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“Close to the airport, super friendly, wonderful "at home" feel”

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Vida Tropical B and B
Ranked #8 of 60 Alajuela B&B and Inns
Sarchi, Costa Rica
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Close to the airport, super friendly, wonderful "at home" feel”
Reviewed 11 November 2013

I arrived in San Jose at 7 pm and the B&B had prearranged a taxi driver to pick me up so all I had to do was find Alex - holding a sign with my name. Alex loaded my luggage & sent me off with my taxi, which was only about 15 min from the airport.
Jenny was the overnight clerk, and although she didn't speak English fluently we managed to communicate with my little bit of Spanish and her little bit of English. She helped me get settled in, ordered dinner for me from a wonderful little restaurant down the street (Jalapenos).
Being my first time in the country I was unaccustomed to tropical downpours and bugs, but hey - this is Costa Rica.
The rooms are basic, but they have free Wi-fi, hot water showers, breakfast is complimentary and they give you lots of good choices. I had corresponded with the owner, Isabel, for a couple of weeks prior to my arrival, and asked if there was a place I could purchase almond milk for my morning coffee (lactose intolerance is such a nuisance when traveling!). She couldn't find almond milk, but purchased soy milk for my morning coffee - at no additional charge.
I got to eat breakfast with Isabel's 6-year old son, Nicolas, before he went to school that morning. We chatted about what school is like for him and he even gave me my first in-country Spanish lesson when I asked him how to say hummingbird in Spanish.
My one and only complaint about staying here is that the bed was very uncomfortable - I felt like I was sleeping on a mattress that had seen more than their share of days and the coils in the mattress were very palpable all night long. The pillows were paper thin (as I've found they are in many places in Costa Rica). The comforts of home....wish I'd brought my own pillow!
Mattress discomfort aside, if I'm ever in need of a safe, quiet welcoming B&B coming or going from the airport I'll definitely stay here again!

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled solo
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1 Thank CRadventure2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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254 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Portland, Oregon
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 August 2013

We chose this bnb because of its ratings and proximity to the airport. We arrived close to midnight after a 2hr wait at Thrifty (horrendous customer service). At that hour it was a bit confusing to find, and we had to enlist a local to help us (Tico love!!!). The hostess helped us get parked up and once we settled in she gave us a quick. The honor system for beverages was a nice touch at that hour. Breakfast was great - your choice of typical Tico breakfast or somethign mroe familiar like french toast. There were also cereals, breads, coffee/tea you could help yourself to. On our way out of Costa Rica we stayed here again, this time Jose was on duty. What a cool guy! We let him know that we were getting up at a crazy hour to avoid Thrifty delays, and he got up before us, made fresh banana bread and offered the regular breakfast. This is a great place as a first stop, especially for families. It was peaceful, within walking distance to the grocery store and restaurants and some nice sights in Alajeula.

Room Tip: We had rooms on both the first and second floor and liked them both. A room away from the street mi...
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank t w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JosefromCostaRica, Owner at Vida Tropical B and B, responded to this review, 31 August 2013
Thanks for the great review, it was a pleasure having you as a guest in our humble place. Your experience with the rental car is a perfect example of why we recommend that you don't get the car the night you arrive, as addresses in Costa Rica are based on landmarks which can't be easily seen at night. It's better if you take a $7-8 cab ride (you will save 5-6 times that by having one less day of rental), and get there quickly and safely. All rental agencies will do a pickup here in the AM at any time you want, like after a good night's sleep and breakfast.
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Monteverde, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Level 5 Contributor
63 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 August 2013

We've stayed in Vida Tropical four times now, in 2009, 2012 and 2013. It's a great place to stay on your way to or from the San Jose airport - much better than staying in San Jose itself. The rooms are pretty basic, but are very clean and comfortable. Breakfast is excellent, with a nice little courtyard to look out upon. Isabel is a wonderful host, and will help you with whatever airport transportation or tour assistance you might need. Highly recommended!

Stayed January 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank Amatitlania
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Queenstown, New Zealand
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 August 2013

Isabel and Silvia will make you feel very welcome here at this small B&B in a quiet street a short walk from the centre of Alajuela. It´s a great place to stay if you going to or from the airport and if you don´t fancy the madness of San Jose. It´s also very convenient for Poas Volcano which you can easily do on the public bus for next to nothing. If you´re from somehere unusual like me, take them a small flag from your country and a small bank note for their collection. Isabel and Silvia both helped me organise trips and a hostel in la Fortuna. Nothing is too much trouble for them.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank James-the-Kiwi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, England, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 August 2013

Very good place to stay.

Nothing is too much trouble, which must be hard sometimes, particularly with the high turnover of guests, staying one night for the airport.

Isabel is fantastic like rest of the staff, I introduced myself it was only a brief meeting and was the only time she was there when I was, she may not even remember my visit. They organised a Taxi for me for Paos & Le Paz, and the driver was amazing - he turned into a personal guide. (Alex)

For breakfast I highly recommend the Texan Omelette. With their own home made Chilli sauce.

