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“Just stayin' at Nanci's place!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of La Colina Lodge

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La Colina Lodge
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150 meters north of The Cheese Factory, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Phoenix, Arizona, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Just stayin' at Nanci's place!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2012

La Colina Lodge is a very, very special place.

My friend and I stayed for one night & drove away wishing we could have stayed for a week. We were greeted by the owner, Nanci, who was so incredibly sweet and accommodating. She greeted us with offers of fresh coffee (there was a torrential downpour outside), helped us call our Zipline Tour company, offered to do our laundry(!), and asked if we'd like to join her and the other guests for dinner that night... her daughter had just baked some fresh bread and she was cooking up some organic lentil soup.

ALSO, there happened to be a yoga teacher training (shout out to the amazing Ashley Ludman!) at the lodge while we were there, so we were able to jump in on their morning class the next day!

In a word, this place was HEAVEN. The room was small, clean, and exactly what we needed... we're low-maintenance travelers, so if you prefer the extra muss & fuss that normally come along with hotels, then this is not the place for you. La Colina feels less like a hotel and more like you're just staying at Nanci's place for the night!

Also, prepare to be greeted by 2 cats and about 8 (+/-) dogs when you arrive - all of whom are very friendly. Turns out Nanci has a heart for the animals and will take them in, get them fixed, and try to adopt them out once they've been nursed to health. Don't be surprised to find a cuddly cat or an eager dog in your lap the minute you sit down!

Can't wait to go back and spend more time in the magical Monteverde. Highlight of our trip.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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89 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    48
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
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English first
USA
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2012

People who wrote a bad review of this place clearly have not stayed in many budget hotels in Costa Rica! Our room in La Colina was VERY clean, and the furnishings were adequate and eclectic. We spent over a month in Costa Rica, and this was the best, actual HOT water shower we found in any hotel in this category in the entire country! The owner, Nanci, is not only pleasant and funny, but she is an artist as well, and there is amazing and unique tile work everywhere. It is not convenient to "town", but it does not need to be.. it is within a short walk to the Quaker meeting, the Cheese Factory, the fascinating Bat Museum, one of the reserves and a lovely little village with galleries (including artist´s co-op) and good restaurants. One needs to take transport for anything else anyway, so why not stay in a lovely place where you can see hummingbirds and other wildlife right outside your window? The road outside will be dusty in the dry season, and muddy in the wet season, but this is rural Costa Rica, and we, at least, felt that this is what we were here to see, not a town developed for the single purpose of housing tourists (St. Elena). And the breakfast was good... the best breakfast potatoes I ever ate. And the dogs and cats were well mannered.

Room Tip: ask to be shown a few.. they are each different.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Ladysmith, BC
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2012 via mobile

We stayed here two nights and had a excellent second floor room. The balcony has seating and tables to sit out with a beer or wine. Owners are in contact with all local tour operators so can help with planning activities.
Good value and great staff. Only gripe I had was the shower which ran either hot or cold at it's own whim....you had to take advantage of brief periods of transition from one to the other.

  • Stayed April 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Moose Lake, Minnesota
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2012

My wife and I stayed at La Colina in March 2012. Our room was small and had two beds headboard to headboard crammed into it. We believe one of the beds was taken from the room next door which was being worked on. There is no wifi on the premises. The description said that a chef was on staff and that breakfast, lunch, and dinner were offered. There was no chef, no meals except breakfast, and breakfast was eggs, toast, and fruit. The ceiling paint was peeling badly, and there wasn't even a chair in the room. The lighting was poor. It wasn't a room that you would want to spend any time in. Downstairs in the dining area, there were several cats and dogs roaming about freely, even on the tables. If you're allergic to animals, stay away! The hot water in the shower was nice!

The location is pretty far from town and walking was difficult at night. It was close to the cheese factory, the Quaker school, a cafe, and a few other things.

Nanci, the owner, was friendly. She lives in another area on the premises and was generally unavailable. One night, a door somewhere nearby was banging open and shut loadly every 15 seconds or so on a windy night. I had to get up in the middle of the night to figure out where this door was and find a way to secure it.

We asked Nanci about whether it was safe to keep an ipad in the room. She said that she was "pretty sure" that the cleaning lady wouldn't steal from us. She offered to hide our valuables for us. This is not very reassuring.

We were not expecting an elaborate room for the price of our room at La Colina. However, we expected something that we would be somewhat comfortable in. We weren't. It is among the worst rooms that we have ever stayed in. We would not recommend it to others.

Room Tip: Stay somewhere else. For a better quality room, you could stay at the hostel in Santa Elana for les...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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birdwatchergirl506, Owner at La Colina Lodge, responded to this review, April 16, 2012
I am nice and do care about each person staying here,our rooms are different colors and different sizes so we show people more then one if it is available to do, to make sure you are happy. If you are not I will help find you a place that does. If you ask me more then once,if your things are going to stolen from your room and we have a new cleaning girl on her first day, I will offer to keep your things safe behind my desk for you. Our website does have a picture of our dog Remmey helping at front desk, he is also sometimes found on the sofa watching his show's ,we do have a friendly turkey that may follow you around, Mr. Goat, chickens and a hairless Chinese crested "Zero" who loves to sit on a lap. We are located out of Santa Elena in Monteverde, a 10 minute walk to 4 great restaurants as well as the famous Stella's bakery,Cabure chocolate factory,the bat cave, the Monteverde cloud forest reserve, the New Curi Chanca reserve and the cheese factory. We have a tour desk and are happy to help you arrange things. Please speak up if you need something or are not happy with something when you are here, I would rather help you, then to have you not say anything until your vacation is over.
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London
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2012

