Strikingly placed on a ridge at about 1.7 miles from the famous Arenal Volcano, this lush private natural reserve was originally created as a Smithsonian Institute scientific research station in 1987. Arenal Observatory Lodge has since then been constantly upgraded to offer guests a comfortable stay at reasonable prices. A huge range of nature/adventure based activities along with their warm hospitality and spectacular natural surroundings makes Arenal is top-class eco lodge. It is unpretentious and not as contrived as some other large eco resorts and focuses on personalized service and a sustainable tourism. Enveloped by green trails leading to the nearby lava flows, pristine waterfalls, sparkling lakes , crystal like rivers and sweepings views of the majestic volcano, Arenal Observatory Lodge’s heady surroundings are a nature observer’s paradise. Being the sole La Fortuna lodge to be nestled within the Arenal National Park, Arenal also features perfectly landscaped gardens, natural flowering plants, vivid butterflies and tropical birds.
Excursions and Amenities
Guests at the Arenal Observatory are offered a staggering bunch of action-packed nature excursions/activities such as mountain biking, whitewater rafting, river kayaking, hanging bridges and canopy tours. Other hot pursuaits include fishing, bird watching with an expert oncologist (the lodge surroundings are home over 350 species of birds) and guided nature walks. Visitors can also take a short hike from the observatory to a picturesque waterfall and a primary rainforest area (from where they can enjoy a paddle boat ride on the lake).
In-house amenities at the Arenal Observatory Lodge include a relaxing infinity pool to allows guests to let their hair down and enjoy, a nerve soothing Jacuzzi (under a splendid glass gazebo encasing the volcano peak and lake in the backdrop of the star-lit sky no less), a fine restaurant (serving an eclectic menu that is inspired by local and continental flavors) surrounded by an attractive landscape, and incorporates fresh locally produced ingredients). Apart from these enjoyable facilities, the observatory also conducts daily guided morning walks on its impeccably maintained trails.
The 48 rooms at the Arenal Observatory Lodge are tastefully decorated, spacious, and airy, and spread across various structures within the property. Five rooms are specifically designed keeping in mind the needs of physically disabled travelers. In addition to these rooms, everything from the bathrooms to hall passages to the parking area and pool are created to incorporate the requirements of the physically challenged. A majority of the rooms provide panoramic vistas of the surroundings and the imposing volcano, while all rooms look into Arenal’s verdant gardens. Accommodations here cover the whole spectrum from standard rooms to junior suites and a mammoth villa.
The La Casona rooms come at $ 67 USD (additional taxes) for single occupancy, $ 82 USD for double occupancy and $ 108 USD for triple occupancy during high season. Standard rooms are priced at $ 96 USD for single occupancy and $ 111 for double occupancy per night during peak season. Junior Suites are available for $ 155 USD and $ 166 USD for single and double occupancy respectively. The entire White Hawk Villa can be rented out to guests for $ 452 USD for a maximum of 8 persons. Single rooms in the villa are also available for a smaller number of people at $ 129 USD and $ 144 USD a night for single and double occupancy respectively. Kids between 7-11 years are given a 50% discount on meals (lunch and dinner) and complimentary lodging on shared accommodation with parents. All rates include a full buffet breakfast along with free guided morning walks, a 7 mile walk, biking excursion and horseback trails.