After our stay in the gay paradise of Manuel Antonio, we had already experienced how gay friendly Costa Rica could be. Intrigued to see if this was the case elsewhere, we arranged to stay at the gay-owned and gay friendly, Casa 69, in the capital city of San Jose.
The Background of Casa 69
Casa 69 is owned by Steven and his 2 business partners, although he primarily resides onsite managing the day to day running. Steven is a retired club DJ from the US and has worked within the gay community for a significant number of years.
Prior to owning Casa 69, Steven had been visiting for over 10 years. Casa 69 was originally a gay-owned hotel, at which point it started to establish a name for itself as a gay-friendly hotel in the heart of San Jose.
Unfortunately, the previous owner sold, and the new owner didn’t keep focus on the LGBT client base. Over the course of the next 7 years, Casa 69 unfortunately lost it’s “brand” as an LGBT friendly hotel in San Jose, becoming just another downtown hotel.
But then whilst on one of his regular visits, about a year ago, Steven noticed that once again Casa 69 was up for sale! And now here we are!
Steven has owned Casa 69 for less than 12 months but has done fantastic work in that time. His emphasis is clearly on bringing Casa 69 “back out of the closet” and reinstating its label as a gay-friendly hotel.
All his hard work is paying off, as once again approximately 50% of guests are LGBT; more at the weekends. The hotel is now starting to see a lot of returning guests too, again with a large percentage being LGBT. And this is a number that Steven is keen to see grow. In his own words, “the city of San Jose needs a place like this.”
About the Hotel
Casa 69 is a boutique style hotel, with just 17 rooms. All rooms are individually decorated, with a private bathroom, safe and cable TV. A delicious continental breakfast is included each day.
Casa 69 has a great location, and is walking distance to most of the major attractions of downtown San Jose. These include the National Museum, the Jade Museum, markets, the theatre and many restaurants just around the corner from the hotel. If you want to know more about what to do from here, take a look at these 5 day trips you can do from San Jose!
The property has a rooftop terrace area, with incredible views of both the city of San Jose itself, and the mountains that form Central Valley (where San Jose is located.)
What makes Casa 69 gay friendly?
Being gay-owned naturally makes Casa 69 gay friendly. And you can’t help but feel comfortable as an LGBT guest when being checked in and welcomed by Steven himself!
Steven has also put a great deal of thought into the staff onsite. It’s a relatively small team of staff, just 5 members, but all of them are completely comfortable and relaxed with his sexuality. This same accepting attitude is displayed towards all guests.
In fact Steven has developed such a good relationship with his staff that they have now even started using gay colloquialisms and slang themselves!
What did we love about our stay?
What really stood out to us was the homely atmosphere onsite. If you didn’t want to just spend your time in your room, then the hotel has a variety of common areas, all decorated very tastefully. These were a great place to just sit back and relax and get comfortable.
Despite being a city centre hotel, the property is built around an open space. Here there are trees, garden areas and a variety of tropical flowers. Once the outside gate has closed behind you, you really don’t feel like you are in a capital city! Every day a flock of parrots come to sit in the trees, and Steven says from time to time hummingbirds come to visit the flowers.
There is even a dove that has been visiting frequently, that he can call to the garden. He is your modern day Snow White!
And as we have already mentioned, the rooftop terrace. We were lucky that this was right outside our room, and it has been decorated with twinkling fairy lights, that give it a romantic feel once the sun has set. This was the perfect place to enjoy a pre-dinner glass of wine, or a morning cup of coffee!
We spent a fantastic 3 nights at Casa 69, and couldn’t recommend it enough to anyone wanting to visit San Jose. With a fantastic central location, beautifully decorated comfortable rooms, and a welcoming, attentive team of staff, you really don’t need to look elsewhere!
We highly recommend Costa Rica as a gay destination, we can’t say enough good things about it. Try out the gay trip planner below and see what it comes up with for you!
For more about Costa Rica, make sure you check out:
- Gay Guide to Costa Rica: San Jose, Manuel Antonio and Puerto Viejo
- The Ideal 10 Day Costa Rica Itinerary: Destination Costa Rica
- Gay Costa Rica: Local Gay Stories
- Costa Rica Packing List: Everything you will forget!
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