We booked our penultimate night in Costa Rica at Arilapa on the basis of the Lonely Planet recommendation and the location - handy for a day trip to Volcan Poas.
Our first mistake was finding the location of the hostel on googleearth, it was wildly inaccurate and after hours of driving around we stopped to ask directions. One helpful Costa Rican called the hostel for us to speak in Spanish and find out the location, but this didn't seem to work. In the end we decided to call the hostel from our UK cell/mobile phone, incurring international call charges. By now it was dark, around 2000hrs. The owner of the hotel answered, gave us very vague directions, and seemed annoyed that we'd phoned. Still, we'd booked online, and although we'd not paid a deposit, felt we should honour our agreement. We drove around and around the new street address we'd been given, but failed to find Arilapa. Still, we phoned again, the owner was rude and unhelpful, treating us an inconvenience. Next we drove to the nearest landmark he had given us, just a few metres away he said. We called again. It was now 2200hrs. He didn't answer. We called again and again, but no answer. This left us with nowhere to stay. We'd driven past countless other places we could have stayed but sought to find Arilapa to honour our agreement. Anyone who has been to Costa Rica will no that after 2100hrs it is very difficult to find anywhere that is open and in the end we stayed in the car just outside Poas National Park.
We're both still angry with the owner for his rudeness, reluctance to help and finally his not answering his phone. So much so that we are writing this review over a month after we got back. Lonely Planet should not recommend this place, or at least add a caveat that should expect nothing from the owner by way of help. We know mixed reviews can be misleading, but we've never reviewed before and only feel moved to do so by our disappointment and the owners rudeness - don't stay here. The backpackers in town is better for the airport and Poas Lodge is much better for the volcano (astonishing views and wonderful service).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Only 10 minutes away from Juan Santamaria Airport and 25km south of Poas Volcano exists a beautiful Orange grove that borders Itiquis river and is home to over 175 different species of birds and dozens of different species of butterflies, this villa is called Arilapa. Arilapa is a great place to start and end your vacation in Costa Rica, its lush vegetation, the river, and the waterfall are the best ways to be greeted in this beautiful country. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Arilapa Bed & Breakfast Costa Rica/Alajuela