My wife and I stayed at he Arenal Paraiso back in February of '08 for six days and most of our memories of this resort are fond ones. Our first room had a less than satisfactory view and was located right beside the resorts maintenance shed, where the workers arrived to gather their tools at 6:00AM. This is all fine and good providing you are willing to be woken up at that hour. After our first night we express our concern to the front desk and without any argument they promptly arranged to us to be moved to the other side of the compound. Oh my, what a difference the move made. Our new room not only was quiet but also must have had the best view of the Arenal volcano in all of Costa Rica. To boot, we were only about 60 feet from one of the Paraiso’s fabulous natural hot springs (one of the best kept secrets in all the area, no need to pay to go to a local hot spring when you have a choice of ten right on the property) and each morning and night my wife and I would slip into one of the hot spring pools for a refreshing and secluded dip.
Though at times there was a bit of language difficulty (one should always have at least a basic knowledge of the language of the country one is visiting, can’t blame the locals because you can’t speak enough Spanish) everyone made an attempt to please us. The spa is out of this world and something that has to be experienced to be believed and this from a guy who really isn’t the spa type. All the staff was wonderful and helpful, especially in the restaurant where we always seemed to have chatty waiters who were only too willing to give us suggestions as to places to go and sites to see.
Our only negative experience was with the Arenal Paraiso’s screwy check-in “deposit” method. Unlike the other two resorts we stayed at in Costa Rica, the Paraiso didn’t just take a imprint of our VISA card (standard procedure at hotels around the world) but they actually debited our card at the time of checking in with the promise that the amount debited would be deducted from any extra charges we incurred during our stay. This seems to make sense at the time but when we checked-out they forgot to deduct the “deposit” against the outstanding balance. What a mess. It took us from Feb. ’08 until March ’09 to get the matter resolved and the funds credited to my VISA account. Part of the problem was that the accounting staff at the Paraiso didn’t speak any English and my Spanish needs to be much improved.
This was the only glitch on our entire two weeks in Costa Rica and one that would not stop us from returning to the Arenal Paraiso.
I must say that one of the reasons our Costa Rica vacation when so well and also why I was finally able to get my “deposit” back was due to the wonderful tour company we discovered in Costa Rica. Before we left Canada we were lucky enough to discover Costa Rican Vacations in San Jose, Costa Rica and especially Stephanie Hudson our tour consultant and Jennifer Duran their assistant Operations Manager. From the moment we landed in Costa Rica until our departure Costa Rican Vacations made our holiday run like clock work. They booked all of our ground transportation between resorts and advised us as to the best tours to take based on our budget and likes/dislikes. Also and this is a HUGE also, Costa Rican Vacations stuck by us for the entire time it took for us to get the Arenal Paraiso refund. Stephanie and especially Jennifer went far above the call of duty on the matter. Jennifer interceded on our behalf with the Paraiso’s management and I can honestly say that without her dealing with the resort in Spanish I doubt that the matter would ever have been resolved. If you truly want a fabulous time in Costa Rica, Costa Rican Vacations are the people to contact. They can be reached at www.vacationscostarica.com or toll free at [--]. Ask for Stephanie Hudson and you won’t be disappointed.
- 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