Hotel Brilla Sol (or Hotel of the shinning sun) is located about 4 kilometers from SJO (San Jose international airport). They’re supposed to pick you up from the airport as they advertise free shuttle service to and from… However I did not see anyone waiting for me when I exited. I looked around even asked random taxi drivers and other hotels until someone informed me that it was necessary to call them and let them know I had arrived.
The email exchange with the hotel stated they would have someone with my name waiting for me at the airport exit. That did not happen. I do not have an international phone therefore I couldn’t call. A very well intentioned and nice taxi driver called for me and they said they were on their way. I waited about 20 minutes before calling it quits. I hailed a cab and for 7 USD he dropped me off at Hotel Brilla Sol.
Upon arrival they get a phone call stating that their driver cannot find the person their looking for. We put two and two together and realize I am the missing passenger. I told them the driver never showed so I just took a taxi.
Not a big deal but I really didn’t want to spend 7 USD if I knew I had a free ride already.
Hotel Brilla Sol was $52 USD for the night (including taxes). Its authentically Costa Rican, so cute with lots of trees and chickens running around. It had a colorful walkway and relics from across the world all over the garden, from Thai buddhas to indigenous statues…The complex was composed of different sections. There was a pool section, a restaurant and a lounging area. It had quite the garden. The pool was huge.
The hotel was kept very clean considering it had many trees and wild flowers and chickens. There is a cleaning staff constantly picking things up and sweeping. I also heard them exterminating things and putting poison out for bugs. Costa Rica has lots of crazy bugs like mosquitos and fire ants. They’re called Fire Ants because they’re red and when they bit you it hurts like a burn. Ive gotten bit before, it almost feels like someone jabbed you with something. Its painful.
The hotel room:
The room itself was pretty basic. I was in a room with a double bed. It had a TV a closet and a dresser. No minibar.
The bed was comfortable but mosquitos kept coming in somehow. I think they came in overtime I came in and out.
The AC was powerful and it had no limit to how cold you can put it. I lowered it to 16 degrees celsius and pulled out the comforters. It was quite nice.
The restrooms are basic but clean. It had a soap dispenser in the shower and a toilet paper dispenser that dispensed 2 squares at a time.
Free coffee was included in the morning and so is the free ride to the airport.
The restaurant had everything from Costa Rican and Latin dishes to pizza and pastas. I chose the Arroz con Pollo, or their rice and chicken bowl. It was good.
The hotel is very cute and it makes for an authentic stay in Costa Rica.
The only criticism I have are the outlets. There were only 2 outlets of 2, however the TV and a small lamp were using half of them. They were behind the dressers and hard to reach. I moved everything and made it work.
Let me break it down for you:
$52 USD a night.
- Free coffee at breakfast
- free wifi
- great AC
- Free airport pick-up
- Free airport drop off
- Accept major credit cards
- American outlets
- wifi only worked in the lobby
- Must call to get picked up at airport, even if you arrange it beforehand
- Not modern (which means no USB outlets)
Would I stay here again? Yes. For $52 USD you get a decent room, free coffee and free airport shuttle (to and from). Its a good bargain.