Northern Plains Hotels



El Establo Mountain Hotel

At a Glance


  • luxurious furnishings
  • many activities


  • massive grounds require shuttle bus to navigate
  • lacks intimacy
  • Wi-Fi in common areas only
  • poor lighting in rooms

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  

El Establo Mountain Hotel Review

The area's largest, grandest hotel gets high marks for its huge suites, plush decor, a long list of amenities, and many activities. "The Stable" began life as just that, a stable near the road, remodeled and apportioned into rooms with basic furnishings. Over the years, ever-upward expansion has turned this place into a sprawling operation where hillside buildings house rooms and suites, some with wood-and-stone walls, lofts, balconies, and amenities rarely seen up here, such as hot tubs.

    Hotel Details

  • 155 rooms.
  • Rate includes breakfast.
Updated: 04-08-2013

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  
  • Room  


    Just came back from a 10 day trip to Costa Rica, we stayed at El Establo for a couple of night on july, this place left me breathless! the view from our room was amazing! the hotel grounds were huge!lots of green areas to walk around and enjoy nature, we tried out both restaurants that were on the hotels site an dboth were quite different but both excelent. On one afternoon we tried out the canopy tour at the top of the hotel and it was quite an experience, helpfull and fun guides plus a great adrenaline rush! We shurly recomend it!

    by chris7012, 10/22/08
  • Room  

    El EStablo in Monteverde: watch out!

    Poor service at El Establo in Monteverde: late May, 2008.
    Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
    Watch out!!! Terrible experience!!
    We stayed at the El Estable for two nights at the end of May because it was available and was recommended in several travel guides (Frommer's and Fodor's). Although the physical plant seems to be upscale and modern, we experienced too many negative incidents to compensate for the appearance and the cost.
    § Late at night, a staff member tried to enter our room from the patio by first trying to open the chain-locked patio door and then attempting to open the door fully by reaching his hand through the opening and manipulating the chain (unsuccessfully, fortunately) in order to release it. We were never told why he had tried to enter the room.
    § Our room had no air-conditioning (which was a surprise), and we found several of the louvered windows open on our arrival. There were no screens on any of the windows or doors, so we couldn’t leave them open to get fresh air or to cool off the room without risking entry by unwanted creatures.
    § Upon entering the room the first night, we were surprised to find some spiders, a number of large, beetle-like insects crawling around the floor and other insects flying around, in the bathroom and near the bed. We had to dispose of these before we felt comfortable about going to bed.
    § The TV remote didn’t work consistently and the staff didn’t do anything until the next day. Someone had to come to the room in order to get the TV to turn on. We never got an explanation of what was wrong.
    § The room had a locked safe as we expected, but there was no key provided in the room and no instructions about how to get a key were provided in the room or when we checked in. This wasn’t corrected until the next day.
    § There were no instructions about how to make calls from the phone in the room and no directory for the hotel’s departments, i.e., housekeeping, front desk, etc.; nor was there a local phone directory.
    § I dialed ‘O’ and talked to someone about these unsatisfactory events but didn’t receive any accommