My husband and I just spent 4 nights at the Hotel Gran Arenal, about a mile from the town of La Fortuna, and we highly recommend it as a mid-priced alternative to the noisy town hotels and the overpriced “spas.” Each room is free-standing, each with a nice sitting area outside in the lovely landscaping. Our room was very large, with two double beds with comfortable mattresses, bedside lamps, good-sized fridge, coffee-maker, nice quarry tile floors and gorgeous large windows that look out to Arenal. The bathrooms are clean and modern and have real hot water (not one of those electrical death-traps above the shower head). The pool is very nice and relaxing after a day of hiking or rafting in the area. The breakfasts were good and freshly made—eggs, rice and beans, bread, watermelon, and pineapple. And the best coffee I’ve had while on this trip! The price is very good too, about $75/day when we were there. The only complaint I have is that the windows do not have screens, so if you want the breeze, you have to be prepared for mosquitoes and other insects. The rooms are air-conditioned, so you don’t have to open the windows, but, after all, why come to the tropics and then hole-up in the a/c? The hotel is down a gravel road, next to cow pastures, but don’t let that put you off. It really is a nice setting, quiet, calm, and lush. The best part of the hotel is the owner, Luiz, who is always around, making coffee, sweeping, or just chatting with the quests. He even let us use an office when we had work matters to attend to. You can tell his heart and soul are in this operation and it shows! And, just in case you are wondering, we could not see the cone of the volcano, it was cloudy most of the 4 days we were there; but, no matter, it is still a great view.
6 km from Fortuna de San Carlos, La Fortuna
6.5 Km N of the Catholic church, La Fortuna
200 mts North from Gas Station, La Fortuna
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Address: 1.3 Km North of National Bank, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica