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“Worst Hotel in Costa Rica - Horrible, don't stay there!” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Arenal Paraiso Hotel Resort & Spa

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Arenal Paraiso Hotel Resort & Spa
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   7 kms from La Fortuna downtown, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park 84-4417, Costa Rica   |  
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40% off room rate
Pacific Palisades, CA
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Worst Hotel in Costa Rica - Horrible, don't stay there!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2013

The website for this hotel shows lovely hot pools and nice grounds. The pools all look really dirty and they are not very hot. They have two large pools which are painted white and when they put the mineral laden water in them they look like swamp water - not appealing. The pools surrounded by rocks look nice in the photos but in person are really cruddy looking. All the hotels we stayed in (and most were not very expensive) had coffee makers with ceramic cups - and a safe in the room. This hotel had paper coffee cups and no safe. The view from the rooms looks like it will be nice but most of the rooms either look out at a grassy lawn with a large solar water heating system right in the center of the view or else they look over a grassy lawn to the road between the buildings. There is NO view of Arenal from anywhere that we could find. In the bathroom the shower handle cam off in our hands and the floor in the shower which was once white tile now has huge yellow areas. Disgusting! They don't even supply "real" toilet paper. They give you the individual little sheets that pull out of a box like elementary schools often have. When we went to have breakfast, because they had so many busloads of kids and other tourist groups there, instead of our eating breakfast in the large open wood paneled dining area, they had us eat breakfast in small conference room with no windows on plastic folding chairs. The food was not very good and the coffee was cold. All I can say is don't go there!

Room Tip: Don't go there!
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Pilar G, Director Comercial at Arenal Paraiso Hotel Resort & Spa, responded to this review, August 2, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thanks for your comments, they are very important to us.
I would like to clarify that the color of the hot springs and rocks because our water pools are 100% of the Volcano, which has many minerals. We use disposable containers in the rooms for greater hygiene for our customers. Our hotel is surrounded by gardens and nature, we try to make from all the rooms have a nice view of the Arenal Volcano. Finally we ask apologies for the inconvenience with breakfast, this was because we had a special group of students which was very large and asked to have breakfast at the same time.
We hope you visit us again and offer you a quality service, as we usually do.
Best regards from your friends of Arenal Paraiso Group.
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604 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (73)
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English first
Houston, Texas, United States
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2013

This is a good place for bird lovers. It is secluded so you must rent a car or drive there to enjoy the area. The best thing in this Hotel was the access to the Hot Springs which are located inside the Hotel. However the food was simple and salty, the beds were hard and the bathroom was in need of updating. No wi-fi inside cabins, so you must walk to the reception area to connect, this is bad if you are walking with a labtop and starts rainning....long walks from cabins to reception area. The breakfas was ok but not great! Once more if you are looking for very basic accommodations, this is it! I like value for my money, this was overpriced for the experience.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Pilar G, Director Comercial at Arenal Paraiso Hotel Resort & Spa, responded to this review, July 26, 2013
Dear Customer,

We send you a regards from all of us at Arenal Paraiso Group.
Thanks for your comments, they are very important to us, our concept is that our guest feel that they are in the middle of nature, and for that reason we have all the rooms separately and far away from the reception, for have space to enjoy the gardens and nature of the area. We will make improvements in our service and will try to offer the best in your next visit.
We appreciate your recommendations and come back to our hotel.

Best regards.
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Curridabat, Costa Rica
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2013

My family and I have stayed at this resort perhaps 10 times over the last 15 years. The physical location is incredible with a great view of the volcano. The landscaping of the resort is beautiful and lush. We have only stayed in superior rooms so I cannot speak to the standard rooms. The superior rooms are small but adequate cabins with front porches (roofed and glass enclosed) that face towards the volcano, which combined with the great landscaping gives a beautiful view and a great place to relax and enjoy nature. The rooms are furnished with 2 full or possibly queen beds, a small refrigerator, a tv and closet. The resort has a beautiful cascading series of soaking pools with hot water from beneath the volcano, culminating with a cool water swimming pool and a very warm pool with a swim up bar at the bottom. The staff of the hotel was very friendly and accommodating . We had dinner at the restaurant which was pricy but very good. In my opinion, the casados ( typical meals of the day) are the best deal going. The dinner buffet was $21 and entrees were more, I had a casado con pescado ( meal of the day with fish) for $11 and it was terrific. The breakfast buffet was adequate but of less quality than in years past. As an example, in past years they have offered an omelette bar and also had yogurt and granola with their fruits. This year there was no omelette bar nor granola and yogurt. My observation is that the owners have put very little into capital improvements ( TV,s, bedspreads , etc. are all very dated) and they seemed to have made an intentional shift towards attracting more Costa Rican nationals (whom I love) by keeping room rates low, which may explain why they have cut back on some formerly offered touches and have not spent much money on keeping the rooms and furnishings contemporary. Overall it was still a great stay and we enjoyed it, but the trend is going down and at this rate I don't know if I can recommend the resort to others, particularly since there are more and more competing resorts of higher quality.

