More about Marriott Costa Rica
Marriott Costa Rica
We stayed at the Marriott over the Christmas Hoiday and through new years eve. Overall, I would recommend this hotel without hesitation. The staff works very hard to provide excellent service, and in general they succeed. For a Marriott, the level of service here is certainly on the higher end of the spectrum. To be sure however, this is not the Ritz Carlton or the Four Seasons, but then again, the cost of staying here does not begin to approach the cost of those hotels. Criticisms: There are 2 pools, one was under repair while we were there and was not usable, however, the one pool was more than adequate. The so called infirmary is in the spa where massages and facials are given. One member on our trip was getting a massage while 2 other guests were having medical problems dealt with, she could hear everything that was being said as there are only partitions in the spa, no ceilings at all. This is something they definately need to rework. Positives: Food was very good, especially breakfast buffet which is free, staff friendly and helpful, hotel is very clean and attractive. One can save money by eating at local restaurants in town, cab ride costs about $10 each way.
Pretty good, all the way around!
We stayed at the Costa Rica Marriott from July 20-23, 2005. It was exactly what one should expect from a Marriott in the States...decent sized room (but certainly doesn't qualify as "over-sized"), clean, all the usual amenities (minus a phone in the bathroom).
The hotel has a sort of Spanish villa feel to it, with Spanish influenced furnishings in all of the public areas, and somewhat in the rooms as well.
The restaurants were good, but not exceptional. Usually Marriott prides itself on it's food presentation. This hotel certainly comes close, but I would give it three to four stars in the quality of food. Food prices are exactly what you would pay at a Marriott in the U.S....$15-20 per person for the buffet breakfast, $15-25 for lunch, and about $20-35 per person for dinner, plus wine/alcohol.
The location is good for the airport, but not so hot if you want to be close to town. The hotel's taxi's ran about $15 to go into San Jose, and the hotel maintains a complementary shuttle to the airport every 30 minutes.
Service was pretty good...again, about four stars. One night we had to request that the maid clean the room (they forgot). We often stay in four to five star hotels, and this was a solid four star. Nothing to complain about! If I had to return to this part of Costa Rica, I wouldn't hesitate to return here.
Good place to start your Costa Rican adventure
I stayed here at the start and end of our tour of Costa Rica. I had an Executive King room and used my Marriott points for a Deluxe (standard) Double for my friends. Marriott contacted me by email about a week before my arrival and I was able to confirm all arrangements and make sure my friends had no problems on check-in as the room was in my name. They picked me up at the airport, depsite a 2.5 hour weather delay from Newark, and I got the room promised. Check-in was a breeze and the bell staff had my bags in the room in minutes. The rooms are fairly small, like most of the older Marriotts, and the bath a good size with a deep tub. the toilet was in a small room with a door that could only be closed if you almost stood on the toilet! As I was alone, it was a non-issue. The Executive Lounge was well provided, had at least 2 hot dishes each morning, which always varied, and plenty of cold selections, including smoked salmon. Beds were good, but not great, and pillows plentiful and good. You could graze on the lounge food and barely need a full meal during your stay. Staff in the lounge was very helpful and remembered people and automatically got your favorites without asking.
Both feather and foam pillows were on the bed. All the furniture and bedding was fresh and new looking. Rooms were very clean and serviced twice a day. My rooms, I stayed 3 doors down from my first room when I returned, had a view of nothing. They were on the central courtyard, which was noisey with live music till 11PM, so get a room well away if you need an early night.
The free standard (called deluxe) double had the same sq. ft. of floor space as my king, so only 2 double beds fit in the room. The bath was smaller with the toilet in the room a standard tub/shower and smaller vanity. Still nicely done, though the room was definately cramped with the furniture and 2 beds. On the first visit my friends were on the second floor in the pool wing facing away from the pool with a 'view' of the gardens as they sloped up the hill. It turned out this was one of the best locations for a quiet room. Their second room was facing the pool on the 6th (top) floor and was very noisey. All the pool noise just echos right up.
Villa Hermosa has a very good buffet breakfast and we had an excellent dinner there one night as well. Their little cafe off the front entrance courtyard served various deserts, panini's and salads for light meals - and great lemonaid! I had good, spicey fried Calamari poolside and rather strong gin and tonics. The pools were very nice and there is a small spa with various treatments and massages just off the pool area. The onsite gift shop had free coffee samples which my friend LOVED. The grounds were very well maintained and nicely landscaped.
For a quiet room, get one well down the wing opposit the pool. The central courtyard noise will be dulled and no pool noise. Great mountain views, but over an industrial area. Or take one in the pool wing, but not overlooking the pool. Try to stay away from the central courtyard or facing the pool. There's an excellent business center and concierge service as well as an onsite travel agency that was helpful. Staff treated me very well and made every effort to see I had what I needed when I needed it, including airport transfers, which weren't a problem for me even at 6AM outbound.
Other than the smallish size of the rooms and the noise from the central courtyard, I had no real complaints. It is an American hotel that caters to business people. It hosts meetings and we saw 2 wedding receptions as well, but nothing overwhelming. It was a great place to get help to start our driving trip and after 2 1/2 weeks wandering around Costa Rica, it was a very welcome comfort.
Excellent in all areas
We stayed at this hotel because we needed to be near San Jose and yet did not want to be in the heart of the city. Very nice setting.
This hotel is spotless. Perhaps the cleanest hotel I have ever been to. Staff people were always cleaning something. The pool was very clean with plenty of chairs. The staff was friendly, efficient and always willing to please. I did not encounter one person in the entire week who was less than stellar. Bellhops were fast and efficient. Airport shuttles were well organized, expecially since the airport is a bit chaotic. There was a representative from the hopel outside the airport in a clearly marked Marriott uniform who handled everything. Check in was fast and the room was very nice. Food was excellent with superb service. The concierge was most helpful as was the person who would make travel arrangements. Security was very good.
Only one thing to consider. (And I know this is hard to believe.) Some of the cab drivers in San Jose proper were not familiar with the hotel. As such, since I speak no Spanish, once I knew the way to the hotel I had to point out which exits to take off the highway and which turns to make. This happened on two occasions. Cab drivers in Costa Rica are absolutlely nuts, and one driver exited up an entrance ramp off the highway because he missed the turn!! I would suggest that the traveller carry detailed printed instructions in Spanish as to how to get to the hotel from the highway.
A great steakhouse is nearby. The El Rodeo. Don't miss it.
Otherwise, for those needing to be near San Jose, I would recommend this hotel wihout question. For those who intened to travel around the country, I would suggest a few nights here and then making arrangements at other hotels as most other places such as the Arenal Volcano, Manuel Antonio, and the Carribean coast are long bus rides away.
Finally a true 4 Star Hotel
We stayed here our last night before leaving the next morning out of San Jose International. What a great place to stay. Marriott does a wonderful job of having the traditional style of a costa rican hotel with all the modern facilities of a resort american style, with nice spas, gorgeous pools and beautiful landscaping.
We will stay here again, if we need to be in the San Jose area.
San Jose Marriott Can Make A Perfect Stay
We stayed at the San Jose Marriott for six days 8/6/05 - 8/12/05. At first, we were apprehensive about spending all of our time near San Jose and not staying at other areas. We are so glad now that we used the San Jose Marriott as a launch spot for our tours. It is at most a 3 hour tour bus ride from either the pacific coast or carribbean coast. We concentrated on the central valley and carribbean coast. Monica at the hotel tour desk set up all of our excursions which were all very well organized, professional and punctual. The only problem was that with each tour you did an obligatory "hotel tour" of other properties in San Jose where the tours picked up other guests. This was interesting though because it made you truly appreciate staying at the Marriott. It is close enough to San Jose yet far enough removed so you don't feel at all caught up in its chaos. We did the four in one tour- excellent, the aerial tram- marginal, white water rafting - excellent, Tortugero day tour- long but excellent (exceptional wildlife viewing ie. monkeys, sloths, caymans, alligators, turtles ... yes plural). Unless you feel you absolutely must see the sea turtles coming ashore at midnight to lay their eggs, I would not bother with doing hte overnight tour. If you can deal with the 2.5 hour bus ride in each direction... the day tour is the way to go.
