Our family also started our trip in Arenal, and La Mansion Inn was an ideal choice. The cottages are not like any other hotel room - they are small cottages with a Spanish decor and an outdoor private patio looking over the lake. We arrived at night, and woke up to the beauty of hills rolling down to the lake with grazing horses and beautiful birds. The staff was very gracious, and the meals were good. We also ate at the Gingerbread Inn, not too far away in Arenal, a lively spot with good food. We "adopted" a dog that had the run of the property and he followed us everywhere, making us feel welcome. A most beautiful place to stay.