Recently, Hotel La Rosa de America underwent a periodic inspection performed by the Government controlled Instituto Costa Rica de Turismo (ICT). This inspection was designed to examine quality of service, safety standards, employee standards, cleanliness, and general maintenance of the property.
Having not been inspected formally for two years, this inspection was quite extensive. After all the work we have put into upgrading cabins, providing handicap accessibility, improving the gardens and stressing customer service, it was gratifying to find out that after the inspection, the ICT would without solicitation, be upgrading our Hotel Star rating from the current 2 Stars, to 3 Stars. We were very surprised by this as we did not formally request a review, nor did we expect to be raised two complete levels! (Hotels are rated in 0.5 increments to a maximum of 5 in Costa Rica).
Furthermore, it was strongly recommended that we petition for a Sustainable Tourism Level (CST) as the inspector indicated that we were already incorporating sufficient activities to rate a possible level 3 sustainability. Currently at the Hotel, we operate new energy efficient gas appliances and hot water, we have an in depth recycling program, and we reintegrate the majority of waste water back into the garden and property via underground drainage fields invisible to guests! Also, of course, we maintain a low density cabins to garden ratio thus ensuring that guests never feel crowded or having to compete for hotel services. Rarely will you have to wait for anything!! Also, all the water we use to maintain both swimming pool and gardens originates from the Hotel property itself, thus reducing stress on the municipal water system. Guest drinking water however is municipal so as to guarantee it’s quality.
All the staff here at Hotel La Rosa feel very proud to have met with such success over the past two economically challenging years. This acknowledgment of our efforts by the officials at the ICT have only served to re-enforce what we already hoped… that we are headed in the right direction to provide our guests whatever they need!
Another year has come and gone at our San Jose Airport Hotel.
As always, the beginning of December was ushered in by the Hotel La Rosa Christmas decorating party. Most of the staff participated in this party and had a great time putting up decorations, the Christmas tree, having a party and listening to Christmas Carols.
This year was characterized by a number of new faces among the staff. Our receptionist, after performing excellent work for 18 months was promoted to Interior Hotel Manager. We created a new full time Cleaning/Food Prep position and rewarded our longest serving part time cleaner with the position. In the exterior areas, a recent gardener hire proved so good that after the retirement of our head groundskeeper, we promoted the new gardener directly into his empty position. So far, he is doing an admirable job of assisting the hotel in ensuring the hotel grounds survive the transition to the dry season – always a challenge when the rain stops falling in a jungle environment and hundreds of guests begin to arrive for Christmas! A forth hire has been in a bi-lingual evening concierge/receptionist with some basic maintenance skills! This jack of all trades has somewhat carved out his own position here by being useful in more areas than we have the ability to spare him in!
Unfortunately, this year we have had to say goodbye to a couple of staff members. Miguel, our gardener and groundskeeper of 15 years retired at the end of November. During his good-bye party, he indicated an imminent desire to move to Hawaii… an odd and unlikely choice indeed! Also, in mid December, we said good-bye to our former Hotel Manager. We wish him well, especially as he is our next door neighbor!!
Overall, our Costa Rica Airport Hotel is looking towards the future with high hopes. We used the second part of 2010 to complete a major hotel re-organization, launch a new marketing campaign (with upgraded/updated website) and conduct a comprehensive staff restructuring in preparation for the 2011 tourist season. This was necessary due to the increasing business at our airport hotel and for our desire to maintain and even improve upon our already famous customer service and attention to detail. Therefore, we feel confident that, with the new training and organization at the hotel, we will be even better able to ensure your satisfaction when you stay at our San Jose Airport Hotel!
We spent three nights at Hotel La Rosa de America, our first night in Costa Rica and our last two nights. The comfortable, quiet hotel was a welcome sight after a long day of travel! The rooms are...
We have been very grateful for the increasing business at our San Jose Airport Hotel especially during these very difficult economic times. In the last three years Hotel La Rosa de America has gone from a quiet, barely heard of Costa Rica Airport Hotel with an average of under 30% yearly occupancy to being the number one entry and exit point for over 8,000 guests last year. We have also recently expanded, adding two new large family suites which have been very successful and we are still finding that on many days we have limited or no space left! Naturally this has resulted in a need for employee and services restructuring at the Hotel. Thus, in a process that started in June 2010 and was finally completed 01 December 2010, we have completely overhauled all aspects of our customer service and redirected efforts towards improving and enhancing the overall guest experience. One of the main components of this task was to fully restructure and retrained our employees to meet the expanding needs of our Costa Rica Airport Hotel.
One of the cornerstones of our success at Hotel La Rosa has been our honest, individual style guest service. It is our policy to ensure that every guest has the opportunity to interact and talk with staff about their trip plans, or trip experiences and of course to ask any travel related questions they may have. We want to ensure you have as best as possible a Costa Rican experience here in our host country! Of course, this was much easier to do when we had half the guests coming to our hotel! Thus, we have had the pleasant task of being in a position to hire more staff during a recession. Due to the current difficulties in the Costa Rican Tourism economy, and the necessity of so many hotels needing to downsize, we have been able to access a very wide selection of trained workers needing employment in a stable position. Now as a result, we have five new employees, all of whom have completed Hotel La Rosa’s training program and we feel are now well equipped to assist with guests needs.
