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Review of El Establo

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El Establo
Ranked #10 of 20 Hotels in Monteverde
Reviewed August 17, 2012

I stayed here with my family. The rooms were nice and very CLEAN! Service was great. We ziplining, that was a ton of fun. My only complaint, we went swimming, and there were no more towels, we called to have someone bring them to us, but nobody ever came :( The food is amazing here too! I will stay here again.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Jacklyn S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 14, 2012 via mobile

Nice clean sizeable room
Polite helpful staff
Free wifi
Good internal tours
Good restaurant food
Great view
Good location, between town and the national park

Really found it hard to understand the negative feedback on here, had a great time.

Recommend the canopy tour, night walk and coffee/sugar tour.

  • Stayed: August 2012
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Thank amy12ty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 13, 2012

El Establo is at the top of a steep hill about 1 mile from the village of Santa Elena. It costs $8 to go into town by taxi. The walk is steep (going uphill was okay; downhill was pretty hard on my knees).

The hotel itself is on a 40+ acre compound. Rooms are in separate lodges (100s, 200s, etc.). The lodges are spread out, as are the restaurants, pool, tennis courts, etc. You have a choice. You can walk the grounds (again very steep hills), or you can call a shuttle service and wait for a van to drive you where you want to go. You have to meet your cab at the reception area, so you first need to either walk 10 - 15 minutes or get a shuttle to the reception area before you can get a cab, or meet a tour.

The front desk is only open from 7 AM to 10 PM. So, if you need something early or late, you are SOL. The staff was efficient, but with the exception of one very overworked young man, not very helpful or friendly. They were more concerned with having us follow their rules than they were about helping us have an enjoyable stress free stay. Here's an example: The last day of our stay we were given a transfer time that was 30 minutes later than the time the transfer company actually showed up. As a result, we had less than 5 minutes to eat breakfast. Instead of helping us, the hotel staff made us feel as if the mess up was our fault and rushed us out of the restaurant.

The room had a funny odor, was not well appointed and was small. WiFi was only available in common areas, and there it was spotty. The grounds were beautiful, but that wasn't enough to make up for all the other issues.

Overall impression: I would stay somewhere else.

Room Tip: 100 rooms are closest to reception area and breakfast restaurant.
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank wendy f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2012

My boyfriend and I were very disappointed with the hotel. The service was inadequate and the rooms a disappointment. Although it was cool outside there was no a/c or screens on the windows and that led to bugs in the room. It was either too stuffy or too buggy. We didnt feel comfortable in the room at all. The breakfast was also a let down. The only real plus to the hotel was the grounds.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Stefanie9786
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 8, 2012

The El Establo is on the outskirts of Monteverde. It is a 5/10 minute wlak into the village, but a taxi only costs $3.

The hotel is on several levels, the higher up the better the view. We were in the 500 block which gave super views and was also close to the bar/restaurant! The hotel is spead over a large site on the side of a hill. It takes about 10 minutes to walk from the 500 block down to the main entrance, so the hotel runs a shuttle service. Don't even think about walking uphill!

The rooms are huge, all with picture windows facing west so you can see as far as the Pacific Ocean. The rooms are well appointed, with good, well equipped bathrooms. As with everywhere we found in Costa Rica it was spotlessly clean. Rooms have TV and phones.

The bar near the 500 block is an excellent place to sit and watch the sun set over the Pacific. Drinks not overpriced for this level of hotel - happy hour is buy one, get one free!

We didn't eat at the hotel, as our tour had arranged for us to eat elsewhere, but breakfast offered a good choice of food with unlimited tea or coffee.

This is an area with lots to do - we could easily have stayed 4 or 5 nights. Everything can be booked through the hotel and all the tours and activities are very well organised.

Room Tip: Rooms in the 500 block give excellent views and are also close to the restaurant/bar in the evening.
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Helen T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 3, 2012

Very beautiful grounds, manicured to gleaming perfection, views are lovely in every direction. The desk staff are helpful and efficient. No wi-fi except in common areas and not all areas were in working order. Due to the gigantic size of the property, moving to another possible wi-fi area can be difficult. Vans are available for shuttle to another building on the property. The all-you-can-eat breakfast bar was copious and the quality remarkably good. Overall, though, I must admit this experience was missing the personal attention to detail that I have come to appreciate in smaller establishments.

Room Tip: Higher floors have better views.
  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank darladenise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 1, 2012

I have nothing but good things to say about the El Establo Hotel - I just don't know where to start. First of all, it's gorgeous. yes, it's divided into around 9 levels of swiss chalet looking buildings but that's what makes this beautiful. It is not another high rise hotel. It was created by Quakers who were persecuted in their native lands and they built the hotel here because this region is known to accept all religions and races. In the lobby of the hotel there are beautiful black and white pictures that show the origins of the hotel and how it was built along with beautiful color photos of local flora and animals.

First, I went to this hotel as part of a tour and when we went to the front desk to get our keys, we met Jason, the front desk manager (remember his name) who was probably the MOST enthusiastic front desk welcome person I have met in any country. Not only did he tell us about our rooms, the shuttle, breakfast, how to get a safe, wake up calls, bars, spa, etc. but he told us about the origins of the property. You could tell he was very proud of working and living here.

My room was in the 600 block so I couldn't really walk it but I had no problem ever getting a shuttle to my room or back down to the lobby. The drivers were friendly, always helped me off the van and were very pleasant. Sure, you may have to wait 10 minutes or so at times if it's raining, but if you're coming to stay in this part of the world, you're not meant to rush anywhere!

The view from my room was spectacular. I could see a little village and the Gulf from my adorable patio. The room was large with a TV, sitting area and very clean bathrooom with shower and tub. when I first got into the room, there was a really bad "rotten egg" smell in it. I called downstairs and spoke to Jason and he had 2 custodians in my room before I could say good bye to him! Remember, ask for Jason!

I read about the hot water complaints but again, this is an area in the middle of mountains that tries to conserve energy so in some ways, I have to give them credit...I like the fact that you have to put the key in for electricity and they kindly ask to turn off lights when you leave. The bed was extremely comfortable and the room so coolfully delicious at night with the patio doors open.

The breakfast buffet was delicous and always well stocked. Loved the arepas and fresh fruit. The restaurant was delightful and wish I had time to hang out in there. The first night there, two friends and I went to one of their bars for happy hour - two for one drinks - and the bartender kept us entertained with making beautiful objects out of lemons and limes and he spoke great English.

Right down the block from the hotel was a delicious restaurant called Sophia's, there is an ATM and taco place. There is a tour desk with very nice people and the Selvatura Park van picked me up from there to go to their park. Every morning, I saw people scrubbing the bathrooms and floors, really taking pride in this place.

One of the BEST things was that there was a bank of computers in the lobby with FREE, yes FREE and unlimited internet. I read on another review a few months ago that you had to pay for it - not sure if this policy changed or it was just FREE because there was a big convention there but for me, it was free at this time!

I loved the views, the hospitality, and the cozy warmth of this place. For me, I had wonderful service and if you feel you are lacking in service at this hotel, then please, ask for JASON! He will do anything for you, give you a big smile, and he's cute!!

Room Tip: If you want a room closer to the lobby ask for the lower numbers but you won't have the spectacu...
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank travelchick627
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El Establo

Address: Diagonal to Escuela Rafael Arguedas | N 10° 18.7836 / W 84° 48.9587, 60109, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Monteverde
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 20 Hotels in Monteverde
Price Range: $104 - $236 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — El Establo 3.5*
Number of rooms: 155
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled in the misty cloud forest of Monteverde, El Establo offers the best quality services that will make your trip an unforgettable experience: The area`s best view, heated indoor pools, spa, restaurants, café-bars, special events center, internet access, souvenirs shop, tennis court, basketball court, mini soccer court, hiking trails, canopy tour and the most charming staff. This half Costarican – half Quaker, family owned hotel, will allow you to share the best of both cultures. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Establo Hotel Monteverde
El Establo Monteverde
El Establo Costa Rica/Monteverde

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