More about Hotel Fonda Vela
Very nice hotel. Excellent location for walking to both Santa Elena and Monteverde Cloud Forest and most of the other attractions in Monteverde.
Huge rooms, comfortable beds, excellent services, good food. The requirement that reservations be made for dinner was kind of odd for the off-season.
More screens on the windows would be nice, but no real complaints and plenty of high praise from us.
We would definitely recommend Hotel Fonda Vela and will stay there again.
best time ever
It's been a couple months since our May trip and we're still thinking about wonderful stay at Fonda Vela.
We loved the camp-like setting, hearing birds in the morning and the general peacefulness of the hotel grounds.
The hotel manager and our waiter were super-nice--they played along with us as we tried our rudimentary Spanish.
We can't wait to go back.
We definitely recommend this place.
Arrived at the Fonda Vela after a long and dusty drive. Checked in and went to the room, only to discover there was no water. Called the front desk numerous times to no avail. A workman came by, verified there was no water, and then disappeared.
The front desk would not move us. They claimed they had no other rooms available. After several hours, we met up, dirty, with the rest of our party in the restaurant (average food) to discover that: 1) they had no problems; 2) one party also had no water, but they had been moved.
Half-way through dinner, the desk clerk came by the table to announce that the water was fixed. We celebrated and went back to the room to learn that there was no hot water. I called the front desk, but no one answered, so I walked down to the lobby to learn that the front desk was closed and the employees had all gone home.
We didn't have hot water in the morning or after our return from the zipline tour. After a whole day of desk pounding (from me, our guide, and our tour company, who called repeatedly), we were moved to a new building with hot water. The manager finally apologized and promised to refund the cost of the night's stay via our tour company - this was never done.
So here is a hotel, with major problems, and no one bothers to make sure that the problem is fixed. And when you pay money for an expensive hotel, you expect hot water. No one seemed to care, and the general attitude of the desk staff was a shrug. It was very disappointing.
It is easy for a hotel to be "great" when it is in such a beautiful setting. But you get to separate the good hotels from the bad ones when things go wrong. Unfortunately, we were the ones who got to experience "when things go wrong."
Nice hotel, not really worth the price
The hotel was nice but a bit overpriced for what it was. The rooms were simple and clean, they were rustic and looked like a cottage. The food at the restraunt was good, but was the most expensive we had in the country. I also am fairly sure that $100 was stolen from our room when it was being cleaned. I have no real complaints with the property, but for the price you would expect more than a room that looked like a cabin with no air conditioning and no breakfast included. I would probably try a different hotel if I returned to Monteverde.
My husband and I stayed here in June 2006 on our honeymoon. We came to Monteverde to do the zipline (with Sky Trek which boasts the tallest, longest and fastest zip lines around and it was great)! The hotel was nice, but nothing too spectacular. It was definitely clean and the people were nice. We ate at local restaurants (a great pizza place whose name I can't remember and a hamburger place on the second floor downtown). He found all of the names on this site. :) The road out to Monteverde was horrible, but there isn't an alternative. We found a little place that sold wood for a great price. It was a little out of the city and was owned by a family. They actually let my husband go down to the workshop and create a plate! I think the only name on it was "Rosewood" and it had windows all around the little building sitting next to a house. Sorry I'm not better help with names! We enjoyed Monteverde.
Nice hotel in Monteverde
My husband and I stayed here for 2 nights in May on a tour of Costa Rica arranged by Horizontes Nature Tours. Our room was very large, with three comfortable beds, ample storage, mini fridge, cable TV, and beautiful wood paneling. The bathroom was on the small side, and the shower door kept coming out of the track, but aside from that it was well maintained. There is no air conditioning, but this area was pleasantly cool (though humid), so we were comfortable just with the windows open. The breakfast buffet was quite good with a wide selection of items. The bar serves beer, wine, and reasonably priced mixed drinks (I had a great mojito for $4.00). Dinners were overall quite good, although the medium-rare fillet mignon my husband ordered first came out very rare, then well-done after he sent it back. Seafood, on the other hand, was consistently good. There is internet access in the lobby, but the connection was pretty slow. The staff were friendly and seemed genuinely concerned that guests enjoy their stay. This hotel is within walking distance of the Cloud Forest Reserve, as well as the CASEM craft co-op, the cheese factory, and the Bat Jungle (maybe a 1-mile walk). To get to other attractions, like the Butterfly Garden and Selvatura, you would need a vehicle.
Everything was amazing
We went to Costa Rica for our honeymoon and were so pleased with everything. In particular, this hotel provided private accomodations in the middle of the forest with superb service and the food was amazing too. The rooms were huge and our view of the garden was relaxing. I didn't know what to expect from the food, but we ate breakfast and dinner there every day. The dinner selections were constantly changing and highlighted the specialties of the country. There was even a buffet one night that was some of the best beef that I have ever had and I am from cow country. The front desk helped us make tour arrangements and we were not dissappointed. He recommended a family farm tour (trap something) that included coffee, so we didn't waste our money on the corporate coffee farm.
I highly recommend taking a little walk to the Monteverde Cheese factory and either go on the tour or just stop in for some delicious ice cream.
Rustic but nice...
The main thing I can say is that there is nothing WRONG with this place. There's also nothing exceptional whatsoever.
Room will be clean, large, and dated (in a relatively charming way). Kind of like staying in a log cabin. Lots of taxes on top of my bill when I checked out (they charge you extra taxes/service on the meals, then put it on your final bill and charge taxes and service again).
The two other places I stayed in CR were both over 300 a night, but included taxes and one or 2 excellent meals.. this was 110 but ended up being 200...
Beautiful Area, Great Hotel
Everything exceeded our expectations. We had a gorgeous large room, the food was very good and the grounds beautiful. The area peaceful and quiet. Highly recommended and would return if in the area again.