San Jose Relax Hostel

Relax Hostel: Honest Tourism in San Jose

In Costa Rica by Erik @ DIY Travel HQ5 Comments

Relax Hostel offers affordable accommodation a block away from La Sabana Park in San Jose, Costa Rica. Find out what honest tourism means & how it benefits you!

Relax Hostel Location

For most tourists like us here at DIY Travel HQ, San Jose is the first & last destination in Costa Rica.

Despite the airport being located just outside of Alajuela, San Jose is very easy & cheap to reach using public transportation until late at night.

The capital is also where you will have to venture for onward transportation so San Jose is a convenient base for any one month Costa Rica itinerary.

Relax Hostel is located a few blocks from a bus station along the Alajuela to San Jose route.

Check out Relax Hostel’s description on how you can make the trip for only 520 colones ($1.00).

Whenever you are ready to leave, many of the bus terminals are a 20 minute walk away or can be reached by taxi (C$1,200-1,500 colones / $2.00-3.00) or public buses (C$200-400 / $0.35-075)

Relax Hostel San Jose

Step inside Relax Hostel, San Jose!

Relax Hostel Vibe

Relax Hostel has a great vibe & is true to their name.

They have great staff that are a combination of locals & foreigners utilizing the Work Away Program.

In case you are interested, 2-3 month commitments are required in order to be trained to provide the excellent customer service that is expected.

Even when ‘staff’ are not working they are helpful with questions about Relax Hostel & San Jose.

Dining Room Relax Hostel

Relax Hostel lives up to its name! Painted mural in the dining room

Relax Hostel Philosophy of Honest Tourism

In case you haven’t visited other Central American countries, Costa Rica is more expensive than others.

Relax Hostel tries to offer value for your money & help you travel longer for less.

For that reason, we fully support the owner, Mike & Relax Hostel. He is extremely friendly, laid back, & eager to help newbie backpackers think outside of the box when traveling.

Some of his helpful tips are where to visit in San Jose, shop for produce at the Mercado Central, & Pali for most everything else when self-catering.

Mike & staff are also great resources for how to get around Costa Rica & other necessities. It was refreshing to find a business in Costa Rica that believed in Honest Tourism instead of trying to gouge every tourist.

Check In Relax Hostel

The owner Mike is a wealth of information on San Jose & always ready to help fellow travellers

Relax Hostel Rooms

Relax Hostel has a mix of private rooms & dorms. Here are the options that are available:

  • Private Room with Double Bed – $32.00
  • Private Room with Bunk Bed – $26.00
  • Female Dorm Room – $12.00
  • Mixed Dorm Rooms – $12.00
Dorm Room Relax Hostel

Dorm beds at Relax Hostel are just $12.00

You receive linen & a towel at check-in, & have to return them upon check-out.

The dorm rooms are very clean & the mattresses comfortable for a solid sleep. The nights get cold so remember to shut the window before it gets dark, & draw the think curtains if you would like to sleep past sunrise.

One awesome feature that we love in the central hallway are gigantic lockers with your own dual outlet inside!

This is great for charging electronics while exploring San Jose, or at night without the fear of theft.

Mike has many other great ideas like this that he wants to implement as well. It is great to see he is taking feedback from customers & providing positive change.

Lockers at Relax Hostel

Check out the huge lockers!

Relax Hostel Bathrooms

All the rooms have shared baths, & there are 3 total in Relax Hostel.

Two are upstairs with a half-bath downstairs. The bathrooms upstairs are very spacious & the showers have hot water.

Relax Hostel bathroom

Large, clean bathrooms at Relax Hostel

Relax Hostel Common Areas

  • Reception-Living Room

There are a few places to sit upstairs, but the majority of common space is downstairs.

The living room at the front has ample seating, two computers if you need to do ‘real’ work or transfer files, book exchange, & useful information besides reception.

Computers Relax Hostel

Living room with computers at Relax Hostel

  • Kitchen

Located down the hallway just outside are the kitchen that comes complete with crockery & a fridge, & a dining room with a beautiful palm tree mural.

The kitchen is one staple that we try to have where ever we stay in Costa Rica in order to save money & enjoy healthy, home-cooked meals.

Kitchen Relax Hostel

The kitchen at Relax Hostel is well-stocked

  • TV Lounge

Around the corner is the TV lounge complete with Netflix & plenty of seating if you want to unwind after a long flight or day exploring San Jose.

The Wi-Fi in Relax Hostel reaches everywhere we went in the house, & is fast enough to handle Netflix & guest use at the same time!

Netflix lounge

Netflix & chill at Relax Hostel!

  • Bar

In the next room there is a small bar that is used for preparing complimentary breakfast in the morning. From the hours of 7-9 am you can receive pancakes, fruit, & coffee.

The last stop on our tour of Relax Hostel is the backyard. Here you can enjoy your breakfast, or grab a drink in the evening. Sometimes there is a small bonfire as well if you want to grab marshmallows.

Breakfast Relax Hostel

Breakfast is included at Relax Hostel!

San Jose Attractions

Despite many people using San Jose solely as a transportation base, the capital is an enjoyable city to explore on foot. You can enjoy a free walking tour if you want a better understanding of the history.

Otherwise, here are some of the attractions to keep in mind:

  • Museo de Arte Costarricense
  • Parque La Sabana
  • Mercado Central
  • Parque Central & Catedral Metropolitana
  • Plaza de la Cultura & Teatro Nacional
  • Museo de Jade
  • Parque Nacional, Espana, & Morazan

Mike also can direct you to Ultimate Frisbee locations that take place four days a week if you are interested.

Museo de Arte Costarricense

Museo de Arte Costarricense is a few minutes walk from Relax Hostel – free entry

In a Nutshell

Location: Relax Hostel is located on the corner of Avenida 2 & Calle 40 near La Sabana Park

Price: Dorms $12.00, Private rooms with shared baths $26.00-$32.00 (bunk beds or double bed)

Amenities: Linen with towel, lockers with outlets, kitchen, breakfast, hot water showers, book exchange, computers, Netflix, & Wi-Fi

Contact Information:

Check out their Tripadvisor reviews here

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***The Final Word – Relax Hostel is a great place to stay either as a transportation base, or for exploring San Jose.***

What amenities do you care about most when selecting a hostel to stay at?

* We enjoyed a complimentary stay at Relax Hostel – thank you to Mike for hosting us. We only recommend great value accommodation that we would choose to stay at regardless & as always, all opinions are our own.

Visited in January 2017


  1. Looks very interesting, picturesque, and a colorful hostel. I would gladly stay there.

  2. What a brightly coloured hostel! I agree that the prices seem cheap for expensive Costa Rica. Gotta appreciate a free breaky too!

  3. Costa Rica is one of my favourite destinations, and the wonderful colours and vibe of this hostel brings back so many happy traveller memories! I love that the owners of this hostel were so honest and helpful, a trait I’ve come to love about Costa Ricans! Thanks for sharing.

  4. A simple yet colourful hostel to rest in San Jose! I haven’t been to any of the Latin part of Central/South America yet but would really love to visit someday. I will note this for future reference in case my hubby and I decide to explore Costa Rica.

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