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:
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
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!
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Travelocity, Booking.com, Orbitz, Hotels.com, Tingo, Priceline, BookingOdigeoWL, Expedia, Venere and Otel so you can book your Volcano Lodge & Springs reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- 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