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Azar Jun 7th, 2006 01:40 PM

Arenal Volcano--where to stay?
Hi! It's me again:) I thought I would do a specific posting for this request.

I am looking to book a 2 night stay at Arenal volcano...I'm thinking about Arenal Lodge. Althought everyone suggests it, I don't think I can really afford Tabacon resort (sniff sniff), so I'm looking for something (under $85/night) that will also be wonderful. PLEASE offer your suggestions.
Additionally, I was wondering what the best and most inexpensive way to get from Liberia airport to Playa Hermosa (and vice versa) is...can I prearrange a taxi inexpensively? Let me know!
Muchas Gracias! I'm soooo happy I discovered this site and the wonderful people on here.
(Shillmac...if you get this message, I wanted you to know that I will be in Hermosa around the same time you the same hotel. No, I didn't plan that...was just looking through old postings about the hotel you suggested and noticed you mentioned you'd be there the first part of July!)


Azar Jun 8th, 2006 07:56 AM

Okay, so I'm looking at Arenal lodge and Arenal Paraiso. Are there any significant differences between the two? For instance, does anyone know if one has better access to desirable spots, etc.? Paraiso's zip line tour looks great, but perhaps that can be found easily at either hotel (?)

shillmac Jun 8th, 2006 08:37 AM

I don't know anything about Arenal Lodge, Azar, except that someone said it had a good view of the lava flow as it is now. We liked Paraiso back in December of 2003--nice property. I hear the ziplines are excellent, although we didn't do them that trip. They have a nice little spa as well and a thermal pool and swim up bar.

Nice glassed in porches for volcano viewing at night. I've never really read a bad review on it except someone complained about the office staff a couple of years ago. I expect they arrived at a busy moment. We were pleased with the staff. I don't think you'll go wrong with either one.

kaudrey Jun 9th, 2006 08:00 AM

Azar - I loved La Pradera - it's about 1 mile outside of La Fortuna and it was about $60 a night. Beautiful grounds, a great view of the volcano, wonderful rooms with big bathrooms. Good B-fast included.

You can see some pics here:

And, actually, if you don't book in advance, and pay cash, you can get a discount.

burrito Jun 9th, 2006 02:35 PM

Azar. I have been in Arenal Observatory Lodge 3 years ago, this lodge was originally built for the use of volcanologists from the Smithsonian Institute, so the views are the best.

The lodge is very basic and rustic, but from the rooms you can see the volcano right in front of you. You are so near it is hard to sleep at night because of the volcano noise. Impressive.

From the lodge you can do some hiking to the volcano and a waterfall.

The night tour to the volcano is a "must-do". And we also enjoyed a lot Canopy in Monte Verde, very near from Arenal and an awesome experience.

VICDBRIK Jun 9th, 2006 03:07 PM

hi i took a day trip to arenal last november it was really cool and all the hotels looked nice most have the hot springs but you should really take a guided mountain bike tour i used bike arenal and it was really worth it i got a private tour with a follow on safety vehicle lunch at the lake and my guide was awesome he was stidying some kind of eco biology or something so he really knew his stuff as he would sporatically stop the tour to point things out really worth it and inexpensive also everyone in playa hermosa is so nice. playa hermosa is a surfers paradise great waves. i had to go to playa jaco because the waves were not as big and as a begining surfer i needed to learn if you need lessons i would look up a guy named freddy in playa jaco just go to any of the surf shops and ask for freddy they all know each other there you will totally enjoy it. just remember PURA VIDA not just words but a lifestyle

lvk Jun 9th, 2006 03:18 PM

My Arenal Paraiso experience is getting dated (August '04), but I believe you can get a standard cabin for around $85/night. The difference between the standard cabins and the deluxe were 1) the standard cabins are a bit lower on the property than the deluxe, so the views in the deluxe seemed slightly better. 2) The standard cabins did not have the glass enclosed porch, but did have a sitting area out front. 3) I'm not sure if the standard cabins had a mini-fridge and a/c, as the deluxe cabins did.

We stayed at the AP for 4 nights and really enjoyed it. We also had a great time on their ziplines.

I haven't seen the Arenal Lodge, so cannot offer you comparisons. However, Montana de Fuego is next door to the AP, and is owned by the same family. It looked like a very similar place (layout and accomodations)

Oh, and the price of your room at the AP also includes breakfast. I'm not sure about Arenal Lodge.

Have a great trip.

tully Jun 10th, 2006 02:43 PM

I was extremely pleased with the Arenal Paraiso last month. I opted for the standard since it was just myself and it was more than enough with a great view. $60 per nite plus tax, a huge breakfast buffet included, the room had a/c, a tv and mini-fridge. Nice grounds to walk around, pools and several hot spring pools.

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