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“Waking up to a great view of a volcano—a very pleasant experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Arenal Manoa Hotel & Spa

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Arenal Manoa Hotel & Spa
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Head northwest on Route 142, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park 21007, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ndakota
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Waking up to a great view of a volcano—a very pleasant experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

* Great Hotel.
* Very relaxing.
* Unbelievable view of the Arenal Volcano.
* Waking up to a great view of the volcano with your coffee is priceless.
* One of the top 10 bathrooms in the hundreds of hotels we have stayed in worldwide.
* There is a bonus. The volcano heated warm water pool at happy hour!

Room Tip: We enjoyed the far back side. Higher up with a better view.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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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969 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (251)
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Oahu, Hawaii
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2012

This was the first hotel I've stayed at while in Costa Rica, in the Arenal Area, and I would only want to stay here! It is like a little heaven nearer to the rainforest. It's quiet, secluded, you have your own little villa (connected to another room) with a cute porch with rocking chairs and a table. The rooms are spacious with a large bathroom and cool shower. Coffee maker, fridge, safe, free wifi. The restaurant is excellent too. The service in both the hotel/front desk and the restaurant was excellent. The food was great. It's so nice to have the hot springs right there and available for your use whenever you please.

There are tons of wildlife around the grounds, which are perfectly manicured, but landscaped. Villas can be pretty far from the front desk and can be a chore if it is raining. But they do offer rides.

It's outside of downtown La Fortuna and there is a pretty long private road to get there, so you need to catch a cab/ride to get to other places. The front desk is ALWAYS helpful with assisting you with finding transportation or booking your activities.

The only thing I would change is the lighting in the rooms. I'm not sure if the type of lighting in the room is to save energy or the type of bulbs that do not attract the local bats (I know we have those on our football fields at home), but it is very dim in the rooms once the sun is set. Right now (November) it's pretty much down after 5pm.

Anyway, this was an excellent hotel and it is highly recommended!!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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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Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2012 via mobile

My fiance and i went for a getaway weekend and stayed in room 202. View of the Arenal volcano was amazing! Pictures look like postcards. The hotel property is beautiful and is great property to relax and take in the beautiful scenery. Great breakfast with everything you would would ever want! Cant wait to go back...

  • 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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Zephyrhills, Florida
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2012

My daughter and I were very pleased with our room and location of room. We were near a creek that ran through property and had a great view of the volcano. Customer service was awesome. They helped arrange all our excursions, get us a taxi to go into La Fortuna. Not much rain, we loved all the pools, & jacuzzi. The thermal pool was great it had a swim up bar and the water was extremely warm and felt good. We called and asked for an iron, they brought us the ironing board too. Room was always cleaned well. The only thing we didn't like was the restaurant, it was a little pricey and not that great. Breakfast was buffet and it was good, but I would suggest going elsewhere for dinner. Computers were available for you. The rocking chairs was a nice touch on the nice patio.

Room Tip: We stayed in room #205, really liked our view, #203, #204 might be a little better.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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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San Diego
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2012

The best thing about this hotel is the beautiful property itself and the views from the rooms. Full-on unobstructed views of the volcano through floor to ceiling glass doors. Amazing! This was room 208. There were no other buildings in front of us - just the volcano and the river. The room is very nice and spacious. All the amenities in the room. Loved the patio with the rocking chair outside. We had a car so getting around the resort was not a problem.

Everything else was fairly average. The swimming pool was average (normal temperature one). The hot springs swimming pool area could use a remodel. We only ate breakfast in the restaurant - no other meals. Breakfast is included. It was good and included made to order omelets. However, the staff at breakfast were more interested in talking with each other than actually attending to guests. So the service really lacked.

Front desk service was very good. We had a 50% off rate from normal rate of around $160. So it was a very good value for us. I doubt that I would pay full rate however.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Jacksonville, FL
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
76 helpful votes 76 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2012

We stayed here because of a Groupon package that included some activities. This was my first choice after looking at the hotels to choose from. We really enjoyed it, but there were some things that were just okay.

What we loved

The people working were so friendly. Shirleney at the front desk was there most days and helped with any questions I had. Henry and Laura at the restaurant always were friendly towards us. One server seemed to not smile as much, but she could have been having a bad night. But everyone else couldn’t have been more welcoming.

The grounds are really quiet. Each room has two rocking chairs and a table outside. We spent a lot of time sitting there and enjoying the view of Arenal volcano.

We enjoyed walking around the properly. Lots of flowers, trees and peaceful.

We were in the back of the property and took about 10 mins or so to walk to the front office. The restaurant was a few mins away. They do offer a golf cart service which can pick you up and drive you to where you need. We always just decided to walk.

Rooms were spacious with lots of room to walk around. Had a small fridge. Cable TV with mostly spanish channels but some english channels. Was even able to watch the Monday Night NFL game on ESPN there.

Room had AC which kept us cool. Beds were pretty good. Slept pretty good every night. Showers were big and water was hot and strong.

What was just okay

Since the hotel is bascially in the jungle, there are going to be bugs and there were in our room. We saw little worms, ants, some flying bugs. Nothing that freaked out my wife too much and she hates bugs. I’m just glad there weren’t mosquitos. I would have hated that. The other bugs could easily be removed. But I know since the place is in the jungle, bugs will be normal so it’s not a complaint. Just be aware.

The wifi is free which is great, but soooooo slow. The best reception for us was on the front porch. The worst was sitting on the bed. The restaurant wifi reception wasn’t too bad. But just wish it was better in the rooms.

