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“Nice little hotel right in the middle of town” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Arenal Carmela

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Hotel Arenal Carmela
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Costado Sur de la Iglesia Catolica, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
“Nice little hotel right in the middle of town”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2011 via mobile

I'm so glad we chose this hotel to end our costa rican vacation. It's right in the middle of La Fortuna literally down the road from the beautiful Arenal volcano. Our room was clean and comfortable, and at a reasonable price. The pool was super clean though it was a bit cool considering it was October. The staff was friendly and the breakfasts were really good. My only complaint was the day we checked out, the water was turned off at 9am for whatever reason. Other than the water issue, I'd gladly recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed October 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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30 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    10
    11
    5
    1
    3
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
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English first
Chandler, Arizona
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2011

We arrived late evening and need the cheapest place available. We walked into this place with fear that it's gonna be smelly and dirty like cheap motels. We had a local Costa Rica friend who came along and he was able to negotiate the price down to $50 a night (2 full size bed). The only thing is there is no elevator and we had to carry stuff up for 2 floors to reach our room on the 3rd floor but we all young and strong so we are ok (seniors may have to consider the walk).

We went into the room and it was surprisingly nice and clean. AC was super cold, fridge and TV is working just fine. Toilet is clean except the toilet paper can't go any thinner LOL! Free breakfast. We love the view from the balcony where we can see a part of the LaFortuna town. This hotel is close to everything! next to an internet shop (600 colons per hr btw) and a travel agent (check out that hot lady there!!). there are also restaurant, gift shop and church nearby, you name it!

The next day we stayed at Tabacon and did the spa thing. Then the following day we return to Hotel Arenal Carmela simply because of the good deal. The hosts were very nice. They let us leave luggage in their storage after check out. And even take shower and put stuff in their fridge (after check out). Everyone were helpful and we simply could expect anymore from these guys... I don't know what others are complaining about here. I uploaded some user photos, check them out. If we visit LaFortuna again, we will stay here again!

  • Stayed March 2011, 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
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New York City, New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2011

The location is fantastic as it is located on a busy street full of shops, restaurants, and bars with great view of the volcano. The tour trip organizer Rolando, was right next door and was extremely friendly and helpful when prodded for suggestions of activities. The tour guides pick you up in vans right in front of the hotel and take care of most accommodations you might need. The complimentary breakfast in the hotel featured scrambled eggs, fresh fruit, coffee, and plantains. Basic, but a very good meal to hold you on long hikes.
That being said, the bathroom smelled of mold constantly. We had to ask the front desk repeatedly for soap to be delivered to the room. The "maid service" neglected to do this on their own without us prodding the front desk. We found the concierge to be completely unhelpful in all matters from getting a simple extra towel, to adding an additional cot to the room since the room we ordered turned out not to have queen beds. Bottom line: it's a great location for the area but it's not exactly the 4 seasons. Go in expecting that.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Courtenay, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2011

Hotel Carmela is right on one of the main streets in La Fortuna. Lots of stores, businesses, tourist spots, restaurants and a very nice park just across the street. The hotel has a small pool and very small balconies with upper level rooms. Our room was really small with very little room to move around in unless you wanted to stand on the bed. Another room had a door open when the maid was cleaning and it was much roomier so I'd ask for a large room when booking. The bathroom was clean, good hot water, nice TV, the beds were a little firm but decent and the remote control AC was nice. We did a fair bit of touring when we were there (hot springs, white water rafting, etc.) and there are lots of places that sell tickets for these adventures, including tickets to take the Jeep-Boat-Jeep tour to Monteverde if you're going that way (if you are heading to Monteverde, please take my advice and take the Jeep-Boat-Jeep tour as Lake Arenal is beautiful but above all it's smooth as compared to the brutal roads you'll be driving on).

The best ticket prices for anything around La Fortuna is from a guy named Gerald who has this hole-in-the-wall place across the street from the rear end of the big church in town. I can't remember the name of his business but it's just a few doors down from Wave Adventures - ask a few people for Gerald and they'll help you out. He's trying to make a name for himself so he undersells EVERYONE and he is legit as we used him more than once. He's a real nice guy, very friendly and one of the head tour guides for Wave Adventures White Water Rafting trips - that was a blast!!

Lots to do around town and some great places to eat in the evening. Grocery stores are all over the place to allow you to buy your beer and rum for your room :) We didn't have any problems with bed bugs like someone posted here and nobody else that has posted had those problems either so I guess it was bad luck for them. Keep in mind that the Baldi Hot Springs are far cheaper and just as beautiful as the Tabacon Hot Springs - gotta love the hot water and water falls :)

Good price, good hotel, great location - I'd use it again!

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2010

We stayed 2 nights in the hotel and the second night found bugs in our bed, later to be determined as bed bugs as we were covered in bites. The hotel was unwilling to compensate our stay or even acknowledge there were bugs in the room and laughed when we asked them about it. Please do no stay here as bed bugs are miserable bites to deal with and have to be exterminated to get them out of your home, extremely expensive!

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Austin, Texas
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2010

Very nice rooms with good AC, showers, cable etc. Great desk staff and manager. My child had an eye infection and the drove us to the doctor. Very helpful...Breakfast was also really good.....we loved the volcano and La Fortuna

  • Stayed June 2010, 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
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Jacksonville, Florida
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2010

We stayed for two nights and loved it. We rolled into town without reservations and were able to negotiate a good rate for a room overlooking the street, church, and town square. The sliding glass door is single pane, so street noise is transmitted through it and it is noisy in the room when the diesels go by in the early morning hours. If this is a concern, ask for a pool view room which should be much quieter.

The hotel is of fairly new construction. The rooms are all air conditioned, many with Japanese split system units that are very cleverly integrated into the building's compact layout.

The hotel served a great breakfast in an elegant setting overlooking its unique pool. The largest grocery in town abuts the rear of the property, and a dozen or so restaurants are a short walk. There are some that cater to gringos, or you can get a full typical dinner at the nearby "Servico de Buffet", the discount side of the "Soda La Parada", for about $5.

The days we were in town there was a rodeo going on just across the river bridge along the road from San Jose, which was about a 4 block walk. This free event was mostly locals enjoying real bull riding, Imperials on the rocks, carnival rides, and bumper cars.

We did not attempt WiFi, or even ask if it exists, but the hotel is built over an internet cafe which always had PCs available for a small fee.

The room was cramped with little room for hanging or storing cloths, and the bedding was a bit thin but otherwise we were very pleased with this accommodation.

  • Stayed May 2010, 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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Additional Information about Hotel Arenal Carmela

Address: Costado Sur de la Iglesia Catolica, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > La Fortuna de San Carlos
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #49 of 64 Hotels in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Hotel Arenal Carmela 2.5*
Number of rooms: 136
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
hotel arenal carmela is located in the center of la fortuna town,arenal volcano area,we have 25 standar rooms all with private bath,hot water,a/c,mini bar,safety box,cable tv,coffee maker and also private balcony,also we have swimming pool,lobby area,breakfast area,parking,tour desk,souvenir shop,internet and also we have wifi in all hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Arenal Carmela Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park

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