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“Beautiful views; lovely bird-watching in gardens” 4 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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Woodside, CA
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Beautiful views; lovely bird-watching in gardens”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

We went to Arenal for only one night (not sufficient). The Lodge was a great place to stay. Staff are super friendly; the restaurant is very good, with excellent wines. For hotels guests, breakfast is included. Trekkers and day hikers were "loading up." The dining room opens up onto wonderful gardens that were filled with gorgeous species of birds and plants. Fabulous way to start the day.

The Arenal Lodge is about one minute by car (after you've descended the infamous, rocky road between the Lodge and the main road towards La Fortuna) to the "hanging bridges" tourist walk. It's worth doing the 90 min or so walk for the wildlife.

My husband had a massage at the small spa -- he deemed it "good" but US$80/one hour is pretty high-priced for that part of Costa Rica.

Also: the front desk staff were very helpful. A young man (sorry I don't have his name!) suggested that we stop at a soda for home-made Costa Rican food on our way back to Guanacaste/Playa Hermosa. We found this place, by a footbridge, and indeed, the "lady of the house" prepared a massive spread -- on the spot -- for the 5 of us. By the way: she asked for US $40 and nearly exploded with joy when we handed her a $50 bill. We had enough food for dinner, too - she went up the road and found plastic dishes and packed up the massive amount of leftovers. Outstanding -- thanks to the man at the reception at Arenal Lodge.

Room Tip: Get chalet rooms if you want terrific view of the volcano. These are the premium priced rooms. The f...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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455 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 (111)
Date | Rating
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English first
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013 via mobile

The hotel had beautiful views of the lake and volcano. There was a nice hiking trail behind the hotel where we saw some monkeys in the trees. The lodge is quiet and secluded. If you want to be in a "down town" area, this is probably not the place for you. The driveway is long and steep, but the tour van and transportation shuttle were able to find us. I'm sure a taxi would be available to take you to down town La Fortuna. One review made reference to the rooms being outdated. The rooms may be a little outdated but they were clean, everything worked accordingly, the views were beautiful, and the price was extremely economical. The restaurant was excellent. Staff were very nice and helpful including the tour representatives in the lobby. As far as bug references in past reviews, you are in the middle of a rainforest, there will be some bugs. I would stay there again.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Columbus, Ohio
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013

We stayed in one of the chalets at the top of the property with a great view of both the volcano & lake. We only stayed one night & had dinner that night & breakfast the next morning. Service was fine and staff very helpful. Got to watch "Francsico" the coati at breakfast. The room had a coffee maker but no coffee! We even had an anteater come ambling by in the morning.

Room Tip: ask for a chalet. It may cost a little more but if it isn't foggy or raining, you have a million...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Wisconsin
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

Even though I knew about the road going up from the gate to the hotel, we could never have imagined how it felt to climb up through all the lush greenery in the dark until, at what seemed the furthest outpost in this newly encountereded country - we were relieved to finally see lights, and the sign, "You made it!" Its remoteness makes Arenal Lodge an adventure, and its hospitality staff makes it a welcoming comfortable place to relax. My wife and I stayed three nights in January, and appreciated the worn-in tropical feel of our room just a few feet away from birds and flowers and tayras (look 'em up) in the yard, and from the vista out toward Volcan Arenal. Watching the clouds pass over the now-dormant volcano from our patio was reminiscent of staring languidly at a lava lamp. We agree with other reviewers that the nature walk on the huge forested grounds of the hotel with Miguel, included in the room price, was wonderfully low-key, interesting and more personally satisfying than most tours we have been on. And it was great to have Jesenia of Jacamar Tours on-site to help us line up some great activities off-site during our stay. The breakfasts, the sea bass and ceviches at lunch, and the pina coladas any time of day were delicious. The whole experience was an enjoyable escape from winter in Wisconsin.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Temecula, California
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

So much to see and do all around Arenal Lodge and the staff are always so helpful and friendly. We have stayed many times but this time due to business and a very short trip we only drove up for the day. We were still greeted and graciously shown around the grounds even though we admitted we just stopped by and were not able to stay. Miguel gave a a few tips on places to visit on the grounds helped us glimpse a wild toucan in an apple tree right in the courtyard. The drive up the steep and winding mossy road is definitely an adventure but it is so worth the trouble. Prices are good and the resturant is great. The little gift shop has some nice photos and guide books as well as local artwork.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
    • 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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Atenas, Costa Rica
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

I have been driving by the sign advertising this hotel every time I've been to La Fortuna (many times over the years). A friend that booked a tour with 3 nights at the Arenal Lodge, so I wanted to spend some time with him and his significant other. So, we booked two nights at the lodge. On the way up the hill we were greeted by at least a group of 15 Coatimundis digging in the leaves for their next meal. I knew right then this would be a great trip. Well, this was right up my alley, I love nature and animals. When we got to the top I found the reception area to be charming. That night the dinning was just great with good food that filled me up. The next morning I was ready to hit the trail with a free guided tour. Well the tour blew me away. Our guide Manuel Jiminez explained all the detail with of the relationship by the vegetation, the insects, the animals and man. It was fascinating, best guide I ever had, he had my attention 100% of the time. The stay at Arenal Lodge will have many memories and I'll be back for more.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 5 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.
Wembury
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2013

This hotel is superbly situated for walking, bird watching and other outdoor activities. The views are incredible. The staff are friendly and the food excellent. There is a good wifi and a small shop for snacks and souvenirs.

Room Tip: You need to be near the observatory
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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 1
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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