Orquideas Inn "downside" ??

Nov 27th, 2004, 08:13 AM
  #1  
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Orquideas Inn "downside" ??

Can anyone comment on any possible negatives regarding using this hotel for 3 or 4 days while exploring the La Paz, Poas San Jose area?

It appears to be exactly what we are looking for. Any comments would be greatly appreciated.
thanks

Jerry
gannetmusic is offline  
Nov 27th, 2004, 08:53 AM
  #2  
 
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There is only one negative that I can think of--the hotel is a little difficult to find the first time you go there. But even so, we managed to find it okay! You do have to drive through Alajuela for about 5-10 minutes. They will give you good directions, however. Our problem was that we expected it to appear sooner than it did. That said, I don't think we even made a wrong turn--just kept going and there it was. It doesn't have a big sign, however.

Actually, its location is a huge POSITIVE for exploring Poas, Sarchi, Grecia, La Paz, because the hotel sits right on the edge of town on the road to all those places. Very convenient for exploring. In fact, there isn't a hotel in Alajuela better located for your interests than the Orquideas. And it is simply a fantastic place to relax in the evenings--or any other time of day for that matter!

We stayed there for about 5 days and used it just as you plan to--as a base for exploring. We went all over the Central Valley--something different every day. It was great for that.
shillmac is offline  
Nov 27th, 2004, 08:54 AM
  #3  
 
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The Orquedias is a wonderful hotel, just stayed there on Tuesday. The only possible downside i can think of offhand is if you have an aversion to spiders, like my wife does! They are adundant on the property - NOT in the rooms, but there are plenty of big ones on the walking paths, etc.

I myself love spiders, and I don't want to make it sound like it's crawling w/ them or that they are vicious or anything, just that anyone w/ a big fear of spiders might hole up in the room. But what a great place to hole up in!
airwayvz is offline  
Nov 27th, 2004, 04:21 PM
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I agree with the previous posters. I also found it difficult to find the first time, even with the mini-map I got from the hotel's web site. The location seems like an ideal base for your planned day trips.

The hotel was very nice and had a warm cozy feel about it. I wouldn't hesitate to return. I paid a little extra to get a "deluxe" room which is up the hill from the reception area. I found this to be worth the money even though I don't usually pay extra for upgraded rooms - I'm more of a "basic room" type of guy.
cpdad is offline  
Nov 27th, 2004, 08:45 PM
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The upgraded rooms are quite nice--up a drive or walkway and overlooking a very beautiful part of the grounds--good for early morning birdwatching.

We stayed in 2 types of rooms--we liked the garden rooms (less money) because they were close to the bar/dining room/swimming pool and were much more colorful than the rather bland upgraded (but larger) rooms.

Also they offer roadside rooms for even less (about $50)--these are on the backside of the garden rooms.

I have to say we saw a few spiders while walking the trails, but they are all over the country. Mostly we've seen the golden orb spider--it is plentiful and rather large--also quite harmless. Actually, I only noticed one or two of them. It's not like you have to walk through them or anything. They are off to the side minding their own little spider business.
shillmac is offline  
Nov 28th, 2004, 06:19 AM
  #6  
 
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Thanks again shillmac, you have answered my question before I asked!

I was hoping for the Garden Room, looks great on the web, and the price is fantastic. My thinking was after so much hiking around in the Osa that a "close to everything" room would be pleasant.

I do wonder cpdad, why did you feel the upgrade was worth it? Could you give a comparison?

Thanks
dfarmer is offline  
Nov 29th, 2004, 07:19 AM
  #7  
 
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I've stayed at the Orquideas Inn several times and have some comparisons from the garden rooms and 'deluxe' rooms.
I prefer the deluxe rooms on the hill as the views are nicer and a buit more quiet. The deluxe rooms are slightly larger (garden rooms will have a double and twin bed or two twins, the deluxe will have two doubles or two queens) and the bathrooms in the 'deluxe' are larger....and newer, and brighter. You'd have a small window in the deluxe bathrooms for better light (garden room baths don't have a window) and the counter area is two or three times as large as the garden room baths, so you have room to put bath stuff, that you don't have room for in the garden rooms.
Okay, all that being said, if I was on a tighter budget, I would have no probelm with the garden rooms, but prefer the deluxe.
Ally is offline  
Nov 29th, 2004, 07:56 AM
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I was comfortable in the garden room. It was plenty big enough. The decor was a little dark in my room but not a problem. The people who work there are great and the Marilyn Monroe Bar is a terrific gathering area. I ate all my meals there rather than in the dining room upstairs.

