Our tour of Costa Rica commenced and concluded with overnight stays at this funky little hotel in the capital city of San Jose. We arrived at midday after a tortuous journey from Manchester to Heathrow then into freezing, snow-covered Newark, where we had endured an unexpected overnight stay courtesy of United Airlines, thanks to delayed flights, so it was lovely to be allowed to check in early to our delightful room.
I pulled up the blinds to reveal an unattractive view over a parking lot to a large, modern-looking supermarket. However, we were not there for the scenery. There were two large comfy beds in our room, very comfy pillows, a safe, TV and plenty of space for our cases. A clean, modern bathroom contained good quality toiletries and plenty of towels.
We were intrigued by the thoughtful tray of goodies available for purchase above the well-stocked mini bar, including sweets and large packets of biscuits, and necessities such as toothbrushes, toothpaste and alka seltzer. We imagined the staff having to perform Kim's game every time a guest checked out, and they were hastily dispatched to see whether any items had been removed from the tray! Walking to the generous-sized pool, I passed the well-equipped gym with weighing scales and water cooler. I loved the massive, exotic murals that adorned many of the rooms and the giant picture of a waterfall that completely covered a bare, three-storey wall by the pool. It was lovely to relax on a pool lounger with a cocktail followed by a catch-up on emails on the free computers in the lobby before enjoying some bottles of cold Imperial beer and a tasty, attractively-presented meal in the restaurant. All staff we met were helpful and attentive.
On the negative side there was a slight cacophony of noise in the public areas from flat screen TVs: one in the lobby playing 80s pop music videos vying with a constant barrage of news programmes being played on the others in the nearby bar/restaurant. Also, on our first visit we endured an excessively noisy group of young Americans who blasted out irritating rap music from their ghetto blaster around the pool in the late afternoon and shouted to each other from their rooms at 03.00. However, they were so cheerful and friendly – dashing to assist me as I got up to drag my sun bed to the far corner of the pool – and I had to forgive them when they all suddenly jumped out of the pool to perform a mini flash mob dance to "Gangnam Style". Finally, as we had unexpectedly been given a "free" afternoon by arriving a day late and missing the start of our tour, it would have been good to have been within strolling distance of the City Centre as I would have liked to have visited the Gold Museum, However, the centre was a 25 minute taxi ride away and it was an extremely hot afternoon so we decided it would be wiser to relax by the pool in the wonderful sunshine and become acclimatised to the tropical climate. Overall, it was a great way to start and end our holiday.