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Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa

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Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa
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1,881 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Camberley UK
Reviewed 4 days ago NEWvia mobile

We loved our stay at the Observatory despite the poor road to access and wet weather during our stay. The location & rooms are perfect you can't fault them great comfy bed overlooking the lovely gardens we saw lots of birds and coati from our balcony. The bird watching tour was not the best we saw more on our own...

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Helpful?
Thank annettet
Austin G, Public Relations Manager at Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa, responded to this review

Hello annettet, Thank you for your comments. We appreciate you taking the time to provide us with invaluable feedback. We are so happy to read that you loved your stay. With that said, we would like to apologize once again for the issue involving the vegetables and potatoes. All of our food is prepared and served fresh and we have...

San Francisco
Reviewed 4 days ago NEWvia mobile

Beautiful large hotel rooms with absolutely stunning views of the volcano. Also amazing view of lake Arenal and the volcano from the restaurant. The location is great as it is in the park, especially if you're planning to hike Cerro Chato as the path starts inside the hotel premises. The food at the restaurant is quite bland and overpriced but...

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Helpful?
Thank Natasha B
Austin G, Public Relations Manager at Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa, responded to this review

Hello Natasha B, Firstly, I would like to thank you for taking the time to provide us with feedback about your stay. We rely on feedback from our guests to improve the services we offer. We are happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us. Unfortunately, one of the drawbacks of maintaining sure a secluded and natural location...

Pittsburgh, PA
Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

I cannot say enough good things about this place. It is situated perfectly in the forest with up-close views of the Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal. Our room had a large porch with a stunning view of the lake. The grounds are meticulously kept, and there is an abundance of nature and wildlife everywhere you look. There is a free...

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Helpful?
Thank UPittsburgh
Austin G, Public Relations Manager at Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa, responded to this review

Hello UPittsburgh, Thank you so much for taking the time to review your stay at our lodge. We are overjoyed by your comments and are glad that you were able to take advantages of many of the services we offer. We eagerly await your return and wish you all the very best! Pura vida!

Albuquerque, New Mexico
Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

If I had to say something negative its this: its a long drive back into La Fortuna, if you want to visit hot springs or the Fortuna Waterfall or eat somewhere besides the on-site restaurant, which is fine but not amazing and pretty expensive even by La Fortuna standards (understandably, but still). Everything else is perfect and marvelous. The views...

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Helpful?
Thank Coelophysis
Austin G, Public Relations Manager at Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa, responded to this review

Hello Coelophysis, Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience at our lodge with others on TripAdvisor. We are very happy to read that you enjoyed your stay and completely understand your sentiments about the relative isolation of our property. We thank you for your understanding and glad that you valued the positive consequences of our...

Cologne, Germany
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We stayed at the lodge for three nights and definitely would come back! It's a lovely place, everything is very well organised and clean. The breakfast is very good and the staff very friendly. It's in the middle of the rainforest and the nature is truly amazing. They offer a very nice 2,5 hour walking tour in the morning, which...

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Helpful?
Thank 130piaw
Austin G, Public Relations Manager at Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa, responded to this review

Dear valued guest, Thank you for taking the time to provide us with some feedback about your stay. We are so glad you enjoyed your stay and we are honored by your recommendation. We hope you will remember us should you decide to return to Costa Rica in the future. We would love to have you back!

Chicago, Illinois
Reviewed 1 week ago

My family and I have just returned from a wonderful Spring Break visit to Costa Rica, and among the highlights was our stay at the Arenal Observatory Lodge. We had wanted to stay 4 nights but the Lodge was very busy and we were able to get only 2 nights. Many of the other guests also had a similar experience....

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1Thank Worldtraveler68
Austin G, Public Relations Manager at Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa, responded to this review

Hola Worldtraveler68, Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience at our lodge with others on TripAdvisor. We always appreciate reading comments from our previous guests and are so happy that you enjoyed your stay with us. We look forward to your return and wish you the very best in all of your future adventures. Pura...

Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We stayed in AOL for two nights during our honeymoon in Costa Rica. It was definitely a highlight of our trip! Our Smithsonian room was spotless clean, elegant and had an absolutely stunning view of the Arenal volcano from our bed. Waking up to that view and sounds of the wildlife (birds, monkeys, chicadas) was unforgettable! The staff of the...

