San José Hotels

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  • dustmon profile photo dustmon
  • Reviews: 1122

3 out of 5 starsUser Rating

Hotel Ritzli: Hotel in town

This was recommended by another VTer so we booked a room for one night here for $52---no a/c but it was cool at night. Small room with a shower was all we needed and the staff was wonderful, giving directions to nearby museums and such. Toast, coffee and juice are included in the rate, but we also ordered eggs at another $3 for breakfast the next morning. They also let us check out late at around 2:30 for our onward flight to Tambor.

in town, near museums

  • Opinion of Price: less expensive than average
  • Related to: Budget Travel, Family Travel, Work Abroad
  • Written December 14, 2011
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Hotel Ritzli entrance


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  • bennick profile photo bennick
  • Reviews: 2

4 out of 5 starsUser Rating

Posada Canal Grande - San Josè: A corner of Paradise

Confortable rooms and beds. Nice public areaa such as swimming pool, breakfast Terrace, parking accomodation, restaurant.

This is a corner of Paradise. A place with a wonderful view, a perfect weather and a nice environment. Just the right way to start your vacation in Costa Rica after landing.

  • Opinion of Price: about average
  • Related to: Casino and Gambling, Adventure Travel, Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
  • Written October 27, 2009

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  • jgoode88 profile photo jgoode88
  • Reviews: 1

3 out of 5 starsUser Rating

hotel fortuna: safe & sound

This well positioned hotel ,just 2 blocks from the parque central is safe & has a caring feel ,
perfect to do your sightseeing or shopping.
The manager speaks good english too.
He can plan your tours or excursions from there ,his prices are good value.

Safety is the main thing in most latin cities , no exception in San Jose.
This place fits the requirements.

  • Opinion of Price: less expensive than average
  • Written July 30, 2009

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  • Tom_In_Madison profile photo Tom_In_Madison
  • Reviews: 335

4 out of 5 starsUser Rating

3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

Casa Ridgway: Hostel with a conscious

$14/night single room, $12/night shared. With a small free breakfast.

Free use of internet, but they do ask for a donation. Very secure building. Not the Ritz Carleton, but $14 for a single room? Good enough for me to stay here twice. 1 block from the good restaurant, Shakti.

Kind of a hostel for adults, with quiet hours(Yea!) from 10pm to 7am.

Profits support the Peace Center next door.

  • Opinion of Price: least expensive
  • Written November 20, 2008
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  • Pieter11 profile photo Pieter11
  • Reviews: 1236

4 out of 5 starsUser Rating

2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

Couchsurfing: San José for free

In 2006 I discovered a website called www.couchsurfing.com. This webcommunity has several tens of thousands of members from all over the world who all offer a place to sleep for free for other members: you are offering a place to sleep in case someone asks you, and the other members are willing to welcome you if you ask to. No matter where you are looking for a place to sleep, you will always find some couchsurfers around. And so in San José you'll also find some.

In the capital we stayed with a single guy who welcomed us in the small apartment in a suburb of the city. The second night we stayed at his place he took us with him to his favourite hangout to watch some local football, and drink a local beer: a very nice way to get to know the real San José.

And besides all the advantages of staying with the locals in a unique atmosphere, of course it is all for free!

  • Opinion of Price: least expensive
  • Related to: Budget Travel, Road Trip, Backpacking
  • Written May 25, 2008
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Me and my host in San Jos��

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  • yyzgrl profile photo yyzgrl
  • Reviews: 5

5 out of 5 starsUser Rating

D'Galah Hotel and Spa: Friendly, clean and inexpensive hotel

Loved it. Breakfast was nice. Rooms were nice and clean. Staff extremely helpful. Good location close to the University of Costa Rica. Can't comment on spa facilities, as we didn't use any.

Small pool, nice for the heat of the day.

  • Opinion of Price: less expensive than average
  • Written February 11, 2008

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  • Dutch1980 profile photo Dutch1980
  • Reviews: 74

4 out of 5 starsUser Rating

Cosy Hostel: Costa Rica Backpackers

If you want a good not to crowded Hostel you must stay at Costa Rica Backpackers.
Its in a better neighbourhood but always watch out.
The staff is friendly

Restaurant
Swimming Pool
Big TV Room
Book exchange

just check the site

  • Opinion of Price: about average
  • Related to: Budget Travel, Backpacking, Road Trip
  • Written October 21, 2007

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  • sabogg01 profile photo sabogg01
  • Reviews: 93

