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“Terrific Budget Find” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Cerro Azul Arenal

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Hotel Cerro Azul Arenal
1 km sur y 600 m oeste de la iglesia Catolica de La Fortuna, sobre la entrada principal de La Catarata. | 600 meters west from the road entrance to La Fortuna Waterfall, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica   |  
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loomis ca
Top Contributor
297 reviews 297 reviews
125 hotel reviews
Reviews in 126 cities Reviews in 126 cities
223 helpful votes 223 helpful votes
“Terrific Budget Find”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2012

How can you beat $50 per night for your own cabina, complete with front and back porch with hammock and chairs. This charming family run business has only 4 cabinas, perfect size. The grounds are lovely. Some of the best bird watching on our two week trip right from the back porch. A gentle walk to the river right out the back gate. Approx a mile from Fortuna town. Best for those with a car, but still doable with a taxi. Loved being outside the town centre with a more natural setting.
The owners wife will cook breakfast and serve on their outdoor patio(family home is right across the street). $7 per person.
Nice restaurant, decent pricing at Casa Luna hotel, walking distance (5 minutes) right up the road. Highly recommended.

Room Tip: Ask for end cabina for more privacy. I think it's number 4, best to double check.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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252 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
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  • Italian first
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English first
Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

We chose Hotel Cerro Azul for our La Fortuna accommodation based on their Trip Advisor reviews and were SO glad we did! Everything about this beautiful little place was excellent-- the setting, the cabins, the amenities, and definitely the owner/manager Alvaro-- and we'd highly recommend it to anyone looking for somewhere to stay that's a little out of town and right in the middle of the Costa Rican wildlife!

First, the setting. Hotel Cerro Azul is located about 1.5km out of the town of La Fortuna, on the road to the Rio Fortuna waterfall. We didn't hire a car during our stay, and while we were initially a bit put off by the distance into town, we found it to be an easy 20 minute walk with stunning views of the volcano. I'm sure we would have been able to get taxis easily enough, had we wanted to, but we didn't even bother, it was that easy a walk. As mentioned, the hotel lies on the road to the Rio Fortuna waterfall, a road which also takes you to the start of the challenging (though rewarding) Cerro Chato hike. We never made it to the waterfall (we were too exhausted after the Cerro Chato hike to handle the thought of the stairs down!), but we heard many great things about it and I'm sure we would have appreciated its proximity to our hotel.

Being just that little bit out of town also meant that we were able to right in the middle of the Costa Rican countryside. The grounds of the small hotel (with only 4 cabins and a reception desk) are green and lush, decorated with many native plants. Next door/behind the cabins is a huge paddock with a beautiful horse, and we spent many hours lying in the hammock of our balcony, watching the many birds and squirrels go about their day. The small number of cabins meant that the place was always extremely quiet and peaceful, which is what you want to truly enjoy Costa Rica!

The rooms themselves are great. The beds were comfortable, TV had lots of cable stations, the fridge was nice and roomy, showers were clean and strong; everything was perfect!
And then there was Alvaro. The man is brilliant! So sweet and helpful, he was always happy to accommodate our every desire. He can arrange any excursion or activity you want, and gave excellent recommendations as to the best things to do during your trip. He was sweet enough to let us leave our things in our cabin for almost a full day after we checked out, and then organised for his son to drive us to our next hotel, just outside of town! He really is such a sweetheart.
Overall, a fantastic place to stay, if you want to get a true taste of Costa Rica (instead of being caught up in the mini-America that is La Fortuna), and highly recommended!

Room Tip: All rooms were fantastic!
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  • Stayed February 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
104 reviews 104 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2012

We ended up staying here because I could not get a reservation for one of the nights of our stay. What a wonderful surprise! The cabin was immaculate. The owner is so nice! It is quiet and in the woods, so you really feel like you are in nature. (Unlike the large hotels with pools in the area). He provided us breakfast in his home across the street, which was great. It was also very convenient to see the waterfall and we went swimming there. Also convenient to the main area for dinner. We really enjoyed our stay and would recommend it to anyone who wants to stay away from the crowds and large and fancy hotels. The bathroom was huge by the way!

  • Stayed December 2011, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Louis
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2012

My wife and I spent three nights at Cerra Azul and couldn't have been happier with our arrangement. The owner, Alvorro (sp?), was exceptionally hospitable. You could tell he takes a great deal of pride in his property....as well as his Trip Advisor rating. That goes a long way. He was quite concerned with our satisfaction, and as a result, we were quite satisfied!

There are four private cabinas on the well-maintained and nicely landscaped property, which is located just a minute or two outside La Fortuna, which was perfect. Our other option was a hotel in town, which looked nice, but we didn't have to contend with street noise at Cerra Azul. A big plus. Yet we were close enough to town to pop in and out of town as we wished (we had a car). The cabinas are located on the road that leads to the waterfall--a very worthwhile excursion. You can hike straight up from the cabin (maybe add 30-45 minutes), or drive up and hike from there (20 minutes?). Wear your swimsuit and take a dip in the pool under the falls.

