This hotel is by far one of the greatest places I have ever been lucky enough to stay at. The resort lies secluded from any other town/city in the middle of the rainforest with a perfect view of the Arenal volcano. Not only is the location perfect, but the structure of the hotel is simple, yet open so it doesn't feel like you are in just any resort, but truly get a Costa Rican experience despite being at a hotel. The hot springs/pools are absolutely a unique experience and almost resemble a paradise which only adds to the general jaw-dropping, speechless feeling you have upon arriving.
There was not a single unfriendly staff member; from the hotel manager to the cleaning personal, to the bartenders: everybody was welcoming, friendly, helpful and kind. If there was a problem with anything, it would be figured out no matter what. The English language of all service members was great, which is important in terms of communication in another country of course. The manager Richard made everybody feel welcome along with the rest of the staff.
The rooms, gym, game room, restaurants, bars and spa were everything you expect from such a luxury hotel: perfection. The rooms we stayed in were extremely clean and new, the beds more comfortable than I ever expected. It was spacious, with a lovely balcony overlooking the volcano and insanely beautiful bathrooms. I slept better than I ever have and woke up to the sun rising behind the volcano. It cannot get more beautiful!!
Not only were the rooms amazing, the gym had everything you could need, just like the game room and bars were well provided for.
The restaurant was incredible: you will never have such an amazing breakfast with such an amazing view unless you visit this place. All I can say is that it feels like paradise. There is every food imaginable and it tastes even better than it looks (which is hard to believe). However, the menu for lunch and dinner is very limited and not as incredible as the breakfast buffet. Additionally, the music being played was terrible and distracting. There was a short power outage our last day and having a silent restaurant made all the difference. Music that is native to Costa Rica would definitely be much more preffered.
Unfortunately, the birdwatching tour was a bit of a disappointment. We had two different guides: day one was alright and our guide tried to find birds and knew every single thing about the ones we saw, but we saw very few. However our second guide didn't even try and every bird that we saw, we spotted on our own (and that was very few). The bird tour could definitely use a few improvements.
Although it was May (which means Costa Rican rainy season), our stay was still incredible and even though it would have been great to have sun, the weather did not ruin our experience in the least. There are enough activities for any type of weather, with any group of people.
In addition, the spa was inredible! The sauna and steam room were quite small, but it didn't matter because the resort is so large and spacious that it is never crowded and I ended up having the spa all to myself at 6pm. The Swedish Massage I booked was quite expensive but definitely worth it. After this amazing massage, the windows were opened to let in fresh air and you are left alone to gaze out into nature and see the volcano right in front of you. Everything at this resort is an amazing experience and when you think it can't get better, you are suprised once again.
Their activies are almost all located a little drive away from the resort. It's a new inclusion called Club Rio and although there are still improvements to be made, it is overall a perfect addition to the hotel.
This resort is perfect for honeymooners, couples and friends. If you actually like traveling alone or have a couple of days free during a business trip, then of course the resort is great too. Personally, I think it is not the greatest place for families in terms of children and activities for them. Club Rio may have great things, but they are few and will not keep you occupied for a long time. I wouldn't recommend this place for small children if you're planning on staying more than a week.
Overall, the location could not have been sought out any better, the service is incredibly friendly and helpful, the cleanliness exceeds any other kind of tropical hotel (I am impressed how anything can be this clean in the middle of a rainforest), the rooms, restaurant, gym, spa and pools could not get better and if I could afford it I would bring everybody I know here just to be able to share how breathtaking everything is.
Come back again? A hundred times yes.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.