Only go here if you fully appreciate that it is like staying in Disney land. If you like that type of thing, you will love it. If not, read on...
The staff here are excellent. That has to be said first off because my "average" rating does not reflect them at all. The reason that I am giving it "average" is that for me and my family, it really wasn't anything extraordinary and felt very overpriced at times.
The building is enormous, dominating and fake looking and made me feel as if I was visiting Disneyland next to the volcano. It seems to be all pre-moulded concrete decorated in a slightly dated colonial style which, when the sun isn't shining, lends it quite an oppressive feel. It feels very "resorty" like it is designed for people that pretty much want to stay on site and spend their entire holiday within the confines of the hotel. Yet at the same time, it isn't very full of life. Bars shut by 11 and everyone seems to be in bed for 10.30! The restaurants are fine but nothing standout when compared to the oustanding quality of Costa Rican food normally. Infact, it felt a little like it was catering towards the American market with a lot of American items on the menu such as waffles, burgers etc.
The rooms are really large, beds comfortable and has everything you are likely to need with a good balcony and decent views.
The pools are ok. There are plenty of them and relatively warm. They are also drained every night which I thought was good. They are very "fake" looking though I'm afraid. There are also tons of sun loungers. The views from the pools are excellent.
The hotel has its own sports and adventure club, "Club Rio", which has various activities such as rock climbing, tubing and rafting. I think it would be great for keeping kids occupied (but expensive, the activies aren't included) and the instructors are excellent but again, you just can't escape the fakeness of it all!
That said, there is an excellent animal reserve where the hotel looks after animals which were previously kept illegally. There are toucans, pumas, ocelots, monkeys and sloths and they will give you a guided tour free. This was very good.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A world class luxury resort featuring spectacular Hot Springs, picture perfect views of the Arenal Volcano from every guest room and four restaurants including our famous Ginger Sushi Bar and Las Ventanas fine dining. Enjoy our 18 mineral-laden, artesian hot springs and our 14,000 square foot Spa and Fitness Center. On our exclusive 165 acre rain forest and riverfront property we offer horseback riding, river activities, ATV and hiking tours. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Springs Resort And Spa At Arenal Hotel La Fortuna De San Carlos
- The Springs Hotel
- The Springs Resort And Spa Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park