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“Secluded Paradise” 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
Scottsdale, Arizona
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Secluded Paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2013

We loved the Arenal Manoa with its wonderful view of Arenal Volcano. Our room, 214, was large and comfortable and had a perfect view of the mountain from our secluded patio. Dozens of different birds flitted among the numerous plants just off our patio. They had two pools; one pool was geothermal heated and one was “cool”. Both were delightful. The food was very good although somewhat pricey and, surprise, their pizza was amazing! We considered taking a taxi into La Fortuna due to the high prices at the restaurant but the high cost of a taxi rendered that meaningless. Nonetheless, we will gladly stay here again if we return to La Fortuna.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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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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
    5 of 5 stars
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Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
82 helpful votes 82 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2013

The rooms were well laid out, huge and clean. There was air conditioning and TV as well as a mini fridge and tea/coffee maker.

I loved that my room was close to the restaurant, pool and lobby. My other friends had quite a hike up to their rooms (I had 237). The bathroom was very open and muggy as the AC did not work its way in there but that was okay as you had one wall full of sliding glass doors (facing the volcano) AND a patio with 2 rocking chairs where you could sit and enjoy the fresh air and views.

Room Tip: Ask for a room closer to the restaurant/pool so you do not have such a hike.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
Palm Beach, Florida
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
54 hotel reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
83 helpful votes 83 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2013

OMG Volcano Views from basically everywhere on the property. There is a "hot springs" pool that is lovely -- no need to pay to go to Tabacon. The view from our villa -- 218 -- was so spectacular it was hard to leave the room to go exploring. Grounds are immaculate -- flowers and birds everywhere. Feels like Eden with stunniing views of Arenal -- the volcano recedes in photos -- its actually much more impressive in person. Booked directly through hotel via email and got a great rate for 4 -- $130 a night. Bathrooms are large and clean, but not luxurious. Rent a car and explore! The Lost Iguana Gift Shop is a must -- its near the end of the road out past the dam for Lake Arenal. They carry beautiful crafts from all over Costa Rica that you actually want to buy and we almost took a detour back through Arenal on the way back to San Jose to pick up a few things we thought we'd find elsewhere but didn't. We rode Alberto's Horses to the la Fortuna waterfall and loved it! THE most gentle, well cared for and sure footed trail horses I've ever encountered. Pure Trek Canyon Tours for waterfall rappelling is right around the corner from the hotel and its worth every penny! If I could do it anyone can.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2013

We stayed here for two nights and before that we stayed at Tabacon for two nights. I wish we had stayed at Arenal Manoa the whole time! I absolutely loved this place. There are small buildings on the hillside that have only two rooms side by side in them, so they are very private and quiet. Each room has picture window sliding glass door going to a private patio with an amazing view of the volcano. We were lucky and had pretty clear skies for our stay. I could have sat on the patio with a delicious cup of coffee (can make it in your room) and watched the clouds pass over the volcano all day. We also saw monkeys, lizards, and birds outside our room. Hummingbirds visited the flowered bushes around our patio. The rooms were very large, beds were comfortable, and bathroom was really nice. The grounds are large and very pretty. There is a shuttle that comes right away when you call the desk to pick you up if you like, or you can walk to the lobby or restaurant if you want, which we did most of the time. It is nice to walk around and look at the little pond, waterfall, various trees, etc. They have an operating farm on the property too which you take a free tour of. We saw a couple Oropendolas on the walk to the farm. They also have a spa on location if you are so inclined. They have a thermal pool and a regular pool - both have bars, food, and views of the volcano with the regular one being the best view. We ate breakfast (included), one lunch, and one dinner at the hotel during our stay. The breakfast buffet is great with the typical food and an omelet bar. Lunch was good and not as expensive as some hotels, but still more than you will pay in town. Dinner was also good. I think you can get better meals in town, but if you don't feel like going out, it is not a bad choice. They will arrange tours for you at the front desk. The staff was friendly and helpful. It is only about 10 minutes driving from downtown. If I am ever back in La Fortuna, I wouldn't hesitate to stay here again!

Room Tip: Room 204 is amazing. It sits right above the spa and pond, so there is no room or road in front of...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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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Hellertown
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2013

The Hotel was very nice. Having only two rooms to a building made it more enjoyable. The view of the volcano from the porch of our room was fabulous! All of the staff was very friendly and helpful. I would definitely recommend staying at this hotel to other travelers,

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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.
Menlo Park, CA
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
51 hotel reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013

Lots of nice things about this hotel, some not so nice. First, if it's a clear day, you'll get a great view of the volcano -- see the picture, which was taken from our hotel room. Each room is in a 2-room bungalow, so there are few neighbors to make noise -- but the walls between the two rooms are paper thin. The bungalow layout means that the hotel grounds are very spread out. If you are near the restaurant and the traditional pool, you have a 10 minute walk to reception and the thermal springs pool. However, there is a free shuttle service. They recently replaced their beds, but the new beds are way too hard to be comfortable. Warning -- the air conditioning is on a remote control, so don't look for a wall switch. The restaurant is pretty good.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Helensburgh, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2013

After a great stay in the (hot and humid) Manuel Antonio area, we eventually (after a tiring 6.5 hour shuttle ride) arrived at the Manoa to spend a few nights in the cooler Arenal area.

The hotel grounds are stunning – it’s laid out like a small village with single-storey lodges dotted around some small roads, and surrounded by exotic trees, lakes and rivers teeming with all manner of birds and animals. One thing I should point out is that, unless you are infirm or just downright lazy, you should only ever need to use the shuttle bus twice (arriving and leaving with your luggage). We walked from the restaurant area right at the back, to the reception at the front, in about 10 minutes at a fairly slow pace - so anyone who complains about this needs to get a grip.

Unfortunately, my biggest regret from our trip to Costa Rica is that we didn't stay longer at the Manoa. As we only really had one full day here (and half of that taken up by a great trip out to the hanging bridges), we only experienced a fraction of what we could have but we did try..
we made use of the restaurant for both breakfast and lunch, we spent our final evening having drinks and lounging in the hot pools by the bar and we walked around the grounds snapping pics of the wildlife.

One thing you have to remember is that although the hotel occupies a lot of space, it doesn't actually have that many rooms (due to the way they are laid out) so there isn't a high enough guest count to warranty multiple restaurants. The one that is there is fine – in fact, it’s actually very nice with some incredible views over to the volcano, and the food and drink were of good quality (if a little pricey). However, sometimes it’s nice to have other options. Not an issue for us due to our short stay but I’d imagine anyone staying a week or longer would probably want to hire a taxi for a trip into La Fortuna for some dining alternatives.

The rooms were fine – extremely spacious, very comfortable and with all the facilities that one could want.. although the safe is on the small side (you won't fit a 13” laptop or a large DSLR in one). All rooms have large sliding glass doors that face out to the volcano and if you can get a room where this view is not facing the road, you end up with a fairly private little seating area (rocking chairs no less) to sit and watch the birds and the volcano when it emerges from the clouds).

One other thing I was very impressed with was that, unlike the other two hotels we had stayed at during this trip (one in NYC and the other in the Manuel Antonio area), the internet connection here was great – a strong signal wherever we were in the hotel grounds and fast/reliable at all times. Why can’t every hotel manage this?!

I would certainly recommend the Manoa for anyone looking for a relaxing/peaceful stay during their time in the Arenal area – it’s no party zone (so if that’s what you are looking for, try somewhere closer to town) but it’s definitely a great place to stay anda perfect base to explore the area.

Room Tip: Try and get one where the volcano view is not facing one of the roads.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
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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
#12 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*
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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