We stayed at El Sol for 2 nights in late August and very much enjoyed our stay. El Sol is located 5km south of Santa Elena on the road to San Jose and takes 10 or 15 minutes actual driving time from Santa Elena. While there we stayed in the small cabin which was a treat. The cabin includes a bathroom with shower, a kitchen with sink, dishes, fridge, propane burners and a very large and very comfortable bed. Overlooking a gorgeous valley, the cabin sits by itself on the owner's property so you have ultimate privacy. As mentioned in other reviews, there are bugs here and there in the cabin, but it is a cabin...on a farm. It would have been more surprising if there weren't bugs.
Elisabeth, the owner of El Sol was an extremely gracious host and made our stay in the Santa Elena area as pleasurable as possible. She arranged for a delicious dinner of tortillas and fixings to be delivered to the cabin on our first rain soaked night and also had an amazing breakfast spread prepared for us the next morning (neither, however, are included in the cabin rental). She also arranged for us to go horseback riding ($60 a person) from the property with two guides and the family staying in the large cabin. The riding was certainly not beginner's horseback riding as it was down to the base of the valley and back up on rocky and muddy trails. However it was very fun and included brunch in the middle of the river at the bottom of the valley overlooking a waterfall.
The property overall is beautiful and also has a pool and sauna which we didn't used but looked inviting enough. It does get dark very early but the sun also comes up early as well...so we got early starts and were asleep by 9pm both nights. One final note of caution: Elisabeth only accepts cash. Plan ahead so you don't get delayed on your way out of town waiting an hour and a half in line at one of Santa Elena's two banks like we did! For more info about our trip to Costa Rica visit our travel blog at http://patrinadoestheglobe.blogspot.com/
This is a very nice, very quiet and peaceful place to stay. Overlooks a huge green valley with almost no other buildings in site. Located 10 minutes off the man triangle of downtown Santa Elena, and far from the diesel smell, 4wd jammed roads and noise.
It's owned by Rolf, a guy from Minnesota, US. There is one big cabin with a upstairs room and downstairs room. Since when I got there the big upstairs wasn't taken, he upgraded me for no cost. The view is to die for. You overlook the big valley--all green trees and clouds in front of you.
Monkeys often come by the treetops between 11am and 3pm. Open the windows and feed them by hand. Or you can see other wildlife, like a couple coatimundi out the door like I did. Rolf keeps extra bananas on hand for the occasion.
La Colina provides simple accommodation for the person who wants a quiet retreat. La Colina is closer to the Monteverde Cloud Forest national park that the main city, however this will give you two problems if you're hoping to get around on foot. Unless you want to subside on the simple offerings at the hotel's resteraunt or the few surrounding coffee shops, you are in for a long hike to the main city for food and shopping and etc. In addition, the park is not within reasonable walking distance of the hotel either (probably 1 hour at least if your hustling) so you are stuck with long treks either way. My suggestion is to stay in the city for night entertainment and easy pick up for quided tours. You can always catch a cab to and from the Cloudforest, and since you want to save you're hiking energy for the park taking a cab will help.
The hotel itself offers small rooms with shared bathroom and bare minimum of storage space. It has a nice view from the grounds and is run by a nice couple from southern California.
My overall advice would be that unless you want quiet, seclusion and simplicity you should evaluate other options
I had a privat room together with someone I met on the travel, we had a good hot shower and the rooms are clean.
There is a kitchen were you can cook with a fridge that keeps your beers cold.
The Hotel/Hostel has its own Touristinformation were you can book trips.
Camino verde is also just across to the little busstation were you can buy your tickets.
This hotel features stand alone bungalow styles rooms that are made from beautiful dark woods. Most rooms have decks that look out over the forest, some even have fireplaces! Super nice restaurant on site, and a new bar has been built on the property!
The fireplaces are sure to kick up the romantic feelings!
Our first night in Monteverde/Santa Elena was horrible. This was like a warm bath to us.
For a double room with private bathroom (warm water) and balcony we paid $ 45. There were 2 beds (one double and one single) and the beds where clean, soft and warm. They calculated the lack of travellers pajama's. Soap and 2in1shampoo on the house. Breakfast included (toast, eggs, fruit and coffee or juice). Laundry service made our day complete.
The receptionist (Francisco?) made reservations for a new and really good (don juan)Coffee-tour and while the checkout time was 10am, he let us keep our bags in the room untill we got back at noon. The Quetzal inn made everything better, like a kiss on a bruised knee. Thank you.
Walking distance to mainstreet but no traffic noise.
This is a small centrally located "hotel" in Santa Elena (the town near Monteverde). The hotel is only 6 or 7 rooms on top of 3-story building (Treehouse Cafe & Internet & other restaurants on the 1st two floors). It was only $30/night for a good size room with tv, shower, nice beds, & a balcony. The cleaning was done daily by a very nice woman. The manager is actually the owner of the Vitosi Pharmacy right down the street. The room was nicely decorated with modern equipment.
Only drawback was on the weekend because of the Bar Amigos behind the building. My first night was the 2006 World Cup qualifier between Costa Rica & Panama (CR won 3-0, btw), so you can imagine the boisterousness. Other than that, the place was good for a solo traveler without a car, as it was near the several stores and restaurants in the area. I would consider staying here again.
