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“Beautiful Grounds, Decent Rooms, Adequate Food Near Arenal Volcano” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Tilajari Hotel Resort

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Tilajari Hotel Resort
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   800 oeste Estacion Servicio Muelle | Muelle de San Carlos, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
51 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
145 helpful votes 145 helpful votes
“Beautiful Grounds, Decent Rooms, Adequate Food Near Arenal Volcano”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2007

Stayed here recently for two nights as part of a group tour. It is in a great location close to Arenal Volcano and a bunch of outdoor activities. On the banks of the San Carlos river, the Lodge is set on 20 or so acres of nicely manicured grounds loaded with exotic birds, iguanas and other interesting beasties of the tropics. There is a soccer field, pool, hot tub, and a butterfly house in a state of semi-disrepair.

The Lodge is a fairly basic 2.5-star motel affair with several 2-story buildings stretched out for several hundred yards along the river. The rooms are large and each has two queen-sized beds. The floors are tiled and the bathrooms are shower-stalls only. There is little TV reception and no internet to speak of. If you are in need of laundry service, their prices are very reasonable when compared to most hotels.

The restaurant/bar is near the main building and the pool. They try hard, but their reach exceeds their grasp. Breakfast and anything else served buffet style tends to be decent enough. But as soon as you start ordering from their menu, watch out! The food quality ranges from mediocre to slightly above average, but the service is inept and the pace can be downright glacial. But they are so friendly that it's hard to get to get your nose too far out of joint about their shortcomings. Wine and other bar drinks are reasonably priced (and available poolside). Also you'll want to apply insect repellent before coming to the dining room as it is open to the outside and you could become the meal.

All in all, I would gladly stay here again were I to be traveling in the area.

  • Liked — Access to Arenal
  • Disliked — Food/dining room service
  • Stayed August 2007
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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233 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (63)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Florida
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2007

As a family consisting of two grandparents, a mother, father, and four children from ages 5 to 17, we all found Tilajari a great vacation spot to spend a week. The rooms are spacious and can easily handle a family of four. The furnished breakfasts were excellent as were the other meals available in the restaurant. The lazy river cruises were a great way to see the flora & fauna of a rainforest. We saw coati-mundi, tree sloths, iguani, crocodiles, howler monkeys, macaws, and many other tropical birds.
The kids had fun on the white water raft trips, horseback rides, the ziplines thru the forest, the suspended bridges above the forest canopy, and everyone enjoyed the gorgeous Tilajari swimming pool. It is a beautful country and as a final selling point, our 17 year old (who is very difficult to please) is ready to move there.

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Grand Rapids, MI
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2007

If one is wanting to experience all of Costa Rica, then I highly recommend a few days stay at Tilajari along with a few days at a beach hotel. (If one is looking for a small beach hotel, consider their sister hotel - Hotel Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste).

One can certainly enjoy 7 days at Tilajari as they have many day-tours. Because the resort is so large and most people spend the day-light times on tours, at times if felt like there were few people staying at the resort even though it was full the time I was staying there over Easter. I enjoyed the hot springs at Arenal Volcano, the leisurely river float trip, and horse-back riding to a nearby jungle walk tour. Gee were some of these trees impressive. See attached photos.

Yes there are many hotels surrounding the Arenal Volcano which is about 20 miles from Tilajari. But here 4 reasons why Tilajari can be a better experience:

1) Tilajari sits on at least 20+ acres of FLAT ground all nicely decorated with trees, flowers, shrubs. Most hotels near the volcano are on very hilly & rocky ground with small gardens. Surely not good for very young & older tourists or the handicapped.
2) The resort has 5 tennis courts (2 that are covered should it rain) and 1 basketball court, 1 soccer field with lights; pool tables, ping pong table. Other hotels don't offer these activities.
3) Far enough away from the volcano, which is active, should it ever explode, yet near enough to easily drive to should one wish to spend the day exploring the volcano or fishing in Lake Arenal. Obviously the hotels at the base of the volcano would put one's life in perl should it explode.
4) It's far enough away from the volcano so it rains less and slightly warmer temperature than the hotels at the base of the volcano.

Bill Hamilton
Michigan

  • Liked — the grounds, animals & birds, tours
  • Disliked — very slow Internet Service available only at the front desk
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Pennsylvania
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2007

Tilajari is beautiful and serene. The accomodations were excellent. The food was great and there are a lot of adventures to take nearby - such as horseback riding to the jungle, relaxing in the hot springs and a stream ride down the river.

