All but Superior Rooms have private outdoor hot springs pools surrounded by greenery
All rooms have terraces, many with great volcano views
Excellent free breakfast buffet with made-to-order omelets and other hot items
Open-air restaurant serving international cuisine for all three meals
Freshwater pool with swim-up bar and a big public hot springs pool
Free water, nuts, candy, and beer in Junior Suites
All rooms have AC, coffeemakers, and cable TVs
Located 10 minutes north of La Fortuna and not far from attractions on the west side of the volcano
Spa offering massages and facials (was under renovation during our visit)
Traffic noise from main road is loud in lobby
Some complaints of thin walls
Some rooms have better volcano views than others
Wi-Fi strength can be weak in some rooms
This 11-acre, 68-room resort appeals to families with kids, couples, and travelers who prize privacy, and is centrally located 10 minutes north of town on the way to the Arenal National Park entrance. Rooms are perfectly adequate for a mid-range property, and feature wood ceilings and photographs of old La Fortuna; all have outdoor space and most have a private hot springs pool and volcano views. A public freshwater pool with swim-up bar and a hot-spring pool are also available. It may also be worth considering Arenal Kioro, where all rooms have indoor hot tubs and even better volcano views.
A family-oriented property that proudly displays reminders of La Fortuna's pre-tourism history
At this 11-acre property with the mostly nondescript buildings of white paint and dark wood, children abound -- they can be found splashing
around in all the pools. The hotel is owned
by a La Fortuna native, and he's made a point of emphasizing
the local history through the artwork on the walls, which consist of photographs of the
pre-tourism cow town that was La Fortuna (as well as photographs of
wildlife by a San Jose-based National Geographic photographer -- a nice
change of pace from the area's usual flamboyantly colored paintings
of hummingbirds and tree frogs). "We're 100 percent La Fortuna," as a staff member put it. The majority of guests are Americans
and Canadians (though there is a notable chunk of middle-class Costa
Ricans who come here), mostly shepherding their children to and from the pools or hot springs.
Centrally located between nearby downtown La Fortuna and the attractions on the west side of the volcano, but lacking a rainforest setting
The town is
conveniently close by for shopping, mingling, or arranging treks, and the volcano attractions are a 30- to 45-minute car or bus ride away. (The hotel is right on top of a curve in
the main road circling the Arenal volcano, and is one of a cluster of
similar resorts in the same area.) Nature lovers will probably be disappointed if they were hoping to immerse themselves in the rainforest, however: The wildlife consists mostly of the groves of recently planted
rainforest trees on the grounds, and there's only a single trail that
rings the property.
Slightly basic rooms with a few rustic details; the private hot springs pools in most rooms are the highlight
Rooms are housed in long one-story buildings scattered throughout the 11-acre property, and are mostly standard squares, dressed up in white and light green paint and dark wood (used in both the furniture and the ceilings). They don't have a ton of character, and the grout between the terra cotta tiles could use scrubbing, but there are photographs on the walls displaying either scenes of life from pre-eruption La Fortuna, or wildlife by a San Jose-based National Geographic photographer. It's well worth the upgrade to a Thermal Superior Room or Junior Suite to take advantage of one of the hotel's big selling points: the private outdoor hot springs pools, where guests can relax in the bubbles without worrying about their bathing-suit bodies. The pools are surrounded by greenery for added privacy. (The regular Superior Rooms do have terraces, but no pools.) Junior Suites also come with free bottles of water and cans of beer (two of each), nuts, and candy, as well as mini-fridges. Amenities in all rooms include AC, cable TVs, coffeemakers, and free Wi-Fi (though the strength can be weak depending on room location).
There's parking by each building with guest rooms, so you don't have to lug your baggage across 11 acres from the front desk. Note that while many rooms have a great volcano view, the volcano views at Arenal Kioro are a bit better and equally good from every room.
A freshwater pool with swim-up bar, big hot springs pool, and restaurant serving all three meals
There are both a hot-spring pool and a regular freshwater pool with adjacent kiddy pool and a swim-up bar butting up to the restaurant. A regular in-ground hot tub (rather than hot springs pool) is also on hand. The lobby features foosball, a pool table, and its own bar (though the traffic noise from the nearby main road make hanging out here considerably less attractive), and when the clouds are amenable, the Arenal volcano is clearly visible from most spots on the site. The open-air restaurant serves international cuisine for all three meals, including the free breakfast buffet that includes make-to-order omelets and plenty of hot cooked items.
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