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El Establo
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Savings alert! 12% below average rates

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Reviews (2,073)
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All reviewsshuttle servicesteep hillmain restaurantlas riendastour deskcosta ricacloud forestrocking chairslarge propertyzip lineno wifi in the roomsnight walkreception areabreakfast buffetspread outfree shuttlemountain side
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Reviewed June 28, 2013

I will admit that we went into our stay at El Establo with slightly different expectations. For whatever reasons, we thought it would be a luxury hotel in the middle of the jungle.

We were slightly wrong.

The hotel is scattered over multiple buildings on a HUGE plot of land. It takes a shuttle or grueling trek up the hill to go from one building to another (ie lobby, pool, etc). I was luckily in the first building, so it did not affect me.

THE BAD:
It was my first experience in a long time staying at a hotel without AC/Heat. During the day, when we were in the room, it was definitely slightly warm and at night it did get a little chilly. While it wasn't that big of a deal during our stay, I can imagine during different times of the year, it might be an issue. What was worse for me was the humidity. The room always had a muggy feeling and because the room is all wood, it was very musty, especially the bathroom.

We had bugs in the room ranging from ants to flying moths and such. Having carpet in a humid room is not a good idea.

Because the bathroom window/vent faces the hallway and because the doors feel paper thin, noise in the hallway is easily heard in the room. Not awful, but annoying

WIFI is only available in some of the public areas.

The worst thing for me was the fact that the front desk closed at 10 PM. This seemed unacceptable to me for a hotel of this size (even small motels in the US are open 24 hrs/day). While supposedly there is someone manning the security gate outside the property, the fact that there is no one readily accessible to call if a need arose (hotel instructions are to contact the security guard, although how to do that is unclear) is a little odd.

THE GOOD:
The included breakfast buffet is pretty good. I did not eat any other meals at the hotel so I cannot comment on the other restaurant.

The main selling point of the hotel for me was the land the hotel is on. Although the concierge was helpful in telling us things to do during our stay in Monteverde, it wasn't until the last full day that they even told us about the hiking trails that are on the hotel grounds. They gave us a trail map (the return part did not seem complete), but this turned out to be one of the best things we did in Monteverde. The trail is as hard as your want to make it, but following the path took us about 2 hrs. There were some spots with amazing views and we did see some wildlife on the trails. I would highly recommend this.

Overall, I had a tough time deciding if this hotel deserved a 3 or 4 star rating. While it is a remote hotel, and while I was definitely looking to dismiss pretty big issues with the hotel including the lack of WiFi, bugs, lack of AC/heat, etc., I think it was very strange not having 24 hr front desk service. In the end, I decided to give 4 stars just because 1) its a different sort of hotel (the overall feel) and 2) the free hiking trail that is on the property was a great experience and saved us money/time from having to go elsewhere.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Tim S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 27, 2013

Fully contained tort with. 2 pools, large rooms , spa and 2 restaurants
The resort is set on a hillside that is very steep so if that is a concern make sure you request a room in the 100 to 300 series that are at the base and have their own pool
Rooms are large , no ad but even in the hot and humid late afternoons it stays cool due to the great ventilation
The ventilation does mean you can hear everything going on in the hallways so if you have loud neighbors you will here the coming and going
Wonderful variety in the breakfast buffet
Front desk staff and activity/spa coordinators were super friendly and helpful
Great place for a family as there are so many places for kids to run around and have fun in. Safe contains environment

Room Tip: Choose the lower section rooms in the 100 to 300 range if you don't want to wait for shuttles or walk up a steep hill The500 rooms are also good if you don't mind a walk or a shuttle ride as it has a great pool and next to the spa
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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Thank rogerz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2013

We stayed three nights in room 302 which was more of a lodge style hotel. There were steps in the lobby to get to our room. The hallway floors in this building were designed like old stone. The staff was friendly. We had a two room unit with one bed on the main floor and a bed in the loft area. The room was big and the room was clean. There was a bathtub and shower in the room as well as a safe, dresser and fridge. The beds were comfortable. There is no ac in the room which was fine as it was pretty cool in June. There were windows to open. We could see the Pacific Ocean bay in the distance. There is a shuttle to take you to the restaurant or areas in the resort as the hotel is on a incline. The restaurant food and service was good and their breakfast buffet was fine with eggs, juice, cereal, yogurt, fruit and bread. Sometimes they had a dinner buffet also. There was a bakery, Panaderia Jimenez, across the street and some restaurants you could walk to. We tried Sofia’s once which was walking distance and there was a convenience store that is walking distance. There is walking path on the property that is on natural ground with some inclines. We saw a raccoon, armadillo and a lot of birds on the property. We also heard an owl. It was nice to sit on the balcony and watch the cloud/fog. We did not use the pool.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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Thank alwaysfun2travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 22, 2013

Nice overall stay at this hotel.

Pros:
-beautiful hillside property. They offered a free shuttle to take you around the hotel.
-views from most rooms
-clean rooms
-nice large bathrooms
-really good breakfast included in the room price

Cons:
-unfriendly check in staff
-noisy cleaning staff and generally speaking poor sound insulation. Source of the noise: The door didn't seem to reach the floor.
-no heating in the rooms and it gets cold at night so if you are sensitive to cold, come prepared.
-would not recommend the ziplines at the hotel- they looked old and unsafe.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank catVancouver_Canada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 20, 2013

Honestly, the hill isn't such a huge deal. Just go in expecting that if you're on level 5 or above, you'll likely use the shuttle to get up the hill. It was always available when we called. Great breakfast buffet, even for the picky eater kid. Nice big room, but the main feature is the view of the cloud forest. My kids loved the pool and fitness center on level five. The pool was heated and was half-outdoors, so we had a beautiful view. Nice guys at the front desk and concierge service. They were running a special of fifty dollars off at the spa, so I had a terrific and inexpensive facial.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Kate F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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