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“Must've gotten the short end of the room stick” 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
Hollywood, Florida
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Must've gotten the short end of the room stick”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2013

After reading what Lonely Planet had to say about Arenal Backpacker's Resort my partner and I were excited to stay at this hostel. When we arrived on the property we were pleased to see that what was written in LP was true. The pool area is beautiful and they have an area with hammocks strung from palm tree to palm tree. The bummer was when we got our room. When we opened the door we were greeted by a dead roach. After that when you look around the room (#8) we noticed that the walls were all scuffed up and the bottom of the walls were unfinished (no baseboards). It almost seemed as if they were going to start redoing the room, but then decided against it.

Seeing that we were staying at a hostel those things normally wouldn't bother me, but based on the LP write up and the fact that they bill themselves as a "5-Star Hostel Resort" I was bit bummed. Overall, it's a good place to stay but keep in mind (no matter the pictures you see of the rooms) that it's a hostel. As for the pool area and hammocks - that was awesome!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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366 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 (59)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Toronto
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2013

This is a nice little spot that isn't too expensive (for Costa Rica). The pool is really fabulous and well-maintained and the dorm room and bathrooms were incredibly clean and nice. The place is close to the town (you can walk). The staff are friendly and helpful. They booked my tours which were OK--it's always better to do your own research. They recommended the Bali hot springs but Paradiso was cheaper and less crowded (and I believe just as nice). The horseback tour was OK.

Also, the food at this place is expensive. It is the same as what you'd pay in the US so in that way it is not overpriced. But there are cheaper dining options in town at little sodas (look by the bus station) for those of you looking not to break the bank. You can get full plates of food for less than $5.

Finally, it is better to come to this place with a pal--it's not the most conducive to meeting people as it is less a hostel than a traditional hotel but with dorms.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2013 via mobile

its a high quality hostel. we've stayed in a private room with bath. the room was big and clean, with an a/c. the hostel is full of flowers and trees, and even a small pool. its a good price for this beautiful hostel. breakfast is not included, but you can have it for 5$ i think. i can recommend this hostel.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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East Haddam, Connecticut
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

they have reasonable price tours. (there are many street tour agencies but usually they are more expensive than the tours offered in the hostel.) Bathrooms and shower rooms are very clean as well. Their rooms are also nice, but the tent area is too loud until 2 am. I could not sleep well because of party music near the hostel. And tents are really small.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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San José, San Jose, Costa Rica
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013

The only thing that would make it perfect would be if it included breakfast and towels. Other than that, I have absolutely no complaints. I stayed in the shared dorms. $15 per night is not a bad price at all, especially considering how big the rooms were and how clean it was. There's also really comfy mattresses, hot water, air conditioning, and free Wifi that works in the rooms. The food at the restaurant is delicious..maybe a little overpriced but then again, so are all the restaurants in La Fortuna. The pool is beautiful and the hammocks are super relaxing. I felt so safe and secure-the whole place is gated and there are key cards to all the rooms. It's also in a pretty prime location in the center of town. The guys who work there are all so nice and super guapos! And I was traveling alone and it was really easy to meet some awesome people there. You can't go wrong here.

Room Tip: I recommend any of the dorms.
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013

Since we already fled one of the weirdest B&B in La Fortuna (Cabinas Arsol) we were really happy to get a room at this resort. The staff was very helpful, but this turned out to be only when it was to their advantage. You can get advice on tours, but only the ones they offer. You can get a room, but you should be okay with the noisy broken airconditioning. I cut myself when I tried to close the broken bathroomwindow against the noise.

The hostel itself had of course nice facilities like the swimming pool and the hammocks. The double bedroom however did not correspond at all with the pictures on the website (so ask to check it first). It was tiny and had nothing but a tv. I prefer to have a table or a closet instead of a tv. Also the shower was kind of broken, but that's okay, just as long as you can sleep, right? I noticed a few complaints about the club on the other side of the street. The night we slept there however, I think the hostel was even worse than this club. People having loud music, screaming, shouting, running, well you know, just having fun. Unfortunately this went on till four in the morning. Of course we complained and travelled on, but it was the worst place we stayed at in Costa Rica.

So given the differences in the reviews over here, I think that you should be aware that most of the people that found this to be their best hostel ever, were mostly travelling with friends, usually only travel in hotels, don't need other tours than offered by the hostel and mainly liked the fact that they will keep your beers refrigerated. Complaining people like me are mostly upset by the noises at night, by the lack of service when you have a complaint or want info on something they don't offer and by the fact that they pretend to be a really good hostel, while they are actually a really bad hotel.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013

We stayed in the tents, which were amazing, so lovely to wake up to the sounds of the rainforest. If only I could say I went to sleep to them too. The hostel my have a quiet time after 11 (or 10 or 9:30 depending what notice you read) but the nightclub over the road turns the noise up as soon as the hostel turns theirs down. I'm not adverse to hearing a bit of noise but this was ridiculous even top of the range earplugs and jetlag wouldn't help you sleep through this ridiculous noise and the music was awful too. Shame, because the hostel itself was clean and nice, amazing pool, clean facilities, slightly frosty reception staff, especially compared to all the other Costa Ricans we met, but you can forgive them that. The noise, not so much. Got a bit boring after 3 nights and we weren't even there at high season. The website also told us the tent was $25 for two people but the hostel charged us an extra $10 per night for the second person when we got there. Not a massive amount, but to be aware of if you are on a tight budget and you could definitely find better for cheaper in town

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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 #16 of 56 Specialty Lodging in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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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