If you have a car, this is the place to stay. We (a swedish couple around 30) did not and still stayed for four days, booking one day at a time. The hotel is situated about 6-8 kilometers from La Fortuna. It has a nice pool, beautiful surroundings, all kinds of fruit trees in the garden, beautiful birds of all sorts just next to where you have breakfast. With a bit of luck you can also see other animals, like the poison dart frog, armadillo and iguana (we will post some pictures). The rooms are nice and tidy with tv, coffeemaker and refrigerator and everything works fine. A nice medium sized breakfast is included as well as wifi all around the property. The owner, Mario, likes to show you around and is very informative about anything you would like to know really. He's been working in the US for several years and speaks english flawlessly. Of course you can book your tours through him and be picked up at the hotel. If you ask Mario, he can make you a nice traditional dinner in the evening, too. The service and hospitality is really the best! However there is no menu and I guess you can't be sure to have all your meals at Lavas (though we did not ask). Therefore a car you can drive to town where the restaurants are would be preferred. Taxi works fine too, but taking a taxi every night to and from La Fortuna is actually quite pricey (that goes for the whole country, taxis are expensive), and the closest good restaurant is about a 30 minute walk away I think.
To sum it all up, Lavas del Arenal exceeded our expectations and we would recommend it to anyone who wants a cosy place in beautiful surroundings. The price and great service adds the extra value to the experience. If you have a car the deal is done.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.