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Review of Arenal Lodge

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Arenal Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 14, 2014

I stayed with my husband and had an amazing time. We stayed at the chalets and waking up to that amazing view of the volcano and lake, was great. The rooms are well accommodated, very intimate and we loved the romantic atmosphere. We knew that we signed up for a rustic and adventurous logde and that's what we got and more. We had the opportunity of seeing white tailed deers up close for the first time on our hike. We saw armadillos, colibris and a wild hog, plus other beautiful flowers and scenery. I would definitely recommend this place if you like a more natural and peaceful getaway. I would return gladly and hope to do so soon.

  • Stayed: November 2013
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Thank Natalie V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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324 - 330 of 829 reviews

Reviewed February 14, 2014 via mobile

Room was disgusting! We stayed in one of the 'superior' rooms, #42. Large patches of mold/mildew were visible on the walls adjacent to the bathroom (see photos). Mysterious other spots/stains on the walls and floors. The back room has a non-functioning fireplace and a sofa bed with white stains and burn marks presumably pulled from a crack house. Headboard on bed had stains and dirty footprints... Lamps were mismatched and broken with cords patched with electrical tape. TV was cracked... Etc.

The door has a window with no curtains, so it is possible to see the bed in the front room from the outside and there is no way to keep out light.

Safe for valuables in the room had no door.

I have stayed at other park lodges in North America and Australia, so I was not expecting a palace, but this room was just not up to typical Western standards. That said, each class of rooms is housed in a separate building, so it's possible other areas might be better. The setting and views from the hotel are ideal, and the main lodge and grounds have a cool rustic vibe, despite being a bit run down.

  • Stayed: February 2014
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Thank Sbrackn2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 13, 2014

I was on vacation with my son Luke, were very special because from my , it was separation this is first time I went out with my 15 years old son, we wanted a place away from it all, just wanted to be with my son and regain a lost time, find the Hotel Arenal Lodge and it was very good experience we had, the nature, the food, the good humane treatment, all met to make our holiday one to never forget, grasias! Miguel! for taking the time and show the beauty of nature , which approached much my son Lucas to me, grasias! Arenal Lodge, special place in my heart and my son and brillant holiday insurance.

Room Tip: if you want 100% privacy Chalets is the best choice
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank Eder S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 13, 2014

The volcano view from this property is AWESOME! I've read some of the other reviews and I have some suggestions for travelers. There isn't a shuttle, so PLEASE come with transportation. The Lodge is in a RAINFOREST where insects reside.Bring your own repellent or be prepared to visit the gift shop. Packaged tours are fun, well planned, safe and reasonably priced. The staff is friendly and helpful but located in Costa Rica where nothing is a urgent as some would imagine. Internet access can be an issue anywhere in the country, but usually isn't the fault of the hotel.We've spent many pleasant hours at Arenal Lodge and the beauty of the surroundings, its close proximity to all the splendor of nature that Costa Rica has to offer, coupled with the majestic presence of the volcano make it an ideal spot for the true nature lover.

Room Tip: We love the view from the Chalets
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Emily W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2014

I am perplexed with the varied reviews. Ranges from amazing to downright pitiful. I am convinced the majority of differences are d/t the accommodations and the service staff. We stayed in a JR suite (18,19). To say these rooms were a 'dump' is an understatement. The pictures attached prove it. For the price we paid.. for two rooms is upsetting but nothing we can do. Unfortunately, my travel agent (who we will never use again!) booked this hotel as part of package so i was not sure what we specifically paid until i asked the front desk. Let's start with the positives. THE Volcano VIEW from the back of the main lodge, the waiters in the restaurant and the food was pretty okay... Other than that.. pitiful. Our rooms were dingy and dirty with a mildew smell throughout. Rusted appliances, mold on the tile in the bathroom, hard bed with uncomfortable and thin blankets/sheets...similar to a camp bunk. Not enough towels for the 3 days we were there other than one towel in each room. We asked for more each day. they never arrived. Oh yes, the following day, we got another 'one' towel. Understand we had 5 people. So, between the two rooms, two towels. NO toiletries. NONE. NADA! ZILCH. There is soap dispenser in the shower. Old and broken. NO soap. No shampoo...We asked for small soap bars or at least refill the dispenser. Asked 3 times. NOPE. not done in the 3 days. Unfortunately, this place does not have easy access to any stores so we were a bit stuck in this area...luckily on one of our excursions we bought soap and shampoo at a local store. Free internet? I don't think so other than a small 8 x 8 square area in the main lobby, that for the first two days, was down. So, false marketing here.. Please know we did try to move our rooms (Jr. Suites? I don't think so)... We were told on the first day, they had nothing... (we were stuck d/t the holiday week and the distance from other locations). 2nd day, complained again..wanted to check out but could not find any avail. We were told we could move that day... so when we got back from our tour, we showed up at the main desk... the woman knew nothing about our 'move'... So, communication amongst staff is obviously minimal. We also found the primary woman behind the desk to be rude and inattentive. And last, but not least...the beds... my boys got bug bites. Say enough? IT seems I am 'complaining.' Im not. im just being brutally honest.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Elisa S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2014

The setting and views are great. Set in a rainforest. I saw tons of birds all the time. They offer free guided tours on the grounds with Miquel and he is awesome. The trail we took was great. The hotel is 35 minutes and $35 dollars taxi ride from La Fortuna and is out of the way. Don't stay here without a car. The drive up from the main road will give you whiplash. The walls are so thin you can hear everything from your neighbors, the electric blinked off almost everyday and I was there 7 nights. Constantly resetting the clock. A bit out dated, could use some upgrades. The food in the restaurant was overpriced and not that good. They don't really offer local cuisine. Eat in town or bring food back to the room from town if you can. The butterfly preserve is a joke and run down. The people are ice and helpful and the lobby area has beautiful hand carved wood furniture. Needs some work but for an out of the way setting for a few nights, it's okay.

Room Tip: The junior suite offers nice views of the volcano (when it is clear which wasn't often in a week...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Dorothy F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2014

I liked how remote it felt driving up the long road and the views are lovely. Thats it.

We arrived and I had a booking.com paper stating our price of $222 (and the 13% tax to be added) for a 2 bedroom unit with sitting area. As I started to sign the credit card slip, I noticed they were trying to charge me $546!! I questioned it and the desk man said that was because of taxes. I had to tell him that was not 13% but more like 100% tax. He went to the back and when he returned said now it would be $300 because of taxes and because anytime more than 2 people are in the FAMILY unit they charge $10 per person per night extra. This still would only be $270. I said I wasn't paying it and I wanted to see the manager. The desk person couldn't get the manager out. While we had been waiting a Canadian guest had been telling us her horrible time there and that they were leaving a day early and losing money to get away. We should've listened and walked away then. We went to the unit they had just finished cleaning...Dead bugs on the flood, bathroom windows that didn't close, stains on the floor and paint off the walls and very very dated furnishings. I am just lucky we got out of there!
If you read Clyde's review it sounds like the Taj Mahal but either it is because he is from North Dakota or just not well travelled. Go into town and for almost half the price stay at one of the numerous cute and CLEAN places.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank LindsayK82
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 - $155 (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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