As part of the package, it included meals. We had breakfast and dinner there three nights and one lunch. Most of the time it was buffet style. Selection was limited. Tasted good. Nothing horrible. Breakfast had an omelet station which was surprisingly good.

They have juice on the buffet and it tastes watered down.

They did have a full menu but we never used it since meals were included in our package. But one night we did see a couple order a flaming dessert that looked really interesting!

So maybe the menu has better selection and food. I can only talk about the buffets we had.

There is a hot spring there, but it's nothing special. Just a pool with warm water. Feels nice, but nothing special compared to some of the other resorts.

Overall it was a great stay. Some things were okay. Since it was part of the package, I can't talk about price. But for the value of the package, it was worth staying here.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Los Altos, California
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2012

TLDR summary: This was the nicest place I stayed at during my travels throughout Costa Rica. $145 for a double room with buffet-style meals. The real view is from rooms 232 / 233. WATCH OUT FOR THE TOILET. Consider renting a car in La Fortuna. Campus is huuuge and you will have to walk a lot. The hot springs aren't too special, the pool is average, and the swim-up-bars are SMALL, service is hit or miss, food is standard.

-----

IF you pick the right room, then the views are unparalleled. I noticed that several of the rooms look out onto the street or "over" the roofs of other rooms. However, if you have room 232 or room 233, all you see is volcano and greenery. No other buildings or people to blemish your postcard worthy views. The view makes the price worth it.

THE ROOM: First of all, the plumbing in our building was terrible. The toilet was temperamental; it would "bubble" when our neighbors flushed their toilet (I was told this is normal). And it actually randomly FLOODED out of the bathroom and into our room during one of our nights. I didn't get comped for this, or switched to another room because they were "fully booked" (it was Carnaval week and Dia De La Rez weekend).

Other minor downsides: Light on our patio didn't work and was never fixed, so enjoying a cold beer on a warm night outside was a bit difficult. The wifi was crazy fast, but liked turning off randomly. Pretty annoying. The bath products are low quality (high in sulfates), but hey, at least they actually offer some. And like all other accommodations in CR, you get one-ply toilet paper.

The pluses: Room was completely bug free (a rarity) and had several things you might take for granted in the US but come to appreciate after weeks of staying in typical Costa Rican accommodations. Like a fridge, a safe, AC, a tissue box, and OMG A HAIRDRYER. It was also cute that we had large succulents "growing" in the bathroom. And I repeat, the view THE VIEW!

LOCATION: It's better if you have a car because: it's about 20 minutes from La Fortuna (though they offer round trip shuttles into town for $22, but not after 10 PM); you can park your car right in front of your room / building because the set up is like a manicured, gated community; the grounds are HUGE and walking to the front office / hot springs / spa can take up to 15 minutes (there is complimentary golf cart pick up, but you have to call and then wait and it just gets tedious).

AMENITIES: You get a complimentary farm tour, but I didn't have time to go. I also didn't check out the spa. The hot springs resemble a pool area and are not "rustic" / "natural" by any means. While the typical "springs" smell is not saturating the air, you will smell it on your bathing suit the next day. The springs are very clean and clear. The pool is average, with nothing worth noting except that it closes early at 6 PM. Lame. Both areas have swim-up-bars, which sounds like a cool idea except that the bars only accomodate 8 people MAX and the service is slooooow. Though I had one great night at the hot springs bar when there were zero people, and I enjoyed watching the SF Giants in an NLCS game on ESPN while drinking Imperials and munching on spicy hot wings.

RESTAURANT: It's right by the main pool. From my room, the walk was around 5 minutes. Breakfast is included in the rate (but it starts late around 6:45 even though tour pick ups are usually at 7 AM). We also had a special package that included dinner. Usually, both of these meals are buffets. However, if you stay during a time of low occupancy they don't do the buffet and instead you order a three course meal from their daily menu instead (which was waaaay better than the buffet). Food is more Italian and American inspired than Latin or Caribbean, so sort of standard and boring. Juices were watery, coffee was terrible, and cokes are $2 each. What makes the restaurant is the ambiance. It's an open-air set up looking out over palms toward the volcano. Photo moments abound.

SERVICE: Hit or miss. Like I already mentioned, I wasn't comped or even given an apology for the toilet debacle that happened in my room. Not to mention that the whole fiasco occurred after 10 PM, when the office was already closed. Yup, NO 24 hour reception. So getting someone over to my room to take care of the problem was a chore. And in the end, it was just a security guard with a few towels. Major headache. However, after I checked out, I misplaced my cell phone during a transfer over to Monteverde. Even though they weren't responsible, Arenal Manoa staff were diligent in calling every merchant I encountered during my transfer (from shuttle to boat to horse to taxi) and after recovering it, they even coordinated with a tour provider to drop the phone off at my new hotel for no cost. Weird to get better service once you've left an establishment...

Room Tip: If you want a real view, try to snag room 232 or 233. Also consider renting a car because the locat...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Arenal Manoa Hotel & Spa

Address: Head northwest on Route 142, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park 21007, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > La Fortuna de San Carlos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#9 Romantic Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#10 Family Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Arenal Manoa Hotel & Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 80
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Arenal Manoa Hotel is a beautiful Arenal hotel to relax and enjoy the marvelous view of Arenal volcano in Costa Rica. Surrounded by gardens, pastures and animals, our rooms have been designed so that each one offers you a panoramic view of the Arenal volcano. Our visitors can take advantage of our spacious gardens for walking and meditation as well as the opportunities to see the daily operations of a typical Costa Rican farm. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Arenal Manoa Hotel La Fortuna De San Carlos
Arenal Manoa Hotel And Spa
Arenal Manoa Hotel & Spa Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park

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