Hotel El Sapo Dorado
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TravelPod Member ReviewsHotel El Sapo Dorado Monteverde
We were rather disappointed by this hotel, although we had been told it was the best in the area. Cabins scattered up a very, very steep slope , very clean and wonderful views. But the cabin was absolutely freezing - gaps in the windows and no heating, and rather inadequate bedding under the circumstances. Even Tony was frozen, and he doesn't normally feel the cold. The restaurant was very good with excellent food, but leaving there to return to the cabin was an ordeal. I would not stay there again.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Hotel El Sapo Dorado Monteverde
Good location and setting
We spent 3 nights in our Fountain Suite. The cottages are clean, comfortable, and attractively set back on the hillside. My wife and son enjoyed spending the mornings on the deck watching the birds. The location of the hotel provides good access for Santa Elena and Monteverde.
The restaurant was attractive but the food was a little disappointing after some of the reviews we had read and the service was poor. We only ate their once and enjoyed several other restaurants in the area including Moon Shivas, Charlies Pizza, and Stella's Bakery.
Very nice hotel
We stayed 3 nights at the El sapo Dorado in the Sunset Suites. The Rooms were nice and clean, but I do have to agree with earlier reviews about the bugs. I realize that spending a night in the forest warrants a lot of bugs, but we had an ant infestation in the back of one of our chairs...luckily we found it on our first night and put the chair out on the Balcony (we left a note for the cleaning staff and they left the chair out for the remainder of our stay). After that we only saw a couple bugs a day.
The view from the rooms were incredible...I loved sitting on the baclony watching the hummingbirds. The pathes behind the rooms were nice and easy to follow.
I actually had an SUV rental for the entire stay and would suggest it to anyone. The ride up to the cloud forest is very bumpy, but gorgeous, and I personally wouldn't have wanted to do it in a taxi. It's only about 35km from their main highway...but it will take you an hour even in an FWD. If you come up the route from Arenal, it's a little better, but is still about 45km of rather bumpy road. (and in the rain, it's not very fun)
I would definately suggest doing the Selvatura Tours....it's about $40 for a great Zipline course with 19 very long lines about 100ft in the air. I will warn that it seems rather rushed as you get herded along the lines and it is rather busy (try to get on the 8:30am...less people and less rushed), but it's still a lot of fun. The bridges were nice to walk along ($20US), but don't expect an abundance of wildlife...we saw 2 Monkeys and about 5 birds (saw more monkeys from our room). The hummingbird area was incredible ($5US). we stood for about an hour watching hundreds of hummingbirds buzz around and were able to actually touch one or two.
I would suggest the area to anyone who loves nature, but if you're a sun lover...don't expect much. It is a cloud forest after all.
Great view, great food
We stayed in the Sunset Suites at El Sapo Durado. These suites have great views of the Gulfo of Nicoya and you have your own private balcony. The Suites are fairly removed so it very quiet, restful and private. There 's also a great hiking path in the forest behind the hotel. Make sure to ask the front desk for a hiking map before going. They didn't have any maps on hand when we went and we got quite lost.
The hotel staff was friendly but not very helpful. The important thing to know is that you can get almost everywhere by walking (Santa Elena, Butterfly Farm, galleries, Frog Pond, etc). You really only need a taxi to get to the Cloud Forest Reserve. You can have anyplace call you a taxi if you get tired of walking - it's cheap.
The dinners at Sapo Durado were fantastic! We also tried Sophias, which was good, and Morpho's in Santa Elena, which was just mediocre.
Not impressed at first but it grew on me.
This was our second stop on our trip. We were very disappointed when we got ther to find no AC in the rooms (we had a Sunset Suite) as we had just hiked up the side of the mountain to get to our rooms it seemed and then when we stepped inside our rooms there was nothing there to cool us off, not even a ceiling fan. Later on that evening we realized why the rooms don't have AC, because if you leave the doors open you will get a wonderfully cool breeze. The only bad part is that you have to keep the lights really dim otherwise you will attract the bugs into your room because there are no screens on any of the windows. The rooms however were very spacious and clean. And I loved sitting out on our porch.
The town wasn't that far, but prepared to walk up and down some very steep gravel hills. The town was pretty neat, mostly tourist shops and restaurants. If you want to buy coffee there, don't but it in the coffee shops. Buy it in the grocery store its much cheaper.
The people at the front desk were nice at times, but most of the time you felt as if they thought you were stupid.
Overall, I loved Monteverde, but I will probably look for another hotel on our next trip.
I know I am the only dissenting voice in here, but we found the hotel El Sapo Dorado to be overrated. The steep hike to our room was pretty bad, very muddy and the trails were not maintained. My husband fell pretty badly, and he was wearing hiking shoes. The people at the reception told us we had to make a reservation for every meal (including breakfast). We refused to live our vacation this way, so needless to say we only ate there once. We called to make a reservation for lunch, and were treated like we were out of our mind for making a reservation. I understood why they laughed once we got to the restaurant, it was empty. Nonetheless the service took too long, and the pizza for my child came burnt. On top of that, the waitresses were to busy talking to each other to be distracted attending us. The only nice thing is that the rooms are clean and spacious, and have nice views.
