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“Great stay at Barcelo San Jose Palacio”
Review of Barcelo San Jose

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Barcelo San Jose
Ranked #14 of 84 Hotels in San Jose
Puerto Rico
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great stay at Barcelo San Jose Palacio”
Reviewed 14 September 2013

Breakfast buffet at Ánfora Restaurant was excellent!
Hotel staff was corteous and friendly.
Food prices are very good. I really appreciated the daily free bottle of water in the room.
Miyako Restaurant food was very good and the staff was very pleasing.
Rancho Bar & Grill serves great Ceviche.
Cleanliness of the room was excellent.
Ana and Jenny from the Spa and Beauty Salon are great! Excellent pedicure and hair drying. Good price also.
Swimming pool area is nice and very clean.
Location is isolated; however, there is always transportation available (expensive). On the other hand, it is close to the airport and it is very accesible by car from the Pan-American Highway.

Room Tip: It is a great choice at a great price.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Carlos F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Channel M, Gerente at Barcelo San Jose, responded to this review, 4 April 2017
Dear traveler

Firstly we would like to thank you for the lovely review you shared following your recent visit to our Barceló hotel and are delighted to read that we were able to match your holiday expectations.

Best Regards.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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Constant Traveller
Level Contributor
412 reviews
173 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 450 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 September 2013

Well, dear reader, this was a disappointment. I had high hopes for this hotel because my local customer arranged the reservation and spoke highly of the place. But instead "Alex B" and "Antonio M" have it exactly right -- it is merely an OK place to stay,and but it has a lot of work to do before it even gets close to being a top choice.

I can confirm the hotel is 20 minutes or so from the airport, maybe US$25 without a lot of traffic, and Antonio M is dead-on about the bad service offered by the shuttle. The hotel is relatively isolated, on a hill without any shops or other facilities near-by. So be ready to pay some big $$$ for taxi rides or rental cars, to go anywhere. Walking simply is not an option.

The building is an odd structure, with yellow panels creating a "saw-tooth" exterior (see photo). But the result are large and interestingly-shaped guest rooms with big windows and excellent views. The lobby also is very large, with a big bar and casino on one end, and a massive casual dining room and a Japanese restaurant on the other end. In the middle is the check-in counter and a piano, which is played every evening by a talented older gent. So -- in terms of physical structure, I was very pleased and optimistic.

Ah, but then it goes down hill -- so fast, and so sad!

My room was barely clean enough to be acceptable. While the bed was comfy and the pillows very nice, the bathroom is old-fashioned and cramped. There was mold in the shower. I was given one tiny bar of soap for the whole week. The noise of trucks on the highway blasts through the windows all day and night. The carpets were not vacuumed daily -- I spilled some ground coffee one morning, and it was two days before it was vacuumed up. Some days I was missing some of the towels. And the glasses and coffee cups were not cleaned/replaced every day.

This hotel also suffers from a lack of staff. My card key stopped working one day, and I waited 20 minutes for the one over-worked desk clerk to work through the line of people to burn me a new card key. Service in the restaurants is sporadic and uneven -- nice enough people; they just don't ever come around with more coffee or the check. The bar on a busy night has just two servers, when they should have 4-5. So be prepared to wait.

As for the restaurants themselves, in the casual dining room the food was only mediocre. At breakfast, you will find the fruit is fresh and local; but the rice & beans are cooked hard; the scrambled eggs are mealy-looking and even cooked-to-order eggs were runny and not tasty. After five days of bad breakfasts, I was desperate to find a McDonald's or something! I did have lunch with a customer in the restaurant, and we ordered pizzas and they were very tasty, but they took almost 40 minutes to arrive. **sigh**

Other key elements also were lacking. I would have preferred a better, high-def TV with more channel choices -- no CNN? No BBC? That's the basics! Plus, a faster and more reliable WIFI, that permits more than one device to be logged in at a time -- it is incredibly annoying to have one's email disconnected on your laptop, lets say, because you want to read CNN on your iPad or check the weather on your smart phone. Come on, guys -- most hotels permit 3-4 devices on one log-in. It's the 21st century, for god's sake!

One night, for some variety, I ate in the Japanese restaurant and it was very good, but dinner for four nearly hit US$200, so it should have been top-drawer.

The bar is adequate and fine, but the same lack of staff makes service there a real struggle when the crowds move in after 5 pm.

So all in all, I will not be back... there are better places to spend $100 a night, more conveniently located and more dedicated to keeping me happy; and I'm going to find them for you (and me!).

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank PilotMike2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Channel M, Gerente at Barcelo San Jose, responded to this review, 5 days ago
Dear Traveler

We would like to thank you for your preference in selecting our Barceló San José hotel for your holidays in Costa Rica, as well as for taking the time to tell us about your recent experience among us.

Kind Regards.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Coconut Creek, Florida
Level Contributor
277 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 September 2013 via mobile

This hotel is located about 25 minutes from the main airport. It is on a hill so no walking from this place. What ever you decide to do, you will need a taxi.
Breakfast and food service is not the best. Selection of food is not really good for international tourists.
Japanese restaurant in the hotel is very good although it opens only for dinner. Service at that restaurant is very good.
Rooms are spacious and clean.
Service in general is very good at the front desk and at restaurants.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Alex B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Channel M, Gerente at Barcelo San Jose, responded to this review, 5 days ago
Dear Alex

We would like to thank you for your preference in selecting our Barceló San José hotel for your holidays in Costa Rica, as well as for taking the time to tell us about your recent experience among us.

