We stayed for one night at the Arenal Lodge. Based on the excellent reviews here we were really excited about the place. So we decided to splurge a little and booked the Chalet. In the end we were very disappointed with the place and would not recommend it. The reviews available here leave out a lot of the discomfort and misrepresentations that you need to be prepared for.
As mentioned in many reviews, the location of the property on top of a hill is excellent and provides for awesome views of the volcano. Also, you cannot stay much closer to nature than in this detached location (5 minutes up a steep dirt road). So far so good.
BUT: The hotel facilities are very simple and worn out - in many places you can see a fair amount of wear and tear. This is definitely sub-par, considering the price which aims at a higher class market. For example, the microwave did not work, the fridge was defrosted and in disrepair and moreover you were greeted with a puddle of water when you opened it.
The service was OK but clearly uninformed. For example, nobody told us that we had to let the water run for 15mins to get hot water for the shower. More importantly, we were told - as mentioned in many reviews here - that there would be a free guided tour around the area the next day and also horseback riding available. Further, that a buffet breakfast would be included.
NONE OF THESE THINGS PROVED TO BE TRUE. We adjusted our travel schedule (slept longer) to take advantage of the guided tour and the horseback riding, only to be told the next day that the guide had his day off and that there would be no activities - the opposite of what had been told to us the day before.
Further, there was no buffet breakfast, but only a choice of several types of breakfast. We opted for the american breakfast, which consisted of two fried eggs and a couple of dry slices of toast, accompanied by some almost cold coffee and orange juice. That was it. Barely a "feast" as mentioned in a review here.
All in all, I have stayed at more comfortable and enjoyable places in the Arenal region for a half and even a third of the price. I recommend checking out a different hotel.
- 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