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“Love this place” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel La Fortuna

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Hotel La Fortuna
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1 block south and 1 block east from La Fortuna Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park 000, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Love this place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2013

This is our third stay, and we really have no reason to look elsewhere.
The rooms are clean and comfortable, the volcano view is lovely, and the staff, mostly bilingual, are kind and look after us well.
When we've had small issues (electronic key not working, for example) the issue was sorted out quickly and with a smile.
The hotel is safe, secure, and modern. Prices vary almost by the day, so do search over a few days.
The hotel is in the heart of town, 2 blocks or so from the main park. Yes, there can be traffic noise, but again... centre of town. It's never been an issue for us.
Breakfast is included, and it's pretty basic - juice, coffee, fruit plate, scrambled eggs and toast.
All in all, we see ourselves returning here every time we come to La Fortuna.

Room Tip: Ask for a 5th floor volcano view. The rooms have tiny balconies - sliding doors. The view is great!
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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308 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (61)
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Saint John
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2013

This is my 2nd time staying at this hotel. The first time was in May 2010. The staff are super friendly and knowlegable when it comes to knowing where to eat and what the activities are like. I would recomend zip-lines, the Cerro Chato hike(watch out, it's TOUGH!) and the Baldi Hot Springs at night! Unfortunately the restaurant was closed for maintenance when we were there, it was only open for the free breakfast, but there are so many good places to eat within walking distance. I ordered alot of "typical food" and everything was always so yummy! The rooms are simple but clean and the volcano view from this hotel is probably the best in town!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Ottawa, Illinois
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2013

This review is mainly for young travellers but no matter what age, if you are single and ready to mingle so to speak, I would NOT STAY HERE. My experience comes out of a stay on the nights of April 18th and 19th as part of a G adventures tour group. I had met a girl while on an activity earlier in the day, went to dinner and drinks, and I returned to the hotel with her around 1 a.m. There we would run into the "night watchman." He stood around outside with a flashlight all night, questioning guests who arrived after 10 pm and spoke little to no English. Here was my first concern. The hotel cuts the English-speaking front desk staff at night and puts a person out front to represent them but he is not able to communicate should an issue arise, as it would that night with me. Back to the story. So as I am entering with my friend, he stops me with his hand and I show him my room card, thinking it is a formality. He then points to the girl and says, "name, name", as if he has some list he will check it against. I admit she is not staying there, but is with me tonight so all is well I think. He says 'no, no' and gestures for her to leave. We are both annoyed since in North America and most parts of the world, you are not refused entry by bringing a guest. As long as one person is staying at the hotel, it is nobody else's business really what you do as long as you are responsible in the end for your guest’s actions. So we leave and take the short walk to where she is staying, aware that she gave her key to a friend that went out for the night. We expect to just get a back-up key that her nearby hotel should have so we can get in the room. Apparently not, as the possibility of a lost key never arises there - right... So now we are stuck without a place to go and it is about 2 a.m. Frustrated, we seek the help of a local who is fluent. He appreciates the problem we have and that the girl especially has, with nowhere to go except the outdoor hotel lobby, which may or may not be safe depending on your perception of Costa Rica. The heavy law and order presence for a small town like Arenal/La Fortuna suggests issues but who knows, as much of the country was like this.

The local walks back with us and explains the problem to the "night watchman." I am thinking, ok, now this is a legitimate reason to make an exception to whatever non-existent "policy" they have of no guests at night. To my disbelief, this man does not budge, citing (in Spanish), cameras are all around and how he cannot admit anyone not staying there. At this point, I have had enough of being told what to do as a paying guest and demand to see the "guest list" he has. The reason I do this is to see where my tour leader is staying so I can elevate this, despite it being almost 3 a.m. now. I am that incensed over this that I am ready to wake him up to hopefully fix this. I am surprised when we are informed that he does not have access to any guest list nor can he log on to the computer system etc. WOW, so the story certainly has changed. He was ready to not admit my friend based on his list of who is staying in what room, but now suddenly, there is no list, and hence, he has no basis to deny entry to my friend. For all he knows, we are together. Very interesting. After I approach the desk looking for a sign of my tour leader's room #, he then starts wagging his finger at me and threatens to call POLICIA. I recognize this as an empty threat and go past him into the elevator with him trying to stop the door with his foot. I go up to the 5th floor where I know my tour leader is staying, but not which room. I try calling out and he opens the door. The watchman is not far behind. I explain my predicament and all the facts, but in the end, my tour leader went weakly with the hotel's 'policy', probably afraid to contest it, but afraid of what, I'm not sure.

