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“Arenal Lodge Review” 2 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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Charlotte
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Arenal Lodge Review”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2012

The staff was pleasant and accomodating and the property has a nice view. However, the property lacks warmth, a sense of being inviting, and overall dated. The front desk area/reception area, restaurant, and rooms looked like they are more southwestern that a rich, warm, tropical feeling place that Costa Rica is. It really looked liked a dated Best Western in Arizona or Nevada than the beautiful mts of Costa Rica and was overall dirty looking and upkept. The rooms had a dated, blah, and minimalist look. For being a mountain resort, it had no nice shampoo/condition, soap, or bath robes; just shampoo/condition in a pump on the wall. For being categorized as a mountain resort is an understatement. It looked like the place had been decorated from a tag sale with twenty plus year old furniture. If the current owner doesn't want to put money into the property, SELL IT!!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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461 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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English first
Elk Grove, CA
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2012

My husband and I just returned from our first visit to Costa Rica. Unfortunately the Arenal Lodge was the first hotel of our vacation package. The property is located in a beautiful area with great views of the volcano. However, the goat trail from the main road to the hotel is a nightmare, especially at night. The staff is cordial and friendly however, the entire property is need of updating. The beds are the hardest I've ever experienced. From what we understood the owner has little interest in making improvements because this is a losing investment for her. One night would have been tolerable but three nights was a test. We were happy to move on.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
austin, TX
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2012

We stayed at the lodge, rather than being "in town".

The grounds are pretty impressive (jungle), with views of Arenal volcano across the lake.

The rooms were just in the "OK" category, and the buildings are in need of some major TLC.

We ate breakfast in the dining room each morning, and it was always a treat, as the dining room has large (and I mean LARGE) picture windows looking out over the grounds. There is a wide variety of colorfull birds that come in for the food placed out for them, and it was always enjoyable to have a nice breakfast (food was pretty good) and watch the birds and critters come in.

The staff was pretty nice.

Overall, I'd stay there, again. However, if you want to be "in the action" (we did not), you might consider staying in La Fortuna.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 4 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.
Ashburn, Virginia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2012

This hotel is in a steep decline due to owner neglect for the past 20 years. We counted 32 rain leaks, one large one in the middle of the dining room, several in the reception area and four in the fitness room (all the equipment was broken). There is no "on site manager." He resides in San Jose (four hours away) and comes to the hotel "once in a while" according to the staff. They told us he has other things he works on in San Jose, not related to the hotel. The assistant manager, Marco, has many plans to save the hotel, but with an absent female owner who lives in Brazil and who has spent sparingly in the past, he is facing a tough battle.

Too many problems to list, but will try: (1) box spring mattress combinations in use in many rooms, very cheap and uncomfortable, ((2) broken, cracked sinks and tubs, (3)little attention to safety in bathrooms, (3) no bars of soap, only liquid dispenser in shower, (4) use of chicken (yes, that is correct, chicken wire) to increase footing on steps where water drips, Naturally you catch your foot on it and trip (5) Parrot poop in the middle of the reception area every morning until 11 PM. Asst. Manager said they would work on that, (6) wooden floors have not been refinished in many years and look old and scruffy, (7) totally inadequate lighting to the point we had to use flashlights to see in the room (room number eight).

Spend your money some place else where the management and owner show they care. A professional in the hospitality industry in San Jose told us the lodge has a bad reputation among the professionals and is the one they mention as giving the hotels near the volcano a bad name. Too bad, nice staff.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2012 via mobile

Some of the wood items need to be re-varnished. Pool table needs to be re-conditioned. The room was nice and clean. Food was good. Great view! It would be great if the wifi would reach inside of the rooms.

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2012

We were greeted with a cold tropical drink upon arrival to this beautiful hotel. The staff was very helpful and nice. Many of them spoke English. As it was LOW season, we were upgraded to the chateau rooms with its expansive glass wall views of the Arenal volcano. My kids loved the free daily horseback riding through the scenic fields with impressive views of the volcano (my kids received a thrill riding through a herd of grazing cows). The free guided nature hike (including picking Guava fruit) was great. My kids loved the free butterfly garden (butterflies aplenty with the guide providing interesting facts). The free daily breakfast buffet was fantastic (especially enjoyed the coffee). The price for my three night stay was unbelievably low for my large family. I would highly recommend it.

  • Stayed July 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, UK
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2012

We absolutely loved this hotel. It’s a short way out of town, over the dam, and very handy for the hanging bridges. Access is up a very steep windy (and very long!) drive – which was pretty scary when we first arrived, especially as it was dark. By the time we’d been in and out a couple of times we had got the hang of it.

The facilities are really very good – we really enjoyed the extensive breakfast buffet (including cooked to order omelettes), but we also had both lunch and dinner here on various days and the food was always excellent. They also do sundowner cocktails in the bar. (And the red wine is drinkable here, too!)

The bird tables just outside the restaurant give you a fantastic opportunity to see a wide range of colourful tanagers and other birds easily and in comfort, and there are tons of birds in the grounds. We saw loads of coatis on the nature trails in the lodge grounds, and there are toucans in the tops of the big trees. We also enjoyed hearing the howler monkeys while we were having lunch. The pet macaw was a big hit, too. We have some brilliant photos of it trying to share the fruit from my sangria!

We did laundry here too, which we found very reasonably priced, and it came back quickly, so that we could get two lots done (we were travelling light!)

We had an upgraded “junior suite” which had a volcano view. I think junior suite is overstating it somewhat but the volcano view was superb and we were really lucky to get some fantastic views of it during our stay.

Only downside was that there were a lot of ants just outside our room – we were glad we had brought our own ant barrier (that you “paint” on the floor, and ants won’t cross). It wasn’t the only hotel where we used it!

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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 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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