The place was actually a little less rustic and much larger than the reviews and hotel website led me to believe, which a lot of people would probably like, but I found a little disappointing. The property is huge...stretches maybe 2-3km up a mountainside with hundreds of rooms. At breakfast and dinner there were masses of American tourists (I am American too!). However, it was a good value for the money, especially considering the generous free breakfast, and the rooms are huge, clean, and have lovely views. The restaurants were too expensive and not good enough for us to consider lunch and dinner there, but you are so close to all the restaurants of Monteverde and Santa Elena that it's no problem to pop out for meals.
If you stay here, I highly recommend two activities: 1) the hotel ziplining course. There are probably half a dozen ziplining courses to choose from in Monteverde, and the course at the top of the El Establo property is not the biggest in town, but it is the most personal and convenient. We did this course first and loved it so much my kids (age 6 and 9) begged to do it again. So the second time we did it with Selvetura, a much bigger outfit located in the St. Elena forest preserve. At El Establo, we had 3 guides go with our group of 4 people--the 6 year old had a guide do most of the lines with him, the 9 year old was able to choose if she wanted to go alone or with a guide. They showed us wildlife, joked with us, and made us feel very safe and looked after (shout out to Roy!) At Selvetura, we were in a group of probably 100+ people. The kids went with different guides every time, there were long, long waits. Granted, the Selvetura ziplines were longer and higher, but if it's your first time and you are looking for a total experience (not just a 1km long zipline) I highly recommend El Establo.
2) the night walk and/or Monteverde guided hike with Ronnie. He is a professional naturalist seeking either a Masters or PhD. Many of the guides you will find are just leading trips to make money and they don't know about anything but the huge flora and fauna. Ronnie knows about every insect and frog and plant and tree and could answer all of our questions. He was good with our kids--passing on his natural fascination for the natural world. He was our guide for both a night walk and a guided tour in monteverde and was excellent.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Travelocity, Expedia, Hotels.com, Orbitz, Cheap Tickets, Hotwire, HostelWorld, Priceline, Caribbean Online Mgt Corp., TripOnline SA, Booking.com and Tingo so you can book your El Establo reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- El Establo Hotel Monteverde
- El Establo Monteverde
- El Establo Costa Rica/Monteverde