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Reviews of Essence Arenal Boutique Hostel

Hotel | El Castillo, La Fortuna, Costa Rica 1000

91.3% Overall Rating

35 out of 40 customers would recommend this property

Recent review (05/01/2013)

Courtney Mcguire thinks…

"After a very long trip the staff were warm and welcoming. The views are amazing. The walk to the farm was spectacular. The food was delicious and well worth the cost."

Read all Essence Arenal Boutique Hostel reviews

Facilities

  • Credit cards accepted
  • Car Parking
  • No curfew
  • Currency Exchange
  • Games room
  • Lounge area
  • Internet / Wi-Fi
  • Restaurant
  • 24 hour hot showers
  • Tours/Travel Desk
  • Washing machines
  • Hot tub / jacuzzi
  • Sauna
  • Bicycle hire
  • Laundry service
  • Café
  • Internet access in public areas
  • Internet café
  • Outside area
  • Sofa

Purchasable Extras

  • Breakfast USD 3.85

What's Included

  • Luggage Room
  • Linen
  • Towel

Important Information

Minimum stay 3 days

Group booking?

Group of 15 or more traveling to La Fortuna?

Contact us directly

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91.3%

Overall Rating

35 out of 40 HostelBookers customers said that they would recommend 'Essence Arenal Boutique Hostel'

Atmosphere
94.4%
Location
90.4%
Facilities
88.0%
Cleanliness
84.8%
Staff
99.2%
Value
88.8%
Safety
93.6%
Refine your results Showing 31 of 39 reviews 1 | 2   Next
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85.7%
Atmosphere - 80% Staff - 100% Facilities - 100% Safety - 100%
Location - 100% Cleanliness - 60% Value - 60%

Jennifer Gerlinger

With friends / other travellers

Backpacking / gap year

11 March 2013

Liked: The staff was very very friendly!!!!

Disliked: I didn´t like that there is no kitchen.. Not even a fridge to use... I´m sure it was standing somewhere.. and we just didn´t read it.. but.. you can cook at night with a chef, who is explaining everything.. but the worth of the food you get doesn´t fit, to what you pay.. breakfast as well.. 2 slices of toast with one spoon or marmelade plus 5 little pieces of fruit for 3,80 dollars... ???

97.1%
Atmosphere - 100% Staff - 100% Facilities - 100% Safety - 100%
Location - 100% Cleanliness - 80% Value - 100%

Courtney Mcguire

With my spouse / partner

Family Holiday
Sightseeing & culture
Sports, adventure or outdoor activities

05 January 2013 Courtney would recommend this property

Liked: After a very long trip the staff were warm and welcoming. The views are amazing. The walk to the farm was spectacular. The food was delicious and well worth the cost.

Disliked: Courtney left no negative feedback.

97.1%
Atmosphere - 100% Staff - 100% Facilities - 80% Safety - 100%
Location - 100% Cleanliness - 100% Value - 100%

Customer review

With friends / other travellers

Backpacking / gap year

15 November 2012 Customer would recommend this property

Liked: I liked the location in the National Park, away from the touristy La Fortuna. Staff, food and rooms are just incredible and absolutely worth the money.

Disliked: Customer left no negative feedback.

100.0%
Atmosphere - 100% Staff - 100% Facilities - 100% Safety - 100%
Location - 100% Cleanliness - 100% Value - 100%

Customer review

With my spouse / partner

Beach / sunbathing
Romantic getaway
Sightseeing & culture
Sports, adventure or outdoor activities

03 July 2012 Customer would recommend this property

Liked: My girlfriend and I stayed here on our trip after reading about it in Lonely Planet, and we are IN LOVE. The lush mountain top surroundings, the sweet little finca (farm) on the hill above the hostel, the delicious three-course dinners and home-cooked meals. . . it was a delight in every way. The people who run the hostel are native English speakers, and from the moment we arrived they made us feel completely relaxed and at home. Each night, we sat and watched the fireflies frolic above the outdoor pool, while Laguna Arenal glittered serenely in the distance.

Disliked: Absolutely NOTHING.

40.0%
Atmosphere - 60% Staff - 100% Facilities - 20% Safety - 40%
Location - 20% Cleanliness - 20% Value - 20%

Customer review

With my spouse / partner

Relaxation/spa
Romantic getaway
Sightseeing & culture

20 December 2011

Liked: the staff are really nice. good view.

Disliked: we reserved a private double bedroom, and we got a dormitary room (not very clean one) that one of the bank beds has on the lower level a double bed, this is not a double bedroom, i'm not 10 year old. on our reservation it's was described as a garden view room, well..., we did get 2 alcatraz style windows, one viewed the parking space and the other was blocked by a bank bed of course. the ensuite that we had was useable only on the day time, cause on the evening it was conquered by the flies from the forest outside, the hostel did put a screen on the windows, but flies thought it was really ridiculous that they didn't blocked the gap between the roof and the side walls and passed through there. El Castillo itself is found on another side of the arenal which has no lava anymore. it's very remote (40 minutes by jeep to la fortuna) which meens that when you come here you rely on the hostel services , which in this hostel doesn't give you breakfest for free, dinner is 12$ fixed(not include drinks), drive to la fortuna 6$ on hotel shuttle schedule, which add to a very expensive place after all. we stayed 1 night and run away the next day to la fortuna and we found at the same price, hotel(not hostel) with bigger and cleaner rooms , with outside jacuzi and a pool(real pool, not micro Boutique pool) and a great view of the arenal. if you looking for social life you will get it here, but also being in prison will get you some friends too.

100.0%
Atmosphere - 100% Staff - 100% Facilities - 100% Safety - 100%
Location - 100% Cleanliness - 100% Value - 100%

Customer review

With friends / other travellers

Backpacking / gap year

29 November 2011 Customer would recommend this property

Liked: The staff at Essence was wonderful! They were so helpful in helping us organize excursions and in showing us around. They even helped us organize the rest of our trip in Costa Rica. The food is absolutely phenomenal! It was a great idea having everyone get together to cook. I definitely recommend Essence to anyone who wants a some time away from busy city life.

Disliked: Customer left no negative feedback.

91.4%
Atmosphere - 100% Staff - 100% Facilities - 80% Safety - 80%
Location - 100% Cleanliness - 100% Value - 80%

Customer review

With my spouse / partner

Backpacking / gap year

20 July 2011 Customer would recommend this property

Liked: The location was fantastic with a great view of the volcano & surrounding countryside in El Castillo. The staff were very friendly & helpful & pointed us in the direction of some free hot springs & a free waterfall (a bit of a walk away). The idea of getting people to help out with the evening (vegetarian) meal is great & helps the guests get to know each other. Also the prices for anything extra you wanted were quite fair. And finally they had a pool surrounded by a community area where you could all chill out & relax & their collection/courier service to and from town for $6 is good value for money.

Disliked: Some of the rooms are quite small & there aren't currently enough toilets & bathrooms for the number of people that are staying there. The only other negative points were that the hot tub wasn't working (but they did have a pool, so you can't really complain!) & the one other thing (that can't be helped by the hostel but I thought I'd include it as info for others), is that the volcano hasn't had any activity apart from smoking for about 8 months+ now & the locals believe that it may be going into a dormant state. So don't expect too much on the lava flow front. However on the whole, I'd definitely recommend the hostel based on the location & the staff.

94.3%
Atmosphere - 100% Staff - 100% Facilities - 100% Safety - 100%
Location - 100% Cleanliness - 60% Value - 100%

Customer review

With friends / other travellers

Sightseeing & culture

17 July 2011 Customer would recommend this property

Liked: staff and food and owner who was great

Disliked: the room

88.6%
Atmosphere - 100% Staff - 100% Facilities - 60% Safety - 100%
Location - 100% Cleanliness - 60% Value - 100%

Lisa Cuneo

With friends / other travellers

City break
Family Holiday
Relaxation/spa
Romantic getaway
Sightseeing & culture
Sports, adventure or outdoor activities
Visiting friends or family

16 July 2011 Lisa would recommend this property

Liked: The view was spectacular with a cute pool overlooking the lake and volcano. The staff was amazing, going above and beyond to help us with details on our trip and offer trip advice. Also, the food was amazing to participate in and delicious to eat, my boyfriend didn't even notice until the meal was over that there was no meat, since it was so good.