So their solution is for me to pay another $50 for a room for this girl, even though I am already a guest there. I ask if we can contact the owner or management so we can at least make an exception to this 'policy'. No can do, they say, we wouldn't want to wake them up. Yeah, I guess if it is between waking someone and having a young tourist spend the late hours of the night and morning outside in an unfamiliar area, you better just chalk it up to 'not being your problem'. Why do I keep writing policy in brackets? Because, it was NOWHERE to be found on the guest directory or on anything I signed that I could not bring a guest after a certain time. That is weird that they expect people to go along with this when it is not stated anywhere. Further, I can understand a policy (if it had been documented somewhere) if its goal is to protect the underage locals from engaging in those types of services or something, but this was an American tourist in her mid-20s. Since I did not want to leave her alone in tears, in the end, we went back to her hotel and waited outside in the lobby until about 5 a.m. when someone helped us pick her lock with my room key. Yes that's right, apparently that is still possible. I thought only in movies...I complained to G adventures, and asked for some compensation, but they were unwilling and backed up this magical rule in Central America of not having hotel guests. So I came here to spread the word and save other fun-loving Canadians, Americans, Europeans from making a mistake. In case you are wondering, I am not some out of control party animal. I really just wanted to enjoy my vacation as a single guy, ok, is that too much to ask, Hotel La Fortuna? Can you appreciate that?

So in summary, if you expect to be back in your room every night before 10 pm and don't have to deal with these headaches, by all means stay here. What I ran into was not 'Pura Vida' at all. And if you do decide to stay here, and return to your room after 10 pm, since the "night watchman" seems to have no guest list for which to cross-reference guests against, I recommend ignoring him and going up the stairs to your room. Just remember though, if you meet someone cool and want to add some spice to your hard-earned vacation, why should you have to deal with that aggravation in the first place. What would these hotels do without our tourist dollars?

Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelLaFortuna, Gerente at Hotel La Fortuna, responded to this review, May 20, 2013
Dear visitor,

One of the compromises that our hotel has with its clients is keeping their total security. That is why, long time ago, we established a policy for forbidding the entrance of people that is not registered in our hotel. The job of our security guard is checking who is entering in our place to be sure that person is not going to put the calm and safeness of our guests in risk. Please, imagine what can happen if we do not monitore the entrance of people to our hotel... Any kind of people would have the opportunity of entering to our place with any kind of intentions...

People who comes to our hotel is looking for a peaceful and comfortable place to stay and we have to guarantee that to them; one of the ways we can do that is forbidding the entrance of unregistered people to avoid uncomfortable situations. Persons can not feel safe in a place where anyone can get in or out without a check... Families, couples and gruops visits us and they need to feel we are taking care of them, so they can dedicate their time to enjoy their stay in La Fortuna.

On the other hand, if a client pays for a single room, it means that room is going to be used for just one person and our staff is not allowed to let more persons to sleep in that room.

We are really sorry about the situation that you and your friend lived but at the same time, we hope you can understand our position. We can not break our security rules and put in risk the integrity of our guests.

Best regards!
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Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2013

Located on the edge of the very small downtown area this hotel provided a quiet and comfy room. It had a tv and air conditioning and a safe. Out room did not have a fridge. Bkfst was included and u can choose the type: continental, american, granola. Ours came with fruit, toast, eggs, jam, juice and coffee. The fresh fruit was tasty. Across from the hotel is a mini mart and a laundry place where she charges 1800 colones per kilo of laundry weighted after it is washed. She washed a large bag for us and had it done in 2 hrs and we wished we had just done that and packed less clothes and thus had less luggage. The hotel staff was friendly and helpful. the computer in the lobby had a poor internet connection and was slow but we didn't really need it. The staff answered all my questions and one lady in particular took the time to chat with us and make sure we felt at home. the bird watching was not good since we were in town but when u sit at bfst u have a nice view of the volcano and u are surrounded by restaurants and in town. They do not have a pool.

