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“Friendly and Clean” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hostel Backpackers La Fortuna

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Hostel Backpackers La Fortuna
2.0 of 5 Hostel   |   La Fortuna Main Street | 100 mts west from the Park, on the Main Street, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park 506, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto, Canada
1 review
“Friendly and Clean”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2014

Hostel Backpackers is a great choice for a stay in La Fortuna. The rooms and the kitchen are very clean and the air-conditioning works well. The bar makes for good socializing and the staff are very friendly. It can get loud at times if lots of people are in the common space, but people tended to be very respectful. I would definitely stay there again!

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

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193 reviews from our community

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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 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
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English first
Paris, France
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2014

Super stay! The staff is awsome, very available to explain and advise.

However pay attention with their tourist tour (pretty good quality BUT very expensive compared with other tours proposed in town. )

  • Stayed May 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Denver, Colorado, United States
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2014

My group of 4 friends shared a private quad room at Hostel Backpackers for 2 nights. Our room was right on the courtyard on the first floor. We really enjoyed the ambiance there and thought it was a good value. This was my first stay in a hostel, and it seemed nicer than what I would have expected.

Room: The quad room had 2 twin beds and 1 queen, which is nice if you're traveling with friends. The air conditioning works well and was actually so cold that we kept the window open to get the right temperature, but we were never too hot. The shower faucet was broken when we arrived but they fixed it immediately, and there was hot water. Overall the room was basic but clean. They require a $2 deposit for your room key and $5 per towel, but you get it back when you return them.

Amenities: The courtyard has a tiki bar where they give you a free welcome drink when you arrive. The bar plays music pretty loudly during the evening (our room was right next to it) but they shut it off promptly at 10pm. They have hammocks, foosball, and a small shared kitchen with refrigerators and microwave. They have a sister hotel down the street with a pool that you can use, but I didn't have a chance to check it out. They also have a free parking lot a block away.

Service: The staff was friendly and helpful when we asked them for good places to eat in the area. Everyone we talked to spoke both English and Spanish.

Location: It is right in the middle of La Fortuna, so within 2-3 blocks you can find plenty of restaurants/bars, souvenir shops, a park, and a grocery store. It was about a 5 minute drive to the La Fortuna Waterfall hike and about 20 minutes to Arenal National Park.

Overall, I would definitely stay here again and would recommend it to others.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2014

We stayed there for for two nights in a private room (vs. shared dorm). The location was pretty good and our host, Jessica, was friendly. She gave us a summary of where everything was in town and recommended a couple sodas that were well priced and served good food.

My biggest critique of this hostel was their customer service in general. This was highlighted with a couple things I will elaborate on.

Tours: they REALLY pushed us towards participating in the tours they provided. We had informed them that our main interest was hiking near the Arenal Volcano and visiting the free hot springs (vs. Tabacon which costs about $70 per person. After explaining that we would rather do these things on our own, as we personally enjoy the freedom more, we noticed that their warmth towards us quickly faded. When we asked about taxi fares to Arenal National Park, they told us it would cost about $35-40 each way (in reality it was about $20-25). They were not very helpful when we tried to inquire about other possible hiking trails. As a result, we spent two hours researching on our own and ended up going to the El Silencio Reserve ($16 taxi, $6 entry per person). We recommend going to the Reserve if you want a less crowded experience. It seemed that very few people knew about this place and the view of the volcano was pretty breathtaking at the viewpoint.

Hot water: it is advertised that this place provides hot water but we barely got any of it. I informed the staff of our lack of hot water in the showers on the first night and they quickly realized that our fuse had been switched off. I got about a minute of hot water before it turned cold again but I didn't bother going out since I had already started. The following night, I told them about our situation again (after turning down the tours) and I was told to go back to my room and they would come fix it in five minutes. Nothing happened for 20 minutes so I returned to the front desk. They had totally forgotten about our issue and had told me once again that someone was to come in five minutes. I decided to wait at the front so they wouldn't forget again; I sat there for 30 minutes. After they hit the switch, we had hot water, but once again for only about a minute. I didn't even bother bringing this up again as I was pretty fed up already and we would be leaving the next day.

