Arenal Area Hotels - Best for Couples?

Old Apr 17th, 2012, 09:25 AM
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Arenal Area Hotels - Best for Couples?

Hello!

I am trying to make a decision regarding lodging in the Arenal area. I am headed there with my husband for 5 days in early May! Can't wait. Am looking for a place that we can truly relax and enjoy the facilities. Would love to have hot springs on site so can end every day with a relaxing dip. We're leaving our two year old behind with the grandparents, so less kids = better! Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

knemo
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Old Apr 17th, 2012, 09:49 AM
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Our favorites are the Lost Iguana and Nayara, but they don't have hot springs on site, just outdoor private jacuzzi tubs. If you really want springs, try Tabacon, or The Springs, or Silencio del Campo.
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Old Apr 17th, 2012, 01:00 PM
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I think it really depends what you're looking for. I didn't like the atmosphere at Tabacon at all as far as it being a romantic resort. But it does have access to the hot springs. They are across the road though, so you do take a shuttle. They're not truly on the hotel property.

I know Arenal Observatory Lodge doesn't have hot springs, but the proximity to the volcano and the wildlife. Being in the jungle and the beautiful trails. All of that made it much more peaceful to me that being right on the road at Tabacon. They have a nice pool and it never felt crowded there. It's also much less expensive than Tabacon.

I would like to try The Springs on a future visit. And as volcanogirl mentioned, Lost Iguana is always great!
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Old Apr 17th, 2012, 01:11 PM
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AOL is nice, but it's a long way to any hot springs and the restaurant is, alas, lousy. (But has a nice view

"Arenal hotels with their own hot springs include Los Lagos, The Springs Resort and Spa, Arenal Paraiso, Kioro, Royal Corin, Baldi Resort, and Silencio del Campo."
http://www.arenal.net/hotel/hot-springs-hotels.html
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Old Apr 17th, 2012, 01:14 PM
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p.s. that was just one website, of course there are other places.
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Old Apr 17th, 2012, 01:47 PM
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I wouldn't call the restaurant at AOL lousy...it's by far not great, but lousy?

Yes, AOL is remote, and it's rustic to a point. The rooms aren't fancy, but the location is very cozy. And that's what makes it romantic to me. Having coffee on your patio with the volcano and the hummingbirds! Nothing like it to me! It's one of the few places in Arenal we saw monkeys daily. However, I wouldn't stay there without having a car. We enjoyed the included breakfast and often were out for the day at lunch time. We usually went into town for dinner as well. So I wouldn't base staying or not staying at a hotel on the restaurant. Or hot springs for that matter.
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Old Apr 17th, 2012, 01:54 PM
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Personally I wouldn't pick a hotel based on its having hot springs either. Someplace like Los Lagos is really popular with young families - doesn't sound like the kind of place you're looking for since you want something romantic. We like to go visit a hot springs once during our stays but we wouldn't use them every night. I like the privacy of having your own jacuzzi that other places offer, but I understand if you think you'd use them every night.
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Old Apr 17th, 2012, 04:30 PM
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I know exactly what ShellD means; Peace and being surrounded by nature is very romantic to me - crowds aren't. I didn't think that the restaurant at AOL was lousy either. Lost Iguana is another one I'm interested in trying. ShellD and volcanogirl, how do you think it compares with AOL?
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Old Apr 17th, 2012, 05:33 PM
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Lost Iguana has the same surrounded by nature vibe. Huge property with a river that runs through it. The thing I love most are the balconies with rocking chairs and the great view of the volcano. The jacuzzi is out on the balcony but lots of tropical foliage around so it feels private. There's a candle out there and bath salts - awesome place to relax. The landscaping is very natural but gorgeous. I just love the entire vibe of the place. It's a little more upscale than AOL, but not slick at all. Nayara felt a little bit slick to us. We really liked staying there, but we missed the big grounds, trails, and wildlife that LI has. At LI, I feel like we're staying in the jungle, and I love that feeling. Nayara has more of a resort feeling to it, and I know that appeals to some people too. On our last trip at LI, we got a lot of rain, and they slipped a note under our door that they were drying everyone's clothes free of charge - I love thoughtful things like that. Another day we came back from a tour and had missed breakfast. The man at the restaurant saw us walking by and offered to make us something - really nice people. He made us a beautiful tray of eggs, toast, etc. to take up to our room, and we had it on our balcony while we gazed at the volcano. I could spend my entire trip sitting on that balcony I think - lots of butterflies and birds, and so relaxing. They run great specials. We recently stayed for $165 a night which was a great deal. They have also had Groupons and offer free nights, etc. I always ask about specials when we book.
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Old Apr 17th, 2012, 08:45 PM
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Ahhh, Lost Iguana sounds heavenly... the nature, friendly people, jacuzzi and volcano view..
knemo, we've stayed at Arenal Paradiso (sp?) as well as AOL. The springs and pools there were a highlight, the people friendly enough, and the grounds and cabins attractive. It didn't feel as though we were in the jungle though, and I love being surrounded by nature with access to trails and paths. Definitely a must-go for us - thanks vc!
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Old Apr 18th, 2012, 06:42 AM
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It is, Cat - I think you would like it! They even left a bottle of wine in our room for us as a welcome back.
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Old Apr 18th, 2012, 08:10 AM
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Groupon has a great deal for Lost Iguana right now
http://www.groupon.com/deals/ga-the-...-spa?c=all&p=5
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Old Apr 18th, 2012, 09:25 AM
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Thank you, b!

k, did you have a chance to do a search on any of these spots? Hope you found something you like.
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Old Apr 18th, 2012, 12:24 PM
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Staying at AOL up at WhiteHawk Villa, your own picture window onto the volcano and no other units within view, very much romantic..especially with the fireflies.

I also did not find the restaurant "lousy" in fact the breakfast I found "excellent" and the dinner more than acceptable (better than most in CR where restaurants in general ARE "lousy".

There are free hotsprings used by locals on the road out of AOL.
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Old Apr 18th, 2012, 01:05 PM
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Just IMO, of course about the AOL restaurant (and I'm not remotely fussy). Breakfast was ok, dinner was truly horrible (burned food,etc.). Judging by only 2 dinners...
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Old Apr 18th, 2012, 01:43 PM
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I'm following this and other threads because we are also planning a trip to Costa Rica in May. I hate to sound like a dinasour but can someone explain how the Groupon thing works? It looks like a fabulous deal for Lost Iguana. Do I buy the Groupon and then hope they have avaialbility for our dates? Make a reservation and then show up with the Groupon? Some combination of the two?
Maybe I should ask this question sepratately but thought some following this thread might be able to help. thanks so much---looking forward to Costa Rica.
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Old Apr 18th, 2012, 01:45 PM
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Call the hotel about availability before you buy the Groupon!
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Old Apr 18th, 2012, 01:53 PM
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Thanks very much, mlgb. I also saw after I posted that there is already another thread on this topic. Really hope this works out---it seems like a perfect spot!
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Old Apr 18th, 2012, 01:56 PM
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They're really friendly. Just e-mail them with your potential dates and see if they have availability.
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Old Apr 18th, 2012, 10:00 PM
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oh my gosh! thanks so much for the lost iguana groupon tip! i will check their availability asap.

i had almost gone ahead and booked at el silencio del campo. they offered a rate of $145/night.

we have a flight out of SJO on Fri 5/11 at 3pm. Would it be a bad idea to head to the airport from the Arenal area Friday morning? Thanks so much!!!
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