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“Beautiful place (stunning views) with very hospitable hosts”
Review of Nepenthe B&B

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Nepenthe B&B
Ranked #2 of 5 El Castillo B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Groningen
2 reviews
“Beautiful place (stunning views) with very hospitable hosts”
Reviewed August 29, 2009

We wanted to stay one night in Nepenthe's B&B, but ended up two nights because of the beautiful location (view at Lake Arenal and Volcano is breath-taking) and the wonderful hosts Nancy and Gordon.
5pm is coctailtime: Gordon offers beer and wine (without charge) at the splendid pool in which he joins the guests. In the morning the hosts prepare a delicious breakfast .
The complete tranquility of the place makes you feel totally relaxed.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank HenkGroningen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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172 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
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English first
boston, ma
Level Contributor
1 review
Reviewed May 14, 2009

I spoke to Nancy on the phone prior to arrival and she was very good at giving me directions and answering all my questions to her best ability. This B&B is a bit out of the way as it's about 40 min from La Fartuna, and even though you can't get away from using 4WD on the 45 degree incline over a rocky terrain to get to the house, the view is well worth that ride (although you might start thinking if it's worth taking drive back down the mountain).

When we arrived Nancy and her husband were very sweet to greet us with a beer and a large glass of wine. Again they were more then happy to advice where we should go for dinner (although they were a bit pushy on us going to the restaurant of their friend's who owns a pizza joint in town). We stuck to local food (don't know why someone would travel to another country and eat pizza unless it's Italy).

The view in the morning was spectacular! The beautifully manicured lawn, the infinity pool, the view of Lake Arenal, and of course the volcano! Waking up to this and breathing in that fresh tropical air first thing in the morning seems so unreal. You can't believe that you're actually looking at this view. Especially at 6am when there's still a slight mist on the lake slowly flowing towards the other side. And you hear a cow moo from time to time that echoes in the quite of the morning. It's truly heavenly.

The room was clean. They even folded our towns in a form of a different animal every day with flower on them. There's no AC only a few fans. The reason i gave such a low rating on cleanliness is this:
1) the bathroom has no ventilation and always smells of old water. I think it's how the shower is designed as a result the water never quite drains and starts to smell up the entire bathroom. We had to keep the door closed for it was a bit over bearing.

2) We killed 2 cockroaches.

3) Due to no AC and being in the middle of a rain forest you get A LOT of bugs if you open the little windows or the door. I'm not a big fan of sleeping with bugs especially in the country where there is a slight malaria problem, but if bugs don't bother you (as they seemed not to bother our hosts) then more power to you. We ended up being a bit hot at night even though it's pretty cool outside, but we couldn't open windows and as a result were a bit stuffy.

Now all of this being said, this B&B is in the middle of a tropical rain forest, so you obviously going to get bugs. But I do have to say that after 2 nights I was happy to leave the B&B, but very sad to leave that view.

Would i recommend this place? only if the pros out way the cons for you.
pros:
-inexpensive. (actually one of the cheaper places i found in the area)
-amazing view of the Arenal Lake & volcano
-friendly hosts

Cons:
-need 4WD
-a bit tough to get to
-bugs
-no AC
-strong damp smell in the bathroom.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank vilka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Nepenthe B&B

Property: Nepenthe B&B
Address: | 100 m east and 1.6 km from the school, El Castillo, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > El Castillo
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in El Castillo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Nepenthe B&B 2.5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nepenthe Bed and Breakfast is Beautifull piece of paradise located in the little town of El Castillo of La Fortuna in Costa Rica. Surrounded by the rain forest and exuberant wild life, you can appreciate the magnificent Arenal Volcano and the mistic Arenal Lake, enjoy beautifull sunsets from our infinity edge pool or relax in the jacuzzi or with a Massage in The Blue Lagoon Spa after a day of adventures and fun in the area. ** Also, the Phoenix Restaurant at Nepenthe is located on the grounds of Nepenthe and serve a daily dinner menu with handmade food and fresh local ingredients. ... more   less 
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