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San Jose Hotels

Gran Hotel Costa Rica

Pros

  • Central location
  • Good value
  • Great people-watching from ground-floor café

Cons

  • Some street noise from the adjoining plaza
  • Some rooms have thin walls, no parking lot of its own

Updated 04/10/2014

Fodor's Review

You cannot find a more central location than at this grande dame of San José lodgings. It's a good deal for the money and the first choice of travelers who want to be where the action is (or want an in-house casino). A formal dining room and grand piano just off the lobby evoke the hotel's 1930s heyday (there's piano music 12:30-2:30 and 6-8 pm daily). Rooms are large and bright, with small windows and tubs in the tiled baths. Even if you don't stay here, the arcaded

Café 1930 that fronts the hotel is a pleasant stop for a bite any time of the afternoon or evening. Check the hotel's website for frequent special rates. The hotel accepts credit or debit cards only, no cash.

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Hotel Information

Address:

Avda. 2 and C. 3, San José, 10101, Costa Rica

Map It

Phone:

/2221–4000; 800-949–0592-in U.S.

Hotel Details:

  • 105 rooms, 5 suites
  • Breakfast

Updated 04/10/2014

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Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating
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Oct 4, 2010

Gran Hotel Costa Rica Review

The hotel is quite nice and the location is excellent. I was looking forward to checking out the casino, as listed in the 2010 Fodors Costa Rica. When I asked about the casino at the front desk I was informed that they hadn't had a casino in FIVE years. Way to update your info Fodor.

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Sep 7, 2009

Beautiful, affordable & centrally located

We stayed at the Gran Hotel on the night we arrived in San Jose and the night before our departure. It is about 20 minutes by cab from the SJO International airport and smack in the middle of the city. It boasts a beautiful facade, a delicious restaurant and opens up to the National Theater next door. We got a ridiculous rate of $75 per night (August 2009) and found the rooms to be a bit on the small side, but otherwise pleasant. Warning: No AC here.

However, breakfast is included and is a must if you have time - it is served on the fifth floor of the building and provides a sweet view of San Jose. WiFi is available from all the rooms and the business center is well equipped. Live piano music accompanies your dinner, and you should not miss out on the house sangria :)

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Jan 16, 2009

I don't look any futher

I have stayed here twice getting ready for a third time next month. It's location is fantastic. The atmosphere even better. Read some Costa Rican history and you will understand why this is a great place. I figure if it was good enough for President Kennedy it's good enough for me.

By Howard

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Feb 16, 2005

A real value

For some one interested in the culture and people, the Gran Hotel was an ideal choice. We were in the center of the city, close to the National Theater, National Museum, etc. Everywhere we went the people were wonderful. The room was spacious, clean and comfortable. We were on the front of the hotel and enjoyed the street sounds. The staff at the hotel were cheerful and helpful.

By Linda

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May 11, 2001

So It's Not the Marriott

If you want that old-time slightly seedy-but-interesting tropical feel, this is the place for you. The rooms are not great, but for ambience they beat the immaculate sterility of the newer hotels. If you can handle it, stay a night or two - and spend time in the wonderful open-air coffee shop; the daily "show" in the adjacent square is great fun.

By Marina

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Jan 30, 2001

The Grand Dame is No Longer So Grand

Looks great from the outside but the inside is tired, worn & old. A facelift is most definitely needed. Get a junior suite if you can as the smaller rooms are dark & depressing. However, you cannot beat the location if you need to be downtown & the outside cafe is definitely a prime people watching spot. This hotel is in the heart of ALL the action & a short walk to many attractions & shopping is right outside the door. The staff is unattentive

at best; I've gotten friendlier service at KFC.

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By Pauline

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Jul 20, 2000

This Book Ain't As Nice As Its Cover

You may think the Gran Hotel Costa Rica sounds great--great price, great location, great rooms...well, not so great rooms really. Although this hotel has a lot to offer in terms of its amenities, particularly the outdoor cafe and casino, you will be sorely disappointed in your accommodations. The rooms are generally cramped, with limited air flow and terrible furniture and decorations. The staff tries its hardest, but this hotel is way past its prime.

It's screaming for renovations. There is a LOT of noise coming from outside. Oh, and may I add that the bus fumes don't add to the experience. I used to live in Costa Rica and had always wanted to stay at the Gran Hotel when I came back for vacation, right by the wonderful Plaza de la Cultura and other sites. Do yourself a favor and stay in a nicer, quieter hotel far away from the city center... and then come back to the outdoor cafe at the Gran Hotel, and have a cold Imperial. You'll be glad that you did.

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