San José added a new hotel last week with a soft opening of Mona Lisa Thursday.
Mona Lisa is the former Clarion hotel in Barrio Amón. After the business went to default, it was bought by Iowa attorney and businessman Tom Lustgraaf. He then brought his brother Walt Lustgraaf to help.
Lustgraaf has owned restaurants and worked with casinos in Iowa. Upon hearing about the opportunity in San José, he sold his business and made the investment, he said.
Along with the staff of General Manager George Jannie and Guest Services Manager Guy Grand, the men worked for a year to remodel the 93-room hotel.
The rooms at the Clarion were styled after American hotels and were built spacious with large bathrooms, Grand said. The Mona Lisa kept these rooms and offers rooms with either double beds or a king bed and suites for a special rate.
The new hotel also includes a renovated 8,000 square foot casino and restaurant, cigar shop, coffee shop and tour agency. It is the plan to add a pharmacy and an upstairs club area for those who buy memberships.
“We want it to be all inclusive, whatever anyone needs in this one place,” said Grand.
The Mona Lisa is at Avenida 11 and Calle 3 bis.