The hotel Aranjuez was and is a Lonely Planet favourite. Yes, indeed it sounded wonderful on paper but their inclination to massive bureaucracy demanded faxes for confirmation of reservation. E-mail was not enough. So I did not reserve and ended up there after the long taxi ride as a “walk-in”. Not that a reservation mattered anyway because I had one for a night after being in Fortuna made in person with all the signatures required and still it was not in the system when I arrived. The experience that followed was so positive that the general impression of San Jose was saved by the hotel as the best thing that could have happened to the city. After all this “wow” factor so clamoured by hotel management worldwide, the night person at the reception forgot to awaken me at the time required for me to catch the bus to Nicaragua. Only previous experiences of this sort saved me from a lot of pain and misery by ruining my travel plan. I trusted my alarm clock more than the best hotel in San Jose and I was right to do so. All of this algorithmic experience with the hotel makes me make no suggestion you visit it which is a pity because it is a good hotel, weird eh?
Taxi drivers internationally are species of their own and Costa Rican ones are no exception. The airport attracts these types as dead meat bunch of flies. There is “official” taxi service at the airport with nicely dressed drivers for the price of 25 USD a trip. This seems to be not enough tough because the driver aggressively wants to show you a lovely hotel despite the fact that you already have one in mind. Anyway, after confirmation of the fact that this free tour of the city’s hotel properties will not add to your final bill, you might consider embarking on this type of adventure. Predictably, the options offered by the driver in my case were way less attractive that the original plan so at the end we came to the address which I asked for at the beginning.