We stayed here in January 2012. We expected it to be basic and have been used to basic hostels on our travels around the world but La Colina was beyond basic. Here is a summary of our stay.
- The sheets were dirty and damp and smelled incredibly strongly of wet dog. It was disgusting to sleep in the bed for even one night
- the breakfast was horrible, I am not sure how they managed to make eggs taste as bad as they did
- the restaurant and rooms were dirty and the windows and doors were not secure.
- it was far away from the center of town and unless you had a car it would be very isolated
- the service was average and not very well organised

This hostel is cheaper than some others we found but for $45 a night the quality of room was not acceptable when we found one that was so much better just up the road for just $65 a night. The only positive was that the shower was hot - I needed it after sleeping in that bed.

Room Tip: Just don't stay here
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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birdwatchergirl506, Owner at La Colina Lodge, responded to this review, April 16, 2012
I realize you can not please everyone all the time, however our rooms are cleaned thoroughly before each quest arrives. So it is surprising to hear someone report an experience such as this. I am a very friendly helpful person, and always show guests different rooms because each one is a different color ,size and in a different location on the property. I ask if you are happy with the room because I care and am more then happy to help you find another place if you are not. On our website, we our clear we are not located in Santa Elena, we are in Monteverde 10 minutes walking to 4 great restaurants,art galleries, the children s eternal rain forest,the cheese factory and two reserves. The difference is waking up to a rooster crowing or car alarm. We have animals, a goat, Mr Goat, a friendly turkey, Larry, who follows people around sometimes, cats who think they own the place. I can not help the road being dusty during dry season, just as in rainy season, things are wet and muddy. But we very careful to keep our seasons from intruding on the comfort of our guests. Your vacation,your time and your comfort is important to me. I can confidently say I have never had a complaint before this about breakfast. If you want your eggs cooked in a special way just let us know.
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Washington DC
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2012

So, if you are looking for all modern conveniences and a stuffy staff this is not your place. It is like visiting an eccentric favorite aunt in her old house full of fascinating stuff and interesting stories.

First of all, the rooms are small but clean, and decorated in a wild array of colors and patterns. You can stay in the rooms above the main hall or in the small lower building. We stayed in the 'yellow' room which, in addition to the yellow walls, had polka dots, zigzag patterns, a down-home wardrobe for clothes, and handmade furniture in fun zigzags and dowels and whatnot in the bathroom.

Nanci, the owner, is friendly and funny and makes you feel like part of the family. Her dogs (even more random breed mixes than the usual random breeds roaming Costa Rica) and kids (typical American teens) are around and everyone is helping out. There was a big community dinner when we were there, with a really nice Thai meal cooked by a friend of Nanci's, and we were invited. We also went to a meeting at the Quaker meeting house across the street which, again, gave us a real sense of the community. Monteverde's history is bound up in the local Quaker community, and La Colina is part of that history as it was built by one of the early founders of the community.

Nanci is a gem - over and over again she made things easy for us by calling taxis, giving inside tips on where to go, etc., and in fact she saved our bacon when we got to the bus station in Sta Elena to ride back to catch our flight home from San Jose - only to discover the last bus of the day was full. Nanci contacted a taxi friend who drove us the 4 hrs to the airport for well below the going cost and then refused a tip.

The place does need upkeep and Nanci seems to have that in hand. While we were there she was repainting rooms, rebuilding doors, replanting gardens and generally spiffing everything. I certainly will go back there if I return to Costa Rica. Especially after a really unpleasant stay at Tabacon resort in Arenal, I found La Colina a very grounding and restoring place.

Room Tip: Ask Nanci to give you a tour of the rooms and choose the one you like.
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Missoula, Montana
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2012

This artful lodge has bright colors, beautiful mosaics, and a lovely porch to enjoy the birds and fireflies from. The wooden accents add to the overall cozy feel of the place. Since it is up the road a ways from town it is quieter especially at night. The downside of this is that it is far from internet and restaurants as well, so keep that in mind if you do not have a car. The rooms also don't have access to a kitchen or fridge so prepping you own food isn't an option. Some websites advertised the attached restaurant, but they unfortunately only serve breakfast (which was delicious).
This lodge is roughly mid way between St Elena and the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve. You can walk to either along the road, but it is quite a distance and the narrow road has many motorbikes cutting the corners close and large buses.
Most evenings were pleasant but the kids of the owner tended to use the common area as their personal living room, which was awkward and noisy. I felt like I was intruding if I entered or needed to ask a question of the owner.
All together this is a quaint lodge that is evolving into something special.

Room Tip: Rooms on the west side got a nice view of the setting sun, rooms on the east stayed a little cooler...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 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
    • 5 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 La Colina Lodge

Address: 150 meters north of The Cheese Factory, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Monteverde
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #23 of 46 Specialty Lodging in Monteverde
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
La Colina Lodge is a beautiful mountain lodge located at the edge of the Monteverde Cloud Forest. 150 Meters from the Monteverde Cheese Factory, you will find our rustic, log cabin style hotel full of art and bright colors, with a cozy warmth in our dining room where most nights you will find an old wood stove burning. The views and sounds are simply breathtaking! You will wake up every morning to the sound of the famous Bellbird, fresh air and a view of biodiversity like you wouldn't believe. At La Colina Lodge, you will find art, music, beautiful community, great staff, nature at your doorstep, and lots of love! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
La Colina Lodge Costa Rica/Monteverde

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