We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Beautiful Volcano View”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 7 more sites!
Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Missouri
Level Contributor
48 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Beautiful Volcano View”
Reviewed December 19, 2013

One of the best maintained Lodges I have ever seen. They have free morning guided tour,several walking trails to take,one to a beautiful waterfall and hanging bridge through dense jungle foliage.They have a nice breakfast,but the food and service at dinner is poor. The Lodge staff was friendly and great.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sicarioMissouri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

1,921 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    1,067
    639
    162
    38
    15
See reviews for
543
935
44
4
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (391)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Halifax, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 15, 2013

Was excited to have a reservation here- however- be aware it is a 45 minute drive down or up a pooring maintained ( I mean Poorly!) dirt rd. to any of the local tours or town.

Also our room was 500 mts away from the main lodge/resturant up a very very steep inclined hill, limiting our access to the pool, hottub and resturant, and hiking paths as my travelling partner has a bad knee. They did offer to drive us back and forth- however there was no phone in the room, and was difficult to arrange the drive.

When I asked for a closer room they did have one available- but would add an addition cost to the room of 40$.

The area was beautiful- but would not go back or suggest this local to anyone.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Dianevan2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level Contributor
81 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed December 10, 2013

We stayed here at two different occasions. The main attraction for us was to see the volcano spitting lava sparkles. Unfortunately, the mist is so tick we never even saw the volcano - on either of the times. Apparently this is quite typical. With that, it was a very expensive accommodation... ps. when we were there the rooms were cold - so bring warm sleeping wear.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank nmkUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
37 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed December 6, 2013

We landed in Liberia and made the winding drive to Arenal late that same afternoon. Our initial impression was the lodge was bit more rustic in nature, but very clean and quite comfortable. It was our first time to Costa Rica and were not sure what to expect -- especially with our three girls (ages 5-12).

The guided walks are delightful -- especially for a smaller group. We found the food to be adequate, but not exemplary (but that was not why we were there). The coati would visit us in the morning and the fireflies at night -- all cast w/ Arenal and rainforest foliage in the background -- it was magical.

If you are traveling with children, the lodge has a enough for the kids to do for 2 or 3 days, but they may tire of it for longer periods of time. Our kids really enjoyed the pool and hot tub area with its unusual layout and novel idea of crossing a suspension bridge to get there.

Room Tip: We had a junior suite (#32) near the restaurant with two king beds and had comparable views as the o...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank WindyPass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gardnerville, Nevada
Level Contributor
29 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed December 2, 2013

We stayed at the White Hawk Villa, this is a very large two story home at the Arenal Observatory Lodge. The home is away from all of the visitors. It sits up on a hill all by its lonesome. It is has its own private road and is electronically gated. You are given a gate opener. If you like being away from the crowds this is perfect. It is a beautiful setting, the home is very spacious. Home has nice furniture and is perfect for a large group. We had four couples. Could hold a lot of people but there are only two bedrooms. There are two bedrooms and a full kitchen, open dining room living room combination, carport and sufficient parking. Each bedroom has a king sized bed and two twin beds with a full bath. We took the mattresses off of the twin beds to make two larger beds and placed the mattresses in the huge living room on the floor. This worked out perfect. The bedrooms are on the lower floor facing the volcano. In the night it rained so hard, it was awesome. Beautiful flowers around the villa with hummingbirds flying, Howler monkeys in the trees in the distance. Spectacular view to the lake and volcano from inside the home. The Arenal Observatory Lodge is the best place to be for volcano viewing. The breakfast was included, a typical Costa Rican breakfast buffet; enough to keep you satisfied for the morning. You can also order off a menu. We had lunch and dinner there. Food was ok; food was our least favorite of our 10 day trip to Costa Rica, but don't let that keep you from coming. Hiking, kayaking, canyoning and other activities are bountiful in the area. A must see, Tabacon Hot Springs - go there in the evening (best at night) for the hot springs. Wish we could have stayed longer at the Arenal Observatory Lodge there is a lot to see at Arenal Observatory Lodge. We also did a hike from the Lodge down to the river. There are a lot of white faced Coati's hanging around the lodge.

I understand that the volcano can be obscured by clouds most of the time. We were lucky, the day we arrived we saw the volcano in full, then as the days passed we could not see due to cloud cover. If you do see it in full, get your camera out, you may not have another opportunity.

