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Arenal Paraiso Hotel Resort & Spa
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Reviews (1,381)
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All reviewshot springssuperior cabincosta ricacanopy tourrocking chairszip liningthermal poolsstandard roomresident slothwet barfront porchgreat view of the volcanoswim up barair conditioninghorseback ridingbeautiful groundsbreakfast buffet
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Reviewed 9 January 2009

How close can you get to an active volcano? The view from our standard bungalow was incredible. We would wake up about 530am most mornings because of the cacophony of birdsong, immediately pull open our balcony doors, and sit there outside, watching the beast before us cough and splutter. This place was perfect, it is made of of individual cabins, the best views of Arenal, breakfast was good, and there were large grounds to explore, and thermal baths dotted around the place. Our cabin was large and clean, and when we needed to extend our stay, it was never a problem. It was also so easy to book kayak or jungle excursions, and as usual, the pura vida attitude of the people there made the stay even more enjoyable. The only thing is, as it was a bit more of a resort place, you did get large groups of coach tour/package tourists staying here, so it's not as much of a travellers hangout, but that wasn't a big deal. Oh, beware the swim up bar - too many drinks while bathing in hot water, not good!

  • Stayed: April 2006, travelled as a couple
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Thank roberciku
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2009

We booked a week before going directly with the resort, our stay was Dec. 27-29 and had a fantastic time. See my other review re Allegro Papagayo. It was approximately a 3.5 hour drive to Aernal, which went by so quickly.

We were in cabin #107, Checkin was at 2pm, we arrived at 1:15pm and it wasn't ready. We grabbed some food, went back at 2:30 and it wasn't ready, so we ended up taking the zip-line tour at this resort and it was fantastic - $45 per person. It is conveniently located at the resort and the guys are fantastic. We had a pretty good view of the volcano.

By the time we finished zip-lining, our room was ready, we unpacked and headed to La Fortuna to grab drinks and snacks. We were back at the resort by 7pm and headed straight to the hot springs for the next 2 hours which were fabulous. I have heard great things about Baldi and Tabacon hot springs, but you have to pay to get into those hot springs and I also heard it is very over-crowded. We had the hot springs to ourselves and it was quiet and very relaxing. We were with one other couple and thought it was perfect. The other couple did not stay at this resort and had to pay $15 entrance fee to the hot springs, but they thought it was worth it (and they could use it over and over).

Next day, we headed to the Hanging Bridges ($22 per person) and La Fortuna Waterfall ($7 per person). Both were fantastic experiences. It involved lots of walking/hiking, so make sure you wear running shoes and bring the bug spray (no joke!!!). The Hanging Bridges, we did not see much wild life except for howler monkeys and domesticated parrots at the entrance. We didn't pay for the tour, but in speaking in some people that were on tours, they said they hadn't seen any wildlife either.

La Fortuna, it was raining on our hike down to the waterfall and because of this, wasn't the safest to go into the water but the guys did - freshwater. They enjoyed it.

After a long day, headed back to the hot springs and then to dinner.

Our final day, we headed to the Arenal Volcano and hiked and saw the tip of the volcano (which we were told was rare in December). It was breath-taking. Admission was only $10 and we didn't take a tour - we heard tours. It might be worthwhile to take a tour if you want to hear about the history. It was amazing watching craters roll down the size of cars! Bring binoculars!

After this, we headed back to our resort in the Papagayo region.

Accommodations were fantastic - other than the ants. Its not 5 star but was spacious.

Only Breakfast was included and was by far the best breakfast I had in Costa Rica - especially the chirizo!

Buy your souvenirs (coffee, liquor) at the local supermarket .

Pura Vida!

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank beachforever
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 December 2008

I spent a few days at the Arenal Paraiso in early december, and I have to say that i'm a little surprised by the amount of negative feedback that I am reading here. I personally had a great stay at this hotel.

