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.

“So Much to Enjoy Here - Too Little Time!!”

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
Reviewed August 2, 2005

If you like volcanos (real, active, huff-and-puff, rock-spewing, glow-in-the-night volcanos) Arenal is THE destination and the Observatory Lodge is THE place to stay!!

First, it is a bit off the beaten path, a 11 km drive past the park entrance - and so much worth it! Fortuna is nice, the hot springs at Tabacon are still close, but for a treat, forgo all the touristy stuff, all the Guide-book and all the tours and hit this place for a few days. The Lodge offers views of the Volcan and the lake that are unbelievable - from the rooms (at least the one we had - #7 - double bed, twin bunks, huge shower with loads of hot water - PLUS clean and bug-free - some other rooms probably had better views than ours) - as well as the restaurant. The pool is spectacular - we thought it might be the usual rectangular hotel-type pool, but no way - well-maintained, clean, not too riddled with chlorine and huge. The hot-tub/spa could seat a dozen comfortably and is equally clean and well-maintained. The grounds are one of the many "best parts" - plants labeled with signs so you know what you're looking at - several well-marked walking and hiking trails, the Smithsonian's instruments to measure volcanic activity and their musuem, tons of hummingbirds and butterflies - all this and so much more.

The staff is so helpful- from the guides to the front desk. We had super experiences in the restaurant for all meals - reasonable prices, a huge variety of great, plentiful, well-prepared food and prompt service. (If you stay here, breakfast is free and delicious! Don't miss the morning walk - filled with more information that one can remember about the area plants, geography and, of course, Arenal). Our waiter spent time entertaining our son with a walking stick he found on the veranda - sharing the attributes of the local flora and fauna with us. and helping us with our CR Spanish!

The best part was Arenal. When you look up active Volcanos in the dictionary, Arenal should pictured! She (I prefer to think of her as a fire-y tempered girl) sounds like a steam locomotive when she lets loose - not at all what all of us thought a volcano would sound like. The sight, sound and the power is unimaginable and impossible to put into words!

This was my daughter's favorite place (I think because of their pool); and my son's because of the howler monkeys and the big girl, Arenal, glowing red and blowing off steam all night. I liked their lending library, good food and views. My husband was just happy to find someplace he could watch CNN, on the tv by the bar and get a decent whiskey!

The Arenal Observatory Lodge is the closest you are going to get to the "real deal". There IS a reason The Smithsonian picked this site - and you'll know it too when you go.
If you want more information, feel free to email me at tib1@columbus.rr.com. Enjoy!!

  • Stayed: July 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
12  Thank Tibbi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (1,994)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

1,602 - 1,608 of 1,994 reviews

Reviewed June 29, 2005

The Smithsonian room we stayed in had giant windows and a deck that allowed for prime viewing of the volcano. Also, the grounds have great hiking and views. The room itself was okay.

  • Stayed: June 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank kundun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 5, 2005

7  Thank WisconsinPaul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2005

  • Stayed: May 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank climbingup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Norwalk, Connecticut
216
Reviewed April 12, 2005

  • Stayed: April 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 18, 2005

8  Thank arbitrageur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 18, 2004

10  Thank angelicainca
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
2.9 mi away
Hotel Lomas del Volcan
Hotel Lomas del Volcan
#9 of 59 in La Fortuna de San Carlos
1,562 reviews
4.8 mi away
Arenal Springs Resort and Spa
Arenal Springs Resort and Spa
#12 of 59 in La Fortuna de San Carlos
2,489 reviews
4.5 mi away
Volcano Lodge & Springs
Volcano Lodge & Springs
#15 of 59 in La Fortuna de San Carlos
2,966 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
3.8 mi away
Hotel El Silencio del Campo
Hotel El Silencio del Campo
#3 of 59 in La Fortuna de San Carlos
1,887 reviews
5.5 mi away
Arenal Lodge
Arenal Lodge
#23 of 59 in La Fortuna de San Carlos
829 reviews
3.8 mi away
The Royal Corin Thermal Water Spa & Resort
The Royal Corin Thermal Water Sp...
#6 of 59 in La Fortuna de San Carlos
2,324 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

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 74 Specialty Lodging in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range: $119 - $183 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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, Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity, TripOnline SA, Hotwire, Priceline, Hotels.com and Cheap Tickets 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