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“Favorite trip in Costa Rica :)” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Gran Arenal

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Hotel Gran Arenal
1.3 Km North of National Bank, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Bishopville, Maryland
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Favorite trip in Costa Rica :)”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2013

Wouldn't let enter the real date, February of 2009, its been a few years, but can wait to return. Been to Costa Rica several times and I have to say was my favorite place. Simple place, but beautiful, clean and safe. It rained every night and with the tin roof, it lulled you to sleep. Luis was great! He did take us to town most nights and made us breakfast when we over slept. Humming birds, cattle, cayman etc. so beautiful!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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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40 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    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 (2)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2012

After a couple of trips to Costa Rica, I was determined to go to Arenal. Flying blind on the internet I booked a cute place consisting of perhaps 20 casitas, a pool, and supposedly a grand view of Volcan Arenal. We never saw it. Rain, rain, rain.

Had trouble finding the place - in broad dayllight. The complex is developed behind the owner / ranchers finca. Breakfasts, included, are served in a common pavilian eating area. Nothing fancy, but it will give you ballast to start your day.

The casitas have no TV, so be sure you like who you're with and make sure you have a book you want to read. The casitas themselves are lovely, kept immaculately as are the grounds, pool etc.

But you're a 20 min drive from town or any other hotels and the road, even by Costa Rican standards, is, well, malo.

Would I go back. Nope. And, I'll take the advice from a cab driver in San Jose - they can tell you when to go to Arenal. It seems at places in the capital city you can see the volcan on clear days.

The story of my life......like don't drive to the top of Haleakala on Maui in the afternoon. Do it in the morning before the weather forms around the mountain.

Room Tip: Poolside rooms are good. It's not a pool scene kind of place, so you'll likely have the plac...
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Haifa, Israel
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2011

after reading the reviews here (especially the last ones) i was a bit disapointed. this is a nice hotel but defenetly not the best. (i can't compare to other places in la fortuna but in comparison to other hotels we've been to in our trip)

first i must say - luis the owner is the best! he is the most helpfull and nice person we've met in this trip!

if you don't have a car location can be a bit of a problam - walkig to town takes about 20 minutes and most of the time it's extremely hot outside. other option is taking a taxi which costs around 2$

rooms are big and comfortable but no TV and decoration can use a little improvment

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Portland, Oregon
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2011

I highly recommend this hotel to anyone visiting La Fortuna. It is tucked a way off of the main road, about 5 minutes outside of La Fortuna. It backs up to the owner's private farm, and has a breathtaking view of the Arenal Volcano from all areas of the property (when the clouds are not surrounding it). We were so impressed with the attentiveness of all staff members working on the property, and with the beautiful rooms each private bungalow offered. The rooms are air conditioned, there is free WiFi in the "lobby" cabana, delicious breakfast that you take with views of the Arenal volcano and surrounding region, hot showers and very clean bathrooms.

The rooms are very reasonably priced for similar establishments in La Fortuna; however, you can't beat the privacy and personality of the Hotel Gran Arenal. It feels exactly like rooms in Costa Rica should feel, and we will definitely be back!!!

Room Tip: Every room is exactly the same.
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Atlanta Ga
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2011

I have stayed in many hotels in Arenal including many 4 star hotels and the Gran Arenal is clearly my favorite. The view of the Volcano is perfect. The location seems peaceful and serene like you are 20 km away from town when you are really within walking distance. The cabinas are only like 2 years old and are all very nice and clean. There is more wildlife hear then anywhere else we visited. We say toucans, sloths and iguanas galore. The free breakfast is cooked to order and great. Luis will attend to your every need. And the rates cannot be beat. THIS IS DEFINITELY my go to hotel next time in Arenal. We were a family of 5 and had a tremendous amount of room.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Oakley, California
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2011

La Fortuna is a great place overall and this hotel was amazing. The grounds were immaculate. Grounds keepers work on them all day and into the evening hours as they carefully work around the bunny rabbits! The bungalows have clean tiled floors, a rustic stone shower and clean comfortable beds. You have flowers and long hot showers. (Hey that rhymes!) The restaurant has a great menu, wonderful food and turned out to be one of the best values in the three weeks we were in Costa Rica! It had a buffet for breakfast with tons of great food which was included in our price. Dinner offered menu service which ended up being about $10 per person for dinner. A group of tourists in a big tour appeared to be eating even better!! (Costa Rica is fairly pricey for a Central American country which surprised us...don't be fooled into thinking it's a cheap place to visit!!) The pool was sparkling clean with romantic lighting, a small waterfall effect, a swim-up bar AND views of the smoking volcano! It had the OMG effect. You will love it.
Oh and even the gift shop had some nice values. I'm glad we purchased some things there and didn't wait for the rest of our trip (this was our second night in Costa Rica). The lady working there was as gracious as the ground keepers, the restaurant waiter, the breakfast server and the concierge! As you drive around La Fortuna, you will see many new, fancy hotels on large estates. Many of them may be very nice as well, but this place was excellant for a very reasonable price. We didn't get a chance to visit the Gran Tabacon Spa Resort and I wish we had, but all in all this place was just amazing!!!!!

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Davis, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2011

A 10-minute walk from downtown La Fortuna, this was a great place to stay! We stayed in a private villa for 5, which was very reasonably priced. The room was large, clean, and we had an all-around comfortable sleeping experience.

The grounds were neatly kept, and the pool was great. Breakfast served in a really awesome group dining area. Every place on the grounds had a view of the volcano.

The man at the front desk spoke immaculate English, and was exceptionally helpful, providing us with a map, restaurant and activity recommendations, and transportation arrangements.

HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!

  • Stayed February 2011, 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
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 Hotel Gran Arenal

Address: 1.3 Km North of National Bank, 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 Parking Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #38 of 63 hotels in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Also Known As:
Gran Arenal Hotel
Hotel Gran Arenal Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park

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