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“Whatever you do, don't schedule a shuttle with this hotel!!!”
Review of San Bosco Inn

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San Bosco Inn
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed August 2, 2010

Hotel San Bosco is an affordable, well-located option if you plan on staying in La Fortuna. We stayed here just one night to take advantage of the local hot springs and to try and catch a glimpse of Arenal Volcano. Below I will go into detail on the attributes of the hotel, but first I must warn anyone who stays here not to arrange a shuttle through the hotel.

Right when we arrived to the hotel, the girl at the front desk offered to help us get a shuttle to San Jose for the next morning. First, she called Interbus (our first choice), but unfortunately the early shuttle was sold out. She assured us, though, that she knew of a local shuttle that was the same exact price and offered the same exact service as Interbus. The only downside was that we would have to pay in cash. We agreed and she arranged us seats for the next morning. She did not, however, give us any reciept or tickets. When we asked about this, she assured us they weren't necessary and that the shuttle would come for us the next morning at 7:30. The next morning, the shuttle arrived a little early, and the driver came and found us in the breakfast area and told us we had to leave right that minute to pick up the next couple. He told us there would be only two more people, so we put several of our bags on the single seat all the way in the back where we could access them. We left our breakfast and hurried to the shuttle. The man drove us to the next hotel, where we waited about twenty minutes for the couple we were picking up. This was a bit irritating, as he hurried us and then didn't seem to mind that the other couple wasn't ready and made us wait. When they finally arrived, there was a couple AND a small child. No big deal, except we had to move our bags and he got carsick on the ride...Yuck. The worst part of the whole situation is that when we dropped off the first passenger at the airport, the driver told us to get off and that he wouldn't take us to our hotel in Santa Ana (a residential area in between the airport and the Centro, where he was dropping off the family). We were shocked, because our hotel was right in the middle of where we were and where we were going, and we had told the girl at Hotel San Bosco where we needed to be dropped off. Also, she said the service was the same as Interbus, which would have dropped us off at another hotel in Santa Ana about 5km away from where we were staying. After arguing for a few minutes, the man told us that the mistake was Hotel Bosco's, and that he would send another shuttle for us which would arrive in twenty minutes and take us to our hotel. Reluctantly we agreed, and he left us standing at the Arrivals gate of the San Jose Airport. Almost an hour and a half later, we got sick of waiting and decided to call the hotel. I had to get change, find a pay phone, and find someone to help me dial the appropriate prefix numbers to call the hotel. Finally, I got through and spoke with a man at the hotel who claimed he knew nothing about the shuttle that was supposedly coming for us. He apologized profusely and after fifteen minutes, told us that the same driver who dropped us off would come back and pay a taxi driver to take us to the hotel. I was glad, because I had some choice words for the driver who obviously dumped us off and didn't really arrange a ride. The hotel worker assured us the driver would be there in five minutes. Of course he wasn't, and in about twenty minutes, a DIFFERENT shuttle driver arrived for us. He was very nice and had us to our hotel in about fifteen minutes. This was all-in-all, a very annoying situation and we wasted over two hours of our limited time in San Jose. Long story short, Hotel San Bosco is fine (see below), but DON'T USE THEIR SERVICES TO ARRANGE TOURS OR SHUTTLES!!!

LOCATION: The hotel is just one block away from the gorgeous central park in Fortuna and the main drag that houses most of the restaurants and shops. It is a five minute walk from anywhere you want to go in Fortuna.

CHECK-IN: Our check-in was very quick, and the ladies at the front desk were very friendly. They offered to book us tours and to help with arranging a shuttle to San Jose. The shuttle, however, as I explained above, ended up being a very big down-point in our vacation to Arenal.

ROOM: The room was decent for what we paid (around $60 including taxes). Definately nothing fancy, and the decor and pictures on the wall were faded and outdated. However, it included a comfortable double bed and a single bed, had a small refrigerator, and a bathroom with only a shower. The room probably could have been cleaned a little better, as we found a dead cockroach in the middle of the floor when we got there, which was a little disconcerting. Other than that, it was fine, and I appreciated how our towels were folded into the shape of an elephant on our bed. :-)

FOOD: We didn't really get to enjoy the breakfast in the morning, because our shuttle came for us right as we sat down, but it looked pretty decent. They had papaya, pineapple, and watermelon as well as cold cuts of fresh cheese. There was also gallo pinto (seasoned mixed beans and rice), some sort of fruit in a yellow sauce that we thought was potatoes, toast, and very unsightly sausages. There was also two kinds of cold cereal, two kinds of juice, and coffee. The best part of the breakfast, which we missed out on, were eggs cooked to order. If you are looking for something more substantial to eat, I highly recommend looking for the man cooking chicken skewers on the corner of the park. If you want toward the main drag from the hotel, you will run right into him. The chicken was delicious!!! We came back for more as soon as we finished the first ones!!!

