As I mentioned on another thread, it took us about 2 1/2 hours to get from the car rental facility to Casa Conde. The Apartotel & Suites are literally off the beaten path in a residential area but once you reach it, you are amazed. The entrance is beautiful (and guarded) and the facilities are top notch. Easy check-in, parking right outside of our buliding, bellman service and a beautiful interior make this a great place to stay and relax. Definitely a place I would recommend but there isn't much to see directy outside of the complex.
Casa Conde offers modern and comfortable fully furnished 2-bedroom suites equipped with a kitchen, dining room, living room with sofa bed, 25-inch TV, DVD player, air conditioning, secure parking and all the amenities to make you feel right at home. We did have a fabulous dinner at Rincón del Conde Restaurant (situated on the property) and I was able to use the fitness center and the equipment was modern and in good shape.
When you go to a hostel, you might expect that it would contain a lot of 20-ish young adults that might be experimenting a lot in life and might have not yet figured out a lot of things fully. That's fine, and half the joy of being there. However, you certainly wouldn't expect a business to be run by people like that, though. And that's what you get with Hostel Pangea.
I made a reservation weeks in advance for what was recommended by Lonely Planet as the best budget hotel in San Jose. Emails were exchanged, and promises were made.
Upon arrival, you are buzzed in through security doors, and told that the hostel is now three blocks that way, then turn, go three blocks that way, etc.
At the new hostel, they don't have our reservation as it was supposed to be. I was told that although the email that I showed them promised free secured parking onsite, that I was to park over five blocks away on the side of the street. Our room key didn't work, and it took over an hour for them to handle that, repeatedly opening other patrons rooms. After an hour or so of waiting in a hallway without light, not even 4 feet wide, we were offered a room with a very serious ant infestation while other patrons threw firecrackers next to the windows. Needless to say, we demanded our money back and went somewhere else.
During the whole time, the front desk receptionist refused to speak to me for most of the time, because she was too busy drinking beers with the guests, and sending money with some other guests to go buy more alcohol for her. For over 30 minutes of me coming back downstairs to keep telling her that our key didn't work, and why is no one helping us, she refused to speak to me, she would only give dirty looks. And she treated my travelling companion even worse.
All in all, the experience was absolutely horrid and wasted almost 2.5 hours in the end, which was quite a disappointment.
Coincedentally at the airport, leaving the country, we ran into a couple from Canada that had an extremely similar experience the day before.
On one hand: Insect infestations, extremely rude staff, management that will lie to you about their accomodations, inability to keep a reservation, EXTREMELY loud facility with many guests. All in all, one of the worst run hotel/hostels that I've EVER stayed in. The entire staff seemed like an entire lot of 18-19 year old, very snotty teens, left unattended by adults. Incredibly rude, and completely incapable of getting you into a room that you booked weeks in advance in under an hour and a half. They even seemed completely comfortable walking into rooms full of people's things. Just an all around terrible staff. Things must have changed a lot in the three years since Lonely Planet recommended it.
On the other: There is no "on the other hand". They were ridiculously rude, and just treated you terribly. At the end, when my travelling companion told them that she was shocked that they didn't even say, "We're sorry", the hostile young girl at the front desk mustered up her best valley girl impersonation, twirled her head, said, "Whatever..." and kept on drinking the beer that she kept behind the counter for some of the time.
In most discussions or readings, most people visiting Costa Rica spend very little time in San Jose. Many use San Jose simply because of the airport to arrive & depart, and often just need a place to stay for a night or two. This was my case; I needed a place to stay the night I arrived (9.30PM arrival) & the night before I departed (7AM). In searching the hotels nearest the airport, I noted that most of the rates were averaging $100+ per night. Somehow I came across the Hotel Aeropuerto, which had rates at $60/night (off-season)and was only 4km away from the airport, plus had free transport.
