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Costa Rica: QUIET AIRPORT hotels near both SJO and Tobias Bolanos airports?

Costa Rica: QUIET AIRPORT hotels near both SJO and Tobias Bolanos airports?

Old Aug 14th, 2009, 01:16 AM
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Costa Rica: QUIET AIRPORT hotels near both SJO and Tobias Bolanos airports?

I'm searching for a QUIET room in a friendly hotel or b&b that is convenient to both airports: the small Tobias Bolanos Int'l airport in Pavas, and the bigger SJO airport in Alajuela. (We will rent a car when we need it.)

I'm a light sleeper, and would like to enjoy a quiet night's rest, insofar as that is possible. I'm traveling with my husband, and we're interested in nature and culture, romance, and getting good value for our money.

Thanks to everyone who has replied to my previous posts! All this info is helping me to refine my search. Here is what I'm thinking so far:

Fly San Diego to SJO.
1 night: Hotel Bougainvillea? (in Santo Domingo; between Heredia and San Jose.)
Fly Nature Air from Pavas (Tobias Bolanos airport) to Puerto Jimenez.
4 nights: Bosque del Cabo.
Fly Nature Air Puerto Jimenez to Pavas.
2 nights: Hotel Bougainvillea? (Santo Domingo)
(with possible daytrip)
Drive to hotel near Jaco for destination wedding.
2 or 3 nights: hotel near Jaco. (wedding)
Drive back to Alajuela
1 or 2 nights: hotel in Alajuela or Grecia area or San Jose (convenient to SJO)
(possible day-trip to Poas volcano; might skip day-trip.)
Choices:
Vista del Valle Plantation Inn? (outside Grecia)
Hotel Grando de Oro ( San Jose)
Hotel le Bergerac (east of downtown San Jose)
Xandari Resort (expensive! quiet or noisy? worth it?)
Orquideas Inn, alajuela (quiet or noisy?)
Fly HOME from SJO

Sigh. How did I manage to come up with more possibilities when I made this list? Oh well, what wonderful places to choose between! I'm open to suggestions. This is our second trip to Costa Rica. We didn't see any sites in the Central Valley on our first trip...we saw Arenal, Monteverde, and Manuel Antonio.
Melissa5 is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2009, 05:24 AM
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www.casabellarita.com best for me location wise

nice area quiet will pick up

www.mybeaconescazu.com

for more action...
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Old Aug 14th, 2009, 08:00 AM
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Xandari was worth it to us; very quiet property since it's away from the city. We did get awakened by a rooster since we had our windows open. Five waterfalls on site and a good restaurant with great views.

Grano de Oro - we liked this one too. We stayed in a tiny room, but they have some that are quite big and elaborate with their own patios, gardens, etc. I'd request a room away from the road since it's a city hotel. Very good service and restaurant on site.

VdV - some people really love it. We thought the grounds were beautiful, but our room was much more rustic than what we expected for the price. I'd be careful to get a room you'll be happy with. Our room was quite dark, had bug lights for the bathroom lighting, etc. No window coverings because our room was kind of isolated. I've seen pictures of some of the other rooms, and I think I would have enjoyed them more than the one we had. They did have a very nice pool and hot tub area and gorgeous plants everywhere. This was definitely a quiet property, and they have a waterfall on site.
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Old Aug 14th, 2009, 05:29 PM
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volcanogirl, thanks for the tips. I think Xandari or Grano de oro or Vista de Valle could work for the end of our trip. (Especially if I ask for the most quiet room.)

qwovadis, thanks for the suggestions. I was looking at reviews of lots of interesting little b&bs in Escazu and Santa Ana areas last night. There were so many that sounded good! The number of choices gets overwhelming.
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Old Aug 15th, 2009, 08:16 PM
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Orquideas is a good value and close to the airport. The cheapest rooms are close to the road, but the others are quiet.
Xandari is expensive, but a gorgeous and quiet spot.
Both have shuttles to airport.
We love Hotel Bougainvillea! Did you get a room overlooking the gardens? Totally worth a few extra dollars. Have fun!
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Old Aug 16th, 2009, 03:37 AM
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Xandari offers free shuttle service for the airport one way. They picked us up for free, but for the return to the airport there was a charge - sixteen dollars I think.
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Old Aug 18th, 2009, 10:38 PM
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rpowell: Yes we too really enjoyed our brief stay at Hotel Bougainvillea. Yes, we're booking a garden view room. The gardens are beautiful and my husband especially enjoyed them...we only had 1 night on the first trip, not even enough to explore their whole garden. Their pool area is attractive and seemed so peaceful. The staff were all gracious and helpful...even the gardener was so friendly! That's one reason I want to include Hotel bougainvillea on this trip...good memories from the first trip.

I've always wanted to try Orchideas as it sounds friendly...and with a great breakfast...although we haven't tried it yet.

I'm considering Peace Lodge or Xandari for the end of the trip...both sound fun. (At the end of the trip we'll have a 2-night stay before flying home on SJO.) We've never seen the Poas Volcano national park.