2 out of 5 starsUser Rating

2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

Hotel Balmoral: Okay location but not a very nice place to stay

I stayed at this hotel March 2006 for 4 days. It does have a good location as it is in downtown San Jose with a Casino right across the street. However, right behind the hotel is the very "bad" section of town. One of the people with us had someone attempt to steal her purse while in a store shopping and a guy that was with us, on a seperate occasion had someone pull a knife on him.
The hotel was very worn looking and seemed very out of date.
The first room that we received did not have a door that would open, after making a 3 hour drive from our previous destination we wanted in our room to rest. The person at the front desk told us to go wait and someone would be with us in a few minutes. After about 30 minutes we went back to the front desk and was assured someone would be along shortly, so finally another hour later our door was unlocked for us. Apparently the maintenence person broke the lock because at that point the door would no longer lock. The staff told us they didnt have anymore rooms and we would have to keep that one anyway.
We did not want to stay in a hotel that had a door that would not lock! Much less go anywhere because we had to keep an eye on our stuff.
FINALLY our leader of the Study Abroad program convinced them to give us a different room. The door worked fine but we had a window that would not shut all the way.
The hot water did not work either so we had to take cold showers.
I would defintly advice staying somewhere else!

  • Opinion of Price: N/A
  • Written May 9, 2007

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  • risse73 profile photo risse73
  • Reviews: 258

4 out of 5 starsUser Rating

3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

Gran Hotel: Historic Hotel

This was the most appropriate accommodation in the city center. It is close to everything--banks, museums, the national theatre, national post office, wonderful shopping--and right in the the heart of all the action. In addition, service and pricing were both excellent!

full of history and a true landmark, has amenities typical of a full-scale hotel in any major city in the world.

  • Opinion of Price: about average
  • Written April 29, 2007

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  • Firestar24 profile photo Firestar24
  • Reviews: 109

4 out of 5 starsUser Rating

2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

The Green House Hostel: Good value, family run hostel

For our first night in Costa Rica, we chose a hostel in the capital with private facilities. The two beds in our room were wonderfully soft and we both had a perfect nights sleep. The guest rooms are built in a very large converted garage attached to a smaller building which serves as reception area, lounge and dining room. The main guest area is bright and sunny thanks to a transparent ceiling and cheerful decor.

Breakfast is simple toast, butter, jam and good local coffee. The hostel can arrange transfers to and from the airport and the fridge is always stocked with beer for a dollar a bottle.

The location of the hostel is good - close enough to the city centre for a pleasant stroll in and far enough away to be nice and quiet for lazy mornings. The area isn''t great but Jonathan & I walked everywhere - including to and from a nearby bar at ridiculous hours of day - and we didn't get into any trouble.

  • Opinion of Price: least expensive
  • Related to: Backpacking, Budget Travel
  • Written April 16, 2007
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The exterior of the Green House Hostel

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  • ledzfilter profile photo ledzfilter
  • Reviews: 3

4 out of 5 starsUser Rating

2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

Scotland Apartments: Budget Short-term Apartment

I stayed at Scotland Apartments with a buddy of mine for a month in April 2006. The lady that worked there was really friendly, spoke English, and never gave us any problems. She was actually really helpful with directions and general advice.

As far as the apartment goes, the bathroom, kitchen and bedroom were all standard fare. But for $650/month, we couldn't beat it. Staying at hostels is great, but sometimes you just want to have a place of your own for a little while. If you're taking classes near San Pedro Mall, and have a friend studying with you, this is the place for you.

Really secure apartment. 24 hour guards and a locked gate.

  • Opinion of Price: less expensive than average
  • Related to: Study Abroad
  • Written March 13, 2007

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  • ericdharma profile photo ericdharma
  • Reviews: 29

2 out of 5 starsUser Rating

2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

The Dunn Inn: Gets the job Dunn but not cheap

I checked in to the Dunn Inn when I realized that I am not a backpacker type and that I was tired of smelling the sulfur/moldy smell of the Pangea Hostel day in and day out and passing random, hairy, burn-out types on the way to the shared showers with no hot water. I picked it because it was almost literally across the street from what I was trying to escape. I was disapointed to find that, in terms of quality, it was actually offering less than the Inca Real and charging more at 65USD. I was given, what I believe, was the worst room in the place. It was wedged in between the Internet cafe and the restaurant/Lobby Bar. I might as well have taken a blanket out to the benches in the lobby. I heard the music from the bar until 2AM every night and I had a "window" that faced the backs of the computer user's heads. It just didn't make any sense and I actually I think that that space was at one time part of the lobby and they walled it up and started jamming people in there in a desperate attempt to squeeze all of the money from the tourist market possible. At one point there was a guy supposedly doing some electrical work in the crawlspace over the roof of my room. I heard him telling his partner in Spanish, who was in the hallway, an itemized list of the stuff he saw in my room. That was over the top and after that I was outta there.

The hotel has paid Internet access on two computers near the lobby. There is a full restaurant and bar and I have to give them credit for mixing strong drinks there. There is no free breakfast offered so rather than eat at their restaurant I was in the habit of going across the street to the Best Western. They had a great open air restaurant and bar with live music in the evenings but the same restaurant also offered a great weekend brunch/buffet which was expensive but plentiful and diverse. They also had a guy there making custom made to order omelets which is always a nice touch. I inquired about staying there but it was far above my price range and the rooms were really dissapointing with respect to size and amenities.

