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“More expensive for backpackers, but nice!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Arenal Backpackers Resort

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Arenal Backpackers Resort
350 meters west of central park, towards volcano, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park 506, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Quebec City, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“More expensive for backpackers, but nice!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2012

I was backpacking in Costa Rica and this hostel was "our pick" in the lonely planet in the budget option. Prices had raised a lot (+30% at least) from the book. We ended up in a shared tent with real mattress for 35$. It was ok, but we could elsewhere get a private room with bathroom for around that amount. Therefore it is a little more expensive than a backpacking options. Other than that, it was nice. The pool area in nice, everything is really clean and is is well situated. Make sure to bring US Dollars as the exchange rate for local colonnes kind of a rip off... We booked excisions (Baldi and a shuttle) and then found out we could have paid less money for the same thing. I would recommend this place, but know what you'll have to pay for!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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329 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 (52)
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Canterbury, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2012

and it's not just cos Freddy on reception is really cute!
I have travelled extensively across Costa Rica and I have stayed in lots of different hostels,some good,some bad, none compare to this hoste!.From the professionalism on check in, to the beautiful surroundings,the pool is stunning, the view of the volcano, great communal area(awesome for meeting other travellers).The hostel is meticulously clean, the beds comfy and the hot water in the pristine bathrooms is such a luxury.... and believe me a rarity in the majority of hostels in Cr.I reccomend this hostel highly.

Room Tip: female only dorms are avail
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 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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Tel Aviv, Israel
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2012

they have a 5 star pool!!!!!!!

that's it.

we stayed at a dorm room:

- no kitchen.
- no breakfast.
- no outlets in the room, only two in the bathroom.
- no private lightning.
- no private fans, only A/C that works automatically between 10PM till the morning.
- almost no wifi at the room (i was using my iPhone)
- couldn't sleep on their mattresses
- they charge 1$ for RENTING a towel
- and the most important thing - they were not friendly. at list the guy that was all the time in the front desk.
for example:
they've charge us 35$ for the Baldi hot springs, include buffet dinner. the rest of the hostels in town charge 28$ - include transportation! (6-7$ for a cab each way)

we payed for two nights in advance, but in the morning when we woke up and realise that after a night with almost no sleep (because of the not comfortable and noisy mattresses) we need to go and start looking for a place to get breakfast.... we decided to find a different hostel/
the guy in the front desk didnt really care for us leaving, and refuse to give our money back for the next night. after a long argument, he "talk to his boss" and gave us half back.

so -
it was clean and new, and they have an amazing pool.
dont care.

its not a "5 star hostel", its not an hostel.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Paris, France
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2012

We stayed at Arenal Backpackers for 2 nights in March 2012.
Our room was a double bedroom with a private bathroom, on the first floor. The room was nice and clean, the bed comfortable. We booked 2 tours with the hostel (night walk and day walk+baldi hot springs) and they were great.
One problem is that the hotel is noisy because of the road and because of some guests... And the restaurant is not so good: we waited 40 minutes for our breakfast and after 40 minutes they told us they didn't had pancakes anymore (of course, they had given them to other guests who had arrived long after us)! We had to eat the breakfast in 2 minutes to avoid missing our bus! Another piece of advice: don't book any trip with them in advance, from Tortuguero particularly. They told us the boat was leaving Tortuguero at 10.10 am. When we arrived, it had already left (it was at 10.00!) and we had to find another solution by ourselves to go to La Fortuna. You don't need this kind of stress when you are in holidays...
At the end of the day, we have mixed feelings about this place...

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Santa Cruz, Costa Rica
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2012

We planned on staying here for 5 nights, but checked out after 2...

The bad:

The first annoyance was they wanted to b e paid in US dollars. When we attempted to pay in local currency, they wanted to charge us a ridiculous exchange rate. Thankfully, we were carrying both US dollars and Costa Rican Colones. There is no kitchen, and the restaurant here charges a ridiculous price. The mattresses had plastic under them and made a ton of noise any time you moved. No host or owner here, just staff. AC is only on from 10pm - 10am. Not much of a community feel. Most of the people here seemed a little pretentious...

The good:
The pool was well maintained and huge. Free use of some pretty good computers. The staff were great and very helpful. If you buy the VIP card, the rate drops to $10 a night at any of the backpackers hostels, which there are 5 or 6 across the country. Very secure facility with wristband and card access. Hot water during the important parts of the day and night.

Bottom line:
If you have a higher budget, or you are an "upscale" backpacker, it may be a good choice. If you are travelling on a shoestring, I would avoid it.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Olten
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2012

ok to stay for 1-2 nights.
everything is very clean, pool is great! hot shower with great pressure, female dorms of 8 are tight if they're fully booked. mattresses have a plastic cover and it feels like sleeping on diapers.
big minus point is that there is no kitchen and the restaurant is a bit expensive. also there are nice and cheaper places to stay more in the town centre.
also due to humidity it takes long time to dry wet towels etc. they do not allow to hang it in your window for drying - because 'it does not look nice'.
also not sure if the receptionist tried to screw me with a bad exchange rate or if he just made a 'mistake' of about 10$ difference...

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2012 via mobile

I really hate to give this place a bad review but I really wanted to love this place. It calls itself a 5 star hostel but you don't really get 5 star service. All of the gripes I have I wouldn't really care about if it were a regular hostel, but since it's "5 star" I expected a little but more.

The beds were SO uncomfortable! I literally woke up every night aching because if their "orthopedic" matress. It was like sleeping on springs that made a lot of noise everytime you moved. Even after a hard hike to Certo Chato I still couldn't sleep.
The restaurant was not that expensive people! Unless you're on a very shoestring budget. We did however order two cokes and were charged 4 bucks...no worries it was our fault we didn't get them in town. But when we paid in colones we were over charged on the exchange rate. Evidently the rate went up overnight! When we told him that was a little high he shrugged his shoulders. In reality it was only a few cents but it was annoying!
I bought a calling card for their phone (I told them it was for that phone) and found out after the fact it didn't work. It would've been nice to know before I bought the card...I would've continued to call collect if I knew that.
We also had a cockroach in our room! Now I know this is Costa Rica, and were not staying at the hilton, but we spent a good hour trying to squash that thing...I'm one if those that can't sleep knowing there us a bug staring at me in the room! (we had the bathroom door closed like they suggested).
Certain staff were super cool, others not so much! Location was great just a couple minutes walk, or cab ride up the mountain. The guys we talked to were helpful about information for tours (you can get them cheaper in town). The pool was great and hammocks a nice touch.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #15 of 54 Specialty lodging in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Arenal Backpackers Resort Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park

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