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Hotel La Rosa de America
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Reviews (739)
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All reviewsbanana breadcosta ricaclose to the airportsan josefamily suitesuperior roomzoo avelast nightnice poolrental carbeautiful groundsbunk bedsceiling fannext morningwould definitely stay here againrooms are smallfresh fruit
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Reviewed July 30, 2011

My husband and I stayed here on the first and last nights of our vacation to Costa Rica, July 20 & 28, 2011, both nights in the cursed room #2, and I do not recommend this place.

I was terribly frustrated with interactions I had with two of the staff members, Grisska and Dulce. I mostly interacted with Grisska before arriving and while there, and she is very uncommunicative and reticent. We went to Monteverde for the balance of our trip to Costa Rica, and we asked Grisska to help us to find a shuttle to Monteverde. It was like pulling teeth trying to get shuttle information out of her, and she only recommended one company. We had to call and get help from another employee to book a shuttle.

While we were there, we asked Grisska for restaurant suggestions, and all she would tell us is that "there are restaurants out on the main road". Lastly, we had 2 coffees and paid for them when we checked in, and Grisska failed to mark them as paid. Dulce acted like a police officer trying to make us pay for the coffees again, and she even called Grisska to verified that we had already paid for them; she was so petty and rude.

Next, the "environmentally friendly" hot water system in room #2 simply does not work. The water runs hot or cold, but not warm. There is a long and convoluted set of instructions inside the shower on how to use it, my husband and I followed the instructions carefully for our showers on both nights, and neither one of us could get warm water. We told Dulce on the second night of our stay about this problem, and she was incredibly defensive and said that no other guest had complained about it but us. I challenge the owner of this hotel to use an instant read thermometer and see if he or she can get warm water in the range of 80 F to 90 F for 10 minutes out of the shower in room #2.

Another problem was that room 2's bed was strangely short. My husband is a little over 6 feet tall, and his feet stuck out over the edge of the bed! Additionally, on the first night, the fitted sheet over the mattress had an entire corner of the bed sheet neatly cut out and missing. How cheap is that?

Finally, I'm displeased with the deadlock on the door, because it requires a key to lock and unlock it on both the outside and the inside of the room. This is a fire hazard style of lock. Plus, it's just plain annoying if one person leaves with the key and absent-mindedly locks the deadbolt, then the other person is trapped in the room, unable to unlock the deadbolt without the key. There is no phone in room 2, so a guest would not be able to call for assistance.

The positives to Hotel La Rosa are that the grounds are quite lovely, this hotel is very clean, it is very closely located to the amazing Zoo Ave, and their continental breakfast is great.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank erika_hartman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rob_Hick, Owner at Hotel La Rosa de America, responded to this reviewResponded August 13, 2011

This reviewer has multiple concerns with our hotel. Legitimately, maintaining hot water in their cabin has proven difficult for approximately 5% of our guests and for this we again apologize. We recognize this deficiency and have been actively searching for a better solution while maintaining environmental respect of our surroundings - the very surroundings that attract so many tourists to Costa Rica. We have been unable to locally source a suitably reliable replacement hot water unit so we have purchased a much more reliable German made system. This system remains environmentally friendly and is proving to be 100% reliable for all guests. Approximately 90% of the rooms using the old system have now been converted, including the Cabin this guest used. Two rooms remain on a more robust but similar system and will be converted shortly. We feel it is important that guests who have concerns know that we take their concerns very seriously and are prepared to act on them.

Now, to be fair to the hotel, this guest found everything sufficiently acceptable on their first night stay to return to our hotel for a second night at the end of their trip. For the difficultly with the water system, hotel staff not only apologized to the guest but also offered to refund a portion of their night's stay. We recognize the hotel's responsibility in this matter. We also indicated that their concern would be dealt with so other guests would not have the same issue.

Despite Hotel efforts to correct the problem, this guest felt the need to direct significant sarcasm and strongly personal targeted accusations not only at the hotel but specifically at named hotel employees. As can be seen repeatedly throughout online guest testimonials, our employees mentioned in this article are held in extremely high regard. Further as Owner, I feel it is my responsibility to defend what my employees can not in a public venue. We provide extremely lengthy, detailed training to our reception, maintenance and concierge staff, a significant portion including language and cultural awareness training - reflecting the reality of our receiving guests from approximately 120 different nations. Also, our employees are informally trained to assist in many duties normally reserved for travel agents. As these services are provided 100% free of charge, (and in most cases the hotel refuses commission based activity as well in order to provide better recommendations), they are given on a "best effort" and honest basis. Again the hotel has been many times highly recognized for these efforts and this additional service effort is in fact a cornerstone of our niche concept as an airport hotel. We promise to help each and every guest to the best of our abiilty. Of course, ultimately, vacation planning, and final decision making responsibility rests with the guest.

