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“Very nice staff, adequate room”

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Cabinas and Hotel Vista Al Golfo
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Very nice staff, adequate room”
Reviewed 5 January 2014

Overall, this is a nice enough place to stay, especially for the price. The staff were very friendly and helpful, and we had our laundry washed and folded promptly during our stay (even if it cost about $8, we were glad to have the option as it was beyond time for laundry!). Our room and bathroom were clean, there was a stand-up air conditioner unit, an older but functional mini fridge, and cable TV. We had an excellent view of the Gulf of Nicoya from our room, through the large picture window on one side. At night something about the lighting in the room made it feel a little depressing (though they were using energy-saving bulbs, which is good), and the first evening we stayed there we started to notice a sewage smell until we left. Not sure if it was coming from outside or what, but that was unpleasant.

There is a nice shared kitchen on the 2nd floor with dishes and a refrigerator/freezer to use, along with plenty of tables, chairs, and hammocks. The view when facing the gulf is wonderful. A limited but tasty breakfast is included each morning, provided you did not lose your breakfast pass issued each day by the front desk. There is an urn of coffee available on the 2nd floor during most of the day, and a selection of tea available at all times.

The front office is helpful but pretty intense in regards to helping you sign up for tours, activities, etc. We had booked ours in advance and did not need help, but we were given a 10-min. informational session upon arrival. Our second night there a couple was having a screaming and crying match on the opposite side of our room; other than that, it was pretty darn quiet. The nightly winds made it sound as if the building was going to blow over (though didn't feel like it), which we personally liked -- you can't really avoid the wind in that area, so it will probably be the same no matter where you stay.

This hotel is really close to the main drag of Santa Elena/Monteverde, including a large-ish grocery store, tons of restaurants, and a pharmacy (side note: don't expect the pharmacy to be like one in the U.S., as we were hard pressed to find much anywhere in the way of sunburn relief let alone any first aid ointment/creams). There are two banks and a post office relatively nearby.

All told, this was a pretty nice place to stay, and the staff are wonderful.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank SaEofDoom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (27)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
39 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 December 2013 via mobile

Hostel is a little way down a dirt track off the main square (triangle). If you come by inter-city bus its tour touts will be around the bus terminal and can guide you along the 15 minute walk. They didn't offer to help with our bags but that's ok.

The hostel is very clean, has free coffee til 6 all day (and it's very nice) and is well-priced ($20 for a double). Breakfast is included and is good (not bottomless like other places though). Hammocks upstairs are really good, as is the kitchen. Laundry is very expensive ($4 a kilo).

The staff are very, very friendly and more than keen to help out with tours. Indeed, you are given the full run-down on all major tours and tour companies upon check-in and sent away with a pack of brochures to help you decide. You are strongly encouraged to book tours through the hostel and warned (verbally and on numerous posters around the place) about pushy tour touts in town. We didn't see any of these but ok.

We booked two tours with them and they went fine. However, the Nicaragua bus transfer (expensive at $35 - DIY is about $10 and wry straight forward) was a disaster. We were told the bus would pick us up at 7am on the Interamericana (and you need to take a 2 hour local bus there, which is not included in the transfer price). The bus, or what we thought was our bus, went straight past us. In fact, this was an express and our bus wasn't in fact due until 8.30. We obviously didn't know his at the time and so had to make our own way into Nicaragua. We have emailed the hostel numerous times to ask for a refund for this stuff-up but have received no reply.

So on this basis my advice would be to get the info about our operators and have a think about whether to book through the hostel or directly with the operator. Take a deep breath and don't feel you have to book with the hostel. And don't take the Nicaragua bus transfer. It is very straight forward and cheaper to do yourself, as we found out.

Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank thebrisc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hamburg, Germany
2 reviews
Reviewed 27 November 2013

We went through the town and all hostels seem noisy and without nice common area. Vista al Golfo was the opposite. For 10 USD cou get a basic room with shared bath, can use the kitchen and have breakfast (fruits, cereals, eggs or pancakes... really a lot!).

The owners are a nice couple and gave us a students price for the national park... great deal for us!

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Nadine S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
46 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 November 2013

This hostel has a lovely communal area and kitchen with beautiful views of the surrounding areas. The staff were friendly and helpful. My partner and i booked for a private room, we were upgraded to a family room with private bathroom for no extra money. Overall, it's a great hostel to relax in and meet new people.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank Nerissa B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
19 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 November 2013 via mobile

What a view the owner meet the bus to convince us to try their venue, it was a bit overwhelming with a lot of proprietors selling their wears! But due to great reviews we choose the cabins. We got a good price for the room as the original room had been rented, we were in luxury! Double beds, tv, own kitchen and a great view.. Now one can't help but complement Lilly who took charge of the front office, if every hostel had a Lilly they would be on a winner! This lady was a genuine sweetheart, just like her name, she was sweet and so helpful and always trying to go the extra mile. It's a bit if the path behind Santa Elena but worth the short trek up a gravel road. Keep up the great work.

  • Stayed November 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Weazlegeorge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 November 2013 via mobile

Stayed in the private apartment which was huge, own kitchen and lovely views. Got for a good price which the owner offered, qe didn't ask for 'best price' as it was so cheap anyway. Lily was wonderful helping us with everything, very friendly, always smiling or laughing. Simple breakfast included. Only slight downside was we could easily hear noisy kids in next room. Great family restaurant 30 seconds walk away. Would definitely recommend!

  • Stayed November 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Julie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
245 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 November 2013 via mobile

This hostel has a lovely communal area and kitchen with beautiful views of the surrounding areas and the lady running the hostel was friendly, welcoming and helped us organise any activities that we wanted to do.

The only downfall was that the private room we stayed in (with a shared bathroom) was right next to the kitchen with the bed against the window so it felt as though it lacked privacy.

Overall, it's a great hostel to relax in and meet new people but it would be worth spending a little more to upgrade to an ensuite room away from the kitchen or staying next door in 'Nuestra Casa' if you prefer a peaceful night's sleep.

Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Colite1990
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cabinas and Hotel Vista Al Golfo

Property: Cabinas and Hotel Vista Al Golfo
Address: Meters Southeast Of the Supermercado la Espera 300, Santa Elena, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Monteverde > Santa Elena
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 33 Speciality Lodging in Santa Elena
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — Cabinas and Hotel Vista Al Golfo 2*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Monteverde Budget Cabins Cabinas vista Al Golfo offers cheap lodging in Santa Elena Monteverde, we are located very close to the town of Santa Elena,we offer cheap cabins for you to spend your vacations in Monteverde Costa Rica, come and stay with us at this small and clean hostel.Cabinas Vista Al GolfoWe are located in an ideal spot, from our lodge balcony and look out point you can enjoy a beautiful and exuberant view, you can see the dinamyc climate changes of the monteverde cloud forestfrom our look out point experience one of the best views of the mountains of Monteverde and the Nicoya Gulf Community kitchen fully equipped, refregirator, microwave, toaster, coffe maker and everything you should need Deluxe Apartments fully equipped kitchen private bathroomprivate balcony with the best view for the mountain and nicoya gulfExcellent hot water system Cable T V Security Box FREE BREAKFASTWI-FIFREE INTERNETFREE COFFEE AND TEACabinas Vista Al Golfo Is costarican family run hotel in Santa Elena the owner Jorge Campos and his wife Anali Lopez will assist you personally with everything you should need, they do speak very good English so if you do not speak our language that should be no problem, you can enquire for tours in the area among other things ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cabinas Vista Al Golfo Hotel Santa Elena
Cabinas And Hotel Vista Al Golfo Monteverde, Costa Rica - Santa Elena

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