Doubletree by Hilton San Jose Airport Hotel Review

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When looking for an airport hotel with the quality of Hilton but the feeling of Costa Rica, the Doubletree by Hilton Real Cariari Airport hotel is a great bet.

Last time we went to Costa Rica as a family, I forgot to book our San Jose airport hotel for the night we were to arrive in San Jose. We almost always stay at the locally owned Adventure Inn, but it was sold out when I realized what I had done.

I jumped online to find a reasonably priced hotel close to the SJO airport and came across the Doubletree by Hilton. The price was excellent, it had a free airport shuttle, and it was in a quiet and safe area of San Jose. I booked the room, and we were thrilled with the hotel. In this review, I’ll tell you what to expect if you choose this hotel.

Note that if you want a great hotel that is the absolute closest possible to the airport, I like the Hampton Inn.


The Doubletree is located just 10 minutes southeast of the Juan Santamaria Airport, off highway 1. It’s near the Hard Rock in San Jose.

Nearby you’ll find a pharmacy, a few restaurants, a great souvenir shop, and a golf course. There is also a large hardware store nearby.

The airport offers a free shuttle, and you can ask your rental car agent to drop your car off here if you wait until the morning to pick it up, which is what I do to save money. You are also very close to the Costa Rican airport rental car offices if you need to take a taxi to the rental office.


The ultimate list of Spanish phrases for Costa Rica with kids.  

Arrival and Check In

Once you leave the main part of the airport after getting your bags and going through customs, you’ll walk to the right out of the terminal and there will be a shuttle there for you to take you to the hotel.

We arrived pretty late at night during the rain, and the shuttle driver was quick to load our bags and offered us an umbrella so we wouldn’t get wet when we got into the shuttle.

Once we arrived at the hotel the staff already had our reservation pulled up as we had told them which flight we were on. We checked into the hotel quickly and were given our breakfast vouchers.

A bellhop helped us get our bags to the room and we were ready to sleep.

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There are rooms with two queen beds, with one king, and some with a pool view. We wanted to upgrade to the pol view for a few more dollars, but they were sold out.

The entire hotel is set up like an old-school hacienda, where the rooms are on the outside and the pool and casino are on the inside. The hotel is like a square with everything facing in. This means it’s a really quiet hotel.

You’ll find tiled floors, air conditioning, and an ample bathroom in the rooms with two queen beds. We couldn’t believe how clean the rooms were.


The star of this hotel is the massive breakfast buffet that is included with every stay. The hotel pulls out all the stops with traditional Costa Rican breakfast-and it’s all you can eat. We, of course, ate gallo pinto and traditional Costa Rican coffee. There were natural juices, a multi-level pastry cart and more. The breakfast alone would cost almost as much as the room did, and this makes the hotel an excellent deal.

The other thing we loved about the hotel was the pool. It’s in the middle of the hotel, and just a stone’s throw away from most of the rooms. The pool is ample and heated, and the bar/restaurant is right next door. This makes it easy to get a cocktail or snack while in the pool area.

There is a casino on-site, and what we liked about it is that it is small, doesn’t attract many outside visitors, and is only open a few hours at night. We didn’t play, but it was a very classy casino.

There’s a 24-hour fitness center, the rooms have hot water and air conditioning and the location can’t be beaten.

We actually ended up here for two consecutive nights because our kids got the flu on the plane and we couldn’t move them- they were too sick. The pharmacy across the street really came in handy!

We loved this hotel, and I would highly recommend it. Since it’s a Hilton, you can also use points to book the room if you have them.

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Christa Jimenez

Welcome! I’m Christa, a Spanish teacher married to a handsome Costa Rican and mother of two bilingual daughters. We’ve spent over 25 years living in and traveling to Costa Rica with our daughters, and this website is my love letter to all things Costa Rica- and to bilingual parenting too. You can read my full story here. Thanks for stopping by!

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  1. I don’t know how you got free breakfast. We just stayed there for 2 nights December 21 & 22, 2022 and were told that breakfast isn’t included with the room (and we booked direct with the hotel). The breakfast was delicious but cost $30 for 2 adults. It is a beautiful place but I don’t want people to be misled.