The Arenal Manoa is a fantastic little hotel, located around two miles from the town of Fortuna and in clear sight of the beautiful Arenal Volcano. The property is very new and everything is very modern. The majority of the staff were friendly and courteous, and most speak very good English.
The rooms were huge, modern and spotless. The bathrooms were some of the largest and best designed I've seen in any hotel. The property is laid out in small buildings, each building containing two rooms with exterior entrances. Every room has huge windows, a patio and a volcano view. Our view was just spectacular. I did notice, though, that the hotel has two sections. One closer to the volcano with better views (ours was in this section) and one more distant. When you check-in, I advise you to request a room in the section closer to the volcano.
The hotel has a small but nice pool. There is a lot to do in the La Fortuna area, but my wife and I managed to slow down a bit, soak in some Costa Rica sun, and spend some time in loungers by the pool. It was very relaxing, with the volcano smoking in the distance.
Some reviews claim that the hotel has no character, but I could not disagree more. The hotel utilizes a very natural, rocky, and rustic decor, in line with the volcano hulking in the background and the area's vegetation. Some others complain about the property being about half a kilometer down a gravel road, off the main road through La Fortuna. We actually saw this as more of a benefit. The property is away from the noise, on a lovely piece of land adjoining a river, and perfect for some reflection and taking in the scenery.
The resort does have a restaurant called El Dorado. I believe that the buffet breakfast is included in the cost of every stay. The buffet was very nice, with a mixture of Costa Rican dishes, meats, omelets and eggs cooked to order, and plenty of fresh fruit and juice. We ate dinner there one night and had dessert there another. Dinner at the restaurant is good, not spectacular, and a bit on the pricey side. Drinks, especially pool-side were very highly priced. A mojito I ordered was poorly made, small and set me back eight dollars. The cost of dinner and pricey drinks is my only real complaint about the Arenal Manoa. I'd advise having reception call you a taxi (it'll cost 4-5 dollars) and going into La Fortuna for dinner. At the entrance to town you'll find a restaurant called Las Brasitas that makes excellent rotisserie chicken and is very reasonably priced.
You will not want to miss some of the off resort excursions. I highly recommend the volcano night hike and hot spring combination. You cannot go wrong with Desafio Adventure Company. They service Arenal Monteverde areas and are reasonably priced.
Costa Rica was wonderful! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or could use some more advice.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Arenal Manoa Hotel is a beautiful Arenal hotel to relax and enjoy the marvelous view of Arenal volcano in Costa Rica. Surrounded by gardens, pastures and animals, our rooms have been designed so that each one offers you a panoramic view of the Arenal volcano. Our visitors can take advantage of our spacious gardens for walking and meditation as well as the opportunities to see the daily operations of a typical Costa Rican farm. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Arenal Manoa Hotel And Spa
- Arenal Manoa Hotel La Fortuna De San Carlos
- Arenal Manoa Hotel Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park