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Where To Stay Near San Jose Airport, Costa Rica

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The Juan Santamaria Airport area has numerous accommodation options that are close enough both to the airport and the city center, allowing guests to conveniently fly in and out of San Jose and visit popular tourist destinations in the Central Valley hassle-free. If you’re wondering where to stay near San Jose Airport Costa Rica, here are some of my top hotel recommendations.

A note about the airport location. While the airport is called the San Jose airport, it’s not actually located in San Jose- it’s in a smaller town to the north called Alajuela. This means that when you are looking for an “airport hotel” you don’t want to search for hotels in San Jose because you’ll have a 30-minute drive (or possibly even more.) The hotels on this list are all within a 10-minute drive of the airport, and most offer free shuttles to and from the airport.

It’s a good idea if you are arriving late to book a hotel right near the airport. What we do is then get our rental car in the morning, thus saving a night of rental car fees. We love Adobe Rental car, and they will drop the car off at many local hotels free of charge. If you would like to get 10-20% off your rental car from Adobe, just use our unique link.

Photo Courtesy Courtyard by Marriott San Jose Airport Alajuela

Courtyard by Marriott San Jose Airport Alajuela

The super plush Courtyard by Marriott San Jose Airport Alajuela is only a mile (1.6 km) away from the airport and offers you comfort and convenience, with oodles of modern features and amenities to keep you entertained throughout your stay.

There’s a free shuttle service to pick you up from SJO airport and back, and ample parking at the property for those using a rental car. At the hotel, you’ll find up to 130 elegantly furnished rooms waiting for you, all with air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, and private balconies.

In the morning, get free breakfast at the onsite restaurant before checking out the dazzling outdoor pool, touring the City Mall, or indulging in other activities in or out of the property. I like this hotel’s proximity to the mall because that is a really good place to get a SIM card if you want to use your cell phone in Costa Rica.

Photo Courtesy Buena Vista Chic Hotel

Hotel Buena Vista

Currently known as Buena Vista Chic Hotel, Hotel Buena Vista is the perfect location for travelers looking for a quiet vacation, away from the hustle and bustle of the city center. The luxury hotel is nestled on a hilltop amidst a lush coffee plantation, providing scenic views of downtown San Jose and an intimate connection to nature.

Only 6 miles (10 km) ride from Juan Santamaria International Airport, the property welcomes guests with 30 cozy, spacious rooms, well-kept gardens that give a tropical vibe, a complimentary Costa Rican breakfast, and so much more. There’s a lot to do here including exploring the coffee plantation, lounging at the pool, and private tours to famous tourist destinations in San Jose. A free airport shuttle is provided to and from the hotel.

Interior of a standard Adventure Inn room.

Adventure Inn

We adore Adventure Inn- the airport shuttle to and from SJO airport is super reliable and fast. The rooms are brightly decorated with traditional Costa Rican ox cart paintings, and the pool is the perfect introduction to Costa Rican tropical weather. There also isn’t really a “standard room” here- you can get two queens, a queen with two single beds, rooms that sleep 6, and more. It’s great for groups.

Add the awesome restaurant with traditional Costa Rican food and a phenomenal breakfast buffet included with your room, there’s nothing not to like about the hotel. Enjoy 10% off your stay with our exclusive discount code.

Photo Courtesy Holiday Inn Express San Jose

Holiday Inn Express San Jose Costa Rica Airport

Another popular hotel near San Jose International Airport is the Holiday Inn Express, featuring brightly lit comfortable rooms, an outdoor swimming pool, an indoor heated pool, a fitness room, and a business center (for those traveling for work) among other world-class conveniences.

However, being an American chain hotel, you’ll likely not experience the much sought-after Costa Rican vibe here. Nevertheless, the convenient location means you’ll be just 5 minutes away from the airport, plus the highway to San Jose is easily accessible from the property so you can go to the city center and back without trouble.

A free breakfast buffet is available at the hotel, but if you’re not into the typical American breakfast, you can walk to the restaurant just opposite the hotel and sample other dishes.

Photo Courtesy Hotel Aeropuerto

Hotel Aeropuerto

Like Holiday Inn, Hotel Aeropuerto is set just 5 minutes from SJO and conveniently close to the motorway. While it may not feature as posh amenities as Holiday Inn or other luxury hotels, there’s a number of complimentary services to enjoy here including free airport transportation, free parking, free breakfast, free local calls, free Wi-Fi…even kids below 8 years sleeping in your room stay free!