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank emilyirene123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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372 - 378 of 659 reviews

Reviewed July 12, 2010

We stayed at the Hotel San Bosco for two nights. After a very friendly B & B in Monteverde, this felt more like an impersonal motel, but it was very clean and well located--just a couple of blocks from the center of La Fortuna but away from street noise. The room was adequate, but small, with no chair or table to work. The shower was good, as was the Internet connection, and the swimming pool was a nice addition. Breakfast was decent, but not amazing. The reception staff could be more informative as to activities in the area. They had a tour book, but never referred us to it, and when we asked how to see the hot lava at night on our own (which is difficult without a car) they didn't discuss the different tour possibilities as options. There's actually a $10 tour that includes a visit to a free hot spring used by locals, rather than the fancy ones.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank veggiegourmet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2010

We stayed at the San Bosco for 3 nights in late June 2010. Although this hotel is on the "green" side of the volcano (meaning not as able to see lava at night), it was 2 blocks over from the city center which was a big plus for us, not having a rental car. You can walk to the 24 hour "typical" food restaurant and some other nice places. The grounds were very clean as was the room. The room was basic, but had a TV and comfortable bed. We too, were looking more for a place to come after a full day of excursions and this fit the bill. Free internet access, friendly staff, and filling breakfast. No need for a fancy resort when you're adventuring through Costa Rica anyway! Would come back to this hotel and recommend to others.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Travel_And_Tell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 2010

The Hotel San Bosco is a no frills type of establishment. It was clean, convenient, and pleasant. Right across the street is a good laundry service (press the button hard), the breakfast was good, the folks were pleasant, it have fantastic views of the volcano, and was only two blocks from the town square. Overall, we would stay there again. The rooms were small to average size (American Standards), but the beds were comfortable and there was a mini fridge in there as well, and it had very good cable TV. The air conditioning was a must as it was very humid in that area. The AC worked beautifully, via a remote control system.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank RosiesPosies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 10, 2010

A great, clean hotel with beautiful views of Arenal Volcano right outside your balcony! I highly recommend hanging out on the rooftop (above the second floor). The room was clean and the lobby was very welcoming. The staff was very knowledgeable and friendly; they booked a tour for us and answered any questions we had. The breakfast was also amazing, fresh fruit and rice and beans (of course!). There was also a pool, but we never tested it out. Overall, A++ hotel!

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled with friends
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1  Thank IheartSugar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 9, 2010

We stayed here in September 2009, the first 2 nights of a week+ long trip around Costa Rica and really enjoyed it. The hotel is basic, but to be honest, we were so busy during the day, it really was just a place to crash at night. The rooms were clean & the beds comfy. Our room was at the right end of the 2nd floor, so when we stepped out of the front door, we had an amazing view of the volcano. Sweet!

Other plusses:

The breakfast was really good. A perfect way to begin a long day white-water rafting, hiking or rappelling. And the location, while a few blocks off the main strip, is convenient. Don't let the sliding chain-link gate out front scare you...the place is definitely safe. We walked around late at night and had no problems at all. We also liked that we could walk to the stores, cafes & the post office in just a few minutes.

The only negative I can think of is the phone situation. There is no phone in the room, at least there wasn't one in ours. When friends of ours, who were staying at another hotel, tried to contact us, someone from the front desk just ran up to our room with a cordless phone. Looking back, that's our own fault for not getting mobile phone that would work in CR. But, a very small complaint in the scheme of things and definitely NOT a dealbreaker.

So, if you are looking for a nice place to stay, but want to stay on a budget, you can't go wrong with the San Bosco.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Lori P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2010

I stayed here for 2 nights in April, 2010. The staff were exceptionally kind and helpful (Natalia and Jose). I was very impressed with how immaculate they kept the grounds. For a midrange, motelish building, they kept it neat and well groomed. The pool area had a shallow kiddie pool, a large pool, and 2 jacuzzis. The views to the volcano were nice. Breakfast was what seems to be typical for CR - gallo pinto, eggs to order, juice/coffee, yogurt/cereal, fresh fruit, and variable breakfast meats.
Now the rooms were spartan. They were basic, and a little small/cramped. My friend and I got a double room with a full and twin bed with mattresses on the firmer side. Bathroom was small but the shower was good. I appreciated the nice, powerful AC. At $80/night, it was slightly more expensive then other places in CR of the same quality, but Arenal may be a little inflated (this is the only hotel we used in Arenal, so I don't know whats normal). I liked the location a lot. It was about a block to the park, and an easy walk to the restaurants and shops in town, however it was removed enough where noise was definitely not a problem. Free wifi was dependable and fast. And the ample amount of free parking in a secured, guarded area was especially appreciated since we were driving our own car. I would stay here again.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Noturavg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about San Bosco Inn

Address: 200 mts North from Gas Station, Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica (Formerly Hotel San Bosco)
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > La Fortuna de San Carlos
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Business Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#3 Best Value Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#8 Green Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#20 Romantic Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#22 Family Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range: $41 - $98 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — San Bosco Inn 2.5*
Number of rooms: 34
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
San Bosco Inn, is located in the center of La Fortuna, in the nicest tranquil area of this beautiful charming town, just 15 minutes from the majestic Arenal Volcano.Our strategic location in the town of La Fortuna allows you easy access to all of the services of the area.Our friendly staff is always available to serve you and advise you. We assure our guests an unforgettable stay in La Fortuna. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
San Bosco Inn Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park

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