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“Rain Forest Adventure”

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Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
New London, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Rain Forest Adventure”
Reviewed 14 July 2014

Our 1st stop on our CR adventure & couldn't have been better. Rustic lodge in National Park tradition within lush, rain forest setting. Smithsonian room offered unbelievable volcano views, toucan sightings, & daily visits by a coati. You're a bit captive here but hiking is free & amazing, lodge has games & views when the rain comes, & restaurant is decent. Loved every minute here.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MyAmyfromMiami
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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  • Sleep Quality
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English first
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 14 July 2014 via mobile

We did not expect a huge hotel complex like this. If your are looking for a more personal, intimate and simple natural experience, you are going to be a little disappointed.
The truth is that it is more like a "nature factory" in the middle of the park. The "bird watching tour" was quite Americanized with a cheesy train tour at the end and the gave us little advises on how to spot animals in the park.

Amazing area in the middle of the nature, incredible view on the volcano (if the weather allows it!) and forest.

The room was very simple, practical and clean. Very good mosquito protection! We less appreciated the terrible clapping noise of the doors during the night.

Good experience though.

Stayed July 2014
Helpful?
Thank Christian M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rio Rancho
Level Contributor
5 reviews
Reviewed 12 July 2014

My husband found this hotel and we are so glad we stayed . We were staying in Jaco for 2 weeks and when we decided to go to Arenal to see the volcano we decided to spend the night since it was a 4 hr drive. This hotel is the closest to the volcano and the view from our room was worth every cent we paid.The location was great as we took a tour with Sky River Drift which was right next to the hotel. When we got to the hotel we took a short walk to a waterfall which was beautiful. When we got back to the hotel we sat on the main observation deck and watched a group of spider monkeys swinging amongst the trees. We saw all sorts of birds ,just amazing. During our stay in Arenal we saw more wildlife then we had going to 2 other parks that we paid to get into. Once at the lodge the trails are abundant for you to explore the morning guided tour was great saw much wildlife. Unfortunately the weather is unpredictable and being the rainy season we did have rain all night and into the next morning. So be prepared bring a raincoat of some type. If I was to return to Costa Rica for a 3rd time this hotel would definitely be on my list of things to do again. I wished we had spent at least 2 nights as we did not get to do everything we wanted to do because of the rain.The road to the hotel is rather rough but no different than most of the roads in Costa Rica besides the highways.It is rather a long drive to town to eat so we ate at the hotel food was fine they had a nice free breakfast.Put this hotel on your list of things to do but don't expect a room with a tv ,phone or anything plush. I suggest spending the extra and getting an observatory room as you look directly at the volcano.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank snowwhite078
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Clifton, Ohio
Level Contributor
48 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
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
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
    • Service
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
    • Service
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
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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, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park, 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 73 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 a 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 400 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: 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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