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“Not Worth It” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Alajuela Backpackers Boutique Hostel

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Alajuela Backpackers Boutique Hostel
Memphis, Tennessee
Level Contributor
36 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Not Worth It”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 19, 2012

I am not sure how this hostel markets itself as a boutique hostel or what that name is supposed to represent exactly, but this is certainly a no-frills hostel. I have stayed in a few very basic hotels in Costa Rica and most were less expensive and better maintained than this hotel.

I have stayed here twice. The first time, I slept fairly well and was happy with the shuttle service. I will note that I was there for a very brief amount of time and incredibly exhausted from traveling.That was in July of 2012. When I stayed here in most recently, I noticed the hostel appeared more run down and a lot dirtier. My room did not look like it had been cleaned and the bathroom was visibly dirty. As many have noted, the showers are equipped with a less than convenient hand held hose, does that say "boutique hostel" to anyone? I've never seen anything like that around Costa Rica. Finally, my sheets had holes in them and the mattress was very stiff. Every time I shifted in bed, the bunk bed led out a terrible groan, which I'm sure disrupted the other guests in the room.

The bathroom in the lobby was also dirty and I got a look into the kitchen, quickly deciding not to eat there. Wifi is offered in the lobby but it did make me laugh that the "free service" computers are set up without chairs to encourage you to spend as little time as possible. In fact, the entire hostel is set up with the same vibe, "getting the customers in and out." I don't think they are too concerned with our comfort or satisfaction (the first sign when you enter reads "NO REFUNDS").

While I was in the lobby, I noted a heated exchange between hotel workers and guest. The guest was noting the difference between the quoted price and the price on the website. The first hostel working was busy typing something on the computer (besides looking to correct the issue, I'm not sure) when another jumped in and yelled at the guest, stating the price remains as it was quoted. As a guest and a female one traveling solo at that, I felt very uncomfortable by this man's tone of voice and body language towards the other traveler. I immediately decided that I will not be returning to this hostel. Sure, I appreciate the "free shuttle" ride but let's be real, it's a) not free and b) not worth a night in this hostel.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank MaryClark R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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280 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
35 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 15, 2012

I stayed here for 1 night before going to the airport.
Yes, it's handy with a free airport shuttle but for $55 for a private room, that's the least they should do!
I arrived at about 8.30pm after a long bus journey.
They had already stopped serving food which I was very disappointed about. I had had a long day and was leaving at 5am and really didn't want to have to go out to eat. Anyway, the always handy MickeyD's is close by so that's where I went.
When I went to the room I was originally given, I opened it to find that it had not been cleaned! The sheets from the previous occupant were still on the bed and there was rubbish on the floor.
I went back to reception, was given no apology or any feeling that they cared at all, handed a key for a new room and that was it.
The shower was freezing cold and the water was straying out of the shower head from all angles.
The room itself was clean but nothing special.
It's a handy place if you're going to the airport but I'm sure there are better value places in Alajuela than this.
I certainly wouldn't recommend it or stay again.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Itchy_feet1978_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Alajuela hotels

Cartagena, Colombia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 29, 2012

I checked in here before doing any research. Wanted to break up the trip from Monte Verde to Puerto Viejo. Big mistake. They give you a terrible rate on changing dollars and posted a lower price online than they actually charge. Bedrooms were dirty. The guy at the desk told me I wouldnt be able to catch a bus to PV that day and would have to try tomorrow.

Luckily, I went online and found the bus schedule. I had plenty of time to get to San Jose and catch the last bus to Puerto Viejo.

The only reason to stay here is the free ride to the airport. Other than that just dont. You can find a better, cheaper hostel in San Jose and take a bus to Alajuela for $2.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank REGRESSS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
41 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 22, 2012 via mobile

This hostel is situated in Central Alajuela, in a beautiful building.

We stayed in a private double with private bathroom. The room was spacious and the bed comfortable. It's clean, very basic and a bit dated.
Our showerhead was in a state where the water went in all directions, except toward your body, so you had to hold it in one hand. Sorry, can be quite frustrating after a 12 hour bus or plane ride... ;-)

They have an amazing rooftop bar, however, it was quite expensive and: it was closed all day.... ???

The rooms are ok for a night, especially if you're headed to the airport (they have a free airport shuttle every hour). 55 dollars is too much for the private room though. The 17 dollar 4 bed dorm is probably a better deal.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank DiscoverMar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Texas
Level Contributor
65 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 23, 2012

After I found this place 3-4 years ago, I always stay for one night upon arrival/departure because of the free airport shuttle, good feature due to the high taxi rates in SJ. It is a very basic hostel, cleaning lady keeps place clean and is very nice/helpful. I book by email so I have written confirmation of the communication/s.

When I book, I always ask for the 4-bedded female dorm. I do not use the restaurant/bar, as my stay is only for one night's sleep and cleanup + I see the menu at front desk and it is pricey
for such basic food. The coffee was not ready at 4AM when I came down for shuttle and had to ask clerk to please start the coffee pot. CR has great coffee, but I do not know where they found such bad coffee this time, because it was the worst tasted like it was made from coffee grounds (and I have tasted such coffee before).

There are four computers for guests to use w/o additional charge, this is also a good feature, however, only one was working consequently one had to wait until it was available, sometimes a long wait.

My most recent stay this month on way out of the country, I was somewhat displeased, after checking in, I was given the key card, and told I would be the first one in the room. I put my bags in, took out my toiletries and left to find a place to get food. Upon returning, I go to my room only to find three (3) men in there. Of course, I went downstairs to report the problem and was given another room.

If you stay there, be sure you keep written confirmation so you can show what you requested.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ahvolare
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
2 reviews
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 21, 2012

Nice location for traveling, came because of shuttle with early flight the next day. However, noise carries easily and could not sleep because of noise from bar above. I am not a light or picky sleeper either. Otherwise clean, nice rooms, helpful perosonel, easy to get to. Bit expensive for a hostel and had problems with shower head spraying in two different directions at once getting water on floor and puddling on my things

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Aewil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
utah
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 27, 2012

so I was pretty excited when I heard about this place. Sounded great with all the bells and whistles. It is not what I expected at all. Upon checking in a random woman walked into my room while I was taking a nap with no knock or notice. I still don't know if she works for the hostel or not but have not seen her around if she does. The kitchen is closed most of the day so I had to go eat at the local KFC. The bar/kitchen does not open until 4...but that is only if they are running on time:) The morning breakfast is not worth the walk down the stairs. Coffee is cold with dairy dust for milk. When I asked for milk they said sorry no milk so bring your own or run up the street to the AMPM for breakfast. Also, there is a great smoothie place just out front between the AMPM and the hostel. The room is fine except the handle for the shower is broken off so you have to use the hose and the plug does not work in the tub so no bath. This place has potential but they just don't get it... Good luck:)

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank csunyich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Alajuela Backpackers Boutique Hostel

Property: Alajuela Backpackers Boutique Hostel
Address: 4th Avenue and 4th Street, Alajuela 6824 1000, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Alajuela
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #25 of 39 Specialty Lodging in Alajuela
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Alajuela Backpackers Boutique Hostel 2*
Number of rooms: 21
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Alajuela Backpackers Boutique Hotel Alajuela
Alajuela Backpackers Boutique Hostel Costa Rica

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