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Boston...
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First and Last Night--Hotel Buena Vista or Orquideas Inn?

I know there are various postings on this topic so hope someone will still respond. We arrive at 3 PM on a Saturday and leave at 1 PM on a Tuesday. So we don't have the very late arrival/early departure that many seem to have. For our first and last night we would like a pleasant room and surroundings and a place with a restaurant or food nearby. We will be having a car delivered to the hotel and will leave from there to go to La Fortuna. At the end we'll be returning from Manuel Antonio.

Hotel Buena Vista and Orquideas Inn seem to both fit the bill and both also offer pick-up service from the airport. I'm wondering what people think about their locations for us leaving and heading to La Fortuna and also just in general if one is favored over the other. Both appear to have very pleasant rooms and nice grounds.

All thoughts and opinions gratefully accepted. Thanks so much!

San Jose, Costa Rica
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1. Re: First and Last Night--Hotel Buena Vista or Orquideas Inn?

Both are fine. Orquideas Inn is a little bit nicer and a little closer. If you depart from Costa Rica at 1pm (it is a 3 hour drive from Manuel Antonio), I would spend my last night in Manuel Antonio instead of Alajuela and leave Manuel Antonio by 7am to the arport.

Costa Rica
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2. Re: First and Last Night--Hotel Buena Vista or Orquideas Inn?

Orquideas Inn is great but not as convenient as some other locations if you are going to Arenal the next day. Basically, to get there, you go through Alajuela center and then kind of up in the mountains. The next morning, you would come back through Alajuela center and then get onto Rt 1 for your trip to Arenal.

What you could do is just go to Orquideas for the night and then taxi back to Alajuela in the morning to pick up your car for your trip to Arenal.

As for driving to the airport from Manuel Antonio the same day as your flight -- there's divided opinion on that. Some say, "Oh, go for it! No problem!" but others say, "I would NEVER take a 3-hour drive to get to the airport the same day as my flight!" (Think road construction, heavy rain, accidents, etc)

If it were me, I would want to spend the last night in the Alajuela area, have a relaxing morning - maybe some last minute shopping -- and head for the airport about 10 am. (You should plan on being there 3 hours ahead of your flight.) If you drive from Manuel Antonio, turn in your car, go to the airport with all that entails, then your flight home -- it makes for a very long and stressful day.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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3. Re: First and Last Night--Hotel Buena Vista or Orquideas Inn?

If you stay at Orquideas Inn you do not really need to come back and drive through Alajuela Center at all to go Arenal, at Barrio San Jose in Alajuela you can just take the road through La Garita de Alajuela, which would be scenic and you can even stop at the bird zoo , Zoo Ave. after the zoo you get into the highway to San Ramon and on to Arenal. You can also use the same route from Buena Vista Hotel which is also in the mountains.

Telluride, CO
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4. Re: First and Last Night--Hotel Buena Vista or Orquideas Inn?

Both are great hotels in my opinion. I would suggest you have your car dropped off and picked up from the hotel of your choice to avoid getting to the airport late. You will need to arrive at the airport 3 hours prior to your departure. If you want to look at another unique hotel take a look at Xandari. This is up on the hillside over looking the city in Alajuela, great views at night.

While in Manuel Antonio be sure to check out the Midworld canopy tour. These guys do a great job, and they also have a superman line that people just love.

Have Fun

Turner James

Costa Rica TravelPOINTS

Costa Rica
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5. Re: First and Last Night--Hotel Buena Vista or Orquideas Inn?

Well.... you have to kind of go through town to get to the road to La Garita.

It's kind of a minor point -- the point I was trying to make is that Orquideas is definitely not "on the way" to Arenal. Check out the website and you can see just where it is located.

Both Orquideas and Xandari would be great. Xandari is on the "pricey" side but a really beautiful place.

Buena Vista would also be a good choice -- in a similar area, outside of town with great views.

I don't think you can go wrong with either Buena Vista or Orquideas. It would probably be easier to either taxi to the car rental agency or arrange to have them pick you up at your hotel.

Boston...
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6. Re: First and Last Night--Hotel Buena Vista or Orquideas Inn?

Thank you all so much. I'm going to book Orquideas. Xandari looks lovely but it is considerably more money and looks better suited to a longer stay.

And I appreciated Mike's suggestion of spending our last night in Manuel Antonio but was hyperventilating a bit at the idea of a 3 hour drive on our last morning---think it would work if we were familar with the area but I think we'll be happier spending that last night closer to the airport and having a nice dinner and a good sleep.

Now to book the car---which we will have delivered and picked up at the hotel. Not to introduce a new topic but I'm planning to use Adobe---is that a good choice?

Thank you all very much.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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7. Re: First and Last Night--Hotel Buena Vista or Orquideas Inn?

Adobe is a great choice. Make sure that whatever car company you use include the mandatory daily insurance in the price t o avoid surprises when picking up the car. Have a great trip!

Edited: 5:32 pm, May 03, 2012
Costa Rica
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8. Re: First and Last Night--Hotel Buena Vista or Orquideas Inn?

Yes, Adobe is a good choice.

9. Re: First and Last Night--Hotel Buena Vista or Orquideas Inn?

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