OK - good news first. The Costa Rican couple who run the hotel are extremely pleasant and obliging and do their best with what they've got. The view is as advertized - spectacular.
However, there are some significant problems with this hotel! I can confirm other reviews that the walls are very thin and in fact the buildings are quite old and of entirely wood construction, giving lots of dark crevices which, unfortunately, provide lovely hidey-holes for insect life - we found several very large cockroaches in both our rooms. I'm not implying the place is dirty - this is the tropics where bugs are a fact of life and if I'd been staying in a hostel or a backcountry cabin I wouldn't have commented - but this is supposed to be a superior hotel. I can also confirm that the rooms are very dark and gloomy and it's very difficult to read in the evening. The food is OK, but very limited - we were offered a choice of pasta or a casado the night we arrived.
The other problem is the remoteness. We liked the idea of privacy and getting away from the crowd, but the road is extremely rough and a drive that is pleasant enough in the day is an absolute nightmare in the dark when it's raining and the clouds are right down giving limited visibility, which is just about a given in the rainy season. There are lots of great evening activities available in Santa Elena - night hikes, the ranarium, a nice range of restaurants - but then we were faced with the desperate drive back (we really didn't want to eat at the lodge more than once and it was a bit grim spending an evening out there). The view is only a compensation in the dry season - we were there in the wet season and only had one clear night with a view of Arenal.
Leaving the view aside, this is a very basic hotel and very overpriced. It needs some significant investment to bring the accomodations up to an acceptable level.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- All our rooms have stunning views of the lake and Arenal Volcano, something that if we make clear is that we are located in a cloud forest that means not always clear, we trail to a waterfall and others because the hotel has 100 acres primary forest. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, Priceline, HostelWorld and Evoline ltd so you can book your Vista Verde Lodge reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Vista Verde Hotel Monteverde