Room Tip: We asked for a quiet rm and were given one facing the back and heard not a thing! Very nice elevator...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelLaFortuna, Gerente at Hotel La Fortuna, responded to this review, May 17, 2013
Thank you very much for your comment! We will be considering your observations about the fridge and our Internet conection to improve our services looking for our client's comfort. We feel so glad that you received the customer service you deserve and hope you can come back some day... You will be more than welcome! Best regards!
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Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2013

The staff is great. We had a view of the Volcano which was cool. The Breakfast which is included is great. We parked are car outside and had no problems. The room we had was ok. Issues was the mattress isn't the greatest. In the bathroom water from the shower can easily get everywhere because the shower curtain doesn't keep all the water in the shower area but it's not the end of the world. T.V. is tiny.

Room Tip: Try and request a room with a view of the volcano half the hotel has views half doesn't
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelLaFortuna, Gerente at Hotel La Fortuna, responded to this review, May 17, 2013
Matthew, in the first place, we want to thank you for taking the time to leave us your opinion about our hotel. This way we can be better every day, taking our weak points and trying to become them in something good for our clients. We want to mention that we have a parking lot exclusive for our clients to keep vehicles safe. We are also considering the observations that you do about the mattress, the showers and the TV to be improving our services just for our client's comfort. Best regards!
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Melbourne, Australia
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2013

Our experience in La Fortuna was wonderful, staying at hotel la fortuna was a big part of it. Views of the volcanoe from the balcony room we stayed in were impressive and the room was very comfortable and well equipped, good location close to the heart of town which allowed us to get everywhere we needed, excellent staff and a great restaurant where we enjoyed breakfast topped it off!

Room Tip: Staying on the 4th floor we experienced little traffic noise in our balcony room.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Hollywood, CA
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2013

I was traveling solo to Costa Rica and chose Hotel La Fortuna for its central location--I wanted to be in an area where I could walk to restaurants, shops, etc. but also get to Arenal easily. The hotel location is perfect, and there are a variety of good places to eat within easy walking distance. I felt incredibly safe walking at all hours of the day and night in La Fortuna and would not hesitate to recommend that to anyone visiting the small town.

I had a volcano view room with a balcony. I did not have any trouble with road noise and the room was perfect for my needs. A comfortable bed, clean throughout, and plenty of hot water. I would have liked a chair in the room to sit, but that is really the only issue. The A/C worked so well I got cold at night and had to turn it off. The balcony is merely a step-out one so lounging on it and admiring the volcano view is not an option. But the view was amazing. Breakfast is served with the room in the bar/cafe and it includes fruit, eggs, and toast plus coffee and juice. They are very attentive and the service was great each morning, and the food was good too.

The staff really made all the difference with the hotel. They helped me schedule my tours and transfers via shuttle without any problems. Being alone I had problems finding tours I could join, since they require a minimum of two people, but the staff worked tirelessly to help me by calling all of the local tour operators and arranging everything. They also look out for their guests, a big plus when traveling alone. I came home late from a tour as I stopped to eat and shop and the next day the regular day clerk told me he was worried that I had not returned at the scheduled time and before his shift ended.

Everyone was lovely at Hotel La Fortuna, and I would return to this hotel without any hesitation should I ever find myself in La Fortuna again.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelLaFortuna, Gerente at Hotel La Fortuna, responded to this review, May 17, 2013
Kath, thank you so much for taking the time for writing this nice comment about our hotel and the service we offer to our visitors. Our objective is making our guests feel like home, and we feel so happy reading your comment, because it proves we are going on the right direction. We are taking your recommendation about adding a chair to the room, we will work on that to be better every day for our customers... You will be more than welcome in our hotel if you come back to La Fortuna some day... Best regards!
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Additional Information about Hotel La Fortuna

Address: 1 block south and 1 block east from La Fortuna Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park 000, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > La Fortuna de San Carlos
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Spa Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#10 Spa Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#32 Romantic Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel La Fortuna 3*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A uniquely designed building and an excellent location, make our hotel stands out in La Fortuna downtown. We have a central area extending up all five floors, with interior balconies looking down to the lobby, creating a sense of openness and freshness.Each floor keeps a refrigerator and free coffee. Our lobby area provides computers with free Internet and wireless. Ample and comfortable seating is perfect to relax while you enjoy our well-stocked English books exchange.Just a couple of blocks away, you can find supermarkets, drugstores, restaurants, bars, souvenir shops and everything you need for having a good vacation.And if you are looking for more relaxation or adventure, we offer you a tourist information desk inside the hotel with convenient prices for the guests. Parking lot is free and exclusive for our visitors. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel La Fortuna Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park

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