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“Loved Arenal Lodge!”
Review of Arenal Lodge

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Arenal Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Austin, TX
Level 6 Contributor
119 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
“Loved Arenal Lodge!”
Reviewed 5 August 2008

We got a great rate on Arenal Lodge and loved the hotel. It was definitely older (the first built in the area) but the views are amazing. The property is huge and there are many hiking paths to explore. They keep it up nicely. There are lots of beautiful animals to see! (toucans, parrots, hummingbirds, monkeys, etc.) The pool and hottubs were a hit, and the restaurant also had a great view and delicious food.

The lobby was a nice place to lounge (something we don't normally do, but it gets dark at 6pm in Costa Rica) with chess and checkers for the kids, a nice big fireplace, and free internet connection.

The staff was extraordinarily friendly. Miguel, in particular, gave us a beautiful 2 hour tour on horseback around the property at a leisurely pace. He's great with kids and families.

The one thing they don't tell you about Arenal Lodge is that once you get to the entrance, it's another 10 minute curvy drive up a steep hill. It didn't bother us but it would've been nice to know.

  • Liked — view, property, friendly service
  • Disliked — a bit older, so it was a little musty
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank julia_hiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Florida
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 August 2008

We spent 16 days in Costa Rica, and this was absolutely our favorite place. Although not the fanciest place we stayed, the most beautiful views. The room was cozy and comfortable and seemed appropriate for the environment.
I could have spent my entire day on the balcony just looking at the volcano and the wildlife, and the pair of Blue and Gold McCaw's that visited our balcony several times a day.
My 14 year old son, who has been to nearly 20 countries, proclaimed this spot "the best place I've ever been".
It is a bit of a drive up a windy road to the lodge, but it was part of our "adventure" and we rather enjoyed it. It did not stop us from going into town to explore, eat and shop, or take the ATV tour.
We were there in the wet season, which just added to the relaxation for an afternoon siesta. It also made the view of the volcano seem like a cloud forest.
If you want a 5 star resort stay at Tabacon (which we also did), if you want a beautiful relaxing, enjoyable few days, stay at Arenal Lodge!!

  • Liked — Views
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank FloridaConch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
boston/ma/usa
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 August 2008

Booking a trip to Arenal to see the volcano, read me first.

Ok , so we booked during the rainy season and had ? 50/50 chances of seeing the volcano erupt. We couldn,t see the top of the volcano, never mind the eruption. If you want to see the eruptions and spend time and money don;t go during the rainy season. Lesson learned.

We stayed at the Arenal Lodge.
They are not kidding about the drive to the lodge. It takes about 10-15 minutes up the STEEP and WINDING driveway to reach the top.
We had a group of 15 family members.

I stayed in a chalet. The chalets are up the road further set by themselves. It was a 10 minute walk up an even steeper hill. If called in advance they would drive you up the hill.
The rooms were dirty and unkept. We arrived to find dead bugs on the kitchen counter/floors and dried blood not mopped off the floor.

We had several people staying in Jr. Suites.
The Jr. Suites are located near the main entrance, the only problem being the stairs were slippery when wet (remember rainy season). The rooms were newer, and cleaner.

We had people in the Matrimonial Suite.
These were also located near the main entrance.
They were also newer and cleaner.

The overall Lodge has a charm to it, is secluded by itself,but is unkempt and neglected. The staff were not very helpful and few.

The dining was expensive with only a few servers. The food OK.

I would return to this lodge only if I knew that upgrades had been made.

Stay in town someplace, and go to the spas to see the volcano.

  • Liked — The view
  • Disliked — disrepair of the rooms
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank samtimfam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
South Jersey
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 July 2008

ABOVE AVERAGE for property and nature.
OKAY for accomodations.

We came for the view of the volcano and to see wildlife and our family of 4 (2 teens) saw more than we expected. This is why I rated the hotel "above average"

We arrived late afternoon and took a hike down the Plantation Trail, which is lined with a variety of plants and trees like banana, coffee, etc. Walking along, you'll come to a beautiful fountain. Keep walking, you'll find a gazebo with a beautiful view and hammocks. We saw a peccary and lots of birds. Hiking back, it started raining (and rained all night.) My daughter and I went to the ponds next to the pool to find frogs, and we saw so many colorful tree frogs. At night, we opened our windows and enjoyed the frog symphony. (Don't know if it's every night or just when it's raining)

We spent lots of time on our private balcony - what a view! There's a pair of parrots that fly around and will chatter with you.

