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“beautiful bed and breakfast - worth the drive!”
Review of Nepenthe B&B

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Nepenthe B&B
Ranked #2 of 5 El Castillo B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 March 2012

I did a lot of research on B&Bs in Costa Rica and this one had a few good reviews on Tripadvisor. I was NOT disappointed and would LOVE to go back if the volcano ever becomes active once again. The drive up to the B&B is rocky and at times steep - a vehicle with clearance is definitely recommended. (We never actually turned on the 4x4 function, I doubt it's necessary unless it's the rainy season.) The view once you get to the location is spectacular, and for the price of $85 a night, you can't beat it! The B&B overlooks Lake Arenal and has a wonderful view of the Volcano. It's located close enough to La Fortuna to take advantage of the main attractions around town, but then drive back to your own peaceful, secluded paradise. Agustin, the innkeeper, is very friendly and helpful. He made sure there were two cold beers in our mini fridge to welcome us when we got there. He had good insight on what to do and where to go if you were interested in more off-the-beaten path activities, which my boyfriend and I are. When we wanted to be typical tourists and take advantage of the hot springs around town, he recommended and made us a reservation at Eco Termales, a much less crowded hot spring that was perfect after a long day hiking. For the 3 nights we were there, we woke to a traditional delicious Costa Rican breakfast and strong smooth coffee. After our day out around Arenal, we'd return to soak in the hot tub and listen for the birds and howler monkeys. The rooms are clean and basic and everything we needed. I was nervous when I saw that there was no air conditioning, but on the first night realized it wasn't necessary because we were high enough on the mountain that the nights were quite cool. I can't recommend this place enough and would love to return on our next trip to Costa Rica.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Nhan-Ai S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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104 - 110 of 177 reviews

Reviewed 26 February 2012

We stayed in one of the cabinas for 3 nights. The rooms were clean, comfortable, with amazing views of the volcano and Lake Arenal. We got massages by the hosts' wife which were amazing. Breakfast was eggs, gallo pinto, fruit, coffee, pancakes - delicious. Very helpful host Agustin who knows all restaurants and sights in the area and is very helpful with suggestions. I would highly recommend this as a place to stay. The pool and hot tub were lovely!! If we ever find ourselves back in El Castillo or near Arenal we would go back here!

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank A N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 February 2012

This was an unexpected gem. At the top of an unpromising drive, we found a little piece of heaven. Up in the hills overlooking Lake Arenal, we were treated to wonderful service, excellent accommodations and home-made food to order. Agustine, our host, was friendly and helpful. He even lent us his own phone so we could have Internet WIFI. The serenity and beauty of the setting sun, over the lake, which we enjoyed from our veranda, was just what we needed after a long drive. We extended our stay and were sorry to leave at all.

Room Tip: We liked the cabinas at the bottom for the view.
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  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank Dawn L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 October 2011

We stayed here for 3 nights in Sept 2011. Amazing location at the top of a dirt track about 10mins out of El Castillo; I know it's subjective but we drove a 4x4 up at night and found the track to be easy, especially if you are used to driving on dirt roads.

The owners had kindly left some cold beers in the fridge which were very welcome. The rooms were simple and clean. Great views to the lake and the volcano. The location is within a 20 mins drive of Sky Trek (Zip Lines), The Arenal Observatory Lodge and of course the famous Pizza John's.

The breakfasts were excellent and both the owners and manager were very kind and friendly people. We'd certainly come back some time.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank EdSturdy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 May 2011

As others who have written reviews for Nepenthe, we found this place by accident. One of the guards at Arenal Observatory Lodge gave us a brochure when we were told the Observatory Lodge was booked. We felt we had nothing to lose, so we proceeded in our car that was NOT a four wheel drive. For the faint of heart, if you do not have a four wheeler, be forewarned that it is a bit scary...(no AAA in Costa Rica to help you if you have trouble); but you are rewarded with amazing views the whole way up and the whole way down. The drive up the mountain at night however is not recommended. I don't care if you have four wheel drive or not. There are no lights to guide you, unless you count lava from the volcano. (There was none when we were there). We literally had the place to ourselves, so it felt like our own hacienda on the mountainside. The goats that are the natural lawn-mowers lend to the charm as well. The rooms were clean, charming and comfortable. Yes, there is no TV because you have your own Discovery Channel right outside your door. We bought some wine in Arenal and enjoyed the nature outside our door. Slept restfully with the rain falling gently on the mountainside and woke up to a delicious Costa Rican breakfast. We felt very at home here. We would have stayed a second night but because we were going to the hot springs the next day in the evening, didn't really feel like driving back up the mountain in the dark after having cocktails at Baldi. I would come back here, but only with a four wheel drive.....great place, good price, fantastic breakfast, great views, and the swing chairs were clean. Everything was clean and fresh. Maybe they read some of the previous reviews because we found no problems here other than rain, which was compliments of Mother Nature.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank mamijj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2011

We stayed at Nepenthe on March 23, 2011 and were greeted warmly by both Nancy and Gordon, the owners, with complimentary drinks upon arrival and who later placed complimentary beers in our fridges! Situated high on a hill with panoramic views of Lake Arenal and Arenal volcano it also was a birder's paradise including sightings of the keel-billed toucan. The rooms were clean, well decorated and spacious and took full opportunity of the vistas. Both the beds and pillows were extremely comfortable. The large bathroom was clean and the shower worked perfectly. One only has to pull the handle forward to operate it. Breakfast was delightful and substantial. Gordon even cooked omelettes for those who wanted them. One companion took advantage of the 50% price reduction for guests for an hour massage and stated it was the best she had ever had.. The service was excellent, the hosts charming and the location fantastic. We all considered our selves fortunate to have stayed there and were reluctant to leave. We would return in a heart beat.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank nainandtaid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 February 2011

Nepenthe is a little gem up a steep unmade road in the jumbled-up town of Castillo, a fantastic retreat from the tourist trail.

We only stayed for one night but the bedroom was clean, bright and comfortable with stunning views of Lake Arenal, over the infinity pool.

Don't be put off by the drive up to this hotel, the effort is really worth it. You're halfway to the Arenal Observatory by the time you're there. We loved it.

Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
Thank StormyWind
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Nepenthe B&B

Address: | 100 M East And 1.6 Km From The School, El Castillo, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > El Castillo
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in El Castillo
Price Range: $79 - $147 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Nepenthe B&B 2.5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nepenthe Bed and Breakfast is Beautifull piece of paradise located in the little town of El Castillo of La Fortuna in Costa Rica. Surrounded by the rain forest and exuberant wild life, you can appreciate the magnificent Arenal Volcano and the mistic Arenal Lake, enjoy beautifull sunsets from our infinity edge pool or relax in the jacuzzi or with a Massage in The Blue Lagoon Spa after a day of adventures and fun in the area. ** Also, the Phoenix Restaurant at Nepenthe is located on the grounds of Nepenthe and serve a daily dinner menu with handmade food and fresh local ingredients. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Nepenthe B&B Costa Rica/El Castillo

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