Los Arcos, Ciudad Cariari
San Jose, Costa Rica
A fabulous hidden gem only 10 minutes from the international airport in San Jose, Costa Rica. As we studied their website, we were skeptical at first as we read all that the Adventure-Inn purported to offer its guests. Swimming pool, hot tub, a restaurant open from 8am until 10:30pm, library, computer center with free internet, fitness room, free international phone calls to the U.S., free breakfast daily, free airport pick up and drop off, tour concierge services, free maps, tide-you-over-until-Monday currency exchange, and more – all for the incredibly fair price of $94 USD plus 13% tax per night.
Once you contact the Adventure-Inn and express an interest in making a reservation for a specific date, you will receive a plethora of incidental information about Costa Rican climate, things to do, customs, transportation options, tips on tipping and currency exchange, all sorts of invaluable information that you can use regardless of where you choose to stay in Costa Rica.
We were thrilled to find out that everything that those nice folks at the Adventure-Inn promised, they delivered…..and more, starting with our airport pick up! We had let the hotel know when our plane was to arrive, and there was our driver with our name on a placard, waiting for us near the exit of the airport. He herded us to a well-lighted, busy corner and asked us to wait for him while he rounded up the other 2 couples who were going to the same hotel. Within 10 minutes, we were on our way in a comfortable, air-conditioned van, arriving shortly at the Adventure-Inn.
The reception clerk, Mary, was ready for all of us, and check-in went smoothly. One nice thing to know is that there is someone on the front desk 24/7, and that person understands and speaks English. We were given entry tickets to the full breakfast offered in the dining room in the morning, and then led to our room. It was on the small side, but large enough to accommodate two double beds, a night table, a dresser, and a small table with a coffee set-up and two chairs. The bathroom was nicely tiled, with a tub and a shower, a commode, and a sink. There were plenty of nice fluffy towels and some neat smelling toiletries. Everything was clean and fresh and well lighted. We actually stopped back at the Adventure-Inn on our return a week later from the beach on the other side of the country, and stayed for three nights, this time in one of their “suites”. It was a giant room with a king size bed, two dressers, two night stands, an apartment size fridge, a table with a coffee set-up and two chairs, an in-room safe (nominal extra charge daily), and, in the bathroom, a lovely Jacuzzi tub and a bidet as well as a commode!
Breakfast the next morning was in their dining room (Moon Glow). You could help yourself to cereal, juices, toast, and sliced fresh fruit, or you could order off their breakfast menu. Free! Yummy! We had the opportunity to enjoy dinner in the dining room several nights. Everything was always cooked fresh (so be prepared to wait a little bit) and tasted delicious. Although the menu didn’t change, it was varied enough to satisfy – unless you were planning to stay a few weeks, in which case, Mary was ready with several suggestions on where to dine if you wanted local Tico cuisine, Asian, seafood, whatever!
You can sit at the ample bar or at one of the regular tables or at one of the tall café tables. The service was good and the girls tried hard to please, even when they’d been on their feet working since that morning and here you are at 8pm, ready to have dinner. The chef(s?) was/were delightful and capable. We didn’t have a single meal at the Moon Glow that wasn’t plentiful and good. The prices were reasonable, although you could probably find less expensive dinners elsewhere if you knew where to go. They kept the bar nicely stocked with liquors and Chilean wine. A glass of cabernet cost about $7 USD, or you could buy the whole bottle for about $24 USD.
They offer tours but don’t try the hard sell. Their tour prices are fair; you can always check around for a better price, too. Their “in-house” drivers are really wonderful, although they don’t all speak English and sometimes rely on another member of their family to accompany and translate. If you don’t want a specific tour, but just want to go driving around or see certain things on your own made up itinerary, you can ask to hire one of the drivers by the hour (about $20 USD, I think). You can’t find nicer guys!
The photos will show it all – from the flower arched entrance to the Tico decorated hallways, to the fireplaced conversation center, dining room, pool and Jacuzzi, fitness center, and so on. Hopefully, you’ll get to meet a very special driver, Jorge, who’s in one photo working out on the bike to lose just those last few kilos after a day of chauffeuring us all over green, green San Jose.
If you’re looking for fancy-dancy and hustly-bustly, the Adventure-Inn may not be your cup of tea. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a clean, fresh, well-equipped, reasonably priced, friendly place that walks the walk (and not just talks the talk), I recommend you make your reservations at the Adventure-Inn and be welcomed into the arms of your new Tico family.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC