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“Awesome Location - Friendly Staff” 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
colorado
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Awesome Location - Friendly Staff”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2009

We returned from a stay at Hotel Arenal Manoa 2/7/09-2/11/09. The hotel staff at this resort were very friendly. We read that indivdiuals were unhappy with the front desk staff. We found them all to be very pleasant and helpful. Erick at the pool was awesome and tried his best to make us laugh. The kitchen staff were also very friendly, Jerney was one of our favorites. We noticed while visiting during breakfast that people would tend to be rude and demanding to the staff. It also amazed us how little people tipped at the resort while we were there. The people in this area of Costa Rica are not accustomed to making the type of incomes we do in the states and oversees, tips are very much appreciated for this reason.

The grounds of the resort were absolutely beautiful. Be prepared to get your exercise while staying at this resort, we actually did not mind this at all. You may request someone at the front desk to drive you around if needed. The units are very spreadout and placed on strategically on hilly terrain. No matter where they put you, each bungalow has an awesome view of the volcano, that is if you can see it. We only had one day to view it clearly.

As far as the dining is concerned. We ate at the resort everyday for breakfast. I agree with some of the review, the food was very good, however, I would have expected more variety. During our week stay there was an omelete station everyday with rice, beans, plantains, chocolate/vanilla bread, toast, and sometimes hash of some sort. One day during our stay they made pancakes which I loved. We never had them again during our stay. The breakfast while decent could have used a bit more variety. We had dinner one night during our stay. I'm more of a picky eater so I went with the spaghetti, my husband had tilapia which he loved. The food is a bit pricier than in town, however, during the night we ate there we had the entire place to ourselves with one other couple. We found it sad that more individuals did not utilize the restraurant for dinner. I understand when the caravan tours come through that more eat in versus out. We ate in town two different nights, once at Don Ruffinos, the other night at a restraurant located next to the Burger King. We was awesome. If you go, you have to try the banana split, they serve it in a pineapple, it was delicious.

We did several excursions. If you have any chance of booking an excursion our favorite guide was Miguel with Mapache Tours. Just a reminder, the tour guides also like to receive tips. With Mapache we did the volcano hike, hanging bridges, and waterfall, and a trip to the Tabacon Hot Springs (what a beautiful place, be careful to watch your step, the tile in the restrooms are very slippery). We also took a trip to Monte Verde to do the zip lines, what a wonderful experience.

It was an awesome resort and we enjoyed our stay tremendously.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with family
    • 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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1,092 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
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Northern California
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2009

The good things about this hotel: nice grounds, the units are one-story duplexes, so there's little noise from adjoining rooms, the open-air restaurant, the homemade-tasting cookies at breakfast, the friendly staff in the dining room, the large size of the rooms and bathrooms, free internet in the lobby, free rides around the property.

Here are the bad things we encountered:
Several things in our room were not working right--burned out overhead lights, malfunctioning air-conditioner. We pointed these out, but none could be fixed.
The breakfast is steam-table buffet. Though the quality was reasonably okay, it wasn't fresh-made food, and supplies were not always replenished.
The dinner menu was not very inspiring or delicious.
There was a huge tour staying at the hotel while we were there, and it was impossible to not be aware of the large group absorbing resources.
There was no van shuttle to town.
The jacuzzi was tepid, not hot.

Worst of all, we had a 3 PM transfer to our next destination in Costa Rica, so we requested a late check-out, which was not granted. We got back from a guided hike after noon, muddy and sticky and cold, and had nowhere to change, clean up, etc. The lobby staff suggested we shower at the pool. The shower is a cold outdoor shower, and it was raining outside. We could see that our previous room was not occupied, and it would have been much more accommodating for the staff to let us clean up in our room and check out late. This was very inconvenient, uncomfortable, and annoying for us. I would not recommend this hotel for customer service.

And here's one more important consideration for anyone to think about: The Arenal Volcano eruption can now only be seen from the Arenal Observatory Lodge. We went up there one night, and the view was excellent. I recommend staying there. Yes, we heard that place has its own problems--rustic, noisy, no TV, but the reason to go to that area is to see the volcano erupting, and there is no view of that from Arenal Manoa Hotel or Tabacon Springs or anywhere else near La Fortuna. We would have stayed at the Observatory Lodge had it not been sold out. Plan ahead and book early!

  • Liked — it's a single-story unit
  • Disliked — inflexible staff at lobby
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2009

Large, very clean room with fabulous view of Arenal Volcano. Beautiful grounds. Excellent breakfast included. Had lunch at hotel restaurant on arrival and it was delicious. Staff very helpful and friendly. Two computers in lobby for free internet access. Nice pool and jacuzzi. Minivan available to take guests into La Fortuna, a few minutes away. Would definitely stay here again.

  • Liked — Beautiful setting
  • Disliked — In the late afternoon, it was hard to get hot water in the shower. Otherwise great!
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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NJ
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2009

I just wanted to tell you how unhappy my stay was at your
hotel. I stayed two weeks ago with the caravan group.

1. Food selection was the worse at of all the hotels that we stayed that
week.
2. Food was overcooked.
3. Service just poor, I had to ask three different people in order receive a coke, by the time it arrived I was finished with my meal. Also I was never given a bill to sign, but you called my hotel at 9:00pm asking me sign the check, you also embarassed me and told other folk on my tour that I didn\'t pay the bill, I have never been treated this way after staying at over 100
hotels.

!!!!!SIGNED UNHAPPY CUSTOMER!!!!!

Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2008

We stayed at the Arenal Manoa November 2007.

Rooms/Service - The cabin itself was very nice - roomy and clean with very comfortable beds. The bathroom was amazing - HUGE with a large walk-in shower with ample hot water and water pressure (no tub), beautiful tile floors and live plants. Downsides: Our cabin was a 1 minute walk away from the main house and the path leading to it (and all other cabins) is comprised of dirt and gravel (wipe your shoes on the mat before you head into your cabin!). The path is lit from the sides at night - a few footlights here and there - but it is still very dark and hard to see. We should have asked for a flashlight. We did have more than a few bugs and spiders in our room, which was kind of off-putting. Also, if you like to chill in your cabin and watch TV, be prepared to feel like you're in a hospital room as there is only a small TV suspended from the ceiling in a corner of the room. The front desk folks, though nice, didn't have a great command of English, but we communicated just fine with our Spanglish. They will also gladly help you arrange any activities.

Amenties/Food - There is a pool onsite (which we didn't have time to take advantage of, but it looked nice from afar). We also didn't have time to try out the restaurant for dinner, but the complimentary breakfast buffet was delicious and there was a large selection to choose from (eggs, sausage, plantains, rice & beans, pastries, fruit, juice, etc) - just make sure to get there early.

Surroundings - It was mostly cloudy when we stayed at the Manoa so we didn't see much of the volcano, but there is a good view from the cabins. As mentioned, the cabins are reached by gravel/dirt pathways so your shoes will get a little muddy. The area is surrounded by trees and nature - you will hear plenty of animals (monkeys, birds, insects, etc).

Location - It is about a 10 minute cab/van ride to the town of La Fortuna. Rides are longer/shorter depending on the location of the activities you take in. All the adventure companies that we used provided transportation to and from the hotel. If you want to go into town, you can call a cab, which will run you anywhere from $3 to $6 depending on how far away you are (the cabs are metered).

Price - We booked through the hotel website and I believe we paid around $130 per night for a double (taxes and breakfast included), although it looks like the rates have gone up to $160 now. Slightly pricey.

Overall I would recommend the Arenal Manoa. The location was great and the cabin was very comfortable.

  • Liked — Fabulous bathroom, great breakfast, nice surroundings
  • Disliked — Not enough lighting along path to cabins, bugs in room (not a huge deal)
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san francisco
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2008

Our stay here was fine, but it felt a bit 'chilly' on the sevice, lacking a personal touch. Rooms are big, clean but kind of sterile and generic. Had to ask them to heat up the jacuzzi. Due to cloud cover, never did see the volcano, though our room supposedly had a great view of it. Positives- free use of computers, operational TV if you are into that, English speaking staff, ground are immaculate and the breakfast buffet was very good. We went on off-season and thus were spared the 'bus loads of tourists' probably expected in the high season.

  • Stayed November 2008
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
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Iowa City, IA
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2008

This was the first place my husband and I stayed on our vacation in CR and we really enjoyed it. The views are amazing. The breakfast was really good. The pool was nice and very relaxing. The road to the hotel was crazy-bad, very bumpy.

  • Liked — Pool
  • Disliked — wireless internet did not work
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes
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:
#7 Family Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#9 Romantic 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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