We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Best Value for Budget Travellers” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Vista del Cerro

Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 8 more sites!
Save
You added Hotel Vista del Cerro to your Saves list
Hotel Vista del Cerro
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   2 miles west from la fortuna | (on the way to arenal volcano), La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Montreal, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Best Value for Budget Travellers”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2009

We stayed here in August 2008, my boyfriend and I, both 21 at the time.

This hotel is more in the "motel" style. The rooms provide the absolute minimum basics, plain walls, simple bed and bathroom, and a TV. Very clean and basic. However, the view from our second floor room was breath taking! Its the perfect view of the Volcano! There is also a pretty pool, a great break in between tours! And they have a little restaurant that was open for breakfast. They make excellent Gallo Pinto! Only problem is that there are a bit slow.

The family that runs the place don;t speak much english, but they are absolute sweethearts! Very friendly people! They always tried their best to understand us (and vice versa) and helped us book many of our tours.

I also liked the location. The hotel is just outside the main center of the town, on the way to the volcano. It's surrounded by farms. There is a super market across the street and an ice cream shop (again, the people at the ice cream shop dont speak a word of english, but we're super friendly and very much appreciate tips!) The hotel is on the main road from the town center to the volcano, and its a short walk to a bunch of restaurants. You can also take a cab, it costs us 2-4$ US to get from one side of town to the other. Its a great location because you are walking distance from everything, yet your not in the middle of town.

Overall, I can't wait to return to Vista Del Cerro. It is the most basic, almost hostel like. But it was great price, perfect location and amazing view. Paradise for young or budget travellers.

  • Stayed August 2008, 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.
Write a Review

189 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    97
    66
    16
    7
    3
See reviews for
37
73
11
4
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 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 (8)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Washington, DC
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2009

We stayed a couple of nights here at the beginning of a weeklong trek through Arenal, Monteverde & the Nicoya Peninsula. I'm a little amused by the reviewers who say they expected more. We chose this hotel in part because of its high ratings, but primarily based on the fact that it's significantly cheaper than any comparable establishments in or around La Fortuna. For $24 per person a night (based on double occupancy), including breakfast, you can't beat Vista del Cerro. Of the top 20 rated hotels in La Fortuna, it's the highest rated of the 3 that feature an average per night cost under $50.

The caveats - yes, it's about a mile and a quarter (2km) outside the city. It was also an easy 20 minute walk or ~$2 (1000 colones) cab ride. It also sits alongside a busy road, and it seems that sometimes the parking lot is used by the ubiquitous "turismo" vans. If you're looking to stay within a few blocks of the city center or in a quiet locale, this isn't the place for you.

The rooms are spacious and clean and the bathrooms are nice. We did encounter ants in one of the rooms, but they were drawn to a bottle of cough syrup that wouldn't close properly.

For our purposes, it was an outstanding find. We were a quartet of travelers in our late 20s-early 30s, and we're past the point where we want to stay in hostels. There was a grocery store across the street, numerous restaurants within a few blocks, and some great little souvenir shops that held some surprising bargains given their off the beaten path location.

We were a little concerned when we got there and discovered that there were seemingly no adults in charge. The couple that runs the hotel had to leave town to deal with a family emergency, and they left their teenaged children Jonathan and Rebecca in charge. They didn't miss a beat, helping us arrange tours, giving us pointers on where to go and what certain activities would cost. Our second (and last night there), we sat around the pool drinking with some friends we'd made while traveling, and we asked Jonathan about transport to Monteverde. He went back into the office, came out with a cordless phone, and arranged the "Jeep-Boat-Jeep" transport to Monteverde....at 10 p.m. I can't complain about that kind of service.

Are there nicer places in La Fortuna? Certainly, as this hotel makes no pretension of being a luxury place. Is there a better value in the area? I doubt there is.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Worldwide
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
92 helpful votes 92 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2009

To tell the truth, we were not all that impressed with Vista del Cerro. I was hoping for more based on the previous reviews, but I probably wouldn't stay here again, especially as there must be over a hundred places to stay in the Arenal/La Fortuna area.

On the plus side, it is inexpensive, clean and the rooms are spacious with two double beds, AC and a TV. the water temperature in the showers is nice and HOT - no lukewarm or cold showers at this place. Hopefully, you won't be spending too much time in the room, but it has been known to rain in Costa Rica every once in a while =-)

However, our room had an overpowering musty, mildew smell, which made us not want to spend much time in the room at all. There was also a substantial gap under the front door, allowing several types of spiders to come sauntering in and hide out in various places in the room. Bugs in tropical locations are fine (we have flying cockroaches in FL, for goodness sake), but the large gap under the door could be easily remedied so that we had less 8-legged guests in the room during the night.

The owner's son who greeted us when we arrived was friendly upon arrival, but seemed annoyed when we did not immediately book one of the many tours from the brochures he pushed into our hands at check-in.

As someone pointed in an earlier review, this is a motel, not a hotel. We knew that upfront, but were not prepared for the noise level just outside our motel room door (which faces onto the parking lot). We were awoken the first morning before 8am to the sound of blaring music, as if someone were having a party just outside our door. Peeking our heads out, we realised that it was the owner's son washing his car (parked right in front of our door) with the stereo on - LOUD!! With only a couple of feet between our door and his stereo, plus the acoustic boost provided by that gap under the door, there was no chance of going back to sleep.

The second morning we were again awoken before 8am by the large rider lawnmower that somebody was driving back and forth under our window. I realize they need to mow the grass at some point, but isn't there some sort of unspoken rule that loud noises should only commence once your hotel guests are presumably awake? If nothing else, a hotel should be a place to sleep, and we weren't getting enough of it!

Breakfast at the restaurant next door is an additional $4 per person, a good deal, but the breakfast was just average. We instead found a place called the Vienna Bakery located on the main road heading out of La Fortuna towards Vista del Cerro that was so delicious - great coffee from the Doka coffee estate, fresh pastries, great omelets and friendly staff. I would skip breakfast at Vista del Cerro and just head to the Vienna Bakery instead.

As for La Fortuna itself, the volcano is simply amazing if it is clear and spouting forth it's hot rocks. We drove down the VERY bumpy road to the bridge just before the Arenal Observatory Lodge to watch the eruptions. Don't attempt this without a 4WD! It made me think that next time I would just book a hotel with a view of the eruptions, rather than driving down the potholed road late at night to view it. You cannot see the active side of the volcano from Vista del Cerro, as the flows apparently changed direction a couple of years ago and now there are only a handful of hotels with lava views.

As for other activities in town - ziplining, canyoning, rafting, etc - be prepared to cough up some major cash. We stopped by Gringo Pete's to check out the discounts on local activities (and he did indeed have the best rates in town), but even Pete himself was surprised at the recent 2009 price hikes of many of the activities.

All in all, La Fortuna is a worthy destination for the volcano views, but I would hunt around for an alternative place to stay.

Stayed January 2009
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2009

We stayed here for 3 nights and it was great. We wish we could have stayed here longer. The rooms were very clean and rather large. The location is also great. It is walking distance to the town and several restaurants. I liked that it was not right in the town but close to enough. There is a grocery store across the street for us to get snacks and beverages. Everyone was very helpful in setting up tours for us and was even able to offer us a discount on some of the tours. We were having problems with our AC and they moved us immediatly to another room. The service, rooms and breakfast in the morning were all great. I highly recommend this hotel!
The only con is that they do not take credit cards. We had to pay for the rooms and all tours booked through the hotel in cash. We were unaware of this before booked and had to keep going to the ATM to get more cash. This was not a huge deal but if we knew ahead of time we would have brought more cash with us.

  • Liked — Location, Clean, Hospitable
  • Disliked — None
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2009

I stayed 2 nights at this hotel and wish I could've stayed all week. The location is amazing. The view from room 9 was breath taking. The price was very fair and the service was better than expected. The family that owns the hotel treats their guests like family. They go above and beyond to make your stay a time to remember. There is so much to do that is close to the hotel so you can walk most places or if not they will gladly set up transportation for you. The hotel is also very clean and in a safe area. I can't wait to go back. I've traveled to Costa Rica twice now and this hotel was by far the best. Cheers! Kristin

  • Liked — Everything!
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Iowa
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2009

Hotel Vista del Cerro is a great little hotel for a great price. The room was spacious and clean with a wonderful little pool area. The owner, Melania, was very helpful with organizing local tours. I would highly recommend the canopy tour and the volcano/baldi springs combination tour! Breakfast at a restaurant next to the hotel was also included and was very good with an incredibly friendly owner. If you're looking for a clean and cheap hotel, look no further! One word of wisdom, do not leave any food out or you will end up with tons of little red ants!

  • Liked — Price
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Aylmer, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2008

This motel provided excellent service and excellent value for the $48/night double we paid. The room and balcony outside were so clean you could have eaten off the floor. The bathroom door locks from the outside, offering an extra level of security if you want to put bags in there during the day when you are out. Melania and her family are wonderful and go out of their way to make sure you have what you need to be comfortable. Coming from Canada, being able to access the Internet and call home free of charge was a real perk as our son was moving to the other side of the country whle we were away and our cell phone wasn't working. As Melania said "I provide this service because I know if travellers can call home and know that everything is okay they will have a much better vacation". So true.
The pool area is well kept and breakfasts served by John and his wife were excellent and included in the price of the room. The beds and pillows were comfy and the A/C was quiet and we had a magnificent view of the volcano from our room. We also made use of the grocery store across the street when we ran out of beer and wine. Very convenient!
My only issue is with the noise as the place is right on the highway. We were a bit surprised about the location when we arrived as we thought the place would be more off the beaten track from the hotel's web site. It was, however, convenient to everything and with a set of earplugs we slept well. We would definitely stay there again and recommend this hotel to others who want a clean, friendly and affordable place to use as a base.

  • Liked — Cleanliness, friendliness of staff, service and free calls to North America
  • Disliked — Traffic sounds
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to Hotel Vista del Cerro? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Hotel Vista del Cerro

Address: 2 miles west from la fortuna | (on the way to arenal volcano), La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > La Fortuna de San Carlos
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #33 of 63 Hotels in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Hotel Vista del Cerro 2.5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Vista Del Cerro is located in La Fortuna San Carlos Costa Rica, one of the most wonderful areas of the country.We offer very comfortable and spacious rooms where you can enjoy the most relaxing rest, while admiring spectacular eruptions of the Arenal Volcano, from the commodity of your room. In addition, we offer nature lovers a large variety of activities such us the La Fortuna Waterfall, ATV tours to the Arenal River, hot springs, or the fascinating Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge and for those who prefer thrilling adventures we have Canopy Tours and White water rafting. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Orbitz, Hotels.com, Expedia, Booking.com, Travelocity, Cheap Tickets, Priceline, Odigeo, Despegar.com and Tingo so you can book your Hotel Vista del Cerro reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Vista Del Cerro Hotel
Hotel Vista Del Cerro Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Hotel Vista del Cerro, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.