Low season has not been kind to San Jose and the girls are hustling hard for dollars in the Gringo Gulch. Closed are several long-time expat bars, and the Hotel Presidente has changed their policies after many years of catering to gentlemen tourists.
The Del Rey Hotel and Key Largo Bar are still in full swing, but management quietly closed their smaller business, the Monkey Bar. Doors have also remained shut at the Wild Cherry, which was an attempt to revive the failed New York Bar.
There are also no signs of life from the Speak Easy Bar, located in the Secret Mansion, just a block from the Hotel Little Havana. The multi-million dollar renovation of a historic San Jose landmark open as a private hotel, but marketing is non-existent.
A block away from the Secret Mansion, the Hotel Britannia is deserted with a “For Sale” sign. The hotel was known for putting the breaks on tourists dating the local women.
Earlier this year the Hotel Presidente erected a sign on their restaurant that said they could not earn a profit because the government has raised taxes too high. Of course telling over a decade of frequent visitors to take a hike is a very expensive proposition. Their replacements, backpackers and nature tourists are probably looking for hotel room that costs much less than $100 a night.
The silver lining to this cloud is that those who can still afford to party in Costa Rica have license to demand more while being more selective. It also pays to get out of the Gringo Gulch, and check out the many MPs and night clubs that make San Jose famous. The San Jose Virtual Tour is the perfect introduction to all of these venues.