Best hotel of El Castillo they say, and although we haven’t been in any other hotel around here, we can confirm an enjoyable experience in Hotel Linda Vista. This is surely an adventurous destination, not only for the bumpy and long road to get there (use a 4x4 by the way) and we are surprised to find such a beautiful spot. And after my sister Trudy and her family Rob, Iris and Casper recently had the same experience, we decide we have to write our review.

 Evening view...

Evening view...

We all love the unique setting of the famous Arenal Volcano area and the hotel being on a panoramic hill top. In particular the swimming pool, our room and the restaurant with spectacular views of the volcano and/or lake. It seems they have made a lot of changes. They have removed part of the old houses, done a nice open viewpoint towards the volcano, updated the top house with windows towards the volcano and not to forget a nice big new restaurant. It has a small menu, but serve good dishes, not very special, but the view makes up for that. During the day, you can order basic things form the menu for kids, like inexpensive chicken fingers. And you might try one of the many restaurants in Fortuna.

 Family swim

Family swim

Upon arrival the staff shows us great hospitality, we are greeted with a fruity drink and they are helpful and friendly. It’s very quiet and therefor splendid for a bit of relaxing after an active day and enjoy the birds flying and swooping outside your room endlessly.

The rooms and suits are quite large and clean with a small fridge. And the swan-towels are a lovely surprise. As said it’s an adventurous destination, but if we could say something about the style: they could use a bit of attention to modernize it and make it more comfortable. Not all rooms have screens or good air conditioning, so if you want fresh air in the night, do take some bug spray just in case. And you could try to book the brand new junior suites that seems to be better. Wi-Fi is free and covered at most places you may visit on and around the hotel. With young kids: you might ask for a room close to the pool or restaurant for some rooms are quite hilly.

For kids (and us) the warm pool is awesome and so is the jacuzzi (if it’s heated): hanging over the infinity pool, enjoying the view over the forest and the water-spraying frogs.

 More amazing frogs in the park

More amazing frogs in the park

Particularly when your kids are getting a bit older: it’s really great to visit and hike in the nearby Arenal Volcano national park containing 5% of the world’s natural riches including the stunning red eye tree frog. We are seeing all of its nature from the sky during an incredible zipline experience of Shy Trek above the trees. There's much more activities at the Sky Adventures Park. Others may like some horseback riding, go to the butterfly conservatory or kayaking on the big lake.

 Casper hanging in there

Casper hanging in there

El Castillo is a small village about a 10-minute walk from Hotel Linda Vista. You can walk to it, it’s an easy, short walk on the gravel road, just be careful of drivers zooming by. The village doesn't have much to offer, but it's a nice walk with some few very small, modest restaurants. And: the magnificent views of the lake and volcano, as well as rivers flowing under small bridges along your walk.

WOW

# More than 20 exciting eco-adventure options in the near area to choose from. Several trails are available in the rain forest, such as the Observatory trails next door, less than 10 minutes away. It has an expansive water fall and an amazing way to go to the top of Volcano Cerro Chaco next to Arenal.

# The staff is helpful; don’t hesitate to ask them for suggestions and assistance.

# Of course, there are numerous of excellent and stylish lodges in Costa Rica, but if you are looking for adventure and something off the beaten track, this hotel is great. And a lot cheaper than those destinations in La Fortuna. For example: if you’re packed lightly you can have them do your laundry. It is very well done, takes one full day, smells great, and costs half as much as it would at any other hotel.