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“Best Hotel in Costa Rica” 5 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 #7 of 19 Hotels in Monteverde
Midlothian, Texas
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Best Hotel in Costa Rica”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2013

El Establo Mountain Hotel is the best hotel we stayed at in Costa Rica. It has amazing views and lots of wildlife. The view of the mountains and lake are superb and you can see so far. While staying there we took the night tour and saw lots of insects and frogs, but during the day walking around the hotel we saw armadillos, wide-nosed raccoons, and tons of beautiful birds. The rooms are beautiful and the beds are so comfortable, the whirlpool tub with Jacuzzi is relaxing after a long day of hiking. Each room has a great view the way the hotel is spaced out on the mountain. The trails through the forest are fun, but so is walking around the beautifully manicured property. However, if you don’t like walking that much, they do offer a shuttle service that was very quick in picking you up when you called. Both of the restaurants were delicious and have a great view. It has a wonderful breakfast that is included and the prices at lunch and dinner are very reasonable, the wait staff, especially Richard and Maria, were very attentive in remembering your likes and dislikes. I have to say as wonderful and gorgeous as this property is one of the best parts was defiantly the staff, especially Gustavo. He is the concierge; he was amazing at helping to arrange everything from tours to transportation when we left to go to Manuel Antonio. Gustavo even helped us to replace personal items that had been depleted during the trip, going above and beyond. Anytime we were around and there was any type of wildlife he would come and get you to make sure you saw it. El Establo Mountain Hotel was AMAZING and we would defiantly recommend it & stay here again!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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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879 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (175)
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Minnesota
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2013

We stayed at El Establo for two days. The elevation is high enough that when the clouds roll in, they envelope the entire resort. The first day we were there it was raining and cloudy/foggy. The rooms have no air conditioning or heat, so we had our jackets on for a bit trying to stay warm while sitting in the room. The rooms were nice and the staff did a good job of keeping the resort clean. Our room had a deck but there were no chairs/table out there so you couldn’t sit outside and enjoy the view. We stayed in the 400 building so we were able to walk back and forth from the reception area and restaurant without trouble. If you stay in any building with a higher number (500 to 900), you are probably going to be dependent on the shuttle vans to pick you up and drop you off. The shuttles are very efficient. You just call the front desk and request one and it will arrive in less than 5 minutes. The breakfast buffet was decent (gotta love a place that serves jalapeno poppers at 6:30 in the morning). It is served in the restaurant at the bottom of the hill. We also tried the formal dining restaurant on the property, called Laggus, one night. It had a nice atmosphere and the food was ok, but nothing outstanding. There are a few stores and restaurants close by so there is no need for a rental car or taxi. There are a number of hiking trails on the property at the top of the hill. You can walk them on your own during the daylight, or you can go with a guide at night. I think we paid $25 USD per person for the Night Walk and I would highly recommend it. The guide was great and was able to point out so many things we missed when we went on the trails by ourselves. Overall I would rate the hotel and restaurants as good, and the Night Walk tour as great.

Room Tip: Rooms in the 300 or 400 building will allow you to walk to and from the reception area, street, etc...
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  • Stayed October 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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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Denver, Colorado
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 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
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
15 helpful votes 15 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
39 reviews 39 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
23 helpful votes 23 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
24 reviews 24 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
24 helpful votes 24 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
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 ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 19 Hotels in Monteverde
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — El Establo 3.5*
Number of rooms: 155
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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