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Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa

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Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa
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1,784 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,465: English reviews
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Reviewed 1 January 2012

This place was amazing. Great hiking on the property. Brilliant! Would go back in a heartbeat!

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Helpful?
Thank Cara L
Homer, Alaska
Reviewed 1 January 2012

We stayed in a standard room that was by the restaurant. When we first entered the property we were concerned about the drive on the bumpy road. However, after one night there, we appreciated the benefits of this hotel. Our room had a great view of the volcano off our balcony. The balcony where we entered the room looked out...

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Thank DPitzman
San Diego, California
Reviewed 31 December 2011

We were hoping to get a view of the active volcano (or at least see the top of the volcano and maybe some smoke), but mother nature had other plans. Ot rained the whole two days we were there and we only got a glimpse of the volcano. As for the hotel, you can't get closer that here. However, the...

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Thank SpaghettiDay
Omaha, Nebraska
Reviewed 29 December 2011

Really enjoyed our stay at the lodge. The road to the lodge is a bit rough but worth traveling so you can enjoy the grounds around the lodge. I would recommend making reservations. I did not get my confirmation form back to the lodge but luck us they had the bunkroom (3 bunk beds) available, which was fine for the...

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Thank JoyRico
Hollywood, Maryland
Reviewed 28 December 2011

Property was great but we stayed there to see an active volcano, if we were lucky enough to have the cl;ouds move away from the peak in mid december. No'one volunteered the information that the last activity on the volcano was Oct 2010 and had I known this I would not have bothered to stay at an observatory with the...

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Thank kosvif
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Reviewed 26 December 2011

WARNING: Volcan Arenal is now dormant (has been since 2009), so don't expect to see any lava or activity! My friend and I stayed at the Arenal Observatory Lodge (room 7) for 3 nights. The hotel itself is incredibly close to Arenal Volcano and has fantastic views of the Lake and surrounding forest. It was nice to feel isolated from...

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Thank PeteLightning
Playas del Coco, Costa Rica
Reviewed 26 December 2011

We have been to Arenal about 12 times in the past five years, but we had never stayed at Arenal Observatory. i loved the alpine feeling of the lodge, tucked back in the rain forest, surrounded by trails and great views of the lake. The fact that the Smithsonian had set up their research base there originally made it feel...

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Thank debbymmclaughlin
Leavenworth, Washington
Reviewed 24 December 2011

Can’t blame the hotel for the weather… but we barely saw Mt. Arenal during our three-day stay. Constant mist or outright downpour, this is a wet part of Costa Rica! Just like many other visitors we hoped to have night time views of lava coming down the mountain. No such luck. We stayed in a ‘Smithsonian’ room. A large room...

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1Thank TravelingHindsights
Hamilton, Canada
Reviewed 21 December 2011

My wife and I, both in our mid-30s, stayed here for 5 days in December. I walk with a cane, and most of the property was extremely easy to get around, with lots of paved paths and some stairs. Some rooms are right on the ground floor, some are down a winding concrete path (with some relatively steep sections) and...

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Thank DeLorean_Guy
Europe
Reviewed 20 December 2011

We stayed here recently for 2 nights with my pregnant wife and our 2 year old daughter. It was a special experience, despite the continuous rain. Also, shortly before arriving I found out that the volcanoe was in a dormant phase since December 2010. Initially I felt a little tricked because this is not on any hotel website and staying...

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Thank Ep0ch

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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: $157 - $239 (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.
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New York City, New York
over a year ago

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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
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