We just got back from Costa Rica, and we loved our trip. We went to 2 resorts, and hence we could compare the difference. Our 1st stop was this place. Let me first say that this resort is in a high altitude so if you're prone to headaches, drink lots of water. We stayed in their standard room.
Pros: Beautiful grounds, great service, excellent hot springs right in the resort with lovely surroundings and views of the volcano, great spread for breakfast, rooms very basic - no sofa or chair to sit on, and decor dated but rooms are clean, give you soap, shampoo and conditioner in a dispenser (but they're not good about replenishing it when it runs out), Quiet AC unit that simulates wind sound - kind of nifty! Nice patio to sit out on (but not at all private).
Cons: Lighting in room is all CFC bulbs - so it makes it look like a warehouse - and made me have nausea. Ants in bathroom (forgivable since it's Costa Rica), sewage smell (septic tank problem - you might want to bring lysol with you), no safes in the room, walls are thin so you can hear your neighbors, Bathroom was awful - chipped tile in shower, rust in the corners (see picture), no stand to put your shower items, no hooks or bars to hang anything, towels so small - more like hand towels, SHOWER TILE IS SLIPPERY - BEWARE! Shower stall is pretty large but the shower spray itself is a trickle! (so a couple would not enjoy this shower - especially cause it is so slippery!), Sulphuric smell coming from the shower water - yuck! No bar or rack to hang your hand towels on sink. Solar power hot water heater - takes time to heat up and hot water runs out! Beds are "not queen sized" but full and not very comfortable.
Restaurant:Oscars for dinner is terrible! Food was presented well but tasted awful! Waiters just stood around having conversations loudly with each other! Save your money go to the town for dinner.
Tours: Good - we took the canopy tour - very convenient right behind the hotel - good guides and good ziplines (11 in total)
Horseback tour - fun but a little unnerving as they are no proper trails just rocky trails, and these are slippery and at times the horses were skidding especially when it rains and is muddy. But it was fun to get up close to the volcano. (convenient - tour is right at the back of the hotel)
Cano Negro boat tour - very good to see wildlife - they pick you up at the hotel - lunch and snack included - very good guide - ask for Steven.
Things to Note: Many gas stations, supermarkets along to the way to buy water, snacks etc. Don't go the Walmart - it is actually more expensive than the local shops.
Drink lots of water at high altitude - to prevent headaches
Don't exchange money at the airport - you will lose money instead exchange it at your hotel
Buy a local sim card from the Kolbi Ice stores right at the baggage claim - better rates to make calls or to text using whatsapp or to surf the internet. We only spent $10 and had more than enough for 7 days
I will go back to Costa Rica some day but I will stay at another resort if I return to Arenal Volcano.
- 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