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“I WILL be returning” 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
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“I WILL be returning”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2013

This quiet gem is located just outside of La Fortuna within easy traveling distance to the Arenal Volcano, a variety of hot springs, and any hiking/ziplining/animal safari adventures you could want.

Rooms are spotless and equipped with air-conditioning, microwaves, and a fridge. Pool and grounds are also well-maintained with a great balance of manicured plants and unfettered nature nearby.

Mario, the owner, is the most friendly and helpful person you could ever hope to meet. I was traveling with two girlfriends and he gave us outstanding advice regarding safety, the best tours and attractions, hooked us up with discounts, and told us how to avoid scams. He went above and beyond to make sure that our stay was enjoyable.

Breakfast is included every day -- delicious fresh fruit, beans and rice, eggs in a variety of styles, and Costa Rican coffee for the caffeine-deficient of the world. Additionally, you're eating in a shaded outdoor area with gorgeous plants and tropical birds near enough to view (but not to interfere with breakfast!)

Shower took a little while to drain. That's about all I've got for drawbacks.

I've already told my mother and sister that we'll be staying here on our next trip.

  • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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188 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 (12)
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English first
Eureka, Missouri
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2013

This hotel is small but very well cared for with a friendly, accommodating staff. The rooms are clean. There is a lovely stream running along the back of the property. Mario, the owner, can get touring packages at better prices and will work with tourists to set up rental cars before they arrive. Mario will also cook a tasty Costa Rican dinner on the premises for a nominal fee. Bernie fixes an excellent breakfast each morning which includes eggs, ham, fruits,juice,and delicious coffee. La Fortuna,
the nearby town, has many great activities to offer. ( ziplining, whitewater rafting, hot springs visits, volcano hikes, etc.)

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Louis, Missouri
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013

This was our last stop after touring Costa Rica and Panama for 12 days. We throughly enjoyed our stay at Hotel Lavas del Arenal. I have stayed at a lot of small motels and bed and breakfasts. I felt Mario was among the most accomodating and friendly hosts I have ever met. He arranged a taxi to take us to and from town at a reasonable rate. Bernie (his right hand man) made a delicious hot breakfast each morning. One night Mario made us dinner for a very reasonable amount. We also got to meet his father-in-law. Although his father-in-law speaks very little English, he went out of his way to make us feel welcome. If I am ever in La Fortuna again, I will definitely stay at Hotel Lavas del Arenal.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clarendon Hills, Illinois
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
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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Atlanta, Georgia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
Was this review helpful? Yes
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

Also Known As:
Hotel Lavas Del Arenal Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park
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 Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#5 Top resorts Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#22 Family Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#25 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*
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