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“Love it!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Arenal Backpackers Resort

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Arenal Backpackers Resort
2.0 of 5 Hostel   |   350 meters west of central park, towards volcano, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park 506, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Canterbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
45 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Love it!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2012

This is the hostel of hostels , not like a hostel at all. It has an amazing rooms,a huge swimming pool, a restaurant, the Costa Rican breakfast is yummy.Plus the staff are fluent in English and are friendly and really helpful, Freddy who works there is a sweetheart!!! I stayed on my second night in Costa Rica and it was a great begining to an awesome holiday.
I recc staying there highly!!!

Room Tip: All the dorms are great, you can either have mixed or all female.
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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480 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (67)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Prescott, Arizona
Level Contributor
38 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2012

Unlike some of the other reviews I read, the people in the facility were actually very hospitable and benign. I'm not just referring to the check-in area, but the person in the small diner they have to the janitor there. My friend and I had no qualms about service what-so-ever. The tent was $32, but since we split the cost it wasn't bad in actuality. Otherwise the dorms were $12 and the private rooms I'm not certain of.
The only downfall to our stay was the weather. I highly advise to travel there when the wet season is over. It was overcast and rained for most of our stay which put a damper on some activities we did or wanted to do. In light of that, the establishment was one of the best places we stayed in on our travels throughout Costa Rica (which consisted of hostels mainly). The tent my friend and I shared was fantastic (although it would be better for an actual couple haha). I was elated to see the tent area in which we stayed in for a few nights. They were elevated on a wooden platform with lights at each corner which provided a lovely lit walkway at nighttime. The beds were comfortable, but some of the sheets had stains and holes in the fabrics. I tried not to ponder on it too much!
Another aspect which facilitated our trip was booking expeditions through the front desk person. Since we stayed in a few chain hostels by the same owner/company we were able to make reservations for a white water rafting trip in another district which was marvelous and efficient for us!
All in all, definitely stay here for a more safe and pleasing experience. It's well worth it.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2012

This was the second hostel my friend and I stayed at in Costa Rica and it's pretty impressive although could make a few improvements. The reception area is welcoming, the staff are extremely friendly and can offer some great advice, the restaurant (although not particularly cheap) serves some fantastic food/snacks, there are 4 computers with free fast internet access, there are some beautiful tents you can stay in if you're willing to pay a little extra, there are plenty of bathrooms and plenty of room in the dorm rooms. The pool looks amazing I must admit and other people never seemed to have a problem but the water in the pool turned my friend's hair green which didn't best please her! Maybe some sort of chemical imbalance or something? Oh, and the view from the grounds is one of the best in Arenal/La Fortuna I reckon! The volcano is stunning (when it isn't covered in cloud!).
Anyway, the air con was a little annoying. Granted, it had air con. But this was put on automatically by staff at about 10pm and then it didn't go off until 10am the next morning. As they ultimately have the controls you can't alter the temperature and so the people in my room were freezing most of the first night there. We altered the temperature a little after this but as happens in a hostel not everyone agreed on this being better!
Oh, and you had to stand at the end of the pathway at night by a locked gate waiting for someone to buzz you in from reception. Several times we must have stood there for 5 mins or more waiting for the guy on reception to notice us without shouting! I know it's for security but I would say they need to look that way a little more, ha!
All in all though a pretty good stay and pretty good value for money! Well done!

Room Tip: You might want to fiddle with the air con temperature in the dorm rooms!
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
35 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2012

I stayed here in March 2009 with 3 buddies and being the traveler that I am we did not spend too much time in the actual hostel, but like any good hostel you can meet people from all over the world and they have a place to chill out and get a drink. The staff was great in giving info about the city and tours. I had a blast in Arenal.

Room Tip: make sure you do the hot springs and the rafting tours
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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San Francisco, California
2 reviews
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2012

I booked this hotel through Expedia and when I got there, I received very rude service from the hotel clerk. I was interrogated about where I made the reservation and then how much I paid and if I paid. Then he proceeded to make up a lie about the room being flooded and sent us to another hotel. We had to change hotel rooms for each night of our stay, it was not fun. I ended up canceling the last night. The only good thing I can say is that they did give me a refund for the last night. I also heard from other people who stayed there that another couple ran into the same problem of booking the hotel through Expedia and not getting a room. My advice is to ask people who have traveled there and do some research. La Fortuna looked like it had a bunch more cute hotels and I'm sure they were nicer than this one.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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2 reviews
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2012

Through Expedia we booked and paid for our private room for a 3 night stay over 3 months before our trip and when we arrived at the desk the clerk was definitely surprised to see us and generally did not make an effort to welcome us. Instead of welcoming us, he interrogated us about having a reservation, if we've paid for it already, when did we make our reservation? etc...After making a few phone calls to "his bosses" he finally made up an excuse saying that our room was damaged due to a recent rain and that we would have to stay at an adjacent hotel. It seems more likely that they overbooked and didn't want to tell us. (We later found out that the same thing happened to another party).
We found out that we would have to switch to another nearby hotel for the second night. (This hotel was across the street next to a nightclub (the nightclub played terrible music until 3AM) Needless to say we wanted to leave and canceled our third night.
We contacted Expedia and worked with them and the hostel to make sure that we were refunded for our third night. (They gave Expedia a totally different reason for not having the room available to us.)

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
97 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2012

This place is a very nice place to relax if you're on a tight budget. I think a bed in a dorm room costs $10-15 per night. The attached open-air restaurant was a nice plus. They have a great pool with swim-up bar. They played pop music from around the world...a little loud at times, but it's a hostel and I expected as much. Comfortable hammocks allow for complete relaxation with the most beautiful view of VolcánArenal, the world's third most active volcano. I was constantly reminded of just how close I was to this majestic monster by frequent mini tremors and the smell of sulfur, not to mention the sound of actual volcanic eruptions. They have very well-kept tents with real beds, private rooms with private baths, clean restrooms and showers, and, of course, dorm rooms with four sets of bunk beds. There were limited hours that hot water and air conditioning were available, but that didn't bother me. The air was on all night, so I slept comfortably. As for the lack of hot water? Not a problem, since the water there never gets cold anyway.

Room Tip: If I stayed there again, I would likely get a tent, rather than a shared room. None of the rooms is...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
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Additional Information about Arenal Backpackers Resort

Address: 350 meters west of central park, towards volcano, 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:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #19 of 62 Specialty Lodging in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Arenal Backpackers Resort 2*
Number of rooms: 11
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Arenal Backpackers Resort Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park

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