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“Good Value in San Jose / Great Manager”

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Taormina Hotel and Casino
Ranked #15 of 76 Hotels in San Jose
Certificate of Excellence
Miami, Florida
1 review
“Good Value in San Jose / Great Manager”
Reviewed August 13, 2013

The Mona Lisa, (previously the Clarion) is the best value in San Jose. It is in the process being renovated but is operating efficiently with Guy Grand as manager and he will bend over backwards to accommodate all your needs. This hotel is not necessarily a family oriented hotel but more like a sports Bar and Casino hotel with staff that is very accommodating. The casino is extremely well run and always has both low and high limit poker games going. There is also a new travel office that can handle all your excursion needs whether for Game fishing or eco tourism and there is a great little store in the lobby area. The location I my opinion is the best in down town San Jose. It is in the Amon Bario which is much quiter than all the other down town locations and only a short walk to central avenue.

Room Tip: Higher rooms are quiter
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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Thank Toplesstravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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381 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    258
    77
    23
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    17
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (141)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Dayton, Ohio
1 review
Reviewed August 6, 2013

a really good hotel experience as always at The Mona Lisa. The staff is always helpful and accommodating. This is the best hotel value in San Jose, in my opinion. This is where I always stay in San Jose.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Faronthoro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Comayagua, Honduras
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 14, 2013

I think the best thing to say about this hotel is the overall service. If there was a question about anything whether it be location, where to go, the best thing to do on a certain night, restaurants, etc, Guy and his staff were ready to give you an answer.

The hotel recently changed over from another brand (Clarion) which you might want to remember when you take a taxi to the place as more taxi's seem to remember the Mona Lisa as "Clarion Amon Downtown", than they do as "The Mona Lisa".

I enjoyed my trip and had two friends who had traveled with me. I think the most important thing to keep in mind when staying in this area of town is that it is more geared toward singles and those looking to explore the Latina American single life. There is plenty of other places to say as a "family" that would better suit your needs. However, it would not surprise me if Guy and his staff would still find a way to accommodate you.

The place is still getting going through the transformation from previous ownership/management, but I can honestly say I'm impressed with the dedication the staff has and the uninterrupted service as the hotel continues to improve. I'd also point out that even though they are working to improve the hotel, I did not have any construction sounds waking me up or anything like that.

As for those who have give the lower ratings, I would set them in the category of "I brought my family to a singles style hotel" or a "This is Central America and I thought everything was cheap." and finally the category of "Sportsmen's, Hotel Little Havana, etc, are a better deal.". I would say in regards to cost, well, Costa Rica is one of the more expensive countries in Central America due to it's more advanced economy, infrastructure, and safety (compared to other countries in the region. The next thing to point out is it's in the singles area of the city. Finally, I'd point out that under new management and trying to get this place on the same level of Sportmen's or Hotel Little Havana will take some time, but that they are on the right path.

I've been to several of these countries in the regions and currently live in Honduras, so I can honestly say that Costa Rica is on the rise and once you get past whatever unreasonable expectations you might have in regards to price of rooms and such, you'll find that this hotel is a good deal and is working to improve your experience with every suggestion.

I also recommend going directly to Guy (Guest Relations) and communicate whatever issue you might have so that he's aware and they can work to resolve it. I recommend this hotel for those who are interested in a vacation with "play" in mind. It's a lot like Vegas, without Vegas prices or the quality expected for Vegas, but the experiences more than make up for it.

Be open minded!

**For Internet, the hotel offers it, but if you're on the move, get a MoviStar Sim for your phone, and purchase an Internet pack for the sim. You can get them prepaid in the hotel, at higher cost due to convenience, but getting credit might be difficult. Every corner store sells credit aka Saldo, or credito. Send a message to 606 with the word "dia" and that get's you internet for a 24 hour period. Send "semana" to 606 and you bought a week of internet. Good quality and speed for mobile Internet and share it from your phone if you need it on the laptop. --- This is an alternative until the the hotel works out whatever Internet issues other mentioned.

