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“Great spot after a long rainy drive”

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Mystica Lodge & Retreats
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 22, 2012

We left the windy Tenorio region in the afternoon and arrived to the rainy Arenal region just before sunset. We didn't have any reservation for a place to stay so at a certain point we decided to just pick the first spot that looked good. Luckily it wound up being Mystica, which is owned by an Italian ex-pat. Luckily it was also just off the main road. Went in and asked if there were any rooms available and thank goodness they had only a couple left. We were taken to the room, told about all the amenities and everything that was/was not included in the price.

We got the Butterfly room, which had a queen size bed and bunkbeds with very comfy linens and pillows. The room was large enough to have a build out that was sort of a closet which was large enough to store some clothes and luggage. There was also a desk with lamp and chair. The room was nicely decorated and painted as well as the bathroom. The nice touch to the bathroom was the use of organic natural handmade soap from a local village. The shower was big with curtains but be careful cause too much water and it splashes out to the floor. Now just like in other hotels we stayed at in the Guanacaste area, none of the windows had glass, they were almost all simply screened off. I say almost because the one that wasn't (in the bathroom) was were the bugs came in. It wasn't an invasion, but there were certainly a few different types of bugs. We just simply closed the window and left the ones who weren't in our way alone.

The grounds of the hotel are wonderful and full of opportunities to explore. First and foremost is the restaurant/bar/lounge/wifi spot. Dinner wasn't included in the price, but we weren't going to venture to the nearest town in the rain. Suffice it to say that after we tried their food, I don't think any of us regretted the decision to stay. We had a scrumptious meal of squash soup, pasta, and handmade pizza....all natural and organic. It was still quite windy at night and since there was no TV in the room, we decided to just hang out at the lounge and use the wifi. The lounge area was nice, quiet, and comfortable. So much so, stayed for a couple of hours but only felt like a half hour. The next morning the rain had subsided some, but not the wind. So took a walk around the grounds to explore and came across a rock lined pool with small waterfall (restrooms/changing rooms are there too) and a few steps away was the massage room, which was up a tree and more of a treehouse. Further down the hill on the path towards the rear of the property is the roofed, but no-walls yoga 'sanctuary' in a great setting next to a small creek. Even further down the path and sort of off the beaten path is the way to the Ceiba tree. Follow the arrows and be careful. When you come to the creek you will have to cross over to continue on to the tree. Keep following the arrows. When you come to an open field take a look to your left, you'll get a great view of the lake. It may seem like the end of the path but if you just follow the dirt patch you will come up to more arrows again. Keep going until you go down the hill and come face to face with one very large tree.

Sometimes the great places are the ones you discover on your own. Now having found this place we will definitely book here if we get a chance to come back to Costa Rica.

Room Tip: Any room seems to be a good room so seems like you can't go wrong. Make sure to explre the groun...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Beenaround73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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107 - 113 of 151 reviews

Reviewed March 17, 2012

we arrived only to find the owner not there. The rooms are just ok and we found the bed very hard. No desk with lamps to sit at with a computer nor did the wifi work in the rooms. We were staying there because it is very close to Tico Windsurfing on the Lake. The views were very nice and the staff was very good. Our first night in the dinning room was very interesting as the one waitress had to call the owner to come in and help with the table service which was slow. Again it seems as if the owner really is not attentive to the hospitality business. The food was good though. Because of the shaking windows and 20-30 mph winds i had two sleepless nights. When I went to leave on the third day I was charged for the two nights ( which I expected) and then 100% for the following 2 nights and 25% for the remaining 3 nights. In the contract? yes but very unjust. I would never stay there again and we found a The Lucky Bug B and B a much better place to stay. Paul

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank pcudone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2012

As one of the women in the group of 11 who stayed almost a week at Mystica in February, I can report that we all fell in love with the place. The design of the buildings and their interiors show the owners' unique and tasteful creativity. The rooms are delightfully decorated, and sort-of-rustic in a very pleasing way. If you are really afraid of insects then this may not be the place for you because some do at some point get in the rooms - it's in the rainforest after all - but there was nothing horrible about them; they're just different from thsoe we're used to. We also had a cute gecko staying with us! All the buildings are made from some kind of local warm and beautiful wood, the name of which I've forgotten. The main buildings' cabins do have large screened windows - I believe it is only a larger stand-alone cabin that didn't have screens. You can enjoy a glass of wine on your front porch admiring the view, or walk the very extensive and truly gorgeous gardens to the pool, yoga platform, "healing" (massage) treehouse open to the monkeys on one side, and even right out into the forest, where you will see lots of howler monkeys, capuchins and many other birds and animals. The views are spectacular too. The food is all made from scratch in both Italian and Costa Rican styles, and is so fresh and high qualilty (two of the owners originate from Italy). The owners and all the staff are warm and helpful and will seem like friends almost right away. If you are a larger group you will want to hire a driver/guide and minibus/van, who can take you wherever you want. Mystica arranged for a responsible, knowledgeable and lovely (and funny) driver who went everywhere with us for 9 days. We all quickly learned to love Flaco (of flacos_tours@yahoo.com) and wouldn't hesitate to recommend him. If you are looking for adventure and a much more interesting place than the Hilton, you won't find a more special haven than Mystica. I'm still dreaming about it a month later.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank CaHa242
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 8, 2012

