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“Wonderful and Private.”
Review of TreeTop House

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TreeTop House
Ranked #28 of 43 Monteverde B&B and Inns
Reviewed October 4, 2009

My wife and I stayed here for 2 nights in early September 2009. It was really great. Sabine was very nice and very accommodating. We drove in late-morning from San Jose (really outside of SJ). The trip took about 2.5 hours, but we've heard it can be up to 3.5. We drove early on a Sunday morning in the "off" season and there was no traffic. We arrived at about 11 am, parked in the "downtown" area, ate some lunch, and then called Sabine from the payphone outside of the visitor's center, as instructed. Within about 10 minutes Sabine drove up and we followed her down the road another 1.5 miles or so to the house.

The house sits back from the road, up a shared driveway. The neighbors are very nice and waved whenever we happened to cross paths. The house is situated almost exactly halfway between the Monteverde Reserve and the town, ideal for those with a vehicle. (4x4, generally recommended for C.R. travel). I should note that when we did the zipline w/ Selvatura (we'd recommend it), they happily picked us up for free, which I would suggest because the road to the Selvatura Park was far worse than the one up to Monteverde.

We did a day tour and then a night tour at the MV Reserve on the Sunday we arrived. It was really good to see the Reserve during the day and then at night. The Reserve was a 5 minute drive from Treetop House, so we didn't pay for the transportation (extra $2 each).

In any event, back to the house. It is a quirky place by US standards, but very clean and unique. We had the top floor 2 bedroom unit, which, if we were traveling with non-family may have been slightly awkward because one bedroom is significantly more private than the other. For the two of us, it was actually too big. We didn't even use the "private" bedroom because the other one had a nice big picture window overlooking the trees. There is a galley-style kitchen that we didn't use much, just the fridge, which was nice to have for snacks, water, and left-overs. There is a nice little cafe about a 5 minute walk toward the Reserve, which was great for breakfast - it was a woman's name, but I can't remember - only thing, the sign says they open at 6, but really it was 7...so we were waiting a while to get coffee and food the first morning.

We really enjoyed our stay here. I don't know how else to put it. The town is nice, has a good variety of restaurants, and a lot of stuff to do. The house is a private little nook in the trees - how can you beat that? There is picnic area outside and a private porch on the lower level (reserved for the lower unit, unless vacant). We used both in the evenings.

The quirky things you should know: there is a little road noise, but nothing that kept us awake or woke us up in the morning; the doors are split vertically and hinged, which was unique, but kind of cool; the doors also seem a bit rickety because they are just planks of wood, but they are secure, and we put a towel across the gap underneath to avoid bugs, but it was probably unnecessary because it really wasn't that "buggy;" the roof is corrugated tin, which was pretty loud when it rained at night; but by the second night we were used to it; the house is rustic and there is only cold water in the bathroom sink, but the shower was fine; finally, the name "TreeTop House" was easily confused with Tree House, which is a restaurant and hotel in town, so be explicitly clear when you make reservations to be picked up and dropped off - Selvatura tried to drop us off downtown, but were very nice when we realized the confusion. Everyone knows Sabine (from her horse stable business) so if you think they don't understand where you are staying, tell them to call Sabine at Smiling Horses and she will clear it up. We did this with a tour guide and he knew exactly who we meant.

By the way, we also did a sunset horseback tour with Sabine's Smiling Horses stables and had a fantastic time. My wife rode horses growing up and knows a lot about it - she said they were well cared for and well trained. Only thing I would say about this is go zip-lining first because if you don't ride horses regularly your rear will be sore and you will not want to strap into the zip-lining harness. We did zip-line then horseback ride and it was great...the other way around, I suspect, would not be as enjoyable.

We live in a condo in downtown Chicago, so this place couldn't have been more different than our usual surroundings (except the bit of road noise), but we couldn't have been more at home. Great place - will definitely stay here again when we come back...hopefully soon.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank MGH75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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52 - 58 of 61 reviews

Reviewed September 22, 2009

This home was wonderful and so beautiful! My friends and I enjoyed our stay here, and if I come back I will for sure stay in the Tree House again! Sabine was great and very hospitable! Thank you Sabine!!!

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled on business
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1  Thank jmcjudy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2009

The tree-top house was without-a-doubt my favorite place to stay on my last trip to Costa Rica. Beautiful house with lots of character. Its very comfortable for a large group if you rent out the entire house or you can rent one of the 'apartments' separately if there is only a couple of you ( i recommend the lower level since thats where the monkeys come to visit!!). Its a quick walk into town and there are plenty of shops, restaurants, and good hiking trails close by. The owner, Sabine, is very helpful and can accomodate any other arrangements you need to make during your visit. If you go to Santa Elena/Monteverde then you must stay here!!

