I have nothing but good things to say about the El Establo Hotel - I just don't know where to start. First of all, it's gorgeous. yes, it's divided into around 9 levels of swiss chalet looking buildings but that's what makes this beautiful. It is not another high rise hotel. It was created by Quakers who were persecuted in their native lands and they built the hotel here because this region is known to accept all religions and races. In the lobby of the hotel there are beautiful black and white pictures that show the origins of the hotel and how it was built along with beautiful color photos of local flora and animals.
First, I went to this hotel as part of a tour and when we went to the front desk to get our keys, we met Jason, the front desk manager (remember his name) who was probably the MOST enthusiastic front desk welcome person I have met in any country. Not only did he tell us about our rooms, the shuttle, breakfast, how to get a safe, wake up calls, bars, spa, etc. but he told us about the origins of the property. You could tell he was very proud of working and living here.
My room was in the 600 block so I couldn't really walk it but I had no problem ever getting a shuttle to my room or back down to the lobby. The drivers were friendly, always helped me off the van and were very pleasant. Sure, you may have to wait 10 minutes or so at times if it's raining, but if you're coming to stay in this part of the world, you're not meant to rush anywhere!
The view from my room was spectacular. I could see a little village and the Gulf from my adorable patio. The room was large with a TV, sitting area and very clean bathrooom with shower and tub. when I first got into the room, there was a really bad "rotten egg" smell in it. I called downstairs and spoke to Jason and he had 2 custodians in my room before I could say good bye to him! Remember, ask for Jason!
I read about the hot water complaints but again, this is an area in the middle of mountains that tries to conserve energy so in some ways, I have to give them credit...I like the fact that you have to put the key in for electricity and they kindly ask to turn off lights when you leave. The bed was extremely comfortable and the room so coolfully delicious at night with the patio doors open.
The breakfast buffet was delicous and always well stocked. Loved the arepas and fresh fruit. The restaurant was delightful and wish I had time to hang out in there. The first night there, two friends and I went to one of their bars for happy hour - two for one drinks - and the bartender kept us entertained with making beautiful objects out of lemons and limes and he spoke great English.
Right down the block from the hotel was a delicious restaurant called Sophia's, there is an ATM and taco place. There is a tour desk with very nice people and the Selvatura Park van picked me up from there to go to their park. Every morning, I saw people scrubbing the bathrooms and floors, really taking pride in this place.
One of the BEST things was that there was a bank of computers in the lobby with FREE, yes FREE and unlimited internet. I read on another review a few months ago that you had to pay for it - not sure if this policy changed or it was just FREE because there was a big convention there but for me, it was free at this time!
I loved the views, the hospitality, and the cozy warmth of this place. For me, I had wonderful service and if you feel you are lacking in service at this hotel, then please, ask for JASON! He will do anything for you, give you a big smile, and he's cute!!
If you want a room closer to the lobby ask for the lower numbers but you won't have the spectacu...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.