More about Hotel Linda Vista del Norte
Million $$ view, Medium-Priced Hotel
Hotel Linda Vista isn't the fanciest or best hotel around Arenal, but the view makes it priceless!
We could sit pretty much anywhere...pool, restaurant, outside our suite, even on our beds & see the volcano with Lake Arenal beside it.
TripAdvisor Experts (thanks guys!) tipped me off that the lava flow had suddenly switched to the south. Since everyone warned clouds usually keep you from seeing an eruption, I upped the odds by staying 4 nights.
Incredibly, just as my friend & I sat down for dinner by the window on our very first night, Arenal welcomed us! The eruption continued for hours. The next day the sky was so clear we could see the actual cone...and swam while Arenal rumbled and smoked. The display was even better the next night!
Linda Vista is remote & getting there takes a good half hour past Fortuna on rough roads. Rather than racking up the taxi bills, we only left once, for the lovely Eco-themales hot springs & ate all our meals at the hotel restaurant. It was a bit overpriced and spotty. But the fresh tilapia from Lake Arenal was delicious. The full breakfast is very nice, but again, the real star is the view. All guests start their morning sitting at a long counter outside the restaurant, facing the volcano & wildlife!
Our suite had the best view thanks to Natalia, the hotel's caring reservation agent. It's really one large room with 1 queen & 2 twins, along with a little fridge, coffee maker & table & chairs. My main criticism is the lighting...very strong on the ceiling, while the 2 twins had no side tables or lights. The only drawers were 4 tiny ones in the queen headboard. We also had to keep asking the front desk for more that just 3 hangers. And be warned, keep those sliding glass doors closed, or risk visits by flying & crawling creatures at night!
I don't know why, but at first the staff wasn't that friendly. But by day 3, everything changed and they suddenly showed us the warm "tico" spirit we had come to love throughout our trip.
The hotel also set us up with an amazing driver, Fabio, who transported us to and from SJO at a reasonable rate, so we could stay there on our last night in Costa Rica. When I got home, the hotel even e-mailed asking for comments/complaints. That shows that this family-run business really cares. If Arenal continues to flow south, Linda Vista Norte should prepare for more tourists, eager to soak-in it's million dollar view, without paying a lot of bucks.
Awesome Lava Views
We just got back from a honeymoon in CR that included two nights at Hotel Linda Vista. Stayed in room #6 -- it's definitely the best for views of the volcano. Rooms are extremely clean and windows are wide and kept clean for those awesome glimpses of lava and such. During the rainy season, though, be prepared for rain, 'cuz it does and did.
The pool is great, the restaurant is overpriced, yes, but the service is very good and the bar looking out at the volcano is a fabulous place to eat. The road into El Castillo area is bumpy but we had a big Toyota 4Runner-type vehicle and it wasn't a problem. You're not going to want to drive much anywhere, really.
UNLESS ... it's to one of the hot springs or to the nearby SkyTrek zip line (way fun - beautiful views and superfast zip lines). As for hot springs, btw, we visited both Tabacon and Eco Termales, and HIGHLY RECOMMEND Eco Termales over the far more touristy and overdone and overpriced Tabacon. It's across the road from Baldi and you have to call ahead to reserve -- there's not even a sign outside. A 20 minute drive or so from Linda Vista.
If you want to see the lava....
Stay here. We stayed 4 nights in room 16. We had great views of the lava from everywhere on the property, including our bed. We were lucky enough to see the lava flow 2 nights. As long as the lava flow stays on this side of the volcano, there are only 2 great options, the hotel linda vista and the arenal observatory lodge.
The landscaping of this hotel was immaculate. The restaurant had good food, and like others say, is a little overpriced. All of the workers were very nice and helpful, including booking tours for you at reduced pricing. Try the Baldi hot springs. For $17, it’s a great deal and a good way to relax.
My only real complaint about this hotel was that the bed and pillows were pretty hard and the Jacuzzi was not heated. The road to the hotel was pretty bumpy but it’s not as bad as everyone makes it out to be. Took maybe 15-20 minutes to get to the main road. You do not need a 4x4, which I had, but i'm sure it makes a smoother ride. There are also bugs, but what do you expect when you stay in the rainforest.
All in all I would recommend this hotel as a great way to see the lava flow.
Loved the lava views
Lava views were excellent, highlight of a wonderful Costa Rica holiday. Stayed with our 3 young daughters who had a great time. The rooms are basic but fine. Same for the restaurant, nothing special but all ok. The road out there is a little bumpy just take it easy and you will be fine.
Excellent hotel and staff!
My husband and I stayed at Linda Vista for the start of our two week vacation in Costa Rica. We stayed at Linda Vista for 4 nights in a standard room. Even befor we arrived in Costa Rica we were greeted so warmly by Natalia Morales who booked our stay and helped us with other arangements for our travel in Costa Rica. Natalia responded to all my emails quickly and helped me out enormously with my vacation planning.
When my husband and I landed in San Jose we found out that our luggage did not, and American Airlines had no idea where it was. So we were in Cost Rica for the first time with only the clothes off our backs. (I at least brought a change of clothes, my husband did not.) Natalia called our driver, Fabio Molino, (who was also wonderful) as soon as we landed to see how we were doing. We told her what had happened to our luggage and she said she would handle it. Well she did and we got our luggage the next night.
