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“Amazing” 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
Washington, Dc
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Amazing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2009

This was our favorite leg of our honeymoon. Even if we hadn't visited La Fortuna Waterfall or Tabacon Hot Springs, we would have had the best time just relaxing at this nearly private resort. We were one of maybe 6 couples that we ever saw hanging around this 100 acre property. It looked like a golf course resort without the golf course and sat less than 2 miles from the foot of the volcano (on the safe side). They recently added 20 new duplex style cabanas and a swim-up-bar pool and hot tub. Maybe it's the economy but the place seemed to be built just for us. Golf carts took us to and from the main entrance and our cabana whenever we were ready to head into town. The staff was helpful and friendly and the service was fast and precise. They have their own little private river that I chilled out with. If you're looking for relaxation and privacy, look no further. If you're looking for mobs and lots of kids head to Tabacon.

The sad morning we left we could hear the howler monkeys off in the distance!

My only critique would be that the walls were a little thin. We could hear a few people walking by one morning and a few other people hanging out on their patio one night. But for about $150 a night it was unbeatable.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
SuenosHoteleros, Web Sites Administrator at Arenal Manoa Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, June 12, 2009
Thank you for your comments on our hotel Arenal Manoa. We are pleased that you enjoyed your honeymoon with us.

We find your opinion very assertive on the type of property we are. We appreciate your comments.

Best regards,

Gabriela
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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968 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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California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2009

The staff was nice, although I wish we could have modified our reservations. Our plans changed a bit last minute and we didn't need the last room night. The hotel didn't allow us to check out early. Other than that, the staff was accommodating, the views of the volcano were nice, especially from the pool. I recommend it, but there are also hotels in La Fortuna that looked good too.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Maine
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2009

This place is unbelievable - our spacious room had a gorgeous view of the volcano, a patio and the biggest bathroom I've ever seen in a hotel. it was impeccably clean, the staff was top-notch and the grounds well-groomed. I would have loved to stay longer and would definitely return.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
US
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2009

My wife and I just returned from Costa Rica, during which we spent 3 nights at the Hotel Arenal Manoa. Our experience was fantastic. The room was large, clean, and had a fantastic view of the volcano. We actually did see a few lava rocks fall from our room during a break in the clouds, which was unexpected due to the recent flow direction change. The staff was courteous and went out of their way to assist us with an issue using the 199 calling cards to make a call to the US.

We did not eat at the restaurant with the exception of 1 lunch and all breakfasts as we had many activities planned and enjoyed eating in town. I found breakfast to be quite well done given its inclusion in the price of the room. The range of options was extensive comparatively, and tasted very good. Lunch and dinner prices seemed a bit high. The pool by the office was a bit cheesy with the fake rock waterfall, but the other (more recently completed) pool by the restaurant was very nice. The restaurant also had spectacular views and was very appealing visually. The hotel offered a nice, quiet atmosphere outside of town, while close enough to still make meals in town very feasible. Taxi rides to town cost around $7-$8. I felt that the quality of the hotel was very high compared to its price, a great value compared to some other locations.

We had a great time with adventures around the hotel. We used Desafio to coordinate the tours, and were pleased with that service. There are a number of similiar services around La Fortuna, and the other couples we met were usually pleased also. I especially enjoyed the Waterfall, Tabacon hot springs, and the Pure Trek zipline/tram tour.

I really have no complaints whatsoever about our stay. I would definitely recommend this hotel to a friend.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
colorado
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northern California
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
43 helpful votes 43 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)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 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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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
#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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