Having to unexpectedly change hotels during vacation is stressful. I learned all about it during a quick mother-daughter trip to Costa Rica.
We were ready for a trip filled with fun, adventure and relaxation. At the start of our trip we rented a car in San Jose and drove 3 hours to Uvita; a small town on the Pacific coast. We were on our way to check into a beautiful hideaway hotel, Oxygen Jungle Villas. It never crossed our minds that our 3-night stay would be shortened to 1-night.
After steadily driving up a steep mountain, we finally saw the hotel sign; having a 4-wheel drive SUV was key.
As we approached the check-in counter we couldn’t help but notice the infinity pool overlooking the jungle. Absolutely breathtaking. The concierge kindly guided us down a pebble path to our villa. The walls were made of glass for a complete view of the jungle. This place had relaxation and romance written all over it…but this was a mother-daughter trip so there would be no romance lol. A close friend of mine, Leah, who lives in Costa Rica also came along for the ride to the villa. I told her she can stay with us for the weekend and hang out. Simple girls sleepover, right?
We put our bags down, got settled and ate dinner in the hotel restaurant. Later that night the staff began to ask me how many people were staying in the room. I told them three and explained that my friend was going to spend the weekend with me while I was in town since she lived in Costa Rica. I was then told that only two people were allowed in each villa and that the manager may contact me. That was the end of it. For now.
We woke up the next morning and left around 9am to go zip lining. As soon as we got back to the hotel that afternoon around 5pm, I went to the front desk to make sure there wasn’t a problem with having three people in the room. That’s when I was told I would be charged for an extra villa. YES! TWO VILLAS.
That obviously was not going to work for me. Having to pay for two entire villas for only one extra person made no sense to me. You may be thinking “Why didn’t Leah just go home since she lives in Costa Rica?” She could have but she lives in a town about 5 hours from Uvita. That was a too far for us to still be able to hang out for the weekend. How often do I get to travel to Costa Rica to see my friends? Never. lol
The manager was set on charging me for an extra villa. No negotiating. So I canceled the reservation at Oxygen Jungle Villas for the remainder of our stay and after a long “conversation” with the manager it was agreed that I would be refunded for the canceled days.
Ok, technically we weren’t kicked out since we chose to leave but it definitely felt like we were since the only other option was to cash out on a second villa.
Now where do we go? It was around 6pm, starting to get dark and we were in the jungle. There weren’t any other hotels in sight. While I was having “conversations” with the manager, Leah found Hotel Los Laureles on her phone which was at the bottom of the mountain closer to town and only cost $50/night. Despite the less than luxurious pics of the place it had great reviews on TripAdvisor. At this point we were just looking for a place to sleep so we booked it.
Taking one last look at the villa, the three of us loaded our bags in the car and headed down the mountain to Hotel Los Laureles. The owners were very friendly and took us to our room. Yes, the beds were as hard as they look lol. On the bright side it was very clean, affordable and had wifi!
To add to the hotel fiasco, my mom stepped on a gecko the next morning in the bathroom. The gecko ran one way, my mom ran the other way screaming like crazy and broke the lizard’s tail off in the process. The tail was even still wiggling on the bathroom floor! It was hilarious!! Now mission “find the lizard and get it out of the room” was in full motion. We were not changing hotels again. Nope. Not happenin’. We found the gecko in the shower, put it in a plastic container and let it go outside.
Thankfully, the rest of our stay in Costa Rica was easy breezy. Changing hotels may not have been in our initial plan but it gave us memories that we’ll laugh about forever.
Here’s what I took away from that experience:
- If I want a romantic getaway for ONLY TWO people, Oxygen Jungle Villas is the perfect place.
- Pay attention to the hotel policies when making reservations.
- If I want an affordable, clean and friendly hotel that’s close to town, Hotel Los Laureles is it.
- Lizards live in Costa Rica and may come in the room. Especially if you’re in the jungle.
- Be flexible and nimble when traveling. Anything can happen. That’s the beauty of traveling.
Did I go about this all wrong? What would you have done in this situation? Comment below!