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“Mediocre resort for mediocre price” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Arenal Paraiso Hotel Resort & Spa

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Arenal Paraiso Hotel Resort & Spa
California
Level Contributor
24 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Mediocre resort for mediocre price”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2009

I'm not generally a resort dweller but decided to stay here on a recommendation of a friend. Although the price was reasonable affordable for a resort, I've stayed in many cheaper places that had far more charm. The cabins are cookie-cutter and the restaurant was nothing special. We enjoyed the hot springs and the wet bar- those are what we really came for. The rooms were nice and clean and had ac and tv- just not the kind of place I want to spend my money at.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank eleacali
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,150 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
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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Indiana
Level Contributor
14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 27, 2009

Hotel has fantastic views, own canopy tour (book this FOR SURE, highlight of my trip!) AND hot springs on site. Hot springs are warm, but not "hot tub" warm. More like bathwater temp. Swim up bar in one. Great gift shop, hearty breakfast buffet. Some rooms have own parking space for those renting a car. (We changed rooms to get a parking space. ) Available internet in lobby, small fee for it, but connection seemed fast. Rains will come, folks, it is the rainforest. FYI: Wear a black shirt on canopy tour. Nights can also be cool. Surprisingly, not a lot of insects when I was there.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Thirtysomething02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 25, 2009

I went with my husband and our best friends in June of 08. We shared a cabin. The price was very resonable for the amazing views. The rooms were very clean and surrounded by beautiful gardens.The food was great, especially the breakfast buffet. The restaurant at the hotel is a bit pricy, so we took a taxi to town for lunch and dinner. The town is very safe and everyone was very friendly. We had an amazing time in the thermal springs, very beautiful and romantic. I would Highly recommend this resort . The only downside is we could not see the lava flow from the hotel but had a fantastic view from the pools and our room. We would love to go back next summer. I give the resort an A+

  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank leeboni2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southlake, Texas
Level Contributor
89 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 25, 2009

We had 3 standard rooms booked at Arenal Paraiso for 2 nights. We chose this hotel based on location, low price, and the 2 for 1 zip-lining offer. Two rooms had broken air-conditioners and it was a hot day making them very stuffy. We walked back to the front desk to change rooms and were told they only had 1 room available in the entire hotel. Then we were offered 2 superior rooms but with the additional price! We are not talking about alot of money but it is the principal of the thing! We nicely asked to speak with the manager but were refused. At this point, all but 2 in our party had a zip-line reservation so they stayed to seek resolution. Finally, after a total of 1 hour, the front desk relented and we were given 2 superior rooms with working air-conditioning but they wanted us to pay the difference for 1 night. As it turned out, they couldn't get their computers to work to accept the additional charge, so we didn't pay any additional. I always say there will bumps in the road and it's all in how a problem is handled and the Arenal Paraiso did not satisfactorily handle this situation.
The rooms are very old--think cabin but clean. We knew this when we booked so no problems here. We had very cute towel animals waiting for us the second day! The grounds are very pretty and we had a nice view of the non-lava side of the volcano. The food at the restaurant was very good and reasonably priced. Excellent service, also.
Zip-lining at the Paraiso was thrill--lines were long and high! Our guides were very friendly and fun. The hot spring pools were very relaxing but only enjoyed them 1 night as they were broken the second.
The morning we checked out we called the front desk to ask if they could call our wonderful driver, Rubier with TJTransfers, and connect him with us on our room phone as we could not figure out how to make a local call. After waiting for 20 minutes, we gave up and walked down to the front desk. Not a big deal but they should have been able to accomplish this small task.
We loved Costa Rica and Arenal. Our experience at the Paraiso in no way hampered our wonderful vacation!! There are many hotel options so choose wisely.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jette
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
36 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 20, 2009

My wife and I stayed here as part of a Kuoni tour.

This is a big hotel with lots of rooms. It faces the mountain but sadly the cloud never lifted for the 2 days we were there so we didn't see the volcano from our hotel. Other sides of the volcano were clear but not this side. The hotel had a bar in the pool but no other bar so there was nowhere to sit and have a drink in the evening after dinner if it was raining, which it does a lot in the rainy season as we know! There were several other pools and about 6 thermal pool coming down the slope. These are fed by a thermal spring so the pool right at the top of the slope was the hottest and each one down the slope became cooler. These were busy but that didn't impact on our enjoyment of them.

The restaurant is split into 2 rooms. 1 for buffet and 1 for ala carte. The food was very good and the waiting staff helpful and attentive in the ala carte in the evening. Breakfast was in the buffet side of the restaurant and again the breakfast was very good. Only small niggle was that the table became full very quickly and it could be a struggle to find somewhere to sit.

The room had 2 double beds and a television with air conditioning (although the aircon was broken in our room) . The room was a bit tired and in need of a fresh coat of varnish on the wood to remove some of the suspect stains in the bathroom. The bathroom again was tatty and the shower didnt work very well. The beds were comfortable and we slept well. If the cloud have lifted the view would have been great. At nightime the roads to the rooms has very few lights so you can't see where you are putting your feet. Being that I saw a couple of snakes in the grounds there is a small risk of stepping on a snake because you can't see.

