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“Nice hotel” 4 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
USA
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Nice hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2013

The English speaking staff is very welcoming and friendly, ready to help with any question.
The room was very spacious, clean and simple. It had A/C, hot water all day long and a safe.
The wifi is reasonable, the 3 computers at the lobby - extremely slow.
Breakfast was basic and okay for what I needed to start my day.
The location is nice - it is in the center of La Fortuna (walking distance from anything you might need) but not on the main street, so it is relatively quiet.
If you travel alone and/or want to meet other travelers, I am not sure if this is the best place. This place has a hotel vibe and not hostel - common area is limited and not inviting. For a good hostel I would recommend Arenal Hostel Resort where my friends stayed.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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304 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 (60)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2013 via mobile

We stayed for only one night but we had a nice clean room, cool A/C, great view of Volcan Arenal, walking distance to the bus station, and a yummy filling breakfast. I would recommend this hotel to couples, families, and groups.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, California
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2013

In May 2013 with one night left to book for our trip to the La Fortuna area of Costa Rica (our other accomodation was not available for this night) I looked at several BnB's and small boutique hotels but couldn't find anything I liked. We had steered clear of traditional hotels but had to book the Hotel La Fortuna because there was no other alternative for the one night.
It turned out to be a good decision. We were greeted cheerfully right from the start. The hostess helped us with information about tours, restaurants, grocery stores and everything else we needed. For the first two hours after our arrival there was no air-conditioning and we didn't have to ask, we were supplied with a fan. The room was very clean and efficient with good hot water from the shower, suffient linens, extra pillows and tv. My only comment would be that there was no ice machine and the restaurant was only open for breakfast. Otherwise I would highly recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2013

My brother and I stayed here during our time in La Fortuna / Arenal. The staff was extremely helpful, especially the one hotel desk clerk. He was able to point us to where to eat, what tours we could do with out time there, information about the volcano, etc. He even let us in to a higher room to get pictures of the volcano one evening because the sky was perfect!

The location was great too because we were able to walk to all the different shops and restaurants around. If you are going to the thermal springs for an evening, be advised that the taxi fare is a tad expensive to get out there! (to Tabacon Resort Spa was $20 each way).

Note: everyone goes to La Fortuna to see the lava flow on the volcano at night. It has been inactive for some 3 years and seeing the lava is not likely to happen. Wish we had been told that before booking our stay.

Room Tip: Be sure to request a room with a view of the volcano when you book. If they can accomodate, they wi...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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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 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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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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
#29 Top resorts Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#30 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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