The Hotel Del Rey may be the most famous establishment in all of Latin America. Every person I’ve told that I visited or was planning to visit Costa Rica has asked about either this hotel or it’s signature bar, The Blue Marlin. Some people only needed to be informed of my visit to Central America to find the urge to ask. While it’s not my absolute favorite spot, I certainly enjoyed it and understood it’s popularity.
This place truly had it all. It had the standard hotel, casino, restaurant, bar, working girls, etc. The only thing really missing here was a pharmacy, which just so happened I needed the two nights I stayed there ( I caught a cold before I got there, but more on that later). Even when I wasn’t staying at the Hotel Del Rey, I was visiting. It was pretty much a complex of awesomeness for men. There was a sports bar, another bar, the main bar, and then there was the casino. You could order food any place you were, and if you decided to move on to the next venue before it arrived, just tell the waiter and it’ll show up wherever. I would occasionally strike up a conversation with someone or order food while waiting for someone and then off to the next bar and my food will meet me there. HOW AWESOME IS THAT? The waiters and doormen were all dressed for success and the girls working the bar were some of the friendliest in San Jose. Well, except for the one above. Her and her friend could get a little feisty at times, but some women just like playing harder to get than others… She liked me…
The Hotel Del Rey had two ATM machines, one for local currency and one for USD. I used both and didn’t get ripped off at either. The food wasn’t wonderful, but it was pretty good. The rooms looked a bit outdated, but starting at around $55 (Make sure the counter guy doesn’t try to rip you off, he’s the shadiest person in the whole place) you really got more than you paid for there with a nice bed, good air conditioning, an old box tv, stocked refrigerator and a nice sized bathroom. The decor of the rooms kinda struck me as 80’s-ish and a touch on the worn side, but everything worked perfectly. The 80’s decor kinda just fits Costa Rica, which is part of why I liked the place so much.
Did I mention the girls? Both the bar staff and the working ladies were awesome. A few of the working girls were dressed a little on the… more provocative side, but they obviously weren’t letting the average street walker through the doors. I believe these girls can be found in April and December of the Hotel Del Rey 2012 Calendar.
Don’t pick on me for looking like a blimp in the second one!
Final thoughts on the Hotel Del Rey
The Hotel Del Rey was a great place to meet up. There was plenty to occupy you while you waited or to get the ball rolling. I met tons of great gringos there and even a couple of locals, although this place obviously catered specifically to U.S. tourists.
If you’re looking for a more “Gentlemanly” place to stay in San Jose, check out my Sportsmens Lodge review.