  • Opinion of Price: more expensive than average
  • Related to: Family Travel, Romantic Travel and Honeymoons, Singles
  • Written January 13, 2007

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  • bishikawa profile photo bishikawa
  • Reviews: 1

1 out of 5 starsUser Rating

2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

Hotel Barcelo Playa Tambor: A Blight Upon Nature

As a hotel, the Playa Tambor is adequate: clean, modern rooms, edible food, large pool, clean towels. One of the beds in our room smelled like sweaty sneakers, but we just used the other bed.

Drinks are "free" ie. included in the price. We tried a bunch of cocktails which were all poorly made by indifferent bartenders whose days were spent being badgered by drunken teenagers. These people know so little about what they are doing that they served their red wine chilled and offered ice in the beer.

The beach is lousy at best. The hotel guests leave their trash (predominantly paper cups) on the beach and the staff is slow to pick up after the immature crowd that frequents the resort. The beach is about 60 percent rocks, and the rest is sand mixed with dirt washed down from the hills. Not good for walking barefoot.

The entertainment starts with an odious audience participation event called "Icebreaker" but which is really "Humiliate the Audience". Alternating between boring (an hour of unanswerable trivia questions) and crass (boyfriend holds a red 18-inch piece of broomstick between his knees and blindfolded, tries to insert it into the core of a toilet paper roll held between girlfriend's knees), "Icebreaker" is like watching a trainwreck.

Worst of all is the "Eco Tour". Costa Rica is a natural paradise. At Playa Tambor, you can get a tour guided by a staff member who is completely ignorant of what he is showing you. The "Nature Park" is a swampy palm farm, with two native trees mixed in with the palms, some aligators in a cage and monkeys fed into docility. The only real nature is the mosquitos.

If you don't care about Costa Rica and only want to hang around a pool full of under-supervised teenagers and overweight people whose bathing suits are too small, try Orlando or Cancun, it's a lot cheaper and easier to get to those locations than to the Nicoya Peninsula.

A completely unnatural spot in a country known for its natural beauty

  • Opinion of Price: more expensive than average
  • Related to: Theme Park Trips, Family Travel, Spa and Resort
  • Written November 25, 2006

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  • americanincostarica profile photo americanincostarica
  • Reviews: 1

5 out of 5 starsUser Rating

orbit car rental network costa rica: costa rica car rental reviews and references

Car rental in Costa Rica is often confusing to tourists since the so called famous names they are used to in the states are not the same ownership but essentially paying royalty to rent the names. Prices are all over the map but most low ball prices especially the ones who claim to have the lowest price usually end up as bait and switch. Also the government of Costa Rica has specific policies that tax new cars at 59% to 100% import duty thus cars are much more expensive here than the states. If the rental car company is authorized they get a 50% discount on this import tax but the process causes delay in getting delivery of new models which means the 2007 model that is on show room floor in states september 2006 probably will not be in rental fleet in costa rica till late in 2007. While it will be brand new still it confuses tourists.
The government monopoly insurance is very complicated and basically forces the car rental company to charge liability insurance and collission even if the tourist wants to decline. Credit card companies like amex, visa, mastercard will not cover liability in Costa Rica and sometimes will cover collission but mastercard especially limits time of coverage. American Express has better policy.
Many complaints have occured over the years with tourists being surprised on return of vehicle with excessive damage claims. This is how the less than honest rental car companies make up for low ball prices. The best idea is read references and reviews from past tourists and make sure to believe those references where there is an email or telephone attached to the reference since it is easy to make great references with incomplete info like james b. , columbia , missouri with no address, telephone, or email address.
orbitcostarica.com/carrentals.htm has scores of real references and i suggest you read them.

brand new vehicles, no hidden charges, 24 emergency service, free airport shuttle, free hotel delivery to most hotels, good selection of 4x4 rentals,

  • Opinion of Price: about average
  • Related to: Family Travel, Business Travel, Surfing
  • Written November 5, 2006

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  • penumbra profile photo penumbra
  • Reviews: 481

2 out of 5 starsUser Rating

4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

Hotel Del Rey: Not for the faint of heart

The outside of the hotel is certainly worth a couple of pictures during the day time. Inside, the Blue Marlin bar is filled with working girls, 24 hours a day. There’s a constant stream in and out of the hotel and up and down the elevator.

There is no fitness center available. Food is brought across the road on trays from the Del Mar restaurant (covered by plastic). There is a casino on the premises.

Check your bill carefully. There was a $100 bar tab on my bill that I had to ask to have removed.

  • Opinion of Price: about average
  • Related to: Casino and Gambling, Business Travel, Singles
  • Written August 29, 2006
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Hotel Del Rey

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