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“Great Stay” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Buena Vista

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Hotel Buena Vista
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Across from catholic church, Pilas, Alajuela, Alajuela 4050, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 30 Hotels in Alajuela
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great Stay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2013

We were only in Alajuela for one night, but our experience made us want to stay longer. The hotel had great views of San Jose and Alajuela and is only 15 mins from the airport. We met the owner and he was very helpful and accomodating. The room was beautiful, very Spanish-like. Not too much in the surrounding area but it is easy to get around. Food at the hotel was great, and the bed was the comfiest we had for the whole trip. Free shuttle to the airport which was great! They also provide tours that you can do in the surrounding attractions (which unfortunately we did not get to do). There is a small coffee trail that you can take around the property which was nice. We didn't stay in them, but they have villas on the property which looked magnificent, and had stunning views to the valley below. You can see Poas volcano from the front of the hotel as well. There is a small pool in the back which was nice as well.
We would definitely stay here again if we go back.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Asha20000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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573 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (105)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Level Contributor
54 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

We are currently sitting by the pool here & it is perfect! This is the last night of our trip (San Jose Airport is only 10-15 mins away) and this is a fabulous ending! The rooms have recently been renovated and the whole property is gorgeous. We love how it feels so peaceful and elegant. We will for sure recommend this gem to anyone coming thru San Jose! (& breakfast is included)

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank MattAtl12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

I have stayed here 4 times now in the hotel and will continue to use this as my first night after flying in to Costa Rica and as my last night before flying out of Costa Rica. The staff are very helpful and speak English. Some have worked here for years which shows me that they are treated well and like their job. This is a somewhat small establishment situated on the top of a hill with beautiful views of the city. The short cofffee trail is nice for stretching your legs and seeing some birds. I have not stayed in the new villas but they look exceptionally nice (and expensive). The hotel although not cheap is still a good value. They provide a shuttle to and from the airport ( from 5 am to 11 pm but check on the times). Food is good. They are doing some remodeling of the rooms so some will be more updated than others but all are good.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank SueBee545
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

We had a wonderful experience staying here. We stayed in the budget room, which is simple but very clean and comfortable. If you'd like to spend more, the suites and villas look incredible. We had a delicious Costa Rican dinner and breakfast in the restaurant and loved the food. Wonderful, helpful staff. Perfect location for access to Alajuela, Sarchi, Volcan Poas, and La Paz. We enjoyed our evening out under the stars enjoying the spectacular view of the Alajuela/San Jose valley. The grounds are lovely and there is a short "coffee trail" that is definitely worth doing. The pool area is also very lovely.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ACA93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Antwerp, Belgium
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

Visited this hotel for the second time in February 2013. We knew the place from our first visit to Costa Rica, in 2008, and although the hotel did not feature in the brochure of our travel agent any longer, we insisted on staying here for the first and last night of our trip. The place has changed a little with the constructions of some additional suites (villas) but still the right size and the coffee trail is worth the hike.
It'a good place to take a rest from a long trip, not too hot as it is situated in the hills of Alajuela and conveniently close to the airport. Beautiful location with stunning nightviews of San Jose, spacious, clean and comfortable rooms and very relaxed atmosphere. Very comfortable beds. Staff friendly and helpful, restaurant prices maybe a little elevated but value for money is OK.
Yes, I would recommend this hotel as a first/last night place to stay.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Wings47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
philadelphia
Level Contributor
25 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2013

This hotel is in an out of the way location in a neighborhood high up in the hill. The view at night is an interesting perspective of San Jose and worth the trip to see.
We stayed in a villa which was very nice and spacious and new with a great bathroom - but everyone is going to sleep at the same time as it is one room.
The restaurant isn't much to look at but the food was solid and the waiters work hard and it is kid friendly.
The pool is small and cold and it isn't a great option. The pool pictures have as much airbrushing as the SI swimsuit issue.
The staff was good and two in particular, Jonathan and Randall, make a difference there. They are incredibly hard working and do everything. We asked them to take us to the airport at 5am and they were prompt, helped with the bags, friendly, and Jonathan got up even earlier than we did to prepare a nice breakfast which we unfortunately hadn't expected but ate on the go. That is impressive service for anywhere in the world.
The downsides of the hotel are that it there isn't much to do right nearby. They kept insisting on the LaPaz Waterfall and Zoo and we resisted but we finally relented and they were right that it was worth it, even though it is expensive by CR standards. We also tried Poas Volcano which was so foggy we couldn't see past the railing between the trail and the crater.
We used one of their drivers and he drove incredibly safe, albeit very slowly, and his English wasn't as good as advertised, but he was very nice and conscientious.
The hotel neighborhood seems fine but I took my daughter for a walk to the local little store and we got some odd looks. There are some loud dogs on the hill below the hotel and if they bark at night, you'll know it.
I can see why people like this place and for a night, I did, it is a great option versus staying in town.

