The hotel with the treacherous handicap ramp (see previous post) was actually a very nice little hotel, but it had some other code-related issues. I think all of the issues stem from the lack of stringent building codes in Costa Rica, but they’re still a little scary for travelers who happen to be door hardware consultants.
Our room was on the second floor, along with about 4 other rooms. One end of the corridor (actually more like a small lobby) was a dead end, and at the other end were our two means of egress. There was an unenclosed stair that led to the ramp, and right beside it was an exterior storefront door with a double-cylinder deadbolt. I’m not sure which is worse – the thought of that door being locked and preventing egress, or being unlocked and having no security. Considering that there was free access to our floor via the stair I guess security wasn’t really an issue.
The other interesting thing was the lack of sprinklers, smoke detectors, even fire stations. We have not seen one fire station, fire truck, or bombero during our trip. The door between our hotel room and the corridor had a sidelite and a jalousy window with a screen. I guess they don’t have a lot of fires in Costa Rica. Or privacy.