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“Five stars for the area and what it is...”

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Taormina Hotel and Casino
Ranked #20 of 78 Hotels in San Jose
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 21, 2014

I was at Mona Lisa when the first opened in early 2013 and had a wonderful stay, so returned this past end of February 1 year later. I was happy to see the manager Guy Grand and owner still very "hands on and available", and the hotel holding it's grace. I want to be clear, I am not rating Mona Lisa 5 stars compared with all hotels by any means, specifically the rating is from my experience with the Del Rey area of San Jose this is in.

This is a "grand style" hotel with a large lovely lobby, nice accessible bar, good sized casino for those who desire, and restaurant with open air covered and outdoor seating. Staff are always available, courteous and efficient and whatever issues are encountered are either remedied or worked around in an expedient manner.

Rooms are clean and large for the type, safe in each room that I am aware of, excellent security, no "guest fee" nor issues and guests must sign in with ID increasing security. Rather than many of the raunchier feeling places in the area, this feels comparatively like staying "up town" while in a centrally located downtown area with easy safe walking access to many of the areas best attractions. Pricing is reasonable for the quality for sure, I always feel I am getting a deal there!

Often there is plenty of local flavor hanging out at the bar to interact with as well.

This trip a close friend had the massage from Yorleney and is still talking about it a month later as one of the best therapeutic massages of his fifty years! I love Mona Lisa and their staff, and can't wait to return!

Room Tip: Depends on what you like - closer to elevator or quietest area etc. Tell the reception at checking w...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank Holograman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guy G, Guest Relations Manager at Taormina Hotel and Casino, responded to this reviewResponded April 30, 2014

Glad to hear you enjoyed your second stay with us as much as your first stay. We are very grateful for the very nice review you wrote about the Hotel Mona Lisa, it's very much appreciated. Nice to hear your friend enjoyed his massage with Yorleny our massage therapist. She has ten years experience and four degrees in deep tissue massage and speaks perfect English. Thanks so much for your patronage and hope to see you again in the near future.
Director of Guest Services - Guy Grand

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249 - 255 of 393 reviews

Reviewed February 25, 2014

We are planning to stay at this property again in April. We were a little worry about the Easter holiday break crowds and hence the lack of vacancies in the area. We contacted Guy, the manager and director of guest services of Mona Lisa, who was extremely helpful during last CR trip and he was so helpful and accommodating again in our planning! Our requests is a little unusual because we are using SJ as the center point of traveling around the country, so we will be in-out of Mona Lisa a few times during our trip. Guy understood our needs and arranged accommodation for us accordingly. His friendly attitude, fast response and constant professionalism is greatly appreciated!!

The hotel is located about a 10 minutes pleasant walk from DT. Lobby is extremely spacious and have a decent size casino attached. There is a hotel restaurant with a nice balcony to chill out. Other American style restaurants are nearby or in DT if you are worried about food selection. Lots of fast food restaurants in DT. The rooms may not be all new as the hotel is going under renovation but they are spacious and clean with good TV channel selections. There is a in-room safe. Bathroom is in good working condition, so you don't need to worry about throwing your toilet paper into the garbage bin (as some hotels have plumbing problems). The hotel is safe with security guards and your car (if you are planning to rent one) will be kept in a gated, high ceiling parking lot. Taxi is readily available to take you around town.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank dotcomsurfr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guy G, Guest Relations Manager at Taormina Hotel and Casino, responded to this reviewResponded April 30, 2014

Thank you so much for your gracious review of the Hotel. I'm so happy to hear everything was to your liking and you had such a good time. We definitely look forward to your next visit and hope to see you again soon. Thanks for you patronage.
Director of Guest Services - Guy Grand

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Reviewed February 23, 2014

This place opened a year os so ago, had been an american chain, closed for several years. I think for the price it is good, good location for downtarea. Best thing is it was built as a hotel and not something else and modified into one.

has a casino and restaruant. I did not partake. Great lobby. Rooms need updating. Only first four floors open. Wiffi was poor. Stay in the back side, street noise front side rooms.

Room Tip: Back side rooms
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Tomas M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guy G, Guest Relations Manager at Taormina Hotel and Casino, responded to this reviewResponded April 30, 2014

Glad you decided to try the Mona Lisa. We are new and still getting all the bugs out. Like you said, this hotel was built by an American company and the walls are thick and hence very quiet. You're right, for the price it's hard to beat. Since you were here we've added 15 more rooters and the hotel and on all four floors so the wifi is much stronger now. Thanks for staying with us and taking the time to write a review on Tripadvisor. Hope to see you again in the near future.
Director of Guest Services - Guy Grand

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Reviewed February 20, 2014 via mobile

