Arenal Observatory Lodge

Volcano and Lake View (Lava Flow) La Fortuna de San Carlos
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Arenal Observatory Lodge
Our editors' rating
  • Hotel condition
  • Service
  • Cleanliness
  • Location
  • Value for Money
4.6 / 5

Hotel overview

Arenal Observatory Lodge is one of the closest hotels to the Arenal Volcano. The view of this colossal is impressive. You will defiantly be impressed when you enter your room, the sense of peace and tranquility can be felt in every corner. On a clear night you will have the chance to awe at the incredible lava show that the Volcano shares with everyone. You will see the large boulders emerge from the Volcano cone, leaving behind a glow of lava and at the same time, your heart will beat with every breath and rumble that the Volcano makes. The mere opportunity of being able to witness such a spectacular show put on by Mother Nature is a Blessing in itself.

You wake to the chirps and singing of small birds, breathing in the sweetness of the Rainforest will rejuvenate you in a most remarkable way. The hotel's gardens are full of bright flowers that attract a variety of birds and butterflies. The flora and fauna that surround the hotel, the untouched forest that is full of life and the Volcano that never seems to rest, all brought together in one place to guarantee its guest a balanced feeling of adrenaline, admiration and a sense of inner peace.

The restaurant boasts an incredible view to Arenal Lake and the volcano, again keeping you in balance with your surroundings. A swimming pool in the middle of the rainforest, a Jacuzzi that melts you into your surroundings and natural hiking trails for those wanting to emerge themselves even closer to nature. All of this in one place, one hotel that offers so much excitement yet in a peaceful and harmonious way.

Observatory Lodge Arenal is a Mountain hotel offering its guests 48 rooms to choose from. Divided into 4 buildings, yet all surrounded by the rainforest and beautifully manicured gardens with full view to the Volcano, allowing all it's guests the opportunity to enjoy their experience with the Colossal "Arenal Volcano".

Make sure to keep your camera handy, as the view is spectacular. Keep your eye out for Howler monkeys, as they live in abundance in the trees along the road towards the hotel.


Free breakfast Wi-Fi

  • Handicapped facilities
  • Internet
  • Laundry
  • Restaurant
  • Spa
  • Swimming pool
  • TV cable


At only 12 km from downtown La Fortuna, on the road towards the Volcano. You will see an entrance on your left directing you to the Arenal Volcano National Park; take this entrance for about 9 km. There will be several signs guiding you directly to the hotel.

Rooms and availability
5-11 years
< years

Snapshots of the Adventure

Average guest rating
4.64 / 5

See What Others Have to Say About the Travel Experience

Great Hotel!!
Maria Rivero
When I saw this hotel for the first time I knew that it would be as spectacular as I thought it would be. I was just there July 11 with a big group of family and we all fell in love with everything about this place.
My room was awesome over looking the Volcan Arenal from a beautiful terrace and all the beautiful green forest and all the beautiful flowers.
I stayed in room 32 Junior Suite.
Our first night there we had dinner at the restaurant and it was spectacular with great service, our waiter asked if we were going to be having breakfast with them so they can Reserve a table for our party since we were a party of 12. Every morning and evening our table for 12 was ready for us.
The 3.8 mile hike in the morning through the rain forest up to the cascade was awesome and our tour guide was super nice and funny.
The only thing that I think they should consider is putting TV in the rooms, as small children and elderly folks could relax in there beds after a long tiring day.
... (read more)
We Loved the AOL!!!
Mitchell Hammer
Unless you can't handle a few small bumps in the road, ignore complaints about the drive to the hotel. If it wasn't for extended drive off of the main highway, you wouldn't have the perfect quiet, peaceful, remote, and unbelievably beautiful experience the lodge offers. The staff was over-the-top friendly, at both the front desk and the restaurant. The lodge offers three amazing views, first of th e volcano (which often is shrouded in mysterious rain forest cloud cover), second the meticulously maintained grounds (along with great family-friendly hiking trails), and third (and this was an expected surprise) a great view of Lake Arenal from the restaurant. The included breakfast was perfect...a great desayunos tipicos (Costa Rican breakfast) with tons of fresh fruit, eggs, black beans and rice, juices, breads, and more. 

I stayed in the Smithsonian room #16, which was perfect for myself and two teen age daughters. It overlooks beautiful gardens, with a great view of the volcano (when the clouds lifted!!). Another awesome thing about this lodge is its at a higher elevation and about 10 degrees cooler than down in La Fortuna...which is about a 20-25 minute drive through the rain forest.

I highly recommend staying here. I will definitely come back!!
... (read more)
Fabulous hotel in a fabulous location
John Noyes
I cannot fault this hotel, except perhaps that some of the accommodation is quite a way (10 minutes walk) from the main services (restaurant, reception, etc.). This is more than made up for by the really good value for money, situation and excellent staff. Our room had a wonderful view of Lake Arenal and was situated in a quiet area ideal for bird watching, etc. The room was spacious with windows along one wall, a very nice, spacious veranda outside and very nice bathroom with a fantastic, hot shower. We have stayed at this hotel before and will certainly return.... (read more)
Nice place to visit
John Berg
Located on what is consdered the 'backside' of the volcano you are secluded away from most things. The road there is really poor - about 6 miles of EXTREMELY bumpy road you can't do more than about 20-30kph or you'd really be pushing it. Road was so bad we skipped going out and exploring the area as we didn't feel like spending an hour bouncing around in our little 4x4. Room was nice - pretty b asic - no TV and view of Volcano. Restaurant OK - limited menu but adequate - small bar and balcony to relax on during the day. Nature walk in the morning was interesting and informative. This place is about getting away from it all but you stil have access to pool and whirlpool. Our room was close to those - not sure if there were others - if there wasn't some rooms would have been quite a hike to get there. Overall nice place - just not much to do but hike which is great. No Lava flows for last two years and they don't expect any for more than 100 more (plates shifted) so don't expect that. If there was Lava flow this place would be a SPECTACULAR spot - without it, its so so.... (read more)
beautiful grounds but not worth the $
kelly raymond
Very "touresty" unfriendly staff. We wished we would have stayed in Lafortuna & did a day trip to Arenal. We paid for a smithsonine room but DID NOT look anything like the pictures. The waiters were the friendlyist
Additional notes

Official rates

Total rooms

Check out
12:00 m.d.

Check in
3:00 p.m.

Hotel services
  • • Restaurant with volcano and lake view.
  • • Swimming pool.
  • • Jacuzzi.
  • • Beautiful gardens.
  • • Nature trails.
  • • Private parking.
  • • Wide green areas.

Important notes
  • Price per night and per room (USD).
  • Children rate: between 5-11 years old
  • Children 5 and younger stay free.
  • Complimentary morning walk with a local guide.
  • Children 5-11 years old pay children menu.
  • For families or groups of 8, there is a White Hawk Villa (ventilated living room, a dining room, satellite television, and fully equipped kitchen). Ask for the price.
  • For security, the doors of the hotel are closed at 11:00 pm

Cancellation policy

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