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Reviewed January 9, 2016

I took a tour package through Adrenaline Tours and stayed at the Hotel Llavas de Arenal. The hotel has basic facilities, nothing fancy, BUT the service is exceptional and the food is exceptional! The hotel staff treated me almost like family. They made every effort to take care of any requests I might have. The four ladies taking care of the guests: Andrea, Carolina, Maria-Jose, and ?, work so hard all day but always have a smile on their face and make every effort to make the guests comfortable. None of them speak English but that doesn’t stop them from understanding and catering to the guests needs. They somehow make it work! The Property Manager had the tour schedules of all the guests and kept all the schedules organized and reminded us every day of our next day’s schedule. One of the days she even made Pina Colada for me! 
They offer a shuttle service from the San Jose airport (2.5 hour drive). The driver Carlos is very professional and with a big smile on his face. He also doesn’t speak English, but that doesn’t stop him from making the guests feel comfortable and safe. He picks up and drops off people at any time we request. He picked me up at 5.30AM and drove me back to the airport at 2.30AM through dense foggy/cloudy roads with very low visibility!
The restaurant provides freshly cooked, healthy, delicious Costa Rican meals at very affordable rates ($10 for a lunch). One day our tour was scheduled to end late. They asked us what we wanted to eat for dinner in the morning and had the meals ready and waiting for us when we got back! I am vegetarian which seemed not such a common thing in Costa Rica. But once they knew I don’t eat meat, they got very creative with my meals to provide me with a very delicious and complete meal every time. I didn’t have to survive on salad and chips! 
The hotel is located at about a 10 min drive from the closest town. That makes it a little difficult to check out the local restaurants or stores if we don’t have a car. But you can take a taxi to town if you are willing to spend $10 every time.
There is a beautiful creek flowing through the property and a beautiful garden+pool to relax after the day’s activities.
The tour package is very well organized. Mario organizes the tours to every last detail and even lets people make last min changes to the activities. The zip-lining, rapelling, rafting, hiking etc were all very well coordinated and the tour guides were well-qualified and helpful.
Costa Rica is such a beautiful country and the Costa Ricans are such friendly people! I had a very memorable time there and I hope to be back there to explore some more of Costa Rica some day!

  • Stayed: January 2016, travelled solo
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Sonali M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed January 5, 2016 via mobile

We booked a groupon package called adrenaline. Everything went really smooth with no surprises or difficulties. The hotel is more like a cabin stay, don't expect a resort. The staff was friendly, accommodating and very patient with our language barrier. The room was clean, the pool was nice and the breakfast was wonderful.

If you have the chance to do the adrenaline package, do it! The ATVs, zip line and climbing Cerro Chato were challenging and incredibly rewarding. The tour guides are really good at what they do. They are incredibly skilled, knowledgable and passionate people. They really made this an exceptional vacation, so tip them well.

Mario organized the whole thing and was very quick to respond to my questions. I wouldn't have changed a thing, it was a great experience.

Stayed: March 2015, travelled with friends
1  Thank Trek284799
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed December 26, 2015 via mobile

Booked late during the Xmas season and this was what I could find. Room was clean, staff reasonably friendly. They didn't speak much English and my Spanish is very bad. Price was not worth what I paid, but maybe you'll get a better price when the whole town isn't sold out.

Pros: Quiet, clean. Breakfast was good, cooked to order. Staff mostly friendly. Wifi. Kids liked the smallish unbeaten pool and pool tables. Towels folding into interesting shapes for you.

Cons. Hot water in the shower needed to flow slowly (still during Dec 2015). I never had to turn on the cold water in the shower because the "hot water" wasn't all that hot. It wasn't cold or uncomfortable, just never hot and if I turned up the flow rate it did get cooler. No wash cloth (still trying to figure out of this is a Costa Rica thing as some hotels have supplied wash cloths and some haven't).

The sink in the main room only had cold water. The sink in the small bathroom, though labeled as having hot water had one PVC pipe which then split to feed both faucet controls cold water.

Room lighting was stark, 2 fluorescent light bulbs (light type that you'd use in a garage) that didn't really illuminate the room. When one burned out, it was hard to see.

Sheets were clean but not great quality. The bed mattresses were not supportive and were painful to sleep in (maybe that's normal for Costa Rica).

Parking could be a bit of a pain as some folks parked in the driveway.

Hotel staff told me my ride wasn't going to get us. When I called the ride service they told me that the hotel had said they had no way of contacting me (though they obviously did to let me know my ride wasn't coming). I did get picked up, but I figured this was worth a mention.

Bottom line, this was a poor value for me. I paid way too much for the quality of the hotel. Might be worth it if you get a good rate and speak Spanish.

Stayed: December 2015, travelled with family
2  Thank FellowTraveler600985
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed December 19, 2015

This room was booked for us via Mario as part of an adrenalineincostarica.com groupon. We paid around $1100 for the Arenal adventure and Jaco beach package and we got way more than what we bargained for. Carlos and Mario responded to us very quickly via WhatsApp. Carlos was our private driver most of the time and he was very friendly to us and that guy has a great fashion sense. He took us to see the Poas Volcano's and the La Paz waterfall on the way to our hotel at Lavas de Arenal and took us to see the Alligators on our way to Jaco as he excitingly drove us.

When we arrived at our hotel at Lavas De Arenal the receptionist with the tongue piercing was very friendly and the entire staff treated us like family. For example, they would leave us written messages from Mario about the next days activities, would wait for us at night to make sure we arrived safely, questioned us when we got breakfast somewhere else one morning, and would turn off our air conditioning when we went on our amazing daily adventures. The room was very clean with hot water, the facility was beautiful with a creek outside the kitchen.

All in all Mario and the staff at Adrenaline in Costa Rica made this a trip of a lifetime and we are very grateful.. Pura Vida!!!

Room Tip: Let Mario arrange the cab into town. It is only $8 each way.
  • Stayed: December 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Tonal C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed December 1, 2015

The staff were all incredible.
They spoke very little, if any, English, but they were beyond friendly and patient with us as we used broken Spanish to communicate. They fed us most of our meals during our 5 day stay and all of it was prepared in the typical CR style - rice, beans, some type of animal protein, and either bread or plantains. It was all freshly made and delicious. The papaya juice was to die for.
I can say as a vegan traveling to CR for the first time it was somewhat difficult, but they were as accommodating as can be, providing me with more gallo pinto (breakfast rice and beans) and plantains whenever I asked.
Be sure to try their Lizano Salsa (spicy orange-ish sauce they keep up near the counter) as it was delicious!!
The ladies at the eatery even prepared us a late dinner one night when we returned many hours after expected, saving us from walking in the pouring rain down to the small convenience store for overpriced snacks.

You get adorable towel creations on your bed each morning :)
The hot water and water pressure in the shower is good, the entire place kept up very well and very clean.
The pool is a perfect size to dip into or hang out at during the day.
Be prepared to cab into Fortuna (about $5 each way) as walking into town is not possible.

A tip for non-Spanish speakers: Bring a tablet, phone, or laptop so that you can utilize a translation app as there is free wi-fi on-site. This will be very helpful to make you feel less like an ignorant English-speaker!

Room Tip: Ask for a room close to the office for easy access to transportation, quieter atmosphere and no stairs.
  • Stayed: November 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Feminist514
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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