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“We Loved It!”
Review of Arenal Lodge

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Arenal Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 17, 2012

Arenal Lodge is at the top of the mountain directly in line with Arenal Volcano. We stayed 3 nights in one of the Chalets (106). It was a simple room with two beds, small kitchenette area with sink, microwave and fridge. The bathroom had a shower only, no tub. The room had a small hide-a-bed love seat and a couple of side chairs. The view from the Chalet was incredible! The sunrise was beautiful and the sunset even more spectacular. We spent a lot of “couple” time in the room enjoying cocktails, the view and each other’s company. The lodge is remote so it’s very safe; you don’t have to worry about anybody wandering in. The road/driveway is a little bumpy getting up to the lodge which other reviewers didn’t like but it didn’t bother us at all. It’s definitely not the kind of place you’re going to run in and out of several times in a day. When we left each morning we stayed out the entire day exploring. The staff was pleasant and accommodating (especially Rebecca!). Breakfast was included daily and consisted of made to order eggs (omelet) plus fruit, pancakes, sausage, cereal, yogurt, beans and rice, and toast. My husband absolutely loved the breakfast and stuffed himself each morning. We had dinner at the restaurant one night and it was very tasty. My husband had steak while I had spaghetti. The grounds are green and lush with wildlife all around. We loved our stay here and we plan to come back to Costa Rica and the Arenal Lodge. If you’re adventurous this is the place for you, if not, there are several “resort” type accommodations around this area and La Fortuna.

Room Tip: If you want the best view, choose one of the chalets.
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank keithletes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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477 - 483 of 839 reviews

Reviewed July 14, 2012

We stayed at the Arenal Lodge because it was cheap and had a good view of the volcano. We totally lucked out and on 2 of the 3 days we were there, had a perfect view! (We never saw any lava, but the volcano was just not very active during our stay. We could see smoke pluming out of the top though).

When we arrived we were greeted with a free welcome drink, and they upgraded us to a suite without even asking, just because the hotel was not busy this time of year - score! Our suite opened out to a GORGEOUS view of the volcano and pastures infront of the hotel. All the grounds were beautifully gardened, and even though I am a beach person, I found this part of our trip my favorite (suprisingly) and I think it was due to the peaceful and relaxing time I had at this hotel.

There are trails you can hike on, which we did, and we saw tons of butterflies and Howler monkeys. There are also parrots and other birds around too. You can sign up for their horseback riding tour, which is free and offered several times a week (we were too busy relaxing and exploring La Fortuna to take advantage of this though). The staff were all really helpful, from the waiters and bartenders (there is a restaurant where breakfast is served every morning and is included with your hotel price), to the front desk, to the gate guard. Everyone was really nice. This IS central america though so don't expect over-the-top-fake service like in the United States. However, everything was taken care of, including our request to have a mini fridge added to our suite (it says online you can request this free of charge, so we did)... they had it in there in under half an hour! Very accomodating.

There is also free parking at this hotel. It's a windy drive up a narrow road to get to the hotel itself, but sooooo worth it. And you are only about 5 minutes outside of downtown La Fortuna. The pool and hot tub were excellent also (great after hiking to sit in there and watch fireflies as you listen to the Howler monkeys). The only thing that spooked me out the first night was there are a LOT of critters both inside and outside the room. However, I had never been to central america before, and since travelling there more now, I realize that this is the norm and just the way it is. I am actually thankful I had the experience of having many critters sneak into my room at night, because now I know what to expect when travelling in a jungle environment (and what is NOT acceptable either). There were no bedbugs, spiders, or anything of that sort, but there were a few butterflies, geckos, and a large beetle in our room (which we simply just put back outside). There are also a lot of frogs - I accidentally stepped on one coming out of the room (none inside the room though, only outside.) The staff can even find really cool looking frogs in the bushes and they will bring them in to the bar and show you... very neat! None of the critters bothered us at all, we didn't get bitten by anything... it was just a little un-nerving to sleep that first night since being from California this is not what I am used to. But after I made it through that I was completely relaxed at this hotel for the rest of my stay.... it's really hard not to be, since everything was perfect!

Room Tip: Spend the extra money for a suite - we luckily got a free upgrade (due to it being the off-season an...
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  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Tahoeyoyo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 13, 2012

We stayed 4 nights in the Chalets and we just loved it. Woke up every morning to the most amazing view of the Arenal Volcano and Lake. The grounds are wonderful and very unique. This is not the hotel for folks who need air conditioning and carpet. This place is a bit more rustic, but well worth it. Priced very reasonably, the hotel is the farthest away from La Fortuna (just past the Arenal Lake Dam). Once you get to the front gate, you drive up a private cobblestone road (very steep) for 2km until you get to the Main Lodge and reception. The staff is super friendly, and there is a complimentary nature hike through the nearby jungle trails on the property, then horseback up to the top for some amazing views of the volcano and lake. Miguel is the resident nature guide and showed us a wonderful time. I shows when someone truely loves what they do and he sure made our first day there very enjoyable and informative. The restaurant is nice and breakfast is included. Internet is slow to non-existant. The rooms are very open air and, yes, you may find an occaisional bug or spider run accross the floor. You are, after all, in a jungle. I just got home and am already trying to figure out how we can schedule a return trip for a longer period of time. We loved it!

Room Tip: Get the Chalet. For 10 or 20 bucks more a night, you get the most amazing views from your room.
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank markdwitt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2012

We booked a package with Jetset Vacations and our first 3 nights were here. The view is breathtaking. The lodge is exactly what you would imagine a Costa Rica lodge to be. Its rustic but comfortable. The past reviews are right on the money. The lodge has complimentary horseback riding and morning hike. Miguel is fantastic and really knows and cares about the land and nature. Jessie who books all the activities is wonderful. Very friendly and has a lot of tips. The food was good and reasonable. I wasn't impressed with the free breakfast. If you weren't there early there wasn't much left that was hot. Also the one waiter was very rude but the other one was wonderful. This place was very nice and made our trip memorable.

Room Tip: The junior sweet was really nice.
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank Vickie171
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2012

We stayed 3 nights at Hotel Arenal Lodge in June 2012. We loved that this hotel isn't in the middle of the tourist town of La Fortuna. It is about 15 minutes to get into town which for us wasn't a big deal. We didn't spend hardly any time in La Fortuna. The hotel is set on gorgeous grounds. You almost don't even want to leave the property. We probably saw more birds at the hotel than we did anywhere on our trip.

Our reservation came with a hiking tour thru the secondary and primary jungle on the property with a knowlegable guide Miguel as well as a horse back ride. Both were excellent!

The restaurant was wonderful. Great service and food. We had dinner one night there and the steak was the best! Breakfast was included and enjoyed each morning. There were some local restaurants not far from the property 10 minutes which we tried for dinner. Both were great.

The rooms were simple but clean with outstanding views. We stayed in a chalet which I would highly recommend! You can't beat the view up on the hill.

If you have your own car and are looking for a quiet, secluded place to stay then you can't beat Hotel Arenal Lodge. It's not a fancy resort but it was just what we were looking for.

Room Tip: Can't beat the Chalet!
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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Thank divindaze
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 1, 2012

We opted to stay at the lodge due to a short visit while traveling through La Fortuna due to a Rebeca, we wanted to see the hotel and she showed us rooms and the lodge, on our way back from another destination we stayed at the hotel and were quite pleased the rooms were nice the restaurant for dinner suprised us it was great and the service was wonderful as were all the staff.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank robebut60856
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 8, 2012

The view can't be beat; the person who booked our zipline tours was more than friendly. they even let us use the phone to call the US because we had a death in the family during our stay. the grounds are fantastic, the pool is beautiful. it's tough to get to but so worth it. the horses are 25 years old. i felt like i was riding a grandfather... they could barely walk. miguel takes excellent care of them and is a great guide but perhaps the hotel should look into letting these guys "retire". the drive up is a steep adventure but the road is well maintained
Pros: view, pool, patios on superior rooms, chalets
cons: hard beds, food is just okay for the price; some items very good, some just okay. the waiter who served our breakfast, lunch and dinner the first few days was openly adn extremely rude, not just to us but to other guests as well. we stopped eating at their restaurant because we were actually scared to have him serve us. when he had his day off, another waiter (esteban?) was just as kind as could be to us.

if not for the one extremely rude waiter, this place would get 5 stars.

Room Tip: superior rooms and chalets would be best. room 25 has a very cool swing.
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank travelinbooth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Arenal Lodge

Address: 200 meters NW from the Arenal Lake dam, Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos 1250, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > La Fortuna de San Carlos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#12 Spa Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range: $78 - $172 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Arenal Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 46
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Arenal Lodge provides guests with the excitement of staying in an authentic rainforest lodge with breathtaking panoramic views of Costa Rica’s famous Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal. Guests will enjoy a casual and relaxed rustic lodge setting with the added value of a complimentary breakfast daily. Located on 2000-acres of beautiful tropical rainforest, the lodge is situated near Arenal Volcano National Park. The lodge is surrounded by rainforest - housing hundreds of exotic birds, small animals and the beautiful tropical flowers and trees of Costa Rica. and is its own local tourist attraction due to its exclusive location with breathtaking panoramic views of Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal. The lodge features a full service restaurant with local and international cuisine, gift shop, three heated outdoor Jacuzzis, an infinite edge swimming pool, walking trails, a butterfly garden, horseback riding, a game room and outdoor playground for children, fitness room, sauna, and free wireless high speed internet access. Guest rooms and suites feature cable TV, telephone, coffee maker, clock radio, and all have private baths. Complimentary crib and wheel chair are available on request. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Arenal Hotel La Fortuna De San Carlos
Arenal Lodge Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park

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