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“Perfect place to relax and explore!” 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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Victoria, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Perfect place to relax and explore!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

Our family stayed here in January 2013 and we had a fantastic time! It was so lovely to be up in the jungle and on the mountain. It made the view of the volcano not only clear but also quiet (there really are no roads nearby)! What you get instead of roads is parrots who visit the deck and other animals that wander through the green space in front of the hotel. You really could sit on your deck all day and just watch and read and be quite content...however if you wanted to explore, there are some great little hikes and our kids had a great time riding the horses.

The staff are wonderful and we loved it here!

Room Tip: We stayed in the little suites looking out over the pool and the jungle...lovely!
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  • Stayed January 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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426 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 (102)
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English first
Springfield, NJ
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

After a long drive from the Caribbean coast, my wife and I took the road up the mountain to the lodge, and when we were greeted by the sign that said: "You made it!" we immediately felt welcome. Rebecca, the receptionist emphasised that feeling with a welcome drink and an absolutely beautiful smile.

Some comments about the other reviews I've read here: I have no idea if the clock, coffee maker or tv worked. Never used them. We never had any problem getting coffee at the lodge, and I didn't come there for the tv or especially the clock. We slept so soundly that it took some howler monkeys to wake us up. The sound of a nighthawk lulled us to sleep on a bed that I describe as good as my home. Our shower gel and shampoo dispenser was also not marked but is that really a problem worth mentioning? The shampoo is (usually) golden in color and the shower gel a different color.(here it was blue) One squeeze into your hand would reveal that.

The shower was huge (We mean huge) and bright and clean. We didn't look for and therefore didn't see any missing trim etc. The water stream was strong and hot and a refreshing way to start the day. A short walk to the main lodge for a delicious breakfast in a room that overlooked the Arenal Volcano was the highlight of the trip for us. What an unbelievable view! And to make the whole picture even more beatiful, birds everyhere. The feeding platforms maintained by the staff atracted the most beautiful and colorful birds...more than we saw in 2 treks into the rain forest.

We ate lunch and dinner in the hotel 4 times. Each meal was delicious. The service is impeccable and the quality excellent. We also ate at several local restaurants and they served very good food, but none had the view that the lodge did. This was our 3rd trip to Costa Rica and our most enjoyable. You can tell that this is a family owned lodge. The attitude of the staff (as well as their command of English) was very impressive.

This trip so exceeded our expectations that we are already planning another trip here again, there is still so much to see and do.

Room Tip: No advice necessary. If you want a vew of the Volcano 24/7 ask the receptionist. These people are so...
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  • Stayed January 2013, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

My husband and I stayed here over the New Years Holiday for 2 nights. First of all I'd say the last couple of reviews posted on Trip Advisor were very accurate. I'll just add some more thoughts.
The excellent -- the breakfast was really good for a breakfast that is included in your rate. A wide variety of foods including made to order omelettes. The breakfast room overlooks the mountain and they have put up bird feeders that attract many, many different type of birds. Saw more birds here than in the jungle. Also the staff were excellent, courteous and accommodating.
The good -- the grounds and setting were beautiful. The buildings were ok, but don't go by the pictures on the web site. Those are not the standard rooms.
The bad -- The hotels needs maintenance. We were in two different rooms and both had items that needed fixing, including air conditioning and refrigerators.
The ugly -- The first night we were there a couple argued for most of the night, screaming very loudly (not the hotel's fault). Since there was
no phone in the room and the office was a long walk, we had to tough it out. Thankfully, the hotel did upgrade us the next night to a better room. However, the second room had even more maintenance items than the first room we were in.
Overall, the hotel could be quite special, but it needs some attention. I suspect that they have been a victim of the poor economy in the U.S. and the lack of eruptions of the Arenal Volcano, which has probably slowed down the number of guests that come to this area.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Misousri
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

Let me start off by saying that my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Arenal Lodge. With some effort by the hotel’s owner, we are confident that this lodge could once again be absolutely fantastic. It is hard to tell from the hotel WEB site that it is located about 18 KM outside of La Fortuna driving towards Arenal. [Note – the town of Arenal is now called Nuevo Arenal since it had to be re-built higher up on the hillside as the original town of Arenal is submerged beneath the waters of the lake.] Once you drive over the dam and drive 200m more, the entrance is on the right. Be prepared for a slow and zig-zaggy drive on a narrow cobblestone drive up to the lodge. This drive takes about ten minutes and boasts several blind curves. No need for a zip line for thrills when you can just drive up and down this road.

