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faciar May 16th, 2004 05:16 PM

Hotel questions - San Jose & Arenal
We are looking for a hotel in San Jose with airport transportation . . . our flights arrive at 9:00 p.m., and depart at 8:00 a.m. We booked the Hampton Inn & Suites for our arrival, but are there any other hotels in San Jose that offer airport transportation 24 hours a day? If we do stay at the Hampton Inn for a few days prior to our departure, would it be easy to drive to surrounding areas from that location? (And is the hotel noisy, sitting right next to the airport)?
. . . Also, I have been emailing hotels in Arenal trying to ascertain current rates and availability. I have gotten little response. How would you suggest I proceed from here? Use a travel agent?
Thanks for your help!!

sclubb May 16th, 2004 05:26 PM

faciar - i am a travel agent and i must say that i contacted the hotels in arenal by email & while it took a few days they did eventually get back to me with prices. it just requires a little more patience than some other destinations! good luck with your planning....

shillmac May 16th, 2004 05:43 PM

The Hampton Inn is absolutely situated to allow for easy travel to nearby areas. It is right on the main highway through Costa Rica, just a few miles west of San Jose and yes, very near the airport. From there, it is an easy drive to Alajuela and Heredia, both colonial capitals and interesting towns. From these places, you can also travel to smaller and very interesting locations further north--Poas Volcano, Sarchi (great for shopping), Zarcero (with its animal shaped topiary in front of the church), Grecia. These are all great places to pass a little time.

Of course, the Hampton is very American and won't afford you the same Costa Rican experience as some of the smaller nearby hotels. We wouldn't choose to stay there for that reason. Why don't you check out Vido Tropical and Las Orquideas in Alajuela or Hotel Bouganvillea in Heredia? Just for a more unique experience. All are probably cheaper, and I am sure they offer free transport, but, of course, you should check with them. You can look all three up online quite easily. BTW, Las Orquideas is reputed to have a fabulous breakfast, and we plan to spend a few nights there in July.

shillmac May 16th, 2004 05:45 PM

Oops, excuse the typo. That's Vida Tropical! Also, check with Arenal Paraiso if you haven't already. They were very prompt to get back with us when we were booking for Dec. Great view of the volcano and lava flow. . .

Ally May 17th, 2004 06:23 AM

Orquideas Inn is a great place, for sure, (I've stayed there several times) but the airport pick-up/drop-off is not free. The current cost $10, about the same for a taxi.
You'll need to arrange the pick-up in advance, when you make reservations.

Iza May 17th, 2004 12:16 PM

Not sure about your budget, but Xandari is a great option not far from the airport. They have free airport pickup and drop off. Hampton Inn is convenient and not noisy but it lacks character.

It usually takes a while to get responses from hotels in the Arenal area but I was always able to make my reservations through a combination of e-mail and fax. We stayed at Arenal Paraiso one year and Tabacon the next. I also corresponded by e-mail with Montana de Fuego at some point in time as we were considering staying there.

OhioRob May 18th, 2004 06:02 PM

I would agree with Hotel Bouganvillea. The grounds and gardens there were beautiful. The front desk staff was the best of all our hotels on our trip.
It is worth a little more in cab fare to get there. They have a free shuttle to downtown and were very generous with my family to use the shuttle to take us to a local restaurant.

ekevitz May 18th, 2004 07:49 PM

Look at my website for some help:

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