Room Tip: I'd recommend the Deluxe Room on floor four if possible. Nice rooms, nice TV, and spacious. As f...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mike S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 14, 2013

Recently enjoyed a very pleasant stay at The Mona Lisa Hotel in San Jose. This hotel is in a transition from being a Clarion Property to a private enterprise. As a New Clarion it was very grand with the big crystal chandeliers throughout the lobby and main floor and the beautiful hardwood and granite everywhere. In its' day this was a grand hotel and a lot of the class and grandeur is still there even though some of it is dated. The cleanliness was top notch which as anyone who has traveled to Costa Rica knows requires constant attention. The casino on the main floor, the restaurant, and the multiple bars (3 I think) were more than adequate. I have to mention the hotel has a C Store on the main floor which carried a decent amount of inventory truly deserving the name "Convenience". Staff was very helpful meeting all needs and handling any inquires I had. Best way to describe the prices is about half of what I paid at the Holiday Inn or the Presidente both in San Jose. And in comparison to the 2 I just mentioned I was pleasantly surprised the room was significantly bigger. For $69 per night I am sure one would be challenged to find a better room.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kojo96
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Coral, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 5, 2013

I stayed at the Mona Lisa twice during a July 2013 trip. Each time was in a standard room, which was newly renovated, spacious and very clean.

The internet pictures of the rooms were very fair representations. The hotel was exactly as I expected.

The front desk staff spoke English and went out of their way to assist and accommodate me, as I do not speak any Spanish.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Robert K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mesquite, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 3, 2013

I recently had a crew of 12 guys staying at the Mona Lisa San Jose, Costa Rica.
Guy and his staff we as good as it gets!
Nice rooms- nice gambling- and beautiful bartenders!
Try the Hotel Mona Lisa you will like it too!
Lance Morgan
President
Morgan Concrete LLC

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank dixey2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Cruces, New Mexico
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed June 30, 2013

Our (wife and I) first visit to Costa Rica, and we stayed 4 nights the third week of June. When we travel we like staying in areas where we can experience the local people and culture, and the Mona Lisa proved to do just that. We were with a group, which made our stay nicer than solo, and we found both good and minor not so good things about the Mona Lisa. Good: Maid service was terrific, most of the staff was very helpful (waiters in the Cafe need more help), the "ladies" that frequent the bar area are very nice, the hotel is well located downtown (depending on your needs); we felt safe but be cautious and use good sense. Not so Good: Room safe not bolted to floor, hanger and towel racks coming out of wall, no iron or ironing board, strong WiFi signal but cannot connect on upper floors, cafe service slow, the food is adequate but nothing spectacular (we found much better choices out of the hotel), the beds only have one sheet and need comforters, and the checkout was slow as they don't have a computer system. Part of our group said that 3 staff members were fired for theft, but we did not have any problems. Overall a nice, quaint, boutique style hotel that has so much potential, we would recommend staying as long as you realize it's not 4 or 5 star accommodations.

Room Tip: Rooms facing the front street give you a view of the city :)
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank RickSky88046
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Taormina Hotel and Casino

Property: Taormina Hotel and Casino
Address: Avenida 11 Calle 3 Bis | Barrio Amon, San Jose 10103, Costa Rica (Formerly Hotel Mona Lisa)
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of San Jose > San Jose Metro > San Jose
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Casino and Gambling Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Casino Hotel in San Jose
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Taormina Hotel and Casino 3.5*
Number of rooms: 87
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Taormina Hotel and Casino is strategically located in the historic neighborhood of Barrio Amon in San Jose, Costa Rica near the Financial Center of the Capital. It is close to cultural attractions, entertainment, and only 25 minutes away from the Juan Santamaria International Airport. The property features 90 magnificent rooms, distributed in a four story building. We're a very inviting hotel with a distinguished Costa Rican style and a friendly bi-lingual staff. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Taormina Hotel And Casino Costa Rica/San Jose

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