Holiday review by Mr. Andrew Robertson
Name: Mr. Andrew Robertson
Date of trip: 31/01/2019
Number of people: 2
The wildlife and the natural environment. Seeing amazing birds and lots of other wildlife very close to.
Everything went smoothly and we both really enjoyed seeing Costa Rica.
Paul Cook was tremendous. He was knowledgeable, responsive and patient.
All the guides were helpful and knowledgeable, particularly the guide we had at Arenal Forest Reserve (Michael and Andreas).
Social & Environmental Responsibility:
While all the hotels made a point of stating their ecological credentials, some of their practices contradicted these. For example, we received clean towels every day at all of the hotels despite not leaving them on the floor to be replaced. Two of the hotels didn't offer water dispensers so we couldn't refill our bottles (Arenal Springs and Fonda Vela). Our first and final transfers to and from the airport involved us being picked up just us two in large minibuses when others travelling with Tribes or their agents were going to the same locations. This seems very wasteful of resources.
The places you stayed
Basic but comfortable room with a/c and a good shower. Centrally located, so a bit noisy with the windows open. Provided a good buffet breakfast with lots of choice.
Big individual lodges set right amongst the trees, birds and monkeys. We heard and saw many types of wildlife just walking to breakfast. Well maintained clean pool. Food was OK, but a limited choice.
Tremendous view of Arenal Volcano from our room and from most of the site. Big plus was the thermal pools which were open until 10 pm. These were a real tonic after long days of exploring. The room is described as a junior suite but doesn't have a seating area just two double beds. Lots of lovely birds on site. Watch out for Passerini's Tanager.
Bit tired could do with a refresh/refurb. Our room was described as a junior suite but this was just two double beds rather than a proper seating area. We did have a small balcony but the view was rather spoiled by the dirty plastic covering over the pool area. Breakfast was good. Lunch and dinner options were good but rather overpriced for what they were. No teabags in the room so a good idea to take your own if you want tea. When we asked for some teabags, the hotel tried to charge us $3 for each one, but something might have got lost in translation!
The rooms are set within well maintained grounds and gardens and literally right on the beach. Lots of shady spots for those who want to avoid the sun. Several good restaurants within walking distance that offer better value than the hotel. We had a de luxe superior double which apparently is new, but the signs of wear and tear are obvious. The bathroom was huge but there was no outside seating area which the less expensive double rooms did have, so we wouldn't recommend paying more for a de luxe superior double.