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Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa

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Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa
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1,885 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,538: English reviews
Los Angeles, California
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This is our second trip to Arenal and we chose to return to the Observatory Lodge for everything it has to offer. We stayed in a Smithsonian Room with a spectacular view of the volcano from our private balcony. In the past, the volcano was covered with clouds but for two days now we've an amazingly clear view. The restaurant...

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Helpful?
Thank Baffo1
Austin G, Public Relations Manager at Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa, responded to this review

Hello, Baffo1, and thank you for taking the time to review your stay at our lodge. We appreciate you taking the time to write us a review and are so happy you decided to visit us again. We are glad to read that you enjoyed yourselves once again and are honored by your recommendation. Thanks again and pura vida!

Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Be prepared for a long, extremely bumpy ride to this gem of a hotel. The grounds at the AOL are worth it. Really, the view, the trails, the birds, the crazy changeable weather - all spectacular. Our "smithsonian" room was small but clean and comfortable enough - we had a great little terrace overlooking one of the gardens that helped...

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

Hello, Mary H., and thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed account of your experience at our lodge. We are delighted to read that you enjoyed your stay with us and would not hesitate to return to visit us again. With that said, we are sorry if the noise from your neighbors inconvenienced you in any...

Amherst, Massachusetts
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The Arenal Observatory is a wonderful place to stay. I had stayed 19 years ago and loved it. It has changed a lot since then but is still great. Flowers, waterfalls, the volcano (resting now), and the most wonderful staff. We stayed in the Smithsonian rooms, and our room was beautiful. The only downfall is the walls are paper thin....

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1Thank Conniefay
Austin G, Public Relations Manager at Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa, responded to this review

Hello Conniefay, First of all, we are so glad you decided to stay with us once again. We can imagine that the changes must have seemed drastic from 19 years ago, hopefully for the better. We also would like to thank you for taking the time to share your experience with others on TripAdvisor. We are happy to read you...

Houston, Texas, United States
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Book the Smithsonian rooms or suites if you can. There is nothing that compares to waking up to a volcano right before your eyes! I'd recommend having a car so you don't have to rely on other means of transportation to and from town. Others I spoke with preferred to rely on transportation to avoid driving the bumpy road to...

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Helpful?
1Thank India P
Austin G, Public Relations Manager at Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa, responded to this review

Hello India P, It brings us great joy to read your comments and we are happy to hear your plan on returning in less than a years time. We are glad you enjoyed your stay and that Christian was able to ease your fears of Costa Rica's resident snakes. Although there are many species of snakes in Costa Rica, including...

Ottawa, Canada
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The staff working at the Observatory are charming. The grounds are impeccable, the hiking trails are like walking on a boardwalk! No need for hiking boots. The hike to the waterfalls is easy and the falls are beautiful. We continued our hike from the waterfalls and toured other areas. The names of the flora and fauna are well-marked. For only...

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

Hello Georgina, Thank you for providing us with feedback about your visit. We are happy that you enjoyed your time here and made the most of our many trails. We hope you will visit us again in the future. Pura vida!

Cumming, Georgia
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We loved every minute of our two night stay. Pictures cannot capture the sights and sounds that surround this place - the perfect views of the volcano and gorgeous lake, a lush rain forest, exotic wildlife (wish I could have captured a photo of the monkeys swinging in the trees above us), endless hiking trails and great people! There was...

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Helpful?
1Thank TnMRadick
Austin G, Public Relations Manager at Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa, responded to this review

Hello TnMRadick, Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience on TripAdvisor. We are happy to read your comments and are glad to hear you found our staff to be friendly and accommodating. We hope you will visit us again in the future. We would love to have you back!

Denver
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

We really enjoyed our time here. We hiked through the farms, did some climbing, went to the waterfall, and had lunch in the restaurant. It was beautiful, the food was good, service was friendly and efficient. It was just a great day in a beautiful place.

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

Hello, Thank you for taking the time to provide us with a review. We always enjoy hearing from guests and are glad you had a pleasant experience with us. Pura vida!

Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

I highly recommend this hotel. The only reason I am giving it 4 instead of 5 is the restaurant. I read many reviews and decided that even with its remoteness, to stay there. I am so glad I did that. Our room was 22 and it was a magnificent location. It was like sleeping in a camp, in the middle...

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

Hello Negin and thank you for taking the time to review your stay at our lodge. Although we are overjoyed to read your many positive comments, we are sorry to hear that you did not enjoy the food at the restaurant. We have tried hard to develop a varied menu with a range of flavors to suit everyone´s taste. Unfortunately,...

Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

We recently stayed 3 days here, and it was amazing!! Stayed in a smithson room, and it was worth the money! The view alone is incredible, it was high season but the hotel did not feel too busy at all! The staff were very friendly and helpful, the restaurant tasty and reasonably priced, all of the trails were well laid...

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Helpful?
1Thank Kayleigh T
Austin G, Public Relations Manager at Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa, responded to this review

Hello Kayleigh T, Thank you for taking the time to share such a detailed account of your experience at our lodge. We are so happy to hear you enjoyed your experience with us. We try our best to ensure every one of our guests has an unforgettable experience. We hope you will visit us again in the future. You are...

Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

2 trails, 1 to the lavapad (2,5hours)and 1 to the little volcano. The trail to the volcano is longer so come on time! Unfortunly it was raining... We didn't see mutch wildlife. Pitty hike! Not for people who are not usual to hike. There is a parkplace and toilet. Cost 10 dollar for the trails and you get a map....

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Helpful?
Thank Sabine L

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Amenities

Highlights
  • Pool
  • Free Internet
  • Free Parking
  • Restaurant
  • Bar/Lounge
  • Spa
  • Breakfast included
GreenLeadersBronze level
About the property
  • Wheelchair Access
  • Non-Smoking Hotel
Things to do
  • Pool
  • Restaurant
  • Bar/Lounge
  • Spa
  • Hot Tub
Room types
  • Suites
  • Non-Smoking Rooms
  • Family Rooms
  • Accessible rooms
Internet
  • Free Internet
  • 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 of La Fortuna City Center, Located at 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: $166 - $249 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa 3*
Number of rooms: 50
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Also Known As:
Arenal Observatory Hotel La Fortuna De San Carlos
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Questions & Answers

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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

“Smithsonian room for large private patio and great volcano view”
Dromomaniacs, 25 Apr 2017 | Read review
“the smithsonian rooms were fab.”
Brightonellie, 25 Apr 2017 | Read review
“Some rooms are a 500m walk to the main hotel area/reception/restaurant....inquire about this when booking. Others are very close.”
UPittsburgh, 20 Apr 2017 | Read review
“The "standard rooms" in the main lodge are slightly larger and definitely more conveniently located than the other standard rooms.”
Coelophysis, 17 Apr 2017 | Read review
“Smithsonian or rooms in La Casona that have a lovely lake view”
Baffo1, 11 Apr 2017 | Read review
5 of 5