To sum it up, their biggest asset is their location. I personally feel that their lack of quality customer service really hampered my experience at La Fortuna and I would not go there again if given the chance.

Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
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Mario P, Host at Hostel Backpackers La Fortuna, responded to this review, May 9, 2014
Hello,

I am Jessica, your host in Hostel Backpackers La Fortuna.
First at all, I would like to apologize you did not enjoy your stay with us.
Concerning your complain, as I told you, we offer two different hikes. One is inside the National Park and one cheaper, exclusively for customers (so not crowded) in a private farm between the Arenal National Park and the lake. After this hike, if you want, we could drop you off for two hours in the Natural Hot River for usd$45.00, transportation, local naturalist and bilingual guide, entrance and refreshment included.
In reception, you have a sign with the prices of our official taxi for the different destinations around La Fortuna. Effectively, the Arenal National Park is at 17.6km of the center and it costs usd$30.00 (and not usd$35.00 or usd$40.00) one way, more the usd$10.00 entrance fee per person and without guide.
And from the hostel to the Natural Hot Springs, you have 11.1km, which it costs usd$16.00 one way with our taxi.
“El Silencio” Reserve is not part of the National Park and it is located at 10km from the center that is why the ride is cheaper.
Also, we could found cheaper taxi in town, but did you think about why are they cheaper? The reason is they are not certified and professional taxi, which is said if you have an accident, you are not covered by insurance. It is up to you to choose between few dollars difference and your security.
Quality of the service and security are priorities for us, I am feeling really sorry you did not feel like that, and it is why we work with an official taxi company.
Also, we do not care if you booked a tour through us or not, you asked me about hikes we offer in the Arenal area, and I just answered you. You asked me about do that by yourself, I replied you. And you asked me about the Arenal Volcano hikes, and not for the different trails you have in the area.
Honestly, if you would like to push people to contract tours, we will do not have a sign in reception describing you all the activities you can do on your own in the area. On it, we recommend Cerro Chato hike, where on the top, you have the more spectacular views ever on the Arenal Volcano. It costs usd$10.00 entrance fee per person and usd$8.00 one way with our taxi.
Regarding the second point, you are right, you first complain for the lack of hot water, and the breaker was off. We put it on and after you take your shower, you told us it was all right. Day after, you came back to let us know hot water was not working again. We called the technician, and effectively, it did not came in the 5 minutes, I apologize the service was not fast and efficient as you want.
It was holiday day, so half of the maintenance staff was reduced and when the hostel is full, we have more than 50 persons to care of. We did not forgot about your problem, and when you came and sit in reception for a while, we called back several times the technician to pressure him, telling him you were sitting here waiting for him. He came as fast as possible he could.
If the hot water did not work after the revision, you should let us know, because that is meaning we have a bigger trouble, and not just be quiet and complain after leaving, when we are totally powerless.
If you were report again this annoyance, we could found a solution. We could switch your room or offer you some compensation before check out.
I apologize again and feel sorry you leaved with that opinion.
Best regards.

Your host,
Jessica Rubin
Hostel Backpackers La Fortuna
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Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2014

Our flight was delayed to San Jose, so we didn't end up getting to La Fortuna until around 9 PM. We walked around to a couple of places on the main street and this hostel offered the best price: $45/night for a private room and bathroom. They went down to $40 for our second night, since we paid in cash.

The room was basic but clean. There was air conditioning, which we didn't expect, as well as a closet and dresser (a lot of the other hostels we stayed at were just a double bed, no storage space). Hammocks, lots of communal places to sit, clean open-air kitchen, game area with darts and foosball table, free "welcome drink" etc. They also helped us book an awesome horseback riding tour.