The San Jose Marriottl itself is relaxed, elegant and has a gracious feel. Restaurants are adequate, but, better than most you will find in San Jose. We ate several times at the small cafe adjacent to the gift shop. Sandwiches there are a bargain (most under five dollars) ... so are the desserts (most less than 2 dollars). The main restaurant is also reasonable... service spotty at times but still very nice, very relaxed. Live music nightly that fills the courtyard and lobby areas. Our room was on the sixth floor facing the pool. Late night can be rather noisy if you leave your windows open. Close them and all is quiet. An awesome jacuzzi that seats 15... however usually it was empty. The pool while old is excellently maintained. The grounds are impeccable... great for early morning and sunset walks. Security is everywhere so you feel safe. Staff is extremely helpful, speaks english. The little extra you pay for cabs directly from the hotel is well worth the confidence that you will not be taken for a ride. Usually for 10 bucks extra they will wait for up to two hours at your destination to return you to the hotel. Take my word... San Jose is not for the average American driver. We found we came out ahead by not renting a car at 55 dollars a day plus insurance and gas.... and instead paying a cabbie from the hotel to take us around for 60 dollars on the days we were not doing all day tours. When we do return to Costa Rica it will be to the Pacific side and most likely Marriott Los Suenos. Meanwhile the San Jose Marriott is best bang for the buck if you are touring Costa Rica's central valley.
Impressive for Costa Rica
We stayed one night at the Marriott in San Jose and were pleasantly suprised by how nice it was. We were impressed by the staff's friendliness and promptness to our arrival. Our standard room with two beds was the same four star quality we expect to receive in the US. Our room was quiet and the beds really soft and comfortable. Marble in the bathroom and a view of the mountains topped it off nicely. We had drinks and appetizers in the bar and were suprised to find American food and wines on the menu.
We swam in all of the pools and spent half a day enjoying the property.
With our room we received a free breakfast buffet. Good pastry selection! The hot items were typical Costa Rica fare, bean, rice, meat.
The only drawback we can state is that when we arrived at the airport we could not find anyway to contact the hotel for the free transfer. Many taxi drivers approach us and try to help take your bags to their cars so you will use their service. Walked around looking for a phone to call the hotel or something...we finally paid $13 for a taxi ride.
Overall, I do recommend this hotel. Difinately the nicest hotel we stayed in during our nine day, five hotel visit to Costa Rica.
This place was like a bad dream
After the first night of running the air conditioner in my room, I woke up with a sinus infection. The vent is positioned so that the air blows on your face while you are in bed. The room was sweltering without it, so I tried using it the next night and it continued to irritate my sinuses, as well as leaving the room with a funky smell. I'm sure that if the filter was inspected it would be full of mold spores or something. My room (253) was also adjacent to a storage area of some sort and I was constantly jarred out of sleep by someone banging against the wall and workers yelling throughout the night. My final night there I was woke up at midnight and didn't get to sleep the rest of the night.
One other word of caution. The exchange rate in Costa Rica is a little tricky. It is about 500 colones to 1 dollar so pay attention when ordering wine at the hotel. There were wines from Concha y Toro sitting out on the table, and having remembered picking these Chilean wines up at the store for about $6 in the states, we mistakingly converted the 50,000 Colones to $10. Then when the bill came we realized it was really a $100 bottle of wine. It wasn't much better than the $6 Concha y Toro I remembered buying in the states.
Besides the banging and yelling throughout the night, and the sinus infection I received from the air conditioner, the hotel itself was pretty nice for $110 a night. Just try to get a room at the end of the building.
Central Courtyard of Costa Rica Marriott
Courtyard of Costa Rica Marriott San Jose
Luxury Hotel around San Jose???
I am planning on going to Costa Rica this winter. Need a hotel to stay in Dec. 23-26. Trying to decide between 4. Has anyone stayed here or have suggestions? Looking for a hotel that a little something to do with some luxury around San Jose. I have extensively read reviews and checked out a multitude of sites but cannot decide.
Marriott Costa Rica
Re: Luxury Hotel around San Jose???
I have never stayed at Doubletree Cariari, but have stayed in condo's directly behind it--http://www.villasdecariari.com/
Doubletree is part of the Cariari Country Club and very nice. The name used to be Melia de Cariari, but Doubletree bought it. They have opened a new shopping area on the other side of the parking lot with a grocery store, pizza place, Italian Restaurant, pharmacy and cigar shop (with Cubans).
We are a family of 5, so we stay in the 2br/2ba condos for US $80/night. There is 24 hour security and they are very nice (the condos and the people). The condos are on the golf course.
Also, there is a very good restaurant between the hotel and condos called "La Cocina de Leña" and they have typical Costa Rican food. They cook using a wood oven.
Have a fantastic trip!