The hotel is spread across many acres with the rooms situated up and down the steep hill. Each room has a panoramic vista looking toward the ocean and surrounding hilly area. The rooms are very nice with rockers to enjoy the view from the balcony. The bed was comfortable and the room very clean updated with a modern bathroom.
The lower restaurant on the property, Las Riendas, has a cafeteria-like ambience but the food was very good. The breakfast buffet offers more than anyone could possibly want to eat for breakfast as I find to be the same at any breakfast buffet. There is a panaderia across the street if you just want a continental breakfast. There is also an Italian restaurant, Johnny's, that's around the corner, but we didn't eat there because we were tired every evening from active daytime activities.
The tour guide was very helpful, and he'll try to sell you their tours. But on tripadvisor.com I read about specific tours that I wanted to take and he graciously made arrangements. We did the Selvatura Zip-Lining which got rave reviews on trip advisor.com--we were not disappointed! We did the night walk with the hotel guide who has had 7 years of training as a wildlife biologist--he was fantastic and passionate about nature and Costa Rica. We also made arrangements for a guide to take us through the Monteverde Cloud Forest and he was also great--make sure you have a certified guide!
There is a little zip line on the property and two pools. Both pools have a great view! The upper pool has more amenities and you can take the shuttle up the hill to get there.
WiFi is only available in the common areas. So at night we we walked down to the lobby to use. It also works in part of the lower restaurant and all the pool areas.
While some of the wait staff in the restaurant were very friendly, we didn't get that vibe from the front desk or maids. Upon our arrival the front desk clerk gave our small group her spiel and never cracked a smile once!
I read the other reviews and can understand peoples' concerns about the steep hills, but the shuttle will take you up and down as many times as you want! One has to understand that Costa Rica is a very hilly country and traversing steep hills is not uncommon! Also, the reason for 4 stars is that it is a very noisy hotel. While the stone corridors in the hotel area iare very beautiful, it echoes any little noise. Plus the rockers sound like someone is using heavy equipment--so sound carries in the rooms which is a big negative.
Tips: Since it is a tropical area, expect afternoon rain showers. I recommend a waterproof shirt, which you can get any good sporting goods store, rather than a rain jacket which can be very hot with a t-shirt underneath. Wear a wide-brim, lightweight hat to keep light rain out of your eyes and off your glasses because it can be wet in the cloud forest. Good waterproof hiking shoes are a must because it can bit a bit muddy while hiking. It is very humid in Costa Rica so any supplex or rip-stop fabric will wick away the moisture. Enjoy nature here--it's by far the best I've ever seen next to Alaska!
- 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