Monteverde Lodge & Gardens
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Historical Traveler Reviews Monteverde Lodge & Gardens Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
Would not recommend for 20-30 something travelers
We felt the accomodations were overpriced for the rustic and basic nature of the rooms and had it not been for the overaccomodating and well trained staff we would have given this place a much lower review. It may have been just a fluke but the patrons that stay the lodge when we were there were much older and retired which adds to the slower pace of the entire resort. I only make mention of it because it just happened to impact our stay.
We had done some reserach on places in Monteverde to stay and were quite impressed with the website and reviews for this Lodge. Unfortunately, I feel the 3 minute video on this hotel on the website exaggerates the degree of elegance and options this hotel actually offers. We also went at the start of the low season which means that accomodations are plentiful and discounted throughout the area so we truly had a choice in where we wanted to stay.
We had arrived during the low season expecting to get the 91 dollar rate rooms but they had sold out of these rooms (they only have 3). We usually have reservations in advance but the terrible and snotty concierge at Tabacon wouldn't make them for us and only called to see if they had rooms available. As such, we paid $133 and expected to get a decent view and nice accomodations. But the room only had a simple window onto a lawn and no real view. Having traversed 1.5- 2 hours up a mountain to get to Monteverde you hope a place like this would have some views but it only looks onto what appears to be a short patch of lawn and the forest beyond. I understand that Monteverde and St. Elena are small towns and accomodations are limited but I feel if you want rustic you don't need to pay 133 during the low season.
We had them arrange our tour at the Monteverde Cloud Forest in the AM and to the hotels credit they do not charge extra for their services or receive any kickbacks. They had quoted us a rate for the transportation, the tour guide, and the cost of entry into the park. When we were ready to go in the AM they said we had to pay more because we were the only people in the tour needing transportation. We didn't argue (too late right?) with that and agreed to pay the extra amount. There was one tour guide for 6 people and we were the only people there that didn't already have grandchildren. Had we known there were to be six people we would have picked up our own private guide for about the same amount so something I would urge you to consider.
We had no qualms about our guide - he was v. knowledgable and highly compassionate and kind. There were 6 people in our tour group - three couples and us being one of them. The couples were 50-60 year olds and one of the men in the group was sweating perfusely even before we started in the park. The walk was not strenuous and even level but he could not walk v. far before he needed to stop and rest. We later found out that he had a heart condition and at 5000' above sea level I'm sure the air and elevation doesn't help! But that didn't stop his wife from walking way way ahead and abandoning him while she took pictures. It was terrible. To the point that our guide offered to stay behind with him while all of us (including his wife) walked ahead. She didn't hesitate a minute and left her exacerbated husband with the only knowledgable person in our group! So we walked ahead and even with the well marked trails we got lost! We had to double back and found them waiting for us at the location we were supposed to rendevous for 10 minutes. So basically for 1/3 of the tour we were 1) lost 2) no guide and 3) saw v. little wildlife.
The woman never apologized and even said that she was used to skirting ahead and leaving him behind. We are newlyweds and it really made me sad and angry.
When we got back to the hotel they had made the wrong reservations for us out of Monteverde. We had wanted the AM transfer to Manuel Antonio and the local transfers were full so they ended up booking us on the 2:30 transfer. When they called to cancel they said it was too late. I was now so v. upset at everything that had happened but the guy at the desk who listened empathetically to our story of the tour was more determined than ever to make sure we weren't charged and he was able to negotitate and not have them charge us and then also booked us on a local transfer company that would leave promptly the next AM. He was fantastic. I have never seen that determination or calm in light of a harried day.
I would have written a much more unkind review had it not been for the amazing service that we had. Even in light of all the tour snafoos and the less then gracious older patrons they never hesitated to help us with anything we needed. Their hearts were always in the right place.
This isn't the place for everyone but the staff really try.
Great location, friendly/ informative staff
Convenient location, short walk to town, clean but fairly basic room by US standards (for Monteverde area probably plush), with great windows for bird watching, friendly, informative staff, beautiful gardens and great hot tub for relaxing after hikes.
