Hotel Arenal Manoa
7 kilometers west from La Fortuna, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
Great Facilities - Poor Service at Every Turn
As others have commented, Hotel Arenal Manoa has a great setting and very nice facilities. For the duration of our stay, though, the staff were at best competent and indifferent - and were rarely at their best. More often, they were simply unhelpful and even untruthful.
To cite one typical example: It didn't seem to occur to them that three people staying in a room would need and expect three sets of towels - we had to ask. When we requested an extra set over the phone, they promised one right away. After waiting two hours, I called to ask where they were. The first response was "no one was in the room when we knocked, so we left them on the table outside." There had been two people in the room the whole time, and no one had knocked; but I checked the table - no towels. When I called back, I got a repeated and insistent recitation that they had been to the room, no one was there, and they'd left them on the table. It was only at my explicit request that they agreed to bring some.
Unless and until Hotel Arenal Manoa changes their overall demeanor toward their guests, they'll remain a great facility that doesn't earn the prices they charge or deserve your business. It was the only place in Costa Rica - hotel, restaurant, retail store, whatever - that made our family feel unwelcome. I would certainly not consider staying there again.
More about Hotel Arenal Manoa
A great place to stay
Hotel Arenal Manoa is a beautiful, very well maintained, clean and welcoming place to stay at. The whole staff is great, everyone is very friendly and smiley. There is absolutely nothing bad I can say about this place and strongly recommend it to everyone who is headed to Arenal Volcano and La Fortuna.
Amazing Views and Spectacular Rooms
After reading the sparkling reviews on Trip Advisor for the Hotel Arenal Manoa, I had to book a room with my girlfriend (both of us 25). It was even better than I had expected for the price ($120/ night in the green season). The rooms were extremely spacious (I asked for the room with the best view and was given 102, not disappointed) with one of the two queen size beds facing a glass door with a great view of the volcano. The bathroom was gorgeous and large with a romantic shower. But the best part of the hotel was the covered patio with the two rocking chairs and table, perfect for a glass of wine or breakfast while watching the volcano. The service left a little to be desired especially at the non-staffed pool bar; we waited about 30 minutes for a drink while the dining room area was almost empty. We took the longer route from San Jose to see some small towns and stop in Ciudad Quesada, in which there was a great cafe right on the outskirt of town that was cheap and delicious, I can't remember the name now, but they also had great strawberry and water shakes. But be forewarned the drive is long and the roads are windy especially dangerous when the big rigs are on them. The town of La Fortuna was a bit too touristy for us, but we managed to grab a quick/good bite at the restaurant outside next to the Burger King. The hiking trails behind the Arenal Observatory Lodge were one of the highlights of the volcano, although our rented 4x4 certainly helped getting there.
My husband and I just returned from our first visit to Costa Rica.
We stayed at Hotel Arenal Manoa near the Arenal Volcano. We highly recommend this hotel. The accommodations are in modern cabin-like one story buildings. Each has rocking chairs on the porch facing the volcano. The setting is simply beautiful and very relaxing. We saw birds that we saw nowhere else on our trip. The rooms are simple, but comfortable. The bathroom has a large walk-in shower with greenery. There is a walk from some of the units to the main building, but the front desk can send a van around for pickups if walking is a problem. Meals are served in an outdoor restaurant with wonderful views of the volcano. Breakfast was included. We ordered dinner from the menu, rather than using the buffet. The chef did an outstanding job -- it was our best meal of the trip. There is a small pool, kiddie pool, and hot tub. Everyone at the hotel was helpful and friendly. The hotel is very convenient to all the hot springs and not far from the volcano and the nearby town. It's very easy to get taxis to get around. Some earlier reviewers noted that the hotel is down a long road off the main road, but we didn't see that as a problem. We also highly recommend Eco Termales Hot Springs (reservations required). We used AnywhereCostaRica for drivers to and from the Arenal area. They were very reliable and informative.
I was travelling to the Arenal Volcano with a group of 7 from Hong Kong. We were meeting a larger group to go scuba diving in the Cocos Islands and stopped by the Arenal Volcano area for 2 nights.
I thought this hotel was very good. The rooms were spacious, bathrooms clean a spacious. I shared a room with 2 others and we had more than enough room.
There was a swimming pool and jacuzzi at the hotel and most staff spoke good English.
The hotel was near the volcano and we took trips to the rainforest, volcano (day and night view), and even tried "sky trekking" (literally flying like Tarzan thru the rainforest).
The thing that surprised me most about this hotel was it even had wifi in the room. I would recommend this hotel.
The perfect place to stay!
This was our first trip to Costa Rica and this was the first place we stayed on our trip. We stayed here two nights and found it to be absolutely perfect. It is close enough to La Fortuna but still far enough away from town to feel secluded. The hotel is off the main road so you don't hear the traffic as well. Rooms were immaculate and the views were tremendous. Staff onsite was helpful and curtious, they booked our zipline tour for us with no hassles. Definitely would recommend staying here.
Beautiful and immaculate place to stay, it is remotely located – no restaurants within walking distance, although the hotel restaurant serves lovely food. Our room provided great views of the volcano.
The hotel reception / administrative staff are a little odd – warning they don’t like $100 bills or travellers cheques!
Generic and charmless
We booked 3 nights at this hotel based on previous reviews. Having just come from a very pleasant bed and breakfast elsewhere in Costa Rica, we found this hotel utterly lacking in charm. The room was large and the grounds were well maintained, but the hotel and restaurant was mainly staffed by teenagers who didn't seem too concerned with making us wait. The food was very disappointing, both a la carte and buffet. We checked out early and found very nice accomodations nearby for almost half the price. There are much better hotels in the La Fortuna area than this one.
We'd stay here again! We used this as a base to explore the Arenal area and La Fortuna and we loved it. The Hotel has lovely grounds. This being a mountainous region in the tropics, everything is a deep green, the flora is gorgeous. The staff are great and friendly. The tours arranged by the hotel were wonderful. The hotel is definitely better than their website would suggest. It always nice when it works that way, as opposed to the reverse. Pura Vida!
Near hot springs and the volcano
My extended family of 18 spent several days here over Christmas break. Each of our units had a wonderful view of Arenal Volcano, which appeared briefly between the clouds. Wonderful breakfast was included, and great hot springs just down the road. Nice pool and spa as well, with lovely landscaping overlooking a river.
New duplex style rooms, nicely decorated, clean and spacious. Loved the patio out front with rocking chairs. All have a view of Arenal (no lava from this side in Jan 2008), but ask for a room that's not obstructed by the duplex in front of it, if possible. Grounds and pool area were nicely maintained. The wesite photos represent the property well.
Staff were typically very young, seemed very inexperienced at managing a hotel or restaurant. Meals at restaurant were cafeteria quality at higher end prices (dinner buffet was $17 per person). Another reviewer said it was 'generic and charmless' and I would tend to agree. It was clean and new and nice, but didn't really have soul.
A tour bus rolled in at the end of the day and filled the place up, so I guess if you're only staying a night or two this would be fine.
View all Arenal hotels
View all Arenal hotels
Hotel Arenal Manoa
We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:
- Arenal Manoa Hotel And Spa
- Arenal Manoa Hotel La Fortuna De San Carlos
Address: 7 kilometers west from La Fortuna, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica