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“Value Plus for your dollar” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Arenal Palace

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Arenal Palace
1 km east of the Tabacon Resort | 8 km west from La Fortuna, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Canada
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Value Plus for your dollar”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2013

This place is one of the original resorts in this area and is showing it's age a little. BUT the view of Arenal Volcano is still magnificent as are the grounds and surrounding area. It is under new management and re-painting and other improvements are obviously underway.. The rooms are large; the full glass wall looking out on the volcano is such a huge plus here. Two comfortable queen beds; the sheets appear to be actually pressed! Squeaky clean; hot water in the showers and a staff falling over it's self to please. No problem at all with WiFi and although the TV is high up there and small, the reception is terrific. But why would anyone want to watch TV here with even a hiking trail and a pool. I loved the pool. Because this is rainforest occasionally you are even joined by a frog. How cool is that!

Love this place. Will be back again for a longer stay next year - already booked.

I do suggest two things. If you are coming to Costa Rica with the I-want-every-just-like-home attitude you won't be happy here or anywhere else short of the Marriot or one of the other multi-national sterile resorts where you could be anywhere else on the face of the planet and not care. But if you want to actually experience Costa Rica, this is where you need to get down off your high horse and meet the people. Selim and his wife are super people. Juan is such a nice young man. That pot of Costa Rican coffee they make hot and fresh just for you is so special.

The second suggestion is for the kitchen. The 'tipical` breakfast needs tortillas rather than toast. The pinto and eggs NEEDS to be stuffed in a tortilla with just a touch of Lizano sauce. Please don't let the I-want-every-just-like home tourists scare you away from catering to those of us who prefer the real Costa Rica.

Room Tip: The second floor; any room unless you want the Junior suit which for $100 is a steal!
See more room tips
  • 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
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29 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
175 reviews 175 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 74 cities Reviews in 74 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

I am writing this review in all fairness to the good people who operated this hotel.
First of all, my group paid for a higher quality hotel. Costa Rican Trails Tour Operators "switched" hotels on us when we changed the dates of our travels. Arenal Palace is NOT the same quality for the price we paid.

If you are a budget traveler or if the following criteria I will describe meet your needs, then I would recommend this hotel.

General vicinity:
Hotel has flimsy doors with one lock and no chains inside. The room has a stale odor and hard to open the windows because there are no screens and bugs come in. Pillows are made from cut up foam. Each room has two beds and one towel for each. There are no shampoos provided, just one small bar of soap. (The owner will give you one if you ask for it. That is what he told us.) The pool is not so clean. When I took a dip at night, there were frogs on the water. Internet is available only in the main area and reception fluctuates. I think that is throughout Costa Rica but not sure. We stayed in other hotels and experienced the same.

Staff:
The staff are very good. The business is run by a family and they comp our laundry because we stayed there for four days.

Repeat, if you are on a budget and can accept the descriptions above, focus on the goodness of the people and enjoy your vacation.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
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Additional Information about Arenal Palace

Address: 1 km east of the Tabacon Resort | 8 km west from La Fortuna, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > La Fortuna de San Carlos
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 28 B&Bs / Inns in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
HOTEL ARENAL PALACE is located at only 1 kilometer east of the Tabacon Resort, 8 km west from the town of La Fortuna, our deluxe rooms and our Junior Suite offer a perfect and wonderful view to the active side of the Arenal Volcano.We are sorround by the nature will only hear the sound of the birds and wildlife. We offer a warm and familiar atmosphere, mostly due to our family kept structure and our very well trained personnel, pledged to make you feel always comfortable. HOTEL ARENAL PALACE offers spacious deluxe rooms and a Junior Suite. All guest rooms features a private balcony or terrace with an unforgettable view to the Arenal Volcano and rainforests.Our guests can enjoy such in-room amenities as Air-Conditioning, Cable TV, Swimming Pool, Internet Service, private bathroom, hot and cold water, balcony with Arenal Volcano View, little freezer, coffee maker with a delicious Costa Rican coffee and king size beds.Our kitchen prepares a typical breakfast per day for our guests, with a focus on the regional cuisine of Costa Rica. We use local ingredients with an emphasis on fresh tropical fruits and vegetables. We re happy to accommodate vegetarians and special dietary requirements. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Arenal Palace Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park

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