The guest had numerous functional issues with certain aspects of the hotel besides the hot water. The bed in Cabin 2, which the guest suggests is deficient, is in fact a handmade solid hardwood, extremely expensive, standard sized double bed with a pillowtop matrimonial mattress and Egyptian cotton sheets.
The door locks automatically when closed for guest security therefore the guest is reminded at check-in to ensure they remember their key when leaving the room. However, this will not prevent the guest from opening the door at anytime from the inside. The extra deadbolt is only lockable with a key as indicated by the guest. However it is physically impossible to then remove the key with the deadbolt locked, then open the door, and leave, but at the same time lock a guest in the room using the deadbolt. We understand that from time to time, guests may have trouble with something that may be outside their experience. Therefore please ask for assistance. We are more than happy to help.
The guest also indicates the potential for a fire hazard. Certainly the operation of the door is not in itself a fire hazard. Culturally, in Costa Rica, virtually all windows have bars, more out of tradition than current need. Regardless, to us this practice is a definite fire hazard. That is why at this hotel, there are no bars on any windows. The property is 100% secure day and night and we have no need of them. Further all staff have undergone yearly rapid response fire training and the hotel is fully fire certified safe, and current with all fire regulations, including extinguishers, employee training and door locks.
The guest indicates a problem regarding the cost of two coffees. The employee in question indeed errored in the recording of these, placing them in the Guest Tab column instead of Paid column. For this, she wishes to apologize. As Owner, I recognize the need for the Hotel to maintain accurate billing and as such we are in the process of converting our entire system from paper to digital. This "roll out" hopefully will be complete on 15 Aug 11 (hopefully!) with training continuing until 01 September. Though only a simple error, the employee on duty felt it proper to contact the Owner as the Reception Manager was unavailable. Immediately, she was told to strike the $3.00 charge and apologize to the guest regardless of the situation. Normally this response would need not have occurred, as the reception staff are authorized this discretion. However, for an employer to grant this financial latitude to an employee in Costa Rica is not considered normal, therefore the evening employee in question, being very junior and uncertain in her authority sought permission before taking action.

I would like to personally apologize for not being able to discuss this guest's concerns directly. They did request to talk to the Owner however, I was unavailable the following morning due to a personal issue requiring immediate medical attention. In part, this is some of the reason it has taken over a week to respond to this guest's concerns.

We are glad that this reviewer at least was able to enjoy our gardens, breakfast, and ambience of the hotel. We take very seriously our responsibility as an entry and exit point for guests vacationing to Costa Rica.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 1, 2011

Ok. So this hotel has a beautiful garden, pretty good rooms, great beds, very helpful staff, an ok pool and a nice breakfast. Then why complain about the price?

Maybe it is because of the fact that this was the most expensive hotel during our stay in Costa Rica, probably because its proximity to the airport. But then again, no. It is just that Costa Rica is too expensive all the way. Sure, the country is better than a lot of other countries in the region, in terms of food safety, security and water quality. But it is still no way up to western standards in that respect, while the prices more than are.

This is a nice hotel, very good even for a Central American hotel, but it is still a Central American hotel. Call us Dutch, but we expect to pay less for a Central American hotel with Central American quality, than we would have to pay for a middle class hotel in Amsterdam, with European quality. And we didn’t.

It’s not fair to judge this hotel only by its country, so we won’t. But we had to let you know.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Dutchman1974
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rob_Hick, Owner at Hotel La Rosa de America, responded to this reviewResponded July 3, 2011

