San Jose (Chain!) Hotels

Aug 26th, 2003, 11:07 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 524
San Jose (Chain!) Hotels

I know it's not very adventurous, but I'm trying to decide between staying at the Marriott Courtyard (in Escazu) or the Hampton Inn (closer to Alajuela). Both are showing reasonable prices of $80 to $90 for February. Is one preferable over the other, in terms of location or amenities (what few there are)?

I'm planning to use San Jose as a base from which to take day trips to Poas/La Paz, Arenal/Tabacon, and Los Angeles Cloud Forest, so I am thinking that the Hampton Inn might be better because I won't have to bypass San Jose each time I venture out. It actually seems as though there are two Hampton Inn properties right next to each other (address is the same), but I can't get anyone to confirm that.

The Marriott Costa Rica and the (Holiday Inn) Intercontinental Camino Real (Escazu) look nicer than the lower-end chains mentioned above, but they cost closer to $200 per night and I just don't think I will be there enough to warrant the extra money.

Thanks for your advice!
fluffnfold is offline  
Aug 26th, 2003, 12:02 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I cannot comment about the above properties, but I can about location. We based ourselves outside of Alajuela at Vista del Valle for a week and were able to do Paos/La Paz, zip line on the way to Arenal and the Tabacon for the afternoon (2 - 2 1/2 hour drive), shopping in San Jose, the Pacific coast and rafting at La Selva Lodge. The driving times did not seem bad at all.
peg is offline  
Aug 27th, 2003, 04:50 AM
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We stayed at the Hampton Inn our first night in Costa Rica a couple of years ago. There doesn't appear to be any decent food close by.

This year's trip we stayed close to downtown San Jose for two nights at Grano de Oro Hotel. Much nicer place. We had one of the smaller rooms, but quite nice and both nights cost a total of $125.00. Good restaurant on site, during the day walking distance to downtown (not that it's a great place to be, but the market was interesting). We saw lots of other tour companies coming to pick people up for day trips.

JeanH is offline  
Aug 27th, 2003, 07:07 AM
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I've stayed at the Hampton Inn twice - once upon arriving in the country and once just prior to departure. It's just across the highway from the airport, so it's very convenient for that purpose. It's a nice clean American-style motel with the usual amenities and very friendly staff. However, other than a Rosti Pollo restaurant, there's nothing nearby nor is there anything special or Costa Rican about it. Adjacent to the Hampton Inn Hotel is the more expensive Hampton Inn Suites.

I've also stayed at the Marriott Courtyard just prior to boarding a cruise. Like the Hampton Inn, it's your typical American-style hotel with the usual amenities. While the Hampton Inn serves a continental breakfast, the Marriott serves a hot buffet breakfast. It has a wide variety of nice restaurants within walking distance (strip mall next door) and a huge shopping mall across the highway. It's not as close or convenient as the Hampton Inn is to the places you would like to visit. I personally would never stay at the Courtyard again as we encountered unbelievably rude treatment from the incompetent front desk staff.

I think you would regret basing yourself out of either of these hotels for your entire stay. They cater mostly to business travelers and tourists seeking 1-night stays. The Central Valley has a wealth of small inns and hotels that are very reasonably priced and would give you more of a sense of what Costa Rica has to offer. I've used Xandari and Vista del Valle as a base for past stays. They are a little higher in price, but so worth it! You might also do a search on this board for other suggestions. For example, I've read good things about Vida Tropical in Alajuela.
Have fun!
TAGriffin is offline  
Aug 27th, 2003, 07:29 AM
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I agree with TAGriffin. I would not base myself out of either of those 'generic' American hotels. I always stay at Orquideas Inn in Alajuela. Very nice rooms and property, HUGE hot breakfast buffet included in the price of the room, wonderful staff, nice pool and views and 10-15 minutes from the airport. VERY reasonable rooms are only about $85 per night! They have a web site....Check it out!
Ally is offline  

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