We visited in March 2011. We did not have reservations and randomly drove up the long driveway to see about pricing, etc. they had a couple of vacancies and we arrived at a reasonable price. We opted for the chalet. I am glad we did. Whether sitting in the comfortable chairs in the morning sipping coffee watching the rising sun hit the volcano or w/ a bottle of wine in the evening as the sun set w/ different lighting or waking in the middle of the night to see the silhouette from bed was magnifcent. Sometimes the top was enshrouded w/ classic rainforest clouds but then the wind would blow in or the sun would evaporate it off and it would suddenly appear in a blink. Very cool, mesmerizing and peaceful to watch (and romantic!).
We didn't mind the drive (but we had a car).. The little town is about 15 minutes away and we did go into town one night (of our 3 nights there) for dinner but decided the food and ambiance was by far superior at the Lodge. We used our car every day to explore and to get to activites and scenic places. Not sure how that might be w/o a car tho--but it doesn't seem like there is any ONE place to be that gets you handily to everything. Driving, btw, was fine in Costa Rica. The breakfast buffet was superior at the Lodge. I can't remmber if it was included in the price. But whatever, the case, it was worth it!
We found the grounds, pool and hottub/jacuzzi to be well-cared for and a good showcase. Altho the lodge/rooms a bit dated, the pricing is fair for what you get. I would skip the horses (unless they have been replaced)--i think they are a bit sad. The nature walk with Miguel was great and walking alone thru the trail is even better a second and third time--if you like walks/easy hikes!.
- 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 its 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 Jacuzzis, 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