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“The trifecta part 1”

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Volcano Lodge & Springs
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
St. Augustine, Florida
Level Contributor
27 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“The trifecta part 1”
Reviewed 4 April 2014

Before getting into this review, I would like to preface it by mentioning it that it was the result of a Groupon "Trifecta" trip to Costa Rica. Therefore you will need to know that my journey does not end here but also at two other, completely different locations at this Central America location. The organizer of the Groupon deal was Travel By Jen. Maybe you are embarking on the same trip and hopefully this will enlighten you on what to and NOT expect. With any trip there are usually three components that when done well make it extraordinary. These three components are destination (location), lodging (accommodations) and service (staff). In this trifecta, there was always something that was missing taking away what would make Costa Rica incredibly remarkable.

The first leg of this journey was to the Volcano Lodge and Springs. Located in La Fortuna you can plan on a four hour drive from the airport to get there. Costa Rica is certainly not known for its highway system, rather plan on a twisty curvy roadway that will take you through some incredibly remarkable countryside. If you have not considered it, either bring your own GPS or rent one at the car rental agency. Without it, you may as well be driving blindfolded.

When one mentions the word Costa Rica the first thoughts that come to mind are waterfalls, lush rain forests and volcanos. That was certainly the hope in our quest and our first destination did not disappoint in that department. Located at the visual base of a dormant volcano, is the Lodge. The location of this hotel is on a hill. Down the hill will take you back into town and up the hill will take you to the Volcano National Park. The park is about 5 miles up the road.

As for the hotel, the grounds are very nice with a well themed hot spring area that is great to soak in after a long day of activities. The food at the restaurants is so-so, you can do better heading into town and eating there. The free breakfast consisted of scrambled eggs, rice and beans, pancakes and hot-dogs. For some reason the "hot-dogs" were labeled sausages yet were hot-dogs in some sort of sauce. After day two, the so-called free breakfast is a bit long in the tooth. At this point I am wanting for something else than the typical offerings.

The rooms were clean and the maid always had some sort of surprising towel decoration waiting for us when we returned.

Here are some tips to help you with your adventure:

1. If your "trifecta" package includes the zip-line, I would recommend a go-pro camera mounted to your helmet. Having an actual video of yourself zip-lining through the trees will be the highlight to show your friends of the foliage and scenery that Costa Rica has to offer.

2. Get a SIM card for your phone. Without it you will NOT have cell service. I would recommend you do this before leaving the airport. Kolbi is one such vendor that sells them (1000 colones or about $2.00). If you fail to do this, you can also find a Kolbi store in La Fortuna. It is located on the right hand side of the road in that town (next to the Burger King).

3. GPS, this is a must.

4. If you want to go hiking you do not need to pay for an expensive tour. Rather, if you drive to the Volcano National park, at the end of the park you can leave your car. It is free there. The cost to hike the trails is $10 per person. There are two trails the longer one (El Choro) was muddy and is quite hilly. Instead, take the shorter trail which will provide you with an easier route. The longer route will take 6 hours to complete.

Out of all three hotels that was part of this package, this hotel was the better. I would consider staying here if I had to. Although there are much better resorts available. Maybe this is what to expect from a groupon.

Room Tip: The lodge is single floor bungalow style with paper thin walls. Try to get an end unit as being san...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Bill H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Santa Rosa, California
Level Contributor
41 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 April 2014

We stayed here in January of 2013 and LOVED it. Simple, comfortable room with a private patio that looked out onto the volcano. WE simply LOVED sitting out on that patio in the late afternoon and evening and watching all the birds fly by- tons of birds and a pair of toucans that came out and posed every evening. And the garden and grounds are spectacular as well. I love nature photography and some of the best pictures of flowers I've ever taken were taken on the grounds here. We were fortunate to have not experienced much rain at all. It rained one night in the evening a bit and DOWN it came but that was sort of romantic so we enjoyed it.

The food was decent, good breakfast, good restaurant. The staff was always helpful and friendly and courteous. Plenty of clean towels when you wanted etc. Lots to do nearby, too. Don't miss the butterfly sanctuary near there- the big one that is a bit of a drive. We both REALLY enjoyed that. But the standard adventure activities were great, too- plenty of choices when it comes to zip-lining and all that stuff.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank mnlgoodin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rochester, New York
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 3 April 2014 via mobile

My husband and I stayed here for the first three nights of march trip. From the moment we got dropped off the service was remarkable. Everyone went out of their way to be very accommodating and helpful with anything we needed. Our room was not over-the-top but was very nice and clean. We had beautiful views of the lush landscape and what you can see of the volcano. The food for breakfast every day was delicious and both times we ate lunch were also very good, I highly recommend that you have the tuna ceviche!! They had multiple happy hour time during the day which were great for two-for-one drinks at the pool or in the natural pool. The hotel is a short drive into town of LaFortuna if you wanted to go out to dinner it wasn't a long drive for cab ride vs. other hotels in the area. You won't be disappointed!

Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Cwojdyla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level Contributor
17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 April 2014

We had a wonderful stay--excellent service, lovely room and view, beautiful grounds. Plus, while we were having a super lunch the sky cleared and we had a fabulous view of Arenal Volcano. Can't get better than that!

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Linda M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
60 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 April 2014

We stayed for 2 nights in March, 2014.

Rooms were clean. Food was good. Staff was nice. And having your own little hot springs in the hotel is a great bonus. For the price, we could not have asked for anything more from the Volcano Lodge. Highly recommend and would definitely go back.

Room Tip: Rooms between the front desk and the main restaurant/hot springs are most conveniently located.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Sutter93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 April 2014

We booked this place as a moderately priced place to camp out for a night and we so surprised and happy about what a great place it was. Beautiful property, super nice staff. My kids loved the pool area and the views of the volcano were fantastic. The rooms were not "fancy" but more than adequate and very comfortable. I only rated this 4 because there are a few nicer resorts around, but unless you want to go for the very expensive this place is hard to beat.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

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1 Thank Shelli16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane
Level Contributor
222 reviews
151 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 159 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 April 2014

The Arenal/La Fortuna area is the prime tourist destination in Costa Rica. There is something for everyone here-volcano viewing, hot springs, zip-lining, nature hikes. Birding here isn't as good as other places in Costa Rica but Arenal made a nice rest stop in between birding trips. This stay took place in August which is the "green" season.

The lodge is a fair ways out of town but that won't matter if you use tourist shuttles as they drop you off and pick you up. The Volcano Lodge has amazing views of Arenal and beautiful gardens and hiking trails. I chose this place because it was the halfway part of our trip and thought we could use a time-out to relax in the jacuzzi and enjoy some light bird watching on the grounds. The rooms were fairly large and we got a great one near the reception with a volcano view from the window! We saw some Hummingbirds, Oropendulas and Greater Kiskadees in the garden and the flowers were gorgeous! There are a few photos of the birds and rooms on my blog - Miles to the Wild.

I really liked the artwork in the restaurant/bar/pool area and the food was really good too! We had lunch, went for a swim, then relaxed in the jacuzzi for awhile. We were planning to go birding in the afternoon but our plans got rained out. We still had a good time chatting with other tourists as we hung out in the bar for happy hour watching the rain pour down. The next morning, the weather was nice but we had already booked the onward transportation so only had time for a short walk. We didn't see any new birds from the day before, just the usual Rufous-tailed Hummingbirds so we headed down for breakfast which was included in the price and very good!

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Tikibird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Volcano Lodge & Springs

Property: Volcano Lodge & Springs
Address: La Fortuna de San Carlos-Arenal Lake road | 7 Km West from Downtown, Road To Arenal Volcano, Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos 21007, Costa Rica (Formerly Volcano Lodge & Gardens)
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 Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Luxury Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#6 Green Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#9 Spa Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#12 Family Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#13 Romantic Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Volcano Lodge & Springs 4*
Number of rooms: 64
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
At VOLCANO LODGE AND SPRINGS, located in La Palma, La Fortuna de San Carlos, at the foot of the majestic Arenal Volcano, our hot springs and lush tropical garden gives you joy and relaxation to our guests and companions. Undoubtedly, our location allows you to witness the imposing Arenal Volcano from a vantage point. QUALITY SERVICE: Knowing that service is the main reason of hospitality, the Volcano Lodge & Gardens’ team, will do our best to make your stay a very fond memory to take home. FACILITIES: All our 66 rooms are Superior and non smoking, have deluxe finishes, 2 comfortable full size beds or 1 king size bed, TV/cable, telephone, air-conditioned, coffee maker, hot water shower, hairdryer and a nice terrace facing the Volcano. We also offer 4 rooms for handicap. RESTAURANT:Sura Restaurant, capacity: 120 people, we’ll be offering you our traditional local and international food, while you enjoy the majestic view of the volcano, birds surrounded nature. You can ask for room service too. OTHER FACILITIES: *Two swimming pools for adults, two swimming pools for children and two Jacuzzis, all of them with view to the Volcano.*Laundry service, Private parking, Internet Access / Wireless Free, Tours information, nature trail, Playground.* Massages Service from 9 am to 9 pm. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Volcano Lodge And Gardens
Volcano Lodge & Gardens Hotel La Fortuna De San Carlos
Volcano Hotel
Volcano Lodge & Springs Costa Rica/La Fortuna De San Carlos

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