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“2000” 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
1 review
“2000”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2009

The Arenal Manoa was a beautiful hotel. I took advice from a prior review and requested room 204 here, and it was a great tip. This room is close to the restaurant and pool, but wherever you stay, they have golf carts that can pick you up and take you around the hotel. The staff is very accommodating. The food at the restaurant was great and the free continental breakfast was plenty, fresh fruit, bread, some rice and beans. The view of the volcano from our hotel was incredible. This was a great place to stay!

Stayed September 2009, traveled with friends
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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
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English first
Collegeville, PA
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2009

While I find it difficult to say that any hotel is the highlight of any trip I take, Arenal Manoa definitely helped make our stay in the Arenal area amazing. We were in room 240 and had an awesome view of the volcano. Seems like almost every room has a great view. We must have had the most perfect two days/two nights at Arenal because we saw the top of the volcano as soon as we drove into La Fortuna and it stayed clear until that evening so we had some amazing views of the volcano from the room. It rained all day the second day, but cleared up just enough for us to watch the lava flows on the west side on the volcano. Breathtaking!

As for the hotel, once we got past our own fears of not speaking Spanish and realizing that most young Ticos speak English very well, we had no problems with the service. Even the golf carts drivers who take you back and forth from the reception to your room are friendly although most of them barely know Hello. And one guy didn't know "Front Desk". Once I said Reception he got it.

We were unclear about the breakfast."rules", though, and didn't know it was included in our room cost until we checked out. That was a pleasant surprise. I guess we were very early risers (couldn't help it being 2 hours behind our time zone and the sun rising at 5:30) and the employees setting up the breakfast buffet didn't acknowledge us for a good 30 minutes after we entered and sat down. But the coffee was great so all was forgiven. The food was good. Not the best ever and not the worst. We had dinner there one evening. I had the risotto which was very good. My husband had a beef dish and wasn't impressed. After seeing the cattle in Costa Rica, I'm not surprised.

We didn't try the pool or jacuzzi since we were on our first no-kids trip in 5 years and were more interested in exploring the rain forest but they looked beautiful. We also opted not to do the farm tour (again, the rain forest piqued our interest more) but our room was in the back and backed up to the farm. After driving out to Flamingo and back to San Jose and passing many other farms, the animals at Manoa looked the healthiest of all we saw.

Since we were on the adventurous side, I must say the Reception is quite accommodating to guests going on tours and coming it and out all the time. They were knowledgeable of what are good things to do and things to skip.

  • Stayed August 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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London
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2009

We spent 2 nice nights in the Arenal Manoa hotel. Our room, 210, was situated on the southern side of the grounds and afforded a beautiful panoramic view of the volcano. Large windows and rocking chairs on the patio make it easy to enjoy the view. Unfortunately there was cloud covering the top of the volcano but the jungle and wildlife was great.

The complex is relatively new with bungalows spread out across a hillside. Rooms are modern and beautiful and all seem to have great views. The pool and pool bar are nice. The restaurant was a pretty impressive looking (also with a nice view of the mountain) but the food just okay.

Location was pretty good for La Fortuna (about 5 minutes drive) from town.

Service was average, at best, particularly in the restaurant.

The price of the room was very reasonable and overall the value was pretty good.

This isn't a top flight hotel but it is nice and serves as a good jump off point to do the numerous activities around Arenal.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Houston, TX
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2009

The hotel is in a good location a few hundred meters off the main road making it quiet with adequate security. The unpaved road to the hotel is about as good as one can realistically expect and, if driving, note that the road to the hotel is not well marked and somewhat hidden next to the entrance to the Volcano Lodge. The bungalows are quite spacious with very large, nice baths. I would recommend asking for a bungalow at the rear of the property (across the small lagoon) since those appear to be the newest as well as closest to the restaurant and none (or almost none) face the driveways. The included breakfast is a buffet (with one station for made-to-order eggs/omelets) and is probably OK for a buffet (which isn't saying much - we did not dine in the hotel restaurant for any other meal since we decided to try a few of the local restaurants, a couple of which were quite good). The view of the volcano from every bungalow verandah appears to be good, and the grounds are well landscaped and maintained. Overall, a very nice, comfortable, clean, and well-maintained hotel with friendly, courteous staff even if they may not be the most well-informed about available activities in the area (which can be a good thing in some ways as, for example, they are not being compensated to push certain tours, etc.). As for the few bad reviews posted on this site, note what the complaints were and ask yourself if you would like to travel with those people, especially to the less-developed areas of the world. I will never understand why those who simply desire a Disney World experience don't just go to Disney World.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 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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San Diego
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2009

We had a really nice room with view of the volcano athough the volcano was covered with fog most of the time we were there. The new swimming pool was fun but the jacuzzi was just warm. Golf carts shuttles guests back and forth to the rooms on this sprawling ground. A taxi is needed to get anywhere at this hotel and like others. Nothing within walking distance but that is common for many hotels in Arenal unless you are in La Fortuna. Best to rent a car or sign up for the expensive tours since there is also no convenient public transportation. Front desk was not very informative about tours and activities available. We did a lot of our research on online thanks to the free internet. The breakfast buffet is descent but dinners at the restaurant was not very good. The dinner menu consisted of many asian fusion dishes that were strange and bland. Best to stick with a casado.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Somerset
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2009

In concept this hotel should be ideal. Bungalow type accommodation in extensive grounds at the foot of an active volcano. In actuality, it seemed more like a cross between a Florida golf course and a Tellytubbie set.

The service was appalling with indifferent and inanatentive staff. The food was poor. There was little or no information available about activities available and the staff couldn't or wouldn't help. A waste of money.

Warning: don't expect to see any of the volcano in August. There was continuous rain and 100% cloud cover during our 48 hour visit. Get good advice and go during the dry season.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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spain
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2009

It is a beutiful hotel although the suites are real houses with a front porch and two huge windows. From the inside, while resting on the enormous beds, you can see the volcano.
The room is huge, comfortable and clean and the bathroom is beautiful, big and spectacular.
The gardens are very beautiful and the buffet and the swimming pool are great.
It is the perfect hotel for couples because the suites and the views are very romantic.

  • Stayed July 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 1
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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