Room Tip: The superior rooms located in the far back of the resort have the benefit of a back patio that looks...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Pilar G, Director Comercial at Arenal Paraiso Hotel Resort & Spa, responded to this review, July 23, 2013
Thank you for your comments are verry importatn to us, It was a pleasure to know that you and your family enjoyed your stay in our hotel. It is important to mention that we are making improvements in our infrastructure, we are remodeling our superior rooms also we are buying flat screen TVs, and we already remodeled the wet bar and kids pool. And in our operations projects we plan to change the bedclothes to offer our guets a better service.
We hope have your visit again in our hotel.
Best Regards from the Arenal Paraíso Hotel.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2013

We opted for a more resort hotel here at Arenal Paraiso after staying at a nearby hotel in central La Fortuna. We liked that Arenal Paraiso had its own hot springs and the grounds looked beautiful. We were paying $30 more per night than we had been at the previous hotel so, we were looking forward to an upgrade.

Unfortunately, the rooms left much to be desired and the room they booked us in was quite a walk from the main reception area and the restaurant. I asked them to place us in a closer cabina but, the friendly staffer told me there weren't any available. However, after complaining about the noise level from our neighbors next door about 1 hour later, they did move us to another cabina closer to reception (ahhemmm.. this is what I asked for initially) that same night. I took a cold shower as there was no hot water and had to call the staff to help turn the water off as it kept dripping.

The restaurant on-site seemed to have a good selection of food but, it was WAY overpriced and totally out of our budget. It's at least a $10 taxi ride to the nearby town of La Fortuna so unless you're going to eat in the restaurant the whole time be prepared to thrown down some $ for taxi rides if you don't have your own transportation (which I'd recommend).

The buffet breakfast spread varied but, considering the restaurant is an open air room, I would have preferred for them to cover the majority of the food as there were bugs and such landing and flying around the food. Additionally, the banana bread looked great but, there were ants crawling all over them so I didn't try it.

We left later that day to return to our previous accommodations in the town of La Fortuna, which also had a great view of the volcano. I think this place has a lot of potential as the grounds are beautiful but, it needs a bit of work.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Pilar G, Director Comercial at Arenal Paraiso Hotel Resort & Spa, responded to this review, July 15, 2013
Dear Jacquieleigh,

We appreciate your comments, they are very important to our service and products.
We want to apologize with you for the inconvenience that you have in our property, we have different platforms of service and for that reason we doesnt offer you another room.
About the restaurant, we have a variety of feeds to you choose, and in the breakfast we change somethings of the menu each day.
We wish you will come to our hotel in the future and offer to you and your family and friends the best.
Cordially the Arenal Paraiso Group¡
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Laguna Hills, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2013

Our first time to Costa Rica which we loved, had a fantastic trip! This hotel however had nothing but problems.... We are a family of 5 with 2 teenagers and a 9 year old so we had two superior rooms which were like dinghy cabins in need of some updating. We were there for 3 nights and after the first night of being separated into 2 cabins and no hot water in one of the units and the others toilet not working we upgraded to a family suite which we paid $100 more for....it was nicer with 2 adjoining rooms, living room and small kitchen with refrigerator but once again fridge never got cold, only one toilet worked, no cold water for the master bathroom so water was scolding hot which meant we were all once again using 1 shower and 1 toilet in our 2 bedroom 2 bath family suite. Our lock to the front door didn't work and we must of had to go to the front desk at least 5 times to get new keys or they had to come let us in.... So many problems for such a short stay, would never stay here again! They were very friendly at the front desk and would send someone to fix things immediately but who wants all that, you just want things to work! They said its because its off season and the places aren't checked for awhile so until someone's in them they are unaware of the problems.... I hope this is helpful to someone when researching and if I were to go back would not be staying here! There's soo- many places to choose from and Costa Rica is worth enjoying but pick another hotel.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Pilar G, Director Comercial at Arenal Paraiso Hotel Resort & Spa, responded to this review, July 9, 2013
Thank your for your comments are very important to us, we apologize for the service offered becauses it was not the service that you and your family expected, we wiil take your comments to make improvements in all our departments to give ouer guests the best service in the area. Adn we wish in the future you come back to our hotel and offer you and your family another kind of services with tthe improvements already implemented and satisfy your needs.
Best Regards from the Arenal Paraíso Hotel
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Houston, Canada
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2013

Arenal Paraiso was the second hotel/resort I stayed in during my week long trip to Costa Rica. I was told prior to arriving there that every room had a view of the volcano via the full glass windows. Upon my arrival I was in AWE! The view of the volcano was breathtaking. I found myself lying in bed staring at it.

