Tuesday 25 January 2022

The Gran Hotel Costa Rica rises from the ashes of its past

Paying the bills


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TODAY COSTA RICA – In 1910 the famous Hotel El Francés de Monsieur Vigny, located where the La Gloria store is today, was acquired by his compatriot Henri Corcelle, who decided to expand his business and leased the ground floor of Teodosio Castro Angarita’s house (Patalillo farm), west of Parque Central, first the casino and then the entire hotel.

The Gran Hotel Costa Rica today

In 1913 a fire destroyed half the block in front of the National Theater.

In 1923, Monsieur Corcelle bought the land in front of the theater from the Lindo Brothers for US$40,000 and built the Gran Hotel Francais entirely in wood. But, Monsieur Corcelle died in 1924 and his wife took over the management of the hotel with great success until July 21, 1927, when a fire almost destroyed it.

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Dr. Luis P. Jiménez acquired the property and decides to rebuild it, but in iron. The new building is inaugurated on October 30, 1930, but with a new name, the Gran Hotel Costa Rica.

In 1988 it was sold to David Brewer, a retired Los Angeles, California, policeman, who also owned Key Largo Bar, one is one of the original pickup bars for Costa Rica.

In 2004, the building was declared a Historic-Architectural Heritage of Costa Rica.

Images from from the internet: “El Gran Hotel Costa Rica 2017. Su evolución histórica e intervenciones: 1930 – 2017” by Architect Andrés Fernández.

U.S. President John F. Kennedy was one of the first U.S. Presidents to visit Costa Rica from March 18 to March 20, 1963, staying at the Gran Hotel Costa Rica.
Across from the GHRC is the defunct Banco Anglo building which now houses the Ministerio de Hacienda, Costa Rica’s version of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS)


What the renovation of the Gran Hotel almost looked like.
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In the above photo, the metal tubing seating and outdoor cafe (behind the greed hedges, under the umbrellas), was where the idea of Inside Costa Rica was born in 2000, which would in 2012 give rise to Q Costa Rica.

The Gran Hotel de Costa Rica prior to its latest renovation.


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"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

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