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Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa

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Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa
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1,783 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,464: English reviews
New Mexico
Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Let us preface what we say but explaining there was a near hurricane level storm when we were there. Trees were down across roads and power lines. As a consequence the hotel was dealing with intermittent electricity. The staff handled this well and we overall had a wonderful stay. The room was lovely and immaculate (#25) and the view was...

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Helpful?
Thank Audrey45
Austin G, Public Relations Manager at Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa, responded to this review

Hello Audrey45, I would like to thank you for taking the time to write us a review and for being so understanding about the unprecedented storm we were experiencing during your stay. We are happy to hear you enjoyed your stay with us and were able to add some birds to your list despite the electrical issues and unfavorable weather....

Reviewed 2 days ago NEWvia mobile

We went to Arenal Observatory Lodge because of its reputation as a birding destination. We did not expect to be so wowed by the lodge itself. Everything about it was superb. A few of the highlights included the views of the volcano and the lake, the excellent food (both the free breakfast buffet and the lunch and dinner options), the...

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

Hola! First of all thank you so much for taking the time to review your stay at our lodge. We are happy to hear you enjoyed your stay and the lodge exceeded your expectations. We hope you will remember us if you ever decide to return to the area. Thanks again and Pura Vida!

Reading, United Kingdom
Reviewed 2 days ago NEWvia mobile

After driving up from Cahuita, through the brash (and crass) town of La Fortuna - a lot a tacky looking hotels with coach loads of tourists, we were really surprised with the set-up here. Beautiful location overlooking Arenal - although we arrived in the rain and it was half covered, Arenal lake and beautifully maintained grounds. This is a bird...

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

Hola! Thank you so much for taking the time to provide us with a review on Trip Advisor. We are always excited to hear from guests and rely on their honest feedback to constantly work on improving the services we offer. We are very happy to hear you enjoyed your stay and it was a pleasure talking with you on...

Edmonton, Canada
Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

We booked the Arenal Observatory Lodge and Spa as we wanted to stay as close to the volcano as possible and we were not disappointed. The hotel is located right at the base of the volcano and we had a direct view of the volcano from our room. We woke up Christmas morning and the sky was clear with the...

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

Hello Ken D, First of all thank you so much for taking the time to review your stay at our lodge. We are happy to hear you enjoyed your stay and our honored to receive your recommendation. We hope you will remember us if you ever decide to return to the area. Thanks again and Pura Vida!

Canterbury, United Kingdom
Reviewed 4 days ago NEWvia mobile

We stayed here for 4 nights and I would recommend this place to anyone who is interesting in seeing the volcano, loves walking and doesn't require 5* accommodation. The food was excellent great and there was a good choice of vegetarian options for my fiancée. The free builder walk in the mornings are a must, the free unguided walk to...

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Helpful?
Thank Steve-C-Holbrook
Austin G, Public Relations Manager at Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa, responded to this review

Hello, First of all, I would like to thank you for your detailed and thorough review of your stay at our lodge. We really appreciate all of the suggestions you have provided to future guests. We are thrilled to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us and took advantage of many of the services we have to offer. If...

Ottawa
Reviewed 6 days ago NEWvia mobile

The Arenal Observatory Lodge was our first stop on a two week family vacation to Costa Rica. We picked up our rental car at the airport in Liberia and drove straight there. It took about 3 hours. The Lodge is in the park and the last few kilometres are on dirt roads but it was fine. The Lodge is secluded...

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

First of all, I would like to thank you for taking the time to review your stay at our lodge and provide us with valuable feedback. We always enjoy hearing from our guests and rely on your comments to improve our services. We are happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay, and made the most of it despite the...

Auckland, New Zealand
Reviewed 1 week ago

We took the trip to the observatory to attempt to view Arenal which had been lost in the clouds for days. Well, despite some tantalising glimpses nothing changed on that front. But, the Observatory has several other activities to make up for the invisible volcano. The restaurant is good with a range of craft beers and lovely views of the...

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

Thank you Cliff for taking the time to review your trip to our lodge. We are happy to hear, despite the weather, that you enjoyed your time at the lodge. If you should ever return to the area we hope you will remember us. ¡Pura Vida!

Portland, OR
Reviewed 1 week ago

We have visited Arenal twice. On our first trip, we visited the Observatory Lodge to do some bird watching and hiking. It was so perfectly located that we came back again for a visit on the same trip. So, on our second trip we decided to stay for three days. The Arenal Observiatory Lodge has a lot going for it....

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

Thank you MarkMPDX for taking the time to write us a review. We are happy to hear that you decided to return! We are always excited when we have return visitors and are glad to hear you would return again given the chance. We also thank you for your feedback and have noted your concerns. We will be sure to...

New York, NY
Reviewed 1 week ago

The hotel has beautifully landscaped gardens and many hiking trails. I stayed here three days and did all the hikes... there is a nice and easy trail to the Danta waterfall, another (more challenging) one to the river at the bottom of the volcano, and the famous hike up to Cerro Chato, which is rated as one of the more...

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

Hello AmiP, Thank you for taking the time to review your recent stay at our lodge. We are happy you enjoyed the views, meals, and trails. If you return to the area we hope you will visit again! ¡Pura Vida!

Kansas City, Missouri
Reviewed 1 week ago

The view from the lodge of the lake and the volcano are worth the stay here. It is beautiful. I loved that there were so many trails within the property. We took the morning guided hike and it was great. We were going to hike to Cerra Chato but it poured rain in the afternoon, so we spent a lazy...

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Helpful?
Thank plunkettm2017
Austin G, Public Relations Manager at Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa, responded to this review

Hello, and thank you for taking the time to review your stay at our lodge. We are happy to hear that you enjoyed the trails, morning walk, meals, and the views from the property. We also understand your sentiments about the relative isolation of our lodge. This is a downside we have to accept in order to maintain the unparalleled...

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Amenities

Highlights
  • Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
  • Pool
  • Free Parking
  • Restaurant
  • Bar/Lounge
  • Spa
  • Breakfast included
GreenLeadersBronze level
About the property
  • Non-Smoking Hotel
  • Wheelchair Access
Things to do
  • Pool
  • Restaurant
  • Bar/Lounge
  • Spa
  • Hot Tub
Room types
  • Suites
  • Non-Smoking Rooms
  • Family Rooms
  • Accessible rooms
Internet
  • Free Internet
  • Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
  • 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 From la Fortuna Town, Located on 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: $155 - $235 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa 3*
Number of rooms: 49
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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.
34 questions
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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

“We were in the Smithsonian group of rooms and they all seemed to have a great view with a balcony”
 of 5 bubbles Audrey45, 15 Jan 2017 | Read review
“The rooms away from the main buildings were fairly quiet.”
 of 5 bubbles KenD391, 14 Jan 2017 | Read review
“Pay more for one of the Smithsonian or other upgraded rooms away from the main block -- great views and less noise.”
 of 5 bubbles MarkMPDX, 8 Jan 2017 | Read review
“The casonas at the back of the hotel are the best.”
 of 5 bubbles marsolais, 6 Jan 2017 | Read review
“La Casona rooms with shared bathroom are cheaper. It provides the opportunity to interact with other travelers.”
  • Partial view of volcano from the room
  • View from the room
  • Rufous-tailed humming bird outside the room
  • View from restaurant
  • View of rainforest and Arenal Lake from La Casona
 of 5 bubbles vijayk157, 2 Jan 2017 | Read review
5 of 5
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