Florida may have Miami, the beaches, the palms, the nightlife… California may have L.A., the sun, and a chance to star, but neither have the somewhat unknown jewel, a pink jewel, a palace that Costa Rica calls her own. The Hotel Del Rey in San Jose Centro, the capital city of Costa Rica, is at the very heart of the Spanish colonial experience, it’s a veritable oasis for the day dreaming Gringo. And come they do, the lonely hearts and the over-the-hill mob with the just plain curious and somewhat embarrassed, all wanting to experience room service with a gentle breeze blowing through their windows, the hustle of a vibrant city below, an exotic language, and a fantasy girl massaging their shoulders while whispering “Hola mi amor.” Ask any taxi driver within 50 miles and they can get you there quickly with a knowing grin.
This jewel that is the Hotel Del Rey is a four storey multi-unit hotel with a couple of bars, a decent restaurant, the Key Largo across the street and another bar, the Blue Marlin to catch the overflow. There is quick room service, lots of air conditioning. The Del Rey as it is popularly known, have a tourist desk in case you want to zip line, chase the monkeys, or deep sea fish like Hemingway or take a pub crawl or enjoy some fantastic and varied restaurants within a short walk or very cheap taxi ride.
The Hotel Del Rey has superior security as the guards will pack a gun. It has bartenders who know all there is to know about the art of a drink, plenty of card tables and slot machines and, of course, the girls, oh yes, the girls. On any night there will be 100 plus, from many parts of the world, but many are Costa Rican (Tica), Nicaraguan (Nica), Colombians, even Russian and Thai. They all for lack of a better name are Chicas, and the Chica is a skilled business woman well able to remove the cash from your pocket while you have a great time in the adult candy store.
The Hotel Del Rey is not a place to bring the girlfriend, wife, or your parents. It’s the one hotel in Costa Rica where fantasy meets reality for the cost of a drink to sample the menu, then negotiate whatever you may need or want to try. All for about $100 US and a hotel room, unless you are already registered or have followed the trail from one of the other feeder hotels who count on the Hotel Del Rey and her hypnotic charms.
The last time I looked, a hotel room could be had for about $70 US and that’s not a suite, that’s a basic room, then the add-ons can bring the bill up over $100 US easy, as it’s $10 US to bring the girl upstairs, plus her fee, and hey, what about a tip for good service that’s your call. After the brief affair, there’s plenty of beer, Red Bull, and willing guests and visitors to hear all about your conquest in the main lobby. The food isn’t bad either and all it takes is a snap of the fingers and someone pretty will take your order and bring it to you, just in case you’re in love and can’t leave.
To add to the experience of the Hotel del Rey, there are card tables in the casino with breathtakingly varied limits and the usual one armed wallet vacuums they call slots. All in all, the Hotel del Rey a great place to find love, or to have that one experience on your bucket list, and it’s all legal. Costa Rica allows the exchange of business between adult men and women, (don’t even consider someone under the legal age of 19. Costa Rica and its police force take a very dim view of abuse of a minor). As long as the woman is empowered to represent herself and doesn’t use the services of a manager, if she believes you two can relate, then it’s simply a matter of how much.
I know of many men who enjoy The Rey for what she is and return again and again. They never venture past the down town core to experience what Costa Rica is really is all about, but that’s OK, as it’s their holiday to spend the way they want.
So good food, a unique adult experience, and staff at your service is what you will find at the Hotel del Rey. She may not be a luxury hotel like The Ritz, but for many men, she’s the excitement and adventure lacking in their stress centered lives. They will return and refer their friends. In fact, The Rey is a recognized tourist experience in Costa Rica, and found in most tourist guide books. If you ever have the pleasure of taking a trip here, ask the single guys waiting in the immigration line ups, if they are here for The Rey. The smile on their faces will reveal their answer. Pura Vida in paradise.