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“Pleasant surprise!”
Review of El Establo

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El Establo
Ranked #10 of 20 Hotels in Monteverde
Reviewed August 26, 2012

On our recent trip to Costa Rica, our overnight stay at El Establo was part of a two-day excursion package to the beautiful MonteVerde area arranged by the tour company, Costa RicanTrails. Given the cost of the excursion package, we didn't have very high expectations for the arranged accommodations. We were pleasantly surprised, however, when we arrived at the hotel, strategically and impressively situated on the mountain slope. Clean, comfortable and convenient to the attractions in the area, the views from the room were incredible of the cloud forest and canopy.
Our two deluxe rooms were sizable, with the basic amenities, and the bathrooms were updated. It reminded me, however, of a good quality college dormitory with its quirky bathroom window opening onto the echoing hallway - there is no other bathroom ventilation or A.C. Further to this, we had "lights out" twice with the electricity spontaneously shutting down leaving us for a brief time in the dark to listen to the tree frogs!
We were in the "500" block which seemed to be about a mile up the steep slope! I tried walking it while waiting for our room to be ready, but gave up when I reached the "400" block with no sight of the "500" building! Unless you are very fit, take the shuttle!
The two restaurants were very convenient and the food was of a fair quality. The wait staff were all pleasant, friendly and accommodating and tried their best to please.
Generally, El Establo is a practical choice and is perfect for an overnight stay or as a base to explore the Monteverde area.

Room Tip: The "500" block is close to the restaurant and very convenient to walk to for supper - gre...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Carlos S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 25, 2012

Beautiful hotel grounds, nice clean room, overall a good experience. Cons: Front desk staff could have been a little nicer when we checked in. We were early so we had to wait about an hour for our room. The lady behind the desk didn't even offer to hold our backpacks for us! We had to lug them around for an hour. The room was nice but there was a lot of noise coming from the hallway, a lot of which was made by hotel staff. PROS: The two best things about this hotel were 1) Gustavo at the tourism desk, and 2) the hotel guide, Eduardo (I think that was his name). These two made our trip awesome! Gustavo helped us book all of our tours, transportation, etc. He recommended the best places to eat and went out of his way to find us the best price on transport to Guanacaste. If you stay at this hotel you absolutely must do the night walk! Surprisingly it was one of the most memorable parts of my entire trip, thanks to our amazing guide! He was so incredibly knowledgable and passionate about the forest and seemed to have an almost supernatural ability to hear and spot insects and animals in the forest at night - creatures you would never in a million years be able to find on your own believe me! Walking through the rainforest in the dark of night and seeing spiders, tree frogs, wild orchids, snails, and much much more was a once in a lifetime amazing experience! Do not miss out on it if you stay here!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Cristina L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2012

as a travel agent i was leary staying here with it being rated only a 2.5* hotel. but i'm so glad we did!! the rooms were large, bathroom was beautiful and up dated and the views were unbelievable!! our first night we had a stunning sun set showing off the cloud forest. the only thing about this hotel is that they do not have any a/c units or ceiling fans but in monteverde it is cooler during the night and the windows had screens so no bugs were able to get in.

The hotel is fairly large and has a lot of hills but that's to give each room a fantastic view!! when you wanted to go down to the lobby you would just call the front desk to send the shuttle up and they have a bunch of vans so the wait wasn't long. they have 2 pools that are covered and heated!! we ate at both restaurants and were pleasantly surprised by both. at breakfast you had a large selection in the buffet and then you could have $2 for waffels, pancakes or omlettes to order.

The staff was all very helpful! Jason at the front desk was the best!!

i will definitely be recommending this hotel to my clients!!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Michaela K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2012

This hotel is situated on a hill with rooms at nine different levels. There are no elevators. Hardly anyone climbs up to the room level from the reception and restaurant. Guests call for a shuttle service to take them to their room level and even to come down as walking down the slope is hard on the knees. Each room has a small patio with a lovely view of the rainforest, the sky looks great. Our room was at the fifth level where there is an upscale restaurant overlooking a small pond. The staff is very friendly, the included breakfasts were great. We ate dinners in town (a taxi ride costs $2). This hotel has its own canopy (zip line) above the ninth level with about 16 'runs'. Two people assist you. There is also a Tarzan vine jump as a part of the zip line and the price is about $40. I saw a poster in the lobby that this land was given to Quakers (in the late 1940s) who migrated here because they did not want their children to be drafted to fight during the Korean war. There are many pictures of the construction phase of the hotel. This hotel was a part of a tour we took (all hotels and transportation included). The rooms do not have air conditioning, but they brought us a fan when we requested it.

Room Tip: All rooms have a great view.
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  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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Thank saibhatia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
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.
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  • 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.
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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
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: $109 - $273 (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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