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“Lovely but remote location” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Arenal Lodge

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Arenal Lodge
El Cerrito, California
Level Contributor
40 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Lovely but remote location”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 2, 2013

My husband and I stayed here as part of a Travel by Jenn package and mostly like it a lot. It's in a lovely setting, nice large room with great view. Only problem is the very remote location from any town or store. We did not have a car so were dependent on transport and cabs to town cost $30 each way.

One big irritation was that we were promised, as part of our package, a horseback ride. When we inquired about this, we were told the horses were out "for inspection." We were there for 3 days and saw several horses on the property so this seemed like a come on and a lie in their advertisement. Otherwise the food was good and staff was accommodating with our needs. They do have a "ranger" who leads a nice and informative hike every morning.

Room Tip: Ask for a room facing the Volcano or else a cabin on the hillside to get a great view.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank lfodea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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719 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (186)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Vero Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 2, 2013

just returned from la fortuna- 6 days at arenal lodge. alonzo at front desk was very, very helpful with reservation and had much knowledge of sights and tours. we had the superior room for 2 day ( no a/c- but not really needed) with a view of volcano from our bed. it was our honeymoon and was, after the second night moved to the suite. superior room is good for view and price. superior room is a nice 3.5 rooms , with a nice bath and very very clean! breakfast was included...either buffet or omelet station...lovely view of volcano in dining rooms also. feed the resident coati (local animal) or the many lovely birds at the 2 feeders. the blue ones will land Right by you. pool and 2 hot tubs are just outside the dining area also with a view of the volcano. be advised the entry to the hotel is a 6-7 minutes drive Up the side of the mountain and about 25 minutes from the town...but Very nicely located for the park, volcano , butterfly gardens, fishing and horseback riding, etc.....husband did the rain forest walk at the hotel and saw a monkey.. the riding and fishing at hotel was advertised BUT not available when we got there. service and good was Great ( so were the prices) at the restaurant and bar.

Room Tip: there are rooms on a hill just behind the main building that seemed very nice. some rooms have a/c a...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank cathi555
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La Center, WA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 30, 2013

Our room was broken into and the safe as well, $$$ and computer stolen. Inside job say the police and all others. Management was new, BEAUTIFUL PLACE if they fire the manager, employees OK, though I believe some of them were on the take also. Rooms do not have anything but a door-knob lock, easily gotten past.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Sarah T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder, CO
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 25, 2013

We heard this was a wonderful spot and the only room available to our agent was a "family suite". We agreed, and when we got up the long. steep winding road were thrilled with the beauty of the property. When we were taken to our room ( a small cottage) above the main lodge, we we horrified. It was a dank, aged unit with 2 small bedrooms with old cot type beds, small, clean, but grubby bath rooms with a connecting kitchen area. There was no view and no outside seating area.I am 75 with some walking issues and did not feel that I could walk up and down the steep hill to the lodge. I also did not want to spend even a night there. We walked down to the main lodge, carfully using our trekking poles, and asked if there was a unit in the main building. We were given a wonderful room, with a balcony overlooking the volcano. There were several other cottages on the property. I don't know if they were all as "rustic".There is a free morning nature walk around the property and free horseback riding.
The lodge is old, but very charming. It might be best suited to younger people, but we enjoyed it very much. It is a longish drive down the hill to get to the area attractions. The $160ish rate was fine for the lodge, but exhorbitant for the cabin.The full hot breakfast, included, was excellent, and other meals were good too.

Room Tip: Stay in the main lodge with a volcano view room.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank dshpotter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 23, 2013

Our family stayed here in January 2013 and we had a fantastic time! It was so lovely to be up in the jungle and on the mountain. It made the view of the volcano not only clear but also quiet (there really are no roads nearby)! What you get instead of roads is parrots who visit the deck and other animals that wander through the green space in front of the hotel. You really could sit on your deck all day and just watch and read and be quite content...however if you wanted to explore, there are some great little hikes and our kids had a great time riding the horses.

The staff are wonderful and we loved it here!

Room Tip: We stayed in the little suites looking out over the pool and the jungle...lovely!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Liisa R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leland, North Carolina
Level Contributor
75 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 21, 2013

After a long drive from the Caribbean coast, my wife and I took the road up the mountain to the lodge, and when we were greeted by the sign that said: "You made it!" we immediately felt welcome. Rebecca, the receptionist emphasised that feeling with a welcome drink and an absolutely beautiful smile.

Some comments about the other reviews I've read here: I have no idea if the clock, coffee maker or tv worked. Never used them. We never had any problem getting coffee at the lodge, and I didn't come there for the tv or especially the clock. We slept so soundly that it took some howler monkeys to wake us up. The sound of a nighthawk lulled us to sleep on a bed that I describe as good as my home. Our shower gel and shampoo dispenser was also not marked but is that really a problem worth mentioning? The shampoo is (usually) golden in color and the shower gel a different color.(here it was blue) One squeeze into your hand would reveal that.

The shower was huge (We mean huge) and bright and clean. We didn't look for and therefore didn't see any missing trim etc. The water stream was strong and hot and a refreshing way to start the day. A short walk to the main lodge for a delicious breakfast in a room that overlooked the Arenal Volcano was the highlight of the trip for us. What an unbelievable view! And to make the whole picture even more beatiful, birds everyhere. The feeding platforms maintained by the staff atracted the most beautiful and colorful birds...more than we saw in 2 treks into the rain forest.

We ate lunch and dinner in the hotel 4 times. Each meal was delicious. The service is impeccable and the quality excellent. We also ate at several local restaurants and they served very good food, but none had the view that the lodge did. This was our 3rd trip to Costa Rica and our most enjoyable. You can tell that this is a family owned lodge. The attitude of the staff (as well as their command of English) was very impressive.

This trip so exceeded our expectations that we are already planning another trip here again, there is still so much to see and do.

Room Tip: No advice necessary. If you want a vew of the Volcano 24/7 ask the receptionist. These people are so...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank blueaiz1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2013

My husband and I stayed here over the New Years Holiday for 2 nights. First of all I'd say the last couple of reviews posted on Trip Advisor were very accurate. I'll just add some more thoughts.
The excellent -- the breakfast was really good for a breakfast that is included in your rate. A wide variety of foods including made to order omelettes. The breakfast room overlooks the mountain and they have put up bird feeders that attract many, many different type of birds. Saw more birds here than in the jungle. Also the staff were excellent, courteous and accommodating.
The good -- the grounds and setting were beautiful. The buildings were ok, but don't go by the pictures on the web site. Those are not the standard rooms.
The bad -- The hotels needs maintenance. We were in two different rooms and both had items that needed fixing, including air conditioning and refrigerators.
The ugly -- The first night we were there a couple argued for most of the night, screaming very loudly (not the hotel's fault). Since there was
no phone in the room and the office was a long walk, we had to tough it out. Thankfully, the hotel did upgrade us the next night to a better room. However, the second room had even more maintenance items than the first room we were in.
Overall, the hotel could be quite special, but it needs some attention. I suspect that they have been a victim of the poor economy in the U.S. and the lack of eruptions of the Arenal Volcano, which has probably slowed down the number of guests that come to this area.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank PeggyS148
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Arenal Lodge

Property: Arenal Lodge
Address: 200 meters NW from the Arenal Lake dam, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park 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 (Based on Average Rates): $
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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