- The Chalet Rooms. These rooms are at the top of the hill with the big picture windows. We switched from the honeymoon suite to a top floor Chalet room for our 3rd & 4th nights here. Great view and a newer room. Lots of outlets, clean, fewer bugs. We would stay at Arenal Lodge again if we could get a top floor Chalet room.
- The grounds are beautiful. The view of the volcano is amazing. The property offers a hiking trail with wonderful scenery.
- The free morning hike with Miguel is well worth it. He is a fun tour guide and takes his time to explain things. You will learn a lot. Wear lots of bug spray!
- The bar. They don't skimp on the alcohol. The mixed drinks are tasty and pretty.
- The breakfast. It is included with the stay and is a self-serve buffet. I can't operate without breakfast and I love big, hot breakfasts. Gallo Pinto, bacon, sausage, eggs, pancakes (didn't eat since I have celiac disease), omelettes to order, fruit, juice, coffee and tea. We sat in front of the window in the dining room and watched the birds feed.
- Staff is very helpful when I approached with questions and our room change request.
Not So Good:
- Arenal Lodge is about a 20 minutes drive from La Fortuna and 2 kilometers up a hill from the main road. The 2 kilometer climb is a small, winding, brick road. We had activities planned, but did not have a car (rentals were sold out in town). We had no choice but to get a cab each day and pay a $30 surcharge, because the lodge is hard to get to. Good thing we liked our cab driver!
- The facilities are dated. It is a humid environment, but everything looks a little tired.
- We stayed in the Honeymoon Suite for our first 2 nights. It is the most expensive room on the grounds, but I don't understand why. It has a lot of space, but it's unnecessary. The couches were old and moist to sit on, there were bugs (dead and alive), the area rugs needed to be vacuumed desperately. If my feet get dirty walking around barefoot inside, I take issue with that! The bed was comfortable. There is a porch, but nowhere to sit outside. My husband tried using the whirlpool bath, but the jets shot out dirt and leaves! When booking the most expensive room on the property, my husband assumed it would be the Chalet Rooms. We were able to switch and those were much improved (see my "good" comments above).
- We ate dinner our first night there. The waiter said we could only order wine by the bottle, so we did. Luckily, we could have it in our room later. The next evening I saw couples ordering by the glass. Makes me feel like I've been hard. They marked the price up quite a bit! We both had steak. Don't bother, it was bad. Stick with the traditional chicken and rice type dishes.
- The swimming pool was freezing and only one of the two Jacuzzi's worked. It's awkward to share a small Jacuzzi with other guests (luckily my husband and I got there first one afternoon), so fixing the second Jacuzzi would be helpful.
- 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