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Are you looking for the perfect hotel near the San Jose Costa Rica Airport?
After a full day of international travel, you will likely be tired when arriving at the airport in San Jose, Costa Rica.
Hotels near this airport are not hard to come by. There are plenty of amazing options, but there are some things you should be aware of before selecting the perfect place for your needs.
We live near the airport and know all about the best hotels to stay at either after you arrive in Costa Rica or before your flight back home.
Here are all of our tips for choosing the best San Jose Costa Rica Airport hotel based on your needs.
Overview of the San Jose Airport
Before you book anything, I just want to give you a bit of info about the airport. The San Jose Airport is called Juana Santamaria International Airport. The airport code is SJO.
The San Jose airport is actually not in San Jose. Instead, it is just on the border of San Jose in the city of Alajuela.
When looking at hotels near the airport we suggest focusing more on places right near the airport or in the downtown area of Alajuela.
Traffic around the airport can be absolutely insane, especially during rush hour. You do not want to stay too far away because you could be looking at some lengthy transport times.
Hotels Very Close to the Airport
I have to preface, I started writing this and realized every high-end hotel that I suggest near the airport is owned by Marriott.
I guess Marriott is going hard on capturing the San Jose airport traveler market.
Anyway, here are all your Marriott options.
AC Hotel by Marriott Heredia Belen
The Costa Rica AC Hotel by Marriott Heredia Belen offers comfortable, modern accommodations in a convenient location close to the airport. The hotel features a restaurant, rooftop outdoor pool, fitness center, and free WiFi.
Guests can enjoy complimentary shuttle service to and from the airport.
This is our top choice because everything is modern and clean. It is a great place to catch your breath and relax for a night after landing in San Jose or before departing Costa Rica.
Courtyard by Marriott – San Jose Airport
The Marriott is located super close to the airport (under 5 minute drive). There is a free airport shuttle, outdoor pool, restaurant on site, and fitness center.
Costa Rica Marriott Hotel Hacienda Belen
The Costa Rica Marriott Hotel Hacienda Belen is a stylish and modern airport hotel.
Guests can enjoy a variety of amenities, including an outdoor pool, fitness center, spa treatments, and complimentary wireless internet throughout the property.
The hotel also features several restaurants and bars offering delicious international cuisine and a range of local specialties.
There is a free airport shuttle.
Fairfield by Marriott San Jose Airport Alajuela
This hotel offers comfortable accommodations and excellent amenities, including a fitness center, onsite restaurant and bar, outdoor pool, free Wi-Fi and parking.
The hotel also offers a complimentary airport shuttle service for guests’ convenience.
Courtyard by Marriott San Jose Airport Alajuela
Here you’ll find comfortable accommodations with modern amenities. Enjoy a delicious meal and drinks at the full restaurant and bar.
Stay active at the fitness center or take a refreshing dip in the infinity pool.
And to make your vacation or business trip more convenient, they provide a complimentary airport shuttle service.
Casa Garitas GuestHouse Pura Vida
Casa Garitas features clean, air-conditioned rooms and a delicious breakfast buffet each morning. They also have an onsite restaurant with local dishes and a lounge area with pool tables. Plus, they offer a free airport shuttle service for those needing to get to the airport quickly and easily.
We love this place because the staff are AMAZING! Plus, you can usually be to the airport in less than 5 minutes.
Trapp Family Country Inn
This hotel provides complimentary shuttle service to and from the airport.
Guests can enjoy comfortable guest rooms, a freshwater swimming pool, on-site restaurant with outdoor seating, and more.
The inn’s staff also provide helpful information about the area and are happy to arrange tours and activities in the surrounding areas. It’s a great place to stay!
Casa Maria Aeropuerto
This spot offers guests a convenient and comfortable experience, featuring modern amenities such as air conditioning, flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and private parking.
The on-site restaurant serves traditional Costa Rican cuisine.
The hotel also offers a 24-hour airport shuttle service.
Budget Friendly Airport Hotels
Welcome to the Alexander B&B, your cozy home away from home!
This place was recently renovated and it just feels so homey. There is an airport shuttle, you can start your mornings with a continental breakfast, and there is a nice terrace to hang out on.
This place is not fancy, but it is comfortable, affordable, and the staff will take great care of you.
Alice y Juancito Boutique Hotel
For an affordable price, you can stay in a double room here. Breakfast is included and there is also a shared kitchen that guests can use.
There is a shuttle service here but you do have to pay extra for it. There is also a cute little garden area for guests to hang out in.
