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Costa Rica Marriott San Jose
Thursday, March 16, 2017  

At the conclusion of our Azamara Quest Panama Canal and Costa Rica cruise, we were looking for a hotel for an overnight stay. We had an early morning flight and did not want to risk getting from Caldera to San Jose in time for the flight. We wanted a hotel that was reasonably close to the airport and, of course, nice accommodations. After doing some research, the Costa Rica Marriott San Jose looked like the perfect choice.

Costa Rica Marriott San Jose

When booking a Marriott in Costa Rica, it is important to know that there are two different hotels and make sure you book at the property you want. There is another Marriott property, Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort, which is 60 miles from the airport. I think if we had two or three extra days in Costa Rica, that might be an excellent choice. For our immediate needs, however, the Costa Rica Marriott was the perfect choice. On the morning of disembarkation, Azamara transferred us to SJO (international airport) at around 2:00pm. From there, we grabbed a taxi van to the hotel. The cost for a taxi will run you about $15 and takes about 15 minutes depending on traffic, which can be very heavy at certain times of the day. Don't be shocked by the numbers on the taxi meter! It is showing the amount in local Costa Rican currency but the taxi drivers do take US dollars.

When we arrived at the hotel, a bellman quickly grabbed our bags and placed them on a cart, then directed us to the check-in counter. The "lobby" of the hotel is open-air and very inviting. A young lady began the check-in process, which was quick and efficient. She informed us that our room was not quite ready for occupancy and asked us to check back in about an hour. In fairness, check-in time is 4pm and it was only a little after 2pm. We decided to visit Hacienda Kitchen for a late lunch while we waited for our room.

When we arrived at Hacienda Kitchen, which is one level down from the main lobby, we requested a table on the patio. The weather is perfect today for al fresco dining, so we wanted to take advantage of the amazing view of the mountains.

The view from our table at Hacienda Kitchen

The weather, the view and the general atmosphere of the restaurant just begged us to enjoy a local Imperial beer to go with my Chi Frio, a traditional pork, rice and beans dish. The Chi Frio was delicious, and even though listed on the menu as an appetizer, was plenty big enough for a main course. Rickee had an avacado, ham and cheese sandwich on French bread that was also quite delicious and served with crispy, hot French fries.

Chi Frio

We enjoyed a very relaxing meal, sipping our Costa Rican beer and looking out over the mountains. Soon, it was time for me to return to the front desk to check on our room. By 3:15pm, we had our keys and were on our way to our Deluxe Room on the 3rd floor, which also happens to be the main lobby level. Within 10 minutes, our luggage arrived and I asked the bellman how we could get a bucket of ice for a bottle of champagne we had brought with us. He said he would have room service bring one to us. Sure enough, five minutes later there was a knock at the door and our champagne was soon being chilled!

King bed in Deluxe Room

A quick look around the room reveals a rustic, but functional decor. The furnishings reflect a traditional Spanish theme that runs through the entire hotel. There is a large desk, a mini-bar with coffee maker, and a small refrigerator. A very large closet is directly across from an equally large bathroom.

Mini bar

Across from the bed is a large dresser with a flat-screen TV on top. The satellite television programming is as extensive as we have ever seen in a hotel. The king bed was quite comfortable and we were impressed with the quality linens. The complimentary Internet/WiFi was reasonably fast and reliable. A faster Internet connection is available for $5 per day.

The bathroom was large and well appointed. A tub/shower combo worked well and there is a large vanity with top-quality amenities.

Bathroom amenities

When it was time to enjoy our now-chilled champagne, we decided to do so outside in the beautifully manicured grounds near the pool area. We found a nice cast iron table and chairs just steps from our room and enjoyed a view of the beautiful pool area as we sipped our champagne and reflected on the events of the last 11 days.

We did not have an opportunity to try Las Isabela, the hotel's Peruvian restaurant. A longer stay is in order on our next trip to San Jose! Our only complaint with the property is that noise from the hallway can find its way into the room late at night. This is probably because the hallways are tile instead of carpet, so the sound of voices and footsteps is magnified. However, this would not keep us from staying at this hotel again.

The Costa Rica Marriott is already a popular hotel with cruise guests, and we can see why. This is a property was can highly recommend!

Chris Dikmen and Rickee Richardson are cruise
and travel journalists from Dallas, Texas

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