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“Cancel Party”

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Alajuela Backpackers Boutique Hostel
Vail, Colorado
Level Contributor
8 reviews
“Cancel Party”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 April 2014

I arrive to the airport, I see a sign for Backpackers hostel, approach the man and he says he can take me. Than 5 minutes later he says because I did not make a reservation I must take a cab to the hostel (even though he is going there).

Enter the hostel. I booked a $12 a night room through hostel world and paid $6 online. Alajuela Backpackers says the $6 I paid has nothing to do with them and I still have to pay $14 because they put us in a private room. Great but we did not ask for the private room since we are on a budget. It is not my fault that there are to many people in the room, leaving my reservation unsatisfied and my friend and I being charged more money. The food, extremely average and expensive. The vibe, extremely low. The customer service, even lower. We also did not have AC as promised.

All around bad energy, bad vibe, bad prices, bad service.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Danielle821
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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283 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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    81
    64
    64
See reviews for
9
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94
5
Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (31)
Date | Rating
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English first
Lodz, Poland
Level Contributor
24 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 March 2014

The hostel is nothing special and totally lacks atmosphere. The guy at reception desk was pathetic - all he could do was to sell his overpriced shuttle tours. He said that the best way to get to Poas is to take his 40 USD tour and said it is a very good price. He didn't mention that you can also get there using public pus (for around 2 USD) which we of course found out ourselves and used this option. He was also totally uninformed about how you can get by public transportation to San Carlos / La Fortuna. He said this was "impossible to do", which of course also wasn't true.

The only upside of the place is its central location and the rooftop bar was also OK. Rooms are very basic but clean.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tomasinski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 March 2014

Alajuela Backpackers is fine if you are coming in and out of the country, but I wouldn't recommend it for an extended stay; it's dirty, loud (staff are loud (i.e. shouting at each other) early in the morning and late at night, and it's an echoey building) and the staff don't really try to make this hostel and nice cozy place to stay in any way. Most importantly, the management nickel and dimes customers. Get receipts and don't take them for their word at face value.

I made a reservation for a dorm room for four nights through Hostel World for $17 US per night, and to secure the reservation, I paid %12 ($9 US) through the Hostel World site. I got here and had to pay for the remainder of the full four nights.

The next day, I decided to move to a $55 US private room because I couldn't get a good nights sleep with all the people coming and going for their flights (not the hostel's fault...that's what dorms are about). The staff changed my room and I paid the difference for an upgrade. It was only after I went through my finances that I realized the numbers didn't add up. Upon inquiry, the staff insisted that because I made a reservation through Hostel World and put a $9 deposit down for a dorm bed, I am forfeiting that money if I get a private room. I argued with the staff, but got nowhere. They say they don't get that deposit from Hostel World so it's not applicable for the private room. And they can't cancel the reservation online so it looks like the bed is taken. It's a crummy policy and system, and doesn't seem right. There seems to be a disconnect with Alajuela Backpackers and Hostel World. If I put a deposit down in a hotel and changed rooms, I would never simply lose that money.

I thought going through Hostel World would make my life easier but I just turned out to make everything more complicated and cut my options down.

Side note: the Alajeula staff lied to me about the cost of the city bus to get to Volcan Poas...while trying to sell me on the $30 shuttle. They told me the bus is $8 each way and $10 to get into the park, so I might as well take the shuttle. I walked to the bus station and found that the bus is only 1,180 CRC per way.

Just be careful with your money here...

Room Tip: The inside rooms are quieter than the exterior rooms, which are loud from street traffic. They highe...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Andreethefoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Alajuela hotels

Bellingham, Washington, United States
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 March 2014

This place is in a great location in the heart of Alajuela, a short walk to the central market, sodas, and right across the street from a park.

It is a bit pricey. I paid $55/night for a private room with no hot water and had to go to the lobby to get wifi. The airport shuttle is on a specific schedule, so depending on your flight times, you may have to spring for a cab as well.

It's nice enough, but I have found better value elsewhere in the area.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Art F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Helsinki, Finland
Level Contributor
21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 February 2014

I expected a bit more after reading the review from Lonely Planet about the facilities of the place (nice terrace with bean bags to watch the planes taking off). The room was fine but still pricey compared to a i.e. Hotel Alajuela where we stayed the previous night. The common areas were the thing that made us regret our choice to stay here. There seems to have been a restaurant on the ground floor and the space would be easy to turn into a cozy lo0unge but for some reason this has not been done. The terrace is only open durin the breakfast time and in the evening when the bar is open. Beer is expensive and the terrace was really small. There is no common kitchen in this facility. Only coöd shower which is ok in a hostel but I guess the price was more like for a hotel.

Good English was spoken but the service did not meet our expectations. We had to wait for the room for some time and ask several times if it's ready or not. The information about bus connections to Playas del Coco was not up to date. I'm glad we check it online by ourselves.

This place has a potential to be developed into a upper scale hostel. In my opinion it would require development of the shared facilities.

Room Tip: If you have a window facing to the street there will be of course noise from the traffic.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Marja S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Zurich, Switzerland
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 February 2014

If you look for a cheap sleep close to the airport this might be a good deal. We stayed in a double room and I must say it is not worth the money at all. Rather pay $10 more and stay at a real hotel. The room is relative small with an odd geometry. Sound travels extremely well on this premises. So if you wanna go to bed early you will hear sound from the bar for a long time. Then there is also a lot of people getting up very early to catch their flights. They say breakfast is available from 7-10 am. When I went to the breakfast room at 7:15 it was still closed. At the reception they told me that the chef usually gets in a bit late...
Also don't be deceived by the free airport shuttle. It runs 3-4 times a day at fixed times. For instance at 5:30 or 8:45 am. So less than every 3 hours. If this doesn't suit you, you still have to pay a taxi.
Conclusion: if you just need to spend a night in a cheap dorm it's probably ok. Otherwise look for a real hotel.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TravelTigers T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
135 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 February 2014

Another dodgy Lonely Planet recommendation in Central America, possibly by the same idiot who thinks you "sink a drop shot" playing soccer!
This was a typical noisy hostel, with bossy notices and down at heel decoration, charging $55 for a single room. Nice view from bar on the 4th floor, though also a bit over priced. Wifi only worked after asking the hotel to reset, which they did cheerfully and immediately.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Richard C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Alajuela Backpackers Boutique Hostel

Property: Alajuela Backpackers Boutique Hostel
Address: 4th Avenue and 4th Street, Alajuela 6824 1000, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Alajuela
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #25 of 39 Speciality Lodging in Alajuela
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — Alajuela Backpackers Boutique Hostel 2*
Number of rooms: 21
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Alajuela Backpackers Boutique Hotel Alajuela
Alajuela Backpackers Boutique Hostel Costa Rica

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