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“Good home base...”

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Taranova-Villas Palmas
Maryland
Level 6 Contributor
117 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Good home base...”
Reviewed 30 September 2012

Our unit was at the end by the pool which was nice. It is a large unit with three bedrooms, a full kitchen, 21/2 baths, a small sitting area upstairs, a dining/living room area, and a patio with table outside. It was outdated, definitely can hear highway traffic and large trucks. No wi-fi in your room (had to go to office with your laptop - we used it a lot to look at maps and places to go). There was intermittent hot water for showed and dishes. When ther are heavy rains we had some leaking inside our unit. The tour guide presentation left us feeling like the months of planning we had done were for nothing. We had rented a car and they really talked it up about not being able to drive into downtown San Jose unless your lisence plate had a tag (true, but for one ther really aren't many police and we were told by several people that they don't bother tourists - we never encountered a problem). They also mentioned that speeding tickets were given out all the time and you would have to deal with that when you went to return your car. It just felt like they were scaring you into returning your rental so you would be dependent for transportation. All that said, the staff was helpful in offering advice and help with directions. The place is located close to airport and a casino which makes changing money convenient. Grocery store and restaurants nearby.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
14 Thank mmettravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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54 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Helsinki, Finland
Level 6 Contributor
158 reviews
135 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 162 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2011

The location is good if you wish to tour the area. I wouldn't choose this location if the idea is to spend much time at the hotel.

The city of San José can be visited by bus (although there are some issues crossing an extremely busy street to get to the bus stop...). Mostly we toured with the car. The traffic directions are very poorly marked in Costa Rica. After it had taken us once 2,5 hours to find the highway on the other side of the city, we started askind directions to get to the right road from the reception. And they were able to give very precise instructions how to find the road we want to go to. This was excellent.

The appartement had a downstairs living area and kitchen and three bedrooms upstairs. Everything was okay, there was plenty of room but the age of some of the things was very visible (you see the stained bed cover on one of my photos). For example, several lamps were not working but the light bulbs had not been replaced. But the apartment was clean.

There was some traffic noise from the highway.

There were some good restaurants within walking distance as well as a grocery store and post office in the same shopping center (although it took ages for the post cards to arrive to their destinations...).

Staff was friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
13 Thank kauris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mississauga, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 June 2011

...stayed a week with my husband, our pregnant daughter and her husband and my
brother and his wife! The unit was just perfect for us! It had everything we would have
wanted in a unit- and more. The staff were extremely accomodating and courteous.
The unit and surrounding areas were kept tidy and clean. The place is also close
to almost everything you could imagine-restaurants, the bank, grocery, drugstore,
souvenir shops, even a casino!!! We checked in on a Sunday and the following day, we
had breakfast prepared by Sol Tropical Tours ( a lot better than the breakfast at
Denny's)!
We only booked 2 tours from Sol Tropical because we have rented our own vehicle.
Christian was an absolutely amazing tour guide! He showed so much pride and
respect for his country that perhaps he deserves a special award from the
government! Mark, who heads the Sol Tropical,is another guy who is worth mentioning.
His tours were exactly designed the way a first-timer in Costa Rica would want it to
be.! I am sure we would have loved the rest of the tours if we have taken them too!
I would definitely recommend Taranova-Villas Palmas and Sol Tropical Tours to
anyone! Muchas Gracias to Villas Palmas and Mark and Christian!

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
25 Thank Floramon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 5 Contributor
93 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 May 2011

We had a 3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath timeshare, for 2 weeks. It had all the conviences of home, swimming pool, very friendly staff, and worked for our needs. We used it, as a homebase, as we took off, for Jaco Beach for 3 nights, Nuevo Arenal, for one night, and Atenas, for 2 nights.
I had read on a previous post, that the sheets and towels were sub-standard, so they must have replace them, before, we got there. They change sheets and towels, twice a week, and have daily maid service.
A tour company provides any tour you could want. We had a rental car, so found the location, great, for hopping on the local freeways, etc.
Free Internet in the office.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
14 Thank Claudiagenna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
fun coast
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 April 2011

We used it for a home base for day trips - and it was pretty good for that purpose, it's not a resort or 4 star hotel. With that in mind it was a very good place to stay in San Jose.

Our apartment was the 3 bedroom place, so it was plenty roomy. A small living room area with a futon & TV, the bedrooms and 2 bathrooms were upstairs, so there was a comfortable breeze - no A/C. Downstairs there was a large living room areas also with a TV, a kitchen, dining room and an outdoor table facing the common area. Off of the kitchen was an outside sink and clothsline.

The only downside - which also is good thing - was that it was close to the highways, so the traffic noise came through.

We had a rental car - if you want to drive, be sure to get a GPS. If you don't want to drive, the tour company seemed to be enjoyed by those who took their tours.

Stayed March 2011, travelled with friends
Helpful?
13 Thank mhectorgato
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Barrie, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 March 2011

We also used this RCI timeshare for the week of March Break (March 12 - 20). We had unit 11 right beside the garbage cans (although we did not smell it, we didn't make use of the hammock outside our condo). As mentioned this is a condo unit with a small pool that I didn't see anyone use or sit near. Parking is available should you choose to rent a car. Taxis are available but you can easily walk down 300m max. to the Best Western Irazu to catch one. The complex has a gate where you ring the bell to enter. There is someone at the front desk 24-7. There is WiFi outside the main reception (reliable and high speed; i.e. can use SKYPE on your iPhone/iTouch). Room cleaning service at your discretion by hanging the sign on your door. There is a $150 deposit requirement; upon departure $100 is returned to you ($50 is kept for cleaning service).

The Unit
We had a 3 bedroom (see pictures - more posted on general PHOTOS section) with one main bathroom. The Master bedroom had a full ensuite (shower/bathtub), toilet, bidet, sink etc. The main bathroom had shower, sink, toilet. There is also a vanity downstairs (toilet/sink). One room had a double bed; another room had 2 twins; the master had queen/double. There is also a futon in the central area on the second level. Downstairs the living room and dining room was ample size for 4 adults (would get crowded with 6 adults, in my opinion, but there is that sitting area upstairs as well). Two TVs - although we never turned them on. There is also a "mud room" with sink. The kitchen has full length refrigerator (just slightly bigger than European size). There was a microwave, kettle, stove. All cookware and dishes present - the all important cork screw!

The Location
It is literally 300 m from the Best Western Irazu... so if you have the time share for a week (Sun. to Sun.) I highly recommend you try to fly into San Jose on a Sat. and stay the night at the Best Western (which allows up to 3 adults in a room). It is about a 10 to 15 min. cab ride to downtown (which will cost you roughly 4000 colones - depending on where you're going downtown). RCI paperwork (when booking) makes mention of Sol Tropical as the tour operator (a previous review mentions this company headed by Mark). After several inquiries through email prior to our departure to Costa Rica, we opted to forgo Sol Tropical's "menu" of tours and decided to hire our own driver (exactly for the reasons the previous review mentioned was a disappointment). It will cost a bit more but when we hired the driver, we got to do what we wanted to see and when we saw something along the way, there was no issue about stopping or changing itinerary. San Jose itself is not a great colonial city by any means and you can do the core downtown in 2 days - easily. I suggest you stay in San Jose as your central location to travel around the country. You can also check out Nature Air for cheap flights to, for example, Manuel Antonio, which will spare you the "Costa Rican Massage" of the roads! Or as I said, hire a driver (we used Walter's Tours - he speaks English - walterramirezc@yahoo.com (506) 8873 4266), and definitely go to Arenal, Monteverde, Manuel Antonio. We were picked up at 7 a.m. and didn't arrive back until midnight (as requested) - like I said, you hire the driver for the day and indicate what time you want to leave and return.

All in all, b/c Villa Palmas is a time-share, we only paid minimal costs associated with the rental agreement. I would recommend it for adults or families with older children.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
21 Thank PolyglotTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alexandria, Virginia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 March 2011

My cousin and I spent a week here (in exchange for an RCI timeshare) and had a fabulous time. It is NOT a resort, that's true. But it can't be beat for its location just west of the city center, resident travel company, and the arrangement of the condos around a central courtyard (very conducive to meeting and greeting the other guests). We took a tour each day to a different part of the country and thoroughly enjoyed the contrasts (Christian is, indeed, an incredibly talented tour guide). Almost all of the tours included at least one meal and were a very good value. What an easy way to see the country!

The only downside (if it can be called that) is that Mark, the owner of Sol Tropical (the resident travel company), tries to accommodate absolutely everyone. This means that the pushy people could push your vacation off track if you are not forewarned! Just make sure you understand what you are getting (even if this means you have to sit down with Mark and calmly and clearly identify all the details). Things can get rushed on Monday morning when everyone is swarming around setting up their tours and you may think that you know what you are doing the rest of the week only to find later that everything has changed. We did find that some details of our tours were later changed but when we spoke up and identified to Mark or Christian what we needed, each made every effort to accommodate us. (This included Mark coming to the office on Sunday to drive us personally to the airport when he learned of an accident that was causing a terrific traffic jam). I will definitely return if I have the opportunity.

  • Stayed March 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank eswoodruff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Taranova-Villas Palmas

Property: Taranova-Villas Palmas
Address: 200 Metros Este, 100 Metros Sur del Hotel Irazu, 549 San Jose La Uruca, San Jose, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of San Jose > San Jose Metro > San Jose
Hotel Style:
Ranked #41 of 84 Speciality Lodging in San Jose
Hotel Class:3 star — Taranova-Villas Palmas 3*
Number of rooms: 7
Also Known As:
Taranova-Villas Palmas Hotel San Jose

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