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“Friendly service, great breakfast, noisy room with cold shower”
Review of Hotel El Sueno

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Hotel El Sueno
Ranked #5 of 6 Hotels in Santa Elena
Reviewed June 15, 2011

Hotel El Sueno is located in the central triangle of Santa Elena. Anything you need is close by, and if you are arriving on the bus from San Jose, it is right around the corner when you disembark. This is good and bad. It means it is easy to get shuttles, buses, taxis to either the Santa Elena or Monteverde Preserves, the ziplines and other cloud forest activities. There are food , clothing, and drug stores just around the corner and a selection of restaurants from inexpensive to fancy. It also means you are in tourist central, not a typical Costa Rican pueblo. But that isn't far away. A five minute walk and you are on the backroads of Santa Elena where life is calmer and more spread out.

The owner Rafa and his family serve a delicious breakfast (included) and his son speaks excellent English. They are gracious and very willing to help or advise with whatever you need.

There is a pleasant row of rockers along the front of the hotel where you can sit and look out over the hills. There were often fellow travelers there whether in the day or at night.

The walls are thin, but this may be true in all of the budget hotels, I don't know. The hotel was full of college students and they were loud and ran up and down the stairs near my room. The room was spacious, neat, and clean; but the advertised hot water for the shower was the type which attempts to heat the water within the shower head and it did little more than take the edge off the cold water. Shower quickly! Monteverde can be chilly and rainy as it is at a high altitude and it is the moisture that makes everything so green and beautiful.

Overall, a good value for the excellent price, but not the place to stay if you are looking for more quiet, elegance, or tradition; but who wants to come all the way to Monteverde and then hang out in the room anyway?

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled solo
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1  Thank choroni03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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73 - 79 of 135 reviews

Reviewed May 15, 2011

This small hotel in the centre of Santa Elena is in a great location. We found all the staff at the hotel to be very welcoming and helpful with all our travel arrangements and even called the shuttle service to Santa Elena Reserve because it was 5 minutes late picking us up. Breakfast was good - there were six combinations to choose from. The price of the room was possibly a bit high for the time of year. My only negative comment would be that we were staying in the hotel at a time when it was very windy and rainy and this made sleeping at night difficult as it was so noisy.

Room Tip: It looks as if the best rooms are upstairs.
  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Squeaky35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2011

The rooms were very spacious and there were two double beds for the two of us. The shower was not ideal. We were there at the same time a large group of teenagers were staying there. They were extremely loud and were running up and down the halls at all hours. No one made any attempt to keep them quiet for the non-group guests. There were no televisions in the rooms and the wi-fi only worked slowly in the eating area. The breakfast was very nicely sized. It was a good meal. The only trouble was when we came down in the morning to eat, they told us we would have to wait as the "group" was eating at that time and they could not accommodate us. It was unbelievable. Luckily, they noticed my dismay and offered to pull up a small table for us. The tours from the hotel were way overpriced. Definitely check with other locations before booking. The back rooms are the best for location and views of the forest. The price was rather high for the area. We ended up staying at a different hotel because of the noise level and lack of customer service.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Coriander82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2011

We were well received, the owners are very nice, the rooms were very clean, perfect for a family of 5 travalling on a budget, breakfast included. We took tours with the hotel and we were more than satisfied. Well located in the center of Santa Elena, close to everything.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with family
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Thank Ray5969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2011

As a solo traveler it was nice to have such a big room all to myself with it's own bathroom for such a cheap price. The people at the front desk were very helpful with booking tours and getting picked up from the hotel for the tours was free. The breakfast was great. Made to order with eggs, gallo pinto, fresh fruit and coffee/tea. I felt very comfortable and safe staying there and even though the walls were fairly thin it was quiet at night and easy to get some sleep. They also offered to wash my clothes which were muddy from the rainforest tour. Overall, great experience for my budget.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled solo
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Thank bjh2s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 6, 2010

When I first checked in, the owner's son was very helpful (he spoke very good english). The room was fine for what you pay, but very simple and cleanliness was suspect. It was very noisy and I did not trust the shower, it looked like it was going to fall apart at any second.

After checking in, I tried to book a shuttle to Liberia the following afternoon, but there were no shuttles available. The owner's son then told me that I could not get to Liberia the following day. He also said the bus was complicated and I'd be better off getting a private shuttle. He offered to drive me there for $100 or for $60, he'd take me to the highway where I could catch a bus easily. Everyone that I had encountered up to this point in Costa Rica were beyond helpful, so I believed him at first. I began to grow suspect of his good intentions when he asked if it was ok if his wife and daughter came along. I then told him to forget it and that I would figure out the bus. He told me the bus left at 730 so I should try to be at the bus station by 715. I double checked the information and it turned out the bus actually left at 6am. Unfortunately for him, I made my bus and got the heck away from him and his scheming.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled solo
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2  Thank flower4479
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2010

Hotel Sueno was an okay stay, you get what you pay for, the staff was friendly and the parking was free and safe. The room was clean but we looked for bugs (just in case) we didn’t see any but didn’t feel comfortable either. The old comforters had seen better days. The shower was a little scary and the place seem to be constructed hap-hazardly. The views were also not very appealing. The rooms did not have A/c but my wife and I were there in Oktober so it was not a big deal. The rooms are basic with no phone, amenities or anything you’d find in most hotels. It’s a great no frills place to crash but not very appealing for comfortable relaxing stays. $35 bucks is a fair price but the staff was unwilling to negotiate with the price.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank VanRickelen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel El Sueno

Address: Santa Elena Center | next to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Santa Elena, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Monteverde > Santa Elena
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 6 Hotels in Santa Elena
Price Range: $32 - $61 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Hotel El Sueno 2*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel El Sueño is a family owned and operated lodge in the center of Santa Elena, a small village next to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. A favorite for budget travelers and backpackers, the lodging is hosted by a family originally from the Monteverde area. The eating/kitchen and reception areas are surrounded by the rooms, all with their outside private entrances. Three new rooms have been recently built at the back of the property. Breakfast is served daily between 6 and 8 a.m. and is very reasonably priced. Lunch and dinner are also available by request at good prices, and a homemade lunch will be made to go upon request, if you're spending the day in one of the nearby parks. Transportation service is also available to the parks as well as Arenal Volcano. The friendly owner, Rafa Trejos and his family, are helpful hosts, and offer horseback tours from their nearby farm ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel El Sueno Monteverde, Costa Rica - Santa Elena

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