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“A diamond in the rough” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Nepenthe B&B

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Nepenthe B&B
La Fortuna, San Carlos | 100 m este y 1.5km sur de la Escuela, El Castillo, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica   |  
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Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Special Rate
$75 (USD)
Ranked #1 of 5 El Castillo B&B and Inns
Tucson, Arizona
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“A diamond in the rough”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2013

I can't say enough about this delightful little place. While the ride up the driveway is apt to loosen a few fillings, you'll feel it is absolutely worth it, standing on the covered porch at the office, checking in, and gazing over Lake Arenal. Agustin, the manager was so helpful and accommodating in the weeks leading, up to the trip. He had all kinds of great suggestions for staying overnight in San Jose, and for making the drive to this place that is off the beaten path of La Fortuna. Just the drive through the heavily touristed town, made us happy to be going to the "boonies" near El Castillo where Nepenthe is located. Agustin even moved the days of our reservation when our flight out of the USA was delayed by 24 hours. And Gordon, the owner, who answered the Nepenthe's US phone number himself, was exceedingly friendly and helpful when we called for information. This B&B is clearly a labor of love for him. He seems interested only in the happiness of his guests and his staff.
The rooms are very warm and homey. Because it was our 30th wedding anniversary, there was even a bottle of wine waiting for us, and a free dinner at the immensely enjoyable Pizza John's restaurant. The view from the long covered porch (filled with beautiful rocking chairs, and hanging basket chairs), is breathtaking. And I haven't even mentioned the infinity pool, yet.
While Agustin can help arrange any excursion or adventure you might be able to dream up ( we went on the 3 hour horseback tour in the jungle), I would highly recommend leaving plenty of time for quiet gazing and relaxing at this little piece of heaven.

Room Tip: Room 2 is a corner room with views of the lake and the jungle
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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93 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    66
    21
    5
    0
    1
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Calgary, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

This place was the best stop on our trip hands down! The views are stunning. I thought I knew paradis before this but I had no idea it could get this good! The village was cute and everyone in it was extremely welcoming. Staff at the Nepenthe were very helpful. Make sure to book a massage at the blue lagoon, get the lagoon special. It's a little piece of heaven! We will definitely be back one day, and this place is forever in our hearts!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Chicago, Illinois
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

My husband and I spent three days at Nepenthe. The views from our cabin were spectacular. Agustin was a gracious host. The sumptuous Costa Rican breakfast every morning was a great start to the day.

There is no air conditioning. It does get a little stuffy at night, but it wasn't too bad.The approach road is not great. You do need all wheel drive. But Nepenthe is well worth it.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sachse, Texas
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

My husband and I honeymooned at Nepenthe B&B in March 2012. Everyone was so welcoming and helpful! We had booked with a different place, but were moved to Nepenthe, and we are soooo incredibly glad we were moved here. Nancy and Gordon treated us to dinner at Pizza John's and left a bottle of champagne in our room! We were their first honeymooners and they made our trip very special and one we will never forget! We would totally recommend Nepenthe B&B! You definitely need a 4x4, but you need one when you visit that area anyway. The views were amazing, the breakfast was delicious, and Augustin was extremely helpful and eager to set up adventures for us.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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california
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2012

This is a lovely place, but being high on the mountain it rained a lot. Also, the road is very bad, and it takes 25 minutes of bumpy driving from the paved road. Still, it is worth it, because of the great views, quiet location, and friendly staff. The horizon pool is probably too cold to use most of the time.

Room Tip: Of the lodge rooms, one does not have a lake view. It does have a very nice view of the cloud fores...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montréal
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2012

My girlfriend and me very enjoyed to stay at Nepenthe. It was a long drive from Jaco to El Castillo but it definitely worth te travel. Agustin was very friendly and available. Jaccuzi was great after we making the 4 hours trail Cherro Chato in a very muddy and wet condition. The view is amazing (when there is no cloud or rain!) It is very well located because we were near all activities we had included in our trip in this area. Zipline, hiking, reptile and butterfly zoo and i forget somes.

Of course you can go there with an ordinary car but if you have a 4x4 the trip will be more funny and you will drive maybe a little bit faster because the car can afford some holes and rocks!

We had a cabine and it was very nice. breakfast was very good with enough choices for eat.

We recommand Nepenthe for the hospitality, the charm, the view and the things to do around.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamilton, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

We arrived at night, just as well given the condition of the road the last few kilometres! A very warm welcome awaited us. The cabins are well appointed and comfortable. Fantastic views of the Arenal Lake andnVolcano ,,,,,when the clouds part. The gardens are lovely, the nearby forest with its bird life is fascinating. Breakfast at the main house is great, and the information provided by Augustin useful.
The near by village of El Castillo is worth a visit, the Butterfly park and the snake park also.
Dinner at Pizza John is a must... Not just for delicious pizza but also the entertaining conversation with John!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Nepenthe B&B

Address: La Fortuna, San Carlos | 100 m este y 1.5km sur de la Escuela, El Castillo, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > El Castillo
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in El Castillo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nepenthe Bed and Breakfast is Beautifull piece of paradise located in the little town of El Castillo of La Fortuna in Costa Rica. Surrounded by the rain forest and exuberant wild life (like diferent kinds of monkeys and birds as toucans) you can appreciate the magnificent Arenal Volcano and the mistic Arenal Lake, enjoy beautifull sunsets from our infinity edge pool or relax in the jacuzzi or with a Massage in The Blue Lagoon Spa after a day of adventures and fun in the area. ... more   less 
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