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“Excellent ziplining, otherwise pretty crowded with Americans” 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 #6 of 19 Hotels in Monteverde
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
89 helpful votes 89 helpful votes
“Excellent ziplining, otherwise pretty crowded with Americans”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2014

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.

Room Tip: The rooms higher up on the property are apparently fancier but you have to take a shuttle to go anyw...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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989 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 (210)
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English first
USA
Top Contributor
227 reviews 227 reviews
51 hotel reviews
Reviews in 74 cities Reviews in 74 cities
132 helpful votes 132 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2014

I could go ON and ON about my experience at this AMAZING hotel...OMG! From the moment I arrived, I felt as though I had TRULY stumbled across a gem! This hotel is ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC! Formerly a horse stable, the property was transformed into a hotel in the 80's (I believe). The property is expansive and consists of multiple different complexes spread across the mountainside. Traversing the premises is a QUITE the workout, but fortunately, the hotel operates a complimentary shuttle to get around. They have two restaurants, one for more casual dining at the base of the property, and one for more formal dining. Both are EXEMPLARY! If you're planning a trip to Costa Rica, a trip inland just to stay at this amazing hotel is WORTH IT!

Room Tip: Take the opportunity to experience dining at BOTH restaurants!
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled solo
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2014

We only stayed for one night, but I wish we could have stayed longer! We booked after reading great reviews and getting a good price on a room + breakfast. The property is much larger than I was expecting and the views are amazing, especially from the basketball court area at sunset. We were a little disappointed that the concierge was gone by the time we arrived (5:05pm) and we weren't able to book a night hike outside of the hotel, but we were able to do the night walk on the property with an English speaking guide named Ronnie who was awesome! We saw some kind of monkey/raccoon creature, a walking stick, praying mantis, beautiful sleeping birds, frogs, beautiful orchids, among other things. The rooms were clean and spacious, although it was odd that there was a window in the bathroom into the hallway. They don't have air conditioning, but we didn't have a need for it anyways. Randomly in the middle of the night all of our room lights turned on and the alarm clock beeped, which was very strange, but not extremely disturbing. They have wifi available in the common areas like reception and where you eat breakfast which was great. Overall, I'd definitely go back to El Establo!

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southampton, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2014 via mobile

We stayed for 3 nights in this hotel as part of our tour in Costa Rica.
The staff in reception were very friendly and helpful. The rooms were spacious and clean. The rooms did not have air conditioning but you could ask for fan from the reception. The hotel offers shuttle service to/from your rooms down to the restaurant or reception. We only used this to move our luggage between reception and rooms as the hotel is situated on quite steep slope and perhaps also with the altitude, even climbing the stairs to the rooms from restaurant did take your breath away!
We only had breakfast in the hotel - which was good, enough choice for everyone. For evening meals we opted to go out to eat in the village instead.

Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
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Worcester, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2014

We booked this hotel on the advice of our travel agent , the local company CRT. It exceeded all expectations. The room was spacious, well appointed and with lovely views. The staff could not possibly be more attentive and charming. Transport around the hotel is essential as it is on a steep hillside, one phone call and the bus is there before you can get to the door! We had great advice at reception about local bird life, tours and guides. Free coffee and pastries in reception were a thoughtful touch. Breakfast in the main restaurant was very good and the dinner at the Laggus restaurant was excellent with friendly and professional service. I cannot recommend this hotel highly enough.

Room Tip: All are great but better views in the higher numbers, more convenient for reception for the lower nu...
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  • Stayed June 2014, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Menlo Park, California
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2014

Our room was in the lower section, 308 which was a walkable distance to the lower pool, front desk and restaurant. But if you wanted to go anywhere else on the property you need to take a shuttle. The bathroom window opens up to the hallway so we could hear our next door neighbor singing in the shower at 5:45 am. There are no curtains on the top windows so you are up at sunrise. Only one of the two restaurants on the property was open for dinner, which was the more expensive of the two. The ham sandwhich was the prime suspect for my husband's and daughter's food poisoning.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oberdorf, Switzerland
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2014

This place is quite unique since it spreads out uphill several hundred feet. But even from the lower rooms (we had 402), the view over the valley is fantastic and the sunsets can't be better. The room was spacious, clean and very quiet. What can you ask more for? Would not recommend the hotel restaurant for lunch and dinner. Go to one of the nearby restaurants!

Room Tip: Any room 400 and up should be a good choice.
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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 #6 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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