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“Highly recommended!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Arenal Lodge

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Arenal Lodge
The Villages, Florida
Level Contributor
62 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Highly recommended!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2013

I was beginning to wonder about our choice of where to stay in the Arenal area going up the long and very bumpy driveway, but when we finally reached the top...WOW! Awesome place, really nice rooms, fantastic meals, bar, etc. Take the guided tour with Miguel, very knowledgeable guide and a beautiful hike. Stephania is a riot, she runs the place!

Room Tip: See if one of the honeymoon suites is available
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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?
1 Thank 1DrRick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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769 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 (198)
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English first
Lawrence, Kansas
Level Contributor
93 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 22, 2013

I was skeptical about this property because of the reviews and pictures we saw before we went. Our 9-day trip was arranged by Travels By Jen through Travelzoo (great value and itinerary). Arenal Lodge was our first, 3-night destination, and really set the stage for getting into the beauty of the Costa Rican rain forest. We stayed in Junior Suite 112 and it couldn't have been more perfect for us and a tremendous value. Open air, high ceilings of teak? wood with a huge patio with rocking chairs in the middle of a magical jungle and lord of the land volcano coming in and out of view with the clouds and rain. The staff was very friendly but not intrusive. The complimentary breakfast was a feast and the dinner we had was delicious and a good value. The nature paths were breathtaking. The guide for the free horseback riding was ill the day we were not riding the rapids at Rio Balsa (through Desafio company - highly recommended). Ask the staff about the (free) hot springs that the locals go to rather than the touristy ones - this was a highlight of the trip (about 5 km. towards Fortuna).

Room Tip: We loved our junior suite 112. Massive balcony opened up to mother nature and you're right nea...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Steve O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fullerton, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 22, 2013

My girlfriend and I stayed in the Junior Suite for 3 nights recently (July 2013) and were very impressed with the everything this venue had to offer. Significantly, we were most pleased with the people here which, in my opinion, is one of most important aspects of any establishment. Miguel (Mike) our hiking/horseback tour guide was simply fantastic. He was so knowledgeable and friendly, making our enjoyment and education his number one priority. We talked to him for hours, bombarding him with questions, and he was happy to oblige.

The front desk staff was eager to engage us and assist us in our travel plans.

We were also very impressed with the restaurant. All of the servers were extremely friendly (and bi-lingual which was helpful after a couple chuckles about my ability...or lack thereof...to speak Spanish) and the food was to die for. Our package included daily breakfast which, to our pleasant surprise, was a full-blown cooked to order breakfast, not some measly continental nothing.

The rooms we stayed in (Junior Suite) were nothing to write home about. The beds were a bit stiff, but not unbearable, and WiFi was only available in the lobby, though that prevented us from just sitting in our room on our iPads all day. All in all, though, that's all I can think to complain about...so that's saying something!

The view was ASTONISHING. The hike was fun and educational and the "town" and lake are just a short drive away.

If you're planning a trip to Arenal and value service, location, actives, and delicious food, make this your place to stay. If you just want to sit in your room on a plush bed watching movies all day...well, don't waste your time and money being in beautiful Costa Rica.

  • Stayed July 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 soarwiththeeagles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United States
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 21, 2013

Over the years, we have stayed at the Arenal Lodge many times. We've sadly witnessed it deteriorate from simply being outdated to total disrepair. On our recent visit, we were pleasantly surprised to learn the original owners have taken back the management of the facility, and extensive renovations were underway. Victoria is doing a great job overseeing the improvements. Much has already been done and there's more to come. Even the menu is getting a facelift. Yeah!
There really isn't any other place in the Arenal area that can give a guest so much bang for the buck. This 2,000 acre property offers an astounding view of Arenal volcano. It has it's own jungle w/hiking trails, gardens, small gym, horses, open pastures, pool, hot tubs, wildlife galore and Miguel, their resident naturalist guide. Tourists will be hard pressed to find another hotel/inn that offers guests free horse back riding and free hikes w/giude. The on site butterfly house has been repaired and was again full of flying jewels. Delightful.
If it's glitz and glamor you're looking for, this place is not for you. From all appearances, it seems the overall nature of the lodge will be preserved. Somewhat rustic and comfortable.
Yes, the driveway is an adventure, but so are many of Costa Rica's roads. Unlike most auxillary roads / driveways, this driveway is well paved. It's curvy and steep, but that's the trade off for staying away from the Fortuna bustle & noise. The most commotion you'll have here is from the night time frogs and howler monkeys during the day.
If you are visiting C.R. for the nature and adventure this is a great place to consider.
Victoria - Thank you.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank gngc1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GutiMau, General Manager at Arenal Lodge, responded to this review, November 13, 2013
Thank you for your kind words!
We are very glad that you have come again and again to visit our beautiful paradise! yes, you are right, renovations are in process and we will soon have the Arenal Lodge of the Golden years but better, we are improving all the facilities and atractions and activities.
We have much love for this place and it will soon be a paradise in paradise!
Hope to see you next year!!
Your friends
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arlington, Texas, United States
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 19, 2013

This hotel sits on a 2000 acre former ranching property on a hillside overlooking Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal. From the moment we arrived, we were welcomed by the professional, courteous, and (not always common in Costa Rica) extremely well-organized staff.
We spent three days here, in one of the Chalet-style cottages pictured at the top of this page. The views of the volcano are stunning. The restaurant offers local and "gringo" dishes that never disappointed, and you can see a huge variety of birds right on the terrace. The hotel made everything we wanted to do easy. Right in the lobby is a desk for Jacomar Tours, staffed by Jesse the amazing lady who arranged several tours for us (volcano/hot springs, Hanging Bridges rain forest excursion, white-water rafting). All of these were excellent, on-time, and with very knowledgeable guides. If you want a vacation where everything just works, you can't go wrong here. Pura Vida!

  • Stayed June 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 Robert v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GutiMau, General Manager at Arenal Lodge, responded to this review, November 23, 2013
Hola amigos, saludos desde Arenal Lodge

We are so grateful for your nice comments!! Thank you very much for stopping by to tell us about your experience while staying at Arenal Lodge. It makes us happy and and more commited to do a good job so that more people like you can come and enjoy the natural wonders that this wonderful area has to offer.
Again, thank you much and hope to see you soon in the near future!!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 29, 2013

A bit dated but an incredible place. The grounds are amazing - such an array of wildlife and plants - things we've never seen and were amazed by. Most incredible was the up-close-and-personal view of the volcano right from our hotel room.

The 2+ hour nature tour was fantastic. The guide was knowledgeable, funny, entertaining, and great with our "little scientist" who stayed close to him and asked him questions for the entire 2 hours. Truly a highlight of our trip. He knew the locale and even had animals respond to his call! He showed us a tarantula's home, and then somehow got the tarantula to come out! A toad also came out when called.

The gorgeous hike included the Lodge's butterfly garden. The hotel provided a helpful map of the grounds and we did additional tours on our own. Great restaurant, neat playground for the kids, great "hang out" spaces. Truly a special place. Just be prepared for the crazy driveway with lots of twists and turns. Not for the meek - especially not at night!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Billy700
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GutiMau, General Manager at Arenal Lodge, responded to this review, December 28, 2013
Thank you dear friends!

It is with great pleasure that we receive your kind comments. We are glad you had a beautiful stay in Arenal Lodge, that is our main goal as a team effort of all the staff working here.
Miguel, our tour guide, definitely is a great guide, very knowledgeable of the local flora and fauna. Thank you for your kind comments, they help us motivate to keep doing our best!!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indianapolis, Indiana
Level Contributor
83 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 27, 2013

Felt right at home right away. It might be a bit outdated but didn't bother us at all. You get more than you pay for. Loved the breakfast every morning and the service. Rooms are very spacious. Birdwatching is great from your room's balcony. Lots of frogs to spot all around the property. Horseback riding was included and was a heap of fun. We hope to go back in the future.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 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 jetkaiser
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:
#14 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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