Hotel Bougainvillea works well for the middle of the trip (before and after the Osa flight...)

volcanogirl: Good to know Xandari offers free shuttle service one way for airport. I appreciate how helpful you've been about sharing info on hotels! I always feel like booking a room at the right hotel for us makes the trip so much better.
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Old Aug 19th, 2009, 02:18 AM
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Me too, Melissa, and it's fun to try new places recommended on the board. We really liked GdO, Peace Lodge, and Xandari, but they all have very different feelings to them. If you're planning to go to Poas, Peace Lodge would be a great pick since it's close.
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Old Aug 20th, 2009, 06:59 AM
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The Orquideas Inn is not quiet. I stayed in a room that was up the hill, as far away from the road as it is possible to get. Yet the truck noise was still horrendous. The only way to reduce the noise to manageable levels was to close the window. I do not remember whether my room had air-conditioning. Maybe air-conditioning would help reduce the noise level. In any case, I was not very happy with my stay there, which I on the Fodors Forum I realize is a minority view.
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Old Aug 20th, 2009, 09:01 AM
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Mel, I should mention that of the three places we talked about, Peace Lodge is the most quiet, really just due to its isolation.
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Old Aug 21st, 2009, 10:33 AM
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JoyceL: I always appreciate hearing about everyone's experience. It gives me a more well-rounded view and helps me to figure out where we would be most comfortable. Since I'm more sensitive to noise than usual, I appreciate knowing the truck noise still bothered you. I'm not bothered by the rather soothing, steady background of nature noises, such as insects or frogs at night, or the ocean...that actually lulls me to sleep. I'm jarred awake by sporadic noises that punctuate the night in a jarring way, such as trucks going by, loud motorcycles, or even some of those big hotels which have door-slamming hallways because the doors slam too loud when you let go of them.

volcanogirl: It's good to hear that Peace Lodge is the most quiet. It has a lot going for it. I'm curious whether you found their waterfall gardens to be something you would only do while you were staying there...or an attraction you still would have found worth seeing if you'd been staying someplace else, and had to make a special trip to see them? Xandari is still on my list though too. Do you know how far the drive would be from Xandari to the Poas national park? I should find that out. Which one had the better food in your opinion: Peace Lodge or Xandari? I am finishing up planning our week in Seattle/Olympic national park trip, as it's coming up sooner. Then I'll finish booking the hotels for our Costa Rica trip, which isn't til January 2010.
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Old Aug 21st, 2009, 10:36 AM
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melissa - I think that the waterfall gardens are worth a trip even if not staying there, for sure. Especially if you have kids. The waterfalls are beautiful and there are a lot of hands on opportunities with birds, animals, butterflies, etc.

Enjoy your trip here into my neck of the woods, Seattle.
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Old Aug 21st, 2009, 11:02 AM
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I agree with hip; I would definitely make the the trip to the Waterfall Gardens even if I weren't staying there. It's only about an hour from SJO. I would time it so you could do the hand feeding of the hummingbirds. When we were there, they did it twice a day, once in the a.m. and once in the later afternoon. It's one of the coolest things we've ever done. The waterfall hike is gorgeous - you'll have to check with them regarding what shape it's in. Last I heard 2 of the 5 waterfalls were open again after the January earthquake.
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Old Aug 21st, 2009, 11:10 AM
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Mel, regarding Xandari to Poas, we did Poas from the Peace Lodge, and it was very close. I'd add on another hour of time to get there from Xandari, but you could e-mail them to get specifics. They are very helpful.

We had good food in both spots. We had a pretty swanky meal at the Peace Lodge, but it was a pricey multi-course dinner. We also had several good cheap meals at the Trout Bar there - casados, guacamole, etc. I had some nachos that weren't great - served with cold Cheez Whiz type topping that didn't seem too authentic. I asked them if they could heat it up because it was literally cold, and they said the plate was too big to fit into the microwave, which cracked me up.

Xandari offers a lot of very fresh, organic type foods. They grow a lot of their own food on the property. It was all good. I had fish tacos that I liked. My husband had some kind of salad. I remember we liked their black bean soup. Good chips and guacamole. They have orchards and a green house, herbs, etc. They also serve a complimentary continental breakfast. Peace Lodge used to have free breakfasts, but the last time we went they had stopped doing it. For the price they charge, I think they should include breakfast as most places do.
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Old Aug 21st, 2009, 12:31 PM
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Another option for food at Peace Lodge is ordering in and eating on your balcony or by the fire. That was very nice. They have a great ala carte menu and it's less pricey than the set course dinner. Our meals at the Trout Bar were very fresh and tasty, but did not try the nachos!
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Old Aug 21st, 2009, 01:29 PM
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Smart girl - Just say no to Cheez Whiz!

Mel, the Trout Bar closes early, so if you want dinner there, I'd check the hours. Not sure if it's even up and running since I think the Trout Pond had earthquake damage.
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