Nice 3rd floor balconies with a view of the area. The bed were comfortable. Everything was quite clean & fairly modern.
We stayed in the lovely little new rooms with private baths in the back for three nights. There are also singles, doubles and triples with shared baths for ~$15-20 per night and dorms for ~$5 per night per bed. It's a pretty typical hostel but it's clean and not loud at night, at least not where we slept. The shared kitchen helps weary travelers save a little $$ and add variety to the diet. They also have laundry service (a good deal since line-drying is difficult in Monteverde).
Very helpful staff can arrange a number of tours, transportation, horseback riding, and other activities. There seem to be a ton of staff around at all times. The original owner mentioned in guide books is not around anymore.
I stayed in a budget wood cabin with a bunk bed and private bathroom with hot shower, all by myself. Definitely consider a place with hot shower as it can be chilly in the Monteverde area. The cabin is small (ok for one person) yet is cozy. It has a large window overlooking the garden.
The hotel is situated on a hill top in Santa Elena. There are numerous cabins scattered on the hotel ground. Definitely ask for the ones higher up on the hill, as you have more open view and not as close as the town below, which can be quite noisy, even at night.
The landscaped garden is beautiful with all kinds of flowers, and there are banana and lemon trees as well. During the day, you can enjoy the sun in the tranquility in the garden, or read a book or simply relax on the porch.
The buffet style breakfast ($6.50) is fresh and delicious, with lots of varieties, such as bread, cheese, fruit salad, German pastries, eggs, and of course, gallo pinto. They only serve breakfast though.
Their prices are very reasonable for what you get. Plus the close proximity to everything: the sodas, restaurants, supermarket and internet.
If you travel like we did, you'll end up in many different places, many differents hotels. So you don't regret your choice of stay and since you'll never find the top quality luxurious hotel room for 5$, know what are your right questions.
While in the south, check for conditioned air (or at least a fan). Hot water is also good, but not as important since it's already so hot outside. Up north, the hot water becomes more important, and possibility to close the windows.
Does it have a safe (otherwise, you'll have to carry everything with you, even to go to the grocery)? Is it possible to do laundry, at the hotel or close by (otherwise, ask for a huge sink!)? Is there a parking lot or a bus station close by? Breakfast included and at what time (if not, look for a grocery store near by and a fridge in the room... especially if you've plan a trip early in the morning)?
It's quite simple in fact, but take the time to think about it. What are your specific needs, your travel plans, your activities, your budget... Before you fall in love with the view, the flowers, the jacuzi...!
When you get out of the bus at Santa Elena / Monteverde without a hotel reservation in your pocket, it's written on your forehead and you attract every hotel scalpers in town. We had to hide in a restaurant and take out our guide book to find something. You either get luxurious or crappy. Luxurious was taken... we went for crappy!
There's no "downtown" there and no way to be close or far from the action. But our bus dropped us off at the triangle of Santa Elena where you find close to each other a few restaurants, bakery, shops and hotels. By foot, I visited a few before we made our choice, more by necessity than anything else. They were booking quickly.
We stayed in the "deluxe" suite of this pension. No way to see the advertise cabins, but we saw an ungly room, dark and cheap and our room. Same thing, except it was lighter because of the 2 big windows. And we had a balcony. We busted our budget and went for it: 25$
We got hot water in the shower, but only 2 of the 6 times we used it.
You wont get excited over the decoration. "Frou-frou" as we call it in french everywhere: bedspread and bathroom covered with red and pink and flower patterns of way too much polyester fabrics. Almost clean (some spot on the bathroom carpet). Almost sturdy (we broke the bed before the first night, don't worry we fixed it... altought I wouldn't sleep on the top bunk bed if I were you).
But we got used to it. Nice private balcony with tons of flower. Hummingbirds and all kinds of small birds flying around. Loads of space and we used the bunk beds as shelves to unload our backpacks. Not so much on the road, calm.
A really stupid dog might interrupt your sleep at night, but it's all over the city, so it's not quite unique to this place.
Every night, we had a suprise visitor on the roof. We could hear its claw on the plastic roof. Could be a giant iguana or a squirrel. Quite unique!
This place is a very good bargain. It's a little bit out of the way from the center of the town (about a 30 minute walk) but cabs are cheap (about 700 colones).
Every room had a very nice view from the window.
For the price I would definately reccomend staying here, even if you're not on a super tight budget.
This is the best hotel we stayed in during our trip. The walls, floors, etc are made of the local and beautiful wood which gave it a really elegant feel, even though it was only $30/night. The owners were incredible on a personal basis since there are only 8 rooms. They will advise you where to go, what to see, and set up tours for you. They even reccommended a horseback tour that we would never have found without their help because the tourguide had only recently started his horseback business. The hotel included a private bath (with hot water) and a GREAT view....
Amazing view, kind people, not in the tourist section of the town.
The (most) rooms are very nice, clean and cozy. Prices are not high at all, for a room with private bathroom 10$ and without 6$ (prices january 2003). You can also have your laundry done in the hotel, they have parking and offer breakfast. It is a little bit out of the centre (300mts uphill), but on the way to the Monteverde parks.
This is a full-service shoestringer's hostel with a message board and internet.
It contains 21 clean rooms, a common kitchen and a cozy lounge/dining area
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