose Metro > San Jose
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #33 of 76 Hotels in San Jose
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 34
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
South Beach Miami meets Costa Rican Culture. Located in Barrio Otoya and Amon, upon entering the Hotel you see the beautiful Art Deco Tile and Marble, surrounded by rich, dark native wood beams and floors. 34 rooms include 6 Penthouse Suites with King beds, 24 jet Jacuzzi tubs and personal dry sauna as well as, another 26 Luxury Rooms with either King or Queen size beds. All rooms have 80 channels of Cable TV with HBO and Cinemax, flat screen TVs, hardwire and wireless internet access, refrigerator, digital safe and luxurious mattresses. You will find these quiet Barrio's are away from the noise and traffic of downtown but still only a short 5 minute walk to all of San Jose's main attractions - The National Theatre, Museums, Shops, Restaurants, Casino's, Nightlife and Exotic Parks. As always free wireless, long distance calls to USA and Canada and laundry. Breakfast included in price. Ask about our ALL INCLUSIVE options. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, All domestic Beer and Wine, Well Drinks, 50% off top shelf. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
La Amistad Hotel
La Amistad San Jose
Hotel La Amistad Costa Rica/San Jose

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