Montana de Fuego Hotel & Spa
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TravelPod Member ReviewsMontana de Fuego Hotel & Spa La Fortuna
A nice young man bellboy led us to our duplex bungalow, #273/274. Mom and I found our half a mess. First, there's only one king-size bed when we had reserved a unit with two beds. There's water on the bathroom floor and no towels in there. Then the door to the bathroom closed and it was somehow locked shut. I was not happy. The bellboy noted there's a pull-out bed in the living room that he could make up. Mom said she would sleep there. Someone would be sent to open the bathroom door, mop up the water, and provide towels. This is supposed to be an upscale resort; I was not pleased with the poor condition we found our habitation to be in.
Later when I returned to our bungalow for a shower, it was quite challenging. First, there's a circular tub with no shower curtain, meaning water spills out onto the bathroom floor, which is annoying. Then when I tried to push in the button to move the water from the tub faucet to the shower head, it kept popping back out and directing the water back to the faucet. Not helpful when trying to shower. At last I got the button to stay in. Then the water got super hot and I had trouble adjusting it to the proper temperature.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Montana de Fuego Hotel & Spa La Fortuna
My husband and I stayed at Montana de Fuego in January 2004.
This property is located at the base of Arenal Volcano, about a three-hour drive from San Jose, and was built so that each unit enjoys a glorious view of the volcano.
The property is made up of a reception building, a pool with bar, a small shop, a spa, a restaurant and several free-standing bungalows.
Our bungalow included two double beds, refrigerator, TV, ample closet space and a good-sized bathroom. Our only complaint in the unit was that the lighting was very poor in the bathroom and the hot water in the shower lasted only about 60 seconds--after that it was luke warm at best.
Otherwise, the unit was very snug and comfortable. A covered porch was set with a small table, four chairs and two comfortable rocking chairs from which you can gaze at the magnificent volcano to your heart's content.
The restaurant was very pleasant. A full hot breakfast was included in our rate. A full selection of beer, wine and spirits was available, but there was no separate cocktail area (except the pool bar).
The famous Tabacon hot springs are a five-dollar, five-minute taxi ride away.
We loved the informal comfort of this property and admired the way it was built to blend in perfectly with its beautiful surroundings. I recommend Montana de Fuego for those guests wishing a quiet, serene property that is convenient to all Arenal recreational activities. While accommodations are basic, they are very comfortable and the service is excellent.
Great location, but under construction...
We stayed at Montana de Fuego in late January 2005. The location is great - about a 15 drive from Fortuna along a good road. The grounds of the property are nicely landscaped - and the pool and hot tub are welcome after a day of hiking. Try the trail leading from the spa down to the river. You quickly enter a "rain forest" environment - the trail is muddy and iffy at times - but worth the effort.
There are lots of new hotels sprouting up along the road to Fortuna, but they lack the mature landscaping of the Montana de Fuego. Note that they are building a new section of cabinas on the property, and the paths linking the sections are also under construction.
We found the staff at the hotel to be young, and indifferent. The restaurant is a little pricey, but try the grilled whole tilapia (yum!).
And although we didn't see fire and lava from the volcano, we did briefly glimpse the top of the crater with sulferous fumes spewing out.
Hot Water Problem
Our family visited Costa Rica over the Christmas holiday and our major disappointment was the Montana de Fuego Resort and Spa. We had rented two bungalows and neither of them had hot water for the majority of our stay. Because of this issue, we had to visit a local hot springs in order to stay warm and shower. We called the front desk a number of times to ask them to fix this problem, however, each time the problem with the hot water was not solved. When we finally received the hot water, the water pressure in the shower was very weak as well. Upon checking out of the Montana de Fuego Resort and Spa, the people standing next to us were also complaining about their hot water problem. As a result, they were given a 10% discount off of their 1 night, 1 unit stay. We also decided to complain to the manager about this problem as well. At first he said that he was not going to compensate us for the hot water problem because we booked our stay through a travel agent. Only after getting angry did he give us a $50 deduction on our 3 night, 2 unit stay, not even close to the 10% compensation that the other people received.
Spacious Accommodations and Scenic Location
My wife and I stayed at the Montana de Fuego from Dec. 31, 2004 to Jan. 2, 2005. Although most of the rooms are individual bungalows, we were put in a lower-level room in a 2-story hotel-like building located about a 5-minute walk from the reservation desk. (The 2-story building may be a new addition. Members that reviewed their experience from earlier in 2004 sounded like there were only bungalows at the hotel. That is not the case any more.)
