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“Hilariously poor service” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Mountain Paradise

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Hotel Mountain Paradise
Certificate of Excellence
Richmond, Virginia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Hilariously poor service”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 March 2014 via mobile

What a shame. We stayed here for three nights last week with our three young boys. The hotel has some great views, and is a wonderfully landscaped property, the rooms have cool bathrooms and are decently proportioned spaces.
The service is just plain awful, and it ruins the experience. Of the three hotels we stayed at in Costa Rica this was a clown operation. Later in our trip in other areas of the country we ended up in conversations with other people who had similarly poor experiences at the Mountain Paradise.
With such a negative review, I better give the ugly specifics. It all started on arrival as we watched the family in front of us hauled off to their room in a golf cart. The driver tried to steady the bags in the front seat as he left the reception area before crashing half the bags off the side of the cart. A minute later the driver returned to reception with the family to ask other staff for directions to the room.
That evening we were tired and stayed on property for dinner at he restaurant. This was a big mistake. Their one and only restaurant at a family resort has no kids items on the menu. We managed to talk the staff into buttered noodles, and then gnawed on our overcooked entrees.
The next day we called down to reserve spots on the regularly scheduled complimentary shuttle for a ride to town for dinner, and were told no problem. When we arrived at reception for the shuttle there were already two families waiting, but staff claimed the shuttle had left already. They offered us some for fee hotel taxis. After my wife explained the phone calls and reservations they wanted to know who we talked to. We later learned that "who told you that" is a standard response. There never really was a shuttle that had already left, and upon demand they did deliver a van to take all 12 people to town.
The next day we learned why they are so eager to get you in their "taxis". They will charge you 2x the rate of what the red taxi cars charge you to go somewhere. Their hotel taxi they confirmed by phone would cost us $10 to the Springs Resort, suddenly cost $25 even after our protest. Amazingly the return hotel taxi from the higher end Springs Resort costs just $15.
If you ask the hotel for a second key(a simple card key), they inform you that there is an extra charge for that.
On another occasion we retuned from a morning tour and hit the pool for lunch. We had to hunt down service over at the restaurant after someone at reception already wrongly told my wife they didn't open until 2pm. You get vastly different answers from different people on property. Another couple had already been waiting there for over an hour after requesting towels at the pool, as usually there are none.
The biggest mistake you can make at this hotel is thinking the staff cares or takes pride in service. There are maybe one or two employees worth rehiring if you could takeover management of the operation.
On our last day we went up to the pool for a drink while we waited for our car to the airport. The bartender wasn't there, and when he arrived couldn't find the key to the freezer. When he was done bopping around to his music that was always on too loud, he found the key. All the beer in the cooler was frozen... Over the course of our stay, I marveled at the bartenders ability to try and give change at some unusual exchange rates.
I could go on with more stories, but it all comes down to one thing, this is a place where they are trained that once they have you, they have got you. Whether you return or not doesn't matter, and while you are there they should get all they can out of you.
It is the only place or experience from our entire eight day and night trip in this wonderful country where we felt people were being deliberately dishonest with us.

Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
7 Thank R P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,228 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (233)
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English first
North Carolina
Level Contributor
159 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 March 2014

We stayed for 3 nights with our 2 college age children. We stayed in a Master suite which had a large main room with a king bed.There was a second room with 2 twins beds. (My reservation stated it had 2 doubles which was not the case, but not a big deal)
The beds were hard which I liked but some may not. There were little ants in the bathroom that crawled constantly up the wall. Did not bite or bother us.
The kids room had a large gap in the bottom of their exterior door which allowed 2 inch long millipedes to crawl in. We swept 10 of them out the first night, then figured out if we blocked the bottom with a rolled up towel we could prevent them from coming in. Hey this is Costa Rica so we expected some nature contacts.

The bathrooms were good and the stone shower and tub gave it an outdoorsy feel.
We had our own plunge pool at our unit but the water was too cold.
The main pool was nicely heated and we enjoyed the waterfalls.
The view is gorgeous and this hotel is in a great location for enjoying Arenal attractions.
The grounds were pretty with lots of flowering bushes, trees.
The breakfast buffet was fine, lots of choices.
We ate one dinner in the restaurant and service was sooooo slow. Pricey, so for the rest of the meals we ate at local "sodas"...Costa Rican for local family run open air restaurants.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Touringdoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
81 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 March 2014

Myself and my friend stayed here in February. It was a nice hotel with comfy beds and gorgeous gardens and all rooms over look the volcano. That said, the service and the management (or complete lack of I should say!) was shocking. We asked for flights to be booked which they did as we were walking out the entrance to go on a hike to Rio Celeste, flights for the following morning to Tambor. Well we get to the aiport the next morning and THERE IS NO FLIGHT! They had booked the morning flight the day before...AFTER the flight had gone, and after we had gone to Rio Celeste. How can you even do that! Plus they charged my credit card! We waited at the empty airport for 3 hours until someone from the hotel came back to get us. They got us on a later flight, but tried to charge us extra for the cab back to the hotel from the Airport!!!! I was shocked. Then we got to hotel and they allowed us to stay in the master suite room while we waited for our flight later that day. Becuase they said the airline admitted to making the mistake in the booking, they then tried to charge us an hourly late check out fee from the master suite room!!! It was diabolicle how we were treated. The owner/manager refused to even talk to us, and this poor guy, a gorgeous young man, was left to try to sort it out, saying they threatened to take it out of his salary if we didn't pay the extra for the late check out and the taxis. I will NEVER go back to this place again. I can not understand how there is no one there who knows anything about running a hotel and they are far from lower end! I however enjoyed Arenal very much so tried to erase these memories from my mind! UGH!

