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“Good for the price, but not awesome” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Vida Tropical B and B

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Vida Tropical B and B
300 meters East and 300 N from the courthouse traffic light | in front of the Academia de Natación, Alajuela, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #7 of 54 Alajuela B&B and Inns
Nottingham
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Good for the price, but not awesome”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2008

We booked for two nights during our trip to Costa Rica- once at the start of our stay and once in the middle. I have to say they were friendly and helpful during the booking process -and happy to let us leave our luggage there.

The room was basic, but fairly clean, although I did take offence to the stray cockroach until my husband squished it! and it only cost a reasonable $4 by taxi from the airport. However, we did feel somewhat like we had intruded on the family home and slightly unwelcome at breakfast time.

Whilst it was reasonable (don't bother going into San Jose, it is definitely better to stay in Alajuela if you can), I can't really recommend it because it was poor value compared with other places we stayed in CR, and I am sure there are other places to stay that will meet your needs.

  • Liked — Proximity to airport
  • Disliked — Breakfast
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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223 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    124
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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 (32)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
PAP
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 1, 2008

This is a great place to stay. Simple, clean and friendly. Take time to stay for a few days if you can, we simply didn't have time. We did have a few hours on our return night stay and walked to Normans place, that was a highlight of my whole Costa Rican trip. We went for lunch, and went back for dinner! It quaint, and wonderful. That man can cook. Walking through the community give you an entire different feel than the whirl-wind taxi ride. We stayed at a pricey all inclusive hotel (business) during the week and I would have much preferred to stay at Vida Tropical the entire time and nosed around the city more.

Interesting guests and a bit a taste of Tico in their breakfast.. you just can't beat it.

We arrived super late (past 1 am) due to delayed plane, we were welcomed, shown our room, where we collapsed. We met interesting guests the next morning and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast.

The Taxi info they provide you is perfect, works like a charm.. and makes traveling to a new country a little less stressful.

We would stay there again and again.

  • Liked — friendly, expat community staying there, interesting conversations
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Upland, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2008

Our group passed through Vida Tropical on our last day in San Jose, we didn't actually stay overnight. We had a late afternoon flight out of San Jose and needed some place to relax rather than sit at the airport for hours and hours. We contacted Vida Tropical and they were nice enough to let us hang out in the living room and back patio, store our bags, and help us call a taxi van to get to the airport.

The B&B looks like some place I'd love to stay if I come back to Costa Rica. It's a quick taxi drive to the airport, a short walk from the downtown area, and to the YUMMY restaurant they own, Jalapenos. GO EAT THERE. Norman makes some AWESOME food. Isabel and Norman were so so nice. Their son was too precious and a crack-up. The B&B is very home-feeling, clean, and provides access to books, souvenirs, and internet. I just appreciated their hospitality so much!!

I hope to return. Visit their website.

  • Stayed May 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Chicago, Illinois
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2008

Hotel Vida Tropical is a great place to stay at and to experience the hospitality of a Tico family. We just returned from CR and we stayed here for 3 nights (April 18, April 23 and April 24).
The prices are great (we paid $45 per night, tax and breakfast included, for 2 people) and the owners, Isabel and Norman, are very friendly and speak very good English. Their little boy is a delight to watch and to play with. He is 2 years old and he understands both, Spanish and English.

The hotel is very close to the airport. Downtown Alajuela is a nice 5 minutes walk from this place.

The morning breakfast is also good and it is prepared in front of you. There is also a fridge with cold drinks (beer, water and pop) available to guests. You pay $1.50 per bottle (no mater if you get a beer, a pop or a bottle of water). You keep track of your own drinks and pay Isabel or Norman when you have a chance. They trust and respect their guests and their guests trust and respect them.

The dining area has also a nice living room where people hang out and watch TV. Isabel and Norman ask their guests to be considerate and keep the level of noise to a minimum from 9pm to 9am, so everybody can enjoy their stay at Vida Tropical.

If you have extra luggage that you do not want to carry with you on the trips to another places you plan visiting, you can leave the extra luggage with Isabel and Norman. There is no charge for storing your luggage while you are gone. We left a big duffel bag with them for few nights and we were glad they stored it for us and that we did not have to take it with us!

If you arrive after 9pm, you will be greeted and shown to your room by Greg. Greg is young, full of energy and very friendly. He is from Minneapolis and of course his English is perfect :) His eyes lit up when he heard we came from Chicago. He told us that Chicago was one of his favorite towns in the USA and we were glad to hear it. We love Chicago too!

If you stay here, you will also meet Monti at one point. Monti is a very friendly rabbit who likes to hop around, chew on cables (so you have to make sure you close the gate when you enter the dinning/living area if you want to be able to watch TV without checking if Monti chewed up on the cables) and cookies. I was eating cookies one night when he came around and I gave him 2 cookies that he ate with pleasure. He did not want a third one, I guess he was already full. You just need to make sure you do not feed him anything that is wet. I learned this lesson a long time ago when I was a kid and fed my little rabbit a leaf of salad that was wet. Wet food is triggering indigestion on rabbits and it kills them. So if you feed Monti, please make sure you do not give him any wet food.

We met a lot of people while staying here, even though we stayed at this place just 3 nights total. Everybody was very nice and friendly and I was happy to see that CR is a country that attracts tourists from all over the world. Here we had the chance to meet people that came from the USA (like us), France, Spain and Germany. And we also had the pleasure to meet Paul, a very nice American gentleman from Florida that spends few months a year staying at Isabel and Norman's place while vacationing.

We will definitely stay here again on our next trip to Costa Rica!

  • Liked — location, services provided
  • Disliked — rooms are small, but comfortable
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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AZ
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2008

This is our second trip to Costa Rica and again we are using Vida Tropical as our home base. Isabel, Norman and the entire staff at Vida Tropical are always ready with a warm and friendly welcome and make us feel right at home and more like part of their family than guests. Clean and reasonably priced accommodations, delicious breakfasts, good English spoken, an abundance of knowledge about Costa Rica, plenty of travelers from various parts of the world to share experiences with ... Vida Tropical is truly an example of the warmth of the Costa Rican people.
Thank you for all you do.
Pura Vida!
Carlos and Marsha Lopez
Prescott, Arizona

Stayed April 2008
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stepoutexperience
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2008

We at StepOut Experience always use Vida Tropical. It's perfect for both our indivdual guests and our groups who come and go from San Jose Airport with no problems. They are always helpful and very resourceful when we need anything extra. And a great breakfast. We know our guests find that Vida Tropical is a great way to both start and finish their wonderful experience in Costa Rica.

Stayed January 2008
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2008

...of a fine kind, is Vida Tropical. An invaluable network of which to be a part for those who want to know anything ex-pat-related about Costa Rica. VT isn't just for gringos, of course, but a lot of them sure show up there and share all sorts of wonderful information and exciting tales (most true!).

But the best part? Isabel and Norman (and Nicolas, too). Not only are they fabulous and fabulously helpful hosts, but they have also become dear friends. Isabel was the first person to welcome me to Costa Rica on my intial foray there in November 2005, and I doubt to this day she knows just how important that was for me.

Vida Tropical: stay there!

  • Stayed November 2007, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Vida Tropical B and B

Address: 300 meters East and 300 N from the courthouse traffic light | in front of the Academia de Natación, Alajuela, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Alajuela
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Spa Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 54 B&Bs / Inns in Alajuela
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
ADVANTAGES OF VIDA TROPICAL - 5 minutes from the airport, but not on the flight path; walking distance to the center of the city of Alajuela; on a nice, quiet, secure street, in a friendly residential area; transportation to and from the airport is available at any hour of the day or night with the official orange airport taxis or we can arrange pickup(fare is about $7.00); a base from which to do day trips in the Central Valley, or overnight trips to more distant points; a place to stay during your whole trip if you're here to check out business opportunities, real estate purchase or rental possibilities or if you want to experience daily life in the Central Valley to decide if you want to move here permanently or part of the year; s place to enjoy an extended stay at very reasonable prices. We´re in Lonely Planet, Let's Go, and other travel books, reviewed on TripAdvisor and airbnb,and recommended in Thorn Tree and other discussion boards. Established in the Last Millenium before Y2K (1999), and enjoyed by 1,000s of guests. We accept Visa and Mastercard but NOT with the new CHIP security system. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vida Tropical b And b Hotel Alajuela
Vida Tropical B And B Costa Rica/Alajuela

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