The only negative, but keep in mind that I had just returned from being way out from the city noises, is that there is traffic noise. Can't be avoided. I may just be more sensitive to them because I live out in the country and don't hear much traffic in general. It wasn't as bad as being in downtown San Jose.
Jessie_ is offline  
Nov 29th, 2004, 08:23 AM
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I am so excited I can't stand it! You would think we were leaving tomorrow!

Great comparison & thanks for all the info.

I have requested a garden room, which will be fine for our 4 days in the area.

All I have left to do is wait on all the confirmations! Ugh! I am not very good at waiting.
dfarmer is offline  
Nov 29th, 2004, 09:58 AM
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All of the information you have received is right on. You are going to have a great time at Las Orquideas. The staff is a lot of fun--my daughter and I had a great time watching the lunar eclipse with them a month ago! Enjoy! The anticipation is second only to the actual experience

dfarmer: I've forgotten when you are going. . . .
shillmac is offline  
Nov 29th, 2004, 11:01 AM
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shillmac - we will be in CR 1st week of Feb and part of the 2nd week.
dfarmer is offline  
Nov 29th, 2004, 01:04 PM
  #12  
JYK
 
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I just returned from Orquideas Inn saturday. I think it's a great place. Just one note: I reserved a garden side room ($65) but got a road side room ($55). I didn't have a problem so didn't request to be moved. When I checked out, they billed me for $65 and told me the garden rooms were $75 instead. I questioned again they changed my bill to $55. It wasn't a big deal but take a print out of your confirmation. The bar is great!! We spent most of free time there. I wish I can go back
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Nov 29th, 2004, 04:57 PM
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Then you met Alfonso and Edwin? Isn't the MM bar a fun place? We usually eat our meals there at the bar as well-I think someone else mentioned doing so. Very casual and relaxing.
shillmac is offline  
Dec 6th, 2004, 10:14 AM
  #14  
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Thanks everyone for your input. We have made reservations at Orquideas.

Now, a question from the lady who will be my travelling companion.

What is appropriate dress for dining at this Hotel? We are more used to very casual nature lodges where what to wear is never an issue.

Thanks in advance.

Jerry
gannetmusic is offline  
Dec 6th, 2004, 10:33 AM
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Very casual--shorts/capris fine.
shillmac is offline  
Dec 6th, 2004, 10:42 PM
  #16  
 
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We just returned from a stay in Costa Rica with one night at Orquideas. Our large party had the pool suite and the geodesic dome suite. Both were fantastic rooms and the grounds were lovely. The dinner we ate at the hotel restaurant was the best meal we ate in Costa Rica. (although service was extremely slow even thought the restaurant was not busy...) We had an excellent time but here are our only two caveats: 1) Don't let them arrange transportation for you. They will charge you double the cost of a taxi and pocket the difference. We had a negative experience with a guy named Wady at the reception/tours desk. Not only did he overcharge us, he didn't pick up his cell phone as he told us he would for pickup arrangements and his arranged driver didn't show up so we were left to make our own taxi arrangements (that's when we realized how much we were being overcharged!) If you have your own vehicle this won't be a problem. 2) we were told by two different drivers that Orquideas is not located in a safe part of town (lots of drugs)so not to go walking around especially after dark. Not meaning to scare anyone, of course, just hoping to share whatever info might be helpful to the next visitor. Enjoy your stay. Costa Rica is a fabulous place to visit!!
sactomama is offline  
Dec 7th, 2004, 04:06 AM
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We haven't used Orquideas transportation so I can't comment on that, but we have driven (seems like a 100 times!) to and from there from one end of town to the other. The hotel is located on the outskirts of town, which is why it is so convenient to Poas and Sarchi and points north. And as you drive from the airport, you pass near the main part of town, then on out toward the edge of town. So, yes, you drive through several parts of the city.

There are drugs all over Costa Rica--more than you care to think about at beach locations such as Montezuma, Tamarindo, Playa Coco, Quepos, Jaco, etc.

There is no reason to walk anywhere at Orquideas (day or night) because there isn't anywhere to walk to. My husband spent about 2 hours walking/jogging up the road toward Grecia several days in a row this summer, but that wasn't for the purpose of "looking around town". If you want to walk around Alajuela, you'd stay somewhere near the center of town--not on the outskirts.

Furthermore, I wouldn't be caught dead walking ANYWHERE in Alajuela or San Jose after dark! That is always best done in the daylight hours.
shillmac is offline  
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