Aloft is Thriving in San José, Costa Rica

Water park lovers will find that this Midwestern getaway has it all: plenty of outdoor thrill slides in the summer and an ideal theme park-style escape during cold winter months. Intertwined body slides, multiple funnel slides and tandem tube rides are among the dozens of attractions enticing both hotel guests and day visitors to the 125,000 square foot indoor-outdoor water park. But the highlight comes by way of Master Blaster, an indoor water roller coaster that dips down and shoots back up for a fast-paced thrill. Once you dry off, you can board a six-story Ferris wheel, ride go-karts, or even test your skills on a ropes course or enjoy some upside-down thrill rides fit for kids young and old—all without having to step off-property.
Dunvegan Castle, located on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, is rumored to be haunted by ghosts.
Aloft San Jose: PHOTO: Aloft, a Marriott hotel, in the capital city of San Jose, Costa Rica. (Photo courtesy of Aloft Hotels)

Aloft’s sole outpost in Coast Rica is in the busy capital of San José, conveniently located near a bustling office park, and within easy reach of both downtown and the international airport. The hotel, which is seven years old, still comes across as brand new and has been doing some lively business.

Mario Mata Alvarez, Sales and Marketing Manager, explained that about 80 percent of the property is comprised of corporate travelers. He told me that it has been maintaining a 90-95 percent occupancy rate from Mondays through Thursdays, with a dropoff to 70-75 percent occupancy from Fridays through Sundays.

Alvarez credits the strong numbers with the many international companies with offices nearby, such as Walmart, Proctor & Gamble, and Western Union.

But Alvarez is also going after more of the leisure market, setting up contracts with Grayline Tours. For Grayline’s longer tours throughout Costa Rica, guests will stay their first and last nights in the country at the Aloft, bringing in a whole new segment of business for the property.

For Aloft in Costa Rica, the biggest market is the United States, with California representing about 80 percent of the business. Other big draws are Spain, France, Switzerland, Italy and the rest of Europe.

“The big advantage we have in Costa Rica is the direct flights from Rome, Paris, etc. to San José,” said Alvarez.

The property even offers shuttle service to the airport for $29 roundtrip, daily from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., a nice bonus for both business and leisure travelers.

The hotel itself is similar to most Alofts, with its cool, modern vibe, bright colors and signature W XYZ bar connected to the lobby.

This location features a lovely outdoor pool, perfect for Costa Rican weather year-round. There are three hammocks outside, too, so guests can soak up that “Pura Vida” (pure life) spirit that the country is famous for. And the Fitness facility is well-stocked—and I had a couple of great workouts there, both weightlifting and cardio.

Aloft San José also features a fantastic restaurant called Backyard, right off the lobby and adjacent to the W XYZ bar. In addition to a daily buffet breakfast, the restaurant does brunch, lunch and dinner, with regional Costa Rican cuisine that was delightful and surprising.

For music lovers, the Aloft offers live music on Tuesday and Thursday nights. The property was actually one of the recent stops on the Project: Aloft Star Tour, hosting UMG artist Stanaj and local singer Fátima Pinto, who gave a rousing concert in the lobby/bar space.

There’s also an upscale outdoor mall across the street, with quite a few shopping options, a movie theater and a variety of restaurants—everything from fast food to sit down eateries. A funky enclosed walkway allows easy crossings of the busy avenue, and it’s lighted up in bright changing colors at night, matching the fun vibe of this tropical Aloft in paradise.

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