On the downside, they played loud reggaeton a lot. We didn't bother with their sister hostel with the "wet bar," since that's not really our scene. You could tell that they were sort of trying to make it a hip, youth "party hostel", which sort of took away from the "rustic Costa Rica" vibe we were going for. It felt more like a hotel than a hostel, honestly. We ended up finding a much, much cheaper, quieter place for our third night, off the central strip, which was more of our style. But overall safe, easy, and helpful staff.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mario P, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Hostel Backpackers La Fortuna, responded to this review, May 9, 2014
Hello!
We would like to thank you sincerely have taken 5 minutes of your time to share your experience with future travelers and help us to optimize the service we are providing.
It was a real pleasure to welcome you and hope to have the opportunity to have you again with us.
Receive our best regards.

Sincerely,
All the staff of Backpackers Hostel La Fortuna
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2014

I recently stayed at Hostel Backpackers La Fortuna. The staff were amazing, and very helpful. The hostel is very clean and had a great feel to it. There was hot water, the taps are reversed. AAA location for all the activities in the area. This was my first stay at a hostel, I'm 56 and very well travelled, I will include hostels in future travel plans... this is great value.
Todd,
Toronto

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mario P, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Hostel Backpackers La Fortuna, responded to this review, May 9, 2014
Hello!
We would like to thank you sincerely have taken 5 minutes of your time to share your experience with future travelers and help us to optimize the service we are providing.
It was a real pleasure to welcome you and hope to have the opportunity to have you again with us.
Receive our best regards.

Sincerely,
All the staff of Backpackers Hostel La Fortuna
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, Ile-de-France, France
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2014

There is no swimming pool in the hotel while they pretend to have one (the description is not good). You have to go to another hotel to take the breakfast. They lie in order to be sure that you go to activities in which they have gratuity...
So even if installations are ok, I do NOT recommend this hotel at all.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mario P, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Hostel Backpackers La Fortuna, responded to this review, May 3, 2014
Hello

I am Jessica Rubin, your host at Hostel Backpackers La Fortuna.

First at all, I apologize you did not enjoy your stay with us.
Regarding your complain, I would like to tell you that you can check every websites’ pages we work with, our, Booking.com, Hostelworld, Hostelbookers, Expedia, or Reseliva, and in the description of the facilities, you absolutely never read that we have a swimming pool.

We have a games’ zone, and our sister place, the Arenal Hostel Resort, have a swimming pool and a restaurant. On check in, we give a bracelet to every customer for two reasons, your security, and if they want to use the different installations of both hostels. It is like a plus we offer to have interactivity between both establishments, and so meet more travelers.

Rooms are rent without breakfast included. For breakfast, you have different options; it is up to you to choose what is more convenient for you. We have a full-furnished kitchen with free coffee, filters and sugar for you, available 24/24h, a toaster and everything you need if you want to cook your own breakfast and do not spend money outside.

Effectively, we offer a full buffet breakfast, all-you-can-eat, in our sister hostel at 20 meters for usd$07, 00 per person. Go there is not an obligation at all, you are free to take it or not.
Furthermore, on check in, we give a map of the center to customers with basic information like some “sodas”, or where the bakery is.

And regarding activities, your review is a little bit offensive. Each worker, receptionists or hosts had the obligation to realize for free, and can do that again every time they want each one of the tours we offer. The reason is we want employees know exactly what they are selling to bring the best explication and service possible. We do not mind if you contract a product or another one, we do not have any interest on it. Also, in reception, you have a sign describing you all the activities you can do yourself, which is say by our own in La Fortuna.

I am feeling really sorry for the inconveniences, but I think your feedback is only a critic without concrete facts.

Best regards.
Your host,
Jessica Rubin
Hostel Backpackers La Fortuna
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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 Hostel Backpackers La Fortuna

Address: La Fortuna Main Street | 100 mts west from the Park, on the Main Street, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park 506, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > La Fortuna de San Carlos
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 62 Specialty Lodging in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Hostel Backpackers La Fortuna 2*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A premium Hostel Backpackers in La Fortuna. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hostel Backpackers La Fortuna Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park

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