San Jose, Costa Rica is becoming more and more popular with cruise enthusiasts. Most cruises that embark/disembark in Puerto Caldera recommend that guests fly into, or out of, San Jose's Santa Maria International Airport. With an assignment on Azamara Quest from Caldera to Los Angeles approaching, we began looking for a nice, quiet hotel where we could spend a couple of days in San Jose prior to taking the transfer to Puerto Caldera. While the big name hotel chains are more popular, we were looking for some a little more local. We found a real gem in the Studio Hotel. My first indication of how committed Studio Hotel was to guest service was on their website. Unlike most hotel properties, Studio Hotel lists contact email addresses. I emailed the hotel with a question regarding a tranfer from the airport to the hotel, and within 30 minutes, I had a response from Gustavo Botero, the hotel's Reservation Manager. Gustavo confirmed our reservation and arranged to have a shuttle meet us as the airport.
Thanks to American Airlines, we arrived four hours late into San Jose. We were relieved when we exited Customs, at around 11:30pm, and the driver was standing there holding a sign with my name on it. Soon, our luggage was loaded and we began the 20 minute ride to Studio Hotel which is actually located in the town of Santa Ana. A shuttle ride from the airport cost $25. The hotel offers complimentary shuttles to the airport each morning. We arrived at the hotel around Midnight and were greeted at reception with a smile. Check in was quick and easy. Our luggage was brought to our Studio Double room.
The Studio Double room was large, spotlessly clean, quiet and equipped with everything you could want. The two full-sized beds were very comfortable as were the pillows. The bathroom has a large walk-in shower, large marble vanity/sink and is equipped with a makeup mirror and hair dryer. We found the room to be very comfortable.
On the third floor is a beautiful heated pool with wicker loungers. The pool is shaded from the sun (and rain) with an expansive tent-like covering. We spent most of an afternoon just lounging by the pool.
The entire hotel property is filled with artwork from Costa Rican artists. Everywhere you look is a bold piece of art, and each piece has a story. Another huge plus for us was that Studio Hotel is 100% Smoke Free.
Art is on display everywhere at Studio Hotel
The Katöwa Restaurant is located in the lobby and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Our room rate included breakfast each morning from 6am to 10am. The breakfast buffet was small, but everything was well executed and delicious. My favorite was the Costa Rican rice and beans. One evening Rickee and I went to Katöwa to enjoy a glass of wine and some of the tapas-style appetizers. The taquitos were worth the trip to Katöwa.
On our final day, we arranged for the complimentary shuttle to take us back to the airport where we would meet up with our transfer to the ship. We reluctantly said goodbye to our new friends at Studio Hotel with the knowledge that when we return to San Jose, we will definitely be back.