will close on Feb 27th.

Please save any personal content and exchange contact info with other members you?d like to stay in touch with. Thank you for your contributions to the VirtualTourist community.

Arenal Observatory Lodge: "Arenal Volcano Hotel" Costa Rica Hotel Tip by antelope01

Costa Rica Hotels: 495 reviews and 694 photos

  The reception and restaurant at A.O.L.
by antelope01

This is one of the most amazing places I have EVER stayed. It was built by the Smithsonion Institue for scientists in 1968 after the major eruption of the volcano. Now it's a lodge. The place is about a mile from the volcano! You HAVE to get a Smithsonion suite when you go. Hint: Ask for rooms 29 or 30. The outside wall is all windows and the bed faces the windows. At night we lay in bed and watched the lava rolling down the volcano! OUT OF THIS WORLD. There are hikes you can take, including a free guided one every morning to an old lava field (tip the guide though). There are other places to stay around Arenal, but this place is the best. Hands down, the best. While you are there, visit one of the hot springs. Tabacon is the most expensive and glittiest, Baldi is more rustic and less expensive. Locals recommend Baldi.

Unique Qualities: Swimming pool and hot tub with a view of the volcano, breathtaking views, excellent restaurant, great staff (here's to Carlos!), transportation (for a fee of course) to the hot springs

Price Comparison: more expensive than average
Directions: Look for the big volcano, the Lodge is next to it!
Price: US$80-120
Theme: Hotel

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Was this review helpful?

  • Written Jun 25, 2005
  • Send to a Friend
  • Add to your Trip Planner
  • Report Abuse



“Let me live while I'm young!”

Online Now


Top 10,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 6 5 4 6

Have you been to Costa Rica?

  Share Your Travels