Disliked: The rooms and facilities were dilapidated and looked rather unmaintained, a little bit more upkeep on the floors, walls, and ceilings would go a long way.

97.1%
Atmosphere - 100% Staff - 100% Facilities - 100% Safety - 100%
Location - 80% Cleanliness - 100% Value - 100%

Customer review

With my spouse / partner

Backpacking / gap year
Sightseeing & culture
Sports, adventure or outdoor activities

05 July 2011 Customer would recommend this property

Liked: The views were incredible, and there are so many amenities it feels like your staying at a resort. the staff is friendly and super helpful. The food is amazing. A really unique experience!

Disliked: Its pretty far from the center of La Fortuna, you need a car, taxi or shuttle to get there. Its about a half hour trip to most places.

100.0%
Atmosphere - 100% Staff - 100% Facilities - 100% Safety - 100%
Location - 100% Cleanliness - 100% Value - 100%

Gabriela Salzmann

With my spouse / partner

Backpacking / gap year

29 June 2011 Gabriela would recommend this property

Liked: It is situated on a very beautiful terrain overlooking the lake and the vulcano. I liked the rainforest walk right behind the house and we enjoyed the very communicative dinners.

Disliked: Small room

94.3%
Atmosphere - 80% Staff - 100% Facilities - 100% Safety - 100%
Location - 100% Cleanliness - 100% Value - 80%

Customer review

Alone

Backpacking / gap year

02 June 2011 Customer would recommend this property

Liked: The view of the volcano and lake was excellent. The staff were very helpful and friendly and the idea of helping to prepare some of the evening meal was great although they should develop it by giving people the option to get even more involved.

Disliked: As a single traveller, I found the evenings a bit hard to fill because it's so far from the main town (Fortuna) that you have to remain at the hostel or pay a hefty taxi fare.

100.0%
Atmosphere - 100% Staff - 100% Facilities - 100% Safety - 100%
Location - 100% Cleanliness - 100% Value - 100%

Customer review

With my spouse / partner

Backpacking / gap year
Sightseeing & culture
Sports, adventure or outdoor activities

07 May 2011 Customer would recommend this property

Liked: Great atmosphere, really helpful for onward travel and activities in the area, great food at good prices

Disliked: nothing

100.0%
Atmosphere - 100% Staff - 100% Facilities - 100% Safety - 100%
Location - 100% Cleanliness - 100% Value - 100%

Aaron Wolf

With my spouse / partner

City break
Romantic getaway
Sightseeing & culture
Sports, adventure or outdoor activities

06 February 2011 Aaron would recommend this property

Liked: Amazing view, quiet and peaceful, beautiful garden area, amazing food (and great fun being taught a cooking trick as a part of each theme dinner), great value, great people... simply superb.

Disliked: There's only tiny nit-picky things to improve, and they asked for suggestions, I'm sure they'll keep getting even better. I really had no notable complaints.

94.3%
Atmosphere - 100% Staff - 100% Facilities - 80% Safety - 100%
Location - 100% Cleanliness - 100% Value - 80%

Customer review

Alone

Backpacking / gap year
Beach / sunbathing
Relaxation/spa
Sightseeing & culture

31 January 2011 Customer would recommend this property

Liked: Amazing view of volcano and mountains.Loved the pool. Wish hottub was working. Staff is amazing. Dinner was fab! Visit the hotsprings for free!! Very secluded.. nearby village about 15 min walk away.

Disliked: Pricey to get there by taxi. But have their own pickup service.

100.0%
Atmosphere - 100% Staff - 100% Facilities - 100% Safety - 100%
Location - 100% Cleanliness - 100% Value - 100%

Customer review

With my spouse / partner

Romantic getaway

30 January 2011 Customer would recommend this property

Liked: Everything was great. It was a quiet hostel with plenty of opportunity to meet other travelers. The food was amazing for a good price. My carnivore boyfriend really enjoyed the vegetarian meals. I would definitely recommend it.

Disliked: We were a little worried when we arrived that it was out of the way from the activities but after staying we realized it was actually closer to the things we wanted to do.

91.4%
Atmosphere - 100% Staff - 100% Facilities - 80% Safety - 100%
Location - 80% Cleanliness - 80% Value - 100%

Customer review

With my spouse / partner

Backpacking / gap year

14 January 2011 Customer would recommend this property

Liked: This place is all about the atmosphere. Nico, the owner, and his staff are great people who help you out with everything you need and are full of good tips on what to do at any weather.

