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“Don't be fooled by the modest exterior”
Review of Hotel Fonda Vela

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Hotel Fonda Vela
Ranked #12 of 20 Hotels in Monteverde
Reviewed 10 May 2014

This is beautiful place is about 4 k from town and 2 k from the Monteverde reserve. The rooms are set close to natural vegetation which bounds the property so it is easy to spot local wildlife. I saw lots of birds and a number of agouti in the grounds. The dry river nature trail makes for a lovely early am or evening walk. My room took my breath away! Yes...the furniture is traditional - with a Spanish influence - but I found this a plus especially the polished wood. The artwork by previous owner provides some insight to his vision for Fonda Vela. How relaxing it was to enjoy a mug of local coffee and gaze through the windows overlooking the central clearing and waterfall. This was the first hotel I've been able to sleep (without ear plugs) with the window open! Oh and yes I enjoyed the meals and found the service excellent. It would have been nice to have wheels, but all the local tours include pick up & drop off.

Room Tip: I had 40 - lovely view.
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled solo
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Thank linda b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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257 - 263 of 701 reviews

Reviewed 7 May 2014

I don't know what other rooms were like but ours was amazing. We were upgraded to a Jr. Suite at the end of the row with the upper floor in a 4 plex. Windows all along one side and a great balcony on the end. Gorgious room. I hope my pictures show how amazing it was. The room was HUGE with a king and queen bed, table and chairs, sitting area and very cool shower/tub.
I wasn't extremely satisfied with the food because it was rather expensive for what you got. It tasted okay etc. though, The service was good. The views are grand and the grounds are nice. It is a ways from town so you will want transportation. The cloud forest is close by.
Getting to Monte Verde is an experience in itself. Beautiful country on unpaved roads. That is why they rent you SUV's I believe. It was a riot though. Fabulous area!!

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank aatpct
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 May 2014 via mobile

Slightly out of date rooms, but great food and service. Very nice pool and game area with a lovely bathroom downstairs. Had great times with friends. Very pretty grounds and artwork. Although the artwork is slightly outdated it's very good and clearly done by someone in the family.

Stayed: May 2014
Thank Katymd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 April 2014

We stayed here as part of a tour with Bales Worldwide. We loved this hotel, the rooms are huge with large window to spectacular views over the lawn area. The dining experience was excellent, the food and service were good. We liked the fine dining. Breakfast overlooking bird feeders gave us great views of Motmots as well as lots of other birds and squirrels. We were not far from the Monteverde Cloud forest, so a group walked up early one morning to get a sighting of the Quetzel - a pair had been spotted on several mornings on the car park area, our group only managed to see the female, but were happy with that. We also arranged to do. Night walk which our guide and hotel sorted for us, this was also great fun. We managed a few short sits by the pool area which was empty, but that suited me for a bit of quiet sun time. Great hotel, great location and excellent food.

Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
2  Thank KymH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 April 2014

We spent only 2 night at this hotel, but we enjoyed a lot. The rooms are very large, with beautiful hardwood floors, very clean and comfortable beds.The gardens are nice. We had cocktails during their happy hour, 8$ for 2 and I had a great rum/ passion fruit mixture out on the balcony. The pool is small, but the view from the balcony outside the pool is spectacular.I found the water to be too cold as the pool is covered and there is no direct sun.The breakfast was quite basic with rice/beans and eggs and some more fruits would be appreciated, but after spending almost 2 weeks in Costa Rica we discovered that this was a very standard breakfast. I was reluctant initially to stay there as was stated that the hotel is far from the town, but the guys from the reception were extremely helpful and a taxi took around 10 minutes to arrive and 7$ to take you to town.As a general remark -the service was excellent. The guys in the reception area, the pool guy, the gentlemen at the bar- every single one was very nice and helpful. My only negative- the water in the shower never run warm/hot enough.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Orly68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2014

Let me begin with the good, and there is a lot of good. The hotel itself is beautiful, and we arrived to a surprise room upgrade. We had a spacious balcony with sunset views, and a very comfortable king size bed. Scattered around stunning grounds are small groups of rooms, so you really feel like you are in cozy mountain retreat. They have their own trails to hike, and the pool and jacuzzi are a great way to relax and the end of a long day of cloud forrest adventures. The staff was extremely nice, and very accommodating. We had a very early morning pick-up, with only 15 minutes between when breakfast started (6:15 am) and our ride arriving and the restaurant team made sure we got to eat before we left.

