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“Best service we've ever had” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel La Rosa de America

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Hotel La Rosa de America
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   100 mts Sur y 75 mts Este de La Mandarina | La Garita, Alajuela none, Costa Rica   |  
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Hotel amenities
Special Price
15% off room rate
Ranked #5 of 30 Hotels in Alajuela
Richmond
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Best service we've ever had”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2011

This was our second visit back to Costa Rica, and we chose this hotel again for a quiet place close to the airport. Our experience at this place was even better! They have upgraded the rooms and made them fancier, and we loved that they now have coffee available before the dining room opens for breakfast. They had more things for breakfast this time, too. They've added eggs and cheese for us protein-lovers. The gardens were fantastic, and we saw lots of birds near our cabin. One thing we really like about this hotel is that the staff actually come up to you and ask if you need anything, or if you had a good sleep. In many places we stayed at the staff sort of disappeared after giving you the room key and taking your money. Here, they told us what was available at the hotel, where we could find what we needed, and gave us directions. There were lots of restaurants close by, and one night we ate really good Costa Rican food and the second night we decided to have Italian at a fancy place down the road. Before we arrived in Costa Rica, the hotel helped us find a good deal on a car rental, and the car company brought the car right to the hotel.
We wanted a tour so they gave us advice on what might suit us, and we had a really good day tour of Poas Volcano, which we weren't able to see last time we were in Costa Rica. A new butterfly garden has opened up down the street, which wasn't there last time, and we really enjoyed that too.
The rooms were very clean and we liked the little details of the cute towel-shapes! The rooms aren't huge, but the price is good and they have a great swimming pool and wi-fi. We were treated with genuine hospitality and care. We overslept on the morning of our flight, and we were in a big rush, and the girl at the desk helped us checkout really fast and got us a taxi in 5 minutes. We didn't have time for breakfast so she quickly packed us some banana bread and fruit and drink so we would have something to eat along the way.
We would definitely stay at this hotel again. We had a great time."

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
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396 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 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 (53)
Date | Rating
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English first
Newport Beach, California
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2011

great place to get your bearings once you arrive. They were attentive to our needs and questions. Even gave us a sack breakfast when we had to leave early.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Montreal, Canada
2 reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2011

We stayed at La Rosa in November 2010 with my husband and our two daughters (age 9 months and 2 1/2 year). We stayed at this place three times during our 3 weeks vacation. Rooms are clean, breakfast is yumm (especially the banana bread), pool is great, and the most important, the staff is so friendly and helpful. We had a hard time travelling with the babies at the beginning and Robert took a lot of time to help us with that. He suggested activities that woul be appropriate with the babies, showed us the way to get there. He even had the kindness to upgrade our room to a suite for the babies to be more confortable. Also, I sent my mom (who speaks no spanish nor english) to La Rosa and they arranged everything for her to meet us at La Fortuna (taxi, bus, ...). From the begginning (reservation) to the stay, everthing was perfect. Thanks to Robert and the staff of La Rosa.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2011

My husband and I stayed here on the first and last nights of our vacation to Costa Rica, July 20 & 28, 2011, both nights in the cursed room #2, and I do not recommend this place.

I was terribly frustrated with interactions I had with two of the staff members, Grisska and Dulce. I mostly interacted with Grisska before arriving and while there, and she is very uncommunicative and reticent. We went to Monteverde for the balance of our trip to Costa Rica, and we asked Grisska to help us to find a shuttle to Monteverde. It was like pulling teeth trying to get shuttle information out of her, and she only recommended one company. We had to call and get help from another employee to book a shuttle.

While we were there, we asked Grisska for restaurant suggestions, and all she would tell us is that "there are restaurants out on the main road". Lastly, we had 2 coffees and paid for them when we checked in, and Grisska failed to mark them as paid. Dulce acted like a police officer trying to make us pay for the coffees again, and she even called Grisska to verified that we had already paid for them; she was so petty and rude.

