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Reviewed July 30, 2014

Our daughter had booked our first night in Costa Rica in this boutique hotel, located in a quiet 'cup de sac' at a 20 minutes' walk from the center of San Jose. We decided to keep coming back in between and after our trips through the country. Why? Because it is 'sympa'. Excellent rooms (once you find out how the hot water showers work), great French breakfast (fresh fruit, yaourt, delicious little Spanish rolls, and lovely confiture, flushed with loads of good coffee). The owners, Franck and Eric, gave up their careers as teachers to start this place, a good 15 years ago. In addition to running Le Voltaire, they are nature guides, and more than helpful to advise you on where to go, with whom to book/ rent a car. They make the calls for you if you don't trust your Spanish. And when you come back, they want to know everything, so it's as if you're meeting up with old friends.
Wifi is available in the room, and you're invited to use their computer on the 1st floor.
One little challenge: the dog next door, which likes to start barking quite early in the morning...
But otherwise, we recommend the place wholeheartedly!

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank AlixRoyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed May 11, 2014

Voltaire is located a slight hike from downtown San Jose, in a quiet area that's pretty dark by night. It's on a dead end street with no real signage to guide you, which caused some issues finding it when my partner and I arrived by taxi around 8 p.m. We were welcomed by Oscar who seemed slightly surprised to see us, and spoke no English. We did get the wifi password, but despite being quite hungry, the only food recommendations we could get at that hour were for KFC and Pizza Hut. Apparently these are quite popular among Ticos!

Eventually a young woman arrived who spoke English and was able to provide some more information and even an oscillating fan, which was a blessing in the un-air conditioned room. We still weren't able to find any food that wasn't fast food, and gave up on dinner.

It seems advisable to try to call the hotel before you arrive, or else arrange to use their airport taxi for $30. It's a bit more expensive than a general Airport Taxi but they will at least be sure to take note of when you're arriving, and make sure to have an English speaking staff member present, if needed.

The room itself was spare, small but adequate. The bed was promised as a king but turned out to be a queen, and was very firm -- to the point of being hard. The shower had one of those electric hot water units, that never quite got beyond warmish. This was fine with me in the heat and humidity of May, but my partner insists on a hot shower and was a bit annoyed.

The room was clean -- and cleaned nicely our second day. The TV was clear and got a variety of English and Spanish channels. Having the first room next to the front door meant we were woken around 330 am the first morning by an early taxi pickup, and some type of bird that had the gall to start singing shortly thereafter. Earplugs are recommended if you're in Room 1.

In the morning we met Eric, one of the French owners who made me understand why this place receives so many lovely reviews. He is effusive, helpful, courteous and efficient. He was slightly late with breakfast our first day due to some unavoidable circumstances, but the next morning he made us an extra early breakfast to help us get on the road early, after we told him our plans.

Breakfast, which is included in the price, is a simple, pleasant affair next to the small patio. Eric served us fresh fruit, yogurt, warm rolls with butter and jams, and fresh, well-brewed Costa Rican coffee.

Eric helped us plan our day in SJ, providing us a map he noted highlights on, and offered to book us a taxi to our dinner destination. He chatted about the politics in CR (he's lived there 27 years!) which was interesting as the day after our arrival, the country swore in a new president.

Franco was away during our stay, but presumably he's also a nice guy. Having a helpful host is really important and Voltaire clearly has there going for it. The rooms could use some sprucing up, more comfy beds, maybe even A/C, and better signage to help find it. But if you're not picky on those things, this is a good option for a decent price in SJ.

One last thing, in point if fact the name of this place seems to be "Casa Voltaire," though I'm not sure if this represents a change, or just differing signage outside the place.

Room Tip: If you're a light sleeper look for the upstairs rooms, further from the front door and gate which have a tendency to slam.
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Vertovian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 21, 2014

My wife and I just spent two nights at this warm and interesting hotel, nestled in San Jose's embassy district. Owners Franco and Eric are very hospitable and attentive to guests. The rooms are small, but comfortable and the dining area includes a cloistered patio. Breakfast is included with the room and includes very tasty yogurt, fresh fruits, freshly baked rolls, orange juice and coffee. Superior rooms are still quite inexpensive. The hotel is within walking distance of many downtown San Jose attractions, and Franco will help you with a personalized walking map. There is convenient parking in front of the hotel - which sits in a flowered cul de sac. I highly recommend this very affordable, hidden gem.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank RMK4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 8, 2014 via mobile

First time to Costa Rica. We were welcomed by Le Voltaire and bid farewell by the same. They say, "if you go to Costa Rica, you must spend at least one day in San Jose." We took that advice and Franco and Eric, Le Voltaire proprietors, made our stay in the city all that much more pleasant. They are two kind and generous French men who crossed the Atlantic and fell for the hot passionate blood of the Tica, love flourished and Pura Vida ever since.

Courteous staff, large clean rooms, variety of clear tv channels to help wind down at the end of the day, walking distance to city center and theatres, a bar with dancing very near by and my wife's favorite, a KFC with all you can eat coleslaw just a two block walk away are just a few things you will enjoy at this hotel.

Two recommendations: keep the front patio lighted at night for safety and convenience with getting the right key into the right key. Second, either offer a key to the deadbolt or disable the deadbolt so other guests do not unwittingly lock other guests out.

Otherwise you rock. Looking forward to my next early morning dose of fresh fruit and juices, buttered scones and yogurt.

Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Enrique C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed December 3, 2013

I spent 9 months in this hotel and I wouldn’t change this hotel for any other place in San Jose. It is located in a safe and quiet neighborhood just 10-15 min walking distance from the city center. The neighborhood is called la California and you can find everything you need there (restaurants, bars, shopping mall). As far as the look and the quality of the rooms are concerned, you are simply not going to find a better place for the price they offer. Rooms are spacious with a nice and simple décor and always come with TV and internet. Last but not the least, the French owners are extremely nice, helpful, and always willing to give you some useful recommendations regarding trips, tours, and car rental. Simply put, if you are staying in San Jose, that’s the place where you wanna go.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled solo
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Thank Pawel P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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