Hotels in Costa Rica

Sep 25th, 2003, 01:32 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 23
Hotels in Costa Rica

Hi, I would like to learn more about good hotels that I can stay at in Costa Rica. I am not sure where exactly I would like to go, but If you could suggest itenararies for people who would like to do some beaches, some hiking, some nature watching and if you could also suggest some hotels to stay in, that would be great.

and if you know of any good online resources with hotel descriptions and links in Costa Rica, I would be forever greatful
ya_Ato_ya is offline  
Sep 26th, 2003, 03:18 AM
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When my wife and I prepared for our 2 week tour of CR I often referred to the following websites for information. and You will really enjoy CR. Have a good safe trip
JJDave is offline  
Sep 26th, 2003, 04:14 AM
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My wife and I stayed at the Paradisus Playa Conchal in Guanacaste and loved it. It had a nice, not very crowded beach.
It was also a step above many of the other hotels we saw throughout the country. It was all-inclusive, and the restaurants served very good food.
They also rent mountainbikes and kayaks for free. The resort is secluded enough so that you know you are in Costa Rica, but nice enough so that you don't have to pretend to be "roughing it" through Costa Rica.
mbrad006 is offline  
Sep 26th, 2003, 05:20 AM
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Our first trip to Costa Rica included a pretty common itinerary, late arrival, so forced to stay close to the airport the first night. Not knowing any better, we stayed at the Hampton Inn. Certainly handy, but I'd certainly find an alternative next time. Then two nights at Arenal. We stayed at Tabacon, some people don't like it, we thought it was nice. Then two nights in Monteverde. We stayed at Hotel Belmar, ok place, would probably try something else next time. Final stop was three nights in Manual Antonio. We stayed at Si Como No while there. Enjoyed it a lot, although it's pretty touristy. We had to spend the last night by the airport again for an early am departure. On that trip, we rented a car and did the driving ourselves. Not sure we'd do that again. Although we still laugh about the incredibly bad road between Arenal and Monteverde. is a good site for that area. I don't recall any other speicific web sites that we used to plan. Grab a guide book and do a search for the hotels that sound interesting to you.

JeanH is offline  
Sep 26th, 2003, 08:52 AM
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Kids or not? Adventure or passive? What time of year? Package or self-planned? How much time do you have?

Lots of websites out and resorts have their own and often describe area activities. Tour operators give good descriptions on their websites of highlights in Costa Rica (check out Costa Rica Expeditions). Frommers has a good guide book and website. Searching the Fodors Travel Talk message board for specific information will give you tons of first hand info.

That being said....if you have a decent amount of time, you can see a few different, contrasting areas and habitats, and have a variety of adventures. A trip to Tortaguerro (jungle, waterways, turtles), combined with a visit to Arenal (volcanoes, hot springs, rural areas, rainforests), and Manuel Antonio added in (tropical humid forest, beaches, ocean, rivers, lots of adventure tour opportunities) could go a long way. Other highlight possibilities could be Monteverde (cloud forest), Los Angeles Cloud Forest (smaller cloud forest and ranch), Pacuare rafting, Osa Peninsula, Guanacaste, etc.. Lots of different areas to choose from depending on what you what to see and do.

Each area has great places to stay. One of the most memorable for us was Tortuga Lodge in Tortaquerro.

Have fun researching!

jdla is offline  
Sep 26th, 2003, 10:58 AM
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jdla has a lot of good questions. I would also like to ask what your budget is! We don't want to suggest a hotel for $150 a night, if you're budget is only half that.
Ally is offline  
Sep 26th, 2003, 12:56 PM
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our budget is actully not the highest one. we would like to stay in a hotel that doesn't cost more then $60 per couple. there are 8 of us and we can all stay in one bangalow too!
ya_Ato_ya is offline  
Sep 26th, 2003, 01:12 PM
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ya --

