The newly renovated Hotel Balmoral in the heart of San Jose is offering micro-apartments, fully furnished and internet and cable services for US$2,200 monthly.

Q COSTA RICA  – How much does it cost to live in downtown San Jose? One downtown hotel says at least US$2,000 monthly for a micro-apartment right on Avenida Central, also known as the ‘Bulevar”.

The newly renovated spaces at the Balmoral Hotel are from 32 m2 (345 square feet) to 86 m2 (925 square feet), fully furnished, with basic Internet and cable television, a refrigerator and microwave oven.

Cleaning services are twice a week, and includes the use of the gym.

The 112 room Nuevo Hotel Balmoral has 10 micro-apartments in deluxe plus, familiar (family) and suite options. Prices range from US$2,200 for the deluxe plus and the familiar and suite at US$2,712 dollars, sales tax included.

Giovanni Graziano, hotel general manager, told La Nacion that the rental rates for the micro-apartments can be daily, monthly and even annual.

The objective of the hotel is to encourage people to return to live in the center of the capital city.

“If a person lives and works in the city center they can save three to fours hours (daily) of travel unlike those who live in the suburbs,” said Graziano.

He added that, despite the criticism, San Jose is one of the few places in the country that offers an organized urban future that includes pedestrian zones, hotels and restaurants.

Randall Fernández, manager of Colliers Costa Rica – part of the Colliers international real estate services – explained that people are choosing to live closer to work or place of study and with entertainment nearby.

Fernandez added that the micro-apartments in the city center breaks paradigms and the Balmoral is one of the first attempts to offer something different in the city.

The rental set by the Balmoral is not over priced, compared with the rental rates of US$3,000 monthly or for an apartment in La Sabana, for example, and other areas in the greater metropolitan area (GAM).

The Balmoral option is aimed at those who value their time.

Other hotels offer customers long stay rates, with special pricing for visitors who choose to live in a hotel over a traditional apartment. However, almost none promote the long-term rental option.

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