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“Great natural spot & service!” 4 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
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“Great natural spot & service!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2013 via mobile

Mario & family & staff were super helpful with rides & recommendations & discount tickets. They went above & beyond to make sure we had a great time!!! The free breakfast was great & the grounds & rooms were clean & well-kept. The only downside is its a little outside of the town so you need a rental car or to pay for taxis. Definitely go to Baldi Hot Springs and the zipline tour!!!

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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215 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    124
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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
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2013

We enjoyed our stay at Lavas del Arenal. Mario was very helpful in recommending tours, dinner options, and he also helped us arrange to rent a car before we left for Guanacaste. The rooms are pretty basic, but clean, staff were friendly, breakfast and coffee were served on site in the morning. Our one regret is that we did not rent a car earlier in our trip. It would have been helpful in getting around since we stayed outside of town.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Cedar Falls, Iowa
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2013

We really enjoyed our stay in this hotel, though it is very basic in its amenities (hot water was hit and miss and the shower was fairly primitive). It's definitely not a "luxury experience" but that wasn't what we were looking for. The hotel was charming, the rooms were scrupulously clean and the owner, Mario, was delightful. Very helpful, with lots of advice about which activities we should try, he also made us a fantastic "typical" Costa Rican dinner one night for a very reasonable price (I think about $8 US per person) when we were too exhausted to head out to a restaurant. Homemade breakfast was also included in the rate, and the hotel has a lovely garden and a small pool. It even has a playground where our kids spent a few happy hours after dinner swinging and watching the fascinating antics of the leaf-cutter ants that were systematically destroying a nearby bush.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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San Jose, Costa Rica
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2013

Me and my girlfriend decided to take a small vacation out of San Jose (We are locals). We bought an offer on a popular discount site (Locals Only) and we were on our way. We took a rental car as mine was going into the paint shop, we took a Hyundai Accent Blue from Adobe Rent a Car and we left San Jose around 11 AM.

I knew the Hotel was a few KMs out of Arenal, and our GPS (Regular Garmin) found the place with ease. On arrival the small reception kind of gave a negative impression, but the person receiving was extremely friendly (not sure if he was the owner). He welcomed us, talked to us about the tour we picked, and explained to us how the hotel was set up and the breakfast. He then took us to the room.

The rooms were very pleasant, they are small but comforting, they include a small fridge, and a nice LCD TV. The shower was pretty big and nice, the bed was comfortable, and the room was well set up overall, some nice decorations.

The hotel itself was nice, the surroundings included a small wood table and trunks to sit on, the pool area looked nice (didn't use it).

The food was rather below average, the fruit was OK, the pinto on the first day was very dry and didn't really have any taste, but it wasn't that bad. The drinks good and the coffee aswell.

Take note, if YOU come to this hotel, you will need a CAR, or awesome hitchhiking skills, it is far from Arenal. Around 10 minutes by car.

Dislikes:
* The coffee maker in our room was dirty, and looked like it hadn't been cleaned in a year.
* Lavatory had a small leak, on the first day they said they would fix it, by the time we left, still no fix.
* With the curtains closed the room is very dark, might be a good idea to have night table lamps or something.
* There is no restaurant, but they do make food if you order it. We ordered dinner and they gave me a small piece of chicken that looked like it had come off a small chick.
* AC took a while to cool and it was noisy. (And was leaking on the wood inside the room)

Liked:
* Price, for what we got, the price was fair I guess.
* Friendly service, even if we were local they were very nice and friendly.
* Room was cleaned daily and gave fresh towels.
* Far from everything, so it is VERY quiet. It gives piece of mind.
* The whole layout of the hotel is very nice, and green areas a in top shape.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
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Desamparados, San Jose, Costa Rica
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2013

I visited this hotel with my girlfriend last week and our state was not as good as described by other users.

The beds are not really confortable. During the breakfast the fruit was not fresh, the tea was servered after we finished our "pinto", and for some reason we had to use the same fork that used for our fruits to eat the "pinto".

In the bedroom the air cooler was not working propely and fridge barely worked.

