Hotel Autentico has some beautiful pictures on their website and booking sites, but be forewarned, those are the more expensive, renovated units. If you are also, like most of the reviewers here, on a G Adventures tour and starting/ending at this hotel, you will NOT be in the renovated rooms but their standard rooms. So have that expectation in mind, I did so I was slightly less surprised.
But I was still not expecting the poor conditions and ickiness factor that I did.
First, I am glad I chose to not tack on extra nights here because I came in a few days early and left a few days later after my tour. It would've been easier, yes, and I wouldn't have needed to lug around my luggage from hotel to hotel but geez, if you were like me and needed to get accommodations to bookend your tour, look at my other reviews for a close-by, better quality hotel at around the same price/night.
The hotel --
The lobby looks nice enough, but annoyingly, to get in, you have to lug your luggage up stairs. There IS a ramp though but the door at the end of the ramp is closed and only opened when someone from the inside opens it, I guess.
You walk down dark, dingy looking hallways with dirty carpets, past rooms with new door locks (the kind that open with a card) for those are the renovated rooms. There is an elevator though, I think that's relatively new, so that helps when you are on the second floor and bringing in luggage. The standard rooms, like the one I first stayed in, have twin size beds. The first night I stayed there, I had a room with 3 twin sized beds but the last night I stayed there, it was just two. Either way, one bed is ridiculously close to the bathroom (you have to maneuver your way around the bed to get in/out) and one is ridiculously close to the drapes (which I am not a fan of). Both times, I checked the beds for bed bugs after reading reviews on here but luckily, didn't find any and the mattresses looked fairly new. There is a fan in the room, no AC, and no fridge. There's a safe, but as people mentioned, you have to pay to use it. There's also a very distinct musky smell in the room that even permeates the bed sheets so it makes it hard to sleep. I also wonder, with the three twin size bed rooms, are they really changing the linens on all three beds each time? Or do they assume one bed that looks fairly untouched to not have been slept on and thus, no need to change the linens. Hmm.
The bathroom was not very welcoming. I may be cleaned to the best of the housekeeping staff's ability but it was still kinda ick. The ick factor aside, the first room we had, there was no toilet paper roll holder and the toilet paper was just plopped above the toilet. The second room we had, there was a toilet paper roll holder but there was no soap at all, no shampoo/conditioner, basically the room was baron of toiletries. Why? Did they just randomly forget? I asked the front desk guy and it made it seem like asking for the toiletries I was missing was such an unusual ask. No apology about not having it already in the room and I only got one soap, one shampoo (even though usually the room comes with two soaps and a shampoo and a conditioner). Maybe it was a language barrier thing.
The rooms facing the street can be loud but you can block the noise by closing both panes on the window. I think someone in my group who complained about the loud sounds off the street hadn't closed one of the windows (as it was kind of a weird window set up that it wasn't obvious there were two to close) but maybe it was just a particularly loud night.
The amenities of the hotel --
There's a pool. But it was one of the least inviting pools ever. It had things floating in there and it was in an area with grass and there were no pool towels that I could see. It just didn't make me want to hang out near it or in it, at all. And this is after being at a nearby hotel and hanging by their pool most of the day.
There's a restaurant. I only ate there for breakfast and had drinks there. The breakfast is $8 USD and there are some decent things on the menu (like this deep fried cheese thing that was really good, but we didn't see it on our second stay at the hotel) but not 100% sure it was worth the price. But $8 USD seems to be the going price for breakfast at hotels on the tour in Costa Rica.
The location --
Again, not much around here. There's a park, there's a supermarket just a block or so away so that is useful. There's also a restaurant I came across nearby called Machu Picchu that serves, you guessed it, Peruvian food. I suggest going there for food but heads up, you can walk there but don't take the route Google Maps suggests. Take the main roads which is a bit out of the way but less sketchy than taking side roads. I took the side roads following the quickest way there from the hotel and it brought me down empty streets with some having just auto/motorcycle mechanic shops and sparse of people. And I'd pass by some drunk, sometimes homeless people as I walked on these side roads. So yeah, go onto the main roads. There are some shops and convenience stores, fast food places nearby.
If you're wanting to stay in the fancier, renovated rooms, the experience may be better but amenities wise for the hotel, I'm sure you could get better options nearby. I don't have to name names but there are quite a few hotels right nearby Hotel Autentico.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Authentic Hotel offers guests the experience of an oriented values and customs of the Costa Rican people personalized service. With a total of 80 rooms, guests have a wide variety of facilities to meet their different needs. Considering the needs of our guests the authentic Hotel, offers pool areas, restaurant and parking. Authentic Hotel is a destination city, with a family atmosphere that highlights the charisma of Costa Rica ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Booking.com, Travelocity.ca, Hotels.com, Evoline ltd, TripOnline SA, HotelQuickly and Cancelon so you can book your Autentico Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.