A couple of weeks ago, the whole team of Camino Travel was invited to go to Hotel Presidente and see all the changes they are doing. Feeling super welcome by a very unique staff we talked, we ate, we laughed and later on we inspected the hotel, restaurant by restaurant, area by area, room style, by room style…
For me, in the sales area, having an inspection like this, where we can take the time to see and to experience a hotel is key in order to know how my clients are going to feel about it, so, what you are about to see, below is our photographic journey of the Presidente Hotel:
Presidente Hotel has several great things, the first three… or maybe the first five are: Location, location, location, location… and yes! Location!… Right in the main boulevard of San Jose, you are in the very heart of the country, its people, its culture, its goods and its bads.
Less than five block away are all the main museums, the main plazas, the Central Market, and the artcrafts market. Less than a block away you can find a bunch of restaurants and bars, all sorts of stores, ice cream and cafeterias.
Best of it all is that the hotel nowadays is noise proof… so, unless you open the window, the rooms are as silent as can be.
The hotel is still renovating a lot of their areas and we went to some of the areas that “are going to be”… like a bar, that is going to be in one of the terraces, facing the Southern side of the city.
Another thing to say and it is quite important is that as centered as it is it does not allow unregistered visitors, keeping itself clean from several known vices of the city.
It has two entrances, the one at the boulevard and the one on the street, for cars and microbuses, which is the most used in terms of coming or leaving the hotel.
In terms of going out for a walk definitely the one on the boulevard is the one all guests use.
As you come in, and go up the stairs the lobby shows up, as modern yet surrounded by antiques cozy environment… We really felt welcome from minute one!
There is a corner where you find a small convenience store with sun screen lotion, repellent and several coffee and chocolate products (I can only imagine my costumers coming in on a late flight and departing early in the morning to any of the warm sunny areas of the country! Or the ones coming late from a long tour throughout the country and leaving early). At this very area you can find sodas, bottles fo water, and an ice cooler with all sorts of beers.
A bit of History:
Decades ago, in San Jose there used to be two stores that were the fanciest and most elegant… We are talking back in the fifties, sixties, maybe up to the seventies. One of them was La Dama Elegante, owned by Samuel Gudes it was at the bottom of a large apartments building.
This store produced the dresses used in the presidents inagurations, in the welcoming ceremony to receive Kennedy and for sure in all gala dinners that happened in Costa Rica.
Later on, the store closed and the apartments building turned into what is now the Presidente. However a lot of the furniture and old things are now in the lobby as an interesting and beautiful testimonial of what happened here that is, undoubtedly part of our history.
Earlier that day, I went simply to see and taste breakfast and the operating restaurant. The surprise was fantastic!
The buffet is really complete: Starting with a good selection of fresh tropical fruits and going into a self made orange juice station. And into a section of bread, butter and jam, hams, cheeses, and all sorts of delicious little things. On the other side you can also find of course, hot Gallo Pinto, sausages and bacon.
At the very end there is the chef doing fresh omelettes that can be filled with cheese, ham, sweet pepper, onion, tomatoes and/or mushrooms,
As you sit waiters fill your coffee cup as many times as you like…
Eating surrounded by beautiful art and history
In the Costa Rican Art Museum there is a mural containing the history of Costa Rica, from the pre-columbian days to the construction of the building that contains the mural in 1940.
It has four walls with the four periods of history: Precolumbian days and the discovery, the conquest and the colonial days, the time after independence and the new days of the 20th Century and it was made by a french artist: Louis Feron.
A copy of certain passages of this mural is in the Hotel Presidente, surrounding the restaurant where breakfast is served. The artist that made was Francisco Ulloa Baez, a Costa Rican sculptor that dedicated to religious art. Except, of course of this magnificent piece of art. Don’t forget to check it out!
For the second part of this post:
In the second part of this post, you will be reading about the different types of rooms, the gym, the spa, all the activities that you may find near by and a couple of great stories of how this hotel manages their staff to be one of the happiest and most energetic teams that I have seen in my years in tourism!