As for the hotel. It was amazing! The hotel is far away from La Fortuna which is the nearest town and where all the touristy things are located. We had to pay extra for many of the tours because of our location, but it was worth it! The view is amazing, as well as the hotel grounds. Our room was very nice and clean.
The restaurant's food was very good and it had the best view. While we were at Linda Vista the lava flow was visible and we saw our frst lava flow while eating dinner. We were really lucky because we were able to see the lava every night while in Arenal.
If you want to be near all the town action, I would think about other hotel options. However, the view is worth the extra travel.
My husband and I highly recomend this hotel. Oh, I do not want to forget about all the wonderful and helpful staff and Linda Vista. Brian who worked at the front desk was so helpful and nice. Out of all the places we stayed in Costa Rica this was our favorite hotel.
Loved it and the views are spectacular
The hotel is set on top of a hill overlooking Lake Arenal and the Volcano. The views from any place on the property are wonderful but especially from the rooms. We chose to stay in a room with a volcano view and they were not kidding. A large window in the room gives a direct view of the volcano from your bed. So you can lay in bed and stare out the window and watch the explosions. The room was very clean, cozy, and comfortable. The grounds are lovely, lots of flowers. The staff was super helpful. And then there is the pool where you can sit in the jacuzzi and look at the views--just spectacular.
My only complaint about the place is the overpriced restaurant. The food was ok and way too expensive. Breakfast was the only meal that I thought was good. But the positive about it is that you can sit on the deck, watch the lava and drink a Corona.
Horrible Staff/Great View
We had heard great things about this hotel but were incredibly disappointed. We booked two nights stay, as well as activities for the three days we were there but Natalie-the manager-would not return our queries about the plans she had supposedly made. It wasn't until day three that she even bothered to return our questions about our tours...of course at that point we were leaving and it didn't matter anymore.
The wait staff was inattentive and slow....the housekeepers actually rolled their eyes at us when we asked for a few minutes (at nine in the morning) to get dressed before room service, and the front desk completely ignored our requests to see about our scheduled tours.
We were also charged for a tour that we did not take (after we signed out)...supposedly one that Natalie had scheduled for us (but refused to give any information on).
The view is amazing, but the hotel staff horrible, and they are undergoing major construction (which starts at six thirty in the morning).
Great lava views
We stayed for 2 nights at Linda Vista, and we booked through Anywhere Costa Rica. I would recommend that route, as they made sure we had 2 rooms side by side with the lava views. The other rooms have a lake view, and the lake is beautiful. We had the standard room. The one wall is all glass, so you can lay in bed and watch the lava, which was fantastic. We had lava views both nights, which was very lucky for us. The room is fine-clean and large, with a coffee maker with coffee. The restaurant is expensive by Costa Rican standards, most entrees were in the $17 range, but there is no other place close by, so eat before you get there or pay the price. The included breakfast was excellent. The restaurant staff were helpful, as were the cleaning ladies. The man on duty when we checked in was what my brother (who lives in CR) called 'old Costa Rican'-he was rude, unfriendly, sarcastic and unhelpful. Natalie was friendlier. The hot tub is a luke-warm tub. So a good place to stay, and all the best on the views!
An Out of the Way Bargain with an Incredible View
This up-and-coming establishment on the south side of Lake Arenal is working hard to keep its guests comfortable. It is off the beaten path, and I highly recommend it for its peerless views of the volcano's active face. It's a true bargain in the price range. It is NOT for travelers who expect absolute perfection or carry with them a sense of entitlement (overinflated or otherwise). There are definitely loose ends here but I found it easy to forgive them. It seems the hotel staff, like everyone else, is "learning as they go" as the region's tourism sector expands. None of the flaws I noted were severe enough to diminish in any way the awesome experience of living for a few days with a spectacularly active volcano literally right off my balcony. I stayed at the Hotel Linda Vista del Norte for three days in December 2007 and recommend it highly (if reserving a standard room, ask from Room 6, 7, or 8). It is a great place to start a Costa Rican adventure of any length. The restaurant menus are hit and miss (but, isn't it fun discovering the diamonds in the rough anyway?) and serves several interesting local dishes at dinner time, including crawfish from Lake Arenal. Dinners are expensive but budget travelers can save by ordering a more substantial breakfast or lunch. I expect the economies of scale will shift as competition increases. Check this place out and try the cheesecake at least once!
Worth the ride!
My friend and I found out about this hotel on the net and read some reviews and decided to stay here. The hotel is located on the North West side of the volcano and provides the BEST views of the volcano (the side where you can actually see the old lava flows). It is about 23 kms from downtown La Fortuna. It takes a awfully bumpy 9km ride on an unpaved road to actually get to the hotel. The moment we got out of the car at the hotel (it was sunny!) we realized we chose the right spot. Beautiful view of the Arenal lake and breathtaking view of the Volcano. We could actually hear the volcano in the night. The food at the Steak House was brilliant for the first two days and the third day was aweful (the main chef had gone on vacation and it showed). It was hard to get back into Fortuna as it is a very bumpy ride back and forth but other than that, it was worth every penny. Great views, great rooms and good staff. Breath taking views. Cons: No internet, no room phone.