The Best Boutique Hotels to Book in San José, Costa Rica

Orchid Farm | Courtesy of Asclepios Wellness and Healing Retreat
Orchid Farm | Courtesy of Asclepios Wellness and Healing Retreat
Photo of Sara Darling
6 October 2021

Base yourself in the city to admire art-accented hotels and parkside places to stay, or rest up nearby at eco-resorts and coffee plantations for views of mountains and volcanoes.

Costa Rica’s capital might be known for its population – housing almost a third of the country’s five million people – but it also offers plenty to do. Though it might be tempting to skip through San José and shortcut to the natural treasures of Central America’s most biodiverse country, the historic barrios Amón and Escalante invite you to linger longer. Tempted? Do it at a boutique hotel – eco-minded and family-friendly, or all-out arty – bookable on Culture Trip.

Hotel Grano de Oro

Suite Hotel
4.7/5 (987 Reviews)
Hotel Grano de Oro
Courtesy of Hotel Grano de Oro / Expedia
Price Drop
Now from $168 per night
Brimming with character, fact fans will be delighted to learn that this was once the home of the Pozuelo family – founders of Central America’s cookie dynasty. Subsequently, this hotel in barrio Don Bosco, nudging lake-rich La Sabana park, was extended to occupy three buildings, each containing Victorian-style rooms, sturdy wooden furniture, heat-slaking ceiling fans and stocked minibars. The foodie pedigree lives on in the pretty courtyard restaurant, which serves all-day meals, sometimes serenaded by a live guitarist.
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Boutique Hotel Casa Orquídeas

Boutique Hotel, Hotel
4/5 (45 Reviews)
Boutique Hotel Casa Orquídeas
Courtesy of Boutique Hotel Casa Orquídeas / Expedia
Price Drop
Now from $65 per night
Family-run Boutique Hotel Casa Orquídeas has provided lodgings for 25 years. Located in the prestigious barrio Los Yoses, the former home has grown from 12 rooms to 36: each with traditional furnishings and a homey vibe. You needn’t even leave your room if you’re not a morning person, as you can order breakfast in bed. Alternatively, a lovely courtyard restaurant sets you up for socializing with other guests.
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Hotel Parque del Lago

Boutique Hotel, Hotel
4.3/5 (614 Reviews)
Hotel Parque Del Lago San Jose
Courtesy of Hotel Parque Del Lago San Jose / Expedia
Price Drop
Now from $67 per night
An all-white exterior at Parque del Lago boutique hotel gives way to colorful interiors and a lobby dotted with artwork and tropical-toned furniture. The 40 guest rooms are more pared back, with comfortable beds and sofas set against neutral walls. With a privileged position adjacent to La Sabana park, many guests lace up their sneakers and hit the tree-lined pathways and lakeshore for a pre-breakfast run.
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Studio Hotel Boutique

Hotel
4.7/5 (945 Reviews)
Studio Hotel Boutique
Courtesy of Studio Hotel Boutique / Expedia
Price Drop
Now from $82 per night
Situated in upscale Santa Ana, guests at Studio Hotel Boutique can’t help but immerse themselves in art during their stay. A huge banyan tree surrounded by sculptures welcomes you into an airy lobby, where you can admire gilt-framed paintings and sculptures by local artists. The art theme continues in the stylish bedrooms, while the immaculate rooftop pool is surrounded by day beds and potted palms, enticing you to soak up mountain and city views.
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  • Hotel Presidente

    Hotel
    4.4/5 (971 Reviews)
    Hotel Presidente
    Courtesy of Hotel Presidente / Expedia
    Price Drop
    Now from $104 per night
    You can’t get much more central than the seven-floor corner building which houses the Hotel Presidente. The family-owned property started life in the 1940s as a fashion company before being restyled into an airy, warehouse-like hotel after President Kennedy’s visit to Costa Rica in the ‘50s. It now attracts a hip, young crowd who take advantage of the city-center rooftop lounge, complete with exotic plants, large cocktail menu and tapas dishes.
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    Jade Urban Hotel

    Boutique Hotel, Hotel
    4.5/5 (154 Reviews)
    Boutique Hotel Jade
    Courtesy of Boutique Hotel Jade / Expedia
    Within downtown San José, the Jade Urban Hotel offers 29 family-friendly rooms and suites, popular with all kinds of travelers. Bilingual staff are happy to help with enquiries or directions for urban adventures, or you can get your bearings beside the peaceful courtyard pool. When you’re not ticking off nearby restaurants from your list, take advantage of the fine European dining at the hotel’s popular Jürgen’s restaurant.
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    Xandari Resort & Spa

    Resort, Spa Hotel, Hotel
    4.8/5 (588 Reviews)
    Xandari Resort And Spa
    Courtesy of Xandari Resort And Spa / Expedia
    Price Drop
    Now from $181 per night
    On a 40-acre (16ha) plantation estate in the Central Valley, Xandari Resort & Spa offers a secluded stay in a tropical setting, a 40-minute drive north from the capital. With only 24 rooms, the vibe is peaceful, with an open-air spa and three outdoor pools, including an impressive 125ft (38m) hillside infinity pool. Views of surrounding mountains and volcanoes make it a great place to relax after days of sightseeing.
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    Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation & Inn

    Boutique Hotel, Hotel
    4.8/5 (168 Reviews)
    FINCA ROSA BLANCA-COSTA RICA
    Courtesy of Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Farm and Inn / Expedia
    Price Drop
    Now from $233 per night
    An eco-resort in the highlands, 40 minutes north of San José by car, Finca Rosa Blanca ticks the boxes for conscious travelers. Owned by American artists, Glenn and Teri Jampol – who built it as a family home almost 50 years ago – guests can choose from rooms in the main house or more private villas in the organic coffee plantation’s grounds. Don’t just book for one night: you’ll need plenty of time to enjoy the full-body coffee scrubs, chocolate and avocado beauty treatments, infinity pool with a waterfall, and romantic hot tub, all served up on a sustainable site that’s transformed a bare field into a reforested paradise.
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    This is an updated rewrite of an article originally by Jenn Parker.

    These recommendations were updated on October 6, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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