We really enjoyed Sapo Dorado. The rooms were nice, quiet, clean, and comfortable. The staff was very friendly and helpful. The food was very good. A good central location between Selvatura and Monteverde. It is about 1 mile to town, so a good walk during the day, quick taxi ride at night. For activities, we highly recommend Sky Trek, walking the Selvatura reserve, and beers at Bar Amigo. We'd definitely stay at Sapo Dorado again. We also heard good things about Fonda Vela hotel.
El Sapo Dorado Delivers
We stayed at a cabin at Hotel El Sapo Dorado. The two rooms were spacious and safe, the beds comfortable, and the staff was extremely friendly and helpful. There is free high speed internet access. The restaurant was one of the best we ate at in the country. Highly recommended.
beautiful setting, wonderful restaurant, great staff. we truly enjoyed our stay here. we stayed in a sunset suite which was wonderfully rustic. the views were amazing and there was a peaceful feeling to the place. sitting out on your private deck watching the sunset , it was surreal and unique.
the hotel is close to the forest entry and to most other things to see and do in Monteverde. I highly recommened spending more than just a few days here since there is so much to see and do.
Great view, friendly staff, and convenient location
We spent two peaceful nights in El Sapo Dorado, staying in their Fountain Suites - which are actually duplex cabins. I recommend cabin 23/24, which is on top of their mountain and offers a beautiful view. However, be prepared for a little walk to get up there (luckily their staff carried our luggage for us!). The best views are in the Sunset Terrace Suites, which were unfortunately full when we were there. The staff spoke English well, and were able to book all our adventures for us. The hotel is relatively close to the major attractions in Monteverde and the Cloud Forest reserve.
The restaurant at El Sapo Dorado is well known in Costa Rica (has a four spoon our of five spoon rating in a Costa Rica restaurant publication), and we ate a couple of very good meals there. They also have a nice, friendly bar with a good view. The suite/cabin we stayed in was clean, well decorated, and had comfortable beds. While it didn't have air-conditioning or heat, neither was needed when we stayed there in late July. After looking over other hotels in Monteverde mentioned in our guidebooks, I believe we made the right choice by staying at El Sapo Dorado. We are planning a return visit in the dry season (December), and will stay there again.
Relaxing Mountain Retreat
The Sapo Dorado is a neat little hotel. Our cabins where super clean, large, well appointed and had awesome views of the Golfo de Nicoya some 40 miles away. The place is so green it glows. Our breakfasts were bland so we didn't eat any other meals at the hotel - instead opting for some of the recommended places in town - which were great. Don't go to Monteverde if you like nightlife, but if you go for the jungle and wildlife this is a great place to stay - it is comfortable and relaxing. I would go here again and would not hesitate to recommend to my friends.
TripAdvisor Reviews Hotel El Sapo Dorado Monteverde
Travel Blogs from Monteverde
... Do my best to keep it together as immigration lady asks for our documents departing Costa Rica and how long we would be there. With all the misleading and conflicting reports, blogs etc online and what we had been told by other travellers, the nerves were kicking as I was still watching the game behind her. We tell her of our departure in 8 days to Bocas del Toro in Panama and she grants us with a 10 day visa. No arguing to get more days as we had our exits booked and were out ...
... basically. They had also recently introduced a cocoa plantation so they showed us how they make the chocolate too and I was good and restricted myself to smelling only :) Got back to the hotel around 4:30. Walked into town and bought some drinks as we were going to be going out tonight for some fun. Most of the group opted to do a night hike but a few of us stayed behind and went for dinner in a tree house ...
... a deal. Kaileigh, Hannah, and I spent some time walking around Arenal (in the pouring rain) in search for a panadaría (bakery), but were without luck. No worries though because we then went to another super nice restaurant and had another wonderful dinner. And tres leches cake again! Seriously so good! I'm now back at the hotel and tomorrow is going to be a pretty lax day. Were going to see waterfalls and then the hot springs! Buenos ...
... tour with the same guide. This time it was at a privately owned reserve and we saw tons of birds. My favorite was the quitzels.. Or something like that. They are really rare and are most commonly found in the Monteverde region. We saw a bunch of other birds too, our guide said if we were birders we would of been in heaven and that it was a really lucky day so I'm guessing we saw some cool stuff haha. Dad would of been in his element! ...
... my glasses were gone from the force of the falls against my face. I eventually recovered them, and dutifully asked Tanya from this point forward to keep them in her zippered pocket. Needless to say, I was forced..to continue with the rest of this activity.....blind!. Glasses are expensive. After dad successfully, or at least semi successfully made it to the bottom, it was now my turn to go. With a deep breath and a bit oh **** I reluctantly stepped over the ...