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Flying into San Jose - looking for hotel/restaurant/etc.

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Mankato, Minnesota
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Flying into San Jose - looking for hotel/restaurant/etc.

Hi There - We're arriving at SJO at about 4:00 PM (late January) and heading out to Puerto Viejo in the morning. We're a couple in our late 30's and would like to find a hotel/restaurant/place of interest that you suggest. We usually avoid the touristy things, we like anything that's a bit different, and certainly something that speaks of the culture. Especially food. And since we never got one, this is pretty much our honeymoon. I read that it might be best to stay in Alajuela. ANY and all travel tips of any kind are welcome, including transportation. This is our first time to CR. Thanks!!

Playa Conchal...
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1. Re: Flying into San Jose - looking for hotel/restaurant/etc.

I'm sure you'll get lots of suggestions for places in Alajuela near the airport, so I will also highly recommend a family-run small hotel slightly north of San Jose called La Boruca. The location is great for the continuing journey to the Caribbean coast as it is near the highway to Limon. Owners provide great hospitality and also great food, and can help with transportation. Lots of great reviews on Tripadvisor.

http://www.laboruca.com/

JENSEN BEACH
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2. Re: Flying into San Jose - looking for hotel/restaurant/etc.

Will you be taking a shuttle, picking up a rental car? Many properties offer hotel shuttles and rental companies can deliver the vehicle there the next day.

Mankato, Minnesota
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3. Re: Flying into San Jose - looking for hotel/restaurant/etc.

La Boruca looks great!! Thanks for the suggestion! And we haven't decided on transportation yet. The last place I need to book is this night near San Jose/Alajuela, and then I thought I would go from there - I would love suggestions! The place we're staying at in Puerto Viejo is very small, so they don't offer shuttles, but I planned on also asking them for suggestions...

JENSEN BEACH
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4. Re: Flying into San Jose - looking for hotel/restaurant/etc.

I meant the hotel for Your first night could have a shuttle. I would decide on your mode of transportation before choosing the hotel for arrival. For instance, Interbus shuttle picks up at some hotels, not others. The Public bus for the Caribbean leaves from San Jose so if taking that San Jose would make sense as the place to stay. If you are renting a car and picking it up or having it delivered the next morning then Alajuela makes the most sense. Great lodging options in all areas. Do you have an approx. price range for the hotel? You can pay from $40 per night to $400.....

Edited: 07 December 2013, 19:13
Mankato, Minnesota
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5. Re: Flying into San Jose - looking for hotel/restaurant/etc.

Aha - that is an excellent point. I am so glad I posted this question. We are open to all modes of transportation. I guess I would prefer to take a taxi or shuttle to Puerto Viejo so we don't have the added stress and can just sit back and enjoy the scenery. Plus we'll be there for 4 nights and thought we would walk/bike/taxi while we're there so we didn't want to spend the extra money to let the car sit. Would that idea make sense? And if so, then it sounds like we might want to stay in San Jose. I would say budget-mid-range for the hotel. Somewhere around $120-$160 since it's not a major part of the trip, but we're flexible if the right option comes up.

Playa Conchal...
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6. Re: Flying into San Jose - looking for hotel/restaurant/etc.

Definitely go with the shuttle.

www.interbusonline.com

www.graylinecostarica.com

JENSEN BEACH
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7. Re: Flying into San Jose - looking for hotel/restaurant/etc.

No need for a car in PV and I agree, the shuttle makes the first day an easy one! I would ck the Interbus site. Look at lodging where they pick up directly. $120 is very doable for a nice place overnight. Once you have the shuttle pick ups just ck hotel reviews here on Trip Advisor. Get bikes in PV and ride to Jaguar Rescue Center and to Punta Uva beach. Either bike or take the bus or taxi up to Manzanillo. Beautiful area!

Mankato, Minnesota
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8. Re: Flying into San Jose - looking for hotel/restaurant/etc.

Thank you so much for your input!!! I really, really appreciate it. If you're ever in Minneapolis, I'm happy to give advice (it's about the only place I know like the back of my hand). :) and if you have any "must's" or "must nots" for us, please don't hesitate to add that in. Otherwise, thanks again!!!

Minnesota
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9. Re: Flying into San Jose - looking for hotel/restaurant/etc.

Hi fellow Minnesotan! We are also going towards the end of Jan. .We are spending out first night near the airport at Adventure Inn. They pay for the shuttle to pick us up at the airport then we will be talking interns to Puerto Viejo the next morning.I chose Adventure Inn because of free shuttle, they have a pool and since we get in at 2:30 in the afternoon thought it would be nice for hanging outside after an early morning flight from the tundra ;)...o also the free breakfast, free Internet and the reviews. Maybe we'll run into each other, who knows

Costa Rica
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10. Re: Flying into San Jose - looking for hotel/restaurant/etc.

I suppose I'm in the minority here, but I am not a fan of Adventure Inn.

Let's look at the "pluses"

1. free shuttle from the airport -- some hotels will do this - almost all will pay your taxi back to the airport. A taxi ride to the lodging within 15 minutes of SJO will cost no more than $10.

2. Free breakfast and WiFi -- almost ALL lodging features this. Only the most expensive don't.

As for the price - you can find lodging that is less expensive and is in a nice location. If your "next day" destination is somewhere from San Jose, then Adventure Inn is a good location. If your "next day" destination is somewhere north such as Arenal, then you will be backtracking and passing by the airport.

I've stayed in probably 20 hotels in the San Jose and Alajuela area - and there are some that I would NEVER stay at again. The hostel in downtown Alajuela where I smelled sewer gas in my room all night long is at the top of the "No-Stay" list.

My favorites include Alegria B&B (very pleasant... and George gets up very early and fixes coffee and then fixes you a killer breakfast when you are ready.), Hotel Los Volcanes, La Rosa de America and my next stay will be a Hotel Pura Vida. (I had booked it on my last trip but had to cancel due to flight problems.) Others like Casa Bella Rita or Buena Vista but I have not stayed there. One person I know is "trying out" Hotel 1915 since there are not many recent reviews and will let me know.

Edited: 08 December 2013, 22:31