Hostel Gran Imperial

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San Jose, Costa Rica

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Hostel Gran Imperial San Jose Reviews

andrejav andrejav
718 reviews
Hostel Gran Imperial Jun 14, 2014
Hostel Gran Imperial is very large hostel right across the main market in San Jose. That is the perfect location for any backpacker’s hostel in town because it is in the middle of the downtown. It is close to the main walking streets, in the middle of the shopping area, really good fresh food from the market, main museums in easy walking radius and best of all close to the most of the San Jose bus stations. Those bus stations were the main reason for me staying here. My bus was leaving four blocks easy walk away from the hostel so it was just perfect for my purpose.

Entrance is a bit weird and they have two buzzer gates on one stairway. Looks like jail from the movies a bit… buzz me in the first fly of stairs, now let me in the second, now pass the reception and open another door to the hallway… I do get the idea of not-so-good neighborhood, but it is pain to ring and wait for someone to buzz you in.

Second floor is very large and mostly populated by the hostel. Actually I am not sure if there is any other business on that floor. Side opposite the rooms is made into huge living area, kitchen and there are some staff quarters. Large balcony surrounds the building and it is made to be resting and chilling area. WiFi is available so you can lift your legs, read your news and look at everyday hustle and bustle of the market area. There are loads of different rooms that they have. I asked for dormitory and lady took me to the private bedroom. They charge 16$ per night which is on very high side of the hostel prices but I did not have clue if there is any other place in the area and my backpack was heavy, so choice was clear.

Restaurant/eating area is very specious but I have never seen anyone eating anything. When I asked if I can use the kitchen, they said that I have to pay some fee… Coffee is available all the time, it is free and you can ask anyone on the reception to make you some more if there is nothing left. Balcony is the nicest part of the experience, it is long long long and very relaxing. I had some great conversations on that balcony…

Hallways are a bit institutional, covered with lots of Costa Rica tourist biro posters and maps of the area. At the reception you can get free detailed maps of the city, and you should take it. Actually you must have one of those because info is simply great. They list all bus stations, paths, museums, things to see…

Room was a bit of the “jail room”, narrow, plain with walls that are super thin so you could hear anything that is happening around, but it was clean and had a comfy bed. You will get towel and soap and I must tell that bathroom and shower is just perfect! Especially when you travel like me, through the areas where waterfall is the best shower you can get, this place had almost a luxurious facility… All of it looks pretty new, and everything is working. Showers have hot water, bathroom is spacious and modern.

I had a OK experience in this place, but for next time in town I will go for some other place.
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