About This Listing
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...
hiking trails, restaurant, common area, tea all day long, pool, parking...
Interaction with Guests
we are here to serve you with love anything you may need.
surrounde by birds and animals in the jungle
Essence arenal was amazing, the crew up there is incredible, kind people always there to help u . Everybody eat together we cooked with the chef. The view of the volcano is breath taking. Tks for everything guys.
This Hostel is awesome, in a remote place in El Castillo (near La Fortuna). Hosts are very nice and very help full and will give you recommendation on the activities to do in the surroundings depending on the weather and on what you would like to do.
They offer breakfast (~5$) and dinner (~12$).
I really enjoyed my stay there and for sure would stay there again.
This is a special place in the hills of El Castillo. From the morning yogas on the beautiful garden overlooking the volcano, down to helping make dinners with the crew, it was such a joy to stay at Essence. It is an experience in itself with lots to offer.
Essence was our favorite rental of the entire two-week trip! If we could do it over, we would have doubled our nights there and moved everything else around. The view is incredible, the area is so beautiful and felt much more safe than any other. Many activities near and far- they have a shuttle, but it's not too cheap. That may be my only gripe! Highly recommend the Cerro Chato hike- it's grueling but well worth it. Once you reach the top, keep going down to the lake in the crater! It's not too much further. And the Tabacón hot springs are divine.
We also recommend the nearby butterfly garden. LOADS of drunken blue morphos! But wear pants and sleeves- their iguana lagoon is a mosquito sanctuary. We decided against the snake house... it seemed a bit overpriced.
The dinners at Essence were so great. We were skeptical of the price, but ended up really happy. Though I agree with a previous reviewer that it would be nice if some breakfast elements were included in the price of the stay. There is a shop just down the hill in El Castillo to get snacks and lunch foods.
The hike across the property to the mineral pool is invigorating, and we got up bright and early to do it in time for morning yoga, which was amazing. The view of the lake, the creature sounds, rain showers on the roof. Unforgettable.
Hot tub, common area, and hammocks were great. The private room and bathroom were really nice and clean (they clean it every day while you're gone). Staff was great. We had a bit of the blues once we got to the next place and it couldn't compare to Essence. Don't miss it!!
The staff at essence was very welcoming and accommodating throughout our stay. Nico was able to book a canopy tour (highly recommend selvatura) for us and recommend activities (cero chatto hike with lagoon, hot springs, and night hike/tour). Every staff member seemed more than willing to help us whenever needed.
The property itself has beautiful views, hammocks, a hot tub, and outdoor lounge area. While located in a safe neighborhood, essence is actually in el Castillo, which is about a 45-60 minute drive to la fortuna depending on mode of transportation (taxi or shuttle). Unfortunately, the bumpy/unpaved road to el Castillo increases one's travel time significantly.
Our room was spacious with a private bathroom. It was clean overall and even had window screens to help keep out bugs (huge plus in my opinion since it's not so common in other hotels and hostels). Meals were delicious vegetarian options that were filling and definitely worth it. Dinners are themed and allow for guest participation and interaction.
Overall, if you don't mind being away from LA fortuna but closer to activities, then essence may be just for you. Definitely recommend staying here without having to pay a fortune for accommodations.
My boyfriend and I had a wonderful time staying at Essence Arenal. We stayed in one of the private tents: there was an amazing view of the lake off the balcony. The staff was welcoming and very knowledgable about the area. They all seemed to love being there, which is always a good sign! We decided to extend our stay by 2 nights and they were very accommodating. With those extra 2 days, they also help us figure out some great things to do in the area, making it an incredible trip. We had a few meals at Essence: all of them were made with fresh, local ingredients and were absolutely delicious and very reasonably priced.
If you are planning on staying, make sure to rent an SUV, the drive off the main road is quite rocky and filled with pot holes. Also, there's only a handful of signs to get to Essence- follow the signs to the Butterfly Conservatory and you'll get there just fine. (And make sure to visit the Butterfly Conservatory during your trip!)
What a beautiful spot to find! Perched up in the hills of El Castillo (The Castle), you're past La Fortuna and much closer to the Volcano National Park (you pass the entrance on the way here). Unlike the people staying in La Fortuna, you actually get views of BOTH the volcano and the lake! After one night, we were convinced we needed to reserve a second night and enjoy more time here.
The view alone might be worth it to stay here, but there are also beautiful grounds surrounding their organic farm and fresh water swimming pool. They practice permaculture and grow many of the ingredients used in their kitchen. We also took the night hike through the rain forest and farm and the guide is extremely knowledgeable, passionate, and friendly. We never made it to the 6 am yoga class, and we would have liked to try the sweat lodge—perhaps next time!
Considering Essence Arenal's location, we actually thought it would be nice if breakfast were included in the rental price, rather than an addition. The communal and hands-on demo style for dinner was enjoyable and a great way to exchange travel tips and learn about others. While very limited in dining options up here, there is Pizza John's which has fantastic (you guessed it) pizza and delicious homemade ice cream!
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