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“Needs a facelift”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Hotel Fonda Vela

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Hotel Fonda Vela
Ranked #12 of 21 Hotels in Monteverde
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Needs a facelift”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 21, 2012

While we enjoyed our stay at Fonda Vela, I felt it was important to share our experience since it isn't cheap to get to Costa Rica.

We really enjoyed Monteverde and you can walk from Fonda Vela to some restaurants. Make sure you bring a flashlight if you plan to walk back from the restaurant in the dark. There are some dirt and brick sidewalks that will help keep you off the dangerous road, but it's impossible to see at night.

The hotel was quite dated and in need of a facelift. While we had a suite with a seating area and couch, I didn't want to sit on the couch because it was a little dirty. The beds were a little hard and the sheets and blankets were old. Clean, but old.

While the staff at the front desk was super nice and very helpful, we found the staff in the bar and pool area bar to be either non existent or slow.

The front desk encourages you to make reservations for dinner, but each night we were there, we noticed a nearly empty restaurant. We chose to walk to dinner. Don't forget your flashlight!

Orphos in the town seemed to be one of the better places to eat. We really enjoyed our dinner there.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ahartwick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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674 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
51 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 19, 2012

Our family of four spent two nights in Fonda Vela while visiting the Monteverde area. Firstly, I was very happy not to have to drive in or out of town, as the roads in the area are poor. It took a lot of stress off of us to have a driver. The hotel itself has a nice setting in the woods with some trails nearby. We were able to walk to the Monteverde Reserve from the hotel for a nice hike. The level of service was great, and the rooms are spacious and attractive, with lots of wood accents. The breakfast buffet was included (unadvertised based on our tour company info) and was great. The staff would put out fruit to attract interesting birds and animals, and we saw agoutis on the property in addition to the birds. There is only internet in the restaurant and the lobby, but only the teenagers on the trip noticed. Would definitely visit again.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sanibelrocks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Massachusetts
Level Contributor
166 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 15, 2012 via mobile

Contrary to some of the other reviews here, we found Fonda Vela lovely and not dated. Our room was huge - a king AND a queen bed, and a nice balcony to look out over the manicured grounds. The rooms have wood walls and ceilings, as well as the floors - quite beautiful. We ate in the smaller, more intimate restaurant - you can order from a menu rather than choose from a buffet. Good food, good wine. The grounds are great for bird watching! Highly recommend the Ficus Trail night walk - the office is just down the road.

Stayed March 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Happy_Camper_2004
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WestCountryTwo
Level Contributor
61 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 13, 2012

This was the third hotel we stayed in during a 4 week tour of Costa Rica.
Excerpt from my daily log as follows:-
Day 7
Drove to Fonda Vela Lodge near Monteverde Cloudforest. (Not on our GPS for some reason). Spacious room looking out on the treetops. Lunch in the restaurant.
At 5pm went on a night hike nature walk which was excellent. Saw lots of animals including a sloth, tarantula, sleeping birds, coatis.
Dinner in the restaurant which was good.

Day 8
Early breakfast then guided bird walk in the Monteverde Cloudforest. Our guide was Oscar and were in a group of 8 others. We saw 2 quetzals and a few other birds but they were few and far between. Very high up in the trees and difficult to see. Rest of the day around the grounds of the hotel and dinner at Johnnys Pizza which was excellent.

Day 9
Got up early and went to Selvantura Park. We did the bridges and walkways above the forest canopy. Also the humming bird garden and the reptile house. Overall, very good, even at $40 per person.
Had a nice lunch at Stellas Bakery and a quiet afternoon looking for very shy birds around the hotel trails. Very good steak dinner in the hotel.

Overall it was convenient for Monteverde, the staff were friendly, hardwood cabins were great, but no balconies to sit on. Nice grounds, pool a bit disappointing - not relaxing to sit around.

Room Tip: Some rooms have limited privacy as you have to walk past their main window to get to your room.
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Roger K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 29, 2012

Although the road to get to ye hotel is tough it was nice to be isolated and feel like you are in the forest. Free welcome drinks was a bonus and watching the sunset from the balcony was picture perfect. They made excellent dinner recommendations (Sofia's). Internet only in the lobby and restaurant is a bit of a downfall. Rooms were spacious and clean but bathroom a bit small. Didn't use the pool although it looked nice. Good option for the price

  • Stayed February 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TalkTooth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 27, 2012

The drive to Monteverde is v challenging - we came along a 30km rocky road and needed the 4*4 car. Once you arrive, Fonda Vela is near the end of the road after Santa Elena and Montverde. It is about 2km from the cloud forest so it is good for an early start. We had a wrm welcome and were upgraded to a junior suite. The room was huge and had an amazing view of the forest and the sunset - just a bit of a shame the tent over the pool got in the way but that didn't spoil it. We ate in the restaurant as we didn't want to go back on the road again! The food was very good and ok pricing compared to the other hotels we have stayed in here. The staff were very friendly all around the hotel and the cocktails very tasty - if not a bit strong! We spent the day in the cloud forest. We had a guide and didn't see much but that is just the luck of the draw! If I came back to Monteverde I would stay here again.

  • Stayed February 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Chloe G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
139 reviews
126 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 152 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 25, 2012

We stayed at the Fonda Vela for two nights and were very happy with our selection. Actually, we hadn't selected it but we booked late so it was all that was available at the time. But our disappointment was short-lived because this is a first-rate hotel.

One thing we really liked is that it is set in the middle of a forest with walking trails so you don't even have to leave the property to see beautiful plants and different animals. One night we saw a nutria and there were always a lot of birds around.

The front desk staff is first-rate and did things without being asked. When we were checking out, the man at the front desk (sorry, I don't remember his name but he's great) asked who was picking us up and called the company to confirm that the driver was on his way. I couldn't believe he was nice enough to think to do that without being asked.

The rooms are very nice in an old-fashioned way (lots of wood and regular screen TV). We were very comfortable there. The restaurant was fantastic. The waiters were some of the most professional waiters I have ever seen. They are formal but friendly. We both commented that it was like being in the mountains in Argentina. They were even playing tango music in the background! You need to make reservations for dinner. We had two memorable dinners, lunch and two breakfasts there. We had intended to go into Santa Elena to have dinner somewhere else one night but enjoyed the hotel restaurant so much we decided to just have dinner there again instead.

Kudos to the hotel owner and staff for running a first-rate operation.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank shario
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Fonda Vela

Property: Hotel Fonda Vela
Address: 1km past the Monteverde Cheese Factory and 2km before the Monteverde Reserve., Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Monteverde
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 21 Hotels in Monteverde
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Fonda Vela 3.5*
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Fonda Vela Hotel is located in beautifulMonteverde, famous for its Resplendent Quetzals,Three-wattled Bellbirds, an abundance of orchids anda gorgeous cloud forest. The climate is refreshing,often referred to as "The Eternal Spring". The views ofthe Gulf of Nicoya from the hotel’s 1400-meterelevation are spectacular. Monteverde is an idealdestination for relaxing and enjoying the wonders ofthe tropics. A visit of at least two nights inMonteverde is recommended. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Fonda Vela Hotel
Fonda Vela Monteverde
Hotel Fonda Vela Costa Rica/Monteverde

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