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“Rustic-cheap-friendly” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Cabinas Las Arenas

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Cabinas Las Arenas
2.0 of 5 Cabin/Campground   |   400 meters south of school Pochotal | Garabito, Playa Hermosa 4023, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Hughesville, Missouri
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Rustic-cheap-friendly”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2010

Yes, you do get what you pay for, but for the cheapest price in town Cabinal Las Arenas is a sure bet. Roger and his staff are extremely friendly and courteous. If you want luxury, pay $100 a night and stay somewhere else but if your on a tight budget this is the place for you. After all, your in paradise and should spend very little time in your rooms anyway. Sleep, Shower and go out to enjoy. I will go back to this hotel again because the staff is great and when you leave, you will have made many new amigos.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
arnold001, Owner at Cabinas Las Arenas, responded to this review, October 30, 2010
Thank you for your comments. Please contact me at arnoldflather@hotmail.com if I can help you further
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21 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2010

My first though on going to Cost Rica, came to me on January 2009.

I am not a surfer but, still, I wanted to go to this country and enjoy some time at the beach. 'Doing something close to nothing' as the Prince song goes.

Searching the Internet, I came by Cabinas Las Arenas and initiated some contact back then with the owner, Mr. Arnold Flather who was very kind to reply not only to all my e-mails himself but in an also very detailed manner to all of my questions and worries (I am not a surfer, I am a girl travelling on my own, will I enjoy myself there or should I head to another place? etc, etc, etc.).

I did not go to Costa Rica on 2009 but instead, I went in February 2010.

Again, I contacted Mr. Flather and "bombarded" him with quite a few concerns of mine and, again, he was even kinder in his manner and in his detailed and prompt answers.

Since he was out of the country, he also was more than kind enough to give me his home number and he specifically made clear: "Feel free to call me in any case you need more details.". He also wrote that I can call him collect!!! since he knew that I lived in Europe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Clearly, I was astonished and more than anything, wanted to get to Cabinas Las Arenas asap and enjoy this kind of hospitality in person.

Things in life do not always end up as they appear, but in the Cabinas Las Arenas case, they more than did!!!

My experience was more than perfect!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It was a 'fairy tale' come true!!!

I arrived to Cabinas Las Arenas in Playa Hermosa on February the 15th 2010.

My flight had a 4 hours delay from Madrid, and while I was on the shuttle bus they had arranged for me, the manager of Cabinas Las Arenas, Roger, even called the driver to check up on us and if everything was o.k. and if I was on my way there.

The moment we arrived at the parking of the hotel, Roger came and greeted me.

I saw a hardcore Tican surfer in front or me with the nicest of manners.

He showed me my room, explained everything to me and made clear that in case I need anything, I can find him either in the hotel office or his room or anywhere in the surrounding areas of the hotel since he is always around and available.

And, he truly was!!!

Any moment I searched for him, he was there, extremely helpful and kind.

I left my room and headed to the beach. It was pitch dark but still, I could get a clear view of the beach.

A-ma-zing!!! Huge, no people, and with THE most INCREDIBLE night sky someone can EVER EVER EVER imagine!!!

I never knew the sky had SO MANY stars and galaxies.

Yes, I have seen the night sky and all over the world and in pure darkness BUT the night sky in Playa Hermosa is a WHOLE different ball game and only if someone experiences it, then, they can see what I mean.

On the following morning, and after checking out the truly wonderful empty of people and only with a bunchfull of avid surfers beach, Roger called me a cab to head to the bank in the nearest town, Jaco, to change some money.

Jaco is right before Playa Hermosa, heading North.

It is the closest "fully equipped" "town" to Playa Hermosa. It has some banks, ATM's, super markets, all kinds of restaurants, surf schools etc and it is growing fast.

Having a look around Jaco and not being a surfer myself, I decided that it would be more convenient to me to move over there.

Mr. Flather, had already mentioned on one of his e-mails before I did the booking that, in case I decided that Palya Hermosa was too hard core for me and wanted to leave, I was free to do so, no questions asked.

I went back at night, after having spent the day at Jaco, and told Roger of my plans.

He was totally cool and told me we can call Mr. Flather in the morning and arrange for me to leave. He also noted that since the swell is too big in Playa Hermosa, in case I would want to learn surfing, Jaco was a better place for me.

We did call Mr. Flather and he was as kind as always and I did move to Jaco.

After I had packed the few things I had taken out of my suitcase, and the cab Roger had called for me had arrived, I was even more pleasantly astonished by him.

Since I was a solo traveller and a girl, he made it very very clear to me that in case I need something in Jaco or in the worst case scenario that something went wrong, all I had to do is say his name and, since everybody knows him there, they would call him and he would come to my rescue.

His voice and his manner, was as kind as always and in that precise moment he showed genuine care for someone who he obviously considered as a friend.

