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Hotel Bristol Aeropuerto (Antiguo Villa dolce).
Ranked #31 of 62 Alajuela B&B and Inns
Reviewed 2 September 2013

The rooms are not air-conditioned.

We stayed one night at this hotel at the end of March of 2013 as our last stop before we flew back to the states. We arrived at the hotel around 3 pm and it was hot. My 5 years old son was sweating just sitting there. We then took a drive to the city and came back at night. Fortunately the temperature dropped at night so we were able to go to sleep with fan running and window open. Another problem with open window is that we have to endure the constant traffic noise since the hotel is next to major traffic roads.

The hotel situated in a not-so-nice area, as you can tell that the hotel is completely surrounded by a metal wire fence and a metal gate. Every time when a car needs to get in or out, the hotel owner will have to open the metal gate. The hotel consists of a few single floor houses (I guess that's why it's call Villa). Our unit was like a one bedroom apartment with 2 single beds in the living room and a bed combined by 2 single bed in the bedroom. It has a kitchen, a washer and a dryer, but we didn't cook and do laundry. The hotel also offers pizza dinner ($14 a piece, big enough for 2 people) which is convenient. The complimentary breakfast is not the typical buffet style. Each person is offered a fruit drink and a plate with a piece of bread, some scramble eggs, a piece of pineapple, papaya, and several pieces of banana. It's sufficient but not like other hotel where there are more varieties and you can your own.

There is a pool, but we didn't swim in it. The water is ok but not spectacularly clear. I did see someone come to vacuum the pool in the morning.

This is not the kind of hotel you typically see in the US.

I switched to this hotel from another one about 3 weeks before our trip because the other hotel is a little farther away from the airport and I was a little worried about the time since I need to return our rental car the next morning. If I could do it again, I would not make that switch.

Room Tip: don't stay in this hotel!
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with family
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Thank mountain60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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40 - 46 of 257 reviews

Reviewed 23 August 2013

Positive reviewers are right:the staff is friendly, the breakfast OK, the rooms clean (may be with a somewhat chemical smell) and we felt safe. BUT...there are some negative aspecs to relate too: perhaps the staff is sometimes too friendly. We tried to sleep at Villa Dolce one night when there was a big group of American schoolgirls (and maybe some boys) in the hotel. They had a lot of fun. At 10 PM the staff tried to calm them down, but the laughter and loud talking went on until 1.30 AM. No staff acting anymore. So we were personally asking the girls twice to realise there were people in the hotel with the purpose to sleep, but their fun was more important. At our appearence the started even screaming as if we were gosts comming from an other world!
As all the rooms have view on the garden, the communal area is also in this garden and as the garden is surrounded by 4 walls (2 where the rooms are) everyone can enjoy everything hapening in the garden very clearly. For us this was not fun, as we had planned to get up early!
Second remark: this hotel has been the one and only place in Costa Rica where they charged us an other extra10% when paying with our Credit Card....

Room Tip: If you know there is a big group in the hotel....try to find an other one!
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Inehop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2013

Great hotel in what looked like an iffy neighborhood. Not to worry very secure. Staff was super helpful, rooms clean. Would definitely stay here again if I had to catch an early morning flight or had just come in very late.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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Thank shrinkwrapped3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2013

While pulling up to this hotel i was terrified. It was 12am and we were tired after driving 4 hours so we decided to check it out. The location is not in a safe area at all. We booked the room for 2 for $70. We ended up having a 3rd person and instead of first discussing the extra card he ran my credit card without letting me know if the price increase. We get into the room and put the suitcases in front of the door to feel more safe. At least if someone breaks in the suitecase will fall and we will hear it. A few of the pillows had dried blood on them and the bed were like sleeping on rocks. I imagine a jail cell feels safer and more inviting. Do not stay here! Fine anywhere else!

  • Stayed: August 2013
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4  Thank RRonay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VillaDolce, Owner at Hotel Bristol Aeropuerto (Antiguo Villa dolce)., responded to this reviewResponded 18 August 2013

Dear Sir, Madam,

Thanks for the review and the email you sent us.

