Hotel Alta Las Palomas
What We Love
- Lazing by the pool in the shade of the ancient, sprawling guanacaste tree—a perfect parasol for sun and rain
- Subtle, stylish and unashamedly comfortable rooms that let the extraordinary views do the talking (all all rooms and suites have balconies overlooking the lush tropical garden)
- La Luz: unpretentious fine dining at its best. Don't miss the churrasco chomes
What To Know
- The Alta is a mountainside retreat, so you’ll need transport or a taxi to see the sights
- By law, all Costa Rican buildings are smoke-free
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
The Alta has settled into its spectacular mountain setting with a clever balance of contemporary style and Old World charm. The castle-like lobby and hallways blend terrazzo floors with soft lilac and gray walls strewn with black-and-white photos from 1920s Costa Rica. A reception desk of riveted metal gives a nod toward its owner’s classic tastes and airline background. The winding stone stairway brings a change of scene: terra-cotta tile floors and elegant guest rooms with Italian leather chairs, deep, soft beds and balconies that serve up sweeping views of the Costa Rican capital, volcanoes and forests that stretch all the way to the Pacific. Guest rooms tone down the Old World feel with a soft, muted palette, airy rooms to relax, and floor-to-ceiling wooden doors and simple stone balconies that put the spotlight on those gorgeous views. Back on ground level, the oval pool is a great place to relax with a cold Grenache Blanc from the well-considered wine list. Under the watchful eye of chef Angelo, the La Luz restaurant serves fine dining for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with organic ingredients bought locally. A light lunch menu blends traditional Costa Rica with Mediterranean touches (think sea bass ceviche, salmon quesadillas, and tuna poki), while dinner expands the pasta and meat options with local twists (rack of lamb with organic coffee sauce; huge churrasco chomes with homemade chimichurri sauce). Work off dinner in the small but well-equipped gym or book an in-room spa treatment from the nearby Portadas spa.
In the Area
The Alta is on the outskirts above San José, and the nearest hub is well-heeled Santa Ana, rich in artisan crafts stores, well-to-do locals and easy-living expats, all engulfed in the aroma of extravagant flower stalls and stands overflowing with sweet onions, a local crop. Browse indigenous arts and crafts at Ceramica Las Palomas, shop till you drop in Costa Rica’s largest mall, Multiplaza Escazú. And no Costa Rican experience is complete without a visit to a volcano; fortunately, the extraordinary Poas Volcano National Park is only a 45-minute drive away.
How to Get There
Stayed here on our last night in Costa Rica before heading to the airport. Really cute hotel. Nice place to decompress. Loved the decor and style. Staff was really nice. Dinner and breakfast at the restaurant was great. Room was comfortable and had a beautiful view. Only complaint was that the pool and hot tub closed really early, like 5pm.
While I’m not a huge fan of the hustle and bustle of San Jose, my wife and I will spend a few days every month for shopping- and regulatory requirements that come with life in Costa Rica. We’ve typically stayed within our comfort zones and selected the familiar US based hotels, which are well represented here. Not this time. We decided to think outside the box and were rewarded for being a little adventurous. The Hotel Alta Las Palomas is located in a beautiful yet strategic location for whatever one wants to do in the San Jose area. The rooms are beautifully designed, cozy and clean. The staff is not only friendly, but eager to help where they can. The grounds are stunning. This place is a piece of art! I will report separately on the restaurant, but it will be icing on the cake. Did I mention that pricing represented yet another positive surprise? You might even find Alex, the owner walking the premises willing to share a story or two for those who ask. We’ve stopped looking; this is our official San Jose hotel.
We stayed in a wonderful suit for three days that reminded us of something out of 1930s Hollywood. The beds and liens were first class and very comfortable food was exalent and it is one of the best locations you will find. The property has some minor mantinace issues but that is to be expected in Costa Rica.
Definitely the best hotel in Santa Ana, San José. I think almost all rooms are being located strategically to enjoy the amazing view of the Central Valley.
Breakfast was average, well cooked and nice flavour.. but nothing espectacular.
The hotel to me was very elegant. My room was clean and beautiful. Sleep quality was excellent. Staff were very friendly and helpful.The location not too bad and you can moove easily to any direction. Thank you for your kind hospitality.