Room Tip: Get a Villa!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank blnk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BuenaVistaAlajuela, Owner at Hotel Buena Vista, responded to this review, March 6, 2013
It seems this guest was happy with his experience with us but I would like to take issue with several of his/her comments. This author, while well intentioned, is wrong in his comment that our swimming pool pictures are airbrushed "more than the sports illustrated magizine". When I read this comment I knew what airbrushing generally refered to, but had to go online to actually see what "airbrushed" means. It is using small paint, dye or ink sprayers to edit pictures mainly in glamor photography in the "pre-digital age". For sure we did no airbrushing as this technique is obsolete. Now days, according to the internet, you use something called a "raster image editor". I'm not sure what that is, but we did not have one! The reality is I hired an excellent photographer who shoots for Costa Rica's most popular homes and gardens magazine. She had very high quality cameras, lenses and large, circular, foil, light reflectors on stands etc. I spent all day with her (carrying her gear) and she shot perhaps 200 photos. For the pool pictures she used a tripod at dusk and a long exposure. At the end of the day, her and I selected the 40 or so best hotel pictures used on our website. All she did in terms of "editing" was to crop the pictures to make them the correct size. No technique was used to erase flaws etc. An off the cuff comment about "fake" photography maligns our reputation and calls in to question our integrity. For the record, we run a very honest business here. We don't overcharge people, cheat anyone, mis-represent our product nor do we post fake or altered pictures of the hotel, rooms or pool. This writer also infers we pressured them to go to "La Paz Waterfall Park". My employees have no incentive to pressure anyone to take any tour, anywhere. La Paz Park is a real highlight of Costa Rica but many guests balk at the seemingly high entrance fee of $36. Everybody that originally thinks it's to expensive comes away thrilled with the experience and finds the $36 to be very well spent (and this is what happened with these guests). In short my employees only tried to direct these people to a very popular destination which should not be missed if at all possible. My employee only tried to help them not miss a remarkable Costa Rican destination over the $36 park entrance fee. This guest complains his driver drove to slowly? This is possible, but be advised the roads here are poor, the terrain is mountainous, no guardrails, and I think this guest had his children in our van also. As to the drivers lesser English, this was probably true. We have 3 primary tour drivers whose English is very good but on occasion if one of these drivers is absent we have 2 other very good drivers (but with lesser English). On occasion one of these 2 subsitute drivers will drive guests on a tour. The comment that the pool was cold is true. We are currently repairing the solar system. This solar system came from Switzerland so getting parts takes a little time. As this guest states, the pool is not large (but it is clear and clean). This writer apparently did not like the decor of our restaurant. Everyone has their own opinion, which I respect, but generally we get a lot of compliments on our decor in general. The restaurant has a wall of art butterflies which many other travelers often take photos of. There are good pictures of the restaurant on our website (not retouched). Just click photo gallery, then restaurant, and be your own judge. I appreciate the advice and comments from all our guests. We work constantly to improve and upgrade this resort and most importantly the guest's experience. Many thanks to all our customers!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado
Level Contributor
15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2013

Our family of three stayed for three nights on our arrival to Costa Rica in mid-January. It was a great way to begin our vacation – a driver was waiting for us right outside of the baggage area and upon arrival at the hotel, the staff allowed us to check-in right away –a big surprise to us as it was about 7:30 am and a great relief with a 5-year-old (though he seemed to need sleep a lot less than we did!) If we had not been able to check-in, we would have taken one of the many tours they offered – to Poas Volcano, La Paz Waterfall Gardens or to Zoo Ave (“Ave” for bird not Avenue, btw), all of which we did take in the subsequent days. Our drivers and guides such as Kenneth and Jonathan were friendly and informative, the included breakfast was delightful, the grounds were lovely, and the view was beautiful. All-in-all, we thought it was a great value – a wonderful way to ease in to a longer adventure in Costa Rica. The pool looked nice but we didn’t have a chance to try it out. Our room was comfortable and well appointed with a nice view of the courtyard.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JBandToofey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Buena Vista

Property: Hotel Buena Vista
Address: Across from catholic church, Pilas, Alajuela, Alajuela 4050, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Alajuela
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Family Hotel in Alajuela
#7 Romantic Hotel in Alajuela
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Buena Vista 3*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The comment ofter heard in this hotel is, "We feel like we are at home." This is exactly the impression the management and staff of the Buena Vista strive to create. We are high on the summit of a mountain with a climate of eternal spring yet only fifteen minutes drive from the International Airport below. We will pick you up there and show you the wonders of this exotic country. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Buena Vista Hotel
Buena Vista Alajuela
Hotel Buena Vista Costa Rica/Alajuela

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