Hotel Arenal Lodge is a classy hotel reminiscent of a comfortable New-England ski-lodge in the summer months. The large main building, which houses the reception and a restaurant/lounge, has a stone fireplace, comfy leather chairs, and beautiful works of art: simply a nice place to relax. However, the similarities to a ski-lodge end there. The reception area is teeming with tropical plants, flowering vines and even full size trees, all growing indoors. The roof has skylights that that give the closed roof building an open air feel.
Arenal Lodge is reached from the main thoroughfare via a steep and twisting, two-kilometer side road. This road is at times wide enough for only one vehicle, as it leads through thick jungle and beautiful pastureland. Upon reaching Arenal Lodge you are sure to notice the secluded, campus like grounds complete with hiking trails and stables with horses which may be ridden by guests. There are also a handful of mountain bikes available for guests who posses enough endurance to ride the steep terrain.
The grounds of Arenal Lodge are nicely maintained and the beautiful gardens are well established and sport many kinds of flowering plants, humming birds and other wildlife. It is a great spot for bird watching.
The older rooms, known as Junior Suites, have dark wood paneling, hardwood floors and balconies with rocking chairs that overlook the Volcano. Each Junior Suite has two queen beds, fridge with mini bar, bathrooms with bathtubs, twin sinks and hairdryers. The beds overlook Arenal Volcano and on a clear night lava could be seen without ever leaving the bed!
The newer Master Suites are set higher up the hill overlooking the property with great Arenal Volcano Views. These larger stand-alone units have floor to ceiling windows, also with rocking chairs overlooking the volcano. Unlike the Junior suites that have outdoor balconies these sites have air conditioning, so the 'balconies' are indoors. All master suites have kitchenettes, fridge with mini bar, sink, coffee maker and microwave. The bathrooms here have showers instead of baths.
It should be noted that Hotel Arenal Lodge is one of the furthest from the town of La Fortuna, about 17 kilometers or 9 miles away. If you don't have a car, transportation to and from restaurants, hot springs and other tours can be expensive. Desafio can provide transportation to and from the hotel for all tours and activities but additional transportation costs will apply.