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“Nice place, bad location”
Review of Hummingbird Nest

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Hummingbird Nest
Ranked #4 of 5 El Castillo B&B and Inns
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Nice place, bad location”
Reviewed July 31, 2012 via mobile

The place was good, service was good as well. Nice view of the volcano, especially from the jacuzzi. The road from la fortuna is very bad, full of bumps, since it is inside the national park.
Difficult to move from there if u want to get lunch or dinner at la fortuna

  • Stayed July 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Alex F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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90 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
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English first
Boise, Idaho
2 reviews
Reviewed May 29, 2012

Our first stop in Costa Rica was the Hummingbird Nest B and B. It was so nice to be staying in a beautiful location on our first two nights! The views of the volcano were amazing! Breakfast each morning was the best we had on our entire two week trip. Ellen and her staff were extremely nice each day. The access to activities was great and we loved being able to walk around El Castillo. We would highly recommend this B&B to anyone and would like to return ourselves. - Rob and Jody

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Imagine1818
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed May 28, 2012

Ellen runs a beautiful tranquil B&B which was a great way for us to start our Costa Rican adventure. We had excellent access to the rain forest and ziplining. She booked us in at a beautiful and quiet hot springs and arranged transprot for us to Monteverde. We even joined her for a yoga class down the road and took her out for pizza at Pizza John. After an overnight flight, we appreciated the quiet beauty of her inn. Breakfasts were delicious.

It is not easy to get to/from La Fortuna from here unless you have a car.

Room Tip: We did not have AC, but having the windows open was a pleasure!
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank CamperBabs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Micco
1 review
Reviewed May 12, 2012

Hummingbird Nest is nestled on the side of a mountain overlooking Arenal. Beautiful gardens and lots of hummingbirds makes for a peaceful vacation. Our accomodations were lovely and comfortable. And our hostess, Ellen, was very attentive and helpful with points of interest in the area. We especially enjoyed breakfast each morning, cooked by Cindy- all fresh ingredients with a different menu each day. All in all, a very restful vacation - a paradise in Costa Rica. Lolly and Bill

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LollyBill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
coronado, california
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed May 11, 2012

I stayed at Ellens Hummingbird Nest B&B in May, 2012. We were looking for a non-touristy location, away from crowds, quaint and different.
The Hummingbird Nest sounded like the perfect place. Ellen did not have availability for us the first night of our 3 night stay, but recommended the Casita next door (owned by 4 brothers) we really liked that place.
The hummingbird B&B has only two rooms...that is not a problem at all, but the rooms are on the first floor, not a lot of ventilation, big open window with a garden/volcano view...but somewhat disturbing, since i was not sure if anyone would walk in front of this window while in the garden...the curtains did not close easily to provide privacy. It would have been ok if the room was on the second floor...
Our room was musty, due to lack of ventilation, we had a small fan, but it didn't quite cut it...we also had a ceiling fan, but did not provide much air circulation. The bed and pillows were sour smelling due to the musty nature of the entire room...
Ellen had recommended a couple of places for us to visit and we were grateful for her assistance and recommendation, she even made a reservation for us on our second morning there...it was so early, however, we cancelled with the company and rescheduled for a later time that day...upon our arrival back to the B&B we were chastised by Ellen and "scolded" for not telling her (it was around 10pm the night before that we changed our plans)...i thought this was childish and inappropriate...we found out that the companies give a percentage of the trip back to the hotel/B&B who gave them the recommendation.
Ellen wanted us to go on another tour in which the kick back was quite significant...we didn't want to go on that tour and felt she was angry about this change of plans as well...
We basically tried to avoid Ellen as much as possible and it soured our stay there...it was not enjoyable and we couldn't wait to leave...
only to be greeted by a nice black snack in our room as we were running from the place...
Luckily our next and final stay in Costa Rica was fabulous and we were able to put this nightmare behind us...
No, I wouldn't recommend this place to anyone, unless you like to be controlled and chastised on your vacation...

