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“A mountain retreat” 4 of 5 stars
Review of El Establo

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El Establo
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   Diagonal to Escuela Rafael Arguedas | N 10° 18.7836 / W 84° 48.9587, 60109, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 18 Hotels in Monteverde
Ada, Michigan
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“A mountain retreat”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2013

We were here as part of a gate 1 tour (we did the plan A upgrade in our opinion money well spent). The hotel had the most amazing views. It is Eco friendly so no air conditioning (although it wasn't needed) the power was on only when your room key was present in room, so while you have a fridge it only stays cool when you're in the room.

The zip lines, Tarzan swing and rappelling were awesome. The guides were great. It's on property so it's super convenient. Only $40. Pura Vida.

The restaurant is very nice, kind of hip bar upstairs where you overlook a pond surrounded by hydrangeas. Beautiful.

We were here at the end of September, only 10% occupancy so we had the place to ourselves.

Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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861 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Denver, Colorado
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2013

we stayed here for 2 nights in september , but felt like it was way over priced for what they offer , no wi-fi in rooms , the rooms have a odor (may be because there is so much moisture in the air ) , the pool was cold , the breakfast was awful and the staff was pathetic at the breakfast station .
we stayed in a king bed suite and the room was spacious and the bathroom was clean , the welcome conceirge person was very informative .. these were the only good things .

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Granby, Connecticut
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013

Great view and huge. Rooms were great with a nice shower. Odd vent to hall however made so that you could hear what was going on in rooms/showers as you walked down the hall. Halls also very loud as they are built with stone so suit cases roll very loudly over joints. Odd design choice. We did want to stay more than one night to enjoy the amenities. Breakfast was OK but they wanted to charge extra for a pancake. Odd again. Beautiful resort.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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West Bloomfield, Michigan
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013

We stayed 2 nights at El Establo in Building #300 with a fabulous view all the way to the Gulf of Nicoyo. Our lofted suite comfortably slept all 5 of us in a stylish, modern decor. The entire complex is built on a steep mountainside, so they run a very efficient shuttle bus on call to transport guests up and down the property. The shuttle doesn't run to Santa Elena, however. At first, that seemed like a disadvantage, but we found the walk to town energizing and a good way to see things up close. It's a hilly walk, with some areas of poor sidewalks, but doable if you're in decent shape. The breakfast was plentiful and varied. We left on our third morning before the official start to breakfast, but were welcomed to fill to-go containers. The property includes acres of rainforest at the top of the hill. We hiked (take the shuttle to the start of the trail!) through the marked trails. Even saw some monkeys. We chose to walk down back to our room - a very steep but invigorating walk. The upscale restaurant on the property was pretty, but too pricey for our budget. We chose to have a "2 fer" drink in the bar instead -- just make sure you order 2 of the identical drink. Staff was friendly and helpful. This a nice choice for a high-end lodging within walking distance of town.

Room Tip: Stay in the lowest building on the property (think it's the 300 building) so you can walk to the...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2013

Breathtaking views from the room. Waking up on the morning to rainbows and a spectacular cloud forest view was amazing. Staff was nice and efficient. Breakfast buffet was tasty ( I don't eat eggs or waffles so the extra charge did not impact me). The hotel has a feel of the Van Trap Family Lodge (could be slightly 70"s) but it is stunning. The view from the pool while working out was incredible. We had a room in the 500's and walked to the front desk which took 15 minutes downhill and 25 uphill. We wanted the exercise but the shuttle is always available. The restaurant was tasty for dinner and also had a great view. The hotel is eco-friendly (great!!) however that was a problem in terms of getting a hot shower. The hotel states that you can get 2 15 minute hot showers in the room. I was able to get 4 minutes of hot water at a time and after a 3 hour hike/horseback riding that was frustrating. I would go back to the hotel and stay and keep my fingers crossed that I can have a longer hot shower.

Room Tip: The higher the room number the further away from the reception area. Great exercise to walk up and...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Oregon
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2013

This hotel seemed awkward to us for some reason. Out of all the places we stayed this one left us with the feeling of glad to be leaving after three days. After talking about it we came to the conclusion it's because it's all built on a hill, a very steep hill. We love to walk but hiking back and forth to our room got old real fast so we finally started riding in their shuttles, which you have to request, that go up and down their steep hill. The last thing you hear at night and the first thing you hear in the morning is noisy shuttle vans. They also have hiking trails on their property which are in the back section and where you need a map. These trails can go for miles so be sure and take a map. Oh wait, we did take a map! But it's not accurate, and you can easily get lost. When we were done hiking there wasn't any way to contact shuttle to come get us to take us back to the room which was quite a ways down a very very steep hill. If there was an emergency while hiking you'd be out of luck since there isn't any phone service. The hotel seems to be run on a shoestring budget. The landscaping needs to be tended to and is overgrown and the rooms are very outdated. They look like ski lodge units from the 70s. There are no coffee makers in the rooms, nor is their A/C or heating. The room safe is small and we could barely fit out belongings in it. The food was passable but you have to pay extra for pancakes and omelettes. We ate across the street at Chimera which made us very happy.

Room Tip: If you ask for a coffee maker they may have one.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Toronto
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2013

This hotel was set in an amazing part of town. The rooms are all in buildings that are set up along the mountainside meaing you can hike up and down to your room if you feel the need for exercise, or you can use the complimentary shuttle that the hotel offers. When you do use the shuttle you only need to wait a few minutes before they show up to get you.

We had a room in the 900's building, which was at the very top of the hotel grounds. Our view from our balcony was breathtaking. You can see the whole valley and the green of the land is just beautiful. We had chairs on our balcony and it was easy to relax and just take in the peacefulness of the land.

Our room was very spacious and there was tons of room for us to unpack and put our things around the room. The only thing that we found lacking was a mini fridge, which would have been helpful and a room service menu. My friend wasn't feeling well and wanted to order in room service, but we had to get someone to bring us a menu first before we could order. Other than that the food was a good size portion and a decent price. The bathroom was very large and had an amazing shower and tub as well.

Wi-fi is only available in the main buildings at the reception and in the restaurants which was a bit disappointing as you couldnt' get access to it in your room. However, all you had to do was call the shuttle and they would come get you so you could go down and have access.

The restaurant breakfast was very varied and there was a lot to choose from.
Overall the staff was very accomodating and I highly recommend staying at this hotel.

Room Tip: Every room is quiet and peaceful. If you don't want to be far away from reception, then ask for...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El Establo

Address: Diagonal to Escuela Rafael Arguedas | N 10° 18.7836 / W 84° 48.9587, 60109, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Monteverde
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 18 Hotels in Monteverde
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — El Establo 3.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled in the misty cloud forest of Monteverde, El Establo offers the best quality services that will make your trip an unforgettable experience: The area`s best view, heated indoor pools, spa, restaurants, café-bars, special events center, internet access, souvenirs shop, tennis court, basketball court, mini soccer court, hiking trails, canopy tour and the most charming staff. This half Costarican – half Quaker, family owned hotel, will allow you to share the best of both cultures. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Establo Hotel Monteverde
El Establo Monteverde
El Establo Costa Rica/Monteverde

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