Experienced travellers know the difference between inexpensive and cheap. They know a good find when they come across one and understand the meaning of real value.
Given that quality often comes with a marked up price tag, spotting a hotel that is both worthy of your business and easy on the wallet (a “diamond in the rough” accommodation of sorts) can not only add to your overall travel experience by providing comfort, cleanliness, security, and enjoyment, but it can also help you save your hard-earned cash for use towards different aspects of your trip (such as tours, activities, dining, or souvenir shopping).
So what’s our favourite La Fortuna/Arenal “diamond in the rough” hotel? La Pradera Del Arenal. The phrase could not be more fitting as this accommodation option is a real gem.
Located just outside the La Fortuna downtown core, La Pradera Del Arenal is perfectly situated along the main road that runs around the Arenal Volcano towards Arenal Lake. It is within walking distance to souvenir shops and a supermarket (ideal for picking up mid-day or late night snacks to enjoy while volcano-gazing or relaxing in one of the hotel’s three on-site pools/jacuzzis), yet it is far enough removed from the crowded centre of town. The quiet one-floor property (comprised of standard rooms and detached cabins) faces the volcano, allowing the majority of visitors to capture stunning photos of Arenal from the comfort of their room’s front porch. Upon our most recent visit, I could not make better use of the porch’s complimentary rocking chair as I soaked in the view of the volcano straight ahead as well as the lush, green, well-maintained hotel gardens that covered the property – all from the comfort of the handmade rocker set amongst our own private, outdoor, covered seating area.
Inside the hotel rooms, travellers are welcome to a variety of amenities including cable TV, air conditioning, hot water, comfortable beds, and a large bathroom. Although fairly standard hotel amenities, when you add these in-room qualities to the hotel’s location, volcano view, on-site game area (including a pool table and a foosball table), and breakfast (included in the hotel’s room rate) served daily at the hotel’s own full-service restaurant, it is hard to believe this hotel costs as much (or should I say, as little) as it does. The benefits far outweigh the price, which makes La Pradera Del Arenal an easy winner in the category for best value hotel in La Fortuna/Arenal.
Is La Pradera Del Arenal the least expensive accommodation option available in the La Fortuna/Arenal area? Of course not, as there are plenty of hostels that offer room and board for a handful of dollars in return for a merely satisfactory visit. Would we rate the hotel as providing the highest quality experience of any hotel we have ever stayed at throughout out travels around Costa Rica? No, but then again, most travellers looking for luxury and resort-quality experiences would be drawn to accommodation options with prices much higher than those offered by La Pradera Del Arenal anyway. The reason we love this particular hotel as much as we do is because it aptly combines the low-cost appeal of hostels (without sacrificing positive experience) with a degree of quality that well surpasses its affordable price point. In short, it offers travellers a lot for less, which is central to the equation we use to calculate value. Since we tend to put our money where the value is, we would re-visit La Pradera Del Arenal in a heartbeat. We would also recommend the accommodation option to friends and family looking for a hotel that offers them the most bang for their buck, so we do not hesitate to do the same for our extended family – the travel community.
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- La Pradera Hotel
- Hotel La Pradera Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park