Room Tip: DON'T choose this hotel
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Vicki K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jose S, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Hotel Mountain Paradise, responded to this review, 24 March 2014
Dear Client:

Thank you for your note and where we respect your opinion but we don´t share at all your explanation of the things that happened that day. Let us give, our point of view:

We talked with the receptionist in the hotel concerning this matter and with the air line about what happened that day, they explained to us about the inconvenience that you suffered, the receptionist in the airline did the reservation of the tickets, and the airline did a mistake with the tickets between La Fortuna and San Jose / Tambor San Jose

At the beginning we explained to the clients, that some hotel charges might be cover for them due that was not our fault and that moment they change completely their behavior.
In fact we supported the client and didn´t charge for the round trip transfer, lunch and also they don't pay for the late check out. In fact they were so upset blaming the hotel for things that are not our fault. At the end, we provide a bottle of wine as a courtesy for the things that happen to the clients but when we Read this complaint we are so impressed cause we tried to help in all possible ways, but it looks our efforts not were good enough for you.

Sincerely and all respect

Mountain Paradise Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lexington, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
41 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 March 2014

Staff was welcoming and cheerful. Grounds were lovely--lush, colorful & well-maintained plantings--hummingbirds. We enjoyed each walk from our room to the restaurant and lobby. Room was spacious and private. Bathroom was a trip in itself, with 2 showers. Nice buffet breakfast. 2 dinners there (1 was excellent, 1 fair). Outdoor heated pool was attractive and fun.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jane S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
37 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 March 2014

This is a great and very unique hotel for this area. While in Arenal we saw no other hotel we would have preferred.
The Pros: The hotel is a large collection of individual lodge or cabana style rooms scattered over the large well kept hotel grounds. The rooms are well separated and have private patios, so they offer a great deal of privacy. Most rooms have a private spa tub on the patios and offer unique stone waterfall showers in the bath rooms. The food in the hotel restaurant was both good and reasonably priced. The hotel sits on hillside facing the towering Arernal volcano, so many offer at least limited views of the volcano out through the lush growth on the grounds.
There are lots of birds and little lizards etc on the grounds. The hote also has a very nice outdoor pool complex.
Cons: This is an Eco lodge so there is not great light in the rooms for reading, grooming etc. The grounds are large and spread out, so walks from most rooms to the restaurant and common areas of the hotel can be lengthy (not really a problem as the hotel provides free oncall golf cart shuttles throughout the hotel.

Room Tip: Views of Arenal are limited on most days due to heavy cloud cover. Enjoy the grounds they are beauti...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank APaladin2001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oldham
Level Contributor
32 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 February 2014

We stayed at the Mountain Paradise Hotel for two nights in a standard room. The room was large, clean and well equipped. The only downside was that due to low cloud the hoped for view of the Arenal volcano from our room was non existent. It was very pleasant to sit on our private patio surrounded by the local flora either on a rocking chair or in our own jacuzzi and watch the bird life.

The room was spacious with two king size beds, a small dining table and chairs. The bathroom was also spacious with two showers, one a rain shower. The room was very hi-tech with hand held controls for the TV, the air-conditioning and the lighting, though the latter took some time to understand. A simple guide to its operation would have been helpful.

The staff were all friendly and there was a buggy to take you from reception to your room, though we soon discovered that it was only a short walk to the restaurant from our room.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Malcolm M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Framingham, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
76 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 February 2014

We stayed in this hotel for 3 days while visiting Fortuna. The room was a beautiful room furnished to bring out the architecture of Costa Rica and the Colonial times. The bed was very comfortable, with lots of extra-large pillows. We stayed at room 103 which was Premium suite and it was very close to the pool and the dining rooms. There is no mini refrigerator or TV. But you don’t travel all the way to Costa Rica to watch TV no?
The room opens up to a lovely patio which is surrounded by natural flora. You can sit outside with a drink and watch the tropical birds and also enjoy the view of Arenal Volcano.
All the staff at the hotel was friendly and helpful, and also at the front desk with giving direction and other questions you’d have.
The breakfast buffet was very good, They had an egg station and pancakes and my fav the local food which I like to eat and lots of fresh fruit.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Firstsquaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Mountain Paradise

Property: Hotel Mountain Paradise
Address: La Palma De La Fortuna, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park 183-4400, 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 Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#15 Romantic Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#19 Family Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Mountain Paradise 3.5*
Number of rooms: 46
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Home away from Home. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mountain Paradise Hotel
Hotel Mountain Paradise Costa Rica/La Fortuna De San Carlos

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