Background: This was to be the jumping-off point for a 3-week group tour of Central America. I managed to arrive very early on a red-eye flight before the roosters even started crowing, so to speak. This remodeled hotel used to be the home of the Montealegre’s family, one of the main coffee exporters to Europe in the early 1900's, when Costa Rica was the "Coffee Capital of the World." The mansion was designed in a charming mixture of Caribbean Victorian with Art Nouveau styles by the famous Spanish architect Luis Llac, of the renowned Barcelona School of Architecture.
PROS: Location is one of its best assets. Situated close to the city centre of San Jose, the place is a leisurely 20-minute walk to Mercado Central and several museums. It is along the main highway (#2 Paseo Colon) and close enough to McDonald's, KFC, Burger King, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and other fastfood joints. Room rates are reasonable and of good value compared to its peers for its 3-star rating. The room decor had an Old World Colonial charm to its motif, hearkening back to its coffee plantation roots. There are the usual perks: cable TV, ceiling fan and in-suite bathroom. There is also free WiFi and private parking. Providing a 24-hour receptions desk, service is very good to excellent. The staff may be soft-spoken, but they are very helpful and accommodating.
CONS: I agree when other reviewers say that this establishment is big on security but only because an old iron grill takes the place of keyless door entry and CCTV cameras. True, they prioritize safety over convenience. The entry doorway was always locked and Reception needs to be buzzed every time -- every time -- a guest enters or exits. There were some delays at times when the receptionist wasn't at the desk and I had to wait a few minutes to go out the door. Although there's free WiFi, the signal was spotty and does not reach all of the bedrooms. Furthermore, there were no toiletries, in-suite safe or coffee. Alas, the meals were also not included with the room rates.
Liked: Good value, Excellent service
Disliked: Needing to call Reception every time to enter or exit the front door
Verdict: There you have it -- the positives balance out the negatives. While there are some negatives, they are almost non-issues for me. You see, I'm not such a fussy traveller and I could put up with a lot. By Costa Rican standards, it is good value for your money. Adequate for a few nights as a base to explore the Costa Rican capital. Your call. Grade B+.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This hotel in a most historical important home of the old coffee families of Costa Rica. This hotel will enchant you with its historical well maintained style and today's comfort. In the city center near to airport and buses and just a 10 minute walk to the central market. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- La Rosa Del Paseo Costa Rica/San Jose