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“Wouldn't stay here again.......”
Review of Heliconia Hotel

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Heliconia Hotel
Ranked #21 of 21 Hotels in Monteverde
California
1 review
“Wouldn't stay here again.......”
Reviewed 23 May 2007

When we checked in, the staff was semi helpful. At first glance, the rooms up on the hill look beautiful. But once inside, there def is a stench. It's in the Cloud Forest where it's very damp and the rooms are carpeted and smell terrible. The pillows were the worst I've ever slept on. You need to ask the housekeepers for towels and to empty the trash. This is important cuz you can't flush any TP down the toilet. Also, the trash can have no liners and are dirty. Also, I feel if you are on the bottom floor, that it is unsafe. The windows can easily be opened. Def use the safe (extra charge for key) The restaurant and lobby area are pretty dreary. We didn't eat the buffet, LOTS of flys.

BUT...the bartender was super nice. :)

  • Stayed May 2007, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Chrissy7777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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376 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (54)
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English first
Connecticut
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 April 2007

I've traveled all over the world, and don't want or expect to have a Holiday Inn experience when I travel, especially in a semi-third world place like Costa Rica. But this is an awful hotel. The staff, with one exception -- he helped us leave a day early to go to Guanacaste when we couldn't stand it there any more -- was as surly as any I have ever met. The attitude seemed to be that it was their hotel and we were bothering them. My family and I are not "ugly Americans," and all but one of us spoke Spanish, so it wasn't as if we were doing anything to merit the rudeness.

The setting of the hotel is beautiful, as are the views out the rooms, but the rooms themselves are unpleasant. The only lighting is fluorescent, and once it gets dark, you feel as if you're in an aquarium. Because there is nothing to do at night in Monteverde (unless you want to sit in a bar all evening), you are stuck in your room. The septic system in the hotel does not allow you to flush toilet paper, and after two days our poorly ventilated bathrooms smelled like porta-potties. We had to insist on getting clean towels.

The buffet table in the restaurant (I wouldn't eat anything but breakfast there) was literally swarming in flies. They were on the fruit, the pastries, everything. I stuck to coffee and toast, and you can get eggs cooked for you. The coffee is delicious, I'll give them that! But other than fruit, most of what was on the table was cookies and desserts that looked as if they were leftovers from dinner. We ate outside because there was a staff member teaching himself to play guitar in the restaurant over the music they were playing on the sound system. There are decent restaurants near the hotel, luckily, especially one right across the street, and the staff everywhere we ate in town were very nice.

The much vaunted jacuzzis at the hotel are unheated. Not a treat after trekking in the Cloud Forest.

The hotel is in the village of Santa Elena, not a pretty town, and not any more welcoming than Hotel Heliconia. The tourist center is a joke -- the same shrugging and don't bother me attitude we got at Heliconia.

I hear that the place to be is El Establo, right next door, where I tried to book but couldn't get in. I met people who stayed there and they loved it. So if you're going to Monteverde, try for that one. (But unless you are wild about trees, I'd skip the cloud forest. I'm a nature lover, and I found it beautiful but much overrated as a placed to see animal life.)

  • Liked — the setting and the views
  • Disliked — everything else
  • Stayed April 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
3 Thank Eebs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Monteverde hotels

Spokane, Washington
Level Contributor
55 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 February 2007

My wife and I stayed at the Heliconia for 2 nights and 3 days during spring break, 2006. We had a suite up on the hill and it was waaaay too large for just the two of us! We could have put 4 or 5 more people in there! Be prepared for a good hike uphill if you get one of the suites up there! Yes, they have a shuttle to take you up, but it isn't always available. The staff was nice, but we ate at the italian restaurant across the road. The food was way too pricey at the hotel. I paid $7.00 USD for a small bowl of soup! The cloud forest was amazing and if you can take the night tour, do so. You'll see animals that you will never see in the daytime. The front desk was very helpful with tours, etc.

Stayed March 2006
Helpful?
Thank barry1170
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brooklyn, NY
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 August 2006

The people at Heliconia were friendly and helpful. The hotel is focused on environmentally friendly lodging. The location was good to both Santa Elena and to the Cloud Forest. However, I could not recommend the hotel. I had a junior suite. A junior suite simply means you get two king sized beds. The room was tight with the the two king sized beds. The blankets, bedspread and sheets were all old and dirty. It was right next to the El Establo and the two nights I spent there I was wishing I had spent the extra money to stay at the Establo.

