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“Fantastic place in La Fortuna!” 5 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
Thousand Oaks, California
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Fantastic place in La Fortuna!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2012 via mobile

One of the cleanest hostels I've ever stayed in. Cleaned everyday and the bathrooms are always stocked with soap.
The staff is so friendly and their security is top notch. They exchange bracelets everyday I make sure of it.
Their restaurant has a great selection at reasonable prices if you don't feel like going out.
Tons of touring discounts and the wifi all over the hostel is strong. Beds were soft and warm and the hammocks outside are perfect for relaxing.
Highly recommended!

  • Stayed November 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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340 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 (55)
Date | Rating
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English first
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2012

Super clean hostel, fantastic pool with helpfull staff. We stayed in the dorm, it was comfortable, although the matresses are plastic. It's a great place to meet other travelers. They turn off the music at eleven so you can get a good night's sleep. They offer food for purchase and it's pretty good too! There is no kitchen.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
73 hotel reviews
Reviews in 72 cities Reviews in 72 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

We were greeted by the owner the moment we arrived at the gate, given a welcome cocktail and warmly informed of the hostels events, facilities and services. Staff continued to be helpful throughout our staff, organising tours on our behalf and even helped us book onward accommodation. We were lucky enough to be there for the Halloween party which, though being relatively low key was a great night and we enjoyed a BBQ, some karaoke and as usual the good drinks from the bar.
We ended up in the largest room of the hotel, which catered for 8. We were traveling as a 3 so appreciated the extra space however considering the hotel was full for the days we were there, it meant we may have missed out on a balcony room. Which didn't overly bother us. There were soap dispensers in the bathroom and the beds were comfortable enough. Our hot water was little temperamental.
The location is great, halfway up the main street in town, the staff can advise the nearby attractions but we can recommend the La Fortuna waterfall walk as a good half-day walk. As the area is prone to rain bring adequate protection. Typically with volcanoes, Arenal was covered in cloud the entire time we were there so keep weather conditions in mind. Overall a great stay.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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San Ramon, Costa Rica
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

Hello my name is Tiaan Anderson I am from Canada and have been travelling in Costa Rica for 6 weeks, been to several Backpackers all over the country! But this one by far stands out! With no higher charge Arenal Backpackers Resort offers free internet and monitors, nice dorm rooms with private bathrooms in each dorm! Hot water! Amazing pool and atmosphere! It was busy with lots of people from all over the world, so much fun to meet new people and enjoy a drink with them at the swim up bar. The restaurant was awesome! Breakfast was quick, cheap and filling and got me on my way! Allen helped with all my arrangements for activities, and bookings, taxis and places to go party! The backpackers gives discounts for many things in La Fortuna, and in conclusion I will for sure be going back there and highly reccomend it! Friendly staff and really nice dorms! I would give it a 5 star! And thats what it is!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Sprague, WA
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

OK... it can get confusing since the names are so close to each other, but please make sure you know which place you actually reserved (and it may not always save you the most money to reserve beforehand)

At first I stayed 2 nights at the Arenal Hostel Resort. It was great, no reservations, $10 a room but I had two travel mates so they just gave us a private with two queens the first night no extra charge. It was nice but more of a family hotel than anything and I feel weird drinking a beer with kids running around. Still great people and i would recommend it if that's your thing.

Then I went further up the road to Arenal Backpacker's Hostel and also found this to be a great place but for some different reasons; the main one being I wanted a place to go and meet other 20-30 somethings and just liked the idea of doing something new after my two friends left. Diego the owner (I am pretty sure) is absolutely fantastic and will help you find all the things locally that you want to do and doesn't push anything on you that you don't want to. The staff was extremely nice and the whole area seemed extremely clean and comfortable.

I would def stay there again. Maybe ask for an extra sheet, they only give one and i am not sure if they change the bottom one. I am sure they would be happy to oblige.

Room Tip: There are some tents for more money, they are close to each other but have a queen or king size bed.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
travelling
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
127 helpful votes 127 helpful votes
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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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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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 #19 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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