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All reviewsjunior suitegreat viewarenal volcanola fortunacosta ricadirt roadstandard roominfinity poolnice poolhot tubbreakfast was includedamerican breakfastfloor to ceiling windowsnational parksky parkminute driveplantains
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Reviewed 5 April 2010

Stayed 4 nights in Junior Suite #16 at the Hotel Linda Vista del Norte in El Castillo, Alajuela - Costa Rica. This particular suite has fantastic views of both Laguna Arenal and the active West side of Volcan Arenal. Not all rooms/suites have both views available at the same time, so my friend and I felt lucky that we were assigned this particular Junior Suite as we thought its location in the complex was perfect to maximize the views. The suite itself was fine and reasonably comfortable. It came equipped with two beds, A/C, and a mini-refrigerater. As a bonus, the maids would leave 'towel art' (think cruise ship animal/etc. shapes) on our beds after they cleaned the room each day.

Viewing the top of the volcano, much less any volcanic activity, depends heavily on the weather and the luck of the draw as the volcano is often obscured by clouds/fog and who can predict when/how much the volcano will be spewing any lava. We were lucky that we arrived on a day that was very clear, so we were able to take some nice photos of the classically cone-shaped volcano. We specifically chose a hotel on the active side of the volcano to see lava at night and we were not disappointed...however, we witnessed no huge pyroclastic flow, just a little dribble of red against the black volcano now and then.

The hotel has a nice patio viewing area to sit back, relax, and stare at the volcano for signs of lava activity. It also has a cool 'infinity' pool with jacuzzi and swim-up bar to sip a drink and take in the magnificent views of the lake and volcano. The hotel restaurant faces the volcano and has floor to ceiling windows, providing great views of the mountain and opportunities to see lava flows if the weather and volcano gods are accommodating.

Unfortunately, being on the active side of the volcano has its downsides as the Hotel Linda Vista del Norte is pretty isolated and it is minimally a 20 dollar cab ride to/from La Fortuna. So, without a car it can get expensive to do activities that are closer to the East side of the volcano as most tour companies based closer to La Fortuna charge an extra fee to pick up folks on the West side. Luckily, a couple of the activities we chose to do (i.e., Sky Trek and horseback riding to a waterfall) were located on our side of the volcano and only the ATV trip we chose to do originated on the other side. The folks at the front desk were helpful in arranging our various activities/tours and transportation to the next place in our itinerary (i.e., Monteverde).

The only other downside worth mentioning about the hotel's location is that you're pretty much stuck with eating at the hotel restaurant. Although, the food is decent, it can be pretty tiring to eat at the same place for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for 4 days straight. Breakfast is included in the price of the room, however.

A few other points to note: The dirt road leading to the hotel was being leveled/graded while we were there, so it is now a relatively smooth car ride there from La Fortuna. Also, the hotel has two (slow) computers with hard wired internet access to check email, etc., located next to the restaurant.

My friend and I really enjoyed this hotel and would definitely go back there again.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank SacTraveler2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2010

service is ok, but very unpersonal
meals are ok, but without any creatitivity

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank chummgang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2010

I stayed here for 3 nights with my mom, it's nice but there isn't much to do other than go to the pool and restaurant and wander around the grounds. I'd definitely recommend staying here for a short trip- and having a car while you stay (we didn't rent one). The view of the volcano from the restaurant is amazing, it erupted every night we were there. Bring sunblock, they do not sell it (or anything) at the hotel and I got burnt at 8am. I never burn but the sun is SO strong here in January.

The service was great- we ran into the girl from the front desk while wandering around town. No cabs would take us back (b/c it's ALL the way on top of the mountain) and she found a friend to drive us. This place would've been much better had we rented a car- but I also don't know that I'd want to drive up that mountain, it's STEEP and the roads are gravel.

This place is very quiet and has beautiful views, it's definitely a great place if you are looking for a peaceful setting with amazing surroundings and a view of the volcano. I have never seen more beautiful stars at night than when I stayed at this hotel. There are no TVs, and I don't even think they get radio or phone signals here.

  • Stayed: January 2008, travelled with family
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Thank Juliette B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2010

We had a suite room at Linda Vista and could not be happier! The room was neat and tidy, plentiful towels, large shower, lots of elbow room in the suite. Fabulous balcony for viewing the volcano. Although the road to the resort is unpaved, it was well graded and very easily passable. The location is a goodly distance from other resorts which gives it a wonderful spacious feeling. The viewing deck has plentiful chairs and tables for volcano gazers. I found the restaurant to be quite good considering "resort food" is usually standard. Prices excellent (two pasta dishes, two fish dishes and upscale bottle of wine approx. $100/all) All seats in the restaurant boast excellent views of the volcano. Breakfast was plentiful with typica CR options and Americano eggs/bacon. I would stay in this resort again and definitely recommend it to others.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank LisaPuraVida
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2010

The views from the Linda Vista are great. Seeing the volcano and the lake to the left and doing so from the hotel pool or lounging area is a bonus. We felt the volcano rumble during dinner and were rewarded by lava flow in the dark...amazing! The hotel is clean and has large windows for the best views from all rooms. Food is good. There is even "towel art" designed by the staff where each day fresh towels were arranged on the beds...a nice touch. The staff was very helpful in arranging all excursions and transportation as well. Definitely recommend!

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank HFHTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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