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“Views, views, views” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of El Establo

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El Establo
Ranked #11 of 23 Hotels in Monteverde
Driffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
50 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Views, views, views”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 2, 2013

After a stunning transfer across Arenal lake and on bumpy roads over the mountains, we were delighted to land in such a beautiful and comfortable room and I would reiterate previous comments regarding the lovely bathroom and superb views. The reception and check-in was personable and efficient and we had no trouble getting a shuttle bus, whenever we needed one.

The disappointing element of this hotel were the swimming pools - in spite of having been mentioned previously on TA the pool at 5th level is still unheated (and "freezing" cold) and the lower one looked very uninviting - rather dirty!

Reception also had told us that we could get water and coffee at the poolside, which was not the case. They also told us we would be offered coffee in the bar above the restaurant at level 5 - the bar staff tried to deny this and we had to be quite assertive!!

We did not try the restaurant as we felt that the prices were rather high. Instead we ate at Johnny's Pizzeria (turn right out of hotel, follow the road round to the right, downhill a bit and it is on the left) for lunch and De Olivo restaurant (turn right out of the hotel and take a first left onto the rough road at the first corner - it is about 20m on the right) for dinner on both nights. Highly recommend both!

We had to leave very early on the second morning of our stay and the hotel arranged for a "pack up" breakfast to be left with the security guard.

Overall my memories of this hotel are that it is beautiful and efficient but rather lacking in character, warmth and charm.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Loumx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,707 reviews from our community

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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 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (363)
Date | Rating
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English first
Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 1, 2013

This hotel had many positive features, but we reminisce most frequently about the fabulous banana bread and fresh pineapple served on large trays at the extensive breakfast buffet every morning. We stayed halfway up the huge hillside in Building #5. The room was very large, clean and had an upscale bathroom with huge soaker tub and glass shower stall. The view from the sliding patio door was absolutely stunning, especially at sunset. We had lots of fun walking up the landscaped hillside to the basketball courts and hiking trails overlooking the Gulf of Nicoya on the Pacific Ocean. The nearest town, Santa Elena, was fun to explore. I had the best tacos ever at a little soda called "Taco Taco," and returned the next day for an equally delicious burrito.

Room Tip: The higher up the hillside you go, the more spectacular the view.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lynn E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Long Island, NY
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 31, 2013

We were in the last room in the highest building (908). While the views were incredible, I felt a little isolated up so high. We had our own car, so getting up and down the mountain wasnt an issue. I could see how the shuttle could get annoying. There was no A/C because the room was quite cool so high up...although in the morning the room felt quite damp. There was some sort of windstorm at 3am and the wind was howling up so high on the mountain. I would stay here again but I would request a room in the 600s or 700s building next time. The hotel was VERY clean, the breakfast was great (very crowded though before tours were leaving). The room was cozy with a very large bathroom although the lighting was way too dim. The staff was super friendly and accomodating. THis is probably the best hotel in Monteverde.

Room Tip: If you dont mind being isolated, building 800 or 900 is good, but it's HIGH UP. The views are s...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank sueshoof
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Sussex
Level Contributor
331 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 31, 2013

The trip up to Monteverde is quite an adventure with our huge coach braving the narrow, steep and winding dirt road with sheer drops each side, but this is part of the "fun" of such a holiday. Amazingly, when you get to the top, over 5,000 feet, there is a sizeable town there. The hotel consists of different blocks of rooms ranging over a steep hill, but the views down to the sea and over to the peninsular are stupendous. They provide a shuttle service which is very prompt and saves a slog up the hill. As mentioned earlier there is minimal clothes storage space, with not a single drawer for clothes - we sometimes wonder if hotel builders and owners ever stay in hotels themselves. We only had lunch here but that was fine. We saw several of our party order the club sandwich which was enough for at least two people.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank iceman123EastSussex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich, Switzerland
Level Contributor
90 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 29, 2013

Well, the grounds of this multi-building hotel are undoubtedly beautiful. What is a bit of a hassle, though, is that you have to call for a shuttle bus virtually every time you want to get somewhere on the property. The breakfast is very nice, and especially their selection of teas is impressive. Drinks at the bars are rather expensive though. In addition, there is a very nice network of paths that go all the way uphill which are great fun to explore. Cab rides into Santa Elena are very affordable, too.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Cyril C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sojourner16
Level Contributor
17 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 29, 2013

El Establo has nice rooms with good views. The property is spread over a large hillside so getting around is tough as the terrain is steep. The rooms were average for the price we paid, but they were clean and airy. The hallways outside the rooms are terribly loud and noise echoes down the entire hallway whenever someone passes by while speaking.

The worst part of our stay was their "fine cuisine" restaurant Laggus. Happy hour offered watered down drinks, and dinner was so disappointing. The food is expensive even by US standards, offering pasta dishes for $22 and steak meals for $28. We decided to splurge. The steak they served was so tough that we could not cut it. We sent it back and instead got simply gnocchi in pesto. What we got was exactly 8 pieces of cold, undercooked gnocchi swimming in a bowl of tomato sauce with barest of hints of pesto across the top.

Others in our party ordered the chicken and found it to be overcooked and dry. We end up spending over $200 for a meal that was not worth $50.

Wish I could give a better review, but the experience at the restaurant really tainted the entire experience.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Sojourner16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Claverdon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
94 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 175 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 29, 2013

At the end of a long, dusty, bumpy and winding road.
We were in block 800, a long way up the hill and a long way from reception and the main restaurant. The shuttle was fine. Easy to arrange and prompt. The view was fantastic but the room was quite basic. In the rainy season, with low cloud - it is the Cloud Forest - the room would be rated 1*. The only option for pillows was dense foam ones. Wardrobe space was very poor.
The main restaurant struggled to provide adequate service at times. Wine arrived after we were on our main course.
Wifi in the main areas was welcome.

Room Tip: Stay in a low numbered block. Still get a great view.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Michael R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El Establo

Property: 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 #11 of 23 Hotels in Monteverde
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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