Woke at 5 am and had a marvelous view of the sunrise on the volcano. (See pictures) You won't see the lava flow from this hotel.

At breakfast, the staff puts fruit on tree branches and many varieties of birds come. There are big windows with views of the property and volcano.

There's a pool table in the bar that kept my son entertained.

As far as the accomodations, I would rate them as "okay". We stayed one night in the junior suite, which was run down - new mattresses are needed. The room was roomy enough for the 4 of us. If you want luxury, stay elsewhere.

It is far from town but close to the Arenal Hanging bridges.
We had a car and our plan was to drive to town for dinner, but once it started raining we ate dinner at the hotel because we didn't want to drive up and down the long road to the hotel. Dinner was enjoyable.

Free hot breakfast buffet was to be available at 6:30 but it was not ready till 7, and we had to leave at 7 for an excursion. (Cold cereal and coffee/juice was available)

  • Liked — View and wildlife
  • Disliked — BEDS
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank GetPacking
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bryn Mawr, PA
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 July 2008

I traveled from the east coast to the west in Costa Rica and if you want to stay in a place that you could find in Florida this is the place. Rooms are big and clean, AC works well, and floors are tile and big sliding glass doors. The restaurant is al a cart and about 3-4 times the cost of eating in town and if you want local food you can not get it unless you go someplace else. Food is good but not worth the high prices they charge. The volcano is basically across the street, however a few years back the flow had changed and you can no longer see anything but smoke and a light glow at night. If you want to see it you need to take a cab around the back side of the mountain. Cab drivers are always willing to work on the price of a fare… just asked them. If you stay here I would recommend going over to the hot springs.. about 20 minutes away.. Take the evening package it’s a better deal and how long can you really sit in hot water? Note that the springs are a lot like this hotel.. a beer is $ 5.00 or a days pay for the locals. Beautiful country but very Americanized…the eastern coast is truly the best part .. not only is it a natural beauty but it offers more of a central American feel, the cost of zip lines, tours, food and activities is a lot lower and the people are very friendly.

Stayed July 2006
Helpful?
Thank Jonnathan64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ann Arbor, MI
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 June 2008

This hotel was a little run down, but it had beautiful views of the volcano from the location. A spacious and well furnished patio area just outside the building was a great place from which to enjoy the scenery. You can also enjoy the view from your room through the panoramic windows.

The hotel is a little far from the city, but the staff will help you get taxis and book activities at the same cost as the rates posted at the attractions.

The rooms were a little shabby for the price, which is why I did not rate this hotel higher. Still, I highly recommend it for the sheer beauty of the location.

  • Stayed February 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank wajlee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
soulfit
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 June 2008

This was the best ! It was so peaceful, the jungle surrounded us. The staff was so nice and helpful. We will return with our family next month.

  • Stayed April 2007, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank soulfit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Arenal Lodge

Property: Arenal Lodge
Address: 200 meters NW from the Arenal Lake dam, Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos 1250, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > La Fortuna de San Carlos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#12 Spa Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Arenal Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 46
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Arenal Lodge provides guests with the excitement of staying in an authentic rainforest lodge with breathtaking panoramic views of Costa Rica’s famous Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal. Guests will enjoy a casual and relaxed rustic lodge setting with the added value of a complimentary breakfast daily. Located on 2000-acres of beautiful tropical rainforest, the lodge is situated near Arenal Volcano National Park. The lodge is surrounded by rainforest - housing hundreds of exotic birds, small animals and the beautiful tropical flowers and trees of Costa Rica. and is its own local tourist attraction due to its exclusive location with breathtaking panoramic views of Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal. The lodge features a full service restaurant with local and international cuisine, gift shop, three heated outdoor Jacuzzis, an infinite edge swimming pool, walking trails, a butterfly garden, horseback riding, a game room and outdoor playground for children, fitness room, sauna, and free wireless high speed internet access. Guest rooms and suites feature cable TV, telephone, coffee maker, clock radio, and all have private baths. Complimentary crib and wheel chair are available on request. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Arenal Hotel La Fortuna De San Carlos
Arenal Lodge Costa Rica/La Fortuna De San Carlos

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