Next, the "environmentally friendly" hot water system in room #2 simply does not work. The water runs hot or cold, but not warm. There is a long and convoluted set of instructions inside the shower on how to use it, my husband and I followed the instructions carefully for our showers on both nights, and neither one of us could get warm water. We told Dulce on the second night of our stay about this problem, and she was incredibly defensive and said that no other guest had complained about it but us. I challenge the owner of this hotel to use an instant read thermometer and see if he or she can get warm water in the range of 80 F to 90 F for 10 minutes out of the shower in room #2.

Another problem was that room 2's bed was strangely short. My husband is a little over 6 feet tall, and his feet stuck out over the edge of the bed! Additionally, on the first night, the fitted sheet over the mattress had an entire corner of the bed sheet neatly cut out and missing. How cheap is that?

Finally, I'm displeased with the deadlock on the door, because it requires a key to lock and unlock it on both the outside and the inside of the room. This is a fire hazard style of lock. Plus, it's just plain annoying if one person leaves with the key and absent-mindedly locks the deadbolt, then the other person is trapped in the room, unable to unlock the deadbolt without the key. There is no phone in room 2, so a guest would not be able to call for assistance.

The positives to Hotel La Rosa are that the grounds are quite lovely, this hotel is very clean, it is very closely located to the amazing Zoo Ave, and their continental breakfast is great.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Rob_Hick, Owner at Hotel La Rosa de America, responded to this review, August 13, 2011
This reviewer has multiple concerns with our hotel. Legitimately, maintaining hot water in their cabin has proven difficult for approximately 5% of our guests and for this we again apologize. We recognize this deficiency and have been actively searching for a better solution while maintaining environmental respect of our surroundings - the very surroundings that attract so many tourists to Costa Rica. We have been unable to locally source a suitably reliable replacement hot water unit so we have purchased a much more reliable German made system. This system remains environmentally friendly and is proving to be 100% reliable for all guests. Approximately 90% of the rooms using the old system have now been converted, including the Cabin this guest used. Two rooms remain on a more robust but similar system and will be converted shortly. We feel it is important that guests who have concerns know that we take their concerns very seriously and are prepared to act on them.

Now, to be fair to the hotel, this guest found everything sufficiently acceptable on their first night stay to return to our hotel for a second night at the end of their trip. For the difficultly with the water system, hotel staff not only apologized to the guest but also offered to refund a portion of their night's stay. We recognize the hotel's responsibility in this matter. We also indicated that their concern would be dealt with so other guests would not have the same issue.

Despite Hotel efforts to correct the problem, this guest felt the need to direct significant sarcasm and strongly personal targeted accusations not only at the hotel but specifically at named hotel employees. As can be seen repeatedly throughout online guest testimonials, our employees mentioned in this article are held in extremely high regard. Further as Owner, I feel it is my responsibility to defend what my employees can not in a public venue. We provide extremely lengthy, detailed training to our reception, maintenance and concierge staff, a significant portion including language and cultural awareness training - reflecting the reality of our receiving guests from approximately 120 different nations. Also, our employees are informally trained to assist in many duties normally reserved for travel agents. As these services are provided 100% free of charge, (and in most cases the hotel refuses commission based activity as well in order to provide better recommendations), they are given on a "best effort" and honest basis. Again the hotel has been many times highly recognized for these efforts and this additional service effort is in fact a cornerstone of our niche concept as an airport hotel. We promise to help each and every guest to the best of our abiilty. Of course, ultimately, vacation planning, and final decision making responsibility rests with the guest.

The guest had numerous functional issues with certain aspects of the hotel besides the hot water. The bed in Cabin 2, which the guest suggests is deficient, is in fact a handmade solid hardwood, extremely expensive, standard sized double bed with a pillowtop matrimonial mattress and Egyptian cotton sheets.
The door locks automatically when closed for guest security therefore the guest is reminded at check-in to ensure they remember their key when leaving the room. However, this will not prevent the guest from opening the door at anytime from the inside. The extra deadbolt is only lockable with a key as indicated by the guest. However it is physically impossible to then remove the key with the deadbolt locked, then open the door, and leave, but at the same time lock a guest in the room using the deadbolt. We understand that from time to time, guests may have trouble with something that may be outside their experience. Therefore please ask for assistance. We are more than happy to help.
The guest also indicates the potential for a fire hazard. Certainly the operation of the door is not in itself a fire hazard. Culturally, in Costa Rica, virtually all windows have bars, more out of tradition than current need. Regardless, to us this practice is a definite fire hazard. That is why at this hotel, there are no bars on any windows. The property is 100% secure day and night and we have no need of them. Further all staff have undergone yearly rapid response fire training and the hotel is fully fire certified safe, and current with all fire regulations, including extinguishers, employee training and door locks.
The guest indicates a problem regarding the cost of two coffees. The employee in question indeed errored in the recording of these, placing them in the Guest Tab column instead of Paid column. For this, she wishes to apologize. As Owner, I recognize the need for the Hotel to maintain accurate billing and as such we are in the process of converting our entire system from paper to digital. This "roll out" hopefully will be complete on 15 Aug 11 (hopefully!) with training continuing until 01 September. Though only a simple error, the employee on duty felt it proper to contact the Owner as the Reception Manager was unavailable. Immediately, she was told to strike the $3.00 charge and apologize to the guest regardless of the situation. Normally this response would need not have occurred, as the reception staff are authorized this discretion. However, for an employer to grant this financial latitude to an employee in Costa Rica is not considered normal, therefore the evening employee in question, being very junior and uncertain in her authority sought permission before taking action.

I would like to personally apologize for not being able to discuss this guest's concerns directly. They did request to talk to the Owner however, I was unavailable the following morning due to a personal issue requiring immediate medical attention. In part, this is some of the reason it has taken over a week to respond to this guest's concerns.

We are glad that this reviewer at least was able to enjoy our gardens, breakfast, and ambience of the hotel. We take very seriously our responsibility as an entry and exit point for guests vacationing to Costa Rica.
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Haarlem, The Netherlands
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2011

Ok. So this hotel has a beautiful garden, pretty good rooms, great beds, very helpful staff, an ok pool and a nice breakfast. Then why complain about the price?

Maybe it is because of the fact that this was the most expensive hotel during our stay in Costa Rica, probably because its proximity to the airport. But then again, no. It is just that Costa Rica is too expensive all the way. Sure, the country is better than a lot of other countries in the region, in terms of food safety, security and water quality. But it is still no way up to western standards in that respect, while the prices more than are.

This is a nice hotel, very good even for a Central American hotel, but it is still a Central American hotel. Call us Dutch, but we expect to pay less for a Central American hotel with Central American quality, than we would have to pay for a middle class hotel in Amsterdam, with European quality. And we didn’t.

It’s not fair to judge this hotel only by its country, so we won’t. But we had to let you know.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Rob_Hick, Owner at Hotel La Rosa de America, responded to this review, July 4, 2011
We would like to thank this guest for his/her observations about Costa Rica in general and specifically about Hotel La Rosa de America. We are very happy that you enjoyed your stay with us!
The matter of cost of living (or value for expectations if you prefer) in Costa Rica is indeed high. Many travelers expect costs similar to that of Mexico, Guatemala, or perhaps S.E. Asia. However it is not the case. In general, the cost of living is about 75% that of similar living in Canada, the US or Europe. Of course, if you wish to live off the land much like a local campesino, then this cost is drastically less.
Costa Rica is by and large a socialist country that encourages free market investment in order to fund extensive social programs and government projects across all sectors of the economy. It is these social programs, by and large directly funded by local small business, that allow the semi-educated poor a respectable living, unlike those unfortunates in neighbouring countries and also allows for clean water, safe food and real environmental programs. It also effectively "buys" the peace Costa Rica is so famous for, ensuring that strife between rich and poor is minimal and that the governmental process is stable and not threatened by revolts.
Unfortunately, excessive governmental spending, poor management of government industries and inefficient bureaucratic oversight has forced Costa Rica to significantly raise taxes, arbitrarily revalue the local currency much to the detriment of tourists and investors alike, and caused inflation to skyrocket - especially in consumer goods and food. However, there are definitely positive signs of improvement afoot.
The local road net is rapidly improving, as is telecommunications and the capabilities of the police force as well. Significant resources are being allocated to infrastructure improvements as well.
At La Rosa, we prefer to look at the high cost of living as a necessary stage in the future development of Costa Rica becoming a developed nation. Of course, we recognize the preference of our guests to "get the most for their money" - especially in this difficult economic time.
It is one of our core, guiding principles as a "gateway" hotel to this beautiful country to do our best to ensure guests are not taken advantage of during their stay in Costa Rica, financially or otherwise. Again, we thank you for the kind comments in your review and we hope that the above explanation helps a bit to explain the "Costa Rican situation!"
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Vancouver, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2011

We decided to stay at La Rosa because it advertised as being safe, pretty and peaceful. Their advertising was accurate!
We used this hotel for our first stay in Costa Rica and the reception staff were very helpful in giving suggestions and ideas for our trip which we had not completely planned out due to lack of time. We used a couple of their suggestions and were very pleased with their honest help. Definitely the best personal service we found - and that is in a country full of friendly people!
The rooms were a little on the small side, but were very well maintained, totally clean, we had a great sleep and the glass sinks in the bathroom were a nice touch! Also we had a covered deck where we spent much of our time.
We found our first motmot on the property - three of them actually while we were walking around at 6 am with our morning coffee! The garden has all kinds of flowers and fruit trees, some with amazing scents and many have info signs on them.
La Rosa was a great place to rest before we set out to Arenal and our Costa Rican adventure.

Room Tip: Ask for a room behind the pool
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  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Gulfport, Mississippi
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2011

The Hotel La Rosa de America was a great place to begin our Costa Rica trip. From the first inquiry until we drove off the property they were more than helpful. Grisska was incredible in helping us get reservations not just for the hotel but for a rental car and for a cell phone. They arranged for transportation from the airport when we arrived late in the evening. The driver (Willy) met us outside the airport doors and got us to the hotel and gave some great insight to things to see and places to go while in Costa Rica. Willy was a fun start to the trip and he even suggested we eat at the wonderful restaurant just down the street from Hotel La Rosa. The room was simple and nice. It's not a high end tourist destination, but it was more than we needed for a night's stay. The breakfast was wonderful, and even though we were up and moving before breakfast was served, we were invited in to the kitchen to get a cup of delicious cafe con leche. From start to finish the service, price, location, and accommodations were excellent.

The greatest part was as we were leaving in our rental car, a member of the staff whom we had not met was driving into the secure parking lot. She smiled and greeted us. Wished us well on our adventure and said, "Just remember...if you get lost, take a deep breath and enjoy the beauty. It's a small country." We never got lost (thanks to the GPS) but we did breathe deeply and enjoy the amazing beauty and the adventure.

Thanks Grisska, et al!

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rob_Hick, Owner at Hotel La Rosa de America, responded to this review, June 6, 2011
Thank you very much for your kind words! Grisska is a very valued employee to us and it's nice of you to commend her. We do try our very best to give as much help as possible. I do remember you - I was the person driving in that day, and my husband and I own the hotel. We used to stay at this hotel as guests and we fell in love with La Rosa and decided to buy it. We hope you had a lovely trip to Costa Rica and perhaps we will see you again someday!

Alexandra Hick
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Additional Information about Hotel La Rosa de America

Address: 100 mts Sur y 75 mts Este de La Mandarina | La Garita, Alajuela none, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Alajuela
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Alajuela
#3 Business Hotel in Alajuela
#6 Romantic Hotel in Alajuela
#7 Family Hotel in Alajuela
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel La Rosa de America 3*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel La Rosa de America is a friendly and peaceful garden oasis conveniently near the San Jose Costa Rica Airport (SJO). With our emphasis on service, we are the vacation home base of choice for many guests visiting Costa Rica. Our staff have a wealth of information about the country and are happy to share that knowledge! The hotel is located on a gorgeous and carefully maintained property, in the sunniest part of the Central Valley - La Garita. We offer a selection of great accommodation options in rooms located around a large carefully maintained tropical garden and sparkling clean swimming pool. Rooms come in Superior and Standard types with Superior rooms having air conditioning, flat screen TV's, bar fridges and more! La Rosa is is ideally suited to guests arriving from a tiring flight and wanting time to adjust to the country in safe, friendly and beautiful surroundings. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
La Rosa De America Hotel
Hotel La Rosa De America Costa Rica/Alajuela

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