Hotel Don Carlos History

The story of this unique hotel begins with the man himself. A true Renaissance man, Don Carlos Balser was internationally known on Pre-Columbian art, author of many books on Costa Rican archeology, fluent in seven languages, with active interest in all aspects of the arts, he even painted the frescoes of the ¨Santísima Trinidad¨ in the San José Cathedral´s dome.

Don Carlos, originally from Lichtenstein, came to Costa Rica in 1921 to manage the first major hotel in Central America.

In 1947, Don Carlos started his own hotel, formerly the ¨Pensión Canadá¨, which for many years was the stopping point of scientists.
Today, the Hotel Don Carlos is a small gem, lavished with original Costa Rican art. As one breezes among its patios, you see bronze statuary and a courtyard surrounded by tropical plants. Nooks and quiet corners offer comfortable seating for reading, day dreaming and sipping cool drinks or a good cup of Costa Rican coffee. It feels like a quiet country inn, yet the city is only steps away.

The Hotel continues to be the home to scientists, artists, intellectuals, medical doctors… It also accommodates travelers seeking warm, unpretentious surroundings.
Our grandfather taught us to never compromise quality. Now in our fourth generation, our family continues to live by his words. We invite you to enjoy the warmth that only a family business can provide, because ¨Don Carlos¨ is more than a corporate name, it’s our family name.

Hotel Don Carlos Founder - Carlos Balser


“To provide our customers with an enjoyable and comfortable stay in Costa Rica.”


“To become your first choice when planning your vacation to Costa Rica.”

It’s going to be a great vacation… Now book yourself a great room.