As the home of Costa Rica’s famed Arenal Volcano, the tiny town of La Fortuna boasts some of the country’s best adventure opportunities. So, it’s no surprise that many of its hotels embody a rugged, outdoor-loving vibe. While many are rough around the edges, these four boutique hotels offer a deft blend of organic luxury, natural beauty, and rainforest-inspired accents.
In an area known for no-frills, treehouse-inspired lodging, the boutique Nayara Springs stands out. It’s simultaneously modern, rustic, sophisticated, and outdoorsy. With only 16 rooms and a strict, adults-only policy, it’s perfect for couples. Rooms feature huge floor plans, private hot spring-fed pools, indoor and outdoor showers, free minibars, and modern touches like Bluetooth radios and espresso machines. The town of La Fortuna and Arenal Volcano are a short drive away. But, most guests rarely leave the property thanks to two on-site pools (with swim-up bars), a piano lounge, and three of the area’s best restaurants. Oh, and it’s also been ranked the #1 Luxury Hotel in the World by TripAdvisor for two years running.
Arenal Kioro Suites and Spa
Just down the road, Arenal Kioro Suites and Spa offers a more casual, accessible, and—most importantly—affordable brand of luxury. The vibe is rustic and rainforest-inspired with locally sourced teak, Spanish tile flooring, and an overall look that’s sophisticated but not pretentious. Every room features a stocked minibar, two-person, in-room hot tub, 24-hour room service, and two balconies (one of which affords sweeping views of Arenal Volcano). Couples can also appreciate the full-service spa and a sports bar with large flat-screen TVs.
Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa
If being close to Arenal Volcano National Park isn’t enough, the aptly named Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa is the only available lodging inside the park itself. The rooms are spacious and well-appointed, but laid-back and rustic. Here, it’s more about what’s available to guests once they step outside. The all-inclusive property sits on 864 acres of mountain with stunning views of the lake and volcano and superb adventure opportunities right on the hotel grounds. Eleven dedicated trails offer hiking amid some of the area’s lushest landscape which is home to a wide array of flora and fauna, including monkeys, snakes, sloths, and tropical birds. There’s even a museum dedicated to Arenal Volcano with a seismograph. It’s the most remote lodging in the La Fortuna area, but free shuttle service is available to/from town (and at the end of some of the hiking trails if you’re feeling lazy).
Hotel El Silencio del Campo
While it’s not the flashiest lodging in La Fortuna, Hotel El Silencio del Campo offers a “just right” mix of local charm, luxury, and creature comforts. The private bungalows are awash in local wood and plenty of Costa Rican character. Like most area hotels, the rooms offer air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, and mini-fridges. But, the real draws are the on-site hot springs (which are actually hot versus lukewarm like those at many comparable hotels), spa services, an organic farm and orchard (tours available), and a bar that stays open later than most in La Fortuna. It’s also only five minutes from town, yet it still feels worlds away.