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“Can't say enough good things about Volcano Lodge - a gem in La Fortuna” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Volcano Lodge & Springs

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Volcano Lodge & Springs
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   La Fortuna de San Carlos-Arenal Lake road | 7 Km West from Downtown, Road To Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica (Formerly Volcano Lodge & Gardens)   |  
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25% off room rate
Lawrenceville, GA
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
“Can't say enough good things about Volcano Lodge - a gem in La Fortuna”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2009

Okay, here's the deal...we were in Costa Rica with a large group from church to do some mission work in the Alajuela/San Jose area. After a week of staying in a 'rustic' dormitory type environment with 25 new friends my wife and another couple stayed behind in Costa Rica longer than the rest of the team to see the sights. We only had a few days so we decided to go to Arenal area/La Fortuna based on the fact that none of us have seen an active volcano. Some friends who live in Costa Rica set us up with the Hotel Paraiso for 2 of the 3 nights we would be in the area - but could not get us in the first night. So I went online and using Expedia (through TripAdvisor) found the Volcano Lodge.

Maybe it was just because we were going from a dorm type environment with no A/C (and no screens on the windows, and communal showers, etc...but hey, we were on a mission trip!) - but the Volcano Lodge was truly a blessing. Here are the pros and cons:

Pros:
1. Hotel rooms are outstanding - clean (spotless), with comfortable beds, excellent air conditioning, big roomy bathrooms, and great views.
2. The grounds are gorgeous - truly representative of the tropics (reminded us a lot of Hawaii). Everywhere you looked there was color and beautiful flowers and plants, plus tons of hummingbirds.
3. The pools were great - both have hot tubs (the one in the front is covered, the other one near the Sura restaurant is massive and very secluded but still with a great view of the Volcano)
4. The service was first rate, especially from Yeine (not sure if that is the proper spelling, it is pronounced Janie) and Lester at the front desk. Very courteous, friendly and provided excellent service.
5. The two PCs in the lobby with free Internet were a nice feature that we took advantage of. Some guests tended to stay on for a longer time than the recommended 15 minutes but it was still very convenient

Cons:
1. Not sure there is anything that was significant enough to be included. Are the walls thin, like another reviewer noted? Yes, they are - but not enough to be a problem. The roofs are tin and when it rained (which we got a lot of, unfortunately) it is loud - but in a good way. Not sure what the reviewer who complained about the lighting was talking about - we did not notice it to be too dim. There are some cows that moo loudly in the morning in a neighboring field as well but we did not find that to be a problem. The food at Sura restaurant (the one in the back, we never made it to the one out front near the lobby) was pretty good overall. The breakfast buffet was at Sura everyday and it was okay to good, with made to order eggs being the highlight. I had the "housekeepers homemade soup" one lunch and it was absolutely delicious - full of meat stock, veggies, peppers, etc with some spices that give it some kick. My wife had a chicken sandwich at lunch that was also excellent. We had steaks there one night for dinner and while the portions were large and the price reasonable my filet was undercooked. I thought the prices were pretty reasonable overall, again I don't agree with the reviewer who thought the food was expensive.
2. The rooms with double beds (I think we stayed in 118?) are not as nice as the rooms with king beds (we stayed in 217), at least from our experience. The king bedrooms are a little nicer with more added touches (i.e. mood lighting).

Please note that we did not try out any of the spa services while there.

Because we did not know the area and the roads in Costa Rica are worse than I even imagined we had a bus company take the four of us in a van to Arenal and are glad we did, even at a cost of $130 one way. I think we probably could have made it but street signs are lacking and I did not want to get lost. We did, however, rent a car while in Arenal on the middle day of our stay and saved having to spend a lot of money on taxis...we were able to drive to the Hotel Observation Lodge (closest to the volcano) and enjoyed the views from there (lunch in their restaurant, quite frankly, sucked) as well as some hiking on their trails, where he heard but did not see a howler monkey (kinda freaky!). We also had dinner in town at La Choza de Laurel (or something like that - located next to the Burger King), the food was great, plentiful and reasonable (our friend said it was his best meal while in Costa Rica).

Maybe the only real con to this place is that they do not have a plethora of hot springs as other resorts in the area do. However, we heard that you can still experience the springs at other resorts or parks for a slight fee.

To give you an idea of how much we liked this place, after we spent the second night at the Hotel Paraiso (a resort with much higher billing, has 8-10 hot springs, just a couple of minutes up the road) we were so disappointed that we returned to the Volcano Lodge for the third night of our stay in La Fortuna.

Would we stay here again if we returned to the area - you betcha. Great room, great staff, gorgeous facility at a reasonable price overall...does not get any better than that!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Toronto
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2009

We had two rooms side by side at the far end of the hotel complex. The unit overlooked the wonderful gardens and further off, a small river. It was private and quiet and the view was lovely. The gardens around the hotel were beautiful and the short walk up to the restaurant/pool area was grand. Breakfast, included in price, was hearty with lots of whole fruit to take away for snack. Staff were friendly and communication was easy. Rooms, pathways, pool, etc were very clean. The maids made a different towel sculpture every day. The rooms were somewhat dark and that would be my only reservation. We didn't spend much time in the rooms so that was not an issue for us.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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NYC
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2009

We stayed here for 3 nights and everything was great from beginning to end. My only reservations about the place would be the paper thin walls, the bug bites I got while sleeping, and the poor lighting throughout the room. (read below for more detail)

Otherwise, I would highly recommend the place to others. The front staff was very friendly and helpful and helped booked all our activities. The highlight of my trip was horseback riding to the volcano...the view was simply breathtaking. We also tried canonying and ziplining (in Monteverde) but these activities were honestly a bit boring for me...don't get much of a view, moved too quickly to appreciate the surroundings, and didn't get "the rush" that others have mentioned. I think going to six flags gives me 10x more rush than those benign adventures.

Liked:
Beautiful volcano view from our room...and even better view when we were swimming and laying out by the pool by the front desk. (There are two swimming pool areas)

Great, consistent service and super helpful staff. They helped us plan all our activities and things went so smoothly.

Air-conditioned rooms...you need it b/c it can get stuffy and humid in Arenal

Great breakfast buffet

Two computers with internet connection at the lobby...wish there were more computers but we usually didn't have to wait too long to use it

Disliked:
Woke up with 10+ bug bites every night! I never saw any bugs (with the exception of a slug that managed to get into the room) but I guess some mosquitos must have been sitting quietly in the room. This is kind of expected though because both your front door and back door open directly to the great outdoors, so a bug or two could definitely get in.

Paper thin walls..can hear people talking next door..can even hear them peeing if I am very quiet...didn't bother me much b/c I was rarely in the room, but if you get bad neighbors I can see how this can be a problem

Dim fluorescent lighting which made the place feel a bit bleak/ depressing. I love warm, bright lights but I was able to get over this by the 2nd day. We were mainly using the room to sleep at night so it didn't pose to be too much of a problem.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Chicago, IL
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2009

Volcano Lodge is surrounded by pretty grounds, and the Jacuzzi was huge and great! The big one in the back was hot and cleaned each day. The Volcano peaked through the clouds a couple days of our 4 day stay. The food in the Restaurant by the pol...Sutra I think was its name was not really good at all and really expensive for Costa Rica. The guy who helped us check-in said it was the less expensive one, but we ate at the Restaurant at the front of the grounds and it was A LOT better, and not really that much of a price difference.
The staff was helpful and friendly as most in Costa Rica are, and there were computers and internet access in the reception but NOT by the pool like they will tell you. We me a very nice ground keeper who walked the hotels trail with us and it was really pretty. The only real down side about this place is that the rooms have not been remodeled since the 70s, but they are very clean. Also, a huge group came during the middle of our stay and crowded out the restaurants and the pools so ask before booking.

  • Stayed July 2009
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Modesto, California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2009

We loved our stay here. It was the highlight of our trip and we wished we had longer. The grounds were lovely (visited by Howler monkeys during our stay) and the service was great. For some reason neither spa was heated enough to really be a spa. Seemed like a waste to heat them barely over the pool temp. Restaurant food was good enough to keep us coming back.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 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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Cambridge, MA
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2009

The Volcano Lodge was too touristy/American-focused for our taste. We stayed here for three nights. The pools were nice and not too over-crowded; there is a nice swim-up bar and hot tub at one of the pools. The food at the two restaurants was average. The hotel staff was friendly and attentive. We wanted a bit more Costa Rican culture, and of the places we stayed throughout the country, this place was lacking. The rooms are nice and the views of the volcano are beautiful, but I would recommend less commercial lodging if you are interested in a vacation from America.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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San Francisco
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2009

Nice room, beautiful garden, friendly staff, good cafe. What else can you ask of a hotel? :-)
Very happy staying.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Volcano Lodge & Springs

Address: La Fortuna de San Carlos-Arenal Lake road | 7 Km West from Downtown, Road To Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica (Formerly Volcano Lodge & Gardens)
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > La Fortuna de San Carlos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#12 Romantic Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#14 Family Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Volcano Lodge & Springs 3*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
At VOLCANO LODGE AND SPRINGS, located in La Palma, La Fortuna de San Carlos, at the foot of the majestic Arenal Volcano, our hot springs and lush tropical garden gives you joy and relaxation to our guests and companions. Undoubtedly, our location allows you to witness the imposing Arenal Volcano from a vantage point. QUALITY SERVICE: Knowing that service is the main reason of hospitality, the Volcano Lodge & Gardens’ team, will do our best to make your stay a very fond memory to take home. FACILITIES: All our 66 rooms are Superior and non smoking, have deluxe finishes, 2 comfortable full size beds or 1 king size bed, TV/cable, telephone, air-conditioned, coffee maker, hot water shower, hairdryer and a nice terrace facing the Volcano. We also offer 4 rooms for handicap. RESTAURANT:Sura Restaurant, capacity: 120 people, we’ll be offering you our traditional local and international food, while you enjoy the majestic view of the volcano, birds surrounded nature. You can ask for room service too. OTHER FACILITIES: *Two swimming pools for adults, two swimming pools for children and two Jacuzzis, all of them with view to the Volcano.*Laundry service, Private parking, Internet Access / Wireless Free, Tours information, nature trail, Playground.* Massages Service from 9 am to 9 pm. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Volcano Lodge And Gardens
Volcano Lodge & Gardens Hotel La Fortuna De San Carlos
Volcano Hotel
Volcano Lodge & Springs Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park

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