I spent almost five months at Vina Romantica with friends and while the views from the back upstairs balcony are fantastic, there is too much wrong with this property to recommend staying here. It is important to know that three of the bedrooms are in a separate building in the back of the main house and require walking outside to reach. This wasn't too much of a problem in the dry season, however, once the rains started in April (a bit early this year), I had to walk through puddles of water in the courtyard and on several occasions had to spend almost an hour mopping the floor of my bedroom which had flooded (the balcony slopes down into the room).
The back downstairs bedroom is uninhabitable. When we arrived there was black mold on the ceiling and the back wall. The owner was not willing to hire someone to address this issue so my friend spent almost two weeks treating the black mold and then painting the walls. While she was painting she heard some crunching noise and then the electricity on the bathroom side of the room went out (perhaps wires eaten by animals). We ran extension cords from the side of the room with electricity to the side that had none. Unfortunately once the rains started, the back wall started leaking again to include water coming through the electrical outlets that still worked. The black mold returned and we had to vacate the room.
The only TV broke in March and we still had two months left on our lease. Luckily a kind neighbor lent us a small TV so we wouldn't be without one. The middle of May the dryer broke and other appliances (washer and refrigerator) are surely not far behind. The roof in the main house leaks and clean-up after a major rain takes more time than I'm willing to spend considering I'm suppose to be on vacation. There are also termites that leave evidence of their work in the kitchen and upstairs bedroom.
The owner lives in the United States and does not have in-country management to address any issues. There is a person who changes the sheets and does a cursory cleaning once a week but is not in any way capable of fixing electrical, structural or major housing problems. So unless you are willing to exert a considerable amount of time addressing issues that continually arise with this place (which are many and only highlights are provided here), I would not recommend Vina Romantica.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Vina Romantica is located just 5 kilometers from the International Airport. We are located in a tiny rural village at an altitude of 4200 feet. It is tranquil and the views of the volcanoes are magnificient. We are on the road to many of the tourist attractions that can be seen in one day. There are many very good restaurants in the area. You can relax and enjoy the true Costa Rican life style while staying at Vina Romantica. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Vina Romantica Alajuela
- Vina Romantica Hotel Alajuela
- Vina Romantica Costa Rica/Alajuela