Flor de Katty Hostel Airport
This hostel features amenities such as a shared kitchen and lounge.
There are a range of rooms to fit your needs, be it the Quadruple Room, double room, Delux Double Rooms, or a bed in a 6-bed mixed dorm. All rooms are equipped with a shared bathroom and cozy bed linen.
Katty is also just the nicest person who will take great care of you. There isn’t an airport shuttle but it is easy to arrange a taxi.
Juan Santa María Around
Picture this, a charming homestay with gardens for you to unwind, a shared lounge, a sun terrace, and a kitchen that guests are welcome to use.
Now, let’s talk about the rooms. Some selected ones come with a fully equipped kitchen, complete with a microwave, fridge, and all the kitchenware you’d need.
Whether you opt for a double room, a large double room, or a single room, you’ll find them all fitted with a shared bathroom.
Vacation Property Rentals
Tucked away in Alajuela is Anchia, a sustainable apartment.
The eco-friendly property provides free Wifi for all guests and can arrange private parking at an extra charge.
Each unit in the apartment complex comes with a wardrobe, a flat-screen TV, a private bathroom, bed linen, and towels.
A delicious à la carte breakfast is available daily at the apartment for a fair price.
Anchia accommodates up to 2 guests, offering 1 bedroom and 1 bathroom.
It is possible to arrange airport pickup from the apartment owner.
With two spacious bedrooms and a spotless bathroom with a shower, up to six guests can comfortably enjoy their stay.
There is complimentary WiFi, a flat-screen TV, a fully equipped kitchen with an oven and a microwave, and a washing machine.
Here you will enjoy a smooth self-check-in process.
Airport SJO Residence – Edward & Familia Inn
Welcome to the tranquil haven of the Airport SJO Residence, where comfort meets convenience.
This place is a comfortable spot to stay near the airport.
There is a fully equipped kitchen which contains an oven, microwave, toaster, fridge, and minibar.
Apartamento Sol Azul
This non-smoking accommodation features a single bedroom that comfortably sleeps two guests. This place features a flat-screen TV, a spotlessly clean bathroom, and a fully stocked kitchen.
The entire 70 m² apartment is yours to enjoy, providing more than sufficient space for relaxation, entertainment, and even a bit of cooking.
The apartment features two separate bedrooms and a private bathroom complete with a walk-in shower and complimentary toiletries.
The well-equipped kitchen, complete with a refrigerator, microwave, oven, and stovetop, is perfect for preparing your favorite meals.
Tuareg Place A/C
This air-conditioned apartment, with its own private entrance, guarantees absolute privacy, allowing you to retreat from the hustle and bustle of your travels.
This place has two bedrooms and a bathroom, equipped with both a bath and a shower.
The kitchen, is well-outfitted with a refrigerator, kitchenware, and a microwave.
The apartment’s unique feature of soundproof walls ensures a tranquil ambiance, complemented by the comfort of a coffee machine and the entertainment of a flat-screen TV with cable channels.
With three beds comfortably sleeping up to five guests, Tuareg Place A/C is an ideal choice for traveling groups or families.
Hotels Within a 30-Minute Drive of San Jose Airport
If you do not have an early morning flight, you might consider staying a little further away from the airport. I suggest doing this stay in Alajuela to explore the hills above the town.
High End Hotels Within 30 Minutes
Xandari Resort and Spa
The resort features a spa village, yoga lessons, outdoor pools and hot tubs, restaurants, and 4 km of natural trails. It will take you about 30 minutes to get to the airport. There is an airport shuttle service
Finca Rosa Blanca
Finca Rosa Blanca has been on my “must visit” list for a few years now. Unfortunately, we haven’t made it here yet. If you visit, let us know how you liked it, so we can live vicariously through you. 😉
The hotel features an outdoor swimming pool, garden, a bar, shared lounge, a restaurant, and room service. There is a paid-for airport shuttle.
Mid Range Hotels Within 30 Minutes
Hotel Hacienda El Rodeo
Each guest room is a mini oasis, furnished with a cozy seating area and a private bathroom stocked with complimentary toiletries and a hairdryer.
You’ve got your own kitchenette and a flat-screen TV.
The breakfast is a feast of continental, American or even vegetarian options.
The surrounding area is a playground for hiking, fishing, and cycling enthusiasts.
You’re going to love it here!
