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“Very peaceful and relaxing”

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Hotel Lavas del Arenal
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 6, 2013

This was our last stop after touring Costa Rica and Panama for 12 days. We throughly enjoyed our stay at Hotel Lavas del Arenal. I have stayed at a lot of small motels and bed and breakfasts. I felt Mario was among the most accomodating and friendly hosts I have ever met. He arranged a taxi to take us to and from town at a reasonable rate. Bernie (his right hand man) made a delicious hot breakfast each morning. One night Mario made us dinner for a very reasonable amount. We also got to meet his father-in-law. Although his father-in-law speaks very little English, he went out of his way to make us feel welcome. If I am ever in La Fortuna again, I will definitely stay at Hotel Lavas del Arenal.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank stjohnbeachlover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 4, 2013

I recently traveled with my husband and two friends to Lavas del Arenal, and it's going to be difficult to even describe what a great experience we had.

The basics everyone wants to know: Yes, it was impeccably clean every day, the food simply amazing (water is even fine to drink), the most delicious fruit in the world, no bugs, clean and beautiful pool, and simply an indescribably beautiful and peaceful property.

The amazing part: The people who work there. The owner Mario helped us set up an itinerary and tours prior to our arrival via email. Everything he set up for us was perfect, exactly what we were looking for at very good prices. But in addition to that Mario and the rest of the staff at Lavas del Arenal just went above and beyond any other place we have stayed. We arrived late the first night and asked for suggestions for places to eat nearby and Mario reopened the dining area and cooked us one of the finest meals we had while in Costa Rica. Mario was exceedingly helpful the entire time we were there, giving us suggestions as to where to eat and places to check out (definitely ask him about El Valle de Tilapia if you like fish!). Mario and his father in law Gabriel were great to talk to at night as well. They helped us with our not so great Spanish, and taught us a lot about Costa Rica. Bernie, another staff member was the usual breakfast cook (very good cook) while we were there. He saw me looking at the coconuts, and immediately got out a machete and prepared a fresh coconut with a straw for me to drink with breakfast.

I could keep going about how great Lavas del Arenal is. But seriously, just go and see for yourself. We were all sad to leave, but will be back and wouldn't think of staying anywhere else.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Catherine P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 28, 2013

Lavas del Arenal is great place to stay in La Fortuna. When we arrived we were greeted by the owner Mario who was the most accommodating and helpful in any way possible. He helped us with getting around to and from the hot springs as well with our yours. He was very fun to hang around with. The grounds are very nicely maintained, there is a small pool to cool off on. The rooms all have private bathrooms and are just big enough for what you may need. Each comes with a small fridge, coffee maker and TV. Every morning there is a complementary hot home cooked breakfast waiting for you. We had a great time!!!

  • Stayed: February 2013
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Thank zspon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 24, 2013

I decided to sign up to review places on TripAdvisor after a recent trip to Costa Rica with two girlfriends, when I learned how much a lot of the hotels rely on reviews to get business. PLEASE - come visit this place! From my very first interactions before arriving, I had a 5-star experience. My friends and I were trying to decide whether to rent a car or take shuttle buses during our trip, so I emailed Mario, the owner, asking for directions to the hotel and advice. He was immediately responsive and suggested we talk on the phone, during which time he gave me about half an hour's worth of travel advice. Then, he helped me find a rental car at a lower price, plus a pickup with a driver from the San Jose airport, since we were reluctant to navigate the road after dark. Throughout our stay, Mario gave us thoughtful and helpful advice about what tours to take, where to spend our days, etc., and he never led us astray. He actually got us substantial discounts for several of the attractions we visited. In short, he's an unbelievably helpful person who made a huge difference in the quality of our vacation.

The hotel itself is located about 10 minutes outside of La Fortuna, the main town near Arenal Volcano, at the end of a dirt road. It's an easy drive that takes you into the foothills of the nearby mountains, with stunning views. The hotel is small, with only about 10 rooms, a small pool and two open-air common spaces for eating and sitting. There is a small stream at the border of the property, and the whole thing is surrounded by trees and plants, so you feel like you're in a jungle retreat. It's stunning. Very quiet and perfect for when you need a true getaway. The rooms were clean, well air-conditioned, and comfortable. My only quibble was that the shower didn't have the greatest water pressure, but that certainly doesn't take away from recommending the hotel overall.

The breakfast was heavenly - fresh fruits, traditional Costa Rican rice and beans, and some kind of egg dish was the usual fare, plus Costa Rican coffee. Breakfast provided a great opportunity for bird-watching - we saw toucans among many other beauties.

In sum, if you are looking for a fantastic value hotel that's not a lot of frills but more than makes up for it in location, natural beauty, and outstanding service with easy links to all the major tourist attractions nearby, this is the place to be.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Laurawantstoroam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2013

We loved this place! Mario, the owner, is very hospitable and accommodating. We arrived late in the evening after a horrible first day in San Jose. Lavas del Arenal was a welcoming place to be! The room was clean and comfortable with tv, small fridge, microwave. The bed was comfy and the room was spotless. The grounds are lush and very well taken care of. We loved the river flowing at the back of the property. Breakfast was great and supper even better. Mario is a great cook! The other guests were quiet and were clearly enjoying their stay as well. You can arrange tours from here. It's only about a 10 minute drive to La Fortuna so it's in an excellent location. We would absolutely go back.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank NickyEric
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 17, 2013

Lovely place in the middle of the forest, we really enjoyed the service by the owners, not far from San Carlos and El Tabacon, if your looking for a great value near in a quiet area near the attractions this is the place. Breakfast is great and if you need to arrange any activities you can set up any of them right at the place. Tje best is the attention by the owners.

Room Tip: Easier if you have a car.
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank alexstar8a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 13, 2013 via mobile

We took the bus from San Jose, good times. Arrived in the afternoon, the owner showed us to our room and spoke with us for 10-15 minutes about the property, he gave us the personal tour and was more than helpful. Dinner was excellent, simple and delicious. If I ever get the opportunity to come back i will definitely be staying here!

  • Stayed: February 2013
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1  Thank zmanspop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Lavas del Arenal

Address: 300 Oeste de la Escuela de EL Bosque, Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > La Fortuna de San Carlos
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#22 Family Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#26 Romantic Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range: $90 - $167 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Lavas del Arenal 3*
Number of rooms: 10
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Also Known As:
Hotel Lavas Del Arenal Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park

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