San Jose Hotels

San José may be the big city, but it truly shines in its selection of small to medium-size inns. They're all locally owned, and their friendly, attentive staff will make you feel as if you're staying in an oasis in the middle of Costa Rica's noisy, congested capital. San José has plenty of chains, including Best Western, Holiday Inn, Radisson, Quality Inn, Meliá, and Barceló (the last

two are Spanish). But it also has historic houses with traditional architecture that have been converted into small lodgings.

The historic houses are usually without concierge or pool and are found mainly in Barrios Amón and Otoya, and in the eastern suburb of San Pedro. The city also has a lower tier of lodgings with the simplicity (and prices) beloved of backpackers. Most smaller hotels don't have air-conditioning, but it rarely gets hot enough at this altitude to warrant it.

Many lodgings operate at near-full occupancy in high season (December–April), but the capital’s status as a business-travel destination means the lodging rates remain constant year-round. Reconfirm all reservations 24 hours in advance. If you're flying out early in the morning and prefer to stay near the airport, consider booking a hotel near Alajuela or San Antonio de Belén in the Central Valley.

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