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with friends
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2  Thank proteinscaffold
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2009

This house easily accomodated a group of 10 people! Hands down our favorite house during our entire week's stay in Costa Rica. A family of monkey's came right by our window one morning (see picture). We walked into the town of Santa Elena both days we were there and this worked out great since we didn't have a car. The owner Sabine was great...she arranged our Zip Line tour so we didn't have to worry about it and she even arranged our transportation from the house to La Fortuna all free of charge. Eevery room in the house will have you saying "wow look at that...that's frick'in cool!" And for those who really want to get in touch with nature you can use the outdoor shower.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with friends
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3  Thank nordyz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2009

We stayed at the TreeTop house as part of our horseback riding adventure, it it was great. Very safe, walking distance to some restaurants, short cab ride to the center. The house itself is wonderful

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled with family
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3  Thank Chas121
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2009

We loved our stay in TreeTop house. It was a wonderful place to relax and read after our busy mornings in the cloud forest. We enjoyed the whimsical and lovely architecture and furnishings, the lovely views of trees and the valley beyond. We loved having our own kitchen. The owner of the house, Sabine, was a wonderful host, helpful and thoughtful and considerate.

TreeTop House is also beautifully located on the road to the cloud forest. Unlike the bigger neighboring town (Santa Elena) which has had a huge expansion of tourist business, the side of the mountain where TreeTop House is located is much quieter. It is on the dirt road up to the cloud forest. But nearby you will find a select few very fun businesses. We loved the Argentine Cafe (for truly civilized coffee, chocolate, and all kinds of food, Argentine and otherwise). And we loved the Bat Exhibit downstairs from the Argentine Cafe. A little farther up the road is the Tramontina Restaurant for Italian food. Even farther up (perhaps a quarter mile) is a bakery and a lovely crafts store run by a women's cooperative.

TreeTop house really is up in the trees. We looked out to see rain forest near us, and a little farther, a little valley with a stream running (and I loved hearing the stream up in the house). We saw toucans and mot mot birds across the valley, ahhh.

One morning we awoke with the sound a crashing on the roof! It was a troop of white-faced monkeys come to peer into our windows, hoping that we would give them some food (which we did not). They swung back and forth with remarkable agility across the branches, both adults and babies. We enjoyed them very much.

My wife and I and teenage son had many excursions to choose from, from hikes in the various preserves nearby to zip lines (we recommend Selvatura) to nature exhibits (butterflies, snakes, frogs and bats and more!) to coffee and chocolates at the Argentine Cafe (ah, the Argentine Cafe, once again). Having our own house to retreat to in the afternoons was a pleasure, much nicer than a hotel.

The kitchen was basic but nice, the two beds were comfy. We stayed in the upstairs because of the kitchen (the downstairs had no kitchen, but it was larger and the rooms were especially lovely).

Internet was a bit funky, with some sites OK and other websites not. I suspect because internet service in this remote location is a bit funky in general.

Sabine also runs a horse-riding stable, Smiling Horses. We did not ride this time, but we saw the stables during a hike. We definitely will ride next time! The horses lived a good life with proper care and much kindness and stunning hillsides to roam over.

This is a wonderful place, and we will be coming back next year.

Best wishes to you as you search for a place in Monteverde!

D. Fleming, Princeton, New Jersey, USA

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with family
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3  Thank DouglasFleming
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2009

We booked our stay at the TreeTop House after falling in love with pictures of it online. It looked so interesting and unique that we had to stay there. We were not disappointed.

I honestly wish I could buy this place myself. It was a wonderful retreat yet still close to everything we wanted to see.

I will get the minor negatives out of the way first. One of the drawbacks of the rugged beauty and undeveloped nature of Costa Rica is plumbing issues. You can't flush tissue as we can in the States, and water pressure & hot water are possibly rarer than the Quetzal! This is not just at TreeTop House but most interesting places. We didn't want to stay at boring hotel clones, and we chose a variety of interesting places to stay. They were all delightful in their own ways. The drawback to all is the plumbing (which is apparently a problem even in the expensive resorts).

Our bathroom at the TreeTop House was very cute with a skylight and a beautiful mosaic in the shower. You just can't expect the conveniences we take for granted in American bathrooms. And that's pretty much the most negative thing I can recall!

When we arrived, we met Sabine, the proprietress, in Santa Elena, which is just down the hill/mountain from the TreeTop House. We had wanted to pick up some groceries, so she met us at the grocery store, and we followed her to the house.

The house used to be an art studio, and while I still think it would be a great studio, I'm so glad Sabine bought it and opened it to travelers. You sit at treetop of a cloud forest, birds and other tree-dwellers easily viewable from the windows and porches. The architecture of the house is fun, quirky, unique, and overall charming. From the peaked ceiling in the kitchen/dining area to nooks in the lower bedroom, from the curving staircase to the tree growing right up through the structure, from the wide-around window views to the unique open display dividing dining & sleeping... Honestly, it was all such a treat. I will share some of my pictures so you can get an idea, but they really don't do it justice. (Also, some of my pictures were taken with a fisheye lens for a wider view, so they'll look round and sometimes slightly distorted.) We had the house to ourselves, upstairs and a downstairs bedroom. Sabine was in the process of renovating some other rooms (they looked great, very fun & funky), so I guess it's possible that you might share part of the house w/someone else if you chose not to rent the whole thing. However, the various levels are already pretty separate, so it would be more like sharing a duplex or hotel rather than a normal house.

The wildlife near the house is plentiful. Birds birds birds! Apparently some monkeys come close to the house, but we didn't get to see any. Although we did hear the howler monkeys, ubiquitous at every corner we visited in Costa Rica except atop Cerro de la Muerte. I still miss that sound and occasionally think I hear it upon waking, only to realize I'm home and hearing neighborhood dogs.

Sabine was a good hostess, providing us with a clean house & information. She was eager for input on what could have been done to improve our stay. Honestly, my biggest suggestion was an increase in the kitchen supplies. We had most everything we needed for casual cooking, but I seem to recall that an extra pot and maybe an additional plate or utensils... Whatever the case, it was very minor, and we loved the kitchen space. The little cooktop stove was great, and even though I have a huge Viking range at home, I wouldn't mind having a little Mabe for some extra burner space. It was delightful.

One of my favorite things (and what ended up costing me!) was how Sabine had the art and handcrafts of local artists and artisans throughout the house. I fell so in love with the big bowl that I made guacamole in that I had to have one. I came home with more wooden bowls & utensils than anyone needs, but, oh, they are lovely!

On the way out of Monteverde (If I remember correctly, we turned left off the street the house is on; our path was heading eventually northeast -- we were going up to La Fortuna & around to stay at Arenal) we passed a place on the left that had a sign for rosewood bowls, etc. I have a card for them, but I can't find it now. I'll update my review when I find it. But it's a family-run business, and they were so friendly & wonderful. The husband, who makes the bowls, utensils, and other rosewood items, gave us a tour of his beautiful garden and took us to see his workshop. The wife has some of her items in the shop; the ones I bought were handmade napkins; each had a Quetzal embroidered on it. The family was charming, their prices very fair, and they were just a delight to meet. Even if you aren't heading that way, I recommend a stop while you're in Monteverde. I would say they're no more than 5 or 10 minutes from the TreeTop House.

We also enjoyed the CASEM art coop. They had some interesting items, most very reasonably priced. Most of the shops in Santa Elena were a little higher, although I did get a fantastic, large bowl at the grocery store for what I thought was a good price.

We went on the Cloud Forest canopy tour with the company Selvatura. It was amazing. I am terrified - terrified - of heights. When we looked at the pictures online before leaving for our trip, I almost cried just looking. I still don't know how I managed to do it, but I did, and I'm so thankful. I LOVED it. The first few bridges were a little scary, and I went slowly, but by the 3rd bridge, I was walking alone, and by the 4th, I was snapping pictures like crazy. Our guide was great - Juan Carlos - ask for him! We actually were blessed to see a Quetzal! We had seen some on Cerro de la Muerte but didn't hold our breath on spotting any more. Juan Carlos was as excited as we were. He was an informed, friendly, and engaging guide.

I would love to make another trip back. In addition to nice accomodations while visiting the area, the TreeTop House is perfect for writing, photography, and painting, and it has been beckoning us since we left.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled with family
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3  Thank xpxalot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about TreeTop House

Address: 200 m beyond CPI | Entrance Left - Last House, 5655, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Monteverde
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #28 of 43 B&Bs / Inns in Monteverde
Price Range: $105 - $210 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Your opportunity to live your vacation in the TreeTops in Monteverde. This artistic charming house is located off the main road to the rain forest of Monteverde between the reserve of Monteverde and the village of Sta. Elena of Monteverde sitting in the Canopies. All levels have separate entrances and are inner-connected with the canopy stairs. Big parking area, garden area, trail in the forest, look over canopy and waterfall, recreation areas. Hot showers. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Treetop House Hotel Monteverde
TreeTop House Costa Rica/Monteverde

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