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Reviewed May 6, 2013

In March my wife and I stayed for a week in the larger cabin at El Sol with my 2 sons and their girlfriends. We are always looking for the unique "road less travelled" accommodations on our trips and El Sol did not disappoint. The big cabin is the original family cabin on the property with so many interesting personal touches that you feel right at home as soon as you arrive. Javier was there from the beginning to help us find everything and offer his services for anything we might need. We had the neighbours deliver a delicious dinner on our first night until we could get in to Santa Elena to stock up the kitchen. El Sol is so authentic and relaxing that wandering around the property in the morning with your first cup of coffee is really a treat. I asked Javier if there was a trail where we could head off for a walk on the property and he sent us down a small lane where we ran in to a troop of white face monkeys hanging out in the trees. I forgot to take my camera. Note to self when out for a hike in Monteverdi. During our stay we took the horse back ride down to a waterfall / swimming hole. Great fun, good lunch, lots of pictures and a little cliff jumping for excitement. Javier was our guide for the cloud forest and a night walk. He is so knowledgeable that you will never walk in a forest again without a greater appreciation for the plants and wildlife. Javier's enthusiasm is infectious. The incredible natural beauty of the Monteverdi region is awe inspiring. Santa Elena is a fun little town to wander around in. Lots of good restaurants and interesting things to do. Like other folks mentioned in their reviews, we also enjoyed the Don Juan coffee tour. And no stay at El Sol would be complete without taking time to hang out with Elisabeth. Thank you Elisabeth for sharing your love for life with us for a couple hours while we enjoyed the incredible view. Thank you Javier and family for helping us enjoy a memorable week in Costa Rica. Cheers!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Peter R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 1, 2013

El Sol. No words will do it justice :) I felt like my stay was straight out of a storybook -- it was just that perfect.

My boyfriend and I stayed here for what was to be the second to last part of our trip and we decided to extend our stay to 3 days because it was just that beautiful, relaxing, and interesting.

The LOCATION itself couldn't be better -- the cabin is beautiful and covered in warm, colorful fabrics, joyful artwork, and multiple hammocks outside where you'll be greeted by hummingbirds during your afternoon nap or read. The B&B is located on the top of a mountain -- one of the most beautiful views I've ever seen and has a pristine infinity pool which is great for a sunrise/sunset swim (I've included my sunrise picture). Also, it's only a couple minutes drive to the beautiful town of Monteverde (which was so fun!), but was separate from the town providing an oasis from the day's activities. I mentioned that Monteverde was fun, and it is! I saw the smallest orchid in the world at the Orchid Garden, learned about and drank the most delicious coffee and cocoa (not hot chocolate) on the Don Juan Coffee and Cocoa tour, went zip-lining on the 3rd longest zip-line in the world and jumped off a bridge on a tarzan swing, enjoyed the most delicious fresh ice cream at the Monteverde Cheese Factory (you could say my cheese was moo-ing), and hiked through the Monteverde Cloud Rainforest where there's a hummingbird garden (all you hear is the buzzing of the wings --- the feeling of happiness is impalpable).

The FAMILY who runs the B&B was incredible as well - they're so beautiful and joyful (the most adorable and endearing children!). Javier in particular was so helpful and kind. He sat down with us for three whole hours when we first arrived helping us plan our stay and helping us learn about Monteverde. So generous with not only his time, but in general. I got the most awful sunburn while on vacation (sun poisoning to the extreme) and he brought me aloe leaves for me to put on my sunburns. I was cured within days. He also offered us fresh mango juice he had made while we were there. Really nice guy. In addition, we got some of our meals made at El Sol and we ate authentic Costa Rican food that came in a basket from the next door neighbors. I don't know that much Spanish, but I do know "muy rico," and that it was!

By far, the best part of my trip to Costa Rica was when I stayed at El Sol -- that B&B made my vacation. I returned after my trip feeling relaxed and happy.

If you go to Costa Rica, go to El Sol. I certainly will on my next visit.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Lauren B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 17, 2013

My husband and I spent two nights in the large cabin at El Sol and were so pleased! It was peaceful and quiet - a great way to end our vacation in Costa Rica. Elisabeth and Javier were very welcoming and worked with us and our crazy schedule. The view off the cabin balcony was amazing both during the day and as night fell. We were awakened by the sound of hummingbirds and howler monkeys and loved relaxing in the hammock on the porch. Having the kitchen with the sink and mini refrigerator really worked well for us as we always had leftovers from eating in town. While El Sol was farther from town than we had expected (about 15 minutes), we had a rental SUV and just managed our schedule so that we didn't have to run back and forth. Overall it was a wonderful experience and we would highly recommend El Sol to anyone who is looking for something more authentic then generic hotel rooms. We loved it and are so glad Andres from Forest Alive recommended it to us!

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank AaronandWendy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2013

Our 3 nights in the small cabin, with Javier guiding us by day, was a definite highlight of our 2 weeks in Costa Rica. Some reviewers from years ago suggested that the cabin was run-down or buggy...if that was the case then, it has certainly changed: Everything was totally charming and in great condition.
The owners, Elizabeth and her son, Javier and daughter-in-law Dema, are wonderful hosts, catering to our every request: late-day laundry, meals delivered at appointed times, and, most importantly, *outstanding* guiding by Javier in both a rain forest and cloud forest. He is very knowledgable about flora and fauna, plus is able to *listen carefully* to your priorities and goals, thereby taking you to the places most likely to meet your needs. We asked for a rain forest hike with the least likelihood of crowds, and he took us to a place where we saw only 4 other hikers but five resplendent quetzals (now you're under pressure, Javier!). Incidentally, he also knows a lot about the use of digital cameras and, if you're interested, can help you maximize the capabilities of your camera.
Finally, we are ever grateful to Elizabeth for telling us that we'd do fine in Costa Rica without a car. Each place where we stayed happily set up a driver to take us to a trail head or to our next destination, thereby avoiding the exhausting experience of driving in CR. Thank you, Elizabeth!

Room Tip: Look at other's photos of the big and small cabins: both charming; get big one if you need the space, but small is fine for 2 (bed is king-sized). The *Villa* is similarly attractive, but without its own views and could be shared by strangers unless you rent the whole thing.
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank prado1122
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2013

We stayed two nights in the cabin at El Sol and loved every minute there. It was obvious from the beginning that Javier paid close attention to detail; we felt very well cared for. The cabin was a lovely, handcrafted, nurturing place to stay; cozy, and perfectly sized for two people. The pool was lovely. We had breakfast delivered to our cabin which was absolutely delicious, and we did utilize the laundry service they provided and that turned out well. One of the highlights was hiring Javier to take us on a night hike through the forest! He is extremely knowledgeable about the flora and fauna in the area as well as the history of Monteverde. We felt very safe with him in the forest and very much enjoyed his charming personality.
The location of El Sol is certainly a bit remote, we had our own car, and it took us about 15 minutes to get to town from El Sol, but the town itself is pretty tourist-y, so for us, the remoteness was an asset. El Sol was also the most expensive place that we stayed, but it was also the place with the most attentive hosts, (by far,) and the best accommodations, (by far,) so naturally it would be more expensive. We would absolutely stay there again!

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Maia B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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