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“Great introduction to Costa Rica”

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Hotel Brillasol Airport
Ranked #11 of 29 Hotels in Alajuela
Minnesota
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Great introduction to Costa Rica”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 January 2008

We missed the last flight to Quepos and the Sansa terminal recommended Brilla Sol for the evening. He arranged the free shuttle that picked us up in about 10 minutes. We loved Brilla Sol! It's far from fancy, but it has character. It is like being in the rainforest in the middle of the city. Because we missed our flight, we also lost our rental car. The front desk called at least 15 car rental places for us and found us the only car left in Quepos.
We had dinner there also and it was excellent! See my picture of the beautiful artwork on the outside of the building.

  • Liked — Convenient to the airport.
  • Disliked — It wasn't the type of place you would want to stay more than one night. Convenient airport access only.
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SandalHiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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290 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (31)
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English first
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 October 2007

If you are looking for simplicity and ease of arrival or departure to San Jose airport this is a "winner." This is my second visit to Costa Rica and because I was familiar with this family run property it was a must we stay at the Brillasol Hotel, Alajuela, Costa Rica again. Because we confirmed our accommodations prior to our arrival thru their website ([--]) , they were aware of our arrival. Fortunately for these weary travelers, the hotel is located about 5 minutes from the airport. and the free ride saves you money. It was easy to locate the transportation van because as soon as we picked up our bags and exited the customs area, there was a gentlemen holding a yellow sign saying "Brillasol Hotel." Keep focused and ignore all the cab drivers and vendors trying to convince you that you need a ride and tour services.

After a very short bumpy van ride your there. Upon arrival to the hotel you are greeted with beautiful foliage, banana trees and lush grounds. Rooms are located in a two story coloful building. You are also in a gated secure area and feel very safe. Check -in is very informal and almost like visiting friends. There is no formal lobby just a very small seating area with a desk, petite gift shop and a small open air restaurant..

The gentleman working the front desk welcomed us and we proceeded with a quick check-in. He asked if we were staying for dinner and we said yes. He advise us the restaurant would serve dinner at 6::00 pm. As for the accommodations they were very simple, clean, spacious and a place to sleep. The rate for two is less than $60.00 which includes breakast and transportation to or from airport.

The food was very good and prices were reasonable Dinners were about $8.00-$12.00 dollars per person and drinks/wine were offered. All charges are place on a bill and settled when you check out. (it reminds me of the honor system.) Now let me share the negatives; no air conditioning in the rooms, however a fan kept us quite comfortable. Because you are located near the airport you do occasionaly hear noise from landing and departing planes. There are no phones in the rooms. This is not a luxury extablishment. They cater to tourist wanting to experience the laid-back Costa Rican life. As far as tipping is concerned, there is a tipping jar where tips are place and divided up by the staff. We tipped after our check-out.

Just a hint, Iif you are renting a car, most car rental companies will deliver the vehicle to the Hotel Brillasol. The hotel will call the rental company if you ask. Remember renting a a car from the airport incurs airport taxes. Save your money and choose an of site location. We learned car rentals and insurance were pricey . Our rental company wanted us to go to them so the Brillasol provided us free transportation to their car rental office. In addition, Brillasol Hotel offered to hook us up with cars and tours however we made our own arrangements prior to visiting Costa Rica. This hotel is a great place to begin or end your vacation. Enjoy your visit, relax and welcome all Tico experiences!

  • Liked — The value, location and hotel service.
  • Disliked — noise from occasional planes
  • Stayed September 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank rparellatn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 August 2007

If you are looking for American McComfort don't stay here. If you want a cozy Tico garden with decent food and helpful staff it is a good find. After reading tripadvisor reviews, my wife and I took a chance on Brilla Sol. We would stay here again. We had a late arrival after a long two flight travel day from Phoenix. A friendly man with our name on a sign was waiting at the terminal. The ride in is odd, as you traverse a warehouse area, and a neighborhood that is decidedly not upper class. The last turn takes you into a lush street with nicer homes and the hotel, which is behind walls and a security gate. The buildings are gaily painted with tropical plants. There are many trees, shrubs and flowers crowding the property. The free breakfast and cheap dinner was decent and convenient. I had tried to book grayline to pick us up, but somehow that didn't work, so they got us a driver to take us to Manuel Antonio for $100. It was more than I planned to spend by $40, but ended up being worth it. "Eddie" was bi-lingual and we are learning Spanish so we got a good practice with him. He took the scenic route and we stopped for pics, at a fruit stand, at the crocodilo river, and at a soda for lunch. He was great.