Villa Dolce is a family managed hotel and we do not have 24 hours OPEN reception service. The owners of the hotel wait and welcome their guests arriving late personally. You told us you would be arriving at midnight and you arrive at almost at 2 am. Mr Franco waited for you, he offered you drinks and advised about the Wi Fi. You wrote that the person was rude, but maybe that he was tired is a more of an accurate description at 2 am?

I trust this review is primarily related to the charge for the extra person. You booked for 2 adults, you arrived and checked in as 2 adults at 2 am and in the morning we realised there were 3 adults in the room. Every hotel in Costa Rica has an extra charge for the 3rd person. We did advise there would be an extra charge, as listed on our website. It is not true that we did not tell you, as you paid at reception and had to sign for the credit card slip. I am sorry you did not appreciate this, but a 3rd person cannot stay for free.

The mattresses are the best on the market, all orthopaedic. If clients are used to a much softer mattress, this is up to personal taste and not the quality of our mattresses. We have people asking us where they can buy the same mattresses because the guarantee a healthy and good night sleep.

Hotel Villa Dolce is a safe place. We never had any issues with criminal activity or breaking into the rooms or the cars parked outside, and we have operated the hotel since 1996. We have a nice garden and the owners live on site. It is safe, hence I am not sure why you felt unsafe. I can only assume you were tired after driving until 2 am in Costa Rica where roads are not well illuminated, etc.

We take pride in the cleanliness of the hotel, and many reviews reflect this, but we will review all pillows and sheets to make sure we maintain the high standard that we strive for.

I am sorry you had to pay for the 3rd person and that you did not enjoy your stay. It is always sad to hear.

Best wishes.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2013

I am so confused by all of the positive reviews that when we got to our room (which they so kindly upgraded us to a 1 bedroom because we are a family of 5) I actually went back onto my iphone to recheck the TA reviews. This is not a 4 1/2 O hotel. The man at the front desk was friendly and helpful, but the grounds are rundown (looks much nicer in the photos) and our room was like that of a motel- bare bones and not comfortable (especially the beds.) It was very clean, but to the point of not being able to get the strong chemical smell out, even with all of the windows open and ceiling fans on. There was no a/c so we had to sleep with the windows open (bars on windows was a little strange)- the noise was unbelievable! This hotel sits between and is very close to, the new freeway and a major road! The owner is a gruff Italian man that is ready to retire from hospitality. His pizza was good, however it was $46 for 2 10-inch pizzas and 2 salads! The neighborhood isn't attractive- I would recommend staying somewhere nearby that is in a green area, maybe near Xandari.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Whitney K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VillaDolce, Owner at Hotel Bristol Aeropuerto (Antiguo Villa dolce)., responded to this reviewResponded 29 July 2013

Dear Sir, Madam,

We are very, very sorry you did not enjoy your stay at Villa Dolce. We do appreciate that we cannot please everybody all the time, even if we strive to do so.

We hope that the majority of excellent and very good reviews will represent us best.

We upgraded you to a villa with kitchen and living room, which is much more expensive than a room with two queen size beds, as it was 5 of you. Guests normally love our villas. If you did not feel comfortable there and reported it to us, we would have gladly moved you back to a quadruple room.

We are always surprised when guests do not report any problems to us during their stay.

We are very close to the airport, which makes the location surely slightly noisier than staying in a hotel near Xandari in the middle of nowhere, up the mountain, but being just minutes away from the airport we are very strategically located so that clients can have a quick and stress free journey to the airport, no matter what time in the morning. Again, we hope that the numerous positive reviews will represent us best.

Surely Xandari is a lovely hotel, but we are talking about hundreds of Dollars to sleep there, not comparable to the convenient rate people find at Villa Dolce, without even mentioning the duration of the drive to the airport.