Disliked: Nothing, we loved the place.

94.3%
Atmosphere - 100% Staff - 100% Facilities - 100% Safety - 100%
Location - 80% Cleanliness - 80% Value - 100%

Customer review

With my spouse / partner

Sports, adventure or outdoor activities

03 December 2010 Customer would recommend this property

Liked: We had a great time at Arenal Essence. The people were very friendly and helpful and the food was excellent.

Disliked: It's a little out of the way but worth the drive.

65.7%
Atmosphere - 100% Staff - 100% Facilities - 60% Safety - 40%
Location - 60% Cleanliness - 40% Value - 60%

Customer review

With friends / other travellers

Sports, adventure or outdoor activities
Backpacking / gap year
Beach / sunbathing

22 October 2010

Liked: It had a nice view overlooking the lake and volcano.

Disliked: It was hard to get to El Castillo, really bad roads and it costs 25 dollars to get there from downtown Arenal so it can get quite expensive in the end. Also because you were in the middle of nowhere you had to eat breakfast and dinner at the hostel which was a bit expensive but nice food though. There was no kitchen so that you could make you own dinner.

100.0%
Atmosphere - 100% Staff - 100% Facilities - 100% Safety - 100%
Location - 100% Cleanliness - 100% Value - 100%

Roman Fayman

With friends / other travellers

Sports, adventure or outdoor activities
Backpacking / gap year
Beach / sunbathing
Sightseeing & culture

10 October 2010 Roman would recommend this property

Liked: Incredible view of the volcano, lake, and nature all around. Kelly is very friendly and helpful in planning activities all over. Great hiking path on the property. Can't say enough about the view.

Disliked: It's a hike from the main city of La Fortuna, about a 35min drive.

74.3%
Atmosphere - 80% Staff - 100% Facilities - 80% Safety - 80%
Location - 60% Cleanliness - 80% Value - 40%

Customer review

Alone

Sports, adventure or outdoor activities
Backpacking / gap year
Beach / sunbathing
Sightseeing & culture

23 September 2010

Liked: Wondeful view on the vulcano

Disliked: quite expensive, because all services like breakfast and shuttles are not included and rather expensive

100.0%
Atmosphere - 100% Staff - 100% Facilities - 100% Safety - 100%
Location - 100% Cleanliness - 100% Value - 100%

Customer review

With my spouse / partner

Sports, adventure or outdoor activities
Backpacking / gap year
Sightseeing & culture
Relaxation/spa
Romantic getaway

20 August 2010 Customer would recommend this property

Liked: the ambient, the owner, the staff, the meat, the place, the views, the rooms

Disliked: nothing, but if i have to say something to improve, it could be the way of getting the place, but it ´s something that doesn´t depend on the owner

100.0%
Atmosphere - 100% Staff - 100% Facilities - 100% Safety - 100%
Location - 100% Cleanliness - 100% Value - 100%

Customer review

As a family with children

Sports, adventure or outdoor activities

03 August 2010 Customer would recommend this property

Liked: Essence Arenal is incredible. The location has spectacular views of Lake Arenal and of the volcano. You can swim in their pool and enjoy the view. The food is exceptional and the participation dinners are a lot of fun. The staff goes out of their way to make you feel welcome and provides any assistance you may need.

Disliked: Nothing. Everything about Essence Arenal is wonderful.

100.0%
Atmosphere - 100% Staff - 100% Facilities - 100% Safety - 100%
Location - 100% Cleanliness - 100% Value - 100%

Alejandro Ortega Nieto

With my spouse / partner

Sports, adventure or outdoor activities
Sightseeing & culture
Romantic getaway

21 July 2010 Alejandro would recommend this property

Liked: It has a beautiful view

Disliked: They charge taxes for everything but in many cases are not covered by their price list

97.1%
Atmosphere - 100% Staff - 100% Facilities - 100% Safety - 100%
Location - 100% Cleanliness - 80% Value - 100%

Romaric Dautun

28 May 2010 Romaric would recommend this property

Liked: .

Disliked: Romaric left no negative feedback.