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Helpful?
Thank Ksenia T
Austin G, Public Relations Manager at Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa, responded to this review

Hello Ksenia T, Firstly, congratulations on your recent marriage; we are happy you were able to spend two nights of your honeymoon with us. Also, thank you so much for thinking of us and providing us with a review on TripAdvisor. We are delighted to read that you enjoyed your stay with us and we hope to have you back...

Los Angeles, California
Reviewed 1 week ago

This is our second trip to Arenal and we chose to return to the Observatory Lodge for everything it has to offer. We stayed in a Smithsonian Room with a spectacular view of the volcano from our private balcony. In the past, the volcano was covered with clouds but for two days now we've an amazingly clear view. The restaurant...

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Helpful?
Thank Baffo1
Austin G, Public Relations Manager at Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa, responded to this review

Hello, Baffo1, and thank you for taking the time to review your stay at our lodge. We appreciate you taking the time to write us a review and are so happy you decided to visit us again. We are glad to read that you enjoyed yourselves once again and are honored by your recommendation. Thanks again and pura vida!

Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Be prepared for a long, extremely bumpy ride to this gem of a hotel. The grounds at the AOL are worth it. Really, the view, the trails, the birds, the crazy changeable weather - all spectacular. Our "smithsonian" room was small but clean and comfortable enough - we had a great little terrace overlooking one of the gardens that helped...

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Helpful?
Thank Mary H
Austin G, Public Relations Manager at Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa, responded to this review

Hello, Mary H., and thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed account of your experience at our lodge. We are delighted to read that you enjoyed your stay with us and would not hesitate to return to visit us again. With that said, we are sorry if the noise from your neighbors inconvenienced you in any...

Amherst, Massachusetts
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The Arenal Observatory is a wonderful place to stay. I had stayed 19 years ago and loved it. It has changed a lot since then but is still great. Flowers, waterfalls, the volcano (resting now), and the most wonderful staff. We stayed in the Smithsonian rooms, and our room was beautiful. The only downfall is the walls are paper thin....

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Helpful?
1Thank Conniefay
Austin G, Public Relations Manager at Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa, responded to this review

Hello Conniefay, First of all, we are so glad you decided to stay with us once again. We can imagine that the changes must have seemed drastic from 19 years ago, hopefully for the better. We also would like to thank you for taking the time to share your experience with others on TripAdvisor. We are happy to read you...

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Amenities

Highlights
  • Pool
  • Free Internet
  • Free Parking
  • Restaurant
  • Bar/Lounge
  • Spa
  • Breakfast included
GreenLeadersBronze level
About the property
  • Wheelchair Access
  • Non-Smoking Hotel
Things to do
  • Pool
  • Restaurant
  • Bar/Lounge
  • Spa
  • Hot Tub
Room types
  • Suites
  • Non-Smoking Rooms
  • Family Rooms
  • Accessible rooms
Internet
  • Free Internet
  • Public Wifi
Services
  • Free Parking
  • Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
  • Shuttle Bus Service
  • Breakfast included
  • Laundry Service
  • Concierge
  • Multilingual Staff
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 

Additional Information about 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
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range: $160 - $241 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa 3*
Number of rooms: 50
Reservation Options:
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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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Questions & Answers

Here's what travellers have asked, with answers from Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa staff and other travellers.
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New York City, New York
over a year ago

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Questions? Get answers from Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa staff and past guests.
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Typical questions asked:
  • Can tickets for local attractions be purchased at the front desk?
  • Do you have to pay extra for a mini-fridge?
  • At what time does the pool open each day?

See which rooms travellers prefer

“Some rooms are a 500m walk to the main hotel area/reception/restaurant....inquire about this when booking. Others are very close.”
UPittsburgh, 20 Apr 2017 | Read review
“The "standard rooms" in the main lodge are slightly larger and definitely more conveniently located than the other standard rooms.”
Coelophysis, 17 Apr 2017 | Read review
“Smithsonian or rooms in La Casona that have a lovely lake view”
Baffo1, 11 Apr 2017 | Read review
“Most rooms have a view of the volcano. We liked the Smithsonian rooms because we had a balcony. Just remember, the walls are thin.”
Conniefay, 8 Apr 2017 | Read review
“Go for the Smithsonian Rooms”
  • On patio of Smithsonian room
  • Inside Smithsonian room
525indiap, 7 Apr 2017 | Read review
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