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“Departure ruined by cranky host”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Hotel Casa Antigua

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Hotel Casa Antigua
Ranked #19 of 29 Hotels in Alajuela
Niskayuna, New York
Level Contributor
19 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Departure ruined by cranky host”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 2, 2012

Very convenient location, under most flight paths and right down the busy road from just about everything, including the rental car agencies. Walking distance to food, basic and cheap. Initially quoted price reasonable, actual price demanded, too high.
Owner Henry, is justifiably proud of his creation of a beautiful, peaceful retreat. And he reminds you of it rather interminably.
Resident pets, dog and cat are underfoot at times, another stays caged during the day, reported to have free run at night...did not venture out to meet him. Common rooms are not well cleaned, pet hair evident all over the rugs. Rooms are all tiny and spare, one tiny night table on one side of the bed; bathrooms simple and basic. Linens clean and Costa Rican scratchy. Television reception and internet in room is poor, better in breakfast room. Ours was the only room outside of the main building, entry by crossing the patio. Breakfast is the sparest encountered in Costa Rica, think Days Inn American style...fruit, cold cereal, stale bread for toast, margarine, jam. Coffee is good. The restaurant was not open, as October is still the wet season. There is no laundry service available. There is no air conditioning.
Particulars: The room rate was confirmed by email at $55, upon arrival it was inflated to $70! I didn't initially complain, doubting my memory. After confirmation of the email, it was presented to the owner, Henry, and he "explained" that the additional $$ was for "taxes".... the first "taxes" we had encountered in 10 days in CR. As he had solved our car rental return dilemma with a promise to take us to the airport in the morning, I decided not to make an issue of it.
However, the next morning he was nowhere to be found. We inquired of the employee and she explained that Henry was sleeping. So we asked her to call us a taxi. A little while later, Henry appeared and after greetings were exchanged, I needled him about forgetting his agreement to take us to the airport. What followed was unspeakable rudeness, he made very direct and derogatory remarks directed to me singularly not us as a couple, revealing his contempt for me (I thought) more as a female than as an (understandably disappointed) customer. My partner, with whom Henry had conversed for HOURS, tried to diffuse the situation, to no avail.
Recommendation of this hotel is with the reservation that you print a confirmation of the agreed upon price to be presented at check in, and not expect more than the very basic, near the airport, convenience.
But to his credit, the place is truly a sight to behold, the details of decoration are really amazing. Henry is an interesting, well traveled American (born in Hawaii he says- of Persian heritage) Zoroastrian. My partner really enjoyed a lengthy discourse with him on numerous topics.
Too bad he got up on the wrong side of the bed to spoil my last morning in Costa Rica.

Room Tip: The room off the patio probably has less road noise.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
4 Thank OTtravlr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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76 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
56 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 1, 2012

We were not lucky enough to stay at the hotel, but we had an amazing dinner there, before we went to the airport for our flight. A friend suggested and it was a GREAT idea to stop there for a delicious fresh meal before our trip. The owner and his staff are very friendly and treated us very well.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank andreacarioca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indialantic, Florida
Level Contributor
140 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 1, 2012

We travel in and out of Costa Rica several times a year and Hotel Casa Antigua is often our first or last stop. It is close to the airport and a great place to relax and unwind from traveling. We love the dacor and the owner Henry. He is a wonderful host along with his staff.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Firefozz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lafayette,CO
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 12, 2012

We stayed here last July on our way home to the states. I had been injured in a motorcycle accident and the owner was very accommodating. He made us feel very welcome which we appreciated. The room we stayed in was clean and even had HBO. We ate at the restaurant and were amazed by the food. The ambiance was very unique and when we commented on it the owner told us "that's because it was built with Love". It was a great place to wrap up our vacation and I would suggest it to anyone going to or from the airport.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank Hackeesac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
103 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 18, 2012

Just five minutes from the Juan Santamaria international airport, (SJO) which is both good and bad. Great for the convenience of getting to and from the airport. Not so great that it's under the flight path. Definitely ask for a room away from the street. Even at that, it's very noisy with truck traffic all day and night. Even shakes the building. Being such a light sleeper, I thought I wasn't going to get a bit of sleep, but surprisingly, I got a great night of sleep and woke rested and ready to start my day.