When making a decision about where to stay we decided that we wanted to be close to the town versus a hotel near the Monteverde Cloud Forest. This was a great decision for our family (2 Adults, 2 Kids, Age 11 & 8). We walked to town in the evenings, and the frog pond was within 3- 5 minutes walk of the hotel. We felt less stifled in that we did not need to call a cab every time we wanted an excursion. The town of Saint Elena had many restaurants, the only significant grocery store, the only bank and some stores to purchase items to take home. Most tour companies had offices in the town to book activities. We used the grocery store to buy snacks for our day trips and to get cereal for the kid's breakfast. Although the hotel room was basic, the view of birds from the window each morning was fun for the whole family (take your binoculars), and the gardens were beautiful. Make sure you take a hike down to the river and bridge; we came across by chance. It is a short walk and beautiful. My kids survived the 3 nights without TV just fine- there are night nature walks and the frog pond is best seen at night also. We tried doing some laundry in the room. After two full days it was still quite damp - socks, t-shirts. We didn't have problems with thin walls or being cold as other hotels have been described.
Rustic setting (not the resort town I anticipated), friendly locals who were EXTREMELY attentive to customer service; tourism and tips are key to the town's economy. Roads can't be described, basically dirt with pot holes everywhere and large rocks to dodge.
Activities we did: Zip lines (Sky Track and Sky Walk) - kids loved (age 8 & 11), Frog Pond at night - great guide with incredible sense of humor, Don Juan Coffee Tour, and Night Nature walk. Enjoyed them all and recommend. There was plenty more to do that we did not get to but we were ready to head for a sunnier climate. (2 days, 3 night was my max for this area.)We definitely had moments of misty and torrential rain, but overall we were lucky with the weather. We made a special trip to eat lunch at Stella's bakery and found nothing exceptional. We enjoyed Morphos Restaurant. We also ate at the Tree House Restaurant- pizza is like frozen pizza-awful, but tree in middle of restaurant was neat, and there is a nice jewelry store at the top of the stairs with unique necklaces. Look up when looking for restaurants; we would have missed Morphos and another restaurant whose name I have forgotten if they had not been recommended. We took the taxi, boat, taxi from Arenal to Monteverde and this was a very good trip. Sit on the inner seat on the boat, since outer chairs got wet with lake spray at times. (We also stayed at two other hotels - Arenal Paraiso and Paradisus Playa Conchal; both were excellent) Awesome vacation to do with kids, but not ideal for young kids.
It was an incredible mountain lodge
The hotel staff went "above and beyond"......My husband became very ill (respiratory infection) and they found us a Dr and took care of everything. The were constantly checking on him. The grounds are natural and not pristinely manicured, which may be why some people did not enjoy it. I felt it was a peace of heaven and the rooms were very basic (hello, it is a mountain lodge) but they were very well maintained and clean. The service here was better than any Ritz I have been to. However, the town itself seemed a little hostile and run down.
It was OK
The hotel was nice. The rooms were basic. The view was borderline bad. Food was too expensive and not that great. We had much better meals elsewhere in town. Staff was friendly but I thought the overall package was just OK.
We spent three nights at the Monteverde Lodge in February 2006. The hotel is very nice & the grounds are gorgeous. The staff is super friendly. We ate at the restaurant several times & enjoyed all of our meals there. We saw a blue crowned motmot from the window in our room!
Very clean, beautiful relaxing hotel
We just returned from a week in costa rica (2 days ago) and 2 nights at the monteverde lodge. We totally enjoyed this resort. The rooms were spotless, with a nice rustic feel, no tv, or radio, just the sounds of the wind and the birds from the rainforest outside our window. Pure relaxation and stress free. The front desk was extremely friendly and helpful. We did not eat at the hotel, we walked the 25 minutes to Stellas Bakery for breakfast both mornings, fresh baked goods, eggs, coffee, anything you want for about $8.00 per couple. We had lunch once at Johnnys Pizzeria, delicious but regular american prices ($30.00 per couple) and one night took a taxi downtown ($2.00) to a local restaurant (Mirabella?) for real costa rican food, for about $10.00 per couple) we loved the gardens around the hotel, we loved all the area, the canopy tours cost $55.00 per person, but included hanging bridges and about 16 zip lines, beatiful day.
would definitly return there again.
Definitely stay but don't eat.
