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“Lovely lodge, so so rooms”
Review of Arenal Lodge

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Arenal Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
oregon
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Lovely lodge, so so rooms”
Reviewed 20 June 2014 via mobile

The location is glorious, the lodge is beautiful, including the pet parrot. Staff at the desk were okay.
Rooms were clean but basic. Pros: ability to make coffee & tea water in the room, good air con unit. Cons: tv doesn't work, tepid water, weird layout.

Stayed June 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank poodlebreath
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
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (206)
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English first
Asheville, North Carolina
Level Contributor
36 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 June 2014 via mobile

We stayed at Arenal lodge after booking a room there through Living Social. We arrived at night and just as we had been warned the road to the hotel from the main road was indeed interesting. We were driving a 4x4 and actually thought it was a very cool approach. The lodge is a real neat old place with numerous types of rooms. We were in a Jr. suite off the main lodge. The beds leave much to be desired but our strategy was to "play" so hard during the day we could have crashed out on a plank at night. The included breakfast is very nice with amazing cut fresh fruits and juice and good coffee. Dinner in the restaurant was unoffensive but very bland and expensive. There is no AC in the Jr. Suites as indicated when we booked but we survived without it because we were never in the room during the heat of the day and nights cool off. WiFi is not in the room and only in the lobby area which was not always convenient.
When we woke up in the morning, the view from the French doors to the lanai was spectacular. Arenal Volcano was right there in all it's glory which made the beds worth it I guess. Plan on waking up early at this lodge because at sunrise all the birds and frogs make so much noise, something we also found to be very cool.
Included with our Living Social package was a guided rainforest hike. The Lodge's naturalist, Miguel, is awesome and an incredible asset to the property. Me, my wife and my sons had the best time on his guided hike and saw lots of very interesting Costa Rican flora and fauna. Miguel was just so friendly and had so much knowledge to share about the Costa Rica rainforest. Don't miss this opportunity, it was indeed a major highlight of the visit. Thanks Miguel, see you next time!

Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Jimmy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Modesto, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 May 2014

We stayed here for 2 nights, Great for getting away from the city life, the facilities and area are kept very clean. we loved the Restaurant's view and quietness.

our only complaint is the remoteness, you're kinda stuck out there if you didn't drive and all the tours charge extra to pick people up from there. my suggestion is to provide some type of shuttle service to town. but besides that. Great place!! definitely recommended it if you want to get away for a few days!

Room Tip: mini suites have great views.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank sergiop1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 May 2014

