My husband and I had mixed feelings about this hotel, as it had its good and bad points. We stayed for three nights and were very happy with the quality of the rooms, which were spacious, comfortable, and offered a balcony with a beautiful view. The grounds were beautiful and there are hiking trails on site.
The downsides -
When we arrived to the hotel around 6PM, we inquired at the front desk about activities we could do that evening or the next day. Instead of providing us with any information, the clerk told us we would need to speak with the concierge the next morning. When we did speak with the concierge, he told us that the 7AM hike in Monteverde was the best of the times offered and the best opportunity to see animals. We also found out there was an 8PM night hike on the grounds we could have done after we arrived. We were disappointed because the only morning we could have done the 7AM Monteverde hike was that day. If we had been given any information when we asked at check-in, we absolutely would have signed up for that hike at that time.
Additionally, when we checked in, we were told that only one of the restaurants on-site was open for dinner that evening. At the time, we were completely unaware that there were a couple of off-site restaurants within walking distance, so we thought that was the only option. The restaurant, which did have beautiful views and good service, was very expensive. I had the gnocchi without the prosciutto for about $28 and it came with approximately 8 small pieces of gnocchi. My husband had coconut shrimp, which came with two pieces of shrimp. They also sell small (think $7) bottles of Yellowtail wine for almost $30. After a $70 dinner, I had to go back to the room and have a Cliff bar. My recommendation would be to avoid Laggus unless you are intending to eat at a fancy, expensive restaurant with a view.
You can't walk around much at the hotel as it is on a mountain. There is one roadway going from top to bottom of the property and even if you tried to walk it, you would be in fear of being hit by one of the shuttles. However, the shuttle service was excellent and made it easy to get from Point A to Point B.
The good -
The front desk staff was very friendly and courteous at all times. There is excellent coffee in the reception area anytime, which you can enjoy while using the WiFi. Through the hotel, we did a guided tour at Monteverde Preserve and a night hike on the hotel property. Both were fantastic. Ronny was our guide for both and he was excellent!! He was personable and thoughtful, passionate about nature, wildlife, and the local area, and went above and beyond to make sure we were having a great time. We even got lucky and saw a Quetzal during our hike at the preserve. Ronny was as excited as we were! He also went out of his way to offer to take great photos for us. Can't say enough about what a great job he did.
We also really enjoyed our room. La Rienda, the other restaurant on site, was great for breakfast! The queso and marmelade were fantastic. There was also a great off-site restaurant, which we later heard was associated with the hotel. It is called Don Luis and is a short walk around the corner. The food, atmosphere, and nightly music were excellent. We ate there two nights in a row and my husband, who is a musician himself, was even invited to sit in and play with the local musicians while we were there. It was a great time with wonderful people.
- 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