We stayed here on our last night, which made it very easy to return our rental car and get to the airport early for the return flight. I had some trouble finding the hotel, which turned out to be a very funny adventure. Make sure to get a map from them, and have it explained if you are driving yourself. The Spanish really came in handy, as not much English is spoken by the staff. They seemed to understand the other Americans who were not speaking Spanish, but their English was iffy. Could be an issue for some of you. Another issue is that they only take cash, which I forgot by the time we returned. We thought we had Colons to burn, but after paying for the room we just had enough for dinner.

I would not stay here if you are a "thread counter" . The beds were a bit stiff. The rooms were cute in Tico sort of way, with tile floors and a decent bath area. Not the Ritz, but muy autentico and very convenient. Oh, did I mention cheap? Good value for $55.

  • Liked — Convenience
  • Disliked — The area
  • Stayed August 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Immersivetravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, GA
Level Contributor
20 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 March 2007

I’ve stayed here a few times over the past 3 years. They offer a thrifty, no frills room that is convenient to the airport. The staff is helpful and the breakfast is great. The only downside of being so close to the airport is the noise, but luckily the airport isn’t busy.

  • Liked — Price
  • Disliked — Airport Noise
  • Stayed March 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank UnBosque
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
vancouver
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 March 2007

The good:
prompt friendly and free pickup from the airport.
Good dinner (we left too early for breakfast) . Good price and fair sized room and a bathtub - a luxury after only showers. Wakeup call. Small fair priced gift shop. Drive to the airport early morning (except we got a flat tire - not their fault)

The bad:
1.SO NOISY - felt like we were sleeping in a bus terminal. The big electronic gate creaked open and shut throughout the night and noisy arriving travellers kept waking us up. Also lots of noise from surrounding neighbours (maybe this is only on weekends)
2. Thin sheets and lumpy pillows. Our sheet or bed smelt faintly of urine and I felt as if there was something biting me all night. Yuk.
3. Slippery tiles and sharp edges on stairs in pool. Both husband and son hurt their feet.

  • Liked — pickup service, food
  • Disliked — beds, noise
  • Stayed March 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank VancouverKp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 February 2007

The Hotel Brilla Sol is a great, clean and friendly alternative to other 'name brand' hotels near the San Jose, Costa Rica airport. They will pick you up in a safe charter van/bus just like the ones the Garden Court & Hampton Inn has. The exception is the room is about 1/2 the price. My bed was $45 for the night, I had cable TV and a cold beer. They prefer cash US $ to credit cards. They are very friendly and breakfast was included. Beautiful juices and yogurts or they'll make you eggs and of course gallo pinto a Tico favorite of rice & beans. The hotel is gated and only authorized workers and vehicles can be buzzed in by reception.

The grounds are small but this is a good overnight hotel to get you in and out of the SJO airport without having to go to San Jose. They have beautiful tropical plants all around and will book excursions for you if you wanted. Cold beers and hot food, what more could you want! A great cheap safe alternative to the other airport hotels.

  • Liked — Proximity to airport and free shuttle to airport.
  • Disliked — Costa Rica and SJO area is loud with dogs, monkeys, and cars, this is no exception.
  • Stayed February 2007, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank thom0658
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 February 2007

This was our last night in Costa Rica and was just looking for a basic place to stay that provided transport to the airport -- Hotel Brilla Sol did , but it also provided ants -- lots of ants!
After being in CR for a week we could handle bugs, but within the first two hours of our stay I made by "brave" husband kill more than a dozen of what appreared to be large, red carpenter ants - with no end in sight.
We promptly checked out to the Hapmton Inn (across from the airport) with the all amentities of home, including a Denny's in the shared parking lot.

  • Stayed February 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank journalistjenni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Brillasol Airport

Property: Hotel Brillasol Airport
Address: El Roble de Alajuela, Alajuela 17274050, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Alajuela
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Best Value Hotel in Alajuela
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Brillasol Airport 3.5*
Number of rooms: 18
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Brilla Sol Hotel
Hotel Brillasol Airport Costa Rica/Alajuela

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