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“Good hotel with a nice view over San Juan” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Buena Vista

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Hotel Buena Vista
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Across from catholic church, Pilas, Alajuela, Alajuela 4050, Costa Rica   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 30 hotels in Alajuela
Helsinki
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
42 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Good hotel with a nice view over San Juan”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2013

We stayed here for just one night when we arrived in San Juan before heading to Arenal the next morning. It was a well maintained classy hotel on top of the hill overlooking San Juan. Nice coffee trail starts from the door. The room was average with 2 double beds but was clean and the beds were comfortable. There was a nice garden around the hotel with great views over San Juan and a pool area but the pool was very small and did not function. The hotel is situated far from the city center and rooms were very quiet, but there was nothing around in a walking distance. The only dinner place around is hotel's restaurant. The food was good but clearly overpriced. The staff was great and friendly. Overall expression was good and would stay here again.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BuenaVistaAlajuela, Owner at Hotel Buena Vista, responded to this review, October 14, 2013
Thanks very much for staying with us! I'm glad you enjoyed most aspects of our hotel. I would like to clarify a couple of comments. The pool is not large as noted but it is fully functional. We are a 30 room resort so don't have a large swimming pool. The pool is always fully functional. It is crystal clear and solar heated. The pool is amongst gardens of flowering plants so if a strong wind blows we get some flowers and a few leaves in the pool. We net out any flowers or leaves every morning. As to food prices, Costa Rica is not an inexpensive country. Our dinner entrees run from $10 for Pasta Pomodoro to $20 for Filet Mignon. We bake our own dinner bread and coffee and tea are free. Labor law mandates a 10% gratuity be placed on every bill, to be distributed to your waiters so no tipping is expected. This is the law and is strictly enforced. Sales tax here is 13%. The 10% gratuity and the 13% sales tax are INCLUDED in the meal price. Please bear in mind, we provide a free airport shuttle to and from the international airport and a free, nice tropical breakfast. Yes, we are in a rural setting, a small town, which is actually more of an advantage than otherwise. Staying in or around a city results in more noise, car exhaust, and other disadvantages. Lastly all our rooms and bathrooms are new and generally described as much nicer than average. Please visit us again and we will do our best to improve your experience.
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389 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (55)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
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English first
Portland, Oregon
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2013

We were flying into San Jose in order to get to the Osa Peninsula, so we needed a night's stay into and out of the country. Hotel Buena Vista is perfect if you just need a place to rest your head. It's a lot further from the city center and not in walking distance of much. It has a beautiful pool. The rooms are nice and clean and quiet. The staff are truly great! Jonathan helped us find a restaurant for dinner one night and he even drove us there because it was raining and the taxi driver wouldn't take us. Cindy was great as well.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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San Antonio, Texas
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2013

They met us at the airport - check in was easy and prompt and welcoming. Rooms were well designed and beds were comfortable. The food was good. The staff in all areas was wonderful. The service was excellent. The view was breathtaking. I only wish that fog had not come up during the night, as I would have liked to see the city of San Juan with all its night lights.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lemoore, California
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2013

The van from the hotel picked us up at the airport. We went through a downtown area and then up a winding road to the hotel. We were taken to our villa behind the hotel. The villa was spacious with a living room, two double beds, big balcony, and nice bathroom. We sat out on the deck and enjoyed the lights of San Jose. The next morning we had a nice breakfast in the dining room, and went on a walk around the property on a little coffee trail. The plants were beautiful. I talked with the gardener a bit, and the whole staff was very friendly. We stayed again the night before we left to go home. We had to get up very early, and the staff had a light breakfast waiting for us even though it was before serving hours. The van then whisked us away in the dark to the airport. My one and only complaint is that the hotel is situated in a residential area so there was a barking dog that woke me up the first night. I can stay home and get that!

Room Tip: Go for the private villa, its worth it! Hotel rooms were being renovated when we were there so they...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2013

The hotel is kept very beautifully, the grounds are just fantastic. I am torn between a three rating and a four. The view is stunning and many rooms have a terrific room, I suggest rooms 24 and 25. On the one hand they have a dining facility but the food is hit or miss. Depends on what day you are there if walking to a nearby location would be feasible but there seem to be many options a short cab ride away. The fact is this is a transit hotel a place in between places or if you are in San Jose for a few days a great stay with a great view but not much to do there. The hotel housekeeping staff and reception as well as drivers were all super helpful and friendly.

