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“It's a 3 to 4: Some good things and some small annoyances” 3 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
travelling
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
116 helpful votes 116 helpful votes
“It's a 3 to 4: Some good things and some small annoyances”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2012

This place is unique in positive and negative ways.
It has a business model somewhat different than most other places.
You have to chose yourself, whether this caters to you or not.
You could best describe it as an (inconsistent) mixture between low budget resort and upscale hostel.

neutral characteristics:
* you (and your car if you have one) are fenced in for a better security and get a wristband to be recognized
* the place doesn't provide the "heartly, family-feeling" that hostels usually do, instead it comes with the professionel, somewhat unpersonal feel of a hotel.
* for the "posh" atmosphere you pay approx. 5 USD p.person extra per night compared to other places and are missing breakfast

Pros:
* very clean (cleaned constantly throughout the day)
* nice location at the edge of the little town
* somewhat posh (nice pool area, new rooms and facilities, nice common space, nice garden)
* nice view to the volcano
* a basic restaurant / bar onsite
* Alan, the receptionist, is a friendly, attentive and professionel guy, speaking perfectly english, being able and willing to deal with your requests and wishes.

Cons:
* a bar on the opposite side of the street makes the nights noisy
* no breakfast
* the exchange rates between Dollars and Colones are very unusual, more difficult to handle and differ from reception to restaurant. Thus paying in local Colones you end up paying a "penalty" of 2% for hotel and tours and a "penalty" of 10% for restaurant and bar (Status Nov 2012)
* rooms (at least dormitories) and tents contain only a minimum of furniture, e.g the tents come with a plug but don't contain hooks or anything where you could lay or hang your belongings onto. Same applies for the shared showers.
* the way to the tents is paved with fine red sand/soil, which color you will finally find again on your tent, foot shoes, clothes...
* you pay extra for towels which are usually included (it's only a symbolic price of 1 USD but it's still a small hassle you have to ask for them)
* you have to ask extra for blankets - at least in the tents (but they are included in the price)
* A big sign at the reception is telling you "No Refunds". Does this mean whatever reason, once you're paid you're money is gone?

Room Tip: Don't book and pay in advance for more than one night. Check the place out first and decide whe...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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322 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 (51)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
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English first
Ottawa, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

We went in October so it was not very busy but it was worth it. We only had the one night and the staff were friendly and helpful in directing us to some good food and fun activities. Room was super clean - get the private bathroom - hot showers!!! The security on my room was a bit iffy as the window couldnt lock but didnt have any issues and had a lot of fun

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

I stayed here sept 2011.
At arrival the reception staff was very helpfull , friendly and spoke English . They had my reservation and observed it . I was shown to a 6 femal dorm room for 14$ a night . clean rooms the bed sheets were a little worn and crunky . Bed served it purpose . Theres safes in the room with your own key .
There is a big pool with lying down chairs . I was happy about that and used it well in the hot weather . They have a chill area with couches and drink and food place ( although I went out alot , or had meals on excursions .
I went during quiet season and couldn't get on the transfer I thought I could get to tortuguero . But when I asked the front desk and told them , they immediately told me they can and it's guaranteed even if I was alone .( amazing ) and 40). So I was happy about there help and organization .
It's a 3 min walk down the street to bars , breakfast , massages ( got volcanic scrub , massage and facial for 45$. Very touristy .
good spot for a couple days for excursions ( atv, hot springs ,volcano )

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2012 via mobile

My girlfriend and I started off our travels
In Costa Rica here and didn't want to leave. We ended up staying 2 extra nights. Very luxurious compared to other hostels. Very, very clean and spotless. Pools was a great asset, and it wasn't far at all to walk down town to La Fortuna!

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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
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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Canterbury, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
13 helpful votes 13 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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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 #16 of 52 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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