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“Beautful lodge, helpful staff, amazing view!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Arenal Vista Lodge

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Arenal Vista Lodge
3.0 of 5 Lodge   |   25 km west from La Fortuna, El Castillo, Arenal Volcano National Park 5717, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
New Jersey, USA
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Beautful lodge, helpful staff, amazing view!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2011

I'm not here to rebuff any of the previous posts, as I'm sure their experience is what it is. However, my stay at the Arenal Vista Lodge was very peaceful. The pool and the pool deck were inviting and clean. The grounds are well cared for and the scenery was beautiful. I was hoping to the volcano would make some noise (since it's been quite for a while) but just being near the baby, and the lake made for a peaceful and relaxed stay.

The road from the primary road is a bit rough, quite do-able, even without 4x4. Bumpy yes... very much so, but its a small price to pay to be surrounded by such an amazing setting.

The staff is extremely helpful. I asked for directions to my next hotel in Monteverde and not only was the guy able to give me directions he even called the hotel to have them fax over a map. - What more could I ask for!

There is a pizza joint next door and its quite good, so do check out that place out.

The town of La Fortuna is about 35 minutes away, but with such wonderful scenery who cares... it's vacation no?

There were a lot of steps to get to the room, but again - small price to pay for the view!

Didn't eat here, but I saw they had very clean kitchen and the eating area had a wonderful view of the lake and volcano.

I'm not sure if they have AC in any of the rooms- my room didn't and I thought I would have a problem with that. However, the nights were quite cool - I didn't even use the fan in the room, just opened the window.

Waking up looking at the volcano/lake and the birds flying over was joyful way to start the day!

I gave rated the location a 5 because of the view, if you're looking to stay in town, this may not be the place for you - but you're missing out - my opinon.

Sleep quality could always be better, I'm very picky on the firmness of the bed. Harder the better - most would say softer the better... but to each their own.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
rablanco, Owner at Arenal Vista Lodge, responded to this review, February 23, 2011
Dear Guess,
Thanks for your feedback and tips that you said. We are very glad that you stayed at Arenal Vista Lodge. You will welcome to visit us again.
Regards,

Raul Blanco.
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95 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
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English first
Dominical, Costa Rica
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2011

My wife and I stayed there the last week of January and this place was a disappointment and a total rip of at $110 per night even with breakfast and one “meal” included.

The positives:
- Good view of the lake and volcano, that’s it!

Negatives:
- The pool was dirty with green murky water and tiles, would be a serious health hazard to use it!
- The room was dirty and barley got cleaned during our stay (same dirt stayed on the floor for 3 days), the toilet was stained and unsanitary.
- The shower had VERY low pressure, takes a wille to wash yourselves
- The owners and staff were rude and acted with an air of superiority and god forbid you ask them for directions or anything like this you will get a Basil Faulty type of reaction. Very uncharacteristic of the people of Costa Rica, especially in hospitality!
- Room dark, tired very basic box badly decorated needing total overhaul
- To our horror we woke up itching at night and took us a wile to figure out it was Bed Bugs not Mosquitoes!!
- You are not allowed to take any food (biscuits, snacks you buy etc) into the room ????
- The breakfast is small and basic – no choice gallo pinto (rice and beans) with no flavour – I had gallo pinto in other places this was awful.
- Rat poo on bed and in the room.
- Lunch or dinner was worse than any bad cafeteria food you have eaten, very small portion of tasteless fish or beef with a small portion of rice and vegetables (if you can call it that).
- It is about 40 minutes drive down a bad road in the middle of now ware, and this place is definitively not worth the drive!

Total disappointment as we thought we would get a reasonable place at this price. There are many other hotels in the area to choose from. We stayed 3 days as the rooms had already been pre-paid by our daughter. Save yourself this disappointment that would totally ruin your holidays and impressions of this beautiful country!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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rablanco, Owner at Arenal Vista Lodge, responded to this review, February 23, 2011
Dear Guest,
we really appreciate your feedback to improve our service delivery. According your comment, we want to explain you:

- Our pool is in the outdoors and is fed with natural spring water coming from the mountains. Also, the water is treated accordingly to health and safety regulations, and we have not had any reported incidents from our guests about contaminated water infections. Furthermore, we performed in a periodic basis a deep cleaning procedure that lasts for three ways, that extends for over a day, and we explain our guests when this is happening, to avoid using the pool.

