Wow, where to start?!? I have done a (very) substantial amount of international traveling over the years & when finding a place this enjoyable I'm tempted to keep it a secret, but then my sense of goodwill wins out and just have to share... It's an exceptionally well run B&B with a genuine warmth and hospitality that we don't see often enough. Staff was attentive to every need without hesitation or any attitude. Went 'above and beyond' in many areas. Excellent breakfast served 'a la carte' fresh and to-order, and a very liberal afternoon 'happy hour.' B&B consists of the main house with 3 rooms and 5 treehouses (see photos).
My wife & I were supposed to stay for 4 nights, but due to problems with the rental car we changed our plans and stayed for 7 nights instead. Hotel staff was able to accommodate, but only by us changing rooms every night for the final 3 nights of our stay (appears they keep close to fully booked all the time - and for good reason...) Under normal circumstances, changing rooms for 3 nights in a row would obviously be a pain, but in reality it gave us the unusual (and wonderful) opportunity to stay in 4 different treehouses, all of which are uniquely different in floor plans and amenities. Few people get to do this; the Monte Verde area is a bit small & secluded with limited access, and all the other guests we met at the hotel were staying 2 - 4 nights total, which is about right for the Monte Verde area. So by default and a crappy rental car, we had the relaxing luxury of being able to stay much longer than the typical guest, do everything at a laid-back pace, and sample full half the rooms in the hotel.
The treehouses all differ in size, # of bedrooms and common area spaces, and amenities, but all are relatively large for the expected # of guests, very clean, extremely comfortable, and well maintained. Check their website for the individual room descriptions; having stayed in 4 of the treehouses we can honestly say that their online descriptions are valid and accurate, and will very comfortable accommodate the stated # of people without feeling cramped or like you're falling all over each other. Grounds are beautiful and well maintained, location just outside town is perfect with incredible views. All the treehouses have massive windows (some rooms are more window than wall...) that really emphasize the nature, you just have to see it to believe it. (Note, see my other reviews for the attractions in the Monte Verde/Santa Elena area).
The B&B staff was invaluable in dealing with the rental car company (Economy Rent a Car - BEWARE!) and helping us resolve the problems with the broken-down rental vehicle. We could NOT have managed to deal with the horrible rental car company without the help of the B&B staff, which took considerable time & effort on their part, which they did not have to do. They even had one of their maintenance guys change a flat tire for us, without even being asked. Special tip of the hat to Natalia and Giovanni - wonderful people!
Bottom line - I seriously doubt you will find anything else this good in the MV/SE area, and we rank our stay as one of the 'top 10' most enjoyable experiences ever at a hotel.
Tip # 1 - The B&B offers to arrange for guided tours, you need to take them up on this. My wife & I are much more the 'DIY' types and have a natural cynicism when it comes to guided tours, however this was different. The tours were private, group size extremely small (2-6 people max) and the B&B has a couple of select guides that they use that make all the difference in the world. The knowledge of the guides in terms of spotting the wildlife & where to find it made ALL the difference on our tours. Ask for Cokie - we took one tour with him, and were so impressed we took 2 additional wildlife tours with him the following 2 days. Would have taken more if he were available....
Tip # 2 - Prior to the trip, go to REI (or similar) and buy a couple of mosquito coils. Netting is not required, but the B&B is in well nestled into the woods and it is inevitable that some mosquitoes WILL get into your room, there's just no way around it. We purchased two wristbands (don't remember the brand, but they were a dark green color, about $3 each) that are generally intended to be used for hiking, but we decided to leave them open on the nightstands overnight. Worked like a charm, not a single bite (except for the one night we forgot to leave them out, then we both received a handful of bites...)
Tip # 3 - Beware Economy Rent a Car - the miserable experiences we encountered with them throughout our trip, from start to finish, will be detailed elsewhere on the internet. Post-trip, I found many many many horrible reviews of Economy Rent a Car posted online, sure wish I had seen them prior to the trip.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Serene atmosphere secluded in the forest canopy -- 5 luxurious treehouse chalets and 2 well-appointed rooms - all comfortably equipped with over-sized beds, living-room areas, fantasy waterfall showers, private balconies, coffee service, and mini-bar. Easy chalet access from platform walkways and ample opportunities for birding. Wireless Internet and computer access, lending library and portable DVD players in the main house guest lounge. Full Costa Rican Breakfast and our renowned "Gulf-view Sunset Tea" with Sangria and snacks included in room price. Located near canopy tours and the Santa Elena Reserve. Reservation Hours - 9 AM to 7PM. Non-smoking property. Please note: We do not receive children under the age of 14. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Hidden Canopy Treehouses Boutique Hotel Monteverde, Costa Rica