HOW MANY ROOMS? 299 rooms and suites
PROPERTY HIGHLIGHTS: Decked out like a lavish coffee plantation or hacienda, this resort property has wonderful dining, remodeled rooms, and a sparkling outdoor pool overlooking the serene golf course.
PRICE: Internet rates for a traditional room on the random dates we checked start at $142
CONTACT: Costa Rica Marriott Hotel Hacienda Belen, La Ribera de Belen, Heredia Costa Rica. Phone +506-2298-0000. www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/sjocr-costa-rica-marriott-hotel-hacienda-belen/
WHERE IS IT? Close to San Jose, Costa Rica’s international airport, and within driving distance of most downtown offices and tourist sights, this hotel is a convenient option for those that want to enjoy the outdoors.
WHAT’S IT LIKE? The colonial design of the hotel is welcoming with a central courtyard, red tiled floors, regional artwork and fixtures, and plenty of communal work space and lounge seating. Arrivals will find a friendly welcome, scented water, and plenty of fresh air wafting through the open-air lobby. This hotel also hosted one of Marriott’s well-known TED Fellows salons where guests (from both the hotel and the area) were invited to one of the brand’s signature events for creative ideas and conversation. Similarly thought-provoking discussions and content are available in-room via TV system playlists. They vary throughout the day to match traveler mindsets throughout the day, with energizing morning talks and evening topics that invite reflection.
ROOM FACILITIES: Fresh from a renovation, the rooms show off modern style with hardwood floors, leather-coated accent walls, and large images of various Costa Rican scenes. Duvets top the king or paired queen beds with four large pillows. Bedside power and USB outlets are convenient, and the built-in desks have large leather chairs that are especially comfortable. An armchair and ottoman are located by the window, which opens for fresh air. Sliding doors open to bathrooms with glass showers and wide vanities stocked with Thann toiletries. The mosaic tile pattern in the shower is quite unique and attractive. Club level rooms enjoy access to a private lounge for complimentary breakfast, all-day refreshments, and an evening happy hour with snacks and two-for-one priced drinks. Views from all rooms are attractive featuring either scenes of the golf course or swimming pool and sun deck.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS: Hacienda Kitchen is the main restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating. The buffet features live cooking stations throughout the day with plentiful fresh options. More casual fare is served at Bar 10, which is a lively sports bar that gets busiest after sunset. La Isabela opens for lunch and dinner offering up Peruvian cuisine (you’ll find some of the best ceviche and lomo saltado in town here). Casa del Café is a snack bar and coffee shop experience where you can have locally roasted coffee straight from the nearby plantation.
LEISURE FACILITIES: The swimming pool is ringed by comfortable lounge chairs, and it features two separate pools (one of which features an infinity edge spilling into the one below it. The spa features saunas, steam rooms, and relaxation areas in addition to a roster of massage and beauty treatments. A fitness center offers modern workout equipment. The concierge can assist with booking a round of golf.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES: The resort does plentiful meeting and conference business offering free wireless Internet, renewed conference and ballrooms, and the latest audiovisual equipment. Group spaces show off a fresh look with clever breakout spaces that spill onto the patio to enjoy some fresh air.
VERDICT: This is the city’s leading hotel with resort-style amenities and attractive accommodations that show off regional accents. The convenience to the airport is just the icing on the cake.