Hotel Robledal in Costa Rica

By Edna R.S. Alvarez
This item appears on page 27 of the July 2019 issue.
View of different rooms at Hotel Robledal in Costa Rica. Photos by Edna R.S. Alvarez

If you wish to have a lovely introduction to Costa Rica before beginning your tour around the country or you want one last little bit of Costa Rica before leaving, I highly recommend Hotel Robledal (El Roble 124, Alajuela, Costa Rica; in US/Canada, 812/ 962-4386,

It’s located a mere 15 minutes from Juan Santamaría International Airport, outside San José, yet it carries the charm of Costa Rica instead of the feel of an airport hotel.

In January 2019, I was wonderfully pleased to have found this small, family-owned establishment. Located 400 meters west of a Catholic church, this little gem is in a commercial, down-market area behind a large, wrought-iron, locked gate. It serves as a conference/business hotel for locals and is a wonderful respite from noisy, car-choked San José.

As a bird-watcher, I loved the old-growth trees in the large area in back, which included a small pond and feeders. My room was comfortable, and the pool and outdoor sitting area were attractive. In addition to an open-air eating area, there was a bar.

I think I discovered this hotel when I noticed that a birding-tour company had included it in their itinerary. (Most birding-tour companies use Hotel Bougainvillea.) I then looked for reviews about Hotel Robledal.

I paid $90 for my stay there, which included breakfast, tax and a shuttle to the airport. Breakfast was substantial and delicious, including made-to-order eggs, fresh fruit, breads, yogurt, etc. Dinner was very tasty and reasonably priced ($10-$12 for a large entrée). The staff was helpful and friendly.

Feel free to write me for more info (

Los Angeles, CA

Hotel Robledal's pool area.
Backyard bird-watching space behind Hotel Robledal in Costa Rica.
Backyard bird-watching space behind Hotel Robledal in Costa Rica.