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“Excellent View From Room and hot tub!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Arenal Lodge

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Arenal Lodge
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   200 meters NW from the Arenal Lake dam | Escazú, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park 1250, Costa Rica   |  
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Vancouver, British Columbia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Excellent View From Room and hot tub!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2011

We luckily got upgraded to one of the upper chalets where the entire front is solid window with the view of the Arenal Volcano to fill it. We soaked for an hour in the perfectly heated hot tub out front, nicely secluded by bushes but with an excellent view of the all-encompasing mountain before us. It hasn't run any lava down for 6 months we were told, but we're glad we got to see this side of it. We spent the next night in la Fortuna but really glad we saw this first. Large parrots flying around, lots of wildlife, even a deer came to feed off a fruit tree in the back. There is a nature hike with an excellent, knowledgeable guide named Miguel for free (worth every tip!) that includes a stop at their butterfly garden.
The staff are very helpful and friendly. You need a vehicle to access this place and it's up a fair ways on a steep hill, so you'll probably want to stay for all your meals. Our room had a large comfy king bed with a full kitchenette and easy chairs and couch facing the mountain. Great shower!

Room Tip: Spend the extra and get the cabins at the top!
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 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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466 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (113)
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Denver
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2011

The Arenal Lodge is in a beautiful location, away from it all, about 15 kms from La Fortuna and then up a steep, narrow and curvaceous road. The food is mediocre, at best, but because of the location, you are kind of stuck eating there.

The setting, grounds, abundance of birds and views of the volcano are spectacular. We stayed in a junior suite (#10). The view from the room and off the private deck is glorious and takes your breath away. The "suite" is really just a large room with a bed, table and couch but no dresser for storing clothes. Perhaps it is called a suite because of the couch? Suite #10 is in a good location...close to the lobby and parking and on the other side of the main building from the bar. The junior suites are not as high up on the property as the chalets, but they have decks which the chalets do not have.

Complimentary services (guided nature hike, butterfly pavilion, horse back riding, etc) are a nice touch but the accommodations and the public areas are out dated, dingy, old, uninviting and in disrepair. The Arenal Lodge is 25 years old and it shows. It appears that the owners do not care to maintain their property, that they have neglected it for many, many years. This place desperately needs an overhaul.

If you don't mind worn out accommodations, then you will love the Arenal Lodge. However, if you prefer to stay at a property that is well cared for and maintained, where you are not afraid to sit on the furniture in the lobby, then I would recommend that you book at one of the other lodges in the area as many of them have views just as beautiful as the views from Arenal Lodge. We visited The Observatory and for a comparable room rate, you get breath taking views of the volcano with accommodations and grounds that are immaculate. Next time, we will book there.

Room Tip: Chalets have floor to ceiling windows but no decks
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Columbus, Ohio
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2011

Hotel is up a long long driveway, but the view is worth it. Pool and good restaurant with omelet chef on sight for breakfast. We had a good dinner there as well. Staff helpful and friendly. Best water pressure and hot water of our entire stay in CR.

Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
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Boston, Massachusetts
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2011

My boyfriend and I stayed here for 2 nights. When checking into our standard room, they immediately upgraded us to a junior suite facing the volcano. Which was an absolutely fabulous view! From our bedroom we were able to see our private patio/deck, the pool, horses, and the volcano. At night we heard the howler monkeys (didn't see any) and also the frogs (we saw a red eye tree frog).

We did the morning hike with Miguel, it was a pretty big group tour. Miguel was great, when he or someone else spotted an animal he would talk about it and try to be hands on with the animals. The hike was a very easy walk through the jungle while ending at the butterfly garden. Miguel was also our tour guide for the horse back riding. As having no experience with horseback riding, he was very patient with me. Great experience!

The free breakfast was the best breakfast buffet out of the 2 other hotels we stayed at during our exploring around Costa Rica. They had such great fresh varieties of fruits and food. Plantains in a syrupy sauce, sausages, eggs, hash browns, pancakes, omelets, fruits, freshly squeezed juices, etc

The only flaws were that it is very secluded from everything else. Without a car we were dependent on the hotel's restaurant to eat. Also while planning the night hike tour the lady at the desk was not very helpful and told us she wasn't feeling well...