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank vfischbeck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hummingbirdnest, Owner at Hummingbird Nest, responded to this review, June 13, 2012
First, I did send an apology to this guest sympathizing with her feelings. None of the complaints concerning the room were found to be true by my staff. The communication issue between us seems to have been key to the result of this review. It's a shame to defend myself for an individual who would join T.A. 'new' status for the sole purpose to write a review bashing the owner. My name comes up repeatedly; yet, in response, I am not allowed to use a name per T.A. guidelines. Suffice it to say, this woman is a retired 20 yr. veteran Navy pilot who is used to being in control. Running a business necessitates a certain degree of control that other guests seemingly have appreciated.
Second, any comment as to tours and commissions (not 'kickbacks') was innocently & honestly conveyed as an awareness of the common practice here in C.R. with hotel staff booking tours. Commissions w/ the tour companies are generally automatic w/out additional cost to the guest. The original tour was booked w/ me as a courtesy since they asked for my advice and assistance (which should have been done by their host at the Cabinitas). They then cancelled later that evening and booked w/ another tour company by their host at the Cabinitas. I was made aware of this when the tour company informed me via email the next morning seeing as I had confirmed this for the guests via internet. The other tour referred to in this review was merely offered to them, as it was already booked for other guests who changed their mind, and I was about to cancel it. Pushing tours on guests is not my style but rather to offer choices and guide them. Everyone comes with a different agenda. I do not take commissions from the local tour guides & various attractions here in El Castillo which keeps the rates down from my guests and generates more revenue for the local community.
Third, why would someone who made mention of liking the Cabinitas room their first night of 3 change to a place that made them miserable? They were not obligated to the room here. Their luggage was hand carried by myself along the adjoining walkway while they were on tour. This would have made it convenient to move back after the first night of a 2 night stay here.
But, their rate was $70/night w/ A/C and here $60 w/out. Of course, ventilation would be an issue if you spent your first night w/ A/C and a room on the 2nd floor (vs ground here) with more privacy. Why would anyone try to sabotage a proprietor for the sake of saving $20 when they could have been more comfortable where they had spent their first night? How 'childish' to say they were 'running away from the place'. Neither I nor my staff were chasing them. We were too busy cleaning up after them. My worker said their clothes were damp & mildewy from the rappelling tour the day prior...thus, if you come back and leave clothes in the room overnight, you would tend to get a 'sour' odor of which they complained. It was their clothes not the bedding. My worker was asked to do a load of laundry the next morning which is how she knows where the odor came from. I personally check the rooms daily for cleanliness, fresh flowers and in particular the bedding. Guests often lie on top of the bedding or put luggage on the beds, so we are frequently washing bedspreads and pillow shams.
Living in a rainforest has its challenges when it comes to the dampness & mildew. We do the best we can. Being low season in May & June is when we do any renovations to make necessary improvements and we take guests comments to heart. Sometimes it is never to be a 'match' no matter how hard one tries. An aberration such as this review is unfortunate for both parties.
.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albany, California, United States
1 review
Reviewed April 29, 2012

This bed and breakfast was a wonderful place to begin our vacation, with a beautiful setting and a friendly and knowledgable host. Ellen was generous in helping us plan our activities. Her garden and patio are lovely and inviting with beautiful view's of Volcan Arenal. My children loved playing with her labrador, Luna, and calling to her parrot as she circled the building. We had great breakfasts and great hikes in the surrounding area as well as the best butterfly conservatory we saw on our trip. It was perfect to relax in Ellen's hot tub at the end of a day of exploration.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Angela I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, OR
Level Contributor
24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 13, 2012

Perched on the side of a hill, this is a great retreat. Ellen is a knowledgable host, and breakfast was always delicious. There are only two rooms, so you can't beat this place for quiet. The rooms are lovely and comfortable and look out on a garden. From the upper deck, outside the kitchen, there are also views of the lake and volcano.

Room Tip: There are only two!!
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank MarkMPDX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hummingbird Nest

Property: Hummingbird Nest
Address: El Castillo, Arenal Volcano National Park 21007, Costa Rica (Formerly Hummingbird Nest B&B)
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > El Castillo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in El Castillo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Quiet, private, 3 bedroom home nestled among the trees w/ lush vegetation, immaculate gardens buzzing w/ hummingbirds & butterflies...direct views of Volcano Arenal & panoramic of Lake Arenal...soak at night in the hot tub watching the volcano and sounds of wildlife. We have a spa onsite with holistic services and massage for your convenience. We can book all your tours to local attractions. Central to the village of El Castillo, just a short drive from La Fortuna. We have restaurants close by and many activities and tours to choose from. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hummingbird Nest Hotel El Castillo
Hummingbird Nest Bed And Breakfast

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