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“Rain Forest Experience” 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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Breckenridge, Colorado
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Rain Forest Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

My husband and I returned last week from a wonderful trip to Costa Rica - Our first hotel was the Arenal Lodge - and it was perfect. This is not a fancy property - all wood, very rustic - up about 3 miles of drive off the main road - but soooo quiet and so comfortable. Our room had a wonderful porch to sit and read and look out at the scenery. We ate each dinner at the hotel and the food was fabulous - also the breakfasts were wonderful - Staff here are very friendly and accommodating. This was a perfect way to immerse ourselves into the Costa Rica Rain Forest.

Room Tip: if you travel off season as we did - see if you can upgrade to Junior Suite - which is what we had a...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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446 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 (109)
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

The view of the volcano from our room and dining room was perfect, and the breakfasts were very good. The hotel itself, however, needs a lot of work. Our room had a great balcony with tons of windows, but the room itself was old and the wood walls/floors were decaying. The furniture was dated, the beds were very flat and uncomfortable. The roaches, however, didn't seem to mind. The overhead light in the room didn't work and they couldn't seem to fix it, so our dark room stayed even darker than expected. There is free WiFi, but it only works if you are within 30 feet of the access point. The grounds themselves are beautiful and well kept, and the nature walk is worth doing.

Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Raleigh, North Carolina
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2012

We stayed in the Arenal Lodge for three nights in October. While our first room (#24) had a great view, the decor and room was a little stale. With this said, I think that Costa Rica has a lower standard for hotels when comparing them to the US. Without an extra charge, we were moved to the chalets (#210) on top of Arenal Lodge. Let me tell you, this room had the best view that I've ever seen on one hotel room. Simply beautiful views of the volcano and the lake. Again, the room is dated and could be cleaner, but with a view like that, who cares.
Take note that the 2.5km drive up their "driveway" was long and bumpy. The food was very tasty at the Lodge. The servers were great! The pool and hot tub were a nice treat too. Don't count on the fitness center though. It has seen better days, probably a few years ago.
The hotel itself is so quite and peaceful! Nothing but nature can be heard here. There is a local macaw named Stephanie who stays close to the Arenal Lodge and may even been found sitting outside your door.

Room Tip: Ask for a chalet room
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 1
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Westchester, NY
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2012

Upon arrival, there was a cold tropical drink waiting for us- along with breath taking views from our windows and the nicest staff waiting on our every whim. The room itself was beautifully designed and clean. Cozy jazzuzzi and contempo-rustic feel. The horse ride, tour, and excursion were a treat. The hotel is located few miles on top of the mountain- perfect for those who really want to get into the tropical atompsophere. But what a gorgeous view- I can't stress that enough. Yes, it is located 20 minutes away from the town, but who wants to be suffocated by the touring crowds when this gem of a hotel is the perfect picture of tranquillity? For those complaining clouds over the mountain: dont visit the RAINforest and expect no fog. And as for those complainging about the bugs and frogs, let me say there are also monkeys and toucans and parrots....Costa Rica is not for those who cannot appreciate mother nature.

Room Tip: we traveled during September adn got an upgrade.
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  • Stayed September 2012, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2012

Our stay at Arenal Lodge was a bit of a mixed experience. We stayed 3 nights in one of the chalets and the view of the volcano is absolutely stunning – especially in the early mornings! The chalet itself seems rather run down, but the room was clean and the coffee mashine excellent. If there is a world championship in towel origami, the maid at Arenal Lodge will get the first price – we loved the various towel animals that were waiting for us every day!! The main lobby and restaurant also seems rather run down and there was a strong smell of mildew in the restaurant – a real shame as the view from the restaurant was amazing and the staff really nice. The garden is beautiful, but the pool smaller than it looks at the pictures. The Jacuzzis were nice though with superb views to the volcano. Included in the hotel stay was a guided walk in the hotel’s tropical forest and a horse ride on the hotel grounds. Our guide was Miguel – a really nice guy with a great knowledge on all plants and animals and a fantastic ability to spot animals. This could be such an amazing place if the buildings and grounds were cared for a bit more. If you are in Arenal for the view and wildlife experience, then I would recommend spending a night or two in a chalet.

Room Tip: Definitely go for a chalet - preferably top floor if you have the option!
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Brooklyn, New York
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

The location and grounds of this facility are quite good. My biggest criticism is the upkeep and the aesthetics. The room was not as clean as it could be and the fixtures were very dated. I had no problem with the rustic vibe, what I did not care for was the grunge element almost everywhere I looked. I was slightly uncomfortable laying down at night and using the restroom. The workout area was also grossly lacking, boasting a leaky roof and equipment that was rusty and not completely functional. The staff was quite friendly and accommodating but the place needs a face lift and a thorough cleaning...get out all the cobwebs.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
Charlotte
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
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
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*
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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