Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
A European-inspired hotel with lots of character, though the location leaves much to be desired
Travelers who stay here because they're familiar and comfortable with the Marriott chain will be very pleasantly surprised upon arriving at this lovely, charming hotel that's more European than anything else. The Spanish-style property wraps around a central, cobblestoned courtyard --with a fountain and lovely landscaping -- that will make you swear you're standing in a piazza in Western Europe. The typical, corporate-feeling chain hotel that many of us associate with Marriott is nowhere to be found.
The charm continues at the hotel's two restaurants, one of which is a Spanish tapas and wine bar (with vaulted ceilings and tapestries on the wall) and one of which is a seafood-focused restaurant with an outdoor terrace. From the coffeebean candles burning in the lobby, to the iron sconces lining the hallways, to the terracotta-colored floor tiles throughout the hotel, guests are transported to an exotic locale. It's easy to forget you're just three miles from the country's main airport and 10 miles from downtown San Jose.
Pretty desolate location, but close to the airport
The hotel is close to the airport; although you have to rent a car or take a $14 taxi ride (the hotel does not provide shuttles). It sits just outside Santa Ana, a small town with many hotels and restaurants, along with a few golf courses and even equestrian facilities. The hotel is also about 10 miles outside the capital, San Jose, but not many tourists stay in the city longer than it takes them to get to or from the airport.
Big rooms with lots of charm and very comfortable beds
The hotel's charm and attention to detail extends into the guest rooms. The floor is covered in large, terracotta-colored tiles, and strong, dark wood is used generously -- for closet doors, the bathroom door, and all the furniture. Even the minibar is hidden behind a charming wooden door. Above the minibar, the coffeemaker is tucked into an alcove that's also home to a large, decorative porcelain jar. Beds are more than comfortable. Views vary throughout the hotel, though it's worth noting that the views here are nothing to speak of compared to the views you'll have in other parts of the country. Only five rooms in the hotel have full balconies, while the rest have a Juliet balcony.
The hotel has 290 standard rooms and nine suites. The standard rooms come with either a king or two double beds. Standard rooms that are on an executive floor will have access to the executive lounge, where there's free internet, a flat-screen TV, magazines and newspapers, couches and tables, and free food (breakfast buffet followed by snacks, hors d'oeurves, and desserts throughout the day).
All rooms include:
Plenty to do: A gorgeous spa, tennis courts, and a driving range, just to start
Although the hotel isn't a sprawling resort -- you'll know your way around pretty quickly -- there certainly are lots of great amenities. The beautifully designed Kuo Spa is one stand-out feature, with eight treatment rooms (the one for couples includes a great outdoor tub) and three relaxation areas (one for men, one for women, and one for couples). The spa is open from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m.
A Latin American seafood restaurant and a Spanish tapas restaurant are the two main options.
Despite being part of the Marriott chain, this hotel has a lot of character. The Spanish design influence is everywhere, from the terracotta roofs, to the colorful porcelain tiling, to the central courtyard around which the hotel is wrapped. But although there's plenty to do on the property (driving range, tennis court, spa), the hotel isn't in a very exciting area, and most travelers will prefer to stay in other parts of Costa Rica.
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