Our room was actually quite large, with 2 queen sized beds and one single bed. Roomy bathroom with spacious shower, as well. Saw some egrets and other bird wildlife out our back patio and on the hotel property. The hotel grounds are very well maintained and encompass quite a bit of property, with a new cobblestone road providing access to all bungalows as well as the hotel-like building we stayed in.
I agree with previous reviewers about the hotel restaurant. Delicious food, although a bit on the pricey side (we paid $27 for lunch for 2). Another food option within about a 10-minute walk along the road towards Tabacon is the Mirador Steakhouse. We're generally not much into eating red meat, but the steaks were very delicious- best we've had in years. I think the steaks at this restaurant, and probably most steak houses in Costa Rica, come from free range cattle, and are likely to be lower fat than many of the corn fed, feedlot variety you find in many US steakhouses.
The top one-third of the volcano was shrouded in clouds when we arrived, and we suffered through rain and fog during the rest of our stay. So unfortunately, we never got to see Arenal erupting and spewing lava. One of our tour guides informed us that the top of the volcano is clearly visible only about 2-3 days per month, on average. If you're planning to visit, I'd suggest that you keep realistic expectations about volcano sightings! However, I'm very confident that if you are lucky enough to be staying at the Montana de Fuego on a clear day, you will have an incredible view of the mountain.
Visited in November 2004 to eat and enjoy the view of the erupting volcano. Unbelievable views and great food! The property is still under construction but looks to top Tabacon upon completion.
Very lovely hotel. The landscape was beautiful.
My husband and I stayed in a cabin (thats what all the rooms are) and you could see the volcano from the front porch - very nice!
The breakfast was very good and it came with the room rate. There was a pool and hot tub with a swim-up bar not to mention a spa.
The hotel was far from La Fortuna so we had to take taxis everyday to the town.
The only complaint I have it that we did find rodent feces on our bed. I never saw a rat or mouse but I know one was around somewhere.
I would still recommend the hotel and stay there again because it could have just been our cabin with the rodent.
Was still a very nice hotel!
I just had three very enjoyable nights there. The room had a great view of the volcano & the staff is great. There is some construction (building new cabins) so make sure to request a room away from it if possible. We were close but had no problems becuase we were up early every day. I'd definitely stay there again without hesistation.
Lovely place and a great value!
My husband and I stayed here for a night last year and we thought it was absolutely charming. We stayed in a little cabin with a volcano view and we loved it. The room was rustically decorated with dark wood mostly and it was very clean. The view was great, the grounds were beautifully landscaped and the breakfast (make sure to try the gallo pinto) was delicious. We will definitely stay here again.
Great for viewing the Arenal Volcano
First of all, while I love Tripadvisor, they put the Montana de Fuego Hotel in the wrong place in their guide. It should be listed in their Arenal Volcano National Park Hotels section, since it is located halfway between two of the hotels listed in that section: the Arenal Paraiso Resort & Spa, and the Tabacon Hot Springs Resort & Spa. Also, it offers a better view of the Arenal Volcano than either of these two hotels.
The "hotel" is actually a collection of nicely furnished duplex cabins, which sit on a hill directly across the highway from the Arenal Volcano. Our cabin had a beautiful view of the mountain, and our back porch overlooked a river valley directly behind their property. The staff is very friendly and can book all your adventures for you, which include horseback riding and river rafting from their property. They also speak English well. They used to have two restaurants on their property but converted one to a bar/spa area. The remaining one is a little expensive (for Costa Rica), but has a terrific view of the volcano. While we ate our evening meals we could watch the volcano erupt, and see the red, glowing lava flow down the mountain side. It was worth the price of the meal!
We looked at other hotels in the area and believe this one compares favorably to those listed in Tripadvisor's Arenal Volcano National Park Hotels. The Montana de Fuego volcano views are actually better than the highly recommended Tabacon Resort or Observatory Lodge (both of which we visited).
Loved the bungalows!
Incredible location- clean bungalows with individual porches viewing the Arenal volcano- delicious food (I think we all tried the plato tipical at least once)- and friendly efficient staff! Definitely a place I would go back to.
TripAdvisor Reviews Montana de Fuego Hotel & Spa La Fortuna
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