We would like to thank this guest for his/her observations about Costa Rica in general and specifically about Hotel La Rosa de America. We are very happy that you enjoyed your stay with us!
The matter of cost of living (or value for expectations if you prefer) in Costa Rica is indeed high. Many travelers expect costs similar to that of Mexico, Guatemala, or perhaps S.E. Asia. However it is not the case. In general, the cost of living is about 75% that of similar living in Canada, the US or Europe. Of course, if you wish to live off the land much like a local campesino, then this cost is drastically less.
Costa Rica is by and large a socialist country that encourages free market investment in order to fund extensive social programs and government projects across all sectors of the economy. It is these social programs, by and large directly funded by local small business, that allow the semi-educated poor a respectable living, unlike those unfortunates in neighbouring countries and also allows for clean water, safe food and real environmental programs. It also effectively "buys" the peace Costa Rica is so famous for, ensuring that strife between rich and poor is minimal and that the governmental process is stable and not threatened by revolts.
Unfortunately, excessive governmental spending, poor management of government industries and inefficient bureaucratic oversight has forced Costa Rica to significantly raise taxes, arbitrarily revalue the local currency much to the detriment of tourists and investors alike, and caused inflation to skyrocket - especially in consumer goods and food. However, there are definitely positive signs of improvement afoot.
The local road net is rapidly improving, as is telecommunications and the capabilities of the police force as well. Significant resources are being allocated to infrastructure improvements as well.
At La Rosa, we prefer to look at the high cost of living as a necessary stage in the future development of Costa Rica becoming a developed nation. Of course, we recognize the preference of our guests to "get the most for their money" - especially in this difficult economic time.
It is one of our core, guiding principles as a "gateway" hotel to this beautiful country to do our best to ensure guests are not taken advantage of during their stay in Costa Rica, financially or otherwise. Again, we thank you for the kind comments in your review and we hope that the above explanation helps a bit to explain the "Costa Rican situation!"

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 5, 2011

We decided to stay at La Rosa because it advertised as being safe, pretty and peaceful. Their advertising was accurate!
We used this hotel for our first stay in Costa Rica and the reception staff were very helpful in giving suggestions and ideas for our trip which we had not completely planned out due to lack of time. We used a couple of their suggestions and were very pleased with their honest help. Definitely the best personal service we found - and that is in a country full of friendly people!
The rooms were a little on the small side, but were very well maintained, totally clean, we had a great sleep and the glass sinks in the bathroom were a nice touch! Also we had a covered deck where we spent much of our time.
We found our first motmot on the property - three of them actually while we were walking around at 6 am with our morning coffee! The garden has all kinds of flowers and fruit trees, some with amazing scents and many have info signs on them.
La Rosa was a great place to rest before we set out to Arenal and our Costa Rican adventure.

Room Tip: Ask for a room behind the pool
  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank acorn34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 5, 2011

The Hotel La Rosa de America was a great place to begin our Costa Rica trip. From the first inquiry until we drove off the property they were more than helpful. Grisska was incredible in helping us get reservations not just for the hotel but for a rental car and for a cell phone. They arranged for transportation from the airport when we arrived late in the evening. The driver (Willy) met us outside the airport doors and got us to the hotel and gave some great insight to things to see and places to go while in Costa Rica. Willy was a fun start to the trip and he even suggested we eat at the wonderful restaurant just down the street from Hotel La Rosa. The room was simple and nice. It's not a high end tourist destination, but it was more than we needed for a night's stay. The breakfast was wonderful, and even though we were up and moving before breakfast was served, we were invited in to the kitchen to get a cup of delicious cafe con leche. From start to finish the service, price, location, and accommodations were excellent.

The greatest part was as we were leaving in our rental car, a member of the staff whom we had not met was driving into the secure parking lot. She smiled and greeted us. Wished us well on our adventure and said, "Just remember...if you get lost, take a deep breath and enjoy the beauty. It's a small country." We never got lost (thanks to the GPS) but we did breathe deeply and enjoy the amazing beauty and the adventure.

Thanks Grisska, et al!

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank AJnMS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rob_Hick, Owner at Hotel La Rosa de America, responded to this reviewResponded June 6, 2011

Thank you very much for your kind words! Grisska is a very valued employee to us and it's nice of you to commend her. We do try our very best to give as much help as possible. I do remember you - I was the person driving in that day, and my husband and I own the hotel. We used to stay at this hotel as guests and we fell in love with La Rosa and decided to buy it. We hope you had a lovely trip to Costa Rica and perhaps we will see you again someday!

Alexandra Hick

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 30, 2011

For comfort and simplicity in a setting that cannot be beat in terms of natural beauty, La Rosa is the place to stay in Alajuela. While the rooms are simple, clean, and comfortable, the gardens are spectacular. Outside my doorstep stood a magnificent mango tree bearing fruit as sweet as candy. Delicious! Conveniently located, Alajuela and its environs are a short drive away if one turns to the right upon leaving the hotel, as is the marvelous tropical paradise that is Costa Rica if one turns to the left. While there, do not miss the bird sanctuary just up the road, and be sure to stop by the butterfly garden which is even closer to the hotel. Restaurants serving typical Costa Rican fare are also nearby. For a quiet getaway in an idyllic setting, La Rosa de America is just the place. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled solo
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2  Thank raulcasso
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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