Accommodations in San José run the gamut from simple but homey hostels to luxurious boutique retreats. If you’re flying into or out of Costa Rica from here, it may be more convenient to stay in Alajuela, as the town is minutes from the international airport.
Reservations are recommended in the high season (December through April), particularly the two weeks around Christmas and Semana Santa (Holy Week, the week preceding Easter).
Where to Stay
You’ll find the cheapest sleeps in the city center, with nicer midrange and top-end spots clustered in more well-to-do districts such as Barrio Amón and La Sabana. Also worthwhile for their charm, safety and serenity are the adjacent neighborhoods of Los Yoses and San Pedro, which lie within walking distance of downtown. For stylish options, the upscale suburbs of Escazú and Santa Ana are good choices.
Central San José East
Most of downtown’s better sleeping options are located east of Calle Central, many of them in historic Victorian and art-deco mansions. Many of the top-end hotels accept credit cards.
La Sabana & Surrounds
You’ll find everything from hostels to vintage B&Bs in the neighborhoods that surround Parque Metropolitano La Sabana.
Los Yoses, Barrio Escalante & San Pedro
Locals use several prominent landmarks when giving directions, including Spoon restaurant, the Fuente de la Hispanidad fountain and Más x Menos supermarket.
Escazú & Santa Ana
Escazú and Santa Ana are stylish suburbs with accommodations ranging from sleek boutique inns to homey B&Bs – but there's not much in these parts for the budget traveler. Street addresses aren’t always given; call directly or check hotel websites for directions (which are invariably complicated).
Santa Ana is three kilometers west of Escazú, and on the road between the two you'll find a few out-of-the-way spots to stay and eat.