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“Great place to stay outside La Fortuna”
Review of Hotel La Pradera

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Hotel La Pradera
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 28, 2008

We decided to stay outside of La Fortuna town for the last 2 nights of our stay in the Arenal area. It was too noisy in town and we wanted to find a place to relax and to sleep at night without being woken up by car engine noises.

We had a rented a car for the last 2 days and we had flexibility now. We were able to drive on our own and to find a place to sleep at that was appealing to us. I am so glad we stopped here and decided to stay for 2 nights! The hotel is amazing. I wanted to stay away from the American style hotels and wanted something more private and traditional. This hotel provided exactly what I was looking for! I have added pictures of the room, bathroom and the hotel grounds in the travelogue section. You have your choice of a private cabin or a standard room in a building that has 5 rooms in a row, each one with its own private patio/balcony. We decided to pass on the private cabins since they had only 1 queen bed in the room and I really wanted a room with 2 queen beds (which the standard rooms provided). If you are not in your 20s anymore, you will be glad to stay in a room where you can have your own bed at night. We were pretty sore after all the daily activities and sleeping in a bed alone was exactly what we needed :)

We paid $65 per night, taxes and breakfast included, for a standard room for 2 people. The room was pretty big, it had a remote controlled A/C, a TV and a great bathroom with a shower that could easily accommodate 4 people at the same time. The hot water took no time at all to come and the hot shower felt like a blessing at the end of the day.

The hotel has a nice restaurant on site (a little bit on the pricey side, so we skipped it and ate in town since we had a car) and computers with free internet in the lobby, so you can check your email and browse the web with no problem while staying here. The pool area is very nice and clean and the jacuzzi with hot water is just amazing. We spent time there every day, soaking our sore bodies in the jacuzzi even during the rainy periods of the day. It was nice and warm outside and the rain really did not bother us at all while being in the jacuzzi.

There are several tours that you can book from the hotel, but we booked tours on our own, from the town of La Fortuna. They do have ATVs on site, motorcycles and bicycles that you can rent if you want to.

We really had a great time staying here and we will definitely book a room at this hotel again on our next visit to Arenal.

Unique hotel qualities: all rooms provide volcano views and you feel like you are sitting at the base of the volcano. There are private patios for every room. Grounds are very well maintained, with lots of birds and flowers. The only noise you here is the one the coming from the birds. They do chirp a lot, but this is much better than the car noises you hear if staying in La Fortuna town.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank monica1978
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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234 - 240 of 386 reviews

Reviewed April 26, 2008

The Pros: Good location if you have a car. 2 Minutes to La Fortuna, 5 Minutes to Baldi Hot springs, 25 minutes to the best location to see the volcano. The included breakfast was nice on saturday, but on sunday we were surprised to find an amazing buffet with just about anything we could want for breakfast! Everything was so good! The room was basic but very cute, with a private porch with chairs and a small table. The room was clean. The front desk staff was GREAT! They booked us with great tours (the Cano Negro tour is a must for animal and nature lovers). We came at the last minute asking for a tour that we were 99% sure that already started. They made some phone calls and arranged something for us. The restaurant staff was great too.
The Cons: No Phone/ alarm clock in the room, but no other budget hotel we've been to in CR had them.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Shualon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2008

The hotel offers a wonderful view of the volcano,both from the rooms and pool & spa area. There's a choice of standard rooms or individual huts and both have outside chairs and table to watch the volcano. The rooms near the drive tend to be noisy so we moved to the far end of the row. Breakfast is good and we enjoyed being entertained by Carmelita, the resident parrot who walks around the dining room greeting guests. The hotel is about 25 mins walk from La Fortuna town though there are a couple of restaurants nearby.

  • Stayed: November 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank TTD1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 17, 2008

This hotel feels a lot like a " Motel" as it is positioned right beside the main road into La Fortuna. However it is only 2K from the town and is directly below the majestic volcano at Arenal. Reception staff are welcoming and helpful and speak really good English. A taxi ride to town in $2 one way but beware always fix a price.
The rooms are a choice of Wooden Cabin or standard room. It is not a big hotel and there are only a handful of wooden cabinas. These have a nice front porch with a great volcano view. Also parking right outside.The rooms are basic but have a large, if not dated bathroom, and a fridge and TV. There will be some wildlife present in your room so make sure you close your bags and shake out hanging clothes unless you want to bring them home.