Best Regards.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 September 2013

We stay at this hotel on the last night of our week long trip to Costa Rica. The hotel is very clean, staff is very nice. The free buffet breakfast is pretty good, too! The room is comfortable and it comes equipped with bathroom essentials (including a shower cap, if you forget yours ;). Its about a 10 minute drive to Multiplaza Escazu - huge mall!

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Liliet C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Channel M, Gerente at Barcelo San Jose, responded to this review, 27 October 2016
Dear Mrs. Liliet

Thank you so much for sharing your comments.

Our staff is always happy to exceed your expectations, we use our Barceló values to improve every day and make the guests feel comfortable in their stay.

It will be a pleasure to serve you in your next visit to Costa Rica or any other Barceló Hotels & Resorts.

Kind regards,
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brasilia, DF
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 September 2013

Beware of the advertised airport shuttle. Even though I called the hotel twice, I had to wait for it for more than two hours. The excuse was simply "heavy traffic". Strangely enough, shuttles from other hotels passed by two or three times while I waited. Staff not nice at all. Since I had booked through EXPEDIA I was told that I was not entitled to have free wireless internet, and I was charged $ 20.00 for a 48-hour card. My complaints that the air conditioning was not working properly were simply ignored.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Antonio M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Channel M, Gerente at Barcelo San Jose, responded to this review, 5 days ago
Dear Mr. Antonio

We would like to thank you for your preference in selecting our Barceló San José hotel for your holidays in Costa Rica, as well as for taking the time to tell us about your recent experience among us.

Best Regards.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Irvine, California
Level Contributor
139 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 August 2013

Overall Rating: 3 Stars
Rooms: 4 Stars
Service: 4 Stars
Pool: 2 Stars
Location: 2 Stars

Pros: Our family of 5 stayed at the Barcelo Palacio in August 2013. The hotel is about 25 minutes drive from the SJO airport in Alajuela. They do have complementary airport shuttle service and we had emailed the hotel ahead of our arrival to schedule a pickup. We stayed in the Junior Suite which was a combination of two rooms (room 635 and 636). The rooms were massive, one room had a master bed while the other room had two twins. Both rooms had bathtubs and the rooms were very clean and we had a great view of the mountains. See my pictures. They do have wifi at the hotel but charge around $12 per day per device. Since we had a big suite the guest services lady, Adriana was kind enough to offer us complimentary wifi during our stay. They have a restaurant onsite Anfora Restaurant, which serves a breakfast buffet and a dinner buffet. There is also a dinner menu if you plan on ordering. Our breakfast was included in the package deal, but dinner can run you around $60-$70 for 3. They also have a Rancho Grill by the pool where you can enjoy a nice pizza or just hang out at the bar, get a few drinks and enjoy a soccer game on tv. Downtown San Jose is about 15 minutes drive from the hotel. There is a tour representative onsite to arrange for tours.

Cons: The hotel is located remotely off a freeway so the only way to get around is to use a taxi. You cant really walk anywhere from the hotel. The hotel in a way forces you to use their shuttles so they can charge higher rates than the Red Taxi's. I usually ended up paying $5-$6 extra when using the hotel shuttle versus taking a red taxi back to the hotel. Call the front desk and ask them to call you a Red Taxi if you plan on venturing out. The pool is huge and wraps around the hotel, but it is not heated and they do not have a jacuzzi either. So plan on freezing yourself off in the pool if you're there during rainy (green) season. 99% of the tv channels are in Spanish and there are no kids activities.

Overall its a nice hotel if you want to relax away from the crowds.
Enjoy your stay.

Room Tip: 635 and 636 have great views
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Aero E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Channel M, Gerente at Barcelo San Jose, responded to this review, 5 days ago
Dear traveler

We would like to thank you for your preference in selecting our Barceló San José hotel for your holidays in Costa Rica, as well as for taking the time to tell us about your recent experience among us.

Kind Regards.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level Contributor
24 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 August 2013

Great pool, fancy/nice lobby, nice property, very good exercise room. Good security. Good location, not centro but close enough. A few other higher end hotels nearby so I don't know why people would complain about the location. Centro SJ ain't nothing to write home about and taxis/busses are dirt cheap--8 minutes? Come on. Reasonably quiet from traffic and for SJ that says alot. The rooms and the rest are OK?

Arrogant staff. That's Barcelo. They are known for that all over. I think they teach them that before they give them their name tags.

Bring your own computer cable, that solves that. Pretty chinsy of them to charge for wifi in view of their rack rates.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Dick d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Channel M, Gerente at Barcelo San Jose, responded to this review, 5 days ago
Dear Traveler

We would like to thank you for your preference in selecting our Barceló San José hotel for your holidays in Costa Rica, as well as for taking the time to tell us about your recent experience among us.

Best Regards.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Barcelo San Jose

Property: Barcelo San Jose
Address: Residencial El Robledal | La Uruca, San Jose 458-1150, Costa Rica (Formerly Barcelo San Jose Palacio)
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of San Jose > San Jose Metro > San Jose
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in San Jose
#2 Luxury Hotel in San Jose
#16 Business Hotel in San Jose
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Barcelo San Jose 4*
Number of rooms: 254
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Barcelo San Jose Palacio Hotel San Jose
San Jose Barcelo
Barcelo Palacio Hotel Costa Rica

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