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Hotel Presidente
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Reviews (1,649)
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All reviewscosta ricacentral locationpedestrian mallrooftop barheart of san josenice hotelgold museumnational theatrestreet noiseking bedyogurtstandard roomrental cardowntown areafelt very safebreakfast was includedone night stay
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Reviewed 6 March 2014

We were given an inside room, with no window.This made the room completelyclistophobic.Lobby was something like on construction, common areas where not been taken care.
The pros are the position (you are in the middle of everything) and the very good quality of the breakfast (dont expect the amer.buffet, just some good costa rican choises).I would go back only if it was extremely necessery and I would ask for a room with at least a window.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a window!
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Xristina T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 March 2014

This is a good place to stay if you wish to experience downtown San Jose to its fullest. The hotel itself is family-friendly, seemed pretty safe, and had professional staff at the front desk all day and night as far as I could tell.

Service at the front desk was excellent. Everyone at the front desk spoke English fairly well. Jill was extremely helpful to us and helped us straighten out an issue we had with one of our tours. They also exchange currency at a pretty decent rate, just be aware that they are not allowed to hand back dollars for some reason (not sure if this is a hotel policy or a banking regulation or some such), so it's a one-way trade to CRCs.

Location-wise the hotel is in a bustling city center and is close to many museums, local attractions, bars and restaurants. But the area around it can get sketchy pretty fast too. Day time seemed safe, but night time can be a different story. Bear in mind that prostitution is legal and quite popular in Costa Rica, especially a couple blocks north of the hotel in the Red Zone (Zona Roja) where there are plenty of strip clubs (which double as brothels), hotels (which also often double as brothels), and street walkers at night. The girls and brothels are safe, it's the pick-pockets and thieves on the street and in bars you need to watch for as they will be out looking for touristy-types with wads of cash in their pockets. You can get a taxi ride from the hotel to any number of fine restaurants and attractions within a few kilometers for just a few dollars, so when in doubt just take a taxi. Also remember to do a little research on nearby restaurants to avoid getting ripped off, and don't let taxi drivers take you to a restaurant you did not specifically ask for as they may have been paid to take you elsewhere (write down name and address of where you're going to show them).

The main problem with the location is if you want to do tours outside the city, such as in the mountains. The issue is that returning to the hotel at the end of the day is a disaster due to traffic coming into the city. It can easily take close to an hour of stop-and-go traffic for a tour shuttle to get from the outskirts of town back to the Presidente. If you plan on doing tours, consider booking a hotel outside the city and then enjoying the Presidente when you're more focused on activities within the city. Or have your tour bus drop you off at a restaurant a several kilometers away and dine until traffic dies down after dark.

The suite we got was spacious and comfortable. Being a downtown setting, be advised that you'll likely hear street vendors from your room most of the day. We were on the 8th floor so it wasn't too bad, but the yelling and traffic was definitely audible -- just part of the experience. The housekeeping service seemed lazy and failed to replace our bedsheets a couple times, did not replace soap in the bathroom (or even clean the soap tray, leaving a soggy mess instead), and really just failed at doing anything but the bare minimum to make the room look somewhat tidy. So I had to ding this place on cleanliness.

All-in-all this is a pretty decent hotel if you want to experience the urban center of San Jose.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Udo D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 March 2014

The location of this hotel is perfect if you want to visit San Jose by foot but you hear the noise from the street on weekend nights. Ask the front desk for a room not located on the street side if you want to go to bed early. We stayed there on the first and the last night in Costa Rica. The rooms were big and very clean. The beds were very comfortable. Breakfast was a buffet with plenty of choice. We did not have time to visit museums, but we walked around and found good restaurants. It's' nice to walk on the pedestrian street and get a real immersion in the capital of Costa Rica: lots of people, stores and American fast foods!

Room Tip: Ask for a room not facing the street.
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Jojo201403
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2014

El Presidente hotel was in a great location on the main pedestrian shopping street downtown. It didn't have all the big amenities of a giant business hotel, but it felt authentically Costa Rican to me - I like it when your hotel feels like its location! My room was spotless and comfortable - small, but pleasant. My window faced the main street, but I didn't notice any bothersome noise.

One small detail I liked: instead of bottled water, the hotel provided information that the tap water was safe and discarded water bottles are a major problem for the local environment. If you care about the ecology, this hotel shares your values!

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank Blurgeshmurg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2014

We stayed at Hotel Presidente on the 1st night and last night of our Costa Rica trip. It seems to be a popular hotel where tour groups begin their journeys. The area seems kind of run down but the hotel was nice. We arrived late on the 1st night and were meeting our tour group early the next morning. We had flight delays and missed a connecting flight that day and were looking forward to a good night's rest. It didn't happen. Our room faced the street and there was loud music, loud talking and non-stop motorcycles outside til about 2 am. The room was nice and the breakfast good but it wasn't the way we expected to start our vacation.

When checking in for our last night after our travels around Costa Rica, we asked for a room away from the street and we were accommodated. It was a nice room with a decent view. We had the whole afternoon free before we had to leave for an early flight the next morning. We walked up and down the pedestrian walk and felt safe. We visited the National Museum, looked around the square and did some souvenir shopping in the market. There was a constant flow of people walking up and down the street. We didn't want to stray too far away from the hotel at night so we had a good dinner at a restaurant across the street.

On a final negative note, since we had a very early morning flight, we were promised a box breakfast. When checking out, the front desk knew nothing of this.

This is not a destination hotel but adequate for a 1 night stay.

Room Tip: Ask for a room away from the street.
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank lvsdx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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