This last trip started Feb 12 thru 16. This was the 5th time I've stayed in the Hotel Mona Lisa in the last year.
The rooms are spacious and modern equipped with safe and flat screen TV carpeted floor and nice window view. The employees in the hotel are very friendly from the maids up to the upper level management and are willing to help you with your every need. Yorleny is the hotel masseuse and she is terrific for only 40 dollars she gives a world class Ritz Carlton massage in private hotel room . Guy grand who is in charge of guest relations is always in hotel to give you expert advice on were to or were not to. He goes out of his way to take care of your needs. All the managerial staff including George the manager is friendly. And very helpful. Overall the food is good, the casino is a nice addition, the bartenders and front desk personnel are all very friendly. I can't think of a better place to stay after my 20 th trip to San Jose CR
Don P

Stayed: February 2014, traveled solo
1  Thank DONALD P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guy G, Guest Relations Manager at Taormina Hotel and Casino, responded to this reviewResponded April 30, 2014

Thank you so much for the kind review. I'm so happy to hear after your fifth trip to San Jose and staying at the Mona Lisa all five times you are still happy with the Service. We are so thrilled to have you back each time. We appreciate your patronage and your friendliness with all our staff. You are like family here. We look forward to your next visit. Thanks again.
Director of Guest Services - Guy Grand

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Reviewed February 20, 2014

Start off with location optimal for getting around town and to your favorite places. Staff was always there and attentive to guests needs. Not sure what position he holds but Guy was extremely helpful. Met one of the owners who was friendly. Another one of the managers by the name of Helmet was always around and attentive to questions and needs. Fantastic professional message at half the price of one in the US. Good food and drink and service. Bartender by the name of Angelica was very sweet. Nothing stolen, room was cleaned everyday, will return ASAP.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank Bradley D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guy G, Guest Relations Manager at Taormina Hotel and Casino, responded to this reviewResponded April 30, 2014

Happy to hear the staff took great care of you and you were happy with the price of the rooms. We try our best to have clean affordable priced rooms for any budget. The staff works very hard to please the guests and all speak English and Spanish. Look forward to your next visit and thanks for your patronage. Director of Guest Services - Guy Grand

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Reviewed February 19, 2014

All I can say about Jeff P's review & Jack E's review is BS!! I've stayed here several times & many of my friends also since they opened & have NEVER had an issue like they claim. I've stayed at several others too with only minor issues. Sounds to me like a local competitor leaving a bad review or someone wasn't keeping an eye on their tica!! There is always a manager available & I dont think any of them gamble. The food has dramatically improved since they 1st opened. George has gone through a few cooks & now has a good one. A couple of their items need some work but we are spoiled in the states & elsewhere & sometimes forget we aren't in Kansas any more. Stop wining & figure out what you like. Theres tons of great little places extremely close by that serve very good food also, but they too need to work on a few things. You want perfect stay at home & burn your own toast. The staff at The Mona Lisa are well trained & will do anything to make your trip there as enjoyable as humanly possible. Tom, George & Helmut are the best & Guy is absolutely possitively what puts this place over the top. Everyones hands on & always available. Speaking of hands on, this places little diamond in the rough is the georgeous Yorleny. With out a doubt she gives the absolute very best professional massage that you can not get anywhere else on this planet!! She's just short of 5' but I'm telling you, she doesn't short you on a massage. Only $40 & don't forget to tip!!! There's only a couple places in SJ that you can visit & pretty much not have to leave your hotel & this is one of them. 5 Star all the way !!!!!!!!!!

Room Tip: Get the King rooms. They are worth the extra money. 3rd floor is the best
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank Brad P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guy G, Guest Relations Manager at Taormina Hotel and Casino, responded to this reviewResponded May 1, 2014

Thank you so much for your very kind review of our hotel. It's a pleasure to know you enjoyed your stay and look forward to your next visit. Thanks again, Guy

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Reviewed February 17, 2014

I'm no stranger to San Jose. I've stayed at quite a few places downtown and normally don't complain.

This last visit, I stayed at this hotel. Left to go eat dinner. When I got back, my safe had been opened and $600 had been taken. Everything about his screams inside job. Only someone with a key could have entered the safe.

Stay away from this place, unless your idea of a good time is having your things stolen.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled solo
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3  Thank Jeff P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guy G, Guest Relations Manager at Taormina Hotel and Casino, responded to this reviewResponded May 1, 2014

Thanks for staying with us. We're very sorry to hear about your problem with your safe. We just replaced the older safes with 25 brand new safes. All our other safes have been moved from one room to another and we changed all the numbers on them so there is no way to know what safe is from what room. It's all done by secret code. All keys are locked up in a special box inside a safe with only one manager that has the key. We apologize for any inconvenience. I've worked at many hotels and it seems to happen everywhere but we are taking action to prevent it in the future.
Director of Guest Services - Guy Grand

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Additional Information about Taormina Hotel and Casino

Address: Avenida 11 Calle 3 Bis | Barrio Amon, San Jose 10103, Costa Rica (Formerly Hotel Mona Lisa)
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:
#4 Casino Hotel in San Jose
Price Range: $75 - $113 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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