I got up early every morning and walked the grounds taking photographs of hummingbirds, lizards, ducks/ducklings, sloths and many other birds. It was wonderful.

I enjoyed every meal that was served buffet style in the restaurant. One morning we even had FRENCH TOAST. Yummy! The rooms were clean and quite large complete with a flat screen TV. I also utilized the hot spring pool which was very relaxing.

My group drove to the nearby park and hiked the volcano trail. The scenery at the top was breathtaking. Later in the day some of my group ziplined while others went ATVing. Our group enjoyed both activities.

If you are attached at the hip to your wifi gadgets you can only access it in the lobby. A little bit of a hassle but not much. Great place to hang out.

If you are making a trip to Costa Rica put this place on your list.

  • Stayed May 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pilar G, Director Comercial at Arenal Paraiso Hotel Resort & Spa, responded to this review, July 9, 2013
Thank you for your comments written, are very important to us, it was a pleasure had your visit in our hotel and know that you really enjoyed your stayed with us. We work hard every day with our employees to offer our guests the best service.
We hope have your visit again in our hotel.
Best Regards from the Arenal Paraíso Hotel
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Heredia, Costa Rica
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2013

I came here during January with my husband and parents. We're all fairly mellow people and mainly just wanted to lounge around and enjoy the hotsprings and natural surroundings without having to go anywhere extra. The pools here are beautiful; the warmer pools (with the warmest at the highest point) are surrounded by nature which I found to be very peaceful and relaxing.

The breakfast...oh dear god the breakfast. There was a huge buffet with eggs, sausage, gallo pinto, fresh fruit, ham, pastries, juice, etc. etc.. It was pretty much the best hotel breakfast I have ever had. My father (being fatherly) mentioned to the hotel staff that I am a celiac, so they put out tortillas for me to have with my breakfast.

The room was pretty average; the airconditioner didn't work, but they had someone in to fix it in no time. The beds weren't exactly comfortable, and the bathroom was a bit smelly from the moment we came in. It had this weird, permanent human "aroma" which was rather unpleasant. The porch was nice, though, and we spent quite a bit of time sitting in those lovely rocking chairs, meditating on the view of Arenal.

Other than breakfast, we didn't eat at the restaurant because it seemed a little overpriced for what it was. Instead we ordered food from local Fortuna restaurants that delivered to the hotel lobby.

We booked the horseback tour that is in a large piece of land across the street. It was a bit scary, going down a steep hill covered in big rocks, but once we got past the rickety bits, the scenery was gorgeous. I'd recommend it, if you don't mind a sore but and being tossed around a bit.

Room Tip: Ask for a room closer to the pools
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 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
    • 4 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.
Pilar G, Director Comercial at Arenal Paraiso Hotel Resort & Spa, responded to this review, June 27, 2013
Thank you for your comments are very importante to us, it is really important to know that you and your family enjoyed in our hotel, we really apreciate it.
We apologize with you about the services that we don´t satisfy in your visit to our property, we are making improvement to offer the best service to our clients.
We hope you come again to our hotel and give you and your family a personalize service and attention.

Best regards from the Arenal Paraiso Hotel.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Arenal Paraiso Hotel Resort & Spa

Address: 7 kms from La Fortuna downtown, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park 84-4417, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > La Fortuna de San Carlos
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#13 Spa Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Arenal Paraiso Hotel Resort & Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 118
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Enjoy of cozy & comfortable rooms surrounded by tropical gardens, with the best view of Arenal Volcano. Discover the wellness of our hot springs and our Mayin Spa. Taste the Costa Rica flavor, international cuisine and the best steak house in the area. Feel the adrenaline on our Canopy Tour, and take the best shots of Arenal volcano on our horseback riding. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Arenal Paraiso Hotel La Fortuna De San Carlos
Arenal Paraiso Hotel Resort And Spa
Hotel Arenal Paraiso
Arenal Paraiso Hotel Resort & Spa Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park

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