Sportsmens Lodge, San Jose, Costa Rica

For my money, The Sportsmens Lodge is the best spot for the average guy traveling San Jose.  If you really want to get a little out of control or you’re into gambling, then stick with the Del Rey.  But if you are looking for a place with a little class, this is it.  The Sportsmens Lodge has a variety of rooms housed in separate wings or sections.  You can have a room that opens directly into the main bar or a room in a separate wing with it’s own bar if you have a large group.  Each room is unique and beautifully arranged.  For the quality of the establishment, I found the rooms to be well worth the money.

The rooms at The Sportsmens Lodge were modern and clean.  Even in the cheapest room I could scrounge up, I felt like I was a king in my own castle.  The rooms were spacious, well lit, and perfectly cleaned.  The service was impeccable.  The doormen greeted you pleasantly and there were no bums or drug dealers hanging around the area.  The receptionists all spoke wonderful English and were happy to help at any time.  I was even able to get a tour of the different rooms that were available before I switched hotels.  The owner was also onsite (I assume he usually is) and assured me I could come directly to him if I had any problems.

The bar opens early for an open standard breakfast of toast, juice, coffee, and random other stuff.  The free breakfast could be enough for the simple breakfast eater, but for the more serious breakfast goer the kitchen is open with a wonderfully American menu.  The menu for the later day had quite a variety and was just full of awesomeness.  Food was served quickly, usually about ten minutes from order.  They even managed to serve the meals with a quality visual appeal without sacrificing taste or portion.

I should stop here and warn you about getting a room off the main bar.  You will likely be warned that it will be loud until the bar closes.  This was fine by me because I would be closing down the bar each night, and probably moving on afterwards.  If you are not a morning person, however, you may want to get another room.  I was awaken by the breakfast noise each morning, which was still good for me!  No reason to sleep a whole day away.

The bar has multiple TVs and is the place to be when there’s any major sporting event going on.  I took the opportunity to watch a couple of fights in this bar and it was lively without getting out of control.  Sports are usually on, but occasionally there will be a DJ with dance music and such.  The bar typically closes between 11:00 PM and midnight, but may stay open as late as 1:00 on special occasions.

Massages are done on site with a Sauna and all sorts of other stuff that you can read about on their website.  The working girls there are the classiest around and are respectful of those who are not looking for their services.  I got the very clear impression that any of the ladies who were anything less than professional would not be welcomed.  There was also no ATM, which I can only assume was done specifically to keep guys from making bad decisions.  This place and the girls have enough class that I would not be embarrassed to invite my grandmother along.  Although, I don’t recommend doing that.

Everything at The Sportsmens Lodge was done professionally.  Nobody tried to increase the rates or sneak in extra charges at the last minute like some of the other hotels did.  I had one billing mistake while I was staying at The Sportsmens Lodge and it was an honest mistake from a waitress in training.  She simply forgot to clear my tab after charging it to my room and another waitress (the trainer) brought me a second check.  It was cleared up immediately and they were both rather embarrassed.

There were also shuttle services available from The Sportsmens Lodge.  I never really figured out what the deal was with the variety, but I used the services a couple of times.  Some nights it seemed to be regular street cars and others big group vans.  Either way, the drivers that I dealt with spoke English and went above and beyond by making it very clear when I was about to get out somewhere I shouldn’t.  On one particular evening I was hanging out with a local gal who wanted to go to a particular club.  The driver took us there reluctantly, but before he let us out he made sure that I knew that it was not a safe place for Gringos.  I had been wondering what all the arguing in Spanish had been about.  After talking it over, and getting a look at the place, we decided to go somewhere else.  I felt like I received that “we’ll take care of you” attitude from everyone at the Sportsmens Lodge and it did not go unnoticed.

All-in-All, I give it the big five stars.  Couldn’t ask for better.


If you’re looking for a wilder place to stay in San Jose, check out my Hotel Del Rey review.

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