My children loved the butterfly room on the property and really enjoyed the pools and hot tub. The monkeys were fun to watch too.

We highly recommend this resort.

Enjoy!

Kelli Fusaro

  • Liked — Room, food and poos
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Charlotte, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2007

We visited Costa Rica for the first time with our boys (12 & 20 yrs old). We looked at lots of places and possibilities and decided to try staying in one place and seeing as much as possible from that base location. This hotel was perfect for that. The only thing we missed in this trip was seeing either the Pacific or the Caribbean coasts. The hotel helped us with booking every activity we wanted. They were extremely helpful, both prior to the trip via e-mail and once we got there. Our trip was, I think, more enjoyable and relaxing because we weren't constantly packing and moving as is required with some of the "tour" packages of the country. The hotel staff functioned as "tour guides" for whatever we wanted to do.
We went horseback riding, white water rafting, hiking, took ATV tour in the wild, viewed Arenal volcano at night, swam in hot springs off of volcano, went zip-lining (canopy tour), and took river rafting trip to look at wildlife. It was all extremely beautiful and lots of fun.
We loved the birds around the property. Our waiter brought us a bird fact book each evening to borrow so we could identify what we were seeing. He was an avid birder as well, so he was constantly pointing out interesting specimens as they flew in for food.
We had a couple of the same guides several times during the week for different activities and they were just the best. They were so forthcoming with information about their country and its natural habitat.
The rooms were comfortable - had both hot water and a/c. The restaurant food was really good - lots of fresh fruit and fish. The property was in a beautiful setting as well.
Great trip, lovely people, great hotel!

  • Liked — Friendly elpful staff and tremendous number of outdoor activities
  • Disliked — Language barriers, but everybody was friendly and we all tried our best!
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indy
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2007

The grounds are lovely, but the nicest surprise was the "bird feeders" perched outside the dining room during breakfast. These bare "trees" were strung with papaya rings, and attracted dozens of birds and squirrels. Since the dining room is open-air, we could watch them at close range, snapping plenty of photos. We saw a beautiful display of all colors of birds!

Typically, we stay in bungalows or cabanas, so we were wary of staying in a "regular" hotel. However, it was pleasant. Our room was spacious, with a very nice bathroom and a balcony overlooking the grounds and the river. The only complaint was that, since it was not as secluded as a bungalow, we heard a lot of noise from people walking past.

We don't usually have TV, phones or hairdryers in bungalows, so it was a luxury to have them here --- unfortunately, the TV remote didn't work. But with so much to see and do, who needs TV?!

It was a bit farther from La Fortuna than we anticipated, and it seemed like all the activities we wanted to do were the opposite direction from La Fortuna, but paved roads made the drive quick, and we enjoyed driving through the farmland.

The staff was extremely polite and helped us book a zipline tour.

We really loved La Fortuna, returning there again and again. There was also a lot to do in the area, from zip lines and hanging bridges to hot springs, shopping and more.

We usually stick close to beaches, but this was a very welcome and pleasing surprise.

  • Liked — the birdfeeders outside the dining area
  • Disliked — dinner menu: pricey and unsuitable for vegetarians!
  • Tips/Secrets — be sure to partake of the included breakfast buffet and bird show
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2006

Had no idea what to expect, having booked as part of a vacation package that included several desitinations within CR. Was GREATLY surprised by what we got: beautiful grounds that respectfully balanced guest needs with those of the natural environs in and around the resort. Rooms were clean and standard, food was quite good and our guide, Humberto, really proved vital in touring us around. Couldn't have been better.

  • Liked — Authentically natural setting
  • Disliked — No complaints
  • Stayed March 2005, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tilajari Hotel Resort

Address: 800 oeste Estacion Servicio Muelle | Muelle de San Carlos, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > La Fortuna de San Carlos
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Business Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#21 Romantic Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Tilajari Hotel Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 76
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Standard rooms and junior suites spread over the San Carlos River Edge at Arenal Volcano Area. Exceptional Katira restaurant offering a selected international and typical menu and the best facilities in our 5 special events halls. Three swimming pools, sauna, jacuzzi, private forest, sport facilities and much more! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tilajari Hotel La Fortuna De San Carlos
Tilajari Hotel Resort Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park

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