By and large the staff in the restaurant were helpful but a woman serving towels in the changing rooms was rude and unhelpful. It had not been expalined to us that you need to get a towel card from reception before you can get a pool towel. The woman serving didnt bother to expalin this to us either, she just stared at us shaking her head as we asked for towels, it was another guest who finally explained it to us. Oh she could speak English by the way but couldnt be bothered to explain to us.

All in all this could have been a good hotel but it was let down but a number of small issues that built up to leave us with an overall average impression. So I wouldnt go back as I am sure there are better hotels in the area.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank MikeT81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairfax, VA
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 11, 2009

I was pleasantly surprised with this lodge. I had read a fair share of reviews before booking and most were positive but more than a handful of negative reviews were thrown in the mix giving me a slightly uneasy feeling. However, I decided to book this lodge because 1. It was one of the cheapest (for what I was looking for) 2. It has its own hot springs (sparring us from the $75 per person few to go to another hotel to use theirs) and 3. It was in a good location.

We did have a small incident as soon as we checked in. Our rooms’ air condition was not working (and the gentlemen who drove us to the room could not figure out how to make it work) and there was no safe in the room (as advertised on the site) and as conveyed in my email exchanges. Both items were a necessity to us! As soon as we realized we had issues we called the front desk and they quickly relocated us (and upgraded us) to a superior type room! Oh, the upgrade was so worth it! The room was bigger, newer, and more welcoming! It also was detached from another bungalow and unlike the standard room, it had a glassed in porch with an AMAZING view (room 259). Our standard room had a view of a large tent that the hotel uses to host parties – this room had a view of the beautiful volcano (cloudy) and mountains! It was breathtaking.

The superior rooms are all separate bungalow type rooms that are very spacious and rustic looking and feeling. The design and structure matched nicely with the environment in Arenal and La Fortuna. Who wants to stay at a typical Marriot or Holiday Inn when you are in Costa Rica, no less at a base of a volcano! The properties are spread out amongst complete with views of grassy hills, horses, and roaming cows! Our upgraded room was also right next to the hottest hot springs. Arenal Parasol has their own hot springs (10 +) with a pool close to the entrance way. My husband enjoyed going into the hot springs at night time (even after they are supposedly
Closed).

Also important to us was having breakfast included – this was once less meal we would have to pay for and travel to go get. Breakfast was buffet style and okay – not bad, not great. There is a large selection with most of it staying true to typical Costa Rican choices. Picky eaters might have a problem! We ate dinner at the restaurant only one evening and it was good (grilled chicken and sea bass were our choices) however, compared to the choices in town, their prices are high! I would only eat here if you are completely exhausted and don’t want to travel (which we were). If not, leave the resort and go into town (Lava Rocks was great and El Novillo is amazing – great steaks and cheap, cheap, cheap – 3 wines, 3 beers, 1 appetizer, 2 dinners, and 1 desert for $45)!

So many wonder if they should rent a car or not. I went with hiring a driver (Wilson Rojas – 5 stars) and using cabs at our locations. If we had rented a car we probably would have divorced before making it back to the states – I am a back seat driver and the roads in Costa Rica (although not as bad as I anticipated) are by no means comparable to U.S. roads. Also, I knew we were on vacation and would be drinking at dinner and didn’t want to have to worry about drinking and driving in a foreign country (although here there is no such thing as DWI in Arenal unless you kill someone, no joke). So opted to take cabs when we arrived to our destination and needed to go into town – this was a reliable way to get around as well as relatively cheap. Hotel to La Fortuna was about $6 each way. The hotel always called the cab for us and they typically arrived within 10 minutes.

I would highly recommend staying at this resort if you are looking for a not so typical lodge that has character, good service, great views, and amenities on its land (horse back riding, zip lining, a hiking trail, and hot springs)!

Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank dmorrison27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leuven
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 30, 2009

Lovely location at the bottom of the Arenal volcano. However, wheather should not be cloudy. Better stay there for 2 days (luckily we did) to be sure to see the top of the Volcano. It is a pity that the lava flows turned the other way, but only a 30 min drive to the famous bridge where everyone goes to admire the lava flows.
Horse ride is fun!
Hotel away from the centre of La Fortuna. Not really special; it has the main important things like A/C on the room, nice bathroom, ...
Food is normal for right prices.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank BP1983
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Arenal Paraiso Hotel Resort & Spa

Property: Arenal Paraiso Hotel Resort & Spa
Address: 7 kms from La Fortuna downtown, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park 84-4417, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > La Fortuna de San Carlos
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#15 Spa Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Arenal Paraiso Hotel Resort & Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 118
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Enjoy of cozy & comfortable rooms surrounded by tropical gardens, with the best view of Arenal Volcano. Discover the wellness of our hot springs and our Mayin Spa. Taste the Costa Rica flavor, international cuisine and the best steak house in the area. Feel the adrenaline on our Canopy Tour, and take the best shots of Arenal volcano on our horseback riding. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Arenal Paraiso Hotel La Fortuna De San Carlos
Arenal Paraiso Hotel Resort And Spa
Hotel Arenal Paraiso
Arenal Paraiso Hotel Resort & Spa Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park

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