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“Very good backpackers hostel”

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Pension Santa Elena
Certificate of Excellence
Adelaide, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Very good backpackers hostel”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 12, 2007

My girlfriend and I stayed here for a couple of nights - while we were generally staying in better accommodations elsewhere we chose to
stay here based on other good reviews. For $20/nt private room with bathroom I thought this was excellent value. Rooms are basic but fine
for your average backpacker. Not appropriate for people expecting finer accommodations. The true value in staying here though is the knowledgable staff - who are able to direct you to the right local attractions and reputable tours - and were always available to sit down with you to help you plan out your activities.

We also had the (embarassing!) experience of getting on the wrong bus
one day and ending up 20km out of Santa Elena in some small village.
A phone call back to Rann (the man!) got us a taxi to rescue us - avoiding a 6 hour wait for the next bus back. Thanks Rann - we're still laughing about this one.

  • Stayed March 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank asdfgsdfghfgj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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679 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (83)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Ann Arbor, MI
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 16, 2006

Pension Santa Elena has a warm atmosphere, good rooms, shared kitchen and top quality staff.

We booked all of our day trips and adventures through PSE staff, (Ran, Shannon and the rest) all were very helpful. The stay at PSE was so nice we modified our plans and stayed a few extra days in Santa Elena / Monteverde. We now plan on returining in early 2007.

If you go for really squeaky clean Holliday Inn type places then PSE is not for you. If a less polished place with really interesting people, good stories and great coffee is to your liking then PSE is highly recommended.

Also worthwhile are a tour of the coffee coops, a night guided tour of cloudforest and a trip to La Fortuna near by.

-jb

  • Liked — Friendly staff, the other backpacker's stories
  • Disliked — It is a bit funky, you have to be flexible to stay at a backpacker's hostel. Not for Hilton crowd.
  • Tips/Secrets — Work out your plans with the very knowledgable staff. Cook in communal kitchen, share with others. Be open to fun!
  • Stayed April 2006, traveled on business
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank bushpilot2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 20, 2006

If you like stray dogs and are into accomodations where the lighting is dim to hide the unhidable layers of dirt and grime, this is the place for you. We booked rooms with private baths in advance and after changing rooms multiple times found that we were unable to obtain a room that was even adequately clean; so, after checking in for 15 minutes, we checked back out and found another hotel. If you have your heart set on 3 steps below a motel 6, you are still going to be disappointed. On the other hand, if you need to book transport from Arenal to Monteverde via jeep-boat-jeep, they gave us a great price with no hassles and all went smoothly.

  • Liked — Their ability to arrange transport to and from their place
  • Disliked — Extremely dirty and run down
  • Tips/Secrets — Book somewhere else
  • Stayed July 2006, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank Altruistic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 26, 2006

I stayed at the hostel while traveling solo in Costa Rica last summer.
It's a great bargain at $7 a night for the dorms and $14 or so for a single room.
Go for the single room — I have traveled all over and this dorm was one of the dirtiest. The dorms are separate cottages from the main "house." They are old wood and there was mold all on the inside. It smelled like an old basement. The bathroom had rust and spots and I wouldn't get in the shower.
If you sleep in the dorm, be sure to cover your face with the sheet so you don't get sick.
with that said, the main "house" was great and I'd stay there in a heartbeat. the single rooms there looked clean and locked.
The hostel atmosphere is great and the common room was bustling with travelers from all over the world, playing games, trading tips and stories and there's Internet use for a reasonable fee.
It was one ofthe best places I stayed because of the common room and it's atmposphere. More like a coffee house.

Just spend the extra bucks and get the single with your own shower.

  • Stayed August 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 18, 2005

Although the new owner is a little crotchety (interesting for someone so young), the Pension Sta. Elena is a pleasant place to stay. The staff is generally helpful in securing adventure excursions, and the rooms are clean. There are electric showers!!! THe prices are excellent--dorm beds are the cheapest, but my dad and I stayed in a room with a bathroom and two beds (ELECTRIC SHOWER!!!!!) for $14/night. This is an excellent jumping off point for sky treks, jeep boat jeep to Arenal, and the cloud forest.

I've staryed there for two years in a row and highly recommend Pension Sta. Elena. If you are on a budget and want a hot shower and a communal kitchen and a hammock to hang out in, this is the place for you!

  • Stayed May 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pension Santa Elena

Property: Pension Santa Elena
Address: Al Sureste Banco Nacional en El Corazon de Santa Elena 250 m, Santa Elena, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Monteverde > Santa Elena
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 34 Specialty Lodging in Santa Elena
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Pension Santa Elena 2.5*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our mission is to "exceed our guests' expectations of a Travelers Hotel by providing outstanding services and dependable information. We commit resources and time to preserving the values and traditions of our communities." Pure Life...Pure Hospitality. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pension Santa Elena Hotel Santa Elena
Pension Santa Elena Monteverde, Costa Rica

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