I feel guilty writing a tepid review of this or any property without this preface about my predisposition: I love the sun. My husband jokes (fairly) that I have a solar battery. If it is not charged up, I am depleted. Happiness and comfort wane immediately. So please consider this review of a hotel located in a so-called “cloud forest” through that filter.
Ahem, now then.
Because Monteverde’s El Establo Mountain Hotel sprawls up and down a steep hill — er, as its name implies — the views from the rooms at the top are incredible. But the other side of that coin: The lodging buildings and other buildings (restaurant, spa, and the like) are quite far apart and challenging to access. There’s a shuttle that drives the route periodically, but it’s not ideal to have to wait for one; we’d mostly have preferred to walk, but it was often raining, given the location in the cloud forest and all!
(N.B.: I visited with my 69-year-old mother, who’s never deterred by a chance to hike rather than sit — but when you’re in a hurry to catch a tour, and it’s raining, it can prove frustrating to get from top to bottom of the hill.)
Another drawback: the sleep quality. The walls between guest rooms are paper thin. I felt the people next door were actually talking in our room. Not ideal for a light sleeper.
But here are some additional upsides: The staff people were all very kind and accommodating. At the restaurant, for instance, the server brought a special vegetarian meal prepared just for me, although there were multiple vegetarian options on the buffet (and of course I’m used to scraping my own improvised veggie meals together when I travel anyway). Conveniently, there’s also Wi-Fi in the lobby.
Overall, an adequately nice choice with a dramatic view as the highlight.