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“Hot springs and wooden cabins at an OK price” 4 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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Hotel amenities
Special Price
30% off room rate
San Jose, CR
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Hot springs and wooden cabins at an OK price”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2009

Located a few minutes from La Fortuna center, this hotel has everything one looks for in the Arenal area.

-great views of the volcano
-about 8 hot spring pools in the hotel grounds
-canopy, horseback-riding, and other tours
-restaurant and basic gift shop

The rooms are basic. I stayed in a superior, which includes a small deck, tv, and air conditioning. You stay here for the charm of the wooden cabins. However, I do find it expensive at a little over $100 per night (though it does include breakfast).

The staff is friendly. Front desk slightly slow.

Breakfast is a 6.5- rice and beans, egg, some fruit and a few sweet pastries.

Overall I'd stay here for the hot springs.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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588 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 (70)
Date | Rating
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English first
Lafayette, Indiana
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2009

My son and I spent 3 nights at the Arenal Paraiso in May 2009 during an 11 day trip around Costa Rica. After a hair-raising Interbus ride from Manuel Antonio, we were very happy to spend our first afternoon relaxing in the hot springs on the property. The pools were stunningly beautiful! I specifically chose this resort to avoid the added expense of a trip to Tabacon or one of the other hot springs. The foliage and flowers surrounding the pools attracted many birds and lizards, and it was so relaxing just watching the volcano as the view became clearer and clearer each day. (It had been shrouded in clouds for 12 days prior, so we felt really blessed to have a postcard-perfect view by our final morning). There was something about the lushness of the colors in Arenal that took my breath away. More about the hotel itself... We were in a standard room that was the furthest distance possible to the pool, springs, and main area. They did offer a complimentary shuttle which we took advantage of after long days of activity. One minor problem was that the phone service was intermittent and at times we couldn't reach the front desk to call for a ride. We ate most of our meals at the hotel restaurant and most of the food was excellent! I had fried camarones (shrimp) one night that were nearly as big as my fist. We had the most incredible dessert...a cone-like wafer cookie (shaped as a volcano, of course) that tasted amazing, atop ice cream. Jorge in the restaurant came to know us well and the service was excellent. He had boxed breakfasts ready for us for our 6AM departure. Roy at the front desk was always very helpful with sightseeing suggestions and arranging transportation. Be warned...the cab ride at night to try and see eruptive activity seemed like extortion at $40 for the two of us. Cab fares into La Fortuna varied, even with the meter running. We paid as little as $6 one way and as much as $8. It was a good central location between the town and many of the main activities. Our volcano hike with Erich from Adventuras Arenal was so enjoyable. My son is a geology major with a keen interest in volcanoes, so they really learned a lot from each other! One other thing we learned throughout Costa Rica was to dress appropriately for the activity. Thankfully my son had on high top hiking boots on the volcano hike - as he nearly stepped on a viper sunning itself on the lava rocks! (This was the 2nd of 5 snakes that we had close encounters with on the trip!) We decided to do the Sky Tram/ Sky Trek zip line while in Arenal, though neither of us is a real fan of heights. I don't care what others say...blowing it off as not that adventurous...to me it was the most terrifyingly thrilling thing I've ever done! To top it off, it started pouring rain which felt like needles in your face as you zipped along at 40-50 mph! I wish I had used a water camera because my good digital camera didn't work after ziplining. We encountered an eyelash viper on a tree adjacent to one of the platforms at 400 feet up (snake #3). After zip lining at 656 feet, the fear of heights was gone, and we both enjoyed the Hanging Bridges the next day. La Fortuna is a nice town. We ate at a great pizza place tucked down a side road called Mediterranean Pizzeria and the obligatory visit to Lava Rocks Cafe. We still didn't have enough time to do everything we'd hoped...never made it to the waterfall, horseback ride, or got to see a night time eruption (though we did hear the volcano rumble). After all these activities, it was nice coming back to the clean, comfortable room at the Arenal Paraiso and taking bets which towel animal we'd have each day! The refrigerator in the room was a real plus. I would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed May 2009
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Surrey, BC
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2009

We stayed in a standard cottage and it was great. I really liked that there are no neighbours in the next room smoking or watching TV all night long. Each cottage also has a small porch with 2 rocking chairs and an amazing view of the volcano. We even woke up at night to take pictures of the lava (more like a glow).
We liked the hot spring pools. We tried them all and chose 2 where the temperature and the ambience (greenery, humming birds, relaxing very quiet music) was just right.
We definitely enjoyed the lack of crowds. The most relaxing thing was sitting in the hot spring pool in the evening when it rained.

