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“Nothing but problems for a so-called luxury hotel!”

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DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cariari San Jose
Certificate of Excellence
Seattle, Washington
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Nothing but problems for a so-called luxury hotel!”
Reviewed 21 February 2008

Think twice before staying at this hotel. We had nothing but problems...starting with being sent to a room that had not been cleaned at all. Then, in another room, our air conditioning didn't work. They sent a maintenence man, and he worked for awhile on it, but said, "Esta muerto". Now 10pm at night, we have multiple phone calls of broken english/broken spanish after first told we could switch rooms...then told all rooms were booked. A complete fabrication of the truth as we had noticed earlier how empty the hotel was, no people, dark rooms, etc. I fought the lady at the desk on this point, and she held to her story, telling us they'd upgrade us the following night. They offered to send a fan...and after more phone calls wondering where it was, they brought a floor dryer...not exactly going to cool the sweat on the brow...unless your face is on the ground!!!
We hardly slept that night with the mugginess, but we had to get up at 6am to leave for the day. When we returned later (7pm) they had "just" gotten our room ready and had not moved our bags. We had to have several more annoying conversations inquiring about our bags. Meanwhile we enjoyed the cigarette smoke that lingered in our supposed "non-smoking" suite.
This hotel just about ruined our pleasant memories of Costa Rica that we had enjoyed until this point. Stay away and spend your money elsewhere!

  • Stayed February 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank cinnamondulce
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (192)
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English first
Calgary
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 February 2008

Our trip was from February 1 to February 17, 2008. We stayed at (and wrote reviews for) the following hotels (if you are interested in the others):
Hotel Vista Caribe, Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Doubletree Cariari by Hilton, San Jose, Costa Rica
Cabinas Espadilla, Manuel Anotonio, Costa Rica
Garden Court Hotel, San Jose, Costa Rica
Days Hotel - Greenspoint, Houston, TX, USA

My husband and I stayed at the Doubletree on February 8th before heading out to tour the country. It was a beautiful hotel with all the convenience you’d expect from a Doubletree. After a week on a family trip, this was a nice way to start relaxing on our own. The hotel seemed to have all the business amenities you’d expect. The breakfast was great and the room had a very welcome mini-bar since we arrived so late at night. The staff was very friendly. We wanted to be near our car rental place, and were a little further than we thought so we’d probably do the Garden Court or Hampton Inn right next to the airport if it was another really short stop over (the noise there is annoying though), but if we had the better part of a day or more at the edge of San Jose, this is where we’d go.

  • Liked — Comfort & location
  • Disliked — Not across the street from car rental like we though -- oh well.
  • Stayed February 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank MoretaCalgary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ventura Co.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 January 2008

The hotel is okay. Do not pay more for the, "Royal Service." It is not worth the extra charge,

  • Stayed December 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Chocolate_Labraror
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, IL
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 November 2007

We stayed at the Melia for the first three nights of our honeymoon. We thought it was great. The entire staff was quite friendly and we liked that it was not in the downtown area. The hallways to the room are really beautiful as is the lobby. The front desk helped us a lot with restaurant selections and calling for reservations.

The breakfast buffet was wonderful. A very large selection and the food in the bar and casual restaurant was also great although the prices were a little steep.

The steak house is excellent and the prices are what you would pay for that type of meal anywhere we felt.

Our room was nice and big and also very clean.

The only thing we felt the hotel was lacking was a vending machine or mini convenience store. Nothing in the mini bar seemed appealing and we were quite hungry upon our arrival at midnight the first night.

We did tours with Swiss Travel (there is a desk in the lobby) and all of those went great as well.

  • Stayed November 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank danzr13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington, DC
Level 6 Contributor
248 reviews
72 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 173 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 September 2007

I chose this hotel for our final night in Costa Rica as we needed to fly out of San Jose the next day. I read the positive reviews and thought a resort type place would be a nice way to end a vacation. It's in the suburbs of San Jose and it's super close to the airport. In all honesty, I feel like we wasted a day and I would try someplace else if I flew out of San Jose again. Think the Ramada by the aiport with more amenities and you'd have this hotel. Not bad, just not special. Although not outrageously priced (the Internet rate in September was $150/night without taxes), I honestly think you can do better elsewhere. I could see why people like the facility for conferences.

The pool looked inviting (although it rained when we were there) and the breakfast that was included was excellent. It was an over-the-top "Vegas" type breakfast buffet. The choices seemed endless.

I used the beauty services at the hotel and the facility is at best on par with a salon in a mall in the States - nothing glam. However, the service was absolutely excellent and I enjoyed my manicure / pedicure. I also had a massage (which they do in room) which I would recommend ($45 for an hour).

The room was spacious and clean. There were two jewelery type shops on the premises and a casino. For dining, there was a steak house and a casual restaurant, with a lounge attached. We ate lunch in the casual restaurant and were not impressed and almost surprised by the prices that were on par with Disney World. $19 for a turkey club... C'est la vie.

There is a mall up the road with a cute little restaurant row featuring a variety of cuisines... I would recommend venturing out there as the food was better (we went to the sushi place) and cheaper. Also, walking distance (right outside the front of the hotel), there is a casual grill restaurant that was open for lunch, an AM/PM grocery store, and a souvenier shop.

  • Stayed September 2007, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank Ellen28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Washington
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 July 2007

I stayed at the Melia Cariari for approximately 2 weeks as part of my work. I would rate the Melia as an excellent hotel. It's clean and quite safe with a wonderful tropical ambiance and an excellent breakfast.

The staff is both friendly and helpful. As you walk the halls, the house maids, cleaning staff, bell boys, etc. all have a friendly good morning or hello. I had a couple of packages delivered from the US that were held up in customs. The staff did a great job of getting them out of customs for me.

The hotel is very clean. My room was always spotless. The maids would even arrange the wash cloths in origami shapes (somewhat lost on me, but still a classy touch),

The hotel central outdoor "core" has a nice (and very clean) pool, hot tub, and saunas. There is a very cool bar next to the pool. It was great to come back from a long work days and relax at th pool and hot tub. The tropical ambience of the hotel is very elegant.

The hotel breakfast is fantastic. One of the big highlights. I've never seen a better one at any other hotel. They have a chef to whip up pancakes, eggs, omlets, etc.. They also have a variety of hot foods in bins (bacon, scrambled eggs, rice & beans, etc.). They have an excellent selection of fresh baked pastries & breads, a wide variety of fruits, and usually 4 different fresh squeezed fruit juices. Good coffee (usually con leche).

A couple of negatives. The wireless net is not particularly good.
They have only a small gym (an improvement, since they didn't have any gym in 2006). One of my colleagues did have trouble with his maid not cleaning his room each day, but that was possibly related to his odd work schedule.

Overall. A very very nice hotel

  • Liked — The staff.
  • Disliked — Wireless net.
  • Stayed July 2007, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank pabl01neum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 April 2007

We got a Royal Service room (there are only 24 of them at this hotel, the rest are regular rooms). From the moment we stepped out feet into the hotel we were treated like royalty. We were taken upstairs to the 2nd floor for a private check-in. There, we were greeted and offered something to drink right away. All of our questions were answered and everything was explained to us regarding the hotel. There is a lounge especially for RS guests that has coffee and tea all day where we could go to unwind. At 6pm-8:30pm, there was an open bar as well as "snacks". These are not your typical snacks. They are elegant. We didnt need to eat dinner afterwards! The room was great, everything was royal service. We had a butler who brought us everything/anything we needed. We ordered the types of pillows we wanted from their "pillow menu". I reccommend the "feather goose pillow".We were given robes and slippers. Our bathroom came with a shaving kit, dental kit, shower cap, etc. The room service was great, a bit pricey but then again most room service prices are. The casino was great. Small and cozy. We made friends are the "rummy/Blackjack " tables. We won money back we had lost and more money on top of that! The pool is beautiful especially at night all lit up. The breakfast buffet is one of the nicer ones i ve had in Costa Rica. We didnt go to the steakhouse restaurant since it was pricey. We stuck with the restaurant by the pool (i forget its name). If you are a tourist, stay here only 1 or 2 days since there are so many other places to go and see in Costa Rica. Also, be sure to get into a Royal Service Suite. All in all it was a nice 2 day stop to stay on our Costa Rican adventure.

  • Liked — Casino, Royal Serice
  • Disliked — Needs more dining options
  • Stayed April 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank smilecookie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cariari San Jose

Property: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cariari San Jose
Address: Cariari, San Antonio De Belen 40701, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Heredia > San Antonio De Belen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 10 Hotels in San Antonio De Belen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cariari San Jose 4*
Number of rooms: 222
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Warm, rustic and luxurious, the DoubleTree Cariari by Hilton brings modern day opulence to Costa Rica's capital city. A heavenly urban retreat with spacious guestrooms, a sparkling swimming pool and great service. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Doubletree Cariari By Hilton San Jose Hotel San Antonio De Belen
Doubletree San Antonio De Belen
San Jose Hilton
DoubleTree By Hilton Hotel Cariari San Jose Costa Rica/San Antonio De Belen

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