If you're up for a more ambitious hike, be sure to head up the road, and when you get to entrance to the falls, take the road to the right to the Cerro Chato trailhead. It's a 2-hour hike straight up the side of the mountain (and then 1 to 1 1/2 down). No switchbacks--it's very intense, but the reward is worth it: a swim in a bright green lake that was once a volcano.

Those are two excursions readily accessible from Cerra Azul. Of course, the many, many adventures the Arenal area offers are well documented, so I won't go into those.

The cabinas were quite nice. Nothing fancy, but very nice. Satellite TV (satellite didn't always work), A/C, hot water, decent bed, nice back patio with hammock (and vegetation made it feel isolated, even though the next cabina wasn't far). The bathroom was surprisingly large.

Breakfast was included and served on the owner's front porch, directly across the street, each morning. Eating at their home made the experience feel that much more hospitable. I'll be honest, we grew tired of typico food by our vacation's end, but her typico breakfast was fantastic!

We'd stay at Cerra Azul again in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maryland
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2012

Our family stayed here for two nights (could of stayed so much longer). The cabin was perfect for the four of us. The small porch with hammock was a nice touch. The room was very clean and the flora and fauna outside your room was beautiful. There is an air conditioner that worked great and a mini frig which came in handy There is a great view of Arenal right outside your cabin. Alvaro was a great host along with his wife who made us a delicious breakfast each morning. We had commented our first morning how much we loved their plantains and the next morning she comes out with extra for us all!! The personal touch and friendliness made this place wonderful. Highly recommend staying here. Close to downtown Arenal.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2012

Our family of four stayed here during a vacation in July 2012. This was our first visit to Costa Rica and we stayed at Cerro Azul for the first 3 nights. What a fabulous first impression of this welcoming and beautiful country! The cabins were spacious and clean and the air conditioning kept the room cool and DRY - very inportant to us as the climate is extremely humid and we're not fond of damp feeling sheets & pillows! Each cabin is surrounded by beautiful flowers and greenery, making each one seem private even though they are quite close to one another. The back deck with hammock was a great place to enjoy a morning cup of coffee or sneak in a quick nap between outings. Alvaro, the owner, is very friendly, hospitable and helpful. He even treated our family to a short hike to a beautiful river on his property, pointing out all sorts of interesting plants and animals along the way. His wife makes the most delicious breakfasts - the best we had while in Costa Rica. We found the location to be just perfect for us - close enough to make a quick 5 minute trip to town but far enough away to escape the noise of the busy little town of La Fortuna. Overall, we were very happy that we chose to begin our vacation at Cerro Azul and would highly recommend.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Orleans, Louisiana
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2012

My friend and I stayed here for a couple of nights in July during our 8-day vacation in Costa Rica, but I wish we would have spent our entire vacation here at Cerro Azul!! We stayed in our own personal cabin, which was spacious and comfortable. The rooms were very clean with air conditioning and a mini fridge. The back porch was amazing with a table, hammock and a beautiful view of the La fortuna flora and fauna! Every morning we saw tons of beautiful birds, including humming birds and toucans. In the late afternoons we would see a mama and baby horse that would graze behind our cabin and we'd also see coatis (basically Costa Rican raccons) right before nightfall.
The owner of the Cerro Azul was another absolutely wonderful aspect of this place. He and his family were very warm and welcoming. The owner provided free breakfast for all of his guest every morning at his home. His wife made the best breakfast! Cerro Azul is also down the road from a beautiful waterfall. It is a bit of a trek but if you are up for it, it is well worth the walk.
We used Nature Air Adventure Tours while in La Fortuna, which was incredibly convenient because they picked us up from Cerro Azul for our tours and brought us back when they were over.
My stay in La Fortuna at Hotel Cerro Azul was by far the best vacation experience I've ever had and I can't wait to return to Cerro Azul next summer!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Cerro Azul Arenal

Address: 1 km sur y 600 m oeste de la iglesia Catolica de La Fortuna, sobre la entrada principal de La Catarata. | 600 meters west from the road entrance to La Fortuna Waterfall, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > La Fortuna de San Carlos
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#3 Best Value Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#3 Family Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hotel Rancho Cerro Azul is located 1.5 km from the beautiful town of La Fortuna on the way to the waterfall. The great natural beauty of the area will entice you to live the forest's most wonderful experience. Enjoy the comfort, peace and harmony assured by lodging with us in our cabins, surrounded by exotic gardens, birds and wildlife typical of the region. Delight yourself strolling along our trails towards Fortuna River and appreciate the perfect sight of the Arenal Volcano and Cerro Chato ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Cerro Azul Arenal Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park

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