Besides that the pool was not clean and the checkout is at 11:00 am so basically you will not be able to do anything before cheking out

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mario B, Owner at Hotel Lavas del Arenal, responded to this review, May 15, 2013
Hi Walter and thanks for the feedback we love it. We are always trying to improve the experience our guests receive when visiting our hotel.
First of all I would like to know in which room you stayed as I want to make sure I go and check the mattress to see if something is wrong with it.
About the fruit I personally buy the fruits each morning in La Fortuna, so it is a surprise to know that you find them not fresh. About the tea you are right, it should had been served at the same time you are eating the rice and beans, I will make sure I will bring this up with my team in our weekly meetings, so we pay more attention to what we do. About the using the same fork you use for the fruits that has always been the way we do it and have had no complaints until now. We will evaluate if this is something we can change, but by using only one fork and knife we also save on washing extra silverware which means we use less water and we are trying to be as green as possible. About the "air cooler" I guess you mean the air conditioner? Once again if you could please let us know what room you were in so we can check it, same for the refrigerators. You can write to me directly mario.brenes@lavasdelarenal.com

About the check-out we always inform our guests they need to return the keys by 11:00 am so we have time to clean the rooms by 2:00 pm which is our official check-in time. This is one are we will not change as we need enough time to make 100% sure the room is clean to high standard, I am pretty sure a lot of guests will appreciate this. But we also allow our guest to stay in the hotel, in the swimming pool or using the barbecue grills. This has happened a lot of times, where guests stay and leave by 3 pm or later. The fact that we have a check-out at 11:00 am does not mean the guest has to leave.

We take the reviews very seriously as that is the only way we can improve for the benefit of our guests. I wish you could have told me about the AC and the refrigerators as we have new ones in the storage room in case they go bad, I could have replace them right away.

Once a week we check everything in each room to ensure they are, AC, refrigerators, microwaves, coffeemakers, TVs, etc. We have noticed that sometimes the filter could cause the AC not to work 100% and that is an easy fix. But please write to me so we can take care of these issues, I have just instructed the maintenance guy to go check all rooms to find which one is the one with the problems as I cannot find your name this past weekend in our system.

We really want to thank you for the feedback, and I really wish you could have told all this so I could have ensured your stay with us would have been up to your expectations.


Mario Brenes
Hotel Lavas del Arenal
(56) 2479-1171
mario.brenes@lavasdelarenal.com
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
orlando
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2013

It was 4 of us, young guys, looking for adventure and fun in Costa Rica! We were not looking for 5 star resort, so this hotel for the price and description was the best match and we did not get disappointed. Hotel located in a small quite place, away from the city center(but 5 minutes by car), has nice backyard with bbq aria, pool and little river coming running from the mountains, very peaceful! all you need after long day full of attractions. And sure this hotel would not much different from the others, if not the owner!!! Thank You a lot!! He made our stay amazing. He speaks good English, he recommended the best attraction to go, helped us to get discount prices, gave us the ride around the town just for little fuel charge, brought us to fresh market, so we could get the meet and veggies for BBQ, helped to rent a car, etc. If you are the first time visitor - I definitely will recommend this hotel for everyone. If I ever go to La Fortuna again, I'll stay there. Once again, if you are looking for the nice, warm atmosphere and not for 5star resort with 50'' flat screen TV - this is the place to go! Thank You, Mario!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charleston, South Carolina
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2013

Our family of five (3 kids 11,9,5) stayed here for three nights. The room was clean and spacious. It is hard for a family to find quality but well priced accommodations but this was perfect. Each child had his/her own bed and we shared a Queen. The room was cleaned daily and fresh towels were provided. Breakfast was included and was very good. My kids loved it (fresh fruit, fresh juice, eggs, beans/rice, bread, tea, coffee) all served outside in an airy patio. We ate dinner there twice bc it was just easy after a long day and the food was excellent. No menu but they offer a very typical casado plate and it is fresh and very good. It is very family friendly with a small play area, swing, creek, and clean pool. Mario and his family make you feel like old friends. He was incredibly helpful, attentive, and friendly. His English is perfect but he was also nice enough to try and speak Spanish with my kids who are still learning the language. I felt very welcomed and would highly recommend this hotel. A car might be helpful but it you reserve tours you will have transport that way. Also, it is easy to get a cab, too. That is another good thing...Mario seems always there to help or answer questions. All of our needs were met incredibly quickly and with genuine care/concern.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 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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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 ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#21 Family Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#23 Romantic Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#26 Top resorts 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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Also Known As:
Hotel Lavas Del Arenal Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park

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