My husband and I stayed at Mystica for 4 nights and loved our time there. The staff was friendly and helpful and the views were beautiful. The grounds are well cared for and very serene. The restaurant was fantastic. It is approximately an hour to La Fortuna and wind surfing is only 5 minutes away. We would highly recommend this location and will stay here again should we visit Costa Rica in the future.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank SabrinaKnudsen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 24, 2012

I took a group of 10 women friends to for 7 nights in Mystica. The rooms were lovely, spacious and very clean, and the beds very comfortable.We stayed in the lodge rooms and the Villa. The Villa is spacious and would be good for a couple or a couple with small children as there is a queen bed and a pull out sofa bed, as well as a full kitchen. The only issue was that there are no screens on the windows, so there can be bugs at times. It is in a rural, rainforest area, so to be expected, but good to note for those who have a low bug tolerance.

The lodge is located on a hill with a beautiful view of the Lake Arenal and the Arenal Volcano. It is breezy in Jan and Feb and all the lodge rooms and villas have ceiling fans so AC was not necessary. I could see that it might get warm during the day in Apr-June when the wind dies down. It is in a fairly remote area about 1.5 hrs from Liberia airport, so you need a vehicle (or need to arrange transportation through the lodge itself) to go even to the local town , which is about 15 min by car. They will arrange a driver and van for excursions, but it would be easiest to have your own vehicle so you can come and go as you please.

The food was excellent, primarily Italian, including very good wood oven baked, fresh pizzas, and local fare as well. Breakfasts include wonderful local tropical fruits. The Yoga classes were excellent, both for experienced and those new to Yoga, and we went on the Viento Fresco, and Rio Celeste excursions. The hiking was rigorous at times but worth it given the experience of being in the rain forest and seeing beautiful falls. Especially fun was the Viento Fresco fall where you can dip in the pool and go under the falls itself.

The owners Francesco, Lori and Barbara were friendly, helpful and very accommodating, and the driver they provided was alot of fun and also very helpful.

There are lovely massages available at $60 for an hour, in a tree house literally up in the trees.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank ecotrips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 24, 2012

We adored this Lodge. The rooms were large, the bathrooms clean and functional and while clean and comfortable felt right for back packers. There is a nice restaurant with limited, but good food and a fire place blazing in the evenings. The views of Lake Arenal are spectacular. There is a lovely walking trail and an outdoor Yoga Center that sits beside a rapid running river. It is quite the lovely spot.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank Zmanshi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2012

Our first trip to Cost Rica. We traveled by bike to this location from La Fortuna. Quiet, simple, wonderfully isolated on the hill above the lake. Breathtaking. The restaurant is charming and inviting with good food and simple wine list. Soaking in the pool after the long ride was fantastic which I followed by a massage with Lori in the treetops. Seriously. A tree house that creaked and groaned in the wind with a babbling brook running below. A real fairy tale. When I sat up from the fabulous massage I noticed 3 monkeys playing in the trees. Amazing. We left the lodge on our bikes to windsurf on Arenal and ran into the owners one last time. Great folks!!!!

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank LeslieRoot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mystica Lodge & Retreats

Address: | 300 mts north of Tierras Morenas Cross Road, Arenal Volcano National Park 50801, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 84 Specialty Lodging in Arenal Volcano National Park
Price Range: $103 - $155 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Mystica Lodge & Retreats 3*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Mystica Hotel is a tropical paradise with an excellent Italian restaurant, wonderful yoga and meditation classes in a forest sanctuary, a detoxifying infrared sauna, a dipping pool with a waterfall, and tree-top therapies such as massage and Reiki. Mystica is conveniently close to all of the great adventures and water sports that Lake Arenal offers: windsurfing, kayaking and fishing, excursions to Arenal Volcano including canopy tour and hot springs (40 km/25 miles from the hotel) and Tenorio National Park with its world famous Rio Celeste waterfall hike (35 km/22 miles from the hotel). Mystica Hotel is especially designed for travelers who want to relax and/or be in contact with nature. The lodge sits atop a rolling green hill and is surrounded by lush gardens. The rooms don't have TV, WiFi, or phones to support the complete relaxation of our guests, but there is free WiFi in the reception and restaurant area. Mystica's motto, inspiring all who visit, is: 'Live the Magic!' ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mystica Restaurant Lodge And Retreats
Mystica Restaurant Lodge & Retreats Hotel Arenal Volcano National Park
Mystica Lodge & Retreats Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park

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