The area of Arenal and La Fortuna has many activities including tours to Cano Negro, ATV tours and Canopy. The Volcano hikes are also popular.
However my tip would be to have a hire care in this area. The roads are good and easy to navigate. We had a great day by heading away from La Fortuna towards the lake. Go to the end of the dam bridge and opposite the sign for the Hanging Bridges and Lost Iguna there is a Kayek hire. Take one accross the lake for an hour or two ( $12 for a double per hour). It a great way to see the volcano and lakes. Then drive out towards Arenal and have cafe and Kuchen at the German Bakery. Buy local art and handmade local jewellery here. After head for lunch at the amazing Cafe y Macademia ( see my review for here in resturants).
If we were doing this again I would stay in a hotel , lodge or B&B by the lake and not in La Fortuna. It may cost a bit more but it is really nice. You can also easily access the hot springs at Baldi ot Tabacon from the lake accomodations. This hotel has all the basics and is good value for money but I would splurge a little and head for the lakes.
Also aviod the on site resturant, it is expensive and not great. Recommend Soda Pradera in centre of La Fortuna - authentic, cheap and full of locals.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Jayneclive8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 2008

Hola. We had a great first two days here. Nice grounds, decent breakfast, spacious volcano view cabin. Front desk was pretty good. Then there was a bat nest above the bathroom. We could here them moving around. Then one got in. We left and try to get him to leave as well but we knew that bats in Costa rica have a high % of rabies so.....Anyway we knew we wouldn't be abl;e to sleep in there so we asked for another room but they were full. Unfortunatly. They found us a room in the hotel two down. Not as nice. So we ran in out of our room at 11pm trying to pack with the thought of bats above our heads. Anyway again, we got into the to other hotel slept and got up early for a good drive to Montezuma. They then charged us for the cheaper hotel for that night. 15$ cheaper then the cabin. I thought it would have been right to give us the night for free but they said they can't help if bats get in the room. Well, I know you can't control nature but maybe you shouldn't build cabins out of board and batton where really anything rodent or bug like could get in. We live in cottage country ontario and we have had bats to and have had to sleep in the guest bunkie so we know bats happen But I don't think we should have had to pay for that night. The staff didn't care that we had to run in and out of the room packing at 11pm and dodging bats{exaggeration}. So this leaves me to not recommend la pradera based on the fact that if something goes wrong. Your on your own.

  • Stayed: March 2008
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2  Thank HaliburtonTheo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2008

My husband and I stayed in a spacious cabin. A bit sparse on decor, but the room was very clean and the outdoor porch had great morning views of the volcano. Breakfast was ok and got us through until dinner on some days. The front desk was helpful, but we booked our tours directly with Desafio anyway. Lighting is an issue here - the walkway to the cabins is very dark! The hotel has the largest hot tub I've ever seen - wonderful after long days of tours!

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Girllamm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2008

Lots of nice things about this hotel, but a very few simple things they could do to improve things.

We booked the bungalow / cabin style rooms, and they were lovely, nice and private detached bungalows, with your own little veranda area. Nicely laid out, with TVs and Fridges in each room. Nice shower area, but watch out for the sharp edges on the shower door!!

The maid was great, making lovely designs out of our towels each morning, and letting us back in when we'd locked ourself out one day!

They have an issue with lighting, the bungalows are a slight walk from the main building, and on 3 out of the 4 days the lights which lit up this path weren't on. They switched them on when we told them about it, but that was after we walked in the dark from our room to reception, not impressed! The rooms have no phones, so couldn't even phone to tell them to turn on the lights! If you're staying here a flashlight is a MUST after dark.

Breakfast was a nice self service buffet, with sausages, toast, jams, eggs, plantains, coffee etc.

The place is very close to town, one of the closest. $2 to $3 in a cab, or just under half hour walk.

We did their in-house ATV tour. I stupidly decided we should do the 'rough' tour, which is in the farm area. BAD idea, it was very slippery, and very dangerous IMO. Our guide flipped over in his ATV and it nearly landed on top of him, luckily I was taking it a lot easier than him. If given the option of the 'Waterfall route' or 'farm route' defn pick the waterfall, unless you are VERY adventerous.

Reception staff weren't the best, they never seemed like they were going out of their way to help. These girls need to learn something about hospitality from the countless other great Ticos/Ticas we met.

We ate in the restaurant once each for lunch & dinner. The food is nice, decent price, but the place is often VERY quiet, not many people seem to eat in the hotel. Recommend the Jalapeno Steak for dinner.

One further tip, it is cheaper to book tours from the guys in town, next door to Pradara Soda (cafe), rather than directly from the hotel reception. Don't worry, you can use the reception phone for local calls for free.

They also have one PC for internet access, although often the internet was down, and the PC seem riden with Viruses!

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Carpediem-mmm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel La Pradera

Address: 2 Km West From la Fortuna, San Carlos | (on the way to Arenal Volcano), Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > La Fortuna de San Carlos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#15 Spa Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#24 Family Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range: $79 - $81 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 28
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Also Known As:
La Pradera Hotel
Hotel La Pradera Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park

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