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“Horrid to the core!”
Review of Cabinas Las Arenas

Cabinas Las Arenas
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Cabinas Las Arenas
Reviewed September 9, 2009

Booked through Priceline. Arranged transportation from San Jose to Jaco through Arnold Flather, owner. Paid for transpo to and from airport and hotel as well as 7 nights at hotel in advance. Dirty toilet and windows, dilapidated room furnishings, no restaurant, as advertised, inappropriate decor in room, etc... Stayed long enough to get taxi to take us to find suitable lodgings, returned to room for belongings and to turn the room key over to young man in charge and get our money back from the key deposit ($20.) In subsequent conversations with Mr. Flather, we were assured he would be returning the charges for one way of the transportation ($90.) plus the charges for the room for the difference between what was refunded from Priceline. He never refunded a penny over the one night I agreed to pay. This little "dive" is nothing like advertised and Mr. Flather is a rip off artist.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank zimma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
queenarn, Owner at Cabinas Las Arenas, responded to this reviewResponded February 22, 2010

As the owner, Arnold Flather, of Cabinas las Arenas I would certainly like to reply to this review, and I encourage the guests to email me at aflather14@hotmail.com so that we may rectify the problem and if justified make the necessary refunds. The guests only made a reseravtion for 6 nights and not 7 as stated, We do have a resturant and a/c cable tv is available should a guest wish to pay and extra $6 per night.This guest made a reservation for a room with a/c and cable tv and a bar fridge all of which are in the room. We charge everyone a refunable $20 key deposit.. As for transportation, the guest was transfered to the hotel and was charged for this service. We would have no problem making a refund to the guest for any unused portion of the stay less any costs that we had to pay for the guest, Finally as I said before I encourage the guest to contact us so we can resolve this issue.

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Reviews (23)
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12 - 18 of 23 reviews

Reviewed January 29, 2009

I read all the reviews on this site and was extremely worried but took the chance because it was within the budget. We arrived early & the manager Roger let us keep our stuff in the office until a room became vacant in the afternoon which allowed us to roam around & not waste a day. I don't understand what others are complaining about. For the price they paid, it should be all worth it. If you come here thinking full-service & accommodations then why don't you pay more. I absolutely loved my stay here. Enjoyed every moment of it; the staff, local restaurants, other tourists, locals, the beach, the surfers...the friendliness of the place (locals interact with the tourists). Great experience, will definitely return.

CABIN: typical surfer cabin nothing more. STAFF: not very many but extremely friendly. BEACH: literally steps away. FOOD: few walking distance restaurants that were just absolutely delicious & great prices. TO DO: National Park, Canopy Tours, Jaco Beach & more.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with friends
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Thank wanderlust1979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
arnold001, Owner at Cabinas Las Arenas, responded to this reviewResponded October 30, 2010

Thank you for your reply. If I can help you furher please email me at arnoldflather@hotmail.com

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Reviewed April 8, 2008

I've been to Costa now several times and will keep going back. I always stay in Hermosa because it's away from Jaco and all the noise and chose Las Arenas this time. BIG MISTAKE!
I was trying to get some sleep on a Tuesday night but the noise from the owners house Roger was too loud. People were coming and going all night and when I asked him about the noise he told me to, "be cool".
This didn't happen again but the room next to me was broken into and some people at the restaurant were trying to sell me drugs. Hey
I like to have a good time myself but I work hard to get in a surf trip and I don't need to be told to be cool or have drugs put in my face. I love the breaks in Hermosa but I'm never going back to Las Arenas.

  • Stayed: July 2007
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Thank Coakley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2008

We received exceptional service from this hotel. We were upset and stressed after our stuff was stolen from the bus, and the management at Cabinas Las Arenes went out of their way to help us. They were extremely kind and understanding, and we would definitely go back.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank jasdance
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 9, 2008

