Sign Up
Newsletter Signup
Free Fodor's Newsletter

Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.

Fodor's Weekly: Your expert travel wrap-up
Today's Departure: Your daily dose of travel inspiration (coming soon)

San Jose Hotels

Hotel Don Carlos

  • C. 9 and Avda. 9 Map It
  • Local Flavor

Pros

  • Good value
  • Good place to meet kindred spirits

Cons

  • Some noise in interior rooms
  • Some reports of long waits in restaurant

Updated 04/10/2014

Fodor's Review

One of the city's first guesthouses (technically it's three houses), this is the kind of place where you'll meet fellow travelers and swap stories about what you've seen. The Don Carlos has been in the same family for four generations, and the spirit of Carlos Bálser, the hotel's Liechtenstein-born founder—painter, geologist, archaeologist, and general jack-of-all-trades—lives on. Most rooms in the rambling old coffee-baron house have ceiling fans and big windows.

Those in the colonial wing have a bit more personality, and several newer rooms on the third floor have views of the Irazú and Barva volcanoes. Orchids and pre-Columbian statues adorn the abundant public areas, and the 272-tile mural in the lobby depicts the history of San José. The Don Carlos is a favorite among Fodors.com forums users.

Read More

Hotel Information

Address:

C. 9 and Avda. 9, San José, 10101, Costa Rica

Map It

Phone:

/2221–6707; 866-675–9259-in North America

Hotel Details:

  • 30 rooms
  • Breakfast

Updated 04/10/2014

Advertisement

Map View

Map of



What's Nearby

  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Sights

See all hotels in San Jose

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating
  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Apr 10, 2007

Loved it!

This was a wonderful place to stay. The staff was excellent and very helpful. My room was enormous, clean and within walking distance to just about all the down town attractions. The art work and complementary cocktail were unexpected bonuses! It would be hard to find a better place to stay for the price.

By John

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Mar 5, 2005

Regional Charm and a Great Location

Charming hotel in the center of San Jose on a quiet side street. Very clean. Avoid rooms on the third floor as they can get very hot in the afternoon/evening (no A/C). Excellent English-speaking staff (except for the evening bar/restaurant waiter who was overworked and surly). Gift shop is horribly overpriced. Next day laundry service was good and inexpensive. Efficient tour desk. Two computers available for guest use. The hotel offers discounts

for guests to several great nearby restaurants.

Read More

By Bill

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Dec 6, 2004

Great location for shopping, and overnights!

In the heart of downtown for shopping, right next to a Bank to pay the Exit Tax, they lock the doors at night, you can still venture out at night, they will lock the lobby door behind you. Food is basic and cheap and the Pina Coladas are great.

By Todd

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Oct 18, 2004

A great find

Nice, quaint and charming hotel. This hotel was chosen by the travel service I used. Rooms were clean, quiet. Staff friendly and helpful. Loved the painted tiles and water fountains. Good location in San Jose made it easy to walk to areas of interest. The hotel also has a service to book additional tours while staying in San Jose. Will definitely stay at this hotel when returning to Costa Rica.

By Phil

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Apr 7, 2004

Excellent Stopover

Perfect place to stop over. Staff are really really good. Hotel is simple but very pleasant and clean. For the money this place is a steal. Excellent central (but quiet) location too.

By Diane

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Nov 14, 2003

Friendly Staff for Harried Travelers

The public areas are graced with local art--all delightful. We had excellent service at all times. The staff were cordial, helpful, and very relaxed. We stayed there at the beginning and the end of our trip. Stay there if you want a downtown San Jose location.

By Sammie

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Jul 8, 2002

Close and convenient!

Don Carlos is within walking distance of many popular museums and sights in San Jose -- the English-speaking staff is very helpful, breakfast nice, and rooms (or at least the triple we had) were roomy and comfortable. The souvenir/gift shop in the hotel (touted as the city's best) is way overpriced -- even the airport shops were cheaper!

By Edith

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Dec 13, 2001

The flavor of San Jose - Don Carlos

We only got to spend one evening in this colorfull, cozy hotel. During which we ate, drank, shopped at the gift shop, used the internet. The hotel is small, the common areas are not. That hotel is a very unique blend of the old with enough modern to be comfortable. We received excellent service and personal assistance at the front desk. (Bilingual staff) Be certain to take a walk around the neighborhood. Great central location, embassy row

is nearby and so is a huge park.

Read More

By Jeanne

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Oct 27, 2000

A Beautiful Place

The Don Carlos is beautiful. The rooms are nice but it's the art-filled public spaces - lobby, bistro, courtyards - that make it truly stunning. The gift shop is the best in Costa Rica. The service is uneven - most of the employees are terrific but a few have a snooty attitude.

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Aug 25, 2000

peaceful oasis in a city of chaos

During both of our trips to Costa Rica, we stayed at Don Carlos when we were entering and leaving the country. We always feel very safe and have always been pleased with our stay. When we hire tour companies to pick us up at the hotel, everyone on the bus asks us about the hotel. Supposedly it is very nice compared to other hotels in San Jose.

Show All

Add Your Own Review

When did you stay?

Minimum 200 character count

How many stars would you give?

Room

Décor

Service

Value

Advertisement