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“Far away from town but quiet and relaxing.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Gran Arenal

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Hotel Gran Arenal
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1.3 Km North of National Bank, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Davis, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Far away from town but quiet and relaxing.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2011

This hotel is pretty far out of town, but a taxi into La Fortuna is only 2000 colones or so, or you can walk. I loved that each room is it's own separate house. Our room was nice and relaxing; there were flowers on the little table when we got there. The pool is nice- not very big, but certainly not small. Breakfast is included, which I liked a lot, but we had to wait for the eggs and rice and beans to be refilled every morning, and there wasn't always fruit.

The owner really cares, and it shows. Also, he speaks perfect English, which is not that common among hotel owners in Costa Rica, as we found out.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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40 reviews from our community

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
Corona, California
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2010

This place is AWESOME! The man that runs the place really made our stay special. He went out of his way to make sure we had everything we needed. He even took time to show us some wildlife in the hotel grounds. We even saw a sloth!

The cabins were large, they had 2 queen beds! The rooms and bathrooms were spotless. There is even a refrigerator in the room. The swimming pool and breakfast area have a GREAT view of the volcano.

If you are going to visit the Arenal, I cant recommend this hotel enough!

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lynchburg, Virginia
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2010

Our trip to Costa Rica started poorly, but the owner at Gran Arenal did every thing in his power to make it better. Our luggage was lost by the airline and we had no idea of when we would get it back. We traveled to La Fortuna with the promise that our luggage would follow. We arrived at the hotel late Monday night and checked in with no luggage. On Tuesday afternoon I spoke with the owner who advised that he would look after our luggage. He wanted us to go and enjoy our vacation. He called the airline and found out when our luggage would arrive. He also directed my wife to stores where we could buy interim supplies. He also offered to loan me his shaving kit. I think he was more upset that our vacation had started so poorly than we were. The hotel had individual cottages for us to stay. The amenities were comfortable and very clean. Our needs and questions were addressed as well as the staff could handle. The owner spoke fluent English... the staff not as much. We really should have brushed up on our Spanish before we left. We are planning a return trip. Amazing view of Arenal volcano

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Milwaukee, Wisconsin
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2010

While travelling for two weeks in Costa Rica, this hotel provided us with one of the best experiences. First, the price is very reasonable for a room with two beds. An excellent breakfast is provided, and coffee in the afternoon. The location is close to downtown La Fortuna, as well as a short walk to Ecocentro Danaus, a beautiful nature center. The manager at the hotel was very helpful, even calling to book reservations for us for our various activities. But the absolute best part of our stay at the hotel was the view. Say good morning to Volcano Arenal from your bed.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
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Ames, Nebraska
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2010

I have to admit, we were pretty nervous as our taxi pulled into this hotel. It's on a gravel road out of town, surrounded by farms! However, we were pleasantly surprised as we walked into the complex of bungalows--so serene and quiet, with an A+ volcano view!

The groundskeeper was exceptional--worked all day tending the many exotic plants and flowers, and went out of his way to show us interesting wildlife (alligators, tiny frogs, sloths, Jesus Christ lizards!).

In addition, I really appreciated the way the staff handled an issue we had. We had booked a rafting trip one day, and the company never showed up! Through many phone calls, Luis and his staff tracked down the right people and sent us on our way rafting. They really went the extra mile to make sure we got the service we had paid for (and we hadn't even booked this excursion through the hotel!).

A few items to be aware of:
First, the HSIA was not working during our 3 night stay. (the SuperMega in town has free Wifi that we utilized instead!)

Second, the rooms are very simple, with no phone or TV. This was not an issue for us (who wants to watch TV when there is a giant volcano you can watch from your bed??), but definitely something to take into consideration.

Finally, the credit card machine was down during checkout. Luckily, we had enough cash on hand to scrounge up our balance.

Bottom line: come here for the gorgeous nature and friendly staff--not for the technology!!

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, Virginia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2010

If you are on the search for a great hotel in La Fortuna then look no further because Hotel Gran Arenal is it! I had looked at pictures reviews and pictures online, but once I arrived I saw that it is 10 times more amazing than I thought it could be. The landscaping is beautiful, the pool is beautiful, the breakfast area, front desk, hotel rooms- all beautiful. I'll break down my likes/dislikes below:
Dis-likes:
-1.3 km outside of town. I was planning on walking to town, but it's down a gravel road surrounded by farms. I ended up taking a taxi which only cost $3 (or $1 on one occasion...cabby was driving super fast!)
-Water pressure in the shower wasn't the greatest
Likes:
-Pool, landscaping, front desk, breakfast area, hotel room- all amazingly beautiful
-Luis, the owner, is super nice and helpful. He'll go the extra step to make sure your stay is perfect.
-the price/night is a great steal for what you get
-private porch with volcano view

When I return to La Fortuna I will definitly be staying at the Hotel Gran Arenal again!

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Vancouver, BC
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2010

I had a really hard time booking somewhere to stay in La Fortuna, as the type of accommodations offered seem to be pretty much the same everywhere... cabins with two beds... and almost everyone met my base criteria. I booked Gran Arenal, not because of the website (which is pretty terrible), but b/c of the great reviews and the price. We weren't disappointed.

There's nothing deluxe or fancy about this place, and we weren't expecting there to be, but it's definitely not tacky cheap accommodations either. The cabins are really cute and quite modern. The decor is simple but incredibly clean, tasteful, and not dated.

The beds were comfy enough and quite soft (by CR standards), although I would definitely recommend that they invest in more pillows - they were tiny, thin and not plentiful. There was enough room in one cabin for 3 adults and two small children (1 and 3) who sleep on the floor, although we weren't really inside much other than sleeping.

The kids spent a ton of time in the pool, which was clean and warm enough, although could use some shade around it. There is also enough shallow area for small children, which is not the case in most pools in CR.

Breakfast was excellent, although I imagine it would get repetitive after several days (we were there for 3 nights). We never did tire of gallo pinto after over 3 weeks in CR though so it was good for us... gallo pinto, eggs, toast, juice, coffee, fruit.

My husband needed to do some work, and while there is high speed, wireless, internet it's only available in the lobby area... which makes some sense as the property is quite large and would require substantial infrastructure otherwise.

The gardener/maintenance man showed us the most wildlife we had seen up to that point in our trip... there are two cayman living in a pond on the property, there was a mama sloth with her baby, a blue jeans frog he caught, some large lizards running around and many toucans in the trees nearby.

All in all, although La Fortuna wasn't really the highlight of our trip, the Gran Arenal was a really relaxing place to stay and we would stay there again if we were in the area.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 2
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 #42 of 63 Hotels in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Number of rooms: 319
Also Known As:
Gran Arenal Hotel
Hotel Gran Arenal Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park

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