Thursday, March 19, 2009

First Impressions: Costa Rica Guesthouse

I'm staying at Costa Rica Guesthouse, which is the nicer part of Costa Rica Backpackers Hostel (, phone: 2221 6191). Costa Rica Backpackers is located at Avenida 6, Calle 21/23 and the Guesthouse is right across the street. I arranged for an airport pickup via the website for $18. When I was dropped off at the Guesthouse, the charge ended up being $20 but my driver Franklin was an excellent conversationalist so I didn't mind paying an extra $2.

I like this hostel. My spacious second floor room includes a king sized bed, and has three windows which look out onto a street. I share a bathroom with the other six rooms on this floor, but there are hardly any other guests on this floor so I don't mind. The bathroom is large and tiled with something like sandstone. The second story halls and rooms are nicely appointed with tastefully painted floors and mahogany-stained doors. The first story is airy and filled with natural light during the day. The Guesthouse has 24 hour reception. Across the street, Costa Rica Backpackers also has 24 hour reception, plus a reservations desk, a communal kitchen, a communal area with couches and a flat screen plasma TV, several computers for web-browsing, a pool, a garden with five hammocks, and a restaurant with decent food and which also plays movies at night. Tonight, they're showing Hancock (missed it) then bringing in three comedians at 8pm. I spent most of this afternoon talking to other travelers, all of whom were friendly and talkative. One is even from LA and her friend went to Carnegie Mellon. Small world.

I'm paying $35 per night for my room. A similar room with a private bathroom would be $42 per night. Costa Rica Backpackers has dorm beds for $12 per night and double rooms for $26 per night. Julie, the woman who checked me in and wife of the owner of Backpackers and the Guesthouse told me their business is down about 20 percent from this time last year. She further informed me that she has heard from hostel owners in other parts of Costa Rica that business is down as much as 50 percent from this time last year in some cities.


  1. Looks like you're having a great start to your trip. Enjoy the journey. :)

  2. I was cracking up just reading your packing list. You have no idea how deep your financial training runs until you are posting the prices of your travel towel and how you found it prudent to pay the shuttle driver $2 extra.

    Pricing aside, I can't wait to see more of your journey.

    Have fun!


  3. Ha! Proof that you can take the man out of finance but not finance out of the man. Just for your amusement, Alex, I'm going to put prices on everything.