I spent two nights at Hotel Plaza Real. One at the beginning of my tour of Costa Rica and again at the end.
I would not recommend this hotel.
Let me first say that I am not a picky traveller and by no means have unrealistic standards.
But when I leave a beautiful hotel with pool, restaurants, spa, beautiful grounds and views etc...) costing $95 a night for a dive listed at $93 a night, I need to share my experience.
I flew in to San Jose to take a tour. I arrived a day before the tour began and made arrangements to stay at the Barcelo Palacio for $95. The second night, my tour group was to meet at Hotel Plaza Real. I made my way over and was greeted at the jail gates by my guide.
The hotel is barred up like a prison and you must be "buzzed" in by the front desk.
I got the distinct feeling that I had found myself at the wrong side of the tracks...but at least I would feel safe.
The concierge was very friendly and showed me to my room which was described as "one of their best".
When I was ushered into room 104 right behind the front desk, I was very disappointed.
There was VERY little natural sunlight as both windows of this room face concrete walls. The noise from the highway was impossible to ignore (and it went on throughout the entire night), the two hard as a rock single beds looked outdated and dirty. The curtains covered in thick black dust, holes in the ceiling one working light in the bathroom, no warm water at all (broken in the sink), chicken left over in the refrigerator and dead bugs on the floor.
This hotel has no on-site amenities. No restaurant or store to purchase a toothbrush if you've forgotten yours. They do provide breakfast in the morning which is relatively decent and there is a sun deck with two lounge chairs...but it's nothing I'd want to spend my afternoon sunning myself on.
If you'd like to get food or go to the supermarket you've got a 5 minute walk. It's not bad, but if you're travelling on your own and you arrive later in the evening... you won't want to venture out onto the street alone. So you're S.O.L.
I asked about the room but conveniently, the concierge now couldn't understand English or my broken Spanish (which I admit isn't the best) but he had no problem earlier.
When we returned to the hotel for our final night, the concierge tried to put me in room 104 again and I asked for a different room... this time he put me in the new building 304.
It was MUCH better (still not better than my first night's stay at the Barcelo) but it felt like a totally different hotel.
My frustration is with the concierge who made me feel as though there were no other options on my first night than this horrible room 104.
The hotel was NEVER full and he could have easily put me with the rest of my group in the newer building my very first night. Had he not sold me on the room being the "best in the hotel" I would have pushed harder to be moved...but after that pitch, I was afraid to see what the "second best room" was like.
This hotel is ok (in the new part) if you MUST stay here...but ask for a room in the newer building.
If you have the choice...stay somewhere else.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- We are located at the central business area La Uruca in a very convenient location, just 15 minutes from the Juan Santamaria International Airport and 10 minutes from San Jose City Center. We offer both apartment-type rooms and classic hotel-type rooms. The Apartment-type rooms are fully equipped with a full size fridge, a kitchen or kitchenette and all the necessary utensils to provide a pleasant and comfortable stay. Both of our types of rooms are equipped with coffee makers and have A/C. We specialize in providing services and the apartment-type rooms to those who are staying for long periods of time while they are being medically treated in the country. ... more less
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