All in all a very nice place to stay after tons of hiking. Comfortable beds although they truly need more King size. Stay in the upper building's second floor; it has great views. It's close to Santa Elena without being "in" town and the Cloud Forest isn't far the other way. The only problem at all with the whole place is the restaurant. For some pretty pricey apps and entrees for this part of the world the food is remarkably poor. Although Costa Rica is definitely not the place to go if your looking for haute cuisine, this restaurant was a huge disappointment. If you want a much better meal and about the same price, go down the road to Sophia's. In retrospect, there might have the best food in the whole country.
Monteverde Lodge - Fine
I stayed at this hotel for two nights in August. Our room was very basic, yet comfortable - felt rustic and very lodge-like, which was nice, but also a bit institutional with fluorescent overhead lighting. The hotel is well-located in Monteverde - easy access to many activities as well as area restaurants. The staff was relatively friendly, but not particularly careful with either security (they collect your room key when you leave the hotel, but they would frequently leave the key sitting on the counter where it could easily be taken by a stranger) or billing for incidentals (when we checked out, several charges which were not ours appeared on the bill). I would recommend this hotel, but note that the food in the restaurant was rather pricey and not at all good, so suggest that guests at the Monteverde seek out other places for all meals - particularly breakfast (which is not included anyway) - as there are a number of lovely options nearby.
Wonderful Lodge, and good location
Great lodge -- wonderful rooms, restaurant, and location.
We had a nice room with a balcony overlooking the small forest. Great place to relax and watch birds. We were able to walk into the village. The rainforest is about 5km from the hotel so you cant really walk to it, but the bus will take you there.
The restaurant has a nice bar with a fireplace and board games that creates a nice area to socialize with other guests.
The lodge arranged a horsebacking trip for us too. It was great since we were able to go up into the hills and see the Pacific ocean.
A great hotel
First, I can't believe I'm the first person to write a review of this hotel. If you can survive the drive to Monteverde (no small feat), this is the best and most scenic of all the hotels to stay at. Having gone through all of the website photos for the different places to stay in the region, we settled on this one based largely on the Frommer's review. The rooms were nice with excellent views, the grounds are quite large and beautifully maintained, and the staff quite accomodating. My sole complaint was that we had requested a queen bed and only 2 doubles were available. Otherwise, a perfect stay. Additionally, I think we saw more wildlife in the parking lot of the hotel than we did in either of the Cloud Forest reserves we hiked through.
TripAdvisor Reviews Monteverde Lodge & Gardens Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
Travel Blogs from Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
... producing regions all around the world, he demonstrated us, how one can prepare excellent coffee with a basic glass jar. He took us to a small room, where he was roasting the coffee beans. There were many nicely decorated bags, ready to be filled with freshly roased golden beans.
Today we tasted one of the best filter coffees we ever had. This 'Coffee-Lab' ...
... Monteverde. Sometimes I ask myself why am I subjecting myself for this. LOL. It is all for the experience and for the students which is what makes it all worth while. Monteverde was amazing and beautiful. We hiked all the way to the Continental Divide and was 100%25 in the clouds. We hiked 4 hours in the morning, however we were not able to see the most sought after bird the Resplendent Quetzal. That is the ...
... is of a tree hollowed out as a ficus tree grew covering another tree and essentially killed it. The inside of the tree is completely hollowed out. Christian told us he would climb up these trees from the inside. What a childhood....
As a final treat, we got to see a few coati (hog-nosed raccoons) playing around in the trees just next to the trails. In fact one of them crossed the trail between us and the group behind us. ...
... balance. We paddled along the shore of the lake adjacent to a national park which was full of birds along the shore line. We even saw a decent sized iguana sunning himself on the rocks. After seeing that we caught on pretty quickly, and we were still very dry our guide decided to teach us some tricks on the board which resulted in is not being dry for much longer. He tried to get us to balance on the back of the board with the nose up and spin in circles. ...
... GoPro we were off. Amanda and I took it in turns to go first down the next zip line whilst the other took footage on the GoPro.
Some of the zip lines were made for two people and damn they were fun! 12 out of 13 zip lines done, it was time for the piste de résistance, the final zip line fondly named the SUPERMAN. Unlike all the other zip lines that we had completed, this one is a change of style and pace. Having the harness removed and turned 180 degrees, ...