La Mansion Arenal is easily one of the most beautiful places we've ever stayed, or even seen from a distance. We loved having a private cottage -- we had gorgeous views of the land (and the horses on it), lake, flowers, and countless birds without having to leave our porch. The interior is lovely, with paintings of flowers and birds and monkeys on the walls and beautiful tile in the bathroom. Every day we had different fresh flowers arranged everywhere -- on our bed, in the bathroom, and on the little table in the seating area. Some highlights:
- bird watching from our porch
- amazing breakfasts -- not just a whole platter of fresh fruit, cheese, and toast, but also whatever hot options you'd like (e.g., macadamia nut banana pancakes, omelettes, excellent ham, etc.)
- canoeing on the lake... (but a warning here -- be careful! When it gets windy, there are strong currents and it can be hard to get back! My husband and I are fairly strong and we had a real struggle one morning)
- hike in Selva Leones cloud forest, including a horseback ride in the mountains, super-friendly guides, and delicious homemade barbecue
- day trip including visits to Arenal volcano, Eco Thermales hot springs (very pretty and not too busy), and other local spots
- great shower; this won't mean a lot to many people, but for those of us who care about great heat and water pressure, this shower was a stand-out. And you could see the trees from a high window.
We didn't rent a car and that actually worked out very well for us. It's tough to get around in this area, and La Mansion was extremely helpful in setting up all our tours and transportation for us; they just put it all on our bill so we didn't have to worry about a thing. (And the final totals were quite reasonable by any US standards.)
To respond to a preceding negative review... we can only speak from our own experience:
- we had no mustiness in our room
- all staff was extremely helpful
- booking dinners was very laid-back and easy, even last-minute
- there were some little TINY ants around, but nothing that caused any second thoughts even for an insectophobe like myself.
- there was so much else to do we never even went in the pool, but it looked great.
- food at dinner was admittedly mixed... not gourmet by US city standards, and the portions were too large for us. But the salads and soups were quite good, and it was worth it for us most nights to not have to worry about going out. Also breakfasts were the best we've had almost anywhere, and even the snack plates we requested impromptu were wonderful.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.