The other reviews are all correct in saying that Cabinas Las Arenas is a basic, no frills kind of place. Whether that is a good or bad thing all depends on your outlook (and budget) and what you are looking for in Costa Rica. I did a lot of research online before deciding to book our stay at this hotel. My husband and I are in our early 30s and we stayed in a "suite" room at Cabinas Las Arenas (had a TV and small fridge). My husband really wanted to surf in Costa Rica and I wanted to stay somewhere relaxing and centrally located so that we could go on some different day trips (like Isla Tortuga and Manuel Antonio Park) and have various activities nearby (like Canopy Tour and shopping/restaurants). This hotel satisfied both of those requirements. That being said, there were a few drawbacks that I'd like to mention... first of all, during our stay the waves were bigger than normal and even the more "expert" surfers weren't going out very much (we saw several walking back with broken boards)-- my husband ended up surfing in Jaco. Secondly, I had read that the hotel was about 5km from Jaco so I figured maybe we could walk into town instead of relying on taxis or public transportation... it might be 5km if you drew a straight line on a map from Playa Hermosa to Jaco but the narrow road has lots of twists and turns (and no path to walk on) and getting to and from Jaco proved more difficult than we realized it would be (public transportation in Costa Rica is pretty unreliable so we ended up taking taxis most of the time-- at about $5 each way). I also thought that not having A/C would be ok but in retrospect I wish we'd stayed somewhere that had it (and also a pool)-- the nights were cool and we did have a ceiling fan, but if you wanted to rest during the day it was often hot and uncomfortable... and not having windows that you can close means that you have to put up with all the outside noise (if it's hearing the ocean then it's nice, but if you have to hear drunk surfers at 2am then it's not so great). So, part of me wishes we'd spent a bit more money and stayed somewhere slightly nicer with a pool and A/C, but the activities that the area has to offer are kind of expensive ($50 each for canopy tour, $100 round trip for the ride to Manuel Antonio, $100 each for Isla Tortuga trip) so that adds up and if you're on a budget I think it's probably better to stay in a cheaper place and spend your money on the fun things (day trips, shopping, dining, etc). On the positive side, I'm REALLY glad we stayed in Playa Hermosa and NOT in Jaco. It's nice to go to Jaco and walk around during the day, go shopping, eat out, etc... but it is kind of a seedy place and I wouldn't have wanted to stay in a hotel there or go out at night (we talked to some people who did and they said the late night noise was even worse there than at our hotel). Also, the people at Cabinas Las Arenas (the manager Roger, Carlos from the restaurant and Loukas from the surf shop) were all extremely nice as was everyone in Playa Hermosa (our favorite hangout was Rippers which is just a short walk away-- we played pool and had beer there almost every night). My only other regret from this trip was that we stayed 6 days in Playa Hermosa. I think that's a bit long unless all you want to do is surf. Like I said, we took some nice day trips but I think it would have been better if we'd divided our time between Playa Hermosa and somewhere else (like maybe Arenales volano area). I'm giving this place 2 stars... it could use a little bit of fixing up (the photos make it look nicer than it really is), but overall it wasn't bad.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank floridian_traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2008

It's very important to know what you're getting into when booking a room at Cabinas Las Arenas. The hotel is very basic and even rustic. It's really aimed at surfers and those more interested in the flora and fauna of the Costa Rican coast than the amenities of the hotel. The rooms do not have actual windows, just mesh to keep the mossies. The rooms all have running water and the showers have "suicide" shower heads (electrically warmed water).
The cafe is great. They sell the normal casado, which is really great and pretty reasonably priced. The only problem I found with the cafe is the complete absence of cerveza! Evidently the hotel has no beer license.

The Good: Warm, helpful owner and manager, great surf 50 yards from your door, relaxed atmosphere.

The Bad: Not much privacy, no beer.

The Bottom Line: If you're a young person traveling with buddies, Cabinas Las Arenas is great. If you're looking for a convenient location to stay while accomplishing your main goal of surfing, look no further. However, if you're an older adult traveling with a spouse, you'll likely be happier up the road at Terraza Del Pacifico.

  • Stayed: November 2007, traveled with friends
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3  Thank ianbob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 18, 2008

We got to the hotel at 1am and there wasn't anyone around. I had told someone that would would be arriving really late. We had to drive until we found a bar open and they let us use the phone to wake up the manager. He told us which room we were in and we drove back and went to sleep.
The next morning he asked us our names and asked me for our reservation number. He acted like he didn't even know I was coming and I had even emailed the owner of the hotel before leaving the country to make sure he had our reservation, He did.
The owner was out of the country and the manager was running the show on his own and I really don't think he could handle it on his own. (He seemed a little too preoccupied hanging with friends and his girldfriend.)
Also that morning he asked me for the key so he could make a copy and I gave it him and when we came back there was somebody else going into our room. We found the manager and he told us that he moved us to a different room (which was now not ocean view!) which meant he moved all of our clothes which were out, my toiletries.... Thats pretty weird!
Anyway, he said he would move us back when that person moved out the next day but he never did.
We always had to ask for clean towels and our bathroom did not get cleaned at all. The toilet also leaked the whole week and we never had a hot shower because our electric shower head was broken and he said that he would have it fixed by the end of the day...it never got fixed during our stay.
I would never stay at this hotel or recommend for anyone. You would honestly be better off camping!

Stayed: February 2008
1  Thank kateseyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cabinas Las Arenas

Address: 400 meters south of school Pochotal | Garabito, Playa Hermosa 4023, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Playa Hermosa
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 14 Specialty Lodging in Playa Hermosa
Price Range: $35 - $60 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Cabinas Las Arenas 2*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
For the greatest surfing in Costa Rica come to Cabinas las Arenas, on the beach at Playa Hermosa. Enjoy the best surfing beach in Costa Rica and surf the great waves only 50 yards from your room. Our affordable beachfront hotel, restaurant and surf shop are waiting for you. The hotel has 10 rooms all with their own private bathrooms. Each unit can easily accommodate up to 4 people. Waiting for you. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Cabinas Las Arenas Hotel Playa Hermosa
Cabinas Las Arenas Costa Rica/Playa Hermosa

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