And, that happens, because, in any case a person stays at Cabinas Las Arenas and is in the cool freestyle and easygoing easyflowing wave length of surffers, then, he or she, immediately becomes a friend and is considered a friend.

I more than appreciated Roger's true caring for me and, his manner at that moment was, if I may say so, touching because I was only a client that stayed there for 2 days.

As I knew Mr. Flather would head back to Cabinas Las Arenas while I was still there, I wrote him in an e-mail that I would go and meet with him in person.

I did, but, as I went without notice, I did not find him.

Coming back to my country, I wrote him that in my next trip, I am planning to go find him again.

Needless to say I GOT ALL OF MY MONEY BACK the moment he was notified I was leaving and moving to Jaco.

Even before I went ot Cabinas Las Arenas, I had read some not so nice reviews about the hotel on this site.

I cannot say they are false sinve I am not the person that wrote them or had the experience.

But, I can say this:

Believe me and, please, trust me since I have travelled in many many places all around the world and have stayed in all kind of places from the most luxurious ones to the most simple ones to the most remote ones and to the most crowded ones:

Cabinas Las Arenas is THE destination place for someone who wants to surf in the most amazing tide (no wonder the World Championship is ALWAYS held there), for someone who wants to stay in THE most relaxed surfer orientated environment, eating great food, feeling right "at home", having a whole endless beach by himself or hanging out in the restaurant of the hotel exchanging surf stories, travel stories and all kinds of life stories in the most of relaxed manners.

Book a trip to this hotel- YOU WILL NOT REGRET A MOMENT YOU SPEND THERE.

Arnold (Mr. Flather), and Roger, Thank You from my heart even though it was too short of a stay.

Hasta Luego!

Clio!, a VERY VERY satisfied customer and above all friend of Cabinas Las Arenas.

Surf, Surf and Hand Loose!!!

:-)

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled solo
    • 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.
arnold001, Owner at Cabinas Las Arenas, responded to this review, October 30, 2010
Thank you for your review. Please contact me again if I can help you further arnoldlfather@hotmail.com

Arnold
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Dallas, Texas
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2009

Booked through Priceline. Arranged transportation from San Jose to Jaco through Arnold Flather, owner. Paid for transpo to and from airport and hotel as well as 7 nights at hotel in advance. Dirty toilet and windows, dilapidated room furnishings, no restaurant, as advertised, inappropriate decor in room, etc... Stayed long enough to get taxi to take us to find suitable lodgings, returned to room for belongings and to turn the room key over to young man in charge and get our money back from the key deposit ($20.) In subsequent conversations with Mr. Flather, we were assured he would be returning the charges for one way of the transportation ($90.) plus the charges for the room for the difference between what was refunded from Priceline. He never refunded a penny over the one night I agreed to pay. This little "dive" is nothing like advertised and Mr. Flather is a rip off artist.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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queenarn, Owner at Cabinas Las Arenas, responded to this review, February 22, 2010
As the owner, Arnold Flather, of Cabinas las Arenas I would certainly like to reply to this review, and I encourage the guests to email me at aflather14@hotmail.com so that we may rectify the problem and if justified make the necessary refunds. The guests only made a reseravtion for 6 nights and not 7 as stated, We do have a resturant and a/c cable tv is available should a guest wish to pay and extra $6 per night.This guest made a reservation for a room with a/c and cable tv and a bar fridge all of which are in the room. We charge everyone a refunable $20 key deposit.. As for transportation, the guest was transfered to the hotel and was charged for this service. We would have no problem making a refund to the guest for any unused portion of the stay less any costs that we had to pay for the guest, Finally as I said before I encourage the guest to contact us so we can resolve this issue.
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San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2009

I read all the reviews on this site and was extremely worried but took the chance because it was within the budget. We arrived early & the manager Roger let us keep our stuff in the office until a room became vacant in the afternoon which allowed us to roam around & not waste a day. I don't understand what others are complaining about. For the price they paid, it should be all worth it. If you come here thinking full-service & accommodations then why don't you pay more. I absolutely loved my stay here. Enjoyed every moment of it; the staff, local restaurants, other tourists, locals, the beach, the surfers...the friendliness of the place (locals interact with the tourists). Great experience, will definitely return.

CABIN: typical surfer cabin nothing more. STAFF: not very many but extremely friendly. BEACH: literally steps away. FOOD: few walking distance restaurants that were just absolutely delicious & great prices. TO DO: National Park, Canopy Tours, Jaco Beach & more.

  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
arnold001, Owner at Cabinas Las Arenas, responded to this review, October 30, 2010
Thank you for your reply. If I can help you furher please email me at arnoldflather@hotmail.com
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2008

I've been to Costa now several times and will keep going back. I always stay in Hermosa because it's away from Jaco and all the noise and chose Las Arenas this time. BIG MISTAKE!
I was trying to get some sleep on a Tuesday night but the noise from the owners house Roger was too loud. People were coming and going all night and when I asked him about the noise he told me to, "be cool".
This didn't happen again but the room next to me was broken into and some people at the restaurant were trying to sell me drugs. Hey
I like to have a good time myself but I work hard to get in a surf trip and I don't need to be told to be cool or have drugs put in my face. I love the breaks in Hermosa but I'm never going back to Las Arenas.