Room Tip: If you are traveling with small kids and they need a place to stretch their legs between landing in...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BuenaVistaAlajuela, Owner at Hotel Buena Vista, responded to this review, August 25, 2013
I am glad these guests enjoyed most aspects of their stay with us. I am sorry the restaurant experience was not up to their expectations. Our cooks try very hard to prepare fresh, flavorful, cuisine. We buy the best ingredients available and our head chef graduated from culinary school. All I can say is we are sorry and will continue to do our very best with food preparation. The comment about an excellent "transit" hotel should be clarified. For me "transit" implies there is little to do here and that is certainly NOT the case. We are located amongst some of the true highlights of Costa Rica. The most popular tourist destination in Costa Rica is the volcano "Poas" which is literally in our front yard (at a safe distance). Poas is an active volcano in a large national park. It is the only volcano in C.R. that one can drive up to the crater rim, hike around and look inside. The world famous La Paz Waterfall Park is also in our area and should certainly not be missed. We are in the vicinity of Costa Rica's two most popular coffee farm/factory tours, Doka and Café Britt. One of the best canopy tour/zip lines is nearby as well as many horseback riding, bird and wildlife photography, and hiking options. The rainforest aerial tram at Braulio Carrillo national park is nearby. The mid and high altitude rain forests are here, distinctly different than the low jungle. The historic town of Grecia and the artisan center of Costa Rica "Sarchi" are also in this vicinity. I could go on and on but the point is that the central mountainous part of Costa Rica contains many of the countries best sightseeing and exploring opportunities. In general the hotels in Costa Rica do not have a great deal going on right outside their front doors. Costa Rica does not have a trendy urban scene of bistros, nightclubs and shops for nice strolling about. The better hotel options are out of the city of San Jose in more rural settings. Costa Rica is much more about the outdoors and nature. Most guests wear themselves out with all the physical exercise of walking and sightseeing. They come back to the hotel, have dinner and maybe a few drinks. Afterwards, many sit by our pool or in the backyard and watch the beautiful capital city lights in the valley below, then call it a day. Thanks for the nice review and please come back.
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San Clemente, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2013

We were so surprised to find this hidden gem!

We just returned from a 10 day trip finishing up at Hotel Buena Vista. We had an outstanding experience, thoroughly enjoying the beautiful rooms and grounds, great food at terrific prices, and remarkable staff.

The hotel is lovely and tucked away from the street overlooking beautiful views of the central valley. The grounds are gorgeous and exceptionally maintained. The coffee trail was delightful. We did not use the pool, but it was typical size for a small hotel and looked very clean and inviting.

We were very happy with the food in the dining room both the lavish complimentary breakfast and dinners. Having experienced sticker shock at the high prices of Costa Rican food and small size of meals elsewhere, we were so pleased to have such delicious dinners with generous portions for less than we paid elsewhere. Fresh seafood was especially good. The ice cream was to die for.

Rooms appeared to be recently remodeled with beautiful decor and linens, and the beds were so comfortable my son asked if this was one of those hotels where you can order the beds for delivery at home.

But most of all, the staff is without question the best we had in Costa Rica, and we loved the staff at our previous hotel. The crew goes out of their way to take care of everything for you, even helping to arrange pick-up of our rental car at the hotel and driving us down in the shuttle to the airport. This was a huge cost and time saver for us.

Kudos to the owner who obviously takes pride in every aspect of the hotel's operation.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brackly, Northants
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2013

Loved my room, loved the food, loved the location but above all, loved the staff: Gaby, Cindy, Paula, Xinia, Coco, Darwin, Randall, Kenneth,Jonathan, Alex, Juan Carlos, Jasmin.. Thank you all for taking such good care of me. Un fuerte abrazo a todos y espero verles pronto. Ceri

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Hotel Buena Vista

Address: Across from catholic church, Pilas, Alajuela, Alajuela 4050, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Alajuela
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Romantic Hotel in Alajuela
#5 Family Hotel in Alajuela
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Buena Vista 3*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The comment ofter heard in this hotel is, "We feel like we are at home." This is exactly the impression the management and staff of the Buena Vista strive to create. We are high on the summit of a mountain with a climate of eternal spring yet only fifteen minutes drive from the International Airport below. We will pick you up there and show you the wonders of this exotic country. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Buena Vista Hotel
Buena Vista Alajuela
Hotel Buena Vista Costa Rica/Alajuela

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