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“Great views, but with a trade off”
Review of El Establo

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El Establo
Ranked #10 of 20 Hotels in Monteverde
Reviewed February 12, 2014

My wife and I stayed at El Establo for 2 nights in February 2014, in building 800. The views are stunning, the Gulf of Nicoya, the Nicoya Peninsula and the Pacific. The 12 buildings containing the hotel rooms are very separate from each other, and up the side of a VERY steep hill, and so you call the van to catch a ride to everything. The van usually shows up within minutes, except during peak times, but you may have to make a series of stops to pick up other guests. The restaurants and pool are each in separate buildings too. We are pretty athletic, have raced triathlons for years, and the hill is still a monster. And the shuttles only run 6:30-10, so we had to walk down the hill for an early morning tour pickup at the reception building. There are 2 restaurants, which were OK, nothing special, Laggos being the upscale one. The pool was small and enclosed on 3 sides, open on the side with the view. From reception, it's about a 3/4 mile walk into town, so we walked in for lunch one day. Internet access is terrible, even bad in the common areas. The front desk claimed there was no internet in the rooms, but there was an open access connection in each building, but it was almost unusable. The rooms were nice, but the louvered windows into the open hallway let in too much noise. There is a zip line and guided night tours on the grounds, for additional price. The complementary breakfast was overrun with a busload of seniors, making it crowded and less than ideal. If the view is your primary reason for choosing a hotel, you'll like this place, but I can not recommend it overall.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Jeff S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 10, 2014 via mobile

Clean rooms. Beautiful west views of the peninsula from balcony. Especially in the 500 to 900 block of rooms. Really spread out but have quick shuttles everywhere. Just far enough away from downtown to be quiet but close enough to walk. Everything very well maintained and looked after

Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
Thank bmcewen67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2014

This property has a tremendous view being on the side of a hill. It is a very large property with all amenities; restaurants (2), pool, tennis court, conference center, spa and excursion desk. There are 9 buildings each going higher on the grounds. This requires, for most of us, to call for their shuttle. The rooms have great views and are spacious. The staff maintains everything well cleaned. The water is safe to drink. The cons: too large a property. no drawers in rooms, no place to hang clothing in the bathroom, no toilette paper holder, too shallow a sink and each lower floor room is too noisy being adjacent to the hallway which all have to use.

The property is well located for all that Monteverde has to offer. I consider this the best hotel in this area.

Room Tip: The top floors are quiet and the end rooms farthest from the entrance have the vest views.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Bernard L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2014

We stayed here two nights. Fabulous sprawling grounds but on a steep hill, and if your room was higher up from reception, the steepness made walking very difficult, if not impossible. You needed to call for the shuttle, which was usually quite prompt. The rooms were a bit spartan but adequate. There is no heat or AC, and you only have enough hot water for a half our before you have to wait for it to heat up again. For my wife and I it was not an issue. The buildings, however, could be quite noisy at night - doors slamming, loud hallway conversations. The view from the room was beautiful. The restaurant was pretty good, the breakfast buffet the weakest link. We had dinner one night which started off well, with very good food and service, but our server then disappeared as other customers came and went. We had to hunt for her and when we finally found her she developed an attitude. The rest of the staff were great.

Room Tip: We had some great meals at some of the local restaurants. Very inexpensive.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Barry L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2014

This property has nine (9) separate buildings of rooms going up the side of a mountain, however, a shuttle service is always available. Breakfast is included and is very good. There are hiking trails, a zip line, and a very nice pool on the property. A very reasonable "happy hour" is offered from 4 to 7 nightly. The rooms are over sized and all with a good view. When in Monteverde for the nature you should pamper yourself at this lodge.

Room Tip: There are no bad rooms but if you want to be close to the restaurant try to be in the 100 or 200 bui...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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Thank furbeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 6, 2014

It's difficult to beat the views which were spectacular from our rooms in the 700 block.

The rooms were large but with very poor hanging space and a tiny safe. A modern bathroom was spoilt by some poor design. Worst of all was that it was cold and drafty; there's no air conditioning so vertical louvres in the corridors, bathrooms and bedroom can be adjusted to allow natural airflow. This is a great idea in milder weather however with the wind and rain we experienced it was merely drafty and noisy.

The hotel is built up very steep slope so it would be difficult for most people to walk up and down to the main restaurant which is at the lowest level. There is a free minibus service which you call; this is very effective however it does add time especially if you're trying to get ready for a trip in the morning.

The biggest let down is that for a hotel of this quality the main restaurant is very canteen like and although fairly large is clearly still far too small to cope with the morning breakfast rush as groups all leave about the same time for their excursions. The food is nothing to shout about either. Fortunately there are a few reasonable restaurants a short walk outside the hotel. The hotel's 'posher' restaurant looked pretty good for dinner although we didn't have time to sample it.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank TheWilkosUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 6, 2014

I loved this hotel. We stayed in the 800s which had spectacular views. The rooms were very clean and well maintained. Getting the shuttle is a bit of a pain, you may have to wait a while at peak times and we didn't realise the free service stops at 10.00pm. There is a taxi service, but you have to pay or take a very steep walk up the hill. We didn't eat in the restaurants - except for breakfast which I thought was good. A coffee maker in the room would have made this hotel excellent.

Room Tip: Higher rooms have a better view, but be prepared for a steep hike or taking the shuttle
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Dawn S
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: $106 - $242 (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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