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Reviewed 22 February 2018 via mobile

On the far end of Alajuela but still 8 mins away from the airport. We had a private room with AC and a beautiful shower that had hot and cold water. Our bed was super comfy and our room was quiet. The structure and architecture of the building was so neat! It looks so much nicer inside than out. It was super close to the square and other neat little restaurants. wifi didn’t reach or room but they had a nice sitting area for the quests where it reached!

Stayed: February 2018, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Alexandra J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 February 2018

Alajuela is sort of San Jose’s scruffy little cousin who lives out by the airport. It has the feel of an old city: a labyrinth of narrow one-way streets, centuries-old buildings, ancient trees, a treacherous gutter/gully system which imperils drivers and pedestrians alike.

Proximity to Juan Santamaría International Airport (named for Alajuela’s hometown hero) was one reason we chose Hotel 1915; we had no way of knowing how lost we’d get from the car rental place.

Hotel 1915 looks like a shuttered storefront or something from the outside but then you enter a 102-year old mansion, appropriately restored. You’re transported back in time, with provocative nooks and alcoves, a splendid spiral staircase, dark wood and leather; really a unique place to stay. The “sitting room” has a huge wooden table, the breakfast area has a lush semi-indoor garden and the view of the distant mountains from the top floor is pretty cool.

Our room was tight and really dark. Pitch dark, like a black hole. I stubbed my toe often. (How about a night-light in the baño?) There was a light-well with a serene rock sculpture garden which led to a ceiling 2 floors above (and more darkness). Few amenities (no coffeemaker, fridge or safe) and too few outlets. OK shower & mattress. Quiet. Like a tomb.

Good breakfast in a pleasant setting (except for a fellow guest at the next table who kept blasting a video game on his cellphone at 7 a.m. (management should police this; not me). Tasty juice (blackberry?), strong coffee, fresh fruit, nice people.

Hotel 1915 offers free overnight parking in an enclosed lot a half-block south, which is great since there’s NO place to park in central Alajuela. Problem is you need to find someone with a key to let you in and out, which was a hassle.

Which leads to my main criticism of Hotel 1915. Getting in and out. You have to ring a doorbell, then wait and wait. One morning we rang, banged and yelled, and stood for 20 minutes until some workman took pity on us and opened the door. I would not want to be stuck out there on the somewhat gritty street at 3 a.m., waiting. This is a problem they should address.

We left something in the room after check-out and called from the road. A staffer said he’d look into it and get back to us the next day, but never did.

Hotel 1915 offers a glimpse of early 20th Century aristocratic life (plus a nice breakfast), but they need to fix a few things.

Room Tip: Get a room with natural light (we didn't).
  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank cdub333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 December 2017

We chose Hotel 1915 after looking for a hotel that offered an easy transfer to the airport as Alajuela was the last stop on our travels around Costa Rica. It had reasonably good reviews, looked, was about 10 minutes from the airport by taxi and the photographs we saw online made it look well cared for and full of character.

As it turned out our experience of Alajuela included a public holiday we’d forgotten about and despite being the second largest city in Costa Rica it basically closed down paid more attention to the hotel than we typically would when out exploring even more.

While in a good location for a transfer the hotel is looks completely nondescript on an unremarkable street and it was the taxi driver who showed us the door we needed to use. We were a little early and our room wasn’t quite ready so it was a nice touch to bring us a coffee each as we sat in the lobby while it was hurriedly prepared. The interior really did live up to the photographs we’d seen online and was full of character and charm, entirely in Keeping with the period feel of the hotel, named for the year in which it was built. It was good to have quiet spots to sit in outside our room and interesting enough to be worth a walk around.

Our room was on the ground floor and was clean but very basic consisting of a bedroom with a couple of side cupboards and a cupboard where we could put clothes against one wall. The adjoining room was for the toilet and shower and again it was clean basic and functional. Electrical outlets were limited so if you have a lot of items that need charging and adaptor or split cable might be handy. For the price it was ok but not great and my only real disappointment was the lack of any natural lighting. The building is what it is and it’s not the owner’s fault if some rooms don’t or can’t have a window but for me it feels a lot better to have a room that does and so I’d like to know beforehand in a room description.

The Breakfast area is really nice and to the rear of the hotel. When we visited no other services were provided here and when we asked if we could possibly get some water the answer was no. It’s a breakfast area only and we seemed to cause a little consternation by choosing not to sit at the table that was apparently laid out for us and opting for a more comfortable spot but the breakfast itself was lovely.

Overall we were happy with our choice of Hotel 1915 and the only real problem we had was getting in! We had a key to our room but no key for the door for which there was a bell and the reception counter was close enough for someone to be able to see the silhouette of a person standing at the door. The trouble was that quite often there was no-one at the reception desk and we really got annoyed when we waited at the entrance as it started to go dark for very nearly 20 minutes. We tried the bell, we tried knocking, we looked for the telephone number so we could ring the hotel and ask them to let us in bit all to no avail. 10 minutes into our wait another couple arrived, also guests, and expressed surprise saying all we needed to do was ring the bell. They did too and five minutes later they were knocking just as we had until finally someone came. It might be unusual but as my wife pointed out, had she been alone outside she would have felt particularly vulnerable even though the local police station seemed to be further up the same street. It wasn’t the only time we had to wait but was by far the longest and I would suggest that if no better means of answering the door exists that guests should be given a key. In any event they should not be left standing on the street outside a locked door. Once is once too much.

With that one exception we liked the Hotel 1915. It was an easy transfer to the airport and was a short walk from the local market and shops. As a city Alajuela didn’t seem to have a lot to recommend it and we were glad we started in San Jose but if you are looking for somewhere to stay there we’d think Hotel 1915 worth considering. There was accommodation closer to the airport but not within easy reach of some last minute souvenirs if Alajuela is your last stop as it was ours.

Room Tip: Check your room has a window if it's important to you.
  • Stayed: April 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Geobar01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 April 2017

We stayed here the night before we had to fly home because it was relatively close to the airport and after all the time we spent 'away from everything' it seemed like a good idea to stay in a downtown area.
The hotel - when you first walk in is very cute, especially the breakfast area, however when we got to our room we were in for a rude awakening. We stayed there as a family (two adults one teenager) - our older 3 went home earlier that day. The room we got had 3 twin beds and was very minimalistic and didn't feel very clean. The bathroom was very old and dingy - the shower and sink were not clean at all, or just so old that they didn't look clean.
The hotel itself only has parking for ONE hotel guest in total and I guess we were lucky to 'snag' that spot, but we had to find street parking for our second car, which wasn't easy. The area surrounding the hotel was OK, we found a decent restaurant/bar for dinner, but didn't feel really safe.
The staff was very nice, the food at breakfast good, but I don't think we'd stay there again.

  • Stayed: November 2016, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Patty H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2017 via mobile

Unique space with restaurants within walking distance. Highlight was the staff. We had a 8am flight, so a 6am Departure which is before breakfast. They lovely people at front desk arranged the taxi and made us sandwiches and fresh fruit for 4 people to take along in the morning.
I would definitely stay again. Lovely common spaces and a nice change from a typical hotel.
Taxi to airport was only 5-10min and less than $7 or 4000 colones
FYI - I read the other reviews and yes it seems a bit scary to the typical American when you pull up at night with all the shops closed up, but don't let that deter you. They do ask for cash up front so come prepared vs. credit card USD is fine. Plus it is $10 extra to get a remote to turn on the in room air conditioner.
Still a great value!

Stayed: March 2017, travelled with family
Thank atxdowntown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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