Posada el Quijote
This place is such a peaceful paradise with a sprawling garden. You can stay connected with free Wi-Fi, satisfy your hunger at the snack bar, enjoy the shared lounge, tour desk, and convenient luggage storage for a seamless travel experience.
Plus, there’s free parking, a scrumptious breakfast, and a stunning on-site pool.
Trust me, Posada el Quijote is awesome!
Nestled amidst serene mountain vistas and lush garden landscapes, sits the charming bed and breakfast, DaBene.
Each room is elegantly furnished, boasting satellite flat-screen TV, plush towels, and premium bed linens, adding a touch of luxury.
There is an AMAZING breakfast menu that serves continental and Italian options, warm dishes, local specialties, and an array of fruits.
Little ones will love the indoor play area, while others might prefer to bask on the sun terrace, soaking in the beauty of their surroundings.
Budget Friendly Hotels Within 30 Minutes
Hotel Vista Linda Montaña
Imagine waking up to beautiful mountain views, from the comfort of your hotel room. Picture plunging into the outdoor pool that seems to be perched on the edge of the world.
The best part? You’re just a short drive from Juan Santamaria International Airport.
Plus, with complimentary Wi-Fi and private bathrooms, you’ll have all the conveniences of home.
Would you like a delicious start to your day? Make your way to the terrace for a continental breakfast, complete with fresh tropical fruits.
Should I Book a Hotel in Alajuela or San Jose?
If you are just spending one night near the airport, stay as close to the airport as you can.
If you plan on spending a few days in the area, our personal preference would be to stay slightly north of downtown Alajuela.
However, that depends on if you will have a rental car.
If you will have a rental car, Alajuela is great because it will give you the chance to explore a lot of beautiful sights nearby.
If you will not have a rental car, San Jose might be a better option.
You can easily explore the downtown area on foot, or book fun day trips with transportation if you would like to explore the surrounding areas.
Things to Consider Before Booking a Hotel Near the Airport
-It gets hot near the airport, but it tends to cool down at night (usually to about 65 degrees Fahrenheit). I wouldn’t worry too much about getting a place with AC. We live near the airport and do not have AC or a fan. We are perfectly comfortable with just a light blanket for sleeping.
-There are not that many restaurants around the airport. If you are staying in downtown Alajuela there are plenty of options, but right near the airport, there are not as many. If you find a hotel with a restaurant, that is always good.
Otherwise, Uber Eats is super popular in Costa Rica. There are tons of options for delivery near the airport. Just sign up for an Uber Eats account and you will be good to go!
-We love Booking.com for finding hotels in Costa Rica. You can read all about how we use Booking.com to find the best deals.
When searching on Booking for hotels near the airport, type in “Juan Santamaria International Airport” as your location. Also, if you need a shuttle you can check off “Airport Shuttle” on the left column next to your search results.
–VRBO is always a good option for vacation rentals, but personally, we tend to skip this for one-night stays. It can sometimes be a pain to meet up with a host and organize when and where to get the key from them etc. It is usually just easier to stay at a hotel for such a short time.
Transportation to and From the Airport
If possible, we suggest finding a place with a free (or even a cheap paid-for) airport shuttle. This will save you from having to deal with getting a taxi from the airport.
It’s not like it is difficult to get a taxi at the airport, you will be literally hounded by taxi drivers when you exit the airport. It’s just that getting a taxi can be expensive and a bit overwhelming. You can read all about taxis in Costa Rica here.
If you plan to rent a car for your travels in Costa Rica we suggest having your car dropped off at your hotel in the morning if you won’t need a vehicle that evening when you arrive (if your hotel has a free shuttle). This will save you a bit of money.
We have partnered with our favorite rental car company in Costa Rica, Adobe, to bring you a 10% discount plus other perks. If you do plan to rent a car directly from the airport Adobe will pick you up with their shuttle and take you to their office 5 minutes away.
However, Adobe is also happy to deliver your car to you for free at your hotel within 12 miles from the airport.
If you can get a hotel with a free shuttle you can then spend your first night near the airport and have Adobe deliver your car in the morning (they start deliveries at 7:30 am) and then you can hit the road to your first destination.
If you are spending the last night of your trip near the airport you can have Adobe pick up your car from your hotel in the evening and then take your hotel’s airport shuttle in the morning.
When you are making your reservation with Adobe just indicate in the drop-off and pick up box which hotel you will be staying at. You can add any other details in the comment section of your reservation.
Should You Stay in a Hotel Near the Airport?
You may want to head straight to your first destination after arriving at the San Jose airport. We can’t blame you!
