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This infamous room budget hotel has a longstanding reputation as a nightlife destination for prostitution, gambling, and drinking. It's a place for single male travelers, and the 10 bars are run by more than 50 female bartenders. The Key Largo entertainment center houses four more separate bars that stay rocking 'til wee hours of the morning. Rooms are clean if basic and dated, and outside guests need to be ed in. Ask anyone in San Jose, and they will surely have a story or two about Hotel Del Rey, which dates to the s. The salmon-colored neoclassic building sits on a prime corner spot downtown, and there are typically hawkers, tourists, taxi drivers, a few sketchy types, and policemen found around the premises.
Entering the lobby, which has an unmarked mirrored glass doorway, is a little daunting, and there are security guards waiting right inside. Past the reception and travel desks are a lobby bar and casino where women many locals as well as Colombians, Brazilians, and Dominicans may be hanging out looking for friends. Yes, prostitution is legal in Costa Rica. This is obviously not a place to bring the whole family, nor are kids allowed.
But groups of men or guys traveling solo tend to come here for the experience, which is hard to replicate. The owner, John, is an older guy who started the place 25 years ago when he bought Key Largo, and eventually added the hotel. He may be found in the lobby, unsmiling and keeping an eye on things he lives on the sixth floor , but he's not a chatty fellow to most strangers -- it's best to just leave him alone.
The bars are scattered all over the first floor and around the block, and one could spend an entire day bar-hopping in the hotel alone. Cameras are everywhere and there are 25 security guards at night keep watch over the place. The hotel has a strict visitor policy meaning everyone staying in a room must in guests. The bars host plenty of fun events where costumes play a big part , including Super Bowl, Halloween, and even Thanksgiving. Bartenders wear sexy costumes every night of the week and there's a party vibe at all hours of the day.
As the charismatic female general manager puts it: "It's a party place with rules. This central spot is walking distance to shops, dining options, markets, and cultural landmarks such as the National Theatre, National Cathedral, Gold Museum, and Plaza de La Cultura. Those who want to experience a quick dose of local life can simply stroll along Central Avenue Boulevard midday, when workers are on their lunch break, and explore Mercado Central.
Many guests stay for a night or several to let loose, and don't use this as a base for a sightseeing vacation. There is an urban bus system to get around the city, or guests can flag down a red taxi. Rental cars can be arranged at the front desk, and there is free and secure parking for overnight guests in uncovered lots across the street. There are rooms in this seven-story property in the following three : Standard, Deluxe, and Master. They are basic and dated, with wood furnishings, carpeting, and patterned bedspre that are cleaned between stays.
The housekeeping staff cleans rooms thoroughly -- an important consideration at a hotel that caters to sex tourism. Every two years the carpeting, TVs, and bedding are replaced, and all linens -- including quilts and bedspre -- are actually made on-site. Each room is equipped with an air freshener. For those looking for more peace and quiet, ask for a room on the backside of the hotel. Standard Rooms have one king-size bed or two queen-size beds, air-conditioning, a ceiling fan, stocked and locked minibar, and flat-screen TVs. These are more budget-friendly, but some room configurations -- like the corner Standard Double that we saw -- are quite spacious.
Toiletries shampoo and shower gel are in eco-friendly wall-mounted bulk containers, and bar soap and lotions are offered next to the sink. Deluxe Rooms are located on the sixth floor of the building and have connecting balconies -- a good option for those partying with a group of friends. These rooms all have a king-size beds. One-, two-, or three-bedroom Master Suites are on the top floor and have carved wooden ceilings, living areas, and corner balconies. Each hotel room has a different mahogany hand-carved door with Costa Rican motif, such as toucans and monkeys. The biggest draw at Hotel Del Rey is the nightlife, and the 10 bars stretch three blocks.
Drink prices are reasonable and plenty of specials are listed throughout the day; friendly female bartenders in scantily clad outfits are experts at their profession and can mix drinks with the best of them. The lobby bar serves coffee and espresso in the morning. Beyond the lobby is a small hour casino, attached to the Blue Marlin bar. Girls may be hanging around talking to each other, or solo and on the prowl. Security guards keep a close eye on things.
Across the street is the Little Marlin bar, with pool tables and several TVs for sporting events. Catty-corner to the hotel and across a parking lot is the main restaurant, called Del Rey and housed in a former coffee plantation.
It serves all three meals to guests and locals, and even business types in suits. With pristine wood floors, chandeliers, ornate ceilings, oil paintings, and a beautiful garden, this restaurant is more upscale than the rest of the hotel. Though there is a buffet for breakfast and lunch, the kitchen serves hour a la carte gourmet international food, including seafood, and prime meats from Chile and USA. The restaurant is divided into several rooms, and in front is a beautiful garden area with benches and two front porches. The whole place is surprisingly classy and has a certain charm. Key Largo Bar is in a different space, attached to the restaurant through a hallway.
It also has historic touches such as ornate wood paneled walls and ceilings. The Key Largo entertainment space has four entirely different bar areas, with pool tables, a dance floor, and different local bands playing Latin music every night of the week. Regulars flock to this family-owned hotel, open since , mostly due to its low rates. The authentic property is made up of a conglomeration of five houses from the s that are attached to each other, containing 35 rooms that are all slightly unique with…. Just a five-minute drive from downtown San Jose, Barcelo San Jose Palacio offers the amenities of a mid-range business hotel in a dated package.
The hotel's large outdoor pool, three restaurants, and a cocktail lounge with live entertainment are noteworthy highlights, but much of the…. A casino, lovely outdoor pool, full-service spa, and two on-site restaurants -- including a traditional tapas…. Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct. Subtract one room 1. Subtract one adult. Budget Party Adults-Only Value. Prices shown for:. See All San Jose Hotels.
See All Rates. Pros A fun and lively hotel and nightlife destination Multiple bars with nightly live music Great all-day dining in a historic plantation Casino with on-site banking and ATMs Lots of events and celebrations throughout the year Clean rooms with locked minibars and flat-screen TVs Beautiful rose garden in front of the restaurant High security on the premise Free parking for hotel guests.
Cons Primarily geared toward sex tourism pro for some No kids or minors allowed pro for some The lobby and casino feel dark and dated Prostitutes seeking attention may be a little assertive Keep an eye on the bill for overcharges. Bottom Line This infamous room budget hotel has a longstanding reputation as a nightlife destination for prostitution, gambling, and drinking. Deluxe King Room.
Standard Double Room. Deluxe King Room with Balcony. Standard King Room Second Floor. Restaurants and Bars. The Hotel. Scene Loaded with character and characters , this adult-only hotel is notorious for prostitution and a clientele of mostly single American men Ask anyone in San Jose, and they will surely have a story or two about Hotel Del Rey, which dates to the s.
Rooms Simple, dated rooms with linens that are made on-site There are rooms in this seven-story property in the following three : Standard, Deluxe, and Master. Features A party hotel with tight security, 10 bars, and many ladies of the night The biggest draw at Hotel Del Rey is the nightlife, and the 10 bars stretch three blocks.
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Hotel Del Rey Costa Rica