We were supposed to have superior rooms but got upgraded to jr. suites. These were very nice and large and you could walk to the main lodge under cover the whole way. When in a rain forest, this is a feature we all appreciated. The rooms were wood paneled throughout the floor, walls, and ceiling. The attached patios were large and lovely. We could see the volcano [when it cleared up as it usually did in the afternoons] and loads of birds in the beautifully kept gardens. Our daughter and her husband had a room at the far end, and saw a great curassow from their patio. However, the rooms clearly needed some TLC. The lighting was dim, and several bulbs were out in our bathroom. Our alarm clock was missing, and our coffee maker did not work. The bath gel and shampoo were not labeled at all in the shower, so I remained stumped on those. I recommend bringing your own bath products here. Some of the trim was missing from the hot water faucet in the shower, and it leaked though the wall soaking the Travel file I had on the floor. Since the hair dryer did work, I managed to dry out my papers.

The grounds were fantastic and the birding was good. There is a copy [somewhat musty but still greatly appreciated] of Birds of Costa Rica on a stand in the breakfast room which I used every morning. We even saw a toucan several times. We all loved the paved trails, and could not believe how far they were paved through the rain forest. This was truly a high point of the Lodge. Unfortunately, the butterfly house was in disrepair and looked like it hadn’t been touched in months. Miguel, the nature guide at the Lodge, told us it was being brought back to a functional state, so hopefully that will happen. Do not pass up the chance to go on the nature walk with Miguel. My husband said it was 2.5 hours of interesting. Same thing for going on the horse back ride with him. [sign up as soon as you can.] He is a font of knowledge as well as a great photographer. He took photos of a small pit viper for us. WOW! The walks and ride was truly beautiful.

Breakfast was good and the staff atentive. Everyone got a fruit plate and juice as well as a choice of American breakfast, typical costa Rican breakfast [our favorite consisting of rice and beans, plantains, of which you can ask for extra, two eggs any style and toast], or pancakes. The staff feed the birds in the garden just outside with window, so there is a constant show of colorful birds while you eat. Early one morning we watched a family of tolomuco climb up the bird feeder and around the patio. There is a book exchange in the breakfast room so you can drop off a finished book and pick up a new one.

We did wish there was coffee in the lobby, as neither our coffee pot or our daughter's worked.

We did not eat dinner at the Lodge, but ate at a steak place with a bull in front on the way to La Fortuna. Very nice . We ate in La Fortuna the rest of the time. Make sure you have time to go to Arenal National Park and see the Sky tree. The drive out to Arenal is very nice as well and the town is interesting to walk around.

Room Tip: I think the Jr. Suite is worth booking both for the UNBEATABLE view of the volcano and for the acces...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakland, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

The resort was nice and clean and the view from the Chalet was fantastic. But that was about it. The room was clean but it had several issues. The clock was cracked but working so they just removed it. The mini fridge had so much ice it that it leaked because the door didnt close all the way since it was bent and rusted. The shower held about a 1/4 inch of water so you always stepped into water that was left in there. If you want the view and dont mind the other problems then you will like this place. The ride up to the hotel was like going on the Indiana Jones Adventure ride. Also, if you rent a car dont do the tours though the hotel. You are better off driving there on your own.

Room Tip: The Chalet was nice but they need to maintain the mini fridge and clocks and make sure they are in w...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Pellston, Michigan
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013

We arrived after dark and after driving from San Jose, the road once you passed the guard gate was something out of "Dark Shadows"! A long circuitous stone road, winding and winding it's way up and up, finally we reached a sign that said "You Made It"! Once there we were greeted with a much deserved welcome drink and shown to our charming junior suite! In the morning when we could see, our view of the Arenal Volcano was wonderful, we enjoyed the jacuzzi, pool and complimentary horse ride with a terrific guide. Everything was quiet, calm and super relaxing!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013 via mobile

Second stay at Arenal Lodge.
Best place in Arenal because instead of being a compound and resort, it is a true rainforest lodge. The grounds are a couple of thousand acres and stunning. Miguel works for the lodge and gives free walking tours through the primary forest each morning. Tours last 30 min to 2 hours pending on your desire. We went on a 2 hour tour with our 7 and 9 year olds. Fantastic place and wonderful man. We took two free horseback riding tours on the property with Miguel. They were the first times my kids rode horses and Miguel and the horses were great.
We stayed in the family room 2 nights- nice with 2 separate bedrooms. We also stayed in the junior suite for two days adjoining the lodge- loved the view- amazing.
Breakfast is complimentary and very good!!
Love this place
Kerry- USA

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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 Arenal Lodge

Also Known As:
Arenal Hotel La Fortuna De San Carlos
Arenal Hotel
Arenal Lodge Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park
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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#10 Romantic Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#31 Family Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#36 Top resorts 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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