Hotel Arenal Paraiso: "Bad hotel service or just bad luck on our side?" Top 5 Page for this destination Costa Rica Hotel Tip by monica71
Costa Rica Hotels: 495 reviews and 694 photos
We wanted to stay at Hotel Arenal Paraiso because of the hot springs they have on site. Plus, the hotel web site looked really good. So we decided to give it a try. I sent an email to the hotel in early February 2008 to check on a room availability for late April 2008 and got an answer few days later. I was happy to see that they have a room available for the 2 nights we wanted to stay with them and I decided to go ahead and book the room. I filled out the form adding my credit card information there and faxed it to them.
I called the hotel 2 days later to check if we were good on the reservation and they could not find my fax. Liz, the person I talk to, said that it most likely got lost and I should either resend it or emails the form to her. I decided to email it to her and asked her to confirm that she received the email with the reservation request and the information on my credit card. I had to send 4 email within the next 3 weeks to get an answer from Liz that we were good with the reservation. I was starting to get a little bit concerned due to the fact that communication was going so bad, but my husband told me to try to understand the fact that they may not speak English well enough and they may need time to get back to us.
A day before going to Costa Rica, I called all the hotels we book rooms at again in order to make sure that we were OK with the reservation. I was surprised to hear that my reservation could not be found in the computer. At this time, I got a little bit upset and decided not to book with them again, but go to the hotel when we get in La Fortuna town and talk to them directly. I knew it was low season and they would have a room available.
While in La Fortuna, we took a horseback riding tour to the volcano. The tour is provided by Hotel Arenal Paraiso, so it was the perfect occasion for us to talk to them about our reservation at the reception desk. I was concerned that if we do not show up, they will charge my credit card. So we stopped by the reception desk before going on the horseback riding tour. Again, they were not able to find my reservation in their system, but they had rooms available. We decided to put a room on hold for the next 2 nights we planned on spending in the area (they could not reserve it for us since we had no credit cards with us; I was not going to go riding a horse while caring my credit card in my pocket, so...). The next morning, we got the car we rented from Alamo and headed to Hotel Arenal Paraiso where we wanted to spend 2 nights. We got to the reception and again, no room was found on hold under my name in their system. At this point, I got fed up with them and decided to leave. We checked in another hotel in the area and we were happy to do so.
The hotel grounds are very nice, but the experience we had with the hotel staff was so horrible, that I would hesitate considering staying with them in the future. Maybe this was just an unfortunate incident, but when it happens to you, it is really hard to get over it and consider staying with them.
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