The owner, Henry, apparently designed and decorated the hotel, and did a beautiful job of it. Tons of personal touches, made of local hardwoods, I believe. Everywhere you look, you'll find evidence of his love for the place.

There is a nice restaurant on the property, with outdoor seating around the pool. You can choose to sit at a table or recline on the beautiful benches, rugs and pillows.

Henry obviously takes pride in his hotel/restaurant and is wonderful to talk with.

Yes, this is a budget hotel, but it's way more than that. If you're on a budget and want to stay near the airport, this would be the place.

Room Tip: Unless you're hearing impaired, do not stay on the street side.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank KarenMooreKerr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 9, 2012

I don't normally ever write reviews unless i'm extremely unsatisfied or very satisfied & appreciative... but I have nothing but good things to say about Casa Antigua and the hotel owner, Henry. I arrived in costa rica as a solo female (in my 20's), who was supposed to meet my friend at the airport right when I got in. However, her flight was delayed an entire day, and there I was alone in an unfamiliar place with a completely changed itinerary (we were supposed to rent a car and drive 3 hrs to our first destination, and i didn't know much about san jose at all as I had not planned to stay there, so was a little weary of the area). I was driven to check out some hotels, thinking the area looked a little run down and was concerned about my safety being alone in a diff country. Right when I walked in Casa Antigua, I felt welcomed. The atmosphere was "homey" and Henry made me feel comfortable and safe staying there, offering to make me soup after my long, stressful trip there. There was also free wi-fi available, which was extremely helpful to me in getting in touch with my friend/family. Henry was very personable and shared some of his experiences/stories with me, and within minutes I was feeling better and safer. I also ate dinner there, which was fabulous! There is a husky dog and the cutest cat that stay there, which adds to the homey feel. My room was nice & clean (just gets a little loud with trucks going by), and the price was reasonable (also comes with breakfast!). Henry really helped me out a lot as far as getting my travel plans set up and offering valuable travel tips...and when my friend arrived the next day, he gave us his # in case we needed anything during our trip, which really gave us peace of mind. It can be rare to meet such genuinely good, nice people.. so I was so appreciative of the service/care I received at casa antigua, especially given the circumstances (being a solo traveler unsuspectingly). I'd recommend this hotel to anyone looking to stay near the airport. I'm grateful to have had such a good experience there after a not so good start to my trip! It is a great place to stay and you will be lucky to have met Henry! :)

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank calict83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 5, 2012

This is a great place to stay in San Jose, if you want to be close to the airport. We were very impressed by the owner- Henry, he helped us solving our problem we had with a car rental company. He even offered us some valuable traveling tips and gave us his cell number to call, if we are in trouble when driving in Costa Rica.

His hotel has a nice garden and clean rooms, the breakfast is included in the rate. If you are a light sleeper- ask for a room facing the garden as this place is close to the road and it might get a little noisy.

Overall, it was a great experience. Definitely worth the value !

  • Stayed February 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Andrejka30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Casa Antigua

Property: Hotel Casa Antigua
Address: Principal via a Alajuela | 500 metros al este del Casino Fiesta Alajuela, Alajuela 20101, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Alajuela
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #19 of 29 Hotels in Alajuela
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Hotel Casa Antigua 2.5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Casa Antigua Hotel is only at three minutes from Juan Santamaria National airport, in a very safe neighborhood and near good restaurants and rent cars. We offer our customers tropical breakfast, taxes included, swimming pool, free internet and WIFIA access, laundry service, playground and beautiful gardens. Also, all our rooms count with private bathroom, hot water, fan, television with cable. Our main purpose is that our customers could feel comfortable as in their own home. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Casa Antigua Costa Rica/Alajuela

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