The current faciilities of Aranjuez Hotel are the result of a long process of acquisition and remodeling of old family homes that were built in the 1930’s.
The Aranjuez neighborhood, where the Aranjuez Hotel is located, along with the neighborhoods of Otoya and Escalante, were all part of the neighborhoods next to Amon, where the Costarican upperclass opted to build their homes during the Twentieth Century, especially during the years of the 1900’s and 1930’s. Because of its history, the neighborhoods of Aranjuez and Otoya were given the status of historical landmark by the City Government of San Jose. The achitecture of the houses in the Aranjuez neighborhood generally follow a simple trait which identifies with a style “labeled as creole… These homes exhibit their strong colonial heritage in their façade and interior layout.”
The Aranjuez Hotel is made up of five homes that retain the rich architecture of the buildings of the era: Structures covered with wood, high ceilings, wood or tile floors, bathroom, spacious living and dining room, large patio containing fruit trees, long hallways with running boards with bedrooms located at the sides. The exterior of the homes are characterized by being single story with a door with windows on each side, the entry is separated from the sidewalk, usually by a frontyard garden. Only one of the homes that form part of the Aranjuez Hotel is located next to the sidewalk, and its façade is made up of reinforced concrete.
When the Hotel Aranjuez opened its doors on October 22, 1992, it consisted of nine rooms from two homes that housed three generations of the Padilla Family. This family was originaly formed by Mrs. Olivia Padilla, a school teacher, her son Oscar and her daughter Lia. Over the course of three decades, the forerunners of the Aranjuez Hotel lived in the “Olivia Padilla Home”, which are currently rooms 1 though 6. In 1982 Lia and her husband acquired the house next door and lived there until 1988. “Lia´s Home” is currently rooms 7, 8, 9-24 and the Reading and Internet Rooms.
In November of 1993, the “Morales Home” opened its doors and thanks to this, the Aranjuez Hotel aquired six new rooms, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16. Today, in addition to the rooms mentioned above, the “Morales Home” houses rooms 32, 33, 34, 35, and 36, all of which opened in 2001.
In October of 1994, the “Calvo Home” is added. The opening of this house prompted some important changes in the physical building of the hotel. In addition to the four rooms that were added, rooms 17, 18, 19 and 20, a new restaurant was built to serve breakfast. The kitchen that was located in what is now room 24, and the dining room which was located in the current Internet Room, were both relocated to what is now room 31 and the “Terrace”.
In February of 1999, the “Soto Home” opened. Adding a total of five more rooms, 25, 26, 27, 28, and 29. This is the last addition to complete the five homes that house the Aranjuez Hotel today. However, it would not be until August of 2001, with the opening of rooms 32, 33, 34, 35 and 36, and the relocation of the restaurant and the kitchen to the “Soto Home”, that the current facilities would be completed.
During these years of continuous transformation of the facilities, the forerunners of this project have demonstrated and maintained complete respect towards the structure of the original homes. For this reason, our guests will enjoy an environment that truly reflects the Costarican way of life during the Twentieth Century. The warmth of the home is maintained intact with its advantages and inconveniences: original high ceilings, walls of wood, floors of wood or tile in most of the rooms, large social areas and gardens. However, our guests will encounter some inconveniences of construction of that era which are now preserved as historic landmarks. In some of our standard rooms that could not be remodeled without altering the original structure and environment of the home have remained with thin walls and small bathrooms. The plumbing is outdated, resulting in frequent clogging if our guest ignores our request to not put toilet paper or other paper products in the toilets. Likewise, for the safety of our guests, smoking is a not allowed in the rooms made of wood. As with all family homes, the social areas are near the bedrooms, which cause noise to reach the rooms that are nearby.
Undoubtedly, given the achitectural conditions of the Aranjuez Hotel, our guests must keep in mind that they will be living a unique experience that cannot be matched by staying at a traditional hotel. We hope you enjoy the experience of staying at a hotel that preserves all the chracteristics of an authentic Costarican middle class home.