Alajuela Backpackers Boutique Hostel

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Average rate: $19 - Hotel class: 2 stars
SJO Airport Ave, Alajuela, Costa Rica

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Alajuela Backpackers Boutique Hostel Reviews

kantbyluv kantbyluv
13 reviews
Basic bed and bathroom Feb 20, 2013
Very basic two METAL bunk beds which were loud when someone moved in the middle of the night. Big bathroom but very old structure on busy street not much around the area. We stayed here after arriving early morning (2am) flight. Close to the airport but limited time schedules on shuttle we took a taxi only around $5-8 taxi ride. Car rental company picked us up from hotel and drove us to car rental counter. If you are looking for a place to sleep for a night after or before a flight this will do as it is close to the airport, but otherwise pass.
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rsummo rsummo
35 reviews
New. Fancy. Overpriced. A very unhostel-like hostel. May 31, 2012
Though Alajuela Backpackers is listed as the ‘our pick’ in my guidebook, it was certainly not my pick. The place was clean and the staff was very friendly, but a number of the people staying there were loud and drunk, and when I have a 5am shuttle to catch the next day, I find it hard to enjoy loud and drunk people. I will not stay there again. If I didn’t have a 5am shuttle or if I wanted to be loud and drunk myself, I would have found AB more tolerable. Here is a breakdown of the good and the bad:

The Good:

Security – The dorms are only 4 beds to a room, and each room requires its own key card. This means that at most only 3 strangers could get into your room and go through you stuff. I had no problems with my possessions, didn’t lose a thing. The front door to the hostel, like all places in the city, requires you to hit a buzzer to be let in. Upon check-in you are given a wristband that identifies you as a guest. No wristband = get the hell out (or prove that you belong there)

Clean - The hostel is very modern and well kept. Rooms, bathrooms, common areas (except for the immediate area where the loud drunks were hanging out) are all immaculate.


The Staff – Every employee I spoke with was fluent in English and very friendly. The guy who checked me in gave me a thorough explanation of how everything worked – key cards, airport shuttle, key deposit, amenities etc. It may be that the staff is too friendly. Perhaps their high level of friendliness is why none of them said anything to the post-quiet-hours noisy drunk crowd that made a huge mess of the common room.

The Bad:

Price - Though it was a nice place, $18 for a dorm room was more than I ever want to pay. I prefer to pay less and get less, especially when I am just passing through a city. The amenities were on par with most of the other places I stayed in, so I don’t feel like the higher cost is justified. Breakfast is not included, nor is there a kitchen available to use. There is an on-site restaurant inside the hostel, but the food and the drinks are overpriced.

Neighborhood - Perhaps many neighborhoods in Alajuela are sketchy after dark and this is an unfair criticism. Either way, when I went out for dinner around 6:30 (after finding out how expensive the food in the hostel was ) there were meth-addict looking dudes gathered in the park across the street yelling at me to give them money. They didn’t make me feel warm and fuzzy. I walked around a few blocks and was not able to find anything still open, but it seemed very unwise to explore any further. The hostel I stayed at in San Jose was in a much better area, or at least it appeared better.

Loud Drunks – Self Explanatory

Amenities - In a hostel, having no kitchen sucks. Usually people staying at hostels are trying to travel cheaply, and preparing your own food is a great way to save money. There were some computers available for internet access, but they sat on a high counter in a narrow hallway so you had to stand up to use them. Not awesome if you are trying to catch up on emailing or chatting, and certainly not something that made me feel better about the price.

I won’t say that Alajuela Backpacers is an awful place, but I will say that there are much better options in the area. (see my review of Hostel Maleku, for example.) $18 is almost enough for a private room in most of the places I visited in Costa Rica, and to pay that much for a dorm seems silly. I suggest you check out other options before staying at Alajuela Backpackers.
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Alajuela Backpackers Boutique Hostel Overview

Ideally situated in the town centre is the Alajuela Backpackers Boutique Hostel. It provides good-value accommodation with free Wi-Fi access.

The Alajuela Backpackers Boutique Hostel offers a convenient 24-hour reception as well as a dry cleaning service, a laundry service and a free airport shuttle for the guests. The hostel's multilingual staff will be happy to share local knowledge and help you organise your stay in Alajuela. As part of the in-house services, visitors can get connected with the computers available for use. The hostel's friendly staff will be happy to book tours and sightseeing during your stay in Alajuela, as well as offering dining suggestions.

United World College Costa Rica is within easy driving distance of the Alajuela Backpackers Boutique Hostel. The location of the hostel allows guests to easily reach many tourist attractions on foot. The Ara Project is under 10 minutes away by car.

Alajuela Backpackers Boutique Hostel Amenities

  • Room Service
  • High-speed Internet
  • Restaurant
  • Parking
  • Airport shuttle
  • Tour Desk
  • Bar / Lounge
  • Elevator / Lift
  • 24 Hour Reception
  • Dry Cleaning
  • Air Conditioned
  • Non-Smoking Rooms
  • Currency Exchange
  • Multilingual Staff
  • Cable / Satellite TV
  • Wake-up Service
  • TV
  • Laundry service
  • Excursions
  • Computer
  • Internet Connection (wireless)
  • Towels
  • Shower
  • En suite
  • Private Bathroom
  • Luggage Storage
  • Free Parking

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