Introduction: Pandemic Trip to Costa Rica
Review: American Airlines CRJ-700 (First Class) – Oklahoma City to Dallas
Review: American Airlines 737-800 (First Class) – Dallas to San Jose, Costa Rica
Review: Marriott Costa Rica – Double Bed Suite
Review: VIP Lounge/Copa Club – Juan Santamaria International Airport
Review: American Airlines 737-800 (First Class) – San Jose, Costa Rica to Dallas
Review: American Airlines A321 (First Class) – Dallas to Oklahoma City
My friends and I spent five nights in Jaco at a really nice condo in a gated community. We decided to spend the last night in San Jose as our flights to Dallas and Miami were leaving a bit after noon. Having stayed at both the Courtyard by Marriott in Alajuela and the Marriott Costa Rica, the decision on where to stay was not hard at all…Marion Costa Rica.
The Marriott Costa Rica is beautiful property, transformed from a hacienda, that comes as close to a “city resort” as you can get. The last time I visited the property was before the pandemic hit and we were able to crash the Camino del Vino.
I originally booked a double bed room for ~$150/night but rethought the decision as check-in neared. I ended up contacting the hotel about a complimentary upgrade but it could not be guaranteed so I booked a paid double bed suite for ~$600/night. This allowed each of us to have a bed even though one of us would be stuck with the sofa bed.
The property is approximately 90 minutes from Jaco and only minutes from Juan Santamaria International Airport. Our trip took a bit longer because we stopped on the side of the road to eat barbecue. Stopping at the shops along the highway are a must when traveling in Costa Rica. The bellmen were in their normal positions by the front door, waiting to assist customers by opening doors and unloading bags. The only thing different about the service was they wore masks.
The check-in process was more or less the same from last time. The staff friendly, attentive, and welcomed me back to the property. The only difference in the check-in process was the plexiglass partitions which separates the staff and guests. We were also offered COVID tests at the property but declined since we had taken the test the day before in Jaco.
The room was located in the east wing of the hotel on the fifth floor. The elevators were behind the front desk, on the far side of the hotel. I passed the Concierge Desk and a sitting area while I made my way.
As soon as I entered the room, I could but help but marvel at its size. The rooms at this property always feel comfortable to me and this was no different. Maybe someone burn sage around the door or something.
There was a closet immediately to the right. As is standard with Marriott closets, this one included an iron, ironing board, luggage rack, and laundry/cleaning bag. There was also some storage space along the wall.
The bathroom and it was absurdly heavy door was opposite the closet. The bathroom was spacious. I appreciated the separation between the toilet, counter and shower. Something I did not appreciate, the $5 water bottles located near the complimentary toiletries. I am not paying $5 for that water.
After exiting the bathroom, I made a left into the living area. The room looked like an apartment. There was two chaises, a couch, a small table, and a huge, flat screen tv. As I mentioned earlier, one of us had to take the sofa bed. Since I invited the guys to go to Costa Rica, I took the couch. It should be known that there was no linen in the room for the sofa so I requested it through the Marriott Bonvoy app. It was delivered to the room within minutes.
The bedroom was located through the door next to the television. It includes the two beds, a long desk with chair, a chaise with ottoman, and the same exact tv as the living area. My friends report the beds were comfortable and the linen was not too heavy.
The bedroom had a hallway entrance as well. The closet and bathroom were identical, just flipped around. I appreciated having the flexibility of two bathrooms.
While we did not visit the gym or spa on this visit, there were some rules implemented during the pandemic to minimize the numbers of guests in either location. If a guest wanted to use the fitness, they needed to check availability with the front desk. Once confirmed for a time slot, the guests had to adhere to the time or risk being banned from the facility for the duration of their stay. The spa was appointment only. There was a fee in place of a guest missed their scheduled appointment. I am sure this could be waived with a valid excuse.
The Marriott Costa Rica is one of my favorite properties across any hotel brand. It started with the welcoming bellmen, continued with the staff at different locations throughout the property. I was only partially joking about burning sage in the room, but the hotel does feel calming. There is not one specific thing but an accumulation of many small parts. I cannot wait to experience the Marriott Costa Rica on my next trip.
Have you ever visited the Marriott Costa Rica?