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Taormina Hotel and Casino
Ranked #20 of 78 Hotels in San Jose
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 26 October 2013

I recently stayed at the Mona Lisa for the first time, in my first visit to San Jose since it opened. I tried this hotel for a number of reasons, not the least of which was my prior dealings with guest manager Guy Grand at his previous position. After my stays - I was in and out of the hotel and San Jose several times on my trip - the list of positives is long: the location, the room rate, the quality of the rooms, the secure onsite parking, the friendliness of all the staff, the pleasant nature of the bar, the large, open layout of the cafe on the street corner in the lobby is very nice and their coffee excellent and available at all times, consistent hot water in the shower (not always a given down there), and of course the superb onsite massage by Yorleny (another reason I switched to Mona Lisa!).

There are apparently a few bugs in the operation that are still being worked out, probably the most irritating ones to me being the problematic wifi connection in my rooms (in the lobby/bar/cafe it was fine) and the inability to place local phone calls from anywhere but the front desk (this was a temporary problem, and I know they're working on the internet thing). And the elevators are a little funky (if you are in the lobby going up and the indicator says an elevator is there but no door is open, hit the down button), the safes that can fairly easily be carried out of the rooms seem a bit silly, etc. But these weren't major issues to me, given the positives, and I am confident that they'll continue to work out the bugs. I wish them all success, and will definitely stay there next time I'm in town.

Room Tip: My rooms were on the north (back) side of the hotel and overlooked a building that was being torn do...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank MarkEN56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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266 - 272 of 390 reviews

Reviewed 26 October 2013

i took a trip back in September for one week, all the workers there were very friendly and the bar opened almost all night long, short distance to all the attractions, and remember, there is no extra charge to bring a guest back to your own room, talk to GUY OR HELMUT, they will solve whatever the problem that you have, the bartenders are very friendly to talk to, but do not forget to bring them some American chocolate, they love it, me and my friends are coming back in December and staying at Mona Lisa and we know it it going to be another great trip, thanks ALVIN N.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank ALVIN5997
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 October 2013

This is for the Hotel Mona Lisa in San Jose Costa Rica. Of all the years reading Tipadvisor I finally felt the need to write a review. I come to Costa Rica about once a month., and have stayed at most hotels in downtown San Jose. This Hotel is not only the best value but the friendliest I've ever stayed at. The staff are just so nice I didn't think it fair not to praise their hospitality.
A gentleman named Guy seemed to be around all the time, I'm not sure of his position, he just seems to always be there asking " how is everything ? ", " do you need anything ", sorta like the head waiter at a nice restaurant who's always there when you need him. A man named Helmut is the manager and is always there. I mean ALWAYS there... I don't think he sleeps.there is a girl named Helen at the front desk, who couldn't be nicer and a younger kid named Andrew at the front door who was born with a smile on his face, he couldn't wipe it off if he wanted to.
And everyone speaks fluent English which is great because my Spanish is embarrassingly challenged. This place gets 11 stars out of 10.....is that possible ?

Room Tip: Prefer top floor in back, but stayed in front and we're good too
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled on business
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Thank Clay I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 October 2013

Of all the years reading tripadvisor I finally felt the need to right a review, I've never written one.
I come to Costa Rica about once a month on business and have stayed at most of the hotels
In downtown San Jose. This hotel is not only the best value but the friendlyest hotel I think ive ever stayed at anywhere. I almost didn't write this review because I really don't want everyone to find out about this place, but the staff are just so nice I didn't think it fair not to praise their hospitality.
A gentleman named "Guy" seems to be around all the time, I'm not sure of his position, he just always there asking " how is everything " " do you need anything" , " , sorta like the head waiter at a nice restaurant who's always there when you need him. A man named Helmut is the manager and is always there...I mean AWAYS there ..I don't think he sleeps !!!. There's a girl named "Helen " at the front desk who couldn't be nicer and A younger kid named Andrew at the front door who was born with a smile on his face..he couldn't wipe it off if he wanted to.
And everyone speaks fluent English...which is great because my Spanish is embarrassing challenged. This place gets 11 stars out of 10....is that possible ?

Room Tip: Prefer top floor in back, but stayed in front and were good too
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled on business
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Thank Clay I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Guy G, Guest Relations Manager at Taormina Hotel and Casino, responded to this reviewResponded 16 December 2014

Eric, Thank you so much for the very kind review you wrote. We are always happy to have you visit us and you are just like family here at the Hotel Mona Lisa. Hope to see you again soon amigo. Pura Vida
From the staff at the hotel. Guy

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 October 2013

I stayed at the Mona Lisa for one week. Conveniently located to all the major activities in downtown San Jose.

The staff is friendly and courteous and the rooms are big and nicely appointed. Guy Grand is one of the best customer service managers I have met.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank NA N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 September 2013

I had the pleasure to stay at the Mona Lisa for 10 days from September 14 to 23. The hotel is beautifully decorated, well located, and spotlessly clean. It has a restaurant, bar, casino and poker room. customer service from the hotel management to the cleaning staff was very friendly with smiles and "holas" or "Buenos dias" to start each morning. When I checked in, Guy the manager and Helmuth, another manager, both welcomed me personally and insisted that whatever they could do to make my stay enjoyable to not hesitate to let them know. I felt as if I was staying at a small boutique bed and breakfast. My room was very clean, the food in the restaurant was excellent and delicious, and the bartenders and waitresses very pretty and friendly. This was my fifth trip to San Jose and I had previously stayed elsewhere, but I have now found the perfect spot to call home while in San Jose. During my stay I also met Walt one of the owners and George the GM, also very friendly an gracious hosts. I have already made reservations for my next trip.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank Andres L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 September 2013

I stayed at the Mona Lisa for over a month when I first arrived in Costa Rica. Staff was very attentive and helpful. They made me feel at home and my experience led me to stay here in Costa Rica. The management beginning with Tom, Walter, George, Guy and Helmuth are easily accessible and will to help with all your needs. Restaurant, Casino, lounge and tourist office on location. Taxi drivers work exclusively for the hotel and are honest and trustworthy. I would be remiss in not mentioning the great professional massage given by Yorleny. A definite treat after a long trip or outing. My best for continued success to the staff at the Mona Lisa. Keep up the good work. Terry Brennan

  • Stayed: January 2013
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Thank Tzclan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Taormina Hotel and Casino

Address: Avenida 11 Calle 3 Bis | Barrio Amon, San Jose 10103, Costa Rica (Formerly Hotel Mona Lisa)
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of San Jose > San Jose Metro > San Jose
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Casino and Gambling Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #20 of 78 Hotels in San Jose
Price Range: £62 - £90 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Taormina Hotel and Casino 3.5*
Number of rooms: 87
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Taormina Hotel and Casino is strategically located in the historic neighborhood of Barrio Amon in San Jose, Costa Rica near the Financial Center of the Capital. It is close to cultural attractions, entertainment, and only 25 minutes away from the Juan Santamaria International Airport. The property features 90 magnificent rooms, distributed in a four story building. We're a very inviting hotel with a distinguished Costa Rican style and a friendly bi-lingual staff. ... more   less 
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