The hotel is situated on a large estate of land with lush gardens with an open-air lobby. The rooms are a little dim and worn, with standard facilities. Although it was not the sparkling, overly sterile facilities many are use to (or at least expect), things were clean and sufficient. This met my needs of a less expensive place to crash for a night each way, while being relatively close to the airport. Be aware that there is nothing really within walking distance in the way of food (restaurant on premises) or shopping; so, you will need a taxi or other transport if you plan to stay long.
If you do choose this hotel (or most others), the airport transport is actually just a taxi that the hotel will pay. Just tell the taxi drivers (actually there are taxi assistants helping you the moment you walk out) what airport and they will ask if the hotel is paying. When they drop you off, they will go to the desk to be paid.
I think the best thing about this place is the helpful staff. The woman at the desk (Gemma) when I was there both times was unbelieveably nice and helpful. When I had a transport coming to pick me up (for my bungee jump), she spoke with them on the phone to see if they were running late; when I needed to go to another hotel after I checked out to catch my shuttle out of town, she called the taxi and had her hotel pay [I wasn't really suppose to let anyone else around know ;-) ]; then she even gave me tips on what to see in downtown San Jose and arranged for the taxi to drop me off and pick me up so that I didn't need to worry. It was just really pleasant how helpful and sweet the staff was.
Overall, I was pleased with this hotel and my stay here. It may not be overly beautiful and opulent, but it was a good, less expensive place to stay for a couple nights near the airport.
Though it's really close to the airport (a 5 minute drive), I wouldn't really recommend this hotel. It's fine but just not worth the price in my opinion. The enitre complex has a very 70's feel.
The hotel rates include transportation to and from the airport. I sent the hotel our arrival information and they said someone would be waiting to pick us up. Our domestic flight arrived about 30 mintues late or so. No one was waiting for us and it took a number of phone calls and about 30 minutes for someone to finally arrive for us. Had we known it would have taken so long we would have just taken a taxi.
Our room was very large and service was pretty good (which is typical of friendly Costa Ricans) but if you're not staying in San Jose long I would suggest a cheaper hotel near the airport.
This place is really good value, you get a bunk with clean blanket, a locker, and internet access for a very reasonable price. Better than some hotels in the city for sure.
This hostel features a pool which is also included in the price of your stay. Internet access - lots of computers so you don't have to wait for someone else. There are also 2 kitchens here where you can prepare whatever meal you want - lots of pots and pans, dishes, etc already there
Very nice rooms, staff and accomidations. There is internet access available for about $2/hour and a continental breakfast of juice, coffee, toast, and jam. It is right near the heart of the city and about a 35 minute drive from the San Jose International airport. Very affordable for any traveler, back packer to high class.
We chose to stay here -- based on a recommendation from some travellers we had met in Dominical -- because of the location and the sportsfishing/concierge desk. And though the rooms were decent and the location and price were good, our experience there was not.
On our second day, we went out for dinner. After we returned, we discovered that we had been robbed, and I mean big time. Though we kept our documents and small camera in the in-room safe, just about everything else was taken. Even clothes that they had loaded into pillowcases! The hotel management/staff was not very helpful -- we were just out of luck. We were only gone for an hour, and there was no sign of forced entry. Someone had a room key, and the police suspected it was an inside job.
The bar is salty-dog/fishermans bar/brothel. Hookers everywhere, and from what I understood from other travellers, they paid the hotel a commission for every trick. Pretty funny stuff.
But like I've mentioned elsewhere, my trip was 9 years ago -- things may have improved since our visit, and you may want to check more recent reviews on this property.
Good location and decent price. Great concierge desk.
We stayed here for 2 nights at the beginning of our trip in 1995, so our opinions may not apply. We chose it because of it's central location and price. After 2 days, we rented a van and started seeing the country.
An "old school" hotel that really didn't distinguish itself in any way. And thats not a bad thing. We had a clean room facing a noisy street. Pleasant staff. Relatively inexpensive, considering location.
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