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Costa Rica Hotel Recommendation Series: Where To Stay in La Fortuna / Arenal

Costa Rica Hotel Recommendation Series: Where To Stay in La Fortuna / Arenal


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Given that La Fortuna/Arenal is one of the most popular destinations foreign travellers visit when they come to Costa Rica, we are regularly inundated with requests for La Fortuna / Arenal hotel recommendations. Smart travellers not only ask us which hotels we opt to recommend, but they question us why we do so. We love sharing our thoughts with others, so we never hesitate to provide travellers with the specific details that support our opinions and inform our recommendations.

When travellers ask us for our favourite La Fortuna / Arenal hotels, our immediate response is to question what the traveller is specifically looking for (ie. a hotel with great value, a rustic setting, a relaxing sanctuary, luxury, etc.). Every traveller wants something different, whether that difference is offered by the hotel’s location, price, setting, amenities, or another distinguishing factor, and it is this difference that helps us identify the type of accommodation experience that a particular traveller is looking to obtain. As Julia Roberts explains in My Best Friend’s Wedding, “crème brûlée can never be jell-o”, just like a four-star luxury resort-quality hotel will rarely provide the down-to-earth rainforest lodge experience that some travellers search for, and an affordable standard hotel will likely never spoil travellers rotten. Since one accommodation type may be equally deserving of a recommendation as another, the value of the recommendation itself depends largely on the travellers’ specific desire. Do you want crème brûlée? Or would you be happiest with jell-o?

Over the years we have worked with many, many hotels in the La Fortuna / Arenal region. We have formed strong bonds with some of them based on their continued dedication to high-quality customer service, and we have run in the opposite direction of others (who shall remain nameless) as a result of their blatant lack of concern for the care of their guests and business partners. We have been in this business long enough to know why (in our opinion!) some hotels are deserving of a positive and evaluative recommendation, and we are proud to offer such recommendations if and when we feel they are due. As a result, we have created a blog series titled La Fortuna / Arenal Hotel Recommendations showcasing a spectrum of our preferred accommodation options in the area and detailing our reasoning for opting to recommend each. The following accommodations are have been included in this series to date:

LA PRADERA DEL ARENAL (Standard Hotel Option)

Read our related blog post: Arenal Hotel Recommendation: The Absolute Best Value Hotel In La Fortuna / Arenal

EL SILENCIO DEL CAMPO (Superior Hotel Option)

Read our related blog post: Arenal Hotel Recommendation: An Authentic, Rustic Hideaway In La Fortuna / Arenal

ARENAL SPRINGS (Superior Hotel Option)

Read our related blog post: Arenal Hotel Recommendation: A Romantic & Peaceful Sanctuary In La Fortuna / Arenal

ROYAL CORIN (Resort-Quality Hotel Option)

Read our related blog post: Arenal Hotel Recommendation: Luxury & Relaxation At Its Finest In La Fortuna / Arenal

QUESTION TO COMMENT ON: What La Fortuna / Arenal hotels would you like to see us recommend? More importantly, why do you recommend a particular accommodation option over others located in the same area?

Pura vida!

Hot Springs
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5 thoughts on “Costa Rica Hotel Recommendation Series: Where To Stay in La Fortuna / Arenal”

  • Any other value or mid-priced lodging that you’d recommend? La Pradera wouldn’t take my reservation without a signature and a copy of my credit card and ID. Really a pain! Let me know of any others worth considering.

    • Matt Mesa –

      Of course! There are many, however most will require credit card information as a guarantee. Although not all do, many tour operators, hotels, and transportation service providers request (or require) identification copies (as well as copies of the credit card used for payment or to provide a guarantee) in order to confirm matching signatures. In addition, many companies (specifically water tour operators, such as cruise operators, boat tour operators, sailing tour operators, and even some rafting tour operators) require identification copies for boat boarding purposes. Although a “pain” as you note, the request is becoming more and more common, and some of the other value or mid-priced lodging suggestions noted below may request/require the same (for more information, please read our related blog post: Paying For Your Costa Rica Trip: What Is Normal, Common, And To Be Expected?).

      Hotel Campo Verde (this is always our next best recommendation after La Pradera)
      Hotel Bijagua, Villas Vilma, and Vista Arenal (economy hotels)
      Hotel Kokoro (more expensive, but not as expensive as most hotels the next bracket up in terms of quality)

      There are also many other hotels situated around a similar price point and quality level as La Pradera located south of La Fortuna (near the route to the waterfall). We prefer the location of the accommodations listed above (which are situated around the volcano), however if availability is limited (depending on the time of year you plan to visit), you will likely have luck searching the southern area of the region for a room.

      Pura vida! 🙂

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