Costa Rica Hotel Irazu
Best Western Hotel San Jose Costa Rica
Costa Rica Hotel Irazu: I had a free night's holiday at the Best Western Irazu hotel in San Jose, Costa Rica, thanks to Air Transat (Canadian charter airline) when my return flight to Ontario, Canada was delayed a day and a half. Though I'd have been happy to return to the Adventure Inn, where I had spent the week, the airline arranged for us to stay at the 200+ room Best Western Irazu.
The Hotel Irazu runs a free airport shuttle every 20 minutes to SJO airport, and Transat provided shuttle buses as well, so transportation was not a problem. I used this extra day in San Jose to swim in the pool, lounge in the jacuzzi, try a new restaurant and catch up on emails at the free internet center. Then I found the onsite spa and managed a Hot Stone massage :-)
Hotel Irazu San Jose Costa Rica Best Western 3-Star With a Denny's
The Hotel Irazu is a 10-15 minute drive from the airport, unless it's rush hour: My first trip from the airport to the hotel at around 7 p.m. took almost an hour!
The hotel restaurant is an adjacent Denny's that can be accessed from the lobby area or from the street outside. As Denny's go, the food is fairly typical of the American chain.
There's a bar with nightly entertainment on the lobby level as well. I didn't check out the on site casino. Across the Street from the Hotel Irazu is a nice, moderately priced Costarican restaurant. ('Irazu' is the name of a very high volcano south east of San Jose.)
Swimming Pool, Hot Tub Irazu Hotel San Jose Costa Rica
This gaily-painted cow 'walks' past the outdoor swimming pool set between three wings of the Hotel Irazu. The pool is unheated, and, after the chilly nights, warms up by late afternoon. Until then, only a few hardier souls braved the brisk water temps.
The jacuzzi tub is located in the middle of this photo just up from the large pool. Again, the water temperature in this hot tub was not hot, but pleasant enough.
Gardens Surround Swimming Pool at Best Western Hotel Irazu
Some rooms, as you can see in this photo, overlook the swimming pool area. The pool closes early evening, so noise is not a problem at night, though ground level rooms lack privacy.
There is a coin laundry on the ground level to the left, out of view in this photo, past the beach towel cabinet. Leave your room towels, and pick up a beach towel here.
Atma Wellness Center, the onsite spa, will accept payment ONLY BY credit cards (NO cash, NO charge to room) so be prepared. Prices quoted are in CRC (Costa Rican Colones) and converted on your credit card statement.
My Hot Stone massage was part of the Mio Tai service :60 minutes about $54 USD.
Gift Shop at Lobby Level, Hotel Irazu San Jose Costa Rica
This gift shop is one of several stores selling souvenirs and sundries just outside the hotel lobby doors. If you are staying for more than one night, you can go into San Jose for more serious shopping.
And for snacks, drinks, fruit, yogurt, etc. it's a few minute's walk from Denny's, heading away from the hotel lobby but on the same side of the street, to a local supermarket.
Word spread among the Canadians that coffee was on sale at this grocery for $2.99 USD package (whole beans or fine grind, various roasts, 350 grams / 3/4 lb.), and I bought 3 packages for under $10 USD.
I think this was cheaper than the price quoted at the Coffee Plantation shop, but I cannot recall the size of their packages. The price at the plantation for what appeared to be similar size was $6-$7 USD.
Look for Yucca chips in the snack food aisle. They are addictive and low salt/ low fat. I brought home a few packs and wish I had brought more!
Overall, I enjoyed my stay at the Best Western Irazu Hotel, and would recommend it as central location near the airport and the city. The staff was wonderfully efficient iand polite in checking in 300 or so unexpected guests, though the line went all the way through the lobby and beyond. My spacious room overlooked the front drive from the 4th floor, was comfortable, with coffee making facilities and a nice bed and bathroom, good television, phone, etc. I had the sense of a large, well-run hotel, and would stay here again, even if I had to pay :-)
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