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“Great wildlife”

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Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Clifton, Ohio
Level Contributor
48 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Great wildlife”
Reviewed 10 July 2014 via mobile

The lodge was very good considering location. You can not get a better view of Arenal anywhere! The food was good, prices, above average-- but you are in the jungle. The pool area was awesome and the only complaint on the room was water pressure. If you want challenging hikes, birdwatching, and to be woke every morning by howler monkeys--STAY HERE

Stayed July 2014
Helpful?
Thank chiefhewho
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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Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 July 2014

We were stuck at this lovely lodge after our car broke down for a few days. The restaurant was basic food nothing fancy, but convenient. There was enough trails on the property to get a nice diverse environment t for many birds. They were easy well marked trails that weren't crowded at all.

Room Tip: stayed by the restaurant looking out on the volcano nice clean basic room. We did enjoy the travelin...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank AGNelson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ATL
Level Contributor
2 reviews
Reviewed 9 July 2014

We stayed at the Lodge at the beginning of July 2014. Overall it was an excellent experience. The view of the volcano was spectacular and we saw a ton of wildlife both on the guided walks and from the restaurant. We were very pleased with the level of service and cleanliness of the rooms. The restaurant was also very good. Dinner was a bit pricy however.

We traveled with two 12 year old girls that are huge nature lovers. They had a blast watching the birds at breakfast and on the hikes.

The only drawback is that it's a $60 roundtrip ride to any of the tours and to the town. That becomes a bit pricey if you plan on staying for several days and don't have your own car.

But if you are going to see wildlife and be close to the rainforest this place can't be beat.

Room Tip: We booked a standard room that was close to the reception area and we were able to pick up wifi. I s...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank birdfriend
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 July 2014

First, the bad. I got lost on the way to my room. Since I arrived at night, some of the signs were hard to read. No big deal, made one wrong turn, turned around after consulting the map, whatever. There was also very little between us and our neighbors in the way of noise reduction. Not quite the ideal...couples situation...but that's being picky.

The good. My room was huge. The entire wall was one big window into the beautiful garden/walking area. The view of the volcano, however, was best from the restaurant. There were beautiful birds outside the restaurant window for our entire meal.

My only regret is that I did not have two nights here.

Location tip: Beware extra costs: a taxi from La Fortuna is going to be like $80 round trip if I recall correctly. If you want to rent a car, you need to put down a $1000 deposit on a credit card, and you have to buy additional insurance (cc insurance not good enough) which voids your CC insurance so you have to buy even more insurance.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jody S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
33 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 July 2014

My parents and I stayed one night in the town of Fortuna at Sierra Arenal and one night at Arenal Observatory Lodge in the national park. This is the closest you can get to the volcano and it is pretty incredible. The hotel has some of its own trials and also has the option for a free nature walk in the morning. One trail takes you to a river filled with volcanic rocks, which was a cool experience. If you're looking to hang out in the park and don't want to stay at one of the very expensive options, this place is very affordable and the place to stay!
It's also close to Sky Trek ziplining which is a must!
Stayed August 2013

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Elyse A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nottingham, England
Level Contributor
96 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 July 2014

We stayed at the lodge as we only had two days and felt that staying closer to the volcano and nature trails would be better than staying in la fortuna itself. But you are very remote, and no where near the town which looked very pretty as we drove past it.
But the lodge is great, I recommend the free walk in the morning, really informative and a great way to meet other guests.
The breakfasts were lovely and there was a lot of choice. I also recommend the nachos, they were epic!
I emailed with the hotel a number of times and I always had a reply within 24hrs, really helpful with any question.
We stayed in a standard room which is a little way from the main lodge. It states 500m down a moderate slope however, it is a good 15min walk, which is fine if your fit an healthy but not sure my parents in their 60s would have been very appreciative. This is just a warning as the rooms themselves were lovely, very spacious and with great views.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank littlepinkalien
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montrea
2 reviews
Reviewed 2 July 2014 via mobile

Stayed for 3 nights and we left really happy with the facilities, service and the food - they serve an excellent buffet for breakfast. They are ideally located in a sort of nature reserve and boast unbeatable views of the volcano and the laguna. They have connections for all sorts of activities in the area and can even get discount deals - the staff was very friendly and helpful. Definitely recommended!!

Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Mika T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa

Property: Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa
Address: 23 Km West of La Fortuna City Center, Located at the Base of the Arenal Volcano | Main Road to Arenal National Park, Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > La Fortuna de San Carlos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 68 Speciality Lodging in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa 3*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated only 1.7 Miles from the majestic Arenal Volcano and with a spectacular view of Lake Arenal, the Arenal Observatory Lodge (AOL) offers guests the opportunity to DISCOVER, EXPLORE and RELAX. Located within the Arenal Conservation Area and surrounded by rainforests and nature, AOL sits on an 870 acres property, which consists of 400 acres of reforestation, 270 acres of natural forest and 200 acres of cultivated land. The hotel offers 48 comfortable rooms surrounded by gardens, the majority with a direct view of the volcano and/or the forest. The 7 miles of well-maintained trails for walking, horseback riding or biking running through the property provide good opportunities to observe a variety of flora and fauna. Approximately 500 species of birds live in the area making AOL a preferred destination for bird watchers. Activities at the hotel include hikes to the waterfall or to explore Cerro Chato (an extinct volcano with a small lake in the crater), horseback riding, bicycling through the trails, enjoying a refreshing swim in our pool, or simply relaxing with a massage in our SPA. The hotel is well located to serve as a base for a variety of excursions such as the Cano Negro Nature Refuge, hot springs, Venado Caves, Canopy Tours, Arenal Hanging Bridges, Fishing, White Water Rafting, Canyoning, Biking etc. It also serves as a very interesting stop before heading on to Monteverde Cloud Forest or to the beaches of the Pacific coast. Arenal Observatory Lodge is the perfect place for adventure lovers, families, and honeymooners. With its spectacular location, great service, and friendly personnel you won't be disappointed ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Arenal Observatory Hotel La Fortuna De San Carlos
Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa Costa Rica/La Fortuna De San Carlos

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