  • Disliked — The service
  • Stayed July 2007
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 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.
Washington
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2008

We received exceptional service from this hotel. We were upset and stressed after our stuff was stolen from the bus, and the management at Cabinas Las Arenes went out of their way to help us. They were extremely kind and understanding, and we would definitely go back.

  • Liked — The service
  • Disliked — No A.C.
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
    • 4 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.
Florida, USA
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2008

The other reviews are all correct in saying that Cabinas Las Arenas is a basic, no frills kind of place. Whether that is a good or bad thing all depends on your outlook (and budget) and what you are looking for in Costa Rica. I did a lot of research online before deciding to book our stay at this hotel. My husband and I are in our early 30s and we stayed in a "suite" room at Cabinas Las Arenas (had a TV and small fridge). My husband really wanted to surf in Costa Rica and I wanted to stay somewhere relaxing and centrally located so that we could go on some different day trips (like Isla Tortuga and Manuel Antonio Park) and have various activities nearby (like Canopy Tour and shopping/restaurants). This hotel satisfied both of those requirements. That being said, there were a few drawbacks that I'd like to mention... first of all, during our stay the waves were bigger than normal and even the more "expert" surfers weren't going out very much (we saw several walking back with broken boards)-- my husband ended up surfing in Jaco. Secondly, I had read that the hotel was about 5km from Jaco so I figured maybe we could walk into town instead of relying on taxis or public transportation... it might be 5km if you drew a straight line on a map from Playa Hermosa to Jaco but the narrow road has lots of twists and turns (and no path to walk on) and getting to and from Jaco proved more difficult than we realized it would be (public transportation in Costa Rica is pretty unreliable so we ended up taking taxis most of the time-- at about $5 each way). I also thought that not having A/C would be ok but in retrospect I wish we'd stayed somewhere that had it (and also a pool)-- the nights were cool and we did have a ceiling fan, but if you wanted to rest during the day it was often hot and uncomfortable... and not having windows that you can close means that you have to put up with all the outside noise (if it's hearing the ocean then it's nice, but if you have to hear drunk surfers at 2am then it's not so great). So, part of me wishes we'd spent a bit more money and stayed somewhere slightly nicer with a pool and A/C, but the activities that the area has to offer are kind of expensive ($50 each for canopy tour, $100 round trip for the ride to Manuel Antonio, $100 each for Isla Tortuga trip) so that adds up and if you're on a budget I think it's probably better to stay in a cheaper place and spend your money on the fun things (day trips, shopping, dining, etc). On the positive side, I'm REALLY glad we stayed in Playa Hermosa and NOT in Jaco. It's nice to go to Jaco and walk around during the day, go shopping, eat out, etc... but it is kind of a seedy place and I wouldn't have wanted to stay in a hotel there or go out at night (we talked to some people who did and they said the late night noise was even worse there than at our hotel). Also, the people at Cabinas Las Arenas (the manager Roger, Carlos from the restaurant and Loukas from the surf shop) were all extremely nice as was everyone in Playa Hermosa (our favorite hangout was Rippers which is just a short walk away-- we played pool and had beer there almost every night). My only other regret from this trip was that we stayed 6 days in Playa Hermosa. I think that's a bit long unless all you want to do is surf. Like I said, we took some nice day trips but I think it would have been better if we'd divided our time between Playa Hermosa and somewhere else (like maybe Arenales volano area). I'm giving this place 2 stars... it could use a little bit of fixing up (the photos make it look nicer than it really is), but overall it wasn't bad.

  • Liked — the location and the interaction with local people (nice staff at hotel/restaurant and nearby places)
  • Disliked — more basic than I thought it would be-- unless you are a young surfer on a budget then I'd recommend spending a little extra money to stay in a nicer place
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.

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Additional Information about Cabinas Las Arenas

Address: 400 meters south of school Pochotal | Garabito, Playa Hermosa 4023, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Playa Hermosa
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 11 Specialty lodging in Playa Hermosa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Cabinas Las Arenas 2*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
For the greatest surfing in Costa Rica come to Cabinas las Arenas, on the beach at Playa Hermosa. Enjoy the best surfing beach in Costa Rica and surf the great waves only 50 yards from your room. Our affordable beachfront hotel, restaurant and surf shop are waiting for you. The hotel has 10 rooms all with their own private bathrooms. Each unit can easily accommodate up to 4 people. Waiting for you. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cabinas Las Arenas Hotel Playa Hermosa
Cabinas Las Arenas Costa Rica/Playa Hermosa

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