Part of our new season’s goals are to provide a better overall experience for our guests. Our guest’s feedback, repeat business, and guest referrals provide the single largest component of our international marketing campaign. Thus ensuring guest happiness and loyalty is extremely important for us. We know we are one of over a hundred and fifty
competing Costa Rica Airport Hotels! To that end, La Rosa staff will ensure that all guests will still feel like they have entered a Hotel that still provides Bed and Breakfast personalized service. Another major change for the 2011 year is our breakfast service. We have completely changed the way we present our breakfast. It is now in an all you can eat buffet style. Our kitchen staff now prepare almost double the options we provided for in the 2010 season including eggs and on certain days, the Costa Rican favorite, “Pinto”. Returning guests can still enjoy our famous Banana Bread – the secret recipe that came all the way from Raffles in Singapore many years ago! If you like tropical fruit, you will have a feast at La Rosa! We offer a minimum of five different types of seasonal fruit including what we think is the “best pineapple in the world” – the Costa Rican Pina Dorada. This local variety of pineapple is much sweeter and less acidic than normal pineapple.
Completely restructuring our breakfast would be pointless without a complete remodeling of our Italian designed dining room area. New for 2011, the dining area now displays new curtains, a much warmer sandy paint colour on the walls, a greatly expanded buffet display area, new chairs, and all new table cloths. The tables have also been re-organized to offer greater privacy for guests during breakfast time. Just outside, we are re-doing the flowerbeds to the rear of the property to increase the beauty of the breakfast area view. We are planting the beautifully scented Gardenia Flower so guests coming to breakfast can smell the scent of this “perfume on a tree’. These changes are designed to increase the early morning enjoyment for our guests – especially those who have just arrived from long flights the night before and have yet to actually see the beauty of Costa Rica.
Another objective for the hotel is to become recognized as a 3 star hotel. To this end, we continue to upgrade hotel infrastructure services, using environmentally friendly solutions wherever possible. Also, we now have 24 hour, 7 days a week night concierge service. No matter when your flight arrives, we will be waiting for you! At this time our Reception area will still close at 10 pm however, this will not be a problem for late arrivals or early departures as our night staff are now fully trained to deal with most guest needs.
Hotel La Rosa de America has spent five months of the low season restructuring in preparation for the 2011 high season. Though we recognize this process never ends (nor should it!) we do feel that our Alajuela Airport Hotel is now in an even better position to provide great service to our guests, both repeat and new alike!
Here at Hotel La Rosa de America, we have received numerous requests for cost effective accommodations suitable for larger families. Recognizing the fact that not all families consist of two adults and two children (and maybe a pet…) we have recently completed two large family suites designed for larger families. Each suite can take a maximum of six and seven guests respectively.
This way, larger families can now relax in their very own suite – all at a price significantly less than the cost of two or even three separate rooms!
Beds in each room consist of a mixture of double bed, single bed and bunk bed and can be changed as required, depending on guest needs. Each suite also has the same services as the other rooms at the hotel with the exception (currently) of safety boxes. Each suite has a private entrance, private porch, private bathrooms, beautiful garden views, hot water, cable TV, a sitting area and Suite One has a walk in closet whereas Suite Two has access to a large private deck.
These rooms are also designed with our groups in mind. Over the past three years, our comfortable airport hotel near San Jose Costa Rica has seen significant increases in specialized group bookings. We are now hosting a large number of groups from Canada and the USA, as well as England, France, Cayman Islands, Panama and Costa Rica.
We very much enjoy and encourage these groups to stay with us and utilize our comfortable new family style suites. Most of these groups are designed around principles of learning, donation, environmental awareness, or language study. In many cases these groups give back more to Costa Rica then they take. This is in keeping with the over-arching ideals of Hotel La Rosa de America and our personal hotel business ethic.
There have been a number of other changes that have been recently implemented at La Rosa. In part, due to the increased volume of guests, we have restructured our breakfast to be more like a buffet. This has allowed us to provide even more food options to our guests. Groups especially find our breakfast buffet to be faster and simpler now now that is no longer served. No worries though! Even if our breakfast is no longer served, we always have staff available to talk to our guests and answer any questions they may have about their trip planning or whatever they wish to talk about!
Another big change at the hotel is that it is now staffed 24 hours a day 7 days a week. We have permanent English and Spanish-speaking night Concierge staff at the hotel so there are no problems with late arriving or very early departing guests. Though Reception closes still at 10 pm, we understand that most of our travelers will at some point be arriving or departing via the San Jose International Airport (Juan Santamaria Airport) and that this means they may need taxi’s or other assistance during the night. Our night staff are trained to handle all normal guest needs and if a situation arises where they need more assistance, they are trained in what to do!