With limited vacation time, you probably want to get the beach or the jungle.
However, sometimes we suggest spending a night in a hotel near the San Jose Costa Rica airport.
-If your plane arrives after 5pm and you plan on renting a car we suggest spending the first night near the airport. The sun sets here between 5:30 and 6pm every day. It’s not as if you can not drive in the dark, but it is definitely easier to drive during the day. You will not be familiar with the roads here.
If your first stop is the beach town Jaco, we think that is fine to get to in the evening. That drive is only about 1.5 hours on well-maintained and well-marked roads.
-If you have a semi-early flight out of San Jose at the end of your trip we suggest spending the night before your flight near the airport. As I previously mentioned, rush hour traffic around here is next level. We don’t want you to be stressed out about getting to the airport on time and sitting in terrible traffic.
-If you have some extra time in your trip there are actually some really nice things to see near the airport. Most people tend to get away from this area as fast as possible, but spending a few nights near here is not a bad way to start or end your trip.
What Can You Do Near the Airport?
The Central Valley of Costa Rica is beautiful!
We love to drive up in the mountains and check out the amazing view of San Jose below.
This area actually reminds me a bit of Switzerland with rolling mountain fields of green, grazing cows, and tasty cheese (although Costa Rica cheese is definitely not on the same level as Swiss cheese, but oh well!).
Definitely check out our guide to the Alajuela area for restaurant suggestions, travel tips, fun activities, and more.
Visit Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano is about a 1.5 hour drive from the airport. This is an impressive active volcano that you can visit up close.
You can read all about how to plan your visit to Poas volcano with our Poas visitors guide.
Go on a Coffee Tour
There are several coffee tours in the Alajuela area. Our three favorites are Doka Estates, Britt, and Hacienda Alsakia.
Britt Coffee is probably the most well-known coffee company in Costa Rica. Their tour focuses mostly on the production side. It is a great tour if you have kids.
The Doka Estates tour will teach you all about the farming side and production of coffee. We have not done this tour, but have heard it is much more in-depth than the Britt tour.
Hacienda Alsakia is the worlds only Starbucks coffee plantation that you can visit. They do have coffee tours, but you can also just enjoy a coffee in their unique coffee shop with a view of a waterfall. We wrote a full guide about visiting for more info.
Visit La Paz Waterfall Gardens
The La Paz Waterfall Gardens are a great place to see Costa Rican wildlife, learn a bit about Costa Rican history, and to see the amazing La Paz waterfall.
You can prebook your La Paz tickets here.
Tickets to this place are a bit pricey, but it a great place to visit, especially if you have kids.
You can learn all about this spot with our La Paz Waterfall Gardens guide
Wrap Up: San Jose Airport Hotels
In conclusion, there are several hotel options for all price ranges near the San Jose International Airport.
Just don’t forget that traffic around this area can be crazy. It is best to factor in the potential driving time when looking for places to stay.
Also, places with a free airport shuttle are always a good idea!
Let us know if you have any questions about hotels near the San Jose Costa Rica airport in the comment section below. We are happy to help you out!
You Will Also Like:
San Jose Airport or Liberia Airport Guide – Get all the details on which airport is best for your vacation
Costa Rica Travel Details: What You Need to Know
🚗 Should I rent a car in Costa Rica?
Having a rental car will give you the most flexibility when traveling in Costa Rica. This will allow you to visit more off-the-beaten-path destinations and will allow you to take fun day trips on your own.
☀️ Should I buy travel insurance for Costa Rica?
Yes, travel insurance is always a good idea. It is not just for illness or injury, but also lost luggage, delayed trips, and more!
We like Heymondo for Costa Rica travel insurance.
✈️ What is the best way to book a flight?
Usually, we have the best luck finding great prices with Skyscanner. Check for flights to both San Jose Airport (SJO) and Liberia Airport (LIR).
🛏️ What is the best way to book my Costa Rica hotels?
🗣️What is the main language in Costa Rica?
The main language in Costa Rica is Spanish. Most people working in tourism speak at least some English.
💰 What is the currency in Costa Rica?
The currency used in Costa Rica is the Costa Rican colón (CRC). However, the US dollar is widely accepted in most tourist areas
🌴 Is Costa Rica safe?
Generally, Costa Rica is considered safe for tourists. However, like any travel destination, it’s best to use caution and be aware of your surroundings.
🛂 Do you need a passport to go to Costa Rica?
Yes, Costa Rica is its own country. You will need a passport to visit.