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“Ugly city, nice hotel” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Don Carlos

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Hotel Don Carlos
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Avenida 9 y Calle 9, San Jose, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #25 of 83 Hotels in San Jose
Valence, France
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Ugly city, nice hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2014

After arriving in Costa Rica we stayed one night in San José before moving on to Limón. For the city that was more than enough, I find it an ugly city where I do not feel safe. The dangerous areas are incredibly photogenic for street photography, but it gets crossed off the map for tourists as an absolute NO GO.
Hotel Don Carlos is nice. We had spacious rooms with AC, and a view on the hotel's backyard and city. The public areas of the hotel are filled with little corners to lounge in, and national art or historic items. A free glass of punch on arrival, a safe in the room when you place a deposit, and a good breakfast in the morning with very friendly staff made this one fine stay for the night.

Room Tip: Invest a little more when possible to take one of the bigger rooms. The smaller ones are incredibly...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jaimy N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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386 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (60)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2014

The place is definitely eccentric with lots of art, history, and quirky touches throughout. I'm not sure how "authentic" it all is, but there are plenty of curiosities to explore which make this place maybe worth checking out for a night. The location is nice as well, on a quiet street just a few blocks from the city center. The rooms are very dated though, and there is zero sound barrier between rooms. We aren't too picky about this kind of stuff, but this place is quite ancient for the price - toilets don't flush well, broken beds, old upholstery, cloying flourescent lights, etc. Also, yes, the place is small, but doesn't have that quaint, owner-operated kind of personal service that we usually prefer. The service felt more corporate to us, even though it's an independent place. It's clearly been operating for a long time and doesn't really have that personal feel anymore. Could definitely use a makeover.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank CarrieandJake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bedfordshire, England
Level Contributor
52 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2014

I stayed there twice on a 2 week trip in costa rica. the rooms are large and clean. the breakfast was nice and we ate in the restaurant for dinner twice and had very nice meals. the décor of the hotel is positively charming

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Claire28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Netherlands
Level Contributor
49 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2014

This hotel is situated on 15 minutes walking distance from what is supposed to be the central square and shopping streets of San Jose. Any expectation of this city is one too many, by the way. In daylight it's kind of o.k. At night the streets are roamed by thiefs, robbers and transsexual hookers, no further than a couple of blocks away from the hotel. But don't let this put you off from visiting this hotel if you want (or need) to stay in San Jose. This hotel is furnished in a very pleasant colonial style. Rooms are allright but nothing special, Buffet breakfast is ok. Returning from Tortuguero National park we arrived half an hour too late for dinner, but the kind gentlemen that are probably running the in-house adjacent restaurant for decades let us in and served us a good meal anyway. Hotel has an excellent service desk for reservations for trips and hire cars. Don't organize from home, but do it via these guys, they do an excellent job for their customers. All in all: friendly staff and very good value for money.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Cor D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Level Contributor
82 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2014

I stayed here for two separate one night stays in April. My first room (#14) was probably one of their smallest rooms, but it was cozy and a respectable size for one person.

My second room(s) were #6 and #3. #6 was probably my favorite of the three, large and opening up into the courtyard. However, when I went in to brush my teeth at night, a cockroach greeted me on the counter. I tried to capture him under a cup (my response to all bugs that are too big to squish) but he was too quick for me.

The night manager very kindly tried to exterminate the little guy, and moved my room without my asking when he couldn't. Normally a cockroach would indicate a lack of cleanliness to me, but honestly, the rooms here did seem very clean. I suspect it's just an unavoidable part of being in a city hotel such as this.

I appreciated the kindness of the gent at the front desk, suggesting the room move and not making me feel like a goof for being creeped out by a bug. A big bug, but a bug nonetheless.

The food in the restaurant was delicious, and the atmosphere was very welcoming. The maids always smiled and greeted me, and I generally felt very welcome at this property. Would stay again!

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RunCatchKiss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Telford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2014

We only stayed overnight on a recent tour of Costa Rica. The receptionist was exceedingly welcoming, friendly and helpful. It started our holiday on the perfect note. A quirky hotel with a very happy, family feel. The room was perfect and the hotel itself is perfectly situated to walk into the centre of San José. We didn't eat in the restaurant but perhaps we should have done as what we got in town was not great and considerably more expensive. We left before breakfast for out trip to Tortuguero. We would happily return for an extended stay,

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank HaydnG60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockholm, Sweden
Level Contributor
44 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2014

The outside of the hotel is very nice and the staff is service minded and helpful. The rooms could do with some updating but they are very big and there are rooms with more than two beds. The hotel is within walking distance to the gold museum (10-15 minutes) as well as cafés and restaurants.
There is no air conditioning and the showers take some time to get warm, but it's clean.

Room Tip: Some rooms face a street with more traffic (towards the side of the hotel, not where the front entra...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Hoya91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Don Carlos

Property: Hotel Don Carlos
Address: Avenida 9 y Calle 9, San Jose, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of San Jose > San Jose Metro > San Jose
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#15 Family Hotel in San Jose
#16 Romantic Hotel in San Jose
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Don Carlos 3*
Number of rooms: 36
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Don Carlos Hotel
Don Carlos San Jose
Hotel Don Carlos Costa Rica/San Jose

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