We stayed in the Chalet room (we requested an upstairs unit, but none were available – the downstairs unit was fine). We were traveling with our 8 year old son and 10 year old daughter, and the configuration of 2 double (Queen?) beds worked great. The beds were a bit hard and noisy to get in and out of. There was some uncoordinated furniture items in the wonderful glassed in balcony area that looked a bit ratty, but was functional. I noticed by looking towards the other chalet rooms that they were all similarly furnished. We had a functioning fridge in our room (we had requested one to MAKE SURE that we’d have one – they said we would have had one regardless of our request). We also noticed that the safe (which we never bothered to use) now had a door, unlike in other recent reviews. Check-in was fine and they drove our bags up the hill to our Chalet (which would have been quite a trek otherwise).
Our first day at Arenal Lodge was decent. It was a weekend, so the breakfast was a buffet (not sure why weekends and weekdays differ at all, since tourists come and go all week) and we were able to grab a quick breakfast. They had an omelet station which was nice. After breakfast, we met at the front desk for the rainforest hike with Miguel at 7:45am (we had to get up early to have breakfast beforehand, which was a bit tight). Miguel took us through a wonderful little path on the rainforest, pointing out insects, fruits, snakes (we didn’t see any on our hike), termites, etc. He provided a nice background for the rest of our vacation, letting us know what to look out for and such. The tour took about an hour and 45 minutes, including a stop in the butterfly house. Once we got back, we had the front desk call a taxi for us to go to Arenal Hanging Bridges. We had been told it would be $35 each way, which is pretty expensive for such a short ride, but the taxis have to come all the way from La Fortuna, which is why it costs so much. People staying at Arenal Lodge Hotel are well served to have a car if they plan to go on many excursions for which they don’t have a transport provided.
We returned around 2pm from the hanging bridges and spent the afternoon going to the pool and hot tubs and generally relaxing until dinner. We ate dinner at 5:30 (when they opened) and we were the only ones there until just before we left. The food was straightforward and nothing special. Prices were nearly as high as the other resorts we visited later in our trip that had much better food. Service was good though and the staff was very friendly and helpful. After dinner we went straight up and went to sleep, an easy task since it was already dark.
Let me mention the wifi. The wifi router (an old Wireless G router that could be dramatically improved at minimal cost!) is in their computer room and has pretty limited range. But the connection quality is good and I was able to use skype for a simple video chat. I was also able to upload photos from my phone to dropbox. The two computers in the internet room were both running XP and were pretty outdated – huge towers with smallish LCD screens and no security software in sight. Again, a cheap and simple update would make this a lot better.
The exercise room was not the best – nice equipment, but most of it only partially functional. Clearly it has seen better days. The treadmill felt like it was collapsing in the center, and the bike seat was not adjustable as far as we could tell.
The foosball table was in good shape though, and the kids enjoyed playing on the old play structure that could use a sprucing up. I think the jungle is working so hard to consume the hotel that the management can’t keep up with all the little things. The grounds are wonderful, though, and we had no problems with anything in our room.
Our second day at Arenal Lodge Hotel was a good one. We woke up and had the a la carte breakfast, which we took some time to figure out. (There is a menu, but we never saw it until the next day. Getting a menu on paper is much better than verbally from a server who only speaks some English.) After breakfast, we were picked up by the Sky Trek Arenal group and we had a fabulous time on the Sky Trek Tram and Zip lines between Arenal and the lake. Guides were excellent. Gorgeous views, and the highlight of our stay at Arenal Lodge Hotel. We returned at 1:30 and quickly signed up for 2 of us to go on the horseback ride with Miguel. The horses were wonderful, well behaved (unlike others in Costa Rica), and Miguel was a fabulous guide, stopping to take some of our vacation’s best photos of us in front of the Arenal Volcano! After the horse ride, the kids ran around the property for a few hours before dinner. The place grew on them, and my daughter loved walking by the horses. We took a stroll to the unfinished condo development called “Amazona de Arenal”. . fascinating to see the plans that were never carried out. There is a topographical model in the second story overlooking the main lobby area. Check it out. Our dinner on the second night was a bit better than the first night. . . but still nothing special. The vegetables were not super fresh and the menu creation is lacking in creativity.
Our third and final morning at Arenal Lodge Hotel was fine. WE had breakfast with the MENU, and everything was great. We had looked up “wheat toast” on google translator and finally got wheat bread like we wanted. We left at 9am for our transport to our next hotel. Check out was fine, and our transport drove up to our chalet to help us get our bags.

Room Tip: We really enjoyed staying in the Chalet - on the hill away from everything.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 413tim513
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
16 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 May 2014 via mobile

If you are looking to disconnect from a past paced city life and get in touch with nature this is the place to go! Far away from crowded places, perfect view of the volcano. The room was fine, a good and amigable service. It has a neat infinite pool and two comfortable hot tubs.

Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank MGElinked
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
87 reviews
76 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 April 2014

It is difficult to judge this place, we stayed 4 nights and really feel there were better alternatives close to town. Firstly the hotel should have a disclaimer about the road to the hotel. If you are driving it is a very steep, twisting one lane drive for about 15 mins up to the top of the mountain, our little suzuiki jimny struggled to get up the drive without 4-wheel drive.The place is very isolated so not ideal for folks without their own transportation and I would not eat in the restaurant as the food is pretty sub-standard and expensive. We stayed in a junior suite-- up side it had a great balcony which is supposed to have views of the volcano but the clouds and rain obscured the view the whole time which did not bother us too much. Our room had quite a few bugs and just was not that clean. I woke up twice with spiders crawling on me. The place was most likely great in its day but nothing has been changed or updated for what is looks like in decades. (looks like 1970s mattresses). The upside is there are some great rain forest trails on site and a butterfly garden but these things are not enough of draw to make me recommend this place to friends.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank LostSojourner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 April 2014

this place was awesome. the road up the hill takes like 5 minutes to get up to the actually lodge, but the views where really nice. The only problem is that the lodge is located about a 15-20 minute drive to the town of la Fortuna and the tour companies charge extra to pick you up

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank thejcksn
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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