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Free shuttle, breakfast included and a stone’s throw away from the SJO airport, the Hampton Inn Airport Hotel is a great option for travelers spending a night near the airport in Costa Rica.
At the height of the pandemic, I traveled to Costa Rica on my own to do some paperwork to finalize my Costa Rican residency. With the pandemic in full swing (only residents and citizens could enter the country at that time) and the cost of plane tickets sky-high, we decided I should travel on my own to get the paperwork done.
It also worked out that my flight would arrive really really late at the San Jose Costa Rica airport (SJO) and I was traveling at the height of the rainy season which can mean terrible weather and flight delays. While I always stay at The Adventure Inn, I decided this time to stay at the Hampton Inn instead. This is my review of the experience.
The Hampton Inn SJO Airport is literally across the street from the SJO airport. It is across the main highway (highway 1) from the airport arrivals. This is the biggest advantage of the hotel, as there is not a single hotel as close.
The Holiday Inn Express is across the street from the Hampton, and just a tiny tiny bit (we are talking meters) further away.
The reason you stay at the Hampton Inn is for the location. (A bit farther away but a lovely place to stay is also the Doubletree by Hilton.)
Arrival and Check In
The Hampton Inn offers a free shuttle to the front desk, and you don’t even have to reserve it in advance. You can just leave the arrivals area and step out on the sidewalk. There will be a driver right there with a sign that has the Hampton Inn logo right on it.
Plan to have someone load your big luggage into the back of the van, and then you’ll have a seat in front for the 2-minute drive to the hotel.
When you arrive, the check-in is pretty easy. Some Costa Rican hotels really make checking in a big deal where you have to have all kinds of paperwork. At the Hampton, as long as you have your reservation confirmation (I had mine on email) you just show your passport and get your room.
There is free WiFi in the hotel, so if you don’t have your cell phone in Costa Rica activated yet, then you will still be able to access your email and stuff on your phone.
The only thing I didn’t like is that I arrived pretty late and there were no food options at the airport or the hotel. There is a 24-hour Denny’s across the street.
I stayed in a double queen suite on the main floor and it was amazing.
The first thing I noticed is that the hotel has recently been completely redone, so everything inside was brand new. (This was in 2020, so it’s now a couple of years old, but not as worn and torn as other airport hotels nearby.)
I loved the traditional Costa Rican ox cart paintings on the wall, and even though it’s a corporate chain, the entire property made an effort to add lots of Costa Rican culture in its signage and food options.
The beds were super comfortable, the room was impeccably clean, and the water was hot and steamy. I have no complaints about the accommodations at all.
One great thing about the Hampton Inn is that Costa Rican breakfast is included. I ate gallo pinto with hard-boiled eggs, enyucados (yucca bites filled with ground beef), and sausage. There were strong Costa Rican coffee and juice options. The hot breakfast had me filled and ready to go for the day.
The Hampton Inn is right by all the rental car agencies. I rent my cars from Adobe Rental Car, and they picked me up right in the lobby to go rent my car. That’s a great way to save money on a car rental- have it picked up in the morning instead of parking it all night.
There is a small pool outside, and it would be perfect for kids to get a dip in while someone goes and picks up the rental car.
The only disadvantage to this hotel is that you can hear the planes taking off and arriving at all hours of the night. That’s the same with a lot of the hotels right next to the airport, but I felt like for the money and the level of cleanliness, it was worth it.
I’d recommend this hotel, especially for solo female travelers like myself who want a safe and easy place to stay on their first night in Costa Rica.
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!