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“Pleasantly Surprised”

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Hotel Los Volcanes B&B
Ranked #3 of 60 Alajuela B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Gilbert, Arizona, United States
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Pleasantly Surprised”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 2, 2013

We recently stayed at this hotel the night before our departure from Costa Rica. We had a wonderful experience everywhere we went. When we arrived later in the night, some in our group were worried about the location of this hotel. Don't worry at all. It is very well done inside, and a lot bigger than it looks. Jose was very nice and we enjoyed our short stay. He arranged for the shuttle to get us to the airport early the next morning. It was seriously only 3 minutes to the airport. We did not have air conditioning in our room, but we did have a fan. We did not need AC though, so that was not an issue. This was very convenient and easy.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Alan P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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351 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 25, 2013

This is a geat place to begin or end your trip in Costa Rica. In a clean and safe part of Alajuela, the place is comfortable, cozy and friendly. The staff was very helpful, the breakfast was great. Would return!

Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank floyd t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eugene, Or
Level Contributor
167 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 12, 2013

Like many reviewers we stayed one night before taking an early flight out of SJO. Our experience was mixed. It was comfortable and clean. Staff was helpful. Our room AC didn't work and it was a pretty warm night so that was unfortunate - and apparently there was no other place to move us to. We had a room in the back of the property - that area looked like an add on to the original building. I don't agree with some reviewers that is is old world charming. While it wasn't completely shabby - it felt just old and used. Our room and bathroom were small and simple. But it was inexpensive and for a one night sleepover it was fine - but I can't rate this as a 5 or 4 star experience. It was just average. The clerk provided some recommendations for restaurants nearby which was helpful - we wound up eating at a Mexican restaurant which was OK.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank fiddle_man
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Skaneateles, New York
Level Contributor
37 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 5, 2013

Let’s start by saying that this would not be for everyone. It’s low tech, low service, low cost and low excitement. It’s also mesmerizing, authentic, warm (before 9PM) and trans-formative.

Walk through the iron gates at the sidewalk into the front garden and Los Volcanes takes you back to some old black and white movie with some guy with a pencil thin mustache and slicked down hair behind the counter asking you if you will be needing a towel in the morning. You won’t find phone chargers or energy conscious led lighting anywhere inside the iron gates. Just dark exotic wood wainscoting and chipped marble floors. The obligatory potted plant and ratty sofa await you in the lobby (more like a nook across from the front desk) and room service was…well…that thing they do at those fancy hotels in the next block. The rooms were clean but almost austere and the colors were neither bright and alive like so much of the local architecture nor light and airy like so much of the local architecture not built by a local company. It was just kind of heavy. The dark wood ceiling fan spun slowly (and quietly) all night and cast shadows across the walls that left me writing film nior scripts in my mind all night.

The grounds were unremarkable with a seating area in the front around an old stone table and some plantings. All was well maintained and clean but simple.

The interiors were old school and transported you. It’s important that I mention here that although it sounds dull and lifeless it really isn't. It’s just not shiny and exciting. The bathrooms are shared between all the rooms and the rooms are directly across from the front desk which is staffed all night. The bathrooms where clean-ish and had a shower for the morning. The walk from the bathroom to your room was a trial in modesty as you padded barefoot down the narrow hall in a robe or towel.

The lobby had a surprising small collection of original artwork and sculptures which I personally enjoyed and there were old black and white photos of the hotel from way back that were also fun to look at and talk about.

There was and laundry washer and dryer near the bathroom and a folding bench but we didn't use them so no input on that item. Looked old but clean enough.

The dining area in the back was truly enchanting with beautiful plantings and dark woods. Breakfast was served there and was very good. The eggs tasted fresh and the fruit as well. Nice. The coffee was mind blowing as one would expect anywhere in Costa Rica.

The area is wonderful (before 9PM. More on that in a sec). May shops, cafes, restaurants and parks to enjoy. We spent a lot of time in the cafes and parks during our visit. We struck up a couple conversations with locals and had wonderful experiences in this neighborhood.

Everything was bustling and vibrant…until 9PM. We were advised by the front desk staff not to be out on the streets after 9PM and we learned that was not trivial advice. Almost at 9 on the dot, gates went down, lights went out, closed signs went in the windows and everyone was gone except for an occasional sleeping homeless person and a waitress walking briskly to her car. The tenor changed in an instant and we took the few tense minutes after 9 to quickly get back inside the iron gates. My advice, don’t plan on partying all night in this neighborhood. It won’t work out. Also it may be helpful to know that once at the hotel, the staff will lock the gates after dark and you will need to use the intercom to have them open it for you. The feeling is that you really just should not be out and about and they won’t accommodate you otherwise. It’s almost a feeling that when the lights go out in the neighborhood, you need to be in you room asleep or reading. No kidding. It’s a cool experience for a night or two but I don’t think I could do that for more than a couple nights tops.

Prices were reasonable for what you got and I never felt rushed. The pace was distinct from the city outside the gates and you either fell into the vibe or not.

All in all, I would come here again if I’m in the area. It’s a study in old world Costa Rica which I enjoy in small bites. I suggest you try it if you want a break from, or don’t appreciate, a night life. If you want a real old world experience this is your place.

Room Tip: Be in your room by 9PM and if possible try to get a room that isn't directly across from the fro...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank kbl42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sal67, Manager at Hotel Los Volcanes B&B, responded to this review, April 10, 2013
We appreciate your time , and sharing your impressions with the travel community.

The description of the property transport myself into a descriptive little novel and I would have to admitt it keeps me amused.

We are really glad you enjoy our breakfast and gardens and found our place clean and bring you back to the past.

Hotel Los Volcanes is a budget hotel and though we do not have phone chargers in our rooms and led lights we do have save energy ilumination all over our halls , gardens and social areas.

We must agree , we try to keep it as quiet as possible after 10:00pm considering there are many guests tired from a long trip or needing to wake up early for a morning flight.

We do not focus in having entertainement after 9:00 pm in our installations though if people looking foward it , we could advise from places on the Alajuela area, where they could have fun and do not interfere with the other guests rest.

If people looking for a busy , amuse hotel late at night , Hotel Los Volcanes is not definetely the place.

Again, thank you for your short story and impressions, we are sure they will help other travelers to form their opinion.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sebastopol, California
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 2, 2013

This is a good overnight hotel if you are looking for somewhere close to the airport. Clean, nice breakfast, walking distance to some quaint restaurants and a very helpful staff. Noise level was expected and not bad. It was a pleasant surprise to find out our trip to the airport was included and arranged for us.
Carolyn, Sebastopol, CA

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank cldseb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 9, 2013

We stayed at Los Volcanes B&B when we arrived in Costa Rica and again when we returned to Alajuela to catch our flight home. Eduardo took care of us like we were royalty. We arrived back a day early unannounced and Eduardo still managed to find us a room and space to park our car. He gave us directions to where ever we wanted to go and took the time to make sure we knew where we were going. Our rooms were neat, clean and cool. The Breakfast Nook was so quaint and cosy. Perfect way to start your day. Thanks Eduardo for a memorable stay.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AZURAMSmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
21 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 7, 2013

I stayed at Hotel Los Volcanes for one night before flying out of SJO. It was a mixed experience. Los Volcanes is clean and safe, with a convenient location just a block or so north of the center of town. Prices are reasonable, and a night's stay includes a voucher for a free taxi trip to the airport. Like some other reviewers, I found the service mediocre. The desk clerk told me that he didn't have the room I had reserved and instead assigned me a cheaper room, without a private bathroom, on the main hallway of the hotel. It was rather noisy (both street noise and hallway noise), and it appeared that six rooms were sharing a single shower, which didn't work very well. Breakfast, in the charming central courtyard of the hotel, was pleasant (try the tropical fruit salad and homemade fruit juices) but nothing out of the ordinary. When I wanted to check out, I had to go wandering around the hotel to find a staff member to assist on me. I would probably stay here again if I ever find myself in Alajuela again, but I would insist on getting a standard room, preferably towards the back--I do not recommend the budget rooms.

If you do stay at Los Volcanes, the Coffee Dreams Café, about a block and half east of the hotel, is a nice place to go for a snack or light meal.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank academic_traveler81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Los Volcanes B&B

Property: Hotel Los Volcanes B&B
Address: streets 2nd & central avenue 3rd | Behind the Alajuela Museum, Alajuela, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
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 Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 60 B&Bs / Inns in Alajuela
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Former mansion converted into a nice little hotel just five minutes from the international Juan Sta Maria airport in San Jose Costa Rica. Convenient location in Alajuela city, includes free taxi from the hotel to the airport, full breakfast, free wireless and access to internet, friendly atmosphere Costarican management. Nice tropical decoration with beautiful gardens, a true oasis in the heart of the city. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Hotel Los Volcanes Alajuela
Hotel Los Volcanes Bed And Breakfast
Hotel Los Volcanes B&B Costa Rica/Alajuela

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