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“We were treated like family-wish I could give more than just 5 stars!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Lavas del Arenal

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Hotel Lavas del Arenal
2.5 of 5 Resort   |   300 Oeste de la Escuela de EL Bosque, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Clarendon Hills, Illinois
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“We were treated like family-wish I could give more than just 5 stars!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

I recently traveled with my husband and two friends to Lavas del Arenal, and it's going to be difficult to even describe what a great experience we had.

The basics everyone wants to know: Yes, it was impeccably clean every day, the food simply amazing (water is even fine to drink), the most delicious fruit in the world, no bugs, clean and beautiful pool, and simply an indescribably beautiful and peaceful property.

The amazing part: The people who work there. The owner Mario helped us set up an itinerary and tours prior to our arrival via email. Everything he set up for us was perfect, exactly what we were looking for at very good prices. But in addition to that Mario and the rest of the staff at Lavas del Arenal just went above and beyond any other place we have stayed. We arrived late the first night and asked for suggestions for places to eat nearby and Mario reopened the dining area and cooked us one of the finest meals we had while in Costa Rica. Mario was exceedingly helpful the entire time we were there, giving us suggestions as to where to eat and places to check out (definitely ask him about El Valle de Tilapia if you like fish!). Mario and his father in law Gabriel were great to talk to at night as well. They helped us with our not so great Spanish, and taught us a lot about Costa Rica. Bernie, another staff member was the usual breakfast cook (very good cook) while we were there. He saw me looking at the coconuts, and immediately got out a machete and prepared a fresh coconut with a straw for me to drink with breakfast.

I could keep going about how great Lavas del Arenal is. But seriously, just go and see for yourself. We were all sad to leave, but will be back and wouldn't think of staying anywhere else.

  • Stayed February 2013, 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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241 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Atlanta, Georgia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2013

Lavas del Arenal is great place to stay in La Fortuna. When we arrived we were greeted by the owner Mario who was the most accommodating and helpful in any way possible. He helped us with getting around to and from the hot springs as well with our yours. He was very fun to hang around with. The grounds are very nicely maintained, there is a small pool to cool off on. The rooms all have private bathrooms and are just big enough for what you may need. Each comes with a small fridge, coffee maker and TV. Every morning there is a complementary hot home cooked breakfast waiting for you. We had a great time!!!

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013

I decided to sign up to review places on TripAdvisor after a recent trip to Costa Rica with two girlfriends, when I learned how much a lot of the hotels rely on reviews to get business. PLEASE - come visit this place! From my very first interactions before arriving, I had a 5-star experience. My friends and I were trying to decide whether to rent a car or take shuttle buses during our trip, so I emailed Mario, the owner, asking for directions to the hotel and advice. He was immediately responsive and suggested we talk on the phone, during which time he gave me about half an hour's worth of travel advice. Then, he helped me find a rental car at a lower price, plus a pickup with a driver from the San Jose airport, since we were reluctant to navigate the road after dark. Throughout our stay, Mario gave us thoughtful and helpful advice about what tours to take, where to spend our days, etc., and he never led us astray. He actually got us substantial discounts for several of the attractions we visited. In short, he's an unbelievably helpful person who made a huge difference in the quality of our vacation.

The hotel itself is located about 10 minutes outside of La Fortuna, the main town near Arenal Volcano, at the end of a dirt road. It's an easy drive that takes you into the foothills of the nearby mountains, with stunning views. The hotel is small, with only about 10 rooms, a small pool and two open-air common spaces for eating and sitting. There is a small stream at the border of the property, and the whole thing is surrounded by trees and plants, so you feel like you're in a jungle retreat. It's stunning. Very quiet and perfect for when you need a true getaway. The rooms were clean, well air-conditioned, and comfortable. My only quibble was that the shower didn't have the greatest water pressure, but that certainly doesn't take away from recommending the hotel overall.

The breakfast was heavenly - fresh fruits, traditional Costa Rican rice and beans, and some kind of egg dish was the usual fare, plus Costa Rican coffee. Breakfast provided a great opportunity for bird-watching - we saw toucans among many other beauties.

In sum, if you are looking for a fantastic value hotel that's not a lot of frills but more than makes up for it in location, natural beauty, and outstanding service with easy links to all the major tourist attractions nearby, this is the place to be.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
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Saskatoon, Canada
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

We loved this place! Mario, the owner, is very hospitable and accommodating. We arrived late in the evening after a horrible first day in San Jose. Lavas del Arenal was a welcoming place to be! The room was clean and comfortable with tv, small fridge, microwave. The bed was comfy and the room was spotless. The grounds are lush and very well taken care of. We loved the river flowing at the back of the property. Breakfast was great and supper even better. Mario is a great cook! The other guests were quiet and were clearly enjoying their stay as well. You can arrange tours from here. It's only about a 10 minute drive to La Fortuna so it's in an excellent location. We would absolutely go back.

  • Stayed February 2013, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cancun, Mexico
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

Lovely place in the middle of the forest, we really enjoyed the service by the owners, not far from San Carlos and El Tabacon, if your looking for a great value near in a quiet area near the attractions this is the place. Breakfast is great and if you need to arrange any activities you can set up any of them right at the place. Tje best is the attention by the owners.

Room Tip: Easier if you have a car.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2013

We took the bus from San Jose, good times. Arrived in the afternoon, the owner showed us to our room and spoke with us for 10-15 minutes about the property, he gave us the personal tour and was more than helpful. Dinner was excellent, simple and delicious. If I ever get the opportunity to come back i will definitely be staying here!

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

I loved This little hotel close to san carlos' s main attactions and far enough to a get away experience.
Enjoy the service and treat from costarican people ... Oh and my 7 year boy enjoy the adventure :)

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
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Additional Information about Hotel Lavas del Arenal

Address: 300 Oeste de la Escuela de EL Bosque, 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 Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#5 Top resorts Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#20 Family Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#22 Romantic Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Hotel Lavas del Arenal 2.5*
Number of rooms: 10
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Hotel Lavas Del Arenal Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park

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