Room Tip: We had the White Hawk Villa, perfect for a large group. But only two bedrooms. Take the mattresses...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lori6600
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond-upon-Thames, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed November 23, 2013

This lodge has so much going for it. As mentioned before the views are stunning in good weather, which luckily we had. Waking at night and seeing the clear outline of the volcano with fireflies dancing in the trees in front of the room was something never to be forgotten. The opportunities for bird and wildlife viewing are excellent and Christian was a very knowledgeable guide. However our experience was that the staff, with the exception of Jonathan in the dining room, were miserable to the point of downright rudeness. They did their job, just, with no hint of friendliness. The included breakfast buffet was not good; coming back from an early birdwatching walk what little food left was lukewarm and unappetising. Unlike a previous reviewer our experience at reception was rushed and impatient. Lunch and dinner were acceptable. The Smithsonian rooms are very nice but a good walk from the main building up and down steps - lovely in good weather but no umbrellas or boots are provided in the rooms for wet weather. It was also difficult getting our luggage brought to and from our rooms. This is a good place to stay but with better service and food it would be amazing.

Room Tip: Smithsonian rooms comfortable but good distance from main buildings with steps and a hanging bridge...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank marywant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
québec
Level Contributor
113 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed November 22, 2013

Amy and Estaban at the reception were very helful, and full of smiles!! We had a Junior suite for 4 people, spacious king beds and a coffee maker (for those who want some before 7am). The view is exceptionnal. Breakfast was plentiful, buffet with eggs, potatoes, fruits, toast, juices, coffee, etc. Lunch and dinner have US/comparable rates, with average food. Worth not doing the drive to and from La Fortuna in the dark.
The morning bird walk was very interesting seeing as this was our first stop, besides our arrival in San Jose. The trails to walk are great, we saw different birds, snakes, monkeys and wild flowers. The pool and jacuzzi were clean and very appreciated.
Amy helped us with an excursion to Baldi Springs and Esteban with the zipline with SkyTrek. Both were very patient at check out, making sure the bill is well understood, first day with different currency....takes practice. Would definately recommend to friends and go back myself.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank tryin2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these La Fortuna de San Carlos hotels
4.5 mi away
Volcano Lodge & Springs
Volcano Lodge & Springs
#15 of 57 in La Fortuna de San Carlos
2,826 reviews
4.9 mi away
Arenal Manoa Hotel
Arenal Manoa Hotel
#13 of 57 in La Fortuna de San Carlos
1,803 reviews
3.8 mi away
Hotel El Silencio del Campo
Hotel El Silencio del Campo
#5 of 57 in La Fortuna de San Carlos
1,822 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
4.8 mi away
Arenal Springs Resort and Spa
Arenal Springs Resort and Spa
#11 of 57 in La Fortuna de San Carlos
2,368 reviews
2.9 mi away
Hotel Lomas del Volcan
Hotel Lomas del Volcan
#9 of 57 in La Fortuna de San Carlos
1,439 reviews
3.8 mi away
The Royal Corin Thermal Water Spa & Resort
The Royal Corin Thermal Water Sp...
#7 of 57 in La Fortuna de San Carlos
2,243 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa

Property: Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa
Address: 23 Km West of La Fortuna City Center, Located at the Base of the Arenal Volcano | Main Road to Arenal National Park, 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:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 68 Specialty Lodging in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa 3*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated only 1.7 Miles from the majestic Arenal Volcano and with a spectacular view of Lake Arenal, the Arenal Observatory Lodge (AOL) offers guests the opportunity to DISCOVER, EXPLORE and RELAX. Located within the Arenal Conservation Area and surrounded by rainforests and nature, AOL sits on an 870 acres property, which consists of 400 acres of reforestation, 270 acres of natural forest and 200 acres of cultivated land. The hotel offers 48 comfortable rooms surrounded by gardens, the majority with a direct view of the volcano and/or the forest. The 7 miles of well-maintained trails for walking, horseback riding or biking running through the property provide good opportunities to observe a variety of flora and fauna. Approximately 500 species of birds live in the area making AOL a preferred destination for bird watchers. Activities at the hotel include hikes to the waterfall or to explore Cerro Chato (an extinct volcano with a small lake in the crater), horseback riding, bicycling through the trails, enjoying a refreshing swim in our pool, or simply relaxing with a massage in our SPA. The hotel is well located to serve as a base for a variety of excursions such as the Cano Negro Nature Refuge, hot springs, Venado Caves, Canopy Tours, Arenal Hanging Bridges, Fishing, White Water Rafting, Canyoning, Biking etc. It also serves as a very interesting stop before heading on to Monteverde Cloud Forest or to the beaches of the Pacific coast. Arenal Observatory Lodge is the perfect place for adventure lovers, families, and honeymooners. With its spectacular location, great service, and friendly personnel you won't be disappointed ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Orbitz, Hotels.com, TripOnline SA, Hotwire, Travelocity, Cheap Tickets and Priceline so you can book your Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Arenal Observatory Hotel La Fortuna De San Carlos
Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing