costa rica airfare and hotels

Old Jan 9th, 2002, 09:22 AM
  #1  
andrea
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costa rica airfare and hotels

We are planning a trip to costa rica the first week of july and cannot decide between the Hotel Don Carlos and the Hotel Grano de Oro in San Jose. They both seem nice from their websites but I was wondering if anyone had stayed at either and could share their thoughts. We will be staying there for two or three nights and then we will be going to villas nicolas in manuel antonio.
My second question is regarding airfare. I currently can't find anything from the Washington DC area for less than about $630. Is this an average fare for July? It is still a ways away so I can wait and see if it gets any lower. Thanks for any advice you can give!
 
Old Jan 9th, 2002, 09:49 AM
  #2  
Iza
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We paid a little over $500 last year in August from Newark so you should be able to get that from Washington DC as well.
We used www.flycheapol.com last year (they are Mars Travel, apparently a well known travel agency in Texas that specializes in Central America).
Sorry I can't help with the hotels you picked. We didn't stay at any of them. From our experience it is better to stay outside of San Jose. We stayed at Xandari in Allajuela one year and at Vista del Valle in Grecia during our next visit and liked them both a lot (although preferred Xandari over Vista del Valle).
 
Old Jan 9th, 2002, 10:17 AM
  #3  
andrea
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thanks so much i just checked them and they have 545 which is about $100 dollars cheaper. We were planning on taking tours those two days we were in san jose, such as the highlights tour or a tour to poas. Can the tours pick you up from hotels outside of San Jose? that was our main reason for wanting to stay there. Thanks.
 
Old Jan 9th, 2002, 10:21 AM
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pjr
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Hi Andrea:

We didn't stay in either hotel, but did go to the Don Carlos hotel to shop. Inside it is a nice hotel, but it is in the city, and I would not recommend staying in the city. We stayed at Vista del Valle when we were there in October and really liked it. I cannot help you too much on airfare as we flew out of Detroit, but we payed $550.00 for the tickets. I booked them through costaricatravelstore.com
 
Old Jan 9th, 2002, 10:22 AM
  #5  
pjr
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Vista del Valle can arrange either tour. We did both.
 
Old Jan 9th, 2002, 10:37 AM
  #6  
andrea
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thanks,
How did you feel about the tours? did you feel rushed trying to do so much in one day during the highlights tour?
 
Old Jan 9th, 2002, 10:37 AM
  #7  
Iza
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Same with Xandari. We did the Highlights tour from Xandari. I think you would be missing out on a unique experience if you decided to stay in the city instead of one of those great places outside.
Have a great trip.
 
Old Jan 9th, 2002, 10:40 AM
  #8  
Iza
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I guess we were posting at the same time. We liked the Highlights tour, it did not feel rushed and it gave us a great opportunity to experience some of the places in CR that we wouldn't be able to see otherwise (since we were staying mostly on the Pacific coast). The Highlights tour included Poas Volcano, so there is no need to take a separate one there.
 
Old Jan 9th, 2002, 10:43 AM
  #9  
andrea
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well i think both of those hotels are a little too expensive for us but i will definitely take a look at a few other options outside the city since it seems most people prefer staying there. Thanks for the help!
 
Old Jan 9th, 2002, 11:43 AM
  #10  
Sandy
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We stayed in San Jose for a few days and had a great experience. We didn't find it dangerous at all.

We stayed right downtown on Avenida Central, a pedestrian-only street, at the Hotel Plaza, Apartado 2019-1000, Frente Boulevar, San Jose, Costa Rica, ph. (506) 257-1896, fax (506) 222-2641, email: [email protected]). It was $43 including taxes and breakfast or $37 w/o breakfast. The rooms are a little small but ours had two twin beds, color tv/remote, carpet, phone, pretty rooms, and great location. Gabriel, the desk clerk was very helpful and knowledgeable. He even loaned my friend his leather jacket when we went out to dinner, as it was cool and raining and she didn't have a coat. The hotel is right next door to a Subway sandwich shop.

Everyday afternoon, a group of retired men gather in the plaza right in front of the hotel and play marimbas . . . everyone dances and it's great fun.

San Jose has a lot of museums and sites, I really enjoyed spending a few days there.

Buen viaje,
Sandy
 
Old Jan 9th, 2002, 11:54 AM
  #11  
sandy
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Hi Andrea,

We went to Costa Rica last February, and Vista del Valle and Xandari were also out of our price range. We did find a really nice little hotel in Alajuela, about 10 minutes from the airport called the Orquideas Inn; it was recommended by a couple other posters on this website as well. We stayed in one of the cheaper rooms (about $65 including a great breakfast). The grounds were nice, there was a small pool and bar, and a restaurant next door. They also have a website you can find with a search engine. Have a nice trip!
 
Old Jan 9th, 2002, 12:42 PM
  #12  
Dawn
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I stayed at the Hotel Grano de Oro about a week ago and it was absolutely fantastic. Beautiful rooms, great food, and wonderful service. The rooms were truly amazing. I cannot recommend this hotel enough.

As for airfare, I flew during the high season from DC so fares were much higher than $630 (I think fares were about $800 or more).
 
Old Jan 10th, 2002, 08:09 AM
  #13  
Ally
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I second the recommendation for the Orquideas Inn, in Alejuela. We stayed at Grand De Oro on one of our trips. It's a nice enough hotel, but a little expensive (IMO) for what you get, and we don't enjoy staying in town. Then, we found the Qrquideas Inn and have stayed there our last 5 trips. Love this hotel. Their new rooms, for $75 a night are very spacious (much, much larget than the room we had at Grand De Oro) and they have great views too. And, as Sandy mentioned, the price includes a huge, FULL breakfast buffett. Owners, Fred and Darlys are very nice people. The Marilyn Monroe Bar there is a great place to meet other travelers, and it's a very 'laid back' but fun place. And yes, they can arrange tours, or if you already have a tour planned, anyone would be able to pick you up in Alejuela.
 
Old Apr 20th, 2002, 03:17 PM
  #14  
Terri
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I second Iza's suggestion about using Mars Travel in Houston. I am traveling with 2 friends in June and was faced with RT airfare from San Francisco at $800+ each. (GrupoTaca was less, but I've heard some negative feedback on their airlines.) After reading Iza's post, I checked flycheapol.com and got RT airfare from SFO for $477 (plus taxes)! Thanks Iza!!
 
Old Apr 26th, 2002, 01:55 PM
  #15  
Iza
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Topping for Dave.
 
Old May 18th, 2002, 01:51 AM
  #16  
marilynn
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We stayed at the Don Carlos Hotel in SJ. Lovely old hotel with large rooms and free internet service. Good full breakfast and lovely staff. Old Governor's house - probably smaller than the other. Cheaper too.
 
Old May 18th, 2002, 05:14 AM
  #17  
Jose
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Hi:

All the places mentioned are nice, but for real value, great service and a nice atmosphere try

www.vidatropical.com

Cheers,

Jose
 
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