Concierge.com's insider take:
Flights tend to arrive late and leave early from Costa Rica, so there's a good chance you'll be staying overnight in the capital of San José. That proposition becomes much more appealing if you're booked into the Hotel Grano de Oro, about 20 minutes from Juan Santamaría Airport. Two decades ago, Canadian owners Eldon and Lori Cooke bought a century-old mansion in a quiet residential area near La Sabana Park and converted it into this charming 21-room hotel. All rooms have gleaming hardwood floors, wood paneling, regal Edwardian furnishings, divinely comfortable mattresses, and flat-screen TVs; deluxe rooms open onto private patios. Although the hotel has no swimming pool, there are two whirlpool tubs in the rooftop solarium. The staff here is tack-sharp with a smile, most noticeably when you sit down for a prix-fixe dinner in the Restaurante Hotel Grano de Oro.—Christopher P. Baker
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