Cabin - Private room · El Castillo, Alajuela, Costa Rica
Your host, Essence
8 Reviews
Response rate: 90%
Response time: within a few hours

The Space

Affordable Costa Rica Hostel, accommodations for backpackers and Eco-travelers, in a totally unique ambient: 22 hectares of primary forest, jungle trails, waterfall, organic farm, Permaculture and bio-intensive vegetable gardens, lake with tilapia and ducks, free range chicken farm, and the best position to observe volcano´s activities from the lodge, with wonderful views over the valley and the lake. Part of our activities are morning and night hikes from the hostel, temezcal, Spa with different massage and treatment packages, happy people and a lot of good energy.
Restaurant serving 7am-8pm daily all vegetarian and Gourmet Demo Cuisine taught in the evening by the chef and guest participation, hiking trails, hammocks, Jacuzzi with spectacular view....
Tours with in walking distance observe the eco zoo or butterfly conservatory, the local shops and wonderful community of el castillo
Sky trek sky tram, hiking trails to volcanoes and waterfalls, the lake for kayaking, horseback riding, rafting...

Room type: Private room
Accommodates: 4
Bedrooms: 1
Bathrooms: 4
Beds: 2
Extra people: $10 / night after 2 guests
Cancellation: Flexible
Overall Guest Satisfaction
Check In
  • Essence is amazing. After two weeks of traveling up and down Costa Rica's Pacific Coast, this experience was more than we could have asked for. The staff was friendly, helpful and skilled, the location was breathtaking, and we left feeling refreshed and eager to visit again. We really appreciated Essence's emphasis on health and wellness. The vegetarian meals, prepared by their very talented and friendly chef, were the culinary highlight of our trip and appealed to hardcore vegetarians and omnivores alike. Yoga with Melissa was truly delightful and enlightening. The location is sublime, the people are friendly and soulful. If you are looking for a soul-nourishing retreat removed from the touristy mega resorts that flank Arenal, and would like to experience pampering without breaking the bank, you need to visit Essence Arenal.

    June 2014
  • Night's 2-4 in Costa Rica: Essence Arenal is a cute place with multiple rooms far on a dirt road (30 min drive) past Arenal Volcano. Every morning and evening they have family dinners with one meal for a price-they welcomed us the first night with a yummy dinner. The staff was all very friendly, kind, and helpful! During our stay here, we hiked around Arenal National Park, kayaked the lake, hung out in the local area of Tabacon Hot Springs (for free), and walked around Essene Arenal's cute farm and swam in their pond. And yes, all this while raining! They have a regular macaw bird visitor and during our stay we saw Howler monkey's just in the tree's in the back (it took me two days to figure out that the awful dying wail was them!) The Essence Arenal hot tub was a nice treat and they even built a fire to help dry our wet shoes (note, once you get wet, you will stay wet!). The only minor problems here were the abundance of bugs in the room (for the place is in the jungle) and the hot water problems (lack of and then one second burning hot, the next freezing cold, and then no more hot water...) Other than that, great place to stay while exploring the Arenal area!

    June 2014
  • Essence was the most wonderful accommodation. I have backpacked across North America and never experienced such beauty as I saw in the rainforest at Arenal. The staff at Essence was wonderful and friendly, the guests who you can dine with each night are from all over the world and have great stories, and the room was exactly what we needed! We did yoga on two occasions with Melissa at 6:30am with a lake, rainforest and finca view, got caught in a downpour in the freshwater swimming pool up by the Farm, and walked each evening through El Castillo and up the hill to Essence. We heard monkeys, saw a variety of birds, and loved the constant sightings of horses and cows grazing in the area. This is actually the most beautiful place in the world! We will be back soon and will no doubt recommend to all our friends coming to Costa Rica!! Also, get a massage with Melissa and eat there for every meal you can! Seriously, I might quit my job and move there to volunteer.

    May 2014
  • We had a great stay at Essence Arenal! It was such a treat to stay on their property which included a nice hike to a sustainable farm. Dinner was also delicious! We left wishing we had more time there.

    May 2014
  • Cet endroit vous offrira une expérience hors du commun, du yoga matinal aux séances de cuisines participatives, tout y est conçu pour que vous vous sentiez connectés directement dans la nature.

    This place will offer you a unique experience, from the early yoga session to the participative kitchen session, every thing is conceived so you'll feel directly connected to the surrounding nature.

    I'm sure I will get back there, thank you Niko and Melissa.

    March 2014
  • Très bon choix de destination, à l'écart de La Fortuna et de ses cars de touristes. Essence Arenal est un lieu vraiment accueillant et sympathique. Avec en plus plein de bons conseils pour visiter les environs, une cuisine chaleureuse et participative et même des cours de yoga ! Les chambres sont spacieuses et propres, avec une vue imprenable sur le lac et (parfois) le volcan...

    February 2014
  • My two friends and I had an excellent experience at Essence Arenal. What prospective travelers should know before booking is that this place is a nicer and more private version of a hostel. We stayed in a private room that had a full bed, two twin beds, and a private bathroom. The room was small, but well-maintained. We also enjoyed the hot tub overlooking Lake Arenal, the farm on the property, and the naturally-filled pool near the farm. One of the most memorable parts of our stay was how every night, you can eat dinner at Essence (they have a kitchen/dining area) for an extra $12 and not only do you get a fabulous vegetarian meal (I'm not a vegetarian so I was skeptical, but the food was amazing!), but the chef there shows you how to cook part of it and everyone takes part. It's a lot of fun and a great way to meet fellow travelers. Probably the most helpful part of staying at Essence was that every morning, some of the staff check in with you and make sure you know what you're doing with your day and how best to take advantage of the area. Kelly (one of the staff) told us about a hike nearby and some natural hot springs that we would have completely missed without him! Overall, this was a fantastic experience, but do not come to Essence expecting it to function like a luxury hotel.

    January 2014
  • Lovely rooms with bathroom (including everyday good cleaning) with unforgettable view! You can see volcano and lake straight from your bed!!! The owner gave us helpfully good tips, without him we would definitely miss something.

    September 2013
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we like to hike and relax eat good food talk with the locals and walk the beauty way
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