Costa Rica Marriott Hotel Rating: 4.0 Pearls
San Jose, Costa Rica

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Beautiful Spanish-inspired design
  • Gorgeous spa
  • Lots to do: tennis courts, driving range, two pools
  • 24-hour fitness center
  • Free self-parking
  • Very well-equipped for meetings and events

Cons

  • Wired Internet only, for a fee
  • Lackluster location -- not much to do nearby
  • No shuttle service to or from the airport

Bottom Line

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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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

A European-inspired hotel with lots of character, though the location leaves much to be desired

The pools
The pools

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.

 Location

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.

  • 10-minute drive from Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO)
  • 10-minute drive from San Antonio de Belen bus station
  • 20-minute drive to San Jose
  • 4-minute drive to Santa Ana
  • 96-minute drive to La Fortuna, a jungle paradise home to the Arenal Volcano and many hot springs
  • 106-minute drive to Puerto Quepos, home to Manuel Antonio National Park, a beautiful beach with and evergreen forest just off the sand

 Rooms

Big rooms with lots of charm and very comfortable beds

A Standard Room
A Standard Room

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:

  • Wired internet available for $15 per day
  • Bed with pillow-top mattress, thin comforter, and down pillows
  • Big bathroom with Paul Mitchell bath products, robes, and hairdryer
  • 29-inch flatscreen TV with 120 channels including HBO
  • Alarm clock
  • Safe big enough for a laptop
  • Desk with with audio-visual inputs and electrical outlets
  • Coffeemaker with free coffee and tea
  • Mini-bar
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Umbrella
  • Good lighting -- lots of lamps
  • Plenty of conveniently-placed electrical outlets
  • Guest room: 323 square feet; king or two double beds; executive lounge access available for an extra fee; views vary; four person maximum occupancy
  • Master suite: 656 square feet; king or two double beds; separate living room; two bathrooms; two TVs; executive lounge access available for an extra fee; four person maximum occupancy
  • Presidential Suite: 1,162 square feet; free pressing of one garment per night; 1.5 bathrooms; two TVs; separate living and dining room with seating for eight; executive lounge access available for an extra fee; four person maximum occupancy

 Features

Plenty to do: A gorgeous spa, tennis courts, and a driving range, just to start

The golf course
The golf course

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.

  • 24-hours fitness center with TVs on every machine. Someone is at the desk from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Driving range, golf balls and clubs are available to rent from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Two pools and a Jacuzzi
  • A wedding center to help couples plan their big day at the hotel; experienced wedding planners help guests with every detail, including finding florists, photographers, and a band
  • 20 meeting spaces; hotel is very popular for business events and conferences
  • Concierge desk is staffed from 6:30 a.m. until 10 p.m.
  • Executive Lounge: Open 6 a.m. to midnight; free wireless internet, a big flatscreen TV, magazines and newspapers, couches and tables, and free food (breakfast buffet followed by snacks, hors d'oeurves, and desserts throughout the day)
  • Gift shop
  • A coffeeshop with free Wi-Fi that sells pastries, fruit, ice cream, sandwiches, and cold drinks (in addition to coffee); open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • 24-hour room service from Antigua restaurant
  • Two tennis courts
  • Business center with fax machine, copy machine, and computers; open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Valet parking for $6 per day

 Food

A Latin American seafood restaurant and a Spanish tapas restaurant are the two main options.

La Isabela
La Isabela
  • Antigua: The hotel's main restaurant serves Latin American cuisine with a focus on seafood. Guests can choose to sit on the outdoor terrace. Free Wi-Fi is available for patrons.
  • La Isabela is a wine bar and Spanish tapas restaurant. The vaulted ceilings, tapestries, and old wooden furniture give the space an old-world European feel. Open for dinner only.
  • La Castilla is a sprawling bar and lounge that features an outdoor terrace and nightly live music.
  • Adjacent to the outdoor pools is an indoor pool bar. Despite being connected to Antigua, it's a casual space with several TVs and a sometimes-rowdy afternoon crowd.
  • Casa del Cafe coffeeshop serves pastries, sandwiches, ice cream, and other snacks; open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

 Bottom Line

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.

Things You Should Know About Costa Rica Marriott Hotel

Address

  • 700 Metros Oeste De La Firestone, San Jose, , CR

Room Types

  • Executive Lounge Access Skyline View Guestroom
  • Guest Room
  • Guest Room, Poolside View
  • Master Suite
  • Presidential Suite

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 299
Pool: Yes
Fitness Center: Yes
Spa: Yes
Internet: Yes
Cribs: Yes
Kids Club: Yes
Jacuzzi: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
Address: 700 Metros Oeste De La Firestone, San Jose, , CR
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