- Food menu is based on local Costa Rican recipes, and indeed we serve Gallo Pinto. Because we do our best effort to please our guests, our personnel is empowered to vary the recipes in order to appeal to the tastes of a guest that may not me accustomed to Costa Rican typical food. However, the majority of cases are delighted guests that enjoyed fresh food and our own gallo pinto meal.

- Rooms are cleaned up on a daily basis as well as sheets. (otherwise if the guest stays more than one night he/she can indicate to keep the same sheets to preserve water and reduce environmental impact). Our floor is made of clay tiles and it may appear in some parts like stains, which are natural, but they do not represent dirt whatsoever.

At Arenal Vista Lodge we treat tourists with the most warmth and spirited attitude, and you are right, that trait is typical of our people. Do not hesitate in getting back to us and provide with your constructive feedback if you feel you were not treated as we have described. Our commitment to excellent service and satisfaction is guaranteed !

Regards,
Raúl Blanco.
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venice, ca
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2011

first off, the people who work at this hotel are fantastic, helpful, kind and courteous. the food is decent.
we stayed here because the observatory lodge was booked and my husband asked for the "next closest lodging to the volcano." this place is close but is VERY far from everything so i would highly advise renting a car if you stay here.
for some reason all the people staying were booked right next to each other even though the hotel was less than 1/4 full. the bad thing about this: paper-thin walls and poor door locks that must be slammed to close. we heard EVERYTHING including snoring from our neighbors! also, dogs bark and chickens rustle all night. roosters crow around 4am.
we also lost electricity but i think that could have happened anywhere. the rooms are clean and the water is actually hot - bonuses. the decor looks like it's from the '60s and the beds are hard.
i think we would have enjoyed the observatory - it's far from everything but it's beautiful and there is a lot to do there - or i would have stayed near a hot spring so we could have enjoyed them. it poured while we were there so we couldn't enjoy a whole lot during this visit and there is nothing walking distance from the vista except pizza john's - which is where we spent a lot of time!

Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rablanco, Owner at Arenal Vista Lodge, responded to this review, February 1, 2011
Arenal Vista is a mountain lodge located 30 minutes away from La Fortuna. The lodge is surrounded by wild nature, and is part of the Biological Corridor between Monteverde Reserve and Arenal Volcano National Park. The location is best suited for travelers who want to be surrounded by a lush tropical rainforest and birdwatching (over 300 species of birds), mammals (100 different mammals), and vegetation (more than 2500 species of plants, medicinal plants, fruit trees, flowers and orchids).
We have 25 standard rooms spread over 8 blocks which can host up to 4 guests. Every room has a private hot-water bathroom, large closet, internal and external balconies. From the rooms you can admire the wonderful view of Lake Arenal Volcano and many of our guests sleep with open windows with the intention of seeing the eruptions and lava flows.
We also have a swimming pool, laundry, gift shop, conference room and a spacious restaurant where guests can taste our delicious Costa Rican recipes, vegetables and fresh fruits and salads. Things to do around: hot springs (20 minutes) Horseback Riding (in our surroundings as well as the National Park), fishing and boat tours on Lake Arenal (in front of our hotel), butterfly, snake and insect museum (5 minutes hotel), canopy/zip line (8 minutes away from the hotel) and trails to walk around inside our private forest.
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Miami, Florida
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2011

We have stayed at this lodge several times,and have enjoyed it every time. The rooms are situated and angled so they all have a view of the volcano. This is semi rustic lodge with lots of tropical wood trim and decore. The rooms are spacious and clean with a balcony. The bathrooms are clean, large with large walk-in showers. There is a large resturant, activity room with a full bar. The grounds are beautifully maintained with tropical trees, plants and flowers. The property backs up to a National forest, so there is lots of birds and different animals. There is a butterfly farm down the road, and lots of hikes, horseback rides and a wonderful view of Lake Arenal.