We are sorry you did not like our rooms. The photos on the website have not been modified in any way so what you see is what you get. About 6 months ago, we changed all our bedspreads and added elegant new mirrors, and there is quality wood furniture throughout. I never slept in a Motel, but do not think a motel is so nicely decorated. All our mattresses are orthopaedic and most guests tell us they had a great or the best night sleep. We bought for our guests the same mattresses we use at home for ourselves!

Lastly, a dinner with 2 Italian size, freshly made pizzas with toppings, 2 large salads, drinks and service for 46 USD is quite a bargain for Costa Rica. Excuse me Sir or Madam, but let me ask you where did you eat during your holiday in Costa Rica to find our restaurant expensive? Our pizza dough and tomato sauce is freshly prepared every morning. I trust Pizza Hut charges about 20 USD for a takeaway pizza. Also, if guests prefer to sample local food, which can be cheaper, we have quite a few takeaway menus available at reception and there is a local restaurant 10 minutes walk away.

Again, is saddens us to read such review, but we do appreciate that, as much as we would like to, we cannot please everybody and this comes with the territory.

With our best wishes,
Management at Villa Dolce

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Reviewed 7 July 2013

We stayed on our entry and exit from San Jose airport. Randall made our arrival from airport
very specific so there was no confusion who to go with. Villa Dolce is situated in a great, secure area and is so lovely as soon as you enter their gate. Rooms were very comfortable, a/c, hot water, free wi-fi, and clean. Nice pool area and sitting area.
Franco and Maria, owners, were a delite to visit with and he makes great homemade pizzas!! The vegetarian was so flavorful!! Breakfast is included with your room and very good and fresh.
Randall arranged for travel to our destination resort with a very reliable driver who also picked us up for our return from the resort. US dollars were accepted. Randall arranged for our driver back to the airport and for him to stop at a merchandise factory to purchase our last minute gifts and that was a great place. THanks Randall!!
We will stay again on our next trip.

Room Tip: all rooms would be nice # 5 was close to the sitting /eating area. and a great view out your win...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Debbie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 June 2013

My husband and I stayed at Hotel Villa Dolce two nights, one night on either end of our trip. We wanted an affordable hotel near the airport as we were just passing through. It was perfect for our needs. The rooms were clean, air conditioned, with free wifi, hot water, and breakfast. The hotel can schedule a driver to pick you up at the airport/ take you to the airport. I highly recommend using the driver as taxi drivers are a nightmare to deal with in Costa Rica. It costs only a dollar or two more than a taxi and you save yourself the stress. Our flight back to the USA was very early in the morning- the driver picked us up at the hotel at 4 AM, no problem. You can pay for everything in US dollars at the hotel. It's not a great place to stay if you want to visit downtown San Jose as it is outside of the city. If you are looking for a cheap, comfortable place to stay while passing through, look no further!

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Catherine C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Bristol Aeropuerto (Antiguo Villa dolce).

Address: El Coyol de Alajuela | De la Rotonda del coyol 300 m este, Frente al antiguo Rancho Maba,, Alajuela 20101, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Alajuela
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #31 of 62 B&Bs / Inns in Alajuela
Price Range: £44 - £78 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Hotel Bristol Aeropuerto (Antiguo Villa dolce). 2.5*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hotel Bristol Aeropuerto (before Hotel Villadolce) is located 7 minutes away from the Juan Santa Maria Airport connected by one of the main roads of the country, the Bernardo Soto Expressway. In the same way the Hotel Bristol Airport, connects directly to different routes with the interior of the country, such as: Route 27. By means of the Radial El Coyol only 150 meters away, San José- Puntarenas via La Bernardo Soto, Alajuela San Jose, through the General Cañas. As well as Alajuela Atenas by Route 3 among others. A place that despite being very close to the city is surrounded by nature and with a traditional atmosphere of the Villas of the West of the Great Central Plateau of Costa Rica. We have 7 types of rooms at your disposal, all with amenities and complementary services so that your stay in our hotel is pleasant and relaxing. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dolce Hotel Alajuela
Hotel Bristol Aeropuerto (Antiguo Villa Dolce). Costa Rica/Alajuela

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