Arenal Help again

Jul 12th, 2002, 05:26 PM
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Arenal Help again

Could anyone who has stayed in the Arenal area give me some information on Hotel Arenal Paraiso, Hotel Los Lagos, Montana de Fuego and Arenal Lodge? Thanks
Jul 23rd, 2002, 04:44 AM
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Dear Michelle, We just returned from sixteen days in Costa Rica and stayed two nights at Montana del Fuego. We had a one room cabin that had an excellent view of the volcano. Unfortunately, it was cloudy and rainy both days and we really didn't see much of it. I believe the rate was $90.00 and it included a full breakfast buffet including omelots made to order. The hotel has a beautiful pool and jacuzzi, also a spa. The only thing we did not like was the restaurant. It appeared to be exacly as described in one guide book as not good and overpriced. The room itself was very large, had a nice front porch, and a very cosy feel. It you have stayed in some of the national park cabins it is like that. We looked at a room at Tabacon which was forty dollars more a night and it did not have as good a view as ours. Other than the hot springs they have I did not like that resort at all. It seemed extremely busy and crowded. Other hotels we stayed at in Costa Rica were Xandari (fabulous), Selva Verde Lodge in Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, Sapo Dorado and Hotel California. Hope this helps. Karen
Jul 23rd, 2002, 05:07 AM
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We stayed at Arenal Paraiso last year for a couple of days. The rooms are in individual cabins - ours was a "deluxe" which was a bit larger than the regular ones, it had two beds (too soft). It was all done in wood and had a rustic feel to it. It was clean and would have been acceptable except for a very strong smell of antiseptic coming from the bathroom. The view of the volcano would have been fantastic from it if it was not for the weather. Full breakfast was included in the price of the room and was very nice but I did not care for the restaurant for dinner. You are better off going to some smaller local restaurant in La Fortuna. Arenal Paraiso has beautiful pools with naturally heated water but we found it too cool and damp to enjoy the pool. It rained on and off during our entire stay in that area.
Jul 23rd, 2002, 06:13 AM
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Michelle, We just returned from Arenal and we stayed at Los Lagos. Not sure if it was the hotel or not. We were in the Resort complex. However, there was a lot of vacancy and a lot of relatively nice looking/clean hotels/cabins up there for good prices $25-50. We ate dinner in Fortuna (5 minutes away) at some great spots for $40 for a family of 4. If it were my wife and I, I would wing it and look for a hotel when I got there (provided I get there in the day). We drove up from the airport at night and were thankful we made it. Terrible ride, many potholes, twisty road, rain, fog, and a flat tire. If you rent a car, be sure you know how to change a tire. We left Arenal for the pacific coast Flamingo area. However, the road around the north end of the lake took 3 hours. Again, thankful we made it. If you plan on driving around to look at different areas, get a 4-wheel drive or truck (4-runner). We were also able to get the maid service at the hotel to wash clothes. After hiking in Arenal, we got plenty wet and muddy. I saw that Best Western had some hotels in the Flamingo area and they looked nice and cheap (none in Arenal though). Check them out.
Jul 23rd, 2002, 03:35 PM
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Karen, Iza, and Tom, Thanks for your input. We're booked at the Observatory, and I guess we will drive into town for the lava show and a meal. I'm sure the Observatory will be very nice. We'll be coming from Sugar Beach and probably also stop in Flamingo during that stay. Any good restaurants to recommend? Also any cruises you particularly liked in tha area? We are also staying at Selva Verde, so any info or advice for us regarding there would be appreciated. You gals and guy have been really helpful, thanks,
Jul 24th, 2002, 03:56 AM
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Dear Michelle, You will love Selva Verde. For me that was the highlight of the trip. I don't understand why more people do not go there. I forgot when you said you were going but we just returned and got a much better rate by going without a reservation. It was off season. We paid only seventy dollars a night for the two of us and it included all three meals. The rooms are all basically the same and resemble the ones on the web site. We arranged (by email ) a walk at La Selva biological station and saw so many animals. Monkeys, sloths, toucans, agouti, peccary, parrots, a poisonous snake and so many birds. It was definitely worth both time and money. That station is a five or ten minute ride by car. At La Selva you can also take a guided hike and they provide boots as well. We also took a river boat ride on the Sarapiqui and also saw lots of animals. My husband did the white water rafting and loved it. On the grounds there are the most beautiful tropical flowers and plants. You feel like you are in a tropical paradise. We saw lots of poison dart frogs, birds, and butterflies just walking to our room. The rooms are all up on stilts so the jungle comes right up to the porches. They are all basically the same, but you might want one whose porch overlooks the river. The dining room overlooks the river so you can sit by the river and eat. The food was so so. It was buffet style and there was plenty of it. Typically there would be two or three entrees at dinner to choose from, mostly simple and filling. They bring desert to you at the end. They were actually pretty good. There is a small bar and gift shop under the dining room. All walkways are covered so even when it is raining you never get wet. The staff was very cordial.I do not think you will be disappointed at all in this lodge. the rooms are very simple but the surroundings are so beautiful you really do not care. In retrospectI wish we had stayed there longer. It was one of the most peaceful and lovely places in all our sixteen days.They also have free six a.m. bird walks. Any other questions let me know. Karen

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