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“A beautiful, magical place to stay outside of San Jose.”
Review of El Cafetal Inn

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El Cafetal Inn
Ranked #5 of 7 Atenas B&B and Inns
La Canada Flintridge, California
2 reviews
“A beautiful, magical place to stay outside of San Jose.”
Reviewed March 17, 2011

This is really a great place, IF you want beauty and serenity. It's sitting on beautiful, well-maintained landscaped grounds, with a sparkling, spotless swimming pool, and the buildings are colorful and charming. When you step out of the car, there are literally CLOUDS of butterflies everywhere! We had never seen such a thing. Romy, the owner, is very accomodating, and you will feel very welcomed. You won't believe the incredible breakfasts that you are served, some of it grown on the property, and all of it handmade. There's even a parrot who sits outside the kitchen window, supervising and keeping an eye on things. Take a taxi into Atenas for dinner and sightseeing. Go!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank bevfeldman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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77 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
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  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Downingtown, Pennsylvania
1 review
Reviewed March 6, 2011

Very friendly staff and quiet location. Vista del Valle is nearby and also beautiful, but more expensive. I like that the pool is in a separate area. The top room has a large semi-circle window view of the area.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank jeg5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mountain View, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 21, 2011

My wife and I have been regular visitors to El Cafetal for 14 years. We use it as our bookend acclimation point for when we arrive and leave Costa Rica. El Cafetal is a rustic hidden gem gem in a beautiful setting with a great view of the surrounding mountains. There is a wonderful meditation walk around the property itself. The owner Romy is charming and helpful. The breakfast of Costa Rican style eggs, beans, fried bananas and mixed tropical fruits is excellent.

If you are expecting a 5 star hotel with someone waiting on you, this is not your place. Seasoned travelers who like to make their own plans and want a quiet restful place to come back to will appreciate this B&B. Romy and his staff will help you set up any side trips and car rentals. We were pleased to find that Romy added wifi this year so I am able to write this review from his beautiful trellised dining area.

El Cafetal is not an easy place to find. If you are coming from the airport, I'd recommend you arrange for your taxi with El Cafetal. If not, be sure to bring their phone number with you and have the taxi driver call for directions.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank edcollins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed December 14, 2010

I was so disappointed with this hotel but I now know why they don't put pictures of their rooms on their website. In our king bedded room there was a king bed...and nothing else. No end tables, no chairs, no luggage rack, and no artwork. The rooms were painted the color of claret with drapes green drapes. One of the two ceiling lights didn't work. When I tried to replace the light, I couldn't because a light bulb was broken in the fixture. The other light in the ceiling fan didn't have a globe on it. The room was exceeding disappointing.
I hoped things would look better in the morning after a shower. And while the room did, the cold shower was a further disappointment.
All in all the only high point was the delicious breakfast in the morning.
Oh - and the directions to get to the hotel are wrong on their website and printed materials.
Also - you must have to ask for a key to lock your door. We never got one or were offered one.
This sadly goes into one of the very few disappointing places I've stayed in Costa Rica.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank janojochal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 2, 2010

I wasn't sure what to expect here on my last trip but it was great. I stumbled across this place and read that it was not too far from San Jose. It turned out to be a very nice get away. The only tough part was getting the directions right. Make sure you ask clearly for directions to the hotel. The roads are good quality, but curvy in some places.

The hotel was great and very clean. I consider this place higher end (in terms of quality) compared to some other places I have stayed. If you're looking for a comfortable place thats not too far from San Jose, this place is great. The view at night is a great view of the city. When I was there I was lucky enough to have a lightning storm off in the distance. It was amazing to see lightning bolts over the city.

The food was good. The included menu (part of the package I had) was limited in options but if you want to go for the full menu and pay a little extra, they have a great selection. The breakfast was one of the best, if not the best included breakfast at a hotel. Instead of a cheap "continental style" breakfast, they brought out the works. Empanadas, huge selection of fruits, rice and beans, coffee, juice, etc.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank kcirt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, Virginia
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed July 13, 2010

This is really a beautiful spot. Rooms are musty from the humidity. Otherwise, it is awesome. Decor, food, staff, surroundings are fabulous. More of a hotel than a B&B.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank pbjsandwiches
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarasota, Florida
Level 5 Contributor
46 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed April 11, 2010

On our honeymoon to Costa Rica we came upon this gem by looking up hotels in the area on our gps. It was so beautiful in Atenas {mountains and rolling hills} and the hotel owner, Romy, was so kind and welcoming {he said "welcome home" with a warm smile, as we arrived with no reservation} that we just HAD to stay. We also got a great deal; $60 a night with breakfast, 2 people, in the green-season; even though it was at the time, when we returned home, advertised for $100/night.
We were pleased with the beautiful and unique architecture of the house and grounds, the plentiful {all you want!} awesome, and authentic Costa Rican breakfast with grown-there {!} coffee, and breakfast on the cute terrace overlooking the mountains. In the morning {5 to 6 am} you heard the sheep, roosters, and birds from all over the valley, to us a beautiful part of waking up in paradise.
The owner Romy was always pleasant and gave us great recommendations for a fabulous seafood reataurant near-by; he sketched us a detailed and accurate map to get to a waterfall/park a good mountain-drive away. He allowed us our space and at the same time was friendly and attentive. We spent some time getting to know him and how he came to own this little piece of paradise, which was a lovely story and quite enlightening as one day I hope to own and live in a BnB.
Our room had great views, I wish I remembered our room number; comfortable, spacious and had a nice sized patio with a sliding glass door/screen. The days definitely weren't hot {for a Floridian}, nights were cool and we loved leaving the windows open, beautiful breezes and cools down a lot at night {no a/c; we were there in Oct. and really we thought a/c wasn't needed}. There was a huge picture window in our room that was very unique, it was huge and curved, a semicircle; perfect for the breathtaking views! We got some neat pictures sitting in front of it {see my photos!}
There was plenty of hot water, rooms were clean and comfy, no luxury here but clean and spacious, great for our needs. A community refrigerator for guests to use downstairs, and did I mention the breakfast is phenomenal!? The grounds were just, I don't know how else to say, impressive?! and we enjoyed exploring them; there are coffee plants and fruit trees everywhere, and the pool was nice at the end of a warmish day hiking around. It was a good mini-workout, the hike to and from the pool, down the hillside. There were plenty of private areas and beautiful nooks on the grounds, and beautiful vegetation everywhere, with little benches and such here and there for you to chill if you so desired.
We will definitely return to El Cafetal in the near future, and have told friends that frequent Costa Rica, as we do, that this is the place to be when in the vicinity of the airport or north of there {San Jose} and perfect if you are in between San Jose and the Pacific coast. We stayed for three nights, and could have easily stayed for a week! {or forever}
This was a real Costa Rican hotel/bed and breakfast. It wasn't an American hotel. It was our favorite surprise find on our honeymoon.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank endiaks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El Cafetal Inn

Property: El Cafetal Inn
Address: Carretera Sta. Eulalia | 100 mts norte de la Iglesia de Santa Eulalia, Atenas 20505, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Atenas
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 7 B&Bs / Inns in Atenas
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — El Cafetal Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 14
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Also Known As:
El Cafetal Hotel Atenas

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