Last Updated: March 5, 2020
With crazy flight schedules and lengthy drive times between most destinations and the airport, sometimes an overnight near Costa Rica’s SJO (Juan Santamaria International) Airport is inevitable. But just because you are close to the San Jose Airport doesn’t mean these nights can’t be part of your vacation too. In fact, only a few minutes from the runway are a plethora of charming B&Bs and hotels that will give you a taste of Costa Rica’s welcoming culture and beautiful scenery.
Hotels Near SJO Airport
Below you will find our picks for the best hotels near SJO Airport. They are all within a 20 minute drive of SJO so make for a stress-free pit stop when arriving in or leaving Costa Rica. We’ve stayed in each of the hotels ourselves or toured them with an eye towards our reader’s needs (i.e., quiet neighborhood, comfy beds, good food, etc.). Each offers something a little different, and we hope we’ve included something that is right for you.
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Hotel Buena Vista
Hotel Buena Vista may be only 7 km (4.3 miles) from Alajuela but couldn’t feel farther removed from the hustle and bustle of the city. Set in the mountains among lush forest, this hotel has gorgeous views of the surrounding valley. Rooms are spacious and tastefully decorated, many with private balconies to take advantage of the views. Deluxe rooms are good for couples, while the larger villas are an excellent choice for families. $125-250, includes free airport shuttle and breakfast. Check Rates and Availability Here.
This mid-size hotel is a favorite among frequent travelers to Costa Rica. Known for its convenience and comfort, Adventure Inn offers free shuttle service to the airport, free phone calls to the US, good Wifi, and a choice of American- or Tico-style breakfast. Rooms range from standard with two queen beds to more spacious triples that are good for families. $100-150. Book with this link to save an additional 10% on your stay at Adventure Inn. An exclusive promo code for Two Weeks in Costa Rica readers will be automatically applied.
Hotel Terrazas de Golf
We love staying at Hotel Terrazas de Golf. Overlooking the golf course in Cariari, this boutique hotel offers spacious, comfortable rooms for a great price. Owner Cecilia and her son and daughter who help run it are super friendly and helpful if you need a recommendation during your stay. This hotel is also a great option for golf lovers, as a course is right next door. $90-150, includes free airport shuttle and a delicious breakfast. Check Rates and Availability Here.
Hotel Alameda Cariari
Just down the street from Terrazas de Golf is another good value option. Hotel Alameda Cariari offers 10 unique rooms in an opulent, mansion-like building. We were skeptical of the gleaming photos online, but found that the rooms really are that nice in person. $50-100. Breakfast and airport shuttle available for an additional charge. Check Rates and Availability Here.
Hotel La Rosa de America
Hotel La Rosa de America is a small family-owned hotel just north of the airport with a lot of local character. Though conveniently located right off a main road, the hotel is set back so quiet. Nicely landscaped grounds and a pool make it feel like you’re not in the city. La Rosa has a few different types of rooms available for all budgets. The quadruple rooms and family suites with bunk beds are perfect for larger groups. $60-150, includes breakfast. Check Rates and Availability Here.
Alajuela City Hotel and Guesthouse
For those wanting to check out the local culture, there’s Alajuela City Hotel and Guesthouse (formerly Hotel Los Volcanes). We’ve stayed here several times and even wrote about it in our travelogue, Two Weeks in Costa Rica. This B&B-style hotel in downtown Alajuela is under new ownership and has undergone a lot of renovations. The converted mansion still has a quaint, old-world feel but with nicer finishes. One of the best parts of the hotel is still its location. Within walking distance is the vibrant central park and cathedral, market, and many restaurants where you can see the comings and goings of the locals. $55-165, includes breakfast. Check Rates and Availability Here.
Villa San Ignacio
Villa San Ignacio is a boutique hotel on the outskirts of Alajuela. Good for both couples and families, the rooms are simply decorated yet well appointed. The hotel has a spacious pool area and excellent on-site restaurant that serves gourmet Costa Rican and international offerings. Villa San Ignacio is also a good jumping off point for visiting the nearby Poas Volcano or going on a coffee tour. $80-225, includes breakfast. Check Rates and Availability Here.
Still Looking for a Hotel near San Jose?
Because many of these hotels are smaller, they tend to book up quickly during peak travel times. If you need some more ideas, there’s the larger Courtyard Marriott ($150-250) in Alajuela with clean, spacious rooms that you would expect from the Marriott chain. Another decent budget option is Hotel Aeropuerto ($75-120). Hotel Aeropuerto is about as close to the airport as you can get, perfect if you’re arriving late.
Last Updated: March 5, 2020
Have a favorite hotel near SJO that we didn’t mention? Leave a comment below and share your experience.
Looking for more basics to plan your trip? Check out these posts:
Packing for Costa Rica: The Essentials – What to pack for Costa Rica’s many microclimates as well as some essential gear.
Money Matters: Tips on getting local currency, using your credit card, and tipping.
Costa Rica Rental Car Discount – Save 10-25% on a rental car and get free extras like a second driver and car seat with our discount.