BERLOR AIRPORT HOTEL - SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA
We arrived here unexpectedly for our one night stay before being picked up by the private CPI language immersion school’s van which was to take us to Flamingo Beach the following day. According to the CPI brochure, we were scheduled to spend the night at the Dehest Hotel, purportedly a B & B, somewhere not far from the school’s Heredia campus. But it was late in the evening and the airport taxi driver dropped us off in front of this dimly lit, wrought-iron gated place, where we stood like orphans with our bags, waiting for the headmaster to come to fetch us and too tired to argue. It turned out that we were at the Berlor Airport Hotel.
We crossed a rather large entrance lawn, climbed a couple of steps, and entered the lobby. It was small and dimly lit. There was a couch and a chair and an oval coffee table to our right. To our left, we caught a glimpse of what we assumed to be the hotel bar, with a solitary customer sitting at one of the two-chair bistro tables. There was very little noise anywhere. The desk clerk was conversing in Spanish with a guest who was trying to check in, and so we waited. Eventually, that man picked up his bags and disappeared with the desk clerk through another set of glass doors into a dark hallway, which lit up some as the two men walked past a motion detector that apparently controlled the lighting in the hallways.
There was some difficulty finding our reservation, but it was finally worked out and we were led through those same doors to our room (#6). If the room measured as much as 10’ x 10’, I’d be surprised. There was one queen size bed and a small dresser along one wall. In one corner of the room opposite the bed was a small table with a lamp. I don’t recall seeing a closet or a free-standing wardrobe in the room. A flat screen TV (small) was mounted on the wall in the opposite corner. You could see cables and wires disappearing up a too-big hole in the ceiling above it. There was some kind of overhead light fixture as well, but between it and the lamp, even using both at the same time, there still wasn’t enough light to read anything. The bathroom door was a collapsible screen. There was a toilet and a sink and a shower stall. The shower was useless because no more than a single thin stream of drizzle ever came out of the shower head no matter how hard you turned the water on. One could not put used toilet paper down the toilet; rather a sign instructed you to place it in the trash can alongside.
There was a small round mirror on the wall over the sink, but again, too little light to make use of it for shaving or putting on make-up.
I decided to go back up to the front desk and find out what this tiny space rented for nightly. As my movement made the hall light go on, I couldn’t help but notice a curved, brown, 3-4” long organic looking something lying on the carpet near the wall. I didn’t stop to investigate. I eventually found out that this room went for $68 USD per night. I should mention that the next morning I did see through doors left open for room cleaning, that the Berlor does have larger rooms than our cubbyhole, some with as many as three queen beds in them. I wondered if any of their “great” rooms actually looked like the one pictured in their little brochure (and even that one shows the bedside lamp with shade askew!).
In fairness, the hotel does provide 10 minutes per room of free phone calls to the US, Puerto Rico, and Canada as a perk; however, the phone to use for those calls is located out in the open in the lobby. They advertise a free internet booth and free wi-fi internet. I never saw the former and the wi-fi, I think, is available if you’re sitting on the couch in the lobby. Their tour desk appeared to be a bunch of activity brochures scattered about on a table in the lobby, and then you’re on your own. A breakfast was included in the bar/dining room in the morning. There were two choices of cold cereal, orange juice, fresh sliced fruit, white bread or white bread toasted, and eggs. The young lady who also served as daytime desk clerk was there to hand you a bowl for your cereal, pour your juice, toast your bread, and fix your eggs. None of the three hotel employees we met spoke much English to speak of.
The Berlor did have “green spaces” (i.e. some lawn area in the back, with two small tables and a couple of chairs), and a small, small pool to maybe dip into in lieu of the shower you would have taken had there been any water available for that in your room.
The Berlor boasts that it’s located only 4 minutes from the airport, and that’s probably true. However, I would spend an extra $20 USD and an extra 6 minutes in airport transit to stay somewhere else, like the Adventure-Inn, for example.
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- Also Known As:
- Berlor Airport Inn Costa Rica/Alajuela