  • Stayed June 2010, 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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rablanco, Owner at Arenal Vista Lodge, responded to this review, February 23, 2011
Dear Guess,
Thank you very much for your comments and description about the Lodge. You will welcome to visit Costa Rica and our lodge too.
Regards,

Raúl Blanco.
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Bogota, Colombia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2011

My wife and I visited Costa Rica for the Holidays.

The hotel is located at a perfect spot to watch the volcano and every room has a view of it. Be prepared for rain and mist, and plan on seeing the volcano completely only very few times. If you're extremely lucky the volcano is active and spewing lava, but that is not its regular condition.

The hotel is clean and has the basic services, but it would be better to rent a car since it is far away from everything., This makes it a perfect spot for birdwatching, fishing, horsebackriding or just enjoying nature, away from crowds of turists. The Skytrek was the most fun during our trip. http://www.skyadventures.travel/Arenal_En/Sky_Trek.html

Don't expect "resort style" accomodations or service, this is a family hotel where lots of locals and Central Americans come to visit - a local secret.

The owners are prudent, generous and loving people.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rablanco, Owner at Arenal Vista Lodge, responded to this review, February 23, 2011
Dear Guess,
We appreciate your feedback and suggestions for the travelers. The lodge is located with great Arenal Volcano view and Lake too. You will welcome to visit our country and Arenal Vista Lodge too.
Regards,

Raúl Blanco.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mexico City, Mexico
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2011

The rooms at the hotel were not very clean and the windows don't close well so the cold wind get's into the room. The road that takes you to the hotel is terrible and it takes about 45 min to get to the town, so the location is very inconvinient if you want to take a tour, go to the thermal springs or have something to eat. The breakfast served at the hotel is very very poor and it is always the same food. Although it is said that its a great place to see the volcano, at this time of the year is really cloudy and rainy so we didn't have the chance to see the volcano at all.

  • Stayed December 2010
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rablanco, Owner at Arenal Vista Lodge, responded to this review, January 21, 2011
We kindly appreciate your feedback. At Arenal Vista Lodge we do our best to make the most exciting and pleasing experience to our guests. Unfortunately, our lodge is subject to weather conditions that sometimes prevent guests from having a pleasant stay. Its worthwhile clarifying that we encountered winds and rain during December that were atypically cold and strong.

About the food, we usually received positive feedback which is recorded in the guest book (about 90% of the time), however your comments are taken seriously and we’ll continue to strive on serving meals that make that are worth good comments from our guests.
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Boston, Massachusetts
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2010

Bed bugs- what more needs to be said? There are many other places in the area to stay- this one should not be one that you consider. This is not the place to spend your holiday.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Arenal Vista Lodge

Address: 25 km west from La Fortuna, El Castillo, Arenal Volcano National Park 5717, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > El Castillo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 6 Specialty Lodging in El Castillo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Arenal Vista Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the northwestern region of Costa Rica, 30 minutes away from La Fortuna, in the BiologicalCorridor between Monteverde Reserve and Arenal National Park, our lodge rests marvelously in one of the surrounding hills of the Arenal Lake, enjoying a unique view of the Lake and the Volcano. Coming to our lodge, you will be surrounded by a dense tropical forest, where more than 300 species of birds can be seen, as well as 100 species of mammals and 2500 species of plants and orchids. The Hotel Arenal Vista Lodge was conceived from a prevailing necessity derived from the deficiency of facilities in the Arenal area. We felt the need for a place that took advantage of the natural beauties the area, while offering the national and international tourists the commodities they require in the Biological Corridor between Arenal Volcano National Park and Monteverde Cloud Forest FEATURES: • 25 comfortable rooms, each lodged up to four guests. • Every room includes a private hot water bathroom, walk-in closet and a balcony with spectacular view of the volcano and lake area. • Facilities equipped to care for disabled people. • Restaurant and salad bar with costarrican and international recipes. • Swimming pool, wet-bar, souvenir shop and a meeting room, natural forest trails. Internet facilities. Parking area with 24-hour security • Restaurant, which fits 90 guests, Bar and Souvenir shop • Conference room for 30 people and swimming pool with wet bar • Optional tours: hot springs, canopy, horseback riding, boat rides, transfers to Monteverde. We offer laundry service as well. Special offers for honeymooners, students, families and cycling groups. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Arenal Vista Hotel Arenal Volcano National Park

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