However, with everything said, I would love to have spent more days here!

Room Tip: Juinor Suite is worth the money!!!!
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Orlando, Florida
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2011

This hotel was absolutely beautiful. We arrived here after a very long ride from San Jose in the late afternoon and were greeted by staff which were very helpful and presented us with our key and some tropical fruit frescos. These were absolutely delicious. My only knock on this hotel was that, while the views were amazing, its proximity to really anything was annoying. Even to go to the hanging bridges which are right at the bottom of the hill then back up was $20 bucks by taxi each way. So needless to say we spent our fairshare in transportation costs here but the amount of wildlife we saw, the food, the available horseback riding and hiking tours, and the view of the volcano (which smoked but did not erupt) was amazing. If you have motion sickness the car ride up to the lodge will be challenging.

The food at the hotel was good. I recommend the Arroz con pollo which was very light and fresh. The breakfast was amazing. Fresh fruit and pastries, and several hot dishes were served every day with a smile. We were always in a hurry but they had a custom omelette bar as well.

Overall we were very pleased with our stay, but wished it were closer to the town. Fortunately the food was good and it was not that big of a deal.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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San Diego, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2011

My wife and I spent three nights here in mid-march. We absolutely loved it. The employees were SO nice and friendly. Room 41 was perfect. The food was wonderful. The grounds were beautiful. Wildlife aplenty.

Especially Rebecca at the front desk. She was very helpful. Very professional. She even had to get herself up early one morning to place our wake-up call. Thank you Rebecca for the take-out breakfasts too.

Loved the nature hike and the butterfly garden on the property.

If I had to say one negative, and it is NOT the hotel's fault, is that the lava on Arenal is not flowing. Hasn't in 5 months. We booked this pricier hotel thinking we were in the "lava view" area.

Beautiful view of the volcano!

Thanks to the staff at Arenal Lodge!

Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
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USA
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2011

We traveled from Coronado, via taxi and it cost $160.00 USD one way, but we were excited to see the volcano and rainforest. After all, we were in Costa Rica. There is a reason it is called the rainforest, it rained everyday of our 2 day stay and we did not see the volcano completely. Only on leaving and in La Fortuna could we see most of the volcano. The top never did clear completely. The Lodge was adequate, clean and somewhat expensive; $157.00 a night. The food was adequate and again expensive. Nothing that stands out in my mind as delicious. The rain kept us from going on any excursions, but did not hamper the enthusiasm of the younger vacationers. Do not depend on the computer/bbrochure details concerning Arenal Volcano. After being there for several hours, many people told us that the volcano is rarely visisble and rarely errupts. It is a rare occurence. I wished we had known that before the expensive taxi drive, expensive lodging and expensive food. If you are younger and not concerned with weather, etc., then you will enjoy the adventure, but for some of us "older folks" not so much.....

Room Tip: Go for the glass houses on the top of the hill.
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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 Arenal Lodge

Address: 200 meters NW from the Arenal Lake dam | Escazú, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park 1250, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > La Fortuna de San Carlos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#12 Spa Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Arenal Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 46
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Arenal Lodge provides guests with the excitement of staying in an authentic rainforest lodge with breathtaking panoramic views of Costa Rica’s famous Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal. Guests will enjoy a casual and relaxed rustic lodge setting with the added value of a complimentary breakfast daily. Located on 2000-acres of beautiful tropical rainforest, the lodge is situated near Arenal Volcano National Park. The lodge is surrounded by rainforest - housing hundreds of exotic birds, small animals and the beautiful tropical flowers and trees of Costa Rica. and is it's own local tourist attraction due to its exclusive location with breathtaking panoramic views of Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal. The lodge features a full service restaurant with local and international cuisine, gift shop, three heated outdoor Jacuzzi's, an infinite edge swimming pool, walking trails, a butterfly garden, horseback riding, a game-room and outdoor playground for children, fitness room, sauna, and free wireless high speed internet access.Guest rooms and suites feature cable TV, telephone, coffee maker, clock radio, and all have private baths. Complimentary crib and wheel chair are available on request. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Arenal Hotel La Fortuna De San Carlos
Arenal Lodge Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park

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