Arenal Lodge vs. Arenal Observatory Lodge

Old Sep 8th, 2003, 10:08 AM
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rmr
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Arenal Lodge vs. Arenal Observatory Lodge

Can anyone provide some info. as to which of these places are better? Thanks!
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Old Sep 8th, 2003, 02:31 PM
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We stayed at Arenal Observatory Lodge spring 2002 - rooms are basic but clean, the grounds were fun to explore. We requested a volcano view and 'voila'! Opened the curtains on our big picture window and Arenal was perfectly framed. Theres a great view of the lake and volcano from the restaurant as well. We could see the steam/smoke coming out and were awakened one night by a 'boom' and some rumbling. It was about a 1/2 hour from the town and Tabacon = so this is not the place for nightlife or shopping. We were able to arrange for a van that took guests around the other side of the volcano (by Tabacon) to see the glow as the rocks were thrown from the volcano (glowing rocks, not lava) which you can see from Tabacon as well. It was a great place to stay to relax and see and learn about Arenal, but we would prob stay closer to town next time. Sorry, don't know about Arenal Lodge.
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Old Sep 8th, 2003, 02:49 PM
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The observatory Lodge is a neat place and hiking over to the old lava bed is a beautiful but pretty tough hike. As was mentioned, there is a great view of the volcano from the observatory (Smithsonian) rooms. Unfortunately, the lava is going down the other side of the volcano at this time. If you wanted to do any day trips they would be more expensive because it is more difficult to get to the lodge, not to mention further. Both of these issues would also be the same problem at Arenal Lodge. If you are looking for a place to go that is off the beaten path they are both good for that.
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Old Sep 9th, 2003, 05:46 AM
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Thanks very much for the info. If we don't have a car with us (still deciding on that option) it sounds like we may be a bit secluded at these places. I'll start looking into some other places too.
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Old Sep 12th, 2003, 06:26 PM
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I'm confused too. I don't mean to doubt Suzi but I am planning for a March 2004 stay. My travel agent said it is possible to see the lava glow at night from the Observatory. It sounds neat and I don't want to miss it, should we change booking to the other side?
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Old Sep 13th, 2003, 07:40 AM
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Having only stayed @ the Tabacon Resort, I defer to other opinions regarding the question of Arenal Lodge versus Arenal Observatory. However I'd suggest you look at the www.arenal.net website for info on the volcano, especially on the recent Sept-5th activity. They also have a map of the area --- http://www.arenal.net/arenal-costa-rica-map.htm --- which provides you a layout of where the hotels are and direction of lava flow. The eruption of a few weeks ago was in the direction towards Tabacon & Hotel Los Lagos --- they briefly evacuated those areas. But all is back to business as usual. Do be aware that Arenal volcano does NOT have the huge lava flow as the volcano in Hawaii -- Kileua (sp?) gets a lot of press as it's visually quite spectacular, with glowing red lava oozing along. The "action" with Arenal includes gaseous emissions (smoke/steam) from the cone, rumbles, a bit of lava, and the occasional pyroclastic flow (that's what happened on 9/5).
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Old Sep 13th, 2003, 11:39 AM
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HHHMM, I have not been to the other, but ate dinner at night at the Tabacon Hot Springs and had a great view from the table with red lava glow and the moon...Beautiful.
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