I found the Costa Rica bureau of tourism extremely helpful in planning an itinerary (combined with misc. research I did elsewhere). I was able to work with a woman at no charge e-mailing back and forth until my itinerary was just how I wanted it and she updated the cost everytime there was a change. They can help with everything from all-inclusive to just parts of your trip. HAVE FUN!
hipvirgochick is offline  
Sep 26th, 2003, 01:24 PM
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Oh, I should add that I did not complete my itinerary, but hope to next year. It was planned pre-9/11 for the following May and I just wasn't ready to travel out of country yet. I have a cousin who has been just about everywhere and his favorite place of beauty is Costa Rica (with Thailand being close) so ENJOY!
hipvirgochick is offline  
Sep 26th, 2003, 05:00 PM
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we just got back from 10 days in cr. if this is useful to you, we stayed at orquideas inn in alajuela on arriving and before leaving - 15 min from sj airport - really nice hotel and super-helpful, friendly staff and owner. 2 nights at arenal paraiso - great view of the volcano, good for tours, hikes, etc. these 2 hotels are reasonable in the rainy season (paraiso costs way less than tabacon for instance). a bit more expensive (but still less than some of the upscale places like si como no and capitan suizo) were sugar beach hotel at playa pan de azucar (~20Km north of tamarindo) - fantastic secluded beach - and costa verde in manuel antonio. unfortunately we found out after arriving that costa verde feeds the squirrel monkeys to get them to turn up for the tourists - wouldn't go there again because of this awful practice. i'd definitely recommend manuel antonio as a place to visit though - wildlife watching and great beaches - there are loads of hotels of all types between fortuna and the park.
in the rainy season you really can stay pretty cheap in cr and when we were there last week almost everywhere had vacancies - things will be different in the dry season though.
as far as web sites, i got the most useful information from postings at this site, particularly from some of the seasoned cr travellers like ally, suzie and others.
pura vida,
suburbantrain is offline  
Sep 28th, 2003, 02:46 AM
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Hard to suggest an itinerary when you didn't mention how long you have. Also, helpful to know general idea of arrival time and departure. Those can make a big difference.
Suggested places to visit for first timers are always: La Fortuna (active volcano-Arenal, canopy tours, waterfalls, hot springs-there are less expensive hot springs than Tabacon for the budget travelers, same water just less glitz), Monteverde (cloud forests, canopy tours), Tortuguero (water canals with amazing birds and waterlife), Manuel Antonio/Quepos (tons of monkeys but they can be aggressive because they get fed so much by tourists so they expect it) Common practice for the hotels to feed them too to encourage them to come in. Most hotels feed the birds also.
As far as hotel costs. I have stayed in $20 a night pensions, $400 a night nature lodges and everything in between. There are places for everyone. CR has gotten a lot more expensive over the years but you can still find plenty of places that are reasonable. I would suggest you think about some of the places mentioned and get a good guide book. Most of them will have a list of most of the hotels, pensions, etc in the different areas. Most are listed by price. Travel time in CR is deceptive so you need to allow a good bit of time for it. Travel can be cheap by local bus or, with a group as large as yours, you could hire a driver with a private minivan for about $100 a trip which would actually be quite inexpensive if you all shared the cost. There are quite a few companies with these vans (, interbus are a couple). You can get by without a car in most places. Taxis and buses are relatively inexpensive.
Suzie2 is offline  
Sep 29th, 2003, 06:03 AM
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We spent two week in Costa Rica last year and loved the country. We used mostly public transportation with some small van travel in difficult places. For a group like yours, I would expect that the mini-van option would work well. The roads are pretty bad and we were glad we were not responsible for driving ourselves.

We stayed at the Arenal Observatory Lodge near the Arenal volcano. Great place, built by the Smithsonian Institute. Some of the rooms have views of the volcano. A splendid way to wake up each day! Good food and the staff can arrange great outings.

Near Monteverdi we stayed at El Sapo Dorado which has a wonderful restaurant and is a short ride from the park.

In Mal Pais we stayed on the beach at the Tropico Latino Lodge. I would love to rent out the entire lodge for a summer and invite all my friends to come down.

Since we came back, I sent two groups of friends to these places and everyone has been very happy.


ZazuToo is offline  
Oct 1st, 2003, 09:05 PM
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Hi - we have only been to Costa Rica once and for only one week, but we absolutely loved it. We stayed on Playa Grande, just north of Tamarindo. It's a little remote, but a fantastic beach. We rented a beach house, but there was a great eco-hotel there, Los Tortugas. We were able to use their facilities so we wound up there almost every day for either the pool or the restaurant or the massages. The beach is a national park to protect the nesting grounds of leatherback turtles so if you are there at the right time, you can take a tour out to see this amazing experience.
Have a great trip.
lizcdn is offline  
Oct 4th, 2003, 07:10 AM
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JBX is offline  

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