Room Tip: Avoid the bottom apartment for outside noise.
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled solo
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Thank Martin F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 July 2013

My six year old daughter and a had a short, although wonderful stay, at Vida Tropical. We stayed here the last night of the Costa Rica leg of our trip. Isabel was kind enough to allow us to leave our luggage and some prescription medication that required refrigeration. Isabel was great at answering emails. Jose, the owner, was there when we arrived and welcomed my daughter by showing off the bunnies in the back. My daughter and I went on a walk to find something to eat. The neighborhood is very nice and perfectly safe. On the way towards downtown we heard a young family speaking both English and Spanish to their son. Although I speak Spanish, I was tired and decided to ask them for directions. The family turned out to be Isabel, her husband and son. Our children, who are the same age, played together in the park and then we accompanied them to their restaurant Normans. They are a lovely family and it was one of those great coincidences.
We had a restful night sleep and an informal wake up call by Jose in the morning. Breakfast was good and Jose was kind enough to also pack my daughter some food for the airport. I can't recommend this place enough. It felt like home!

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank travelwithautism
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kansas City
Level 6 Contributor
42 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 July 2013

My family (3 children, husband and myself) stayed for one night at the beginning of a trip and one night at the end of the trip. I can't say enough good things about this property.

First let me start with Isabel. She was a great help prior to our trip answering emails with my many questions and offering to assist in any way. When I asked if my children and I could come early, drop off luggage and leave for the day for a tour - no problem. She let us know some tour companies would pick us up from the property so she made the phone call and arrangements for us to be picked up at Vida Tropical instead of the casino where we were supposed to wait for our tour. She helped us arrange transportation from our other location to their property. Guess I'm trying to say is she made everything very easy for us and took away all worries about traveling between properties and the airport.

When we arrived early Saturday morning with a LOT of luggage in tow (sorry!) we were greeted by Jose since it was Isabel's weekend off. He quickly showed us to the breakfast area where he fed us fresh fruit, banana bread, toast, juice and coffee and offered to cook breakfast for us. When we got back from our excursion we found our luggage in our rooms. Thank you, Jose! Also we had been discussing fresh fruit and how guanabana is our favorite. While we were out touring Jose had gone to the market to get guanabana for us! The next day he sent the leftovers with us when we checked out.

Both times we stayed there we rented 2 rooms. They offered us one large room to save us money, but we really just wanted to spread out a little. The first stay we had the Fish room and the Bamboo room. Both were very comfortable. Since we were the last to check out the next day we had access to 3 bathrooms. Our second stay we had the Gecko room and Dragon room. The Dragon room seemed a little stuffy when we first entered but the fan took care of that. The only negative of the room is the window opens directly onto the breakfast/living area. Had we not wanted to be next door to our children we might have tried to request one of the other rooms. However all was well with the fan, and we slept great.

We left our excess luggage there for the week between stays at no extra charge. We left laundry, and it was ready for us when we returned. We had we clothes with us, and Isabel said we could hang them on the clothesline. When we were out and it started raining she went out and got our clothes off the line for us.

All of these little things are what make staying at Vida Tropical such a great experience. You won't get that kind of personal service at a cookie cutter chain hotel.

Thank you Jose and Isabel for making us feel at home and for taking such great care of our family!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank lydia25_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JosefromCostaRica, Owner at Vida Tropical B and B, responded to this review, 1 August 2013
It was a pleasure to see young kids go crazy for fruits like guanabana, which is high in my personal list of great fruits of the tropics, but a bit different from the norm, like mamon chino, which they loved as well. I hope you remembered the guanabana pulp I left for you in the drink fridge. I hope Dad had a good time, the boys were certainly looking forward to him joining you all for the last leg.
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Additional Information about Vida Tropical B and B

Property: Vida Tropical B and B
Address: 300 meters East and 300 N from the courthouse traffic light | in front of the Academia de Natación, Alajuela, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Alajuela
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Spa Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 60 B&Bs / Inns in Alajuela
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
ADVANTAGES OF VIDA TROPICAL - 5 minutes from the airport, but not on the flight path; walking distance to the center of the city of Alajuela; on a nice, quiet, secure street, in a friendly residential area; transportation to and from the airport is available at any hour of the day or night with the official orange airport taxis or we can arrange pickup(fare is about $7.00); a base from which to do day trips in the Central Valley, or overnight trips to more distant points; a place to stay during your whole trip if you're here to check out business opportunities, real estate purchase or rental possibilities or if you want to experience daily life in the Central Valley to decide if you want to move here permanently or part of the year; s place to enjoy an extended stay at very reasonable prices. We´re in Lonely Planet, Let's Go, and other travel books, reviewed on TripAdvisor and airbnb,and recommended in Thorn Tree and other discussion boards. Established in the Last Millenium before Y2K (1999), and enjoyed by 1,000s of guests. We accept Visa and Mastercard but NOT with the new CHIP security system. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vida Tropical b And b Hotel Alajuela
Vida Tropical B And B Costa Rica/Alajuela

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