I can't imagine why anyone would stay here for more than a one night layover.
This is one of those hotel complexes that's just outside the airport... In it, you'll find tons of things that cater to Americans who are afraid to venture into the city... There's a Denny's, a casino, a Hampton Inn, a Holiday Inn Express, and some car rental places. If you're not into eating Denny's, they can steer you to a nearby touristy-sounding steakhouse that has a free shuttle.
This hotel itself doesn't even try to hide the fact that it caters to American's... You walk in, and there's the typical "hello" door mat and everything else in English, despite the fact that you're in a Spanish speaking country... CNN isn't CNN International, it's beamed in regular CNN US feeds.
The hotel itself is fairly typical Hampton Inn. I would say it's very overpriced for what it is, though. Our room was upgraded to a "suite" because they didn't have any other non-smoking rooms... But their "suite" was no larger or nicer than any other Hampton Inn room I've seen. Actually I've seen others that were nicer... For the price, this place is a ripoff probably. (about $180/USD or so when we looked... We used points and it was 30,000 or so). But they can command that price I guess to the travelers who are afraid of having to look into unfamiliar territory.
We did stop into the casino. It's worth a visit to the casino, and probably the highlight of us staying here. You can play roulette where it's not a wheel, but rather a bingo ball holder.. It's hours of fun potentially, trying to figure out how the heck you convert $40 USD into a gazillion chips that are no longer valued in USD. They also had electronic roulette, but I'm pretty convinced that was rigged somehow... at least the real bingo ball version is nearly impossible to imagine how they could rig that! There were some friendly people at the casino, too.
Cabs are a flat rate $20 into the city, and it's a quick ride in (but know where you're going--don't just get in a cab and not have a destination in mind). On the return, you can negotiate or pay the meter, but the flat rate doesn't apply. (We paid $11/person=$22 USD total for the return cab). It was well worth it to take a cab ride into the city. And our earnings from the casino paid for it.
Despite being from a big city ourselves, the hotel staff kinda looked at us funny when asking about things to do downtown. Their inclination was to keep us nearby and recommended the touristy-sounding steakhouse that has a free shuttle. One girl did say that one of the restaurants we were curious to try downtown was good, but she disappeared and then nobody else quite knew the block it was on.. It all worked itself out though, the desk staff called the restaurant for us to confirm they were open and what not...
Their breakfast center was barely functional... The computers were slow, loaded with spyware, and the Internet barely worked. Printing didn't work either. Wifi was available in the hotel, but the signal wasn't available from our room.
Their breakfast sounded like the typical Hampton Inn corn-infused food... What I don't understand is.. this is a hotel that obviously caters to people on overnight layovers, yet their breakfast doesn't start until 6am. For an 8am flight (as many are around), you're SOL and have to resort to their bagged meal (which consisted of water that tasted like plastic, a really bad flavored apple, a really bad for you breakfast bar, and a muffin whose number one ingredient was sugar).
The desk staff was very friendly here though.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- An airport hotel with everything you need...welcome to the Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton San José - Airport. If you're looking for a hotel in the Central Valley, home of San José, Costa Rica’s capital city, look no further. Our Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton™ is the most conveniently located hotel in the area, just five minutes away from the International Airport, one block away from rental car return centers, and with easy access the Inter-American Highway (which transports you to beautiful beaches, national parks, and free trade areas). ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hampton Inn & Suites By Hilton San Jose Airport Hotel Alajuela
- Hampton Inn And Suites By Hilton San Jose Airport
- Hampton Inn Alajuela
- Alajuela Hampton Inn
- Hampton Inn San Jose
- San Jose Hampton Inn
- Hampton Inn & Suites By Hilton San Jose Airport Costa Rica/Alajuela