By far the nicest hostel we’ve stayed at yet, Fauna Luxury Hostel is located in the Escazu barrio of San Jose. From the outside it looks like a mansion, and is easily the nicest building on the block. Previously a hotel, it opened in February, 2017. It is completely renovated and extremely clean.
Fun Fact: All of the linens are hypoallergenic and washed with recycled rain water and returned back to the hostel sealed in plastic. How’s that for clean?!
The dorm-style rooms ran us $16/night each, an excellent deal for such a luxury hostel. The comfortable private sleeper pods are each equipped with their own reading light, two electrical outlets (no fighting over who gets to charge their phone next — yay!!), and even a curtain that you can pull down for privacy!
The rooms are air conditioned, have hot water, towels, and hand soap, free wifi, and breakfast is included. There are also lockers that are big enough to store your luggage in, which is great if you are going to be out all day, but we felt very safe here and left ours in our pod with the curtain down. You can book your stay with Fauna by clicking here.
Each private room is equipped with a king size bed and has it’s own bathroom and the same amenities as the dorm-style rooms. One unique feature of the private rooms is that each one features art from a local Costa Rican artist.
With more amenities than any other hostel we’ve seen before, Fauna has 24 hour security, a bar and full kitchen, an art gallery featuring local artists, a stunning pool and hot-tub, and is surrounded by beautiful views of the city and neighboring mountains. Having just opened in 2017, they are still adding more amenities to the list. They are installing a roof-top gym, and even a low-cost spa and sauna that includes features such as massages, manicures and pedicures! The roof is also available for events and weddings as well, and Fauna has package deals for families/groups.
The hostel is located in a district called Escazu, a suburban area in the west side of San Jose. It is home to upper-mid to high income families and is a very safe area in San Jose. We felt comfortable walking around after dark here. There are also markets and convenience stores located within a 1-minute walk from the hostel. San Jose’s central location makes it a great home base for day trips to many different locations throughout Costa Rica. Jaco beach is an hour away, and Catarata del Toro is 2 hours away,
Eat At Chamo’s
There are plenty of good restaurants near hostel Fauna. The place we recommend the most is Chamo’s, owned by a Venezuelan couple. Here you can find local food, fresh squeezed juices (try the watermelon juice!), and even hamburgers and French fries, all for an affordable price. Benjamin (the owner) speaks English and was extremely helpful. He helped us find a vegetarian option for Sara, and was very accommodating. Even if not staying in the Escazu district, it is well worth an uber ride from downtown San Jose to try the delicious arepas prepared with fresh, natural ingredients. Make sure to try the secret sauce!
One of things that really sold us on this place was the friendly staff. Upon walking into the hostel, we were greeted by Alberto, a friendly Fauna staff member from Spain. He recommended some great places to eat and local things to do. The hostel is managed by Marcelo and Jeanine, a local couple from Costa Rica. They showed us around upon arrival and have done an amazing job with the place. They explained to us how the hostel was a family business and how they have a separate business within the hostel that promotes local art and helps the artists go abroad to expositions to learn how to promote and sell their work.
Ignacio, one of the workers, helped us get to Catarata Del Toro, the highest waterfall in Costa Rica within an inactive volcano, about a two hour ride form San Jose. One phone call later and our ride was booked, there and back, for only $100 USD. To put it into perspective, the cheapest uber was $67 one way, and we would have had to take the bus back (the nearest bus stop being 6 km away from the entrance to the waterfall).
Fauna will definitely be a place we come back to again and again whenever we are in Costa Rica. Fauna isn’t just for youth and budget travelers, but is a great option for anyone wanting to stay at a place with a friendly, relaxed atmosphere.
If you’d like to purchase a guidebook to Costa Rica, we recommend Lonely Planet’s guide which can be purchased on Amazon here.
Have you guys been to Costa Rica? What was your favorite hostel experience? Comment below!
-Sara & Pat