There is some less good, but most of it could easily be fixed. The hotel is pretty far from town along a winding dirt road, and while nearly all the nice hotels (read: not hostels) are outside of town, and the cab fare from any of them is a fixed price of $8, the longer trip (15 minutes) is a bit of a downside when you want to go have a meal or do any kind of shopping. This is aggravated by the fact that the food at restaurant is less than great and it's expensive. The service is top notch, but we didn't feel like spending $60-$70 for dinner for two for not great food. They are trying to provide a fine dining experience, but we would have appreciated something more casual.

One day we had a 2 hour window at the hotel between tours and we just wanted a snack. We didn't have time to go all the way to town, and didn't want to spend the additional $16 in cabs for a bag of chips, piece of fruit or small sandwich. You would think that since the hotel is a farther out they would have something for sale but they did not.

They do a happy hour in the evening, which we were looking forward to after a day of hiking. We headed down to the pool, were there were many guests relaxing, but the bar was closed. So I walked up the hill, and up to the second level of the dinning building to the restaurant bar, where there was no one but the bartender. I explained a wanted to drink to take down to the pool which meant he had to go all the way down to the pool, get the plastic glasses used for poolside, go back up make my drink and then bring it back down. The bartender was very nice, and did this completely graciously. But, we were left wondering why not set up the happy hour bar at the pool bar where the guests were rather than the empty restaurant bar?

Most of the cons seem to stem from a disconnect between the actual needs/wants of the guests and what the management thinks they want, but really could easily be fixed.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank gaffergrrrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Managerfondavela, Gerente at Hotel Fonda Vela, responded to this reviewResponded 27 April 2014

Dear Gaffergrrrl,

Thank you for taking the time to evaluate our Hotel. We really appreciate the opinions of our clients and we apologize if we did satisfy your expectations.
We are very glad to hear that you very much liked the upgrade that was given to you to a junior suite. It is our pleasure to make our clients feel satisfied with their stay.
We are also sorry to hear that the 3km into town were unpleasantly long for you.
Any time you wish to go into town you can call our front desk and it will approximately take 10 minutes for a cab to arrive to the hotel. As you state in your evaluation we do offer a fine dining experience for our clients that want to experience an exquisite cuisine. Although if wanted, in town there are other restaurants that you are welcome to try.
We do in fact offer our clients small snacks that they can have before going on there tours. We have various options like sandwiches, delicious hamburgers, chicken strips with fries, beef strips with fries, also we offer a mixt special that we are sure that you would have loved. Next time we welcome you to ask any of our waiters for our snack menu.
Also after a long day of tours we offer our clients a happy our at our Canopy Bar (currently we do not offer it at the pool bar) where they can enjoy delicious cocktails overlooking the Nicoya peninsula while the sun sets.
I hope I have answered all of your concerns. We appreciate your comments as it helps us improve our accommodations. If you ever come back to our Hotel I would appreciate the opportunity to speak to you personally, and that way give you the best service we can provide. We hope to see you again in the future and we wish you the best.

Sincerely,

Heather Smith

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2014

Costa Rica is full of surprises. We knew that some of the road from Arenal to Monteverde wasn't paved; we did not know that seventeen kilometers of the road wasn't simply dirt, but dirt covered with large and sliding stones. After our rental car bounced us around for a couple of hours, we ended up completely by chance at the Hotel Fonda Vela just down the road from the Monteverde Cloud Forest. And thus a second surprise: the hotel easily surpassed every one of our expectations. The grounds were open, nicely landscaped and immaculately maintained. The staff was friendly, spoke English fluently and was wonderfully helpful when it came to arranging canopy/zip line tours or guided walks. The jacuzzis were pleasantly warm and the pool was pleasantly cool. The restaurant, complete with fireplace and fire, served the best beef I've had in the nine weeks I've spent in Peru, Columbia and Costa Rica. I'm not exaggerating. The tournado was tender--itself a surprise--and perfectly grilled. Finally (I'm running out of superlatives), the room was a delight, spacious, light, comfortable and attractive. The hardwood floors have to be seen to be believed. I recommend the Hotel Fonda Vela without reservation or hesitation.

Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
4  Thank Marc G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Fonda Vela

Address: 1km past the Monteverde Cheese Factory and 2km before the Monteverde Reserve., Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Monteverde
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 20 Hotels in Monteverde
Price Range: £67 - £156 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Fonda Vela 3.5*
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Fonda Vela Hotel is located in beautifulMonteverde, famous for its Resplendent Quetzals,Three-wattled Bellbirds, an abundance of orchids anda gorgeous cloud forest. The climate is refreshing,often referred to as "The Eternal Spring". The views ofthe Gulf of Nicoya from the hotel’s 1400-meterelevation are spectacular. Monteverde is an idealdestination for relaxing and enjoying the wonders ofthe tropics. A visit of at least two nights inMonteverde is recommended. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Fonda Vela Hotel
Fonda Vela Monteverde

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