The breakfast was good, lots of choices. The room was big and very clean. The hotel grounds were very beautiful.

We definitely recommend this hotel to anyone looking for some peace and quiet.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Portugal
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 64 cities Reviews in 64 cities
72 helpful votes 72 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2009

we stayed 2 nights at rooms 124 and 125. Great gardens after porch and all area off the hotel .Bathroom a litle small. Very clean. staff was polite. restaurant a bit expensive.pools and hot springs were great.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Wash, DC
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2009

From the moment you come into the hotel, the staff is very inviting, welcoming and willing to help.

This was our first of a three city stay and i think it was the best service out of the other hotels. The free breakfast was also wondeful.

The first night we got in we had the night hot springs tour in Tabaccon and while yes, Tabaccon is an AMAZING hotel, this was also a great calm hotel. I almost felt like Tabaccon has way too much going on. This was a quiet, well taken care of hotel and its perfect if you want to go out and do the hot spring tour and then come back and relax.

Some hotel highlights:
Great wetbar and fun bartenders
The spa was always open and with great massages (great banana mint facials!)
Internet always available
Great food (although expensive but costa rica is expensive over al we thought)
Great view of the volcano

I recommend it. We had a great time!

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Burnaby, Canada
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2009

If I had to choose a hotel with luxury this would be it. I loved our private cottage. The small added touches with the towels was a treat to be greeted to and the staff was fantastic. The buffet food was great and there was an abundance of food.
The springs were fun to go into and the pool was cool as the views of the volcano was right in front of us. We enjoyed the canopy zip lines, horseback riding. The people were friendly and helpful with translating to English. The Cano Negra tour is a must.
All in all this was a perfect resort.
If you want to see Howler monkeys then early in the morning , take the small hike in the back of the resort and once on the path go left and down a bit and then you will see at least 20 monkeys. It truly is amazing.

  • Stayed March 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Chicago
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2009

I read mixed review on this hotel so I didn’t know what to expect. I wanted hot springs at the hotel but didn’t want to pay for Tabacon or The Springs Resort. I requested a newly remodeled standard room/cabin and it was nice and clean. We had a nice view of the volcano from our porch. It wasn’t noisy but I can see why some people might complain about the “road” if you are by the entrance and everyone drives by your cabin to get to theirs. This wasn’t an issue as the hotel was far from being full.

The breakfast buffet was good but we found dinner was expensive. However, if you don’t have a car, it’s still cheaper than taking a cab to go downtown. The springs at the hotel were great. It’s definitely not Tabacon (not as luxurious and not as hot) but it’s good to relax after a busy day. I found the quality of the water to be much better than at Tabacon, it has a lot more minerals in it and you can definitely feel the difference on your skin.

Since we didn’t rent a car, we had to rely on taxis to get around and we found it was pretty much a rip-off. Half the time, the hotel tells you that no taxi is available so you can pay them and they’ll use a van from the hotel to drive you to your destination (same price as a taxi). Sometimes they tell you the van will be there in 5 minutes but you’ll have to wait 20 minutes. Here are the standard cab fares from the hotel (one-way):
- To the hanging bridges: $20
- To La Fortuna: $7
- To Tabacon: $10-12
- To the waterfall: $12-13

Later on during our trip we met people who stayed at the Arenal Paraiso and had big issues. They had complained about ants in the bathroom and were told it’d be taken care of. When they took their suitcase out of the closet on their last day, they discovered that one of them was filled with millions of ants. Our only issue was a inoperable television remote it took them 3 days to fix; overall we’d stay there again if guaranteed a remodeled room.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
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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*
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 Resort And Spa
Arenal Paraiso Hotel La Fortuna De San Carlos
Hotel Arenal Paraiso
Arenal Paraiso Hotel Resort & Spa Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park

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