Why Visit La Fortuna
Thousands of visitors descend on the small town of La Fortuna every year for an excursion to Volcan Arenal. Sitting at an altitude of almost 5,400 feet (1,600 m), it's Costa Rica's most famous active volcano. Arenal may be a natural wonder, but there are many things to do in Arenal/La Fortuna, including swimming in geothermic pools and waterfalls, observing wildlife, and exploring nature.
Some of the most popular experiences in Arenal/La Fortuna include hiking around Arenal Volcano and traversing the hanging bridges of Arenal before soaking in the area's famed hot springs. If you're looking for more info on this area, our ultimate guide to Arenal has you covered.
Best Boutique Hotels in Arenal/La Fortuna
Part of the reason to come to Arenal/La Fortuna is to escape chaos and noise, find some tranquility, and commune with nature. For these reasons, we recommend opting for one of the more intimate boutique hotels in the area. There's great diversity with these options, too—we've listed everything from luxury hotels that put a premium on exclusivity to rustic lodges that make for the perfect romantic getaway.
Nayara Resort Spa & Gardens
The reputation of the impeccable Nayara Resort precedes itself. TripAdvisor ranked it as the second-best hotel in the world, and, understandably, it's now one of the most sought-after lodging options in all of Arenal/La Fortuna. You'll see why the moment you arrive, as the resort sits in a tranquil rainforest abounding with tropical gardens. The swimming pool (with a swim-up bar) and hot tubs only add to the serene vibes, and the property offers several other services, too. You can get a spa treatment or enjoy a yoga session in an outdoor bungalow, and you can sample the farm-to-table international cuisine at one of the property's five restaurants. Nayara even has a tapas bar with a respectable wine list.
The resort's standard "Casita Deluxe" rooms provide jungle or rainforest views from a wooden terrace, and all include a buffet breakfast, daily yoga session, and birding tour. For even more intimacy and luxury, you can choose from one of three villa categories on offer. These large properties feature king beds and wraparound terraces with volcano views. The "Springs Villa" comes equipped with its own private plunge pool.
Casa Luna Hotel & Spa
Casa Luna truly encompasses the definition of "boutique." It's a small and intimate hotel with just 42 guestrooms, with all units featuring views of Arenal Volcano and Cerro Chato (Arenal's little brother). The standard rooms are cozy, warm, and inviting with tile floors and wood ceilings. Superior rooms and suites add a bit more space, which is particularly appealing to groups and families. All rooms sit in pairs surrounded by tropical plants and offer modern amenities, like air conditioning, minibars, and flatscreen TVs.
There's also a swimming pool (with a waterfall) and Jacuzzis on-site, and the Luna Spa has several treatments, including deep tissue and hot stone massages. Casa Luna's open-air restaurant, Luna Grill, offers quite a memorable dining experience on a tiled patio surrounded by encroaching green gardens with views of the volcano. It's a great place to enjoy your gallo pinto, the traditional Costa Rican breakfast!
Hotel El Silencio del Campo
Hotel El Silencio del Campo is tucked away about three miles (4.8 km) west of La Fortuna. Its individual rustic, wooden lodges offer a peaceful respite from the activity in town. Silencio del campo means "silence of the countryside," so if you're looking for peace and quiet, this is the spot for you. But don't worry, it's not too rustic—the rooms include modern amenities, and each has a volcano view. While there's a refreshing pool on the grounds, the hotel also offers soaks in three geothermal hot springs.
You can enjoy local ingredients at the hotel's restaurant, including the tilapia that the property raises right onsite. Like many hotels in the area, Silencio del Campo prides itself on eco-friendliness. The property recycles and composts all waste and repurposes excess cooking oil into biogas. The hotel also promotes the reforestation occurring around the property's grounds.
Hotel Eco Arenal
You don't have to go over budget to enjoy a boutique experience, as some of the standard hotels in La Fortuna/Arenal offer that cozy, intimate atmosphere. And with a stay at Hotel Eco Arenal, you'll be just 1.25 miles (2 km) from downtown La Fortuna yet feel like you're in the middle of the jungle. You can choose your level of intimacy, as some units are lined up next to one another like a standard hotel, whereas others come in lodges with just two, three, or four rooms to each building. Rooms are relatively simple and small, but all feature air conditioning, minifridges, cable TV, and balconies or terraces, some with volcano views.
Although the rooms can feel a bit basic, the hotel's beautiful grounds make up for it! Enjoy strolling through the lush pathways lined with tall palm trees, swimming in the outdoor pool, and soaking in the hot tub. You'll find many other places to relax, including outdoor wooden lounges and an open-air restaurant with views of Arenal Volcano. Here is where you can enjoy your traditional Costa Rican breakfast surrounded by the sights and sounds of the rainforest.
Hotel Kokoro Arenal
Step back in time a bit and enjoy a rustic and slightly vintage feel at Hotel Kokoro Arenal, another standard boutique hotel in the area. Simple rooms feature wood paneling on the walls and ceilings, a nod to the area's past, while suites feel like an upgrade with tile flooring and bright, warm colors. All come with air conditioning, cable TV, private bathrooms, and balconies or terraces, but suites (also referred to as cabins) provide separate seating areas and views of the volcano.
Enjoy your complimentary continental breakfast in the open-air dining area surrounded by jungle greenery. In the afternoon, the eatery transforms into a lounge where you can sip Costa Rican coffee while reading a book, but keep in mind that it doesn't serve lunch or dinner. You can also relax at the outdoor swimming pool or Kokoro's own hot springs pool, complete with a waterfall.
Hotel Kokoro Arenal is further from La Fortuna than some other recommended boutique accommodations. It's helpful to have a car, as you'll be in the Palma area, about 5 miles (8 km) from the town center.