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“Do not stay here unless you would like to get ill from mold.” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Pension Alajuela

Pension Alajuela
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Pension Alajuela
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Alajuela, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #27 of 31 Hotels in Alajuela
Edmonton, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Do not stay here unless you would like to get ill from mold.”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2010

Reading the review in Lonely Planet, we booked three nights at what was promised to be a 'lovely" place. Unfortunately it was very far from that. Though the owners were reasonably nice people, their place has fallen into disrepair and the consequences for us were sickening (literally).
The room we stayed in had severe water damage and the place was permeated with a horrible mildew smell. We figured it wasn't so bad and not wanting to be whiners we thought we would tough it out. We thought wrong. By the second day we both had headaches and I began to develop a sinus infection which, two weeks later, I'm just getting over. We were ready to leave then but, as we had prepaid for the three nights, we stayed the last night. After arriving at our next destination we realized the extent of the contamination when, unpacking our bags, we were greeted by the same mouldy stench which had permeated all of our belongings. Even after washing every piece of clothing, our luggage still reeked. Our bad for putting up with it and not just leaving and treating the three nights as a loss.
To add insult to injury, the promised "breakfast" was a joke. The first morning we were greeted by cold coffee and stale pound cake. The next morning we were ceremoniously delivered with a straight face (and I kid you not) a package of saltine crackers with our luke warm coffee. The third morning did not even include the pretense of even a faux breakfast.
All in all, one of the worst hotel experiences either of us had ever experienced. Add to that the high price they asked for the room, I would say avoid this place like the (mould) plague.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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7 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    3 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Zurich, Switzerland
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2010

Room was not very clean and stinky from bathroom. Could not sleep good because of the road noise. The shower was cold. The breakfast miserably. My car was broken open before the pension! The owner are nice, but this is really not a good place for staying overnight and the price with 35 dollar is defintiv too high for such an accommodation..

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2010

Don't let the unassuming façade of this little gem fool you! Behind the lifeless front door lies an amazing garden-like courtyard with a small kitchen and seating area that is the centre-piece of this wonderful guesthouse in Costa Rica's "second city".
The rooms which surround the courtyard are basic but spotless, the bed's are comfortable and the sheets are clean and there's cable TV to boot.
What's best is that Alajuela is fast becoming a better jumping-off point to visit the rest of the country - it's only a $6 cab ride from Juan Santamaria airport, most bus connections can be made in town and there is a warm Tico pura-vida vibe everywhere!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2007

We researched the web for hotel in Alajuela prior to our first trip to Costa Rica and really liked the photos of this place, so we booked it.

Front desk staff was great upon check-in but the rooms left a lot to be desired. Worst night's sleep ever! Full bed (which is fine for two people) with a twin sheet and twin blanket. It wasn't a particularly warm night so pretty uncomfortable. We were supposed to stay 3 nights, but ended up staying only 1 (paid for 1.5) and moving around the corner to a small place that was very clean with good beds.

We won't stay here again.

  • Stayed November 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Champaign, Illinois
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2007

We arrived early in the morning at Pension Alajuela without a reservation and they were happy to let us check into an available room well before the official check-in time. The woman at the front desk was extremely helpful and spent some time finding us a cheap taxi for a return trip to Volcan Poas the next morning (if you are planning on visiting the volcano I recommend taking a taxi to arrive early - when we visited clouds obscured the crater before the tours and public buses arrived).

The hotel itself is definitely a budget option, with not all rooms having AC and the hot water being provided by electric heaters on the shower heads. However the rooms were spotless and comfortable, breakfast was provided and the common area is very pleasant. Hard to beat in terms of value for money.

  • Liked — Helpful staff
  • Disliked — Shower heads
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, TX
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2006

We stayed at the Pension Alajuela for 2 nights in June 2006 - one on the day we arrived in Costa Rica, and one the morning before we flew out of Costa Rica. It's a quick 5-10 minute taxi ride from the airport, and so was a convenient base for our travels. It's located right near the road which heads out of Alajuela to Poas Volcano, which was convenient since that was our first place to be visiting.

Things did not start well as when we checked in they did not have our reservation. However, it turned out not to be a problem since they still had rooms available. The room that they gave us was located right next to the road and the entrance to the hotel. There is no A/C, so the windows are open, which causes the room to be quite noisy due to the traffic both on the street and in and out of the front door. Their showers had the infamous electric water heaters attached to the shower head, which seemed to work but still made us a little nervous (we took quick showers).

The staff was very friendly and helpful, and there was a basic free breakfast that was included in the cost of the room.

Overall, it definitely wasn't the best night of sleep that we had in Costa Rica, but it was cheap ($50/night for a room with 3 beds), close to the airport, and served us adequately during our time there.

Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pension Alajuela

Address: Alajuela, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Alajuela
Hotel Style:
Ranked #27 of 31 Hotels in Alajuela
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 12
Also Known As:
Pension Alajuela Costa Rica

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