Kick back in one of their 24 rooms that come fully fitted with air conditioning, a private bathroom, bathtub, cable TV, and a seating area, break a sweat at the gym, or simply just lounge at the outdoor pool and soak in the beauty of the surrounding native trees and garden. Later, enjoy a meal at the onsite restaurant or stay in and order room service.

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Photo Courtesy Alajuela City Hotel and Guesthouse

Alajuela City Hotel and Guesthouse

In the heart of Alajuela, just 8 minutes away from SJO airport is the Alajuela City Hotel & Guesthouse, a 2-star property that allows travelers to discover all that Central Valley and its surroundings have to offer.

Here, you’ll be in close proximity to volcanoes, rainforests, waterfalls, ziplines, and wildlife sanctuaries, giving you an opportunity to explore and experience the enriching Pura Vida lifestyle.

Rooms are pretty standard; you can choose between comfort and superior rooms based on your budget and what you’re looking for. Information on tours, car rental agencies, interesting tourist sites, great places to sample local dishes, etc. can be obtained from the hotel.

Photo Courtesy Terrazas de Golf

Terrazas de Golf

Formerly a family residence, Terrazas de Golf is one of the best hotels for people looking for a home away from home. The small boutique hotel is located about 3 miles (4.8 km) from Juan Santamaria International Airport, providing guests with direct access to the sprawling Cariari Golf Course. It also places you close to malls, restaurants, conventional centers, and major tourist attractions in the area.

Rooms are cozy and spacious with air conditioning, flat-screen TV, and large windows that offer views of beautifully manicured gardens or the golf course. Some even have a private garden where you can relax and enjoy your breakfast. Free airport transportation is provided.

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Photo Courtesy Barcelo San Jose Palacio

Barcelo San Jose Palacio

Situated in the serene neighborhood of Uruca, 8 miles (13 km) from Juan Santamaria Airport and 3.1 miles (5 km) from downtown San Jose, Barcelo San Jose Palacio is a traveler’s dream. The luxury property offers an outdoor pool, a tennis court, a fitness center, a complimentary airport shuttle, and up to 254, modern air-conditioned rooms!

Sample an array of gastronomic delights at any (or all) of the three restaurants on site before trying your luck at the casino, or heading out for a sightseeing excursion. At the end of the day, sip a Costa Rican cocktail and rock to live music with a loved one at the onsite bar.

Photo Courtesy Trapp Family Country Inn

Trapp Family Country Inn

Just a mile away from SJO airport is this family-friendly, colonial-style property that boasts comfortable, well-kept rooms with private balconies that overlook picturesque gardens and a sparkly swimming pool. There’s a shuttle to pick you up from the airport free of charge.  

After stuffing yourself with their free breakfast or sumptuous dishes from the onsite hotel, unwind at the pool and soak in the refreshing Costa Rican sun, take a walk in the lush garden and listen to the soothing sound of nature, or enjoy a full or half day tour to Hacienda Alsacia, La Paz Waterfall, or the Corso Farm with your family.

Photo Courtesy Hampton Inn and Suites San Jose Airport

Hampton Inn and Suites San Jose Airport

This hotel is directly across from the airport- it’s literally within walking distance. There’s a shuttle that runs about every 10 minutes, and the reception area is open 24/7. I had stayed here when I was traveling alone- one of the main reasons is because I wanted a safe and close place with breakfast included.

While the Hampton Inn is a large international chain and I would rather support a local hotel, I was pleasantly surprised with all of the Costa Rican slang and art on the walls. The rooms were exceptionally clean, and the hotel breakfast included gallo pinto, which was really fun.

Photo Courtesy DoubleTree By Hilton Real Cariari

DoubleTree By Hilton Real Cariari

This hotel is right by the Adventure Inn, but can be a good place for people to stay on credit card points. We ended up here when our other hotel options were full, and we were pleasantly surprised.

The hotel is built in the traditional square hacienda style with a pool and restaurant in the middle of the hotel. The rooms are bright and clean, and the traditional Costa Rican food is delicious if a bit pricey. Our favorite part of the stay (besides the reasonable price) was the scrumptious breakfast buffet.

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About the Author

Christa profile image

Hi- I’m Christa! I fell in love with Latin America in my 20s, and I’m still head over heels! Here at Pura Vida Moms I celebrate what it means to be bicultural- Costa Rican recipes, bilingual parenting and family travel.

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Christa profile image

Hi- I’m Christa, and I’m on a mission to help the world fall in love with Costa Rica through food, travel and language. I’m a mom of two Latinas, bicultural, bilingual (English/Spanish), and 100% in love with celebrating parenthood in all its forms, (even the sucky parts). I’m so happy you found the site- WELCOME! Find out more about me here

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