Definitely take a morning guided tour of the Cloud Forest. The tour ends around noon. If you have time, spend the rest of the afternoon in the forest. The tour only takes you on a couple of short paths. In the afternoon you can roam the other paths. There is a great viewpoint on the Ventana path. Don't miss it.

We had dinner at Johnny's. It was so good the first night we went back the next. They really love garlic. Everything was covered in garlic. The second night I had a Tilapia special. It had so much garlic I couldn't eat it. The pizza is pretty good.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Cleanliness
  • Tips/Secrets — Don't stay here
  • Stayed August 2006
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank cvschild
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Milton Keynes, England
Level Contributor
76 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 July 2006

The Heliconia Hotel is well situated in Monterverde. When we checked in the receptionist was helpful and went through the range of tours available, with good knowledge of what was on hand and what to avoid. She said it was best to discuss this first as our room was 'at the top'.
We thought this meant the room was on the top floor of the hotel - it was actually at the top of the hill behind the main reception building. The view from here was stunning and I believe on good days the sunsets are magnificent - unfortuanatley it was raining on both evenings we were there.
The rooms are hugh, - we had two king size beds with enough room to throw in a couple of singles if required. They are a bit basic(No TV/Hairdryer/Coffee Machine or Mini Bar) and lots of wood abound.The shower was huge and everything was very clean. Its a bit of an uphill hike, but if you have mobility problems then speak to reception and they will organise the hotel mini-bus to take you to your room.
As mentioned in other reviews, the reception/restraunt areas are dark, mainly becuase of all the wood they use, combined with poor lightining.
If you feel like splashing out, then treat yourself to your own personal chef to make dinner. Eduardo created for us a Ceasar salad with handmade dressing followed by Sea Bass with fresh water jumbo shrimps, cooked in a white wine sauce. All beautifully prepared at out table.

  • Stayed June 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Retromobile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 July 2006

It's a nice hotel but I wasn't crazy about the location personally. We were only in Monterverde for 2 days/1 night, it poured in the evening so it was a bit too inconvenient to head into the central part of town. We did have dinner at a nice Italian restaurant directly across the street from the hotel which was lovely. Beware, Monteverde is a definite tourist trap so everything costs more than what you'd expect for this part of the world.

Rooms were large and nicely appointed but, as previously mentioned, no A/C or TV although I'm fairly certain this is among the nicer hotels in Monteverde. Front desk staff was very helpful with excursions.

  • Stayed May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Keith B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
florida
Level Contributor
51 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 July 2006

Just back from 1 night....thankfully. Found the reception area, restaurant dark and poorly furnished/decorated. Neat little cottage type rooms but the varnish smell kept me awake with a headache. No TV, in room safe not bolted to anything so anyone could have just made off with it. Huge bath tub w/o jets in the bedroom.......just an odd place. For one night it was OK. On a brighter note, went to the cloud forest and actually saw 4 Quetzals and got some amazing photos...made it worth the price of admission.

  • Stayed June 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank fillymo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Heliconia Hotel

Property: Heliconia Hotel
Address: Cerro Plano | Frente a la Escuela Rafael Arguedas, 10921-1000, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Monteverde
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #21 of 21 Hotels in Monteverde
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Heliconia Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 46
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Heliconia is located on a stunning 6 acre property and is surrounded by lush, beautiful and tropical rain forest, where you can see and find hundreds of exotic birds and animals. The lodge offers a one of a kind panoramic view of Monteverde and the surrounding area. Hotel Heliconia has been decorated with a fine wood finish, all contributing to the home like ambiance. Here you will find a finely decorated restaurant and bar featuring an international menu, amazing walking trails and numerous jacuzzis found around the property that can fit 2 to 5 people- great for a romantic night for two, or a few drinks with friends. All rooms come with all the amenities like flat screen tv with cable, beautiful spacious bathrooms, fresh towels, coffee maker and balconies with sitting area. All contributing to make your stay at Hotel Holiconia a very comfortable and memorable one. Whether you are looking to relax or be active, Hotel Heliconia has something for everyone. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Heliconia Hotel Monteverde

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