So, along with a variety of other ongoing changes, including the installation of a new, more environmentally friendly laundry facility and hot water production system, we at Hotel La Rosa de America are gearing up for a new, and hopefully exciting high season. We are very thankful for the loyalty and support of our past guests, many of whom have returned year after year to our hotel. You, our guests, are the reason we have been able to succeed during the last 18 months of difficult times. We are now hoping for an even better future and a great year of prosperity here in Costa Rica! Pura Vida!!
After too many months without a blog, we have finally found the time to start writing again!
So far 2010 is proving to be somewhat of a recovery year in Costa Rica. Though most hotels and tourist businesses have suffered significant declines in revenue, and some have been forced out of business entirely, we have been very fortunate. Year 2009 was an excellent one for us and was the year where we saw our hotel transition from being the second choice for many guests arriving at the San Jose International Airport to being the primary choice for thousands of travelers needing safe and beautiful accommodation in the Central Valley of Costa Rica.
We have now entered the 2010 Low Season in the Alajuela area (aka Green Season) and are continuing to meet with greater than hoped for success. This success has allowed us to make hundreds of improvements, both small and large to our hotel in the hopes of being able to offer even better service to both new and returning guests alike.
These changes have targeted every sector of our operations. Continuing improvements in hotel structural services have occupied much of our time and resources, however we have also completed renovations to two more of our triple/quad cabins. Also, and just in time for the Dry Season, our Garden Staff completed the underground sprinkler system and got it hooked up to our well cistern. The difference this new sprinkler system has made to the lawn and flowers over the Dry Season has been remarkable.
La Garita is recognized as having the sunniest weather in the entire San Jose region. Therefore without these new sprinklers, the Garden would suffer without water for weeks.
One of the most exciting (and demanding) projects was the development of a new, more modern and more secure website. As of 27 May 2010, Hotel La Rosa de America launched a brand new website using the same URL location. http://larosadeamerica.com/ Though not all sections are 100% complete yet, it is fully functional. Improvements include a better presentation, more modern style, 100% SSL security on all pages and updated pictures. Be sure to check out the new Picture Gallery set to the beautiful reed flute musical adaptation of the famous Con Te Partiro. We will next be concentrating on the Tourist Information and Book Donation Pages. As always, questions and comments are welcome!
We just spent 3 weeks in Costa Rica. After reading Trip Advisor, I decided that Hotel La Rosa de America would be the best choice for myself, my husband and another couple travelling with us. Robert...
With the onset of the spring rains and some well placed fertilizer, the gardens of Hotel La Rosa are looking better then ever. All the work from last year, all the decisions, and concerns of cutting five big trees down has now resulted in more light getting to the ground. Now we have lots of flowers, virtually no biting insects and a vastly improved lawn as well. The remaining trees still offer plenty of shade and are looking more healthy.
The last few months have been a bit of a roller coaster for the hotel in bookings. May and June were quiet, more so than last year, and we were becoming concerned for the remainder of the year, what with the global recession and all. Then July occurred! Fourth busiest month on record for the hotel and by far the busiest low season month we have ever had. Thank you to all our guests who made this happen!
As a result, we are now well set to enter the REAL low season starting at the end of August. September and October are normally very quiet months. Even though one is virtually guaranteed rain each day in these months, it is still a great time to travel. The best weather in the country can be found on the Caribbean during this time and minimal tourists mean better prices and no lineups!
Here at La Rosa, we will be using this time to modernize parts of our hotel. Slated are major upgrades to two of our cabins, a reconstruction of our existing lawn sprinkling system, necessary in order to cover all the areas which are not covered now, and a major painting/changing of colour scheme inside the hotel. This, plus some other “non-visual” improvements in essential services will be completed in time for the beginning of the new high season in December. For those guests planning to visit our hotel in these months, no interruptions or inconvenience is anticipated as most of the work is self contained and not noisy.
All in all we consider ourselves very fortunate to have escaped the troubles of this economic recession. Many other tourist establishments have not been so fortunate, especially those still recovering from the January earthquake.
For 13 busy days this November, we were the hosts to 21 of the best poker playing dealers around. Two LSOP tournament players stayed with us as well. In conjunction with another local hotel, we provided the accommodation for the Latin Series of Poker inaugural event held in Costa Rica. The actual tournament was held at Casino Martino’s, just one kilometer down the road. The LSOP is a new tournament for poker players around the world and will include other exotic stops such as Cancun (Mexico) and Ecuador.
To host this group it was decided that the best way to be fair to all concerned and to provide the best service, was to shut the hotel to other guests for the two week period. Fortunately it was still in the quiet part of the low season. This decision was deemed necessary though because of the special needs of the dealers. Hotel hours were turned upside down and our “quiet” hours and breakfast hours were extended to noon. Being night owls due to their trade, it was completely normal to find a collection of dealers sitting on our reception porch at 3 in the morning having just gotten back from work!!!
It was a great time, and a new and positive experience for the hotel. Everyone enjoyed their stay – both guests and hotel staff! We are looking forward with anticipation to their return probably in May 2009.