We arrived after a grueling, 10hr drive from Montezuma, and we headed straight for the hot springs. I have to admit, when we tried the first spring, we were both very disappointed by the temperature of the water. So My friend sent me on a scouting mission for warmer waters, and I found that the temperature of the springs increased with each pool as you traveled up the hill. We found one spring at the very top of the hill that was so warm, we could only use it for about 20 minutes at a time.

The next day we took the horseback tour from the resort's stables to the volcano, which was absolutely incredible. We traveled down through the jungle to the Rio Arenal, saw monkeys, a giant catepillar and a beautiful waterall. We then took an extremely rugged path up the side of the volcano, to the charred wreckage of an old resort that was wiped out during the last eruption. I cannot possiblly imagine that you will find a more exciting horseback ride tour in Costa Rica. Altogether, the tour was about 4 hours long through beautiful (and very rugged) Terrain....I'm sure they tone down the excitement on this tour with larger groups or when children are present.

As for the rest of the hotel, I have very few complaints. I found the staff to be extremely friendly and curtious, although I think we had the staff to our selves those days, as the hotel appeared pretty empty. With exception to the seafood on the coasts, the restarant here was as good as you will find in Costa Rica, and the prices were pretty reasonable if you dont order from the steakhouse menu. I think our meals for 2 (with wine) averaged about $35/night. The free breakfast in the morning was definitely better than what we were used to in other cities in CR.

Our cabin was great as well. It did not feel like a large resort at all. My only complaint about the room was the beds, they just were not that comfortable, especially after 4 hours on a horse. But other than that, the place was great. I would definitely recommend this to anyone traveling to Arenal

  • Stayed: December 2008
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Thank BfromChicago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 December 2008

this was one of the best hotels we stayed in- albeit a simple one.
and excellent value for money.
the cabins have incredible views and a great patio to sit and look at the volcano drinking fresh coffee which you can make yourself.
The restaurant is a bit limited and mainly steak but the food is excellent and not a rip off... good news as going in to the town means 20 usd taxis there and back.
there are natural hot springs- which are slightly cloudy and of different temps- a number of them so you can go out and use them-often getting one to yourself day and night. Lovely.
The spa has great services but due to being fully booked- don't know how good they are- only saw the list...

My one tip to people going in groups is do your own thing as we did not see the volcano by night and people who drove around did- there were also walks which healthier people did (we had some older people so i think our guide took the easy option) seeing lots of animals and birds- we did a short one seeing nothing...

Good hotel- I would def recommend this to friends...

  • Stayed: November 2008
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Thank Kate70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 September 2008

We stayed here 3 nights during our vacation to Costa Rica. The rooms (we had two because the first one was riddled with ants) were both in disrepair. The toilets, showers, shower doors, etc., all needed to be replaced as they were old and didn't work correctly. Very weird for a hotel that has its own hotsprings, zipline and beautifully kept grounds. The views of the volcano are tremendous. The buffet breakfast served each morning was adequate. It was exactly the same the first two mornings, but changed the third, adding pancakes and french toast, which was a nice change from the eggs, potatoes and comida tica served the other 2 mornings. The pool area was nice, but the hot tub and water surrounding the "wet bar" were both filthy with very dirty and cloudy water. Neither was cleaned or sanitated however, people were actually using them (?????). It's located far enough away from La Fortuna that you need a taxi to take you to and from. The price of the taxi rides vary anywhere from $6 to $8 depending on who is driving. We found that asking them to run their meter worked out a little cheaper, although once you ask this, prepare that the driver will all of a sudden claim that he doesn't speak English or that he'll just flat ignore your request. We didn't do the zipline at the property, but did one that we had seen in town. It had 10 lines and had a horseback riding option at the end. The lines were wonderful, but I think there are better ones. 10 lines are not enough once you get going. It was only $50 so we felt it was a pretty good value. I can't recommend staying at this hotel as I think there are much nicer ones in the area and probably for a better price.

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled with family
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1  Thank SueAnneP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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