We had arranged a $24 airport ride with them (which they confirmed via email) since our flight was a red eye and we got in early morning. After getting off the plane we waited 45 minutes for their van, turning down offers of cheaper fares from cabbies, since their confirmation stated that we would still have to pay their fee if we took alternative transport. We patiently waited since we saw many others who had been on the plane with us wait for vans as well.
After 45 minutes we figured something was wrong, since all the other passengers had been picked up and we were the only people left waiting. So, we borrowed a phone and called the office. To my surprise the rude receptionist simply said their driver "was not coming" without any explanation or apology. As a result we had to pay $26 for some random guy, who could afford to overcharge us since there were no other cars/taxis left. At the minimum the hostel should have reimbursed us for the difference since we relied in good faith on their confirmation email and waited--which was sent only a few days before our arrival. The money is less frustrating than the fact that the entire thing was handled in a very haphazard manner without any advanced notice to us, as if oversights like this are commonplace. Overall a bad way to start what has been a great trip.
After we arrived I noticed that the receptionist who we spoke to on the phone was very rude and brief to other guests (who had asked why the wifi was not working). The wifi did not work for us as well, but this is pretty common problem for all hostels, and I don't hold it against them as much as how unprofessional the receptionist's behavior was to other guests.
The room we stayed in was a very small and dark, but it was reasonable given the low price.
The one redeeming thing about this hostel is that the next morning there was a different staff member at the desk and he was more than helpful and nice, helping us arrange for transport to Monteverde and giving us tips for our half day in San Jose.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The #1 budget hostel and meeting spot for travelers in San Jose, Costa Rica and Lonely Planet readers' favorite since 2001. We have excellent reviews from guide books and on internet. Come and meet people from all around the world in our little slice of paradise, swap stories ! Catch the sun in our tropical garden, swim in the pool and don`t miss the happy hour at the "BAR-PACKERS" at 5pm!ALL FREE - internet (7 computers), wifi, coffee & tea; kitchen facilities (save money cook for yourself), parking, storage.TOP FACILITIES - Biggest pool & garden in San Jose, sunbathing, cable tv, international phone calls, hot showers, laundry service, tour desk, 24-hr security. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Costa Rica Backpackers Hotel San Jose
- Costa Rica Backpackers San Jose