We just came back from Costa Rica and I took lot of pictures which I will be uploading to my Flickr account.
On the following posts I will be writing about some of the places we went, but for now I want to write a review of Hotel Vista Linda del Norte, near the Arenal Volcano.
The hotel is just beautiful, with a breathtaking view of the Arenal Volcano and the Arenal Lagoon. The hotel is small, yet all the rooms are very well distributed among the mountain side. There are three types of rooms, standard, junior suite and honeymoon suite. We stayed at the junior suite and I really recommend this one, as it has direct view of the volcano and the lagoon. It is also big enough to fit 4 people comfortably.
The hotel has a pool bar that overlooks the volcano and the lagoon. This is a beautiful setting to have some drinks and relax at the pool or the Jacuzzi. There is also a patio on the second floor where you can take your drinks and just enjoy the view.
Linda Vista offers free breakfast buffet, with fruits, cereals, bread, coffee, natural juices and a la carte omelets cooked while you wait.
People in Costa Rica are very friendly and helpful, yet some people are willing to go the extra mile to help you out, and some of the staffs working at Linda Vista were the perfect example of this. The night we arrived, the restaurant was about to close, so instead of hurrying up we decided to order some food from the pool bar. The girl working the bar told us that because of the time, we could only eat at the restaurant; however she suggested we drive a short distance to a small place that sold hamburgers, sandwiches and other types of fast food. Without having to ask her, she picked up her own cell phone and made a call to the owner of the place to get the menu. She then waited for us to write our order and called him again to place the order for us. In the process she asked them if they would deliver the food to the pool, which the owner agreed.
When the food arrived she set up a table for us and gave us glasses with ice to pour the soda bottles we have ordered. She did all these things without even expecting a tip, which we gladly gave her anyway.
When we told her that we wanted to see the volcano at night with the hope that it would be clear enough to see any trace of lava, she suggested we talk to the night watchman, so he could wake us up if the sky opened up. We did, and at 3:00 AM the security guard gently knocked on our door to wake us up because the sky was clear. Unfortunately the volcano refused to cooperate and it did not spill any lava, however for more than an hour I was able to enjoy a beautiful clear night sky with more stars that I could count. So, if you want to take your chances and enjoy the view of the volcano at night, just tell the watchman and he’ll wake you up whenever there sky is clear. Another free service from the hotel
Because we only stayed one night we didn’t eat at the restaurant, so I could not tell you how good or bad the food was, but I did see lots of guest eating there. I did take a look at the menu and the prices seemed reasonable, equivalent to a nice restaurant in the US.
There weren’t too many children at the hotel. There were mostly adults and several young couple who looked like there were in their honeymoon. Near the hotel there is a butterfly garden, and a reptilian zoo, but I couldn’t tell you the prices because we did not go due to lack of time. Also the Arenal National Park entrance is nearby. You can hike all the way to the base of the volcano and it will take you about two hours of hiking.
The only negative comment I have about the hotel is the dirt road you must travel on your way to the hotel. It is a 10 to 15 miles road full of holes, dust and completely dark if you arrive at night. We got lost, but a friendly local drove on his motorcycle in front of us until we arrived at the hotel. I imagine that during the raining season, it is even worse and you might need a 4×4 vehicle to arrive. The only good thing about this road is that it is surrounded by rain forest and we were able to spot a couple of monkeys swinging in the trees.
Overall this is a really nice hotel, with very friendly staff and reasonable priced. We paid about $130 per night for a very clean and spacious room with direct view to the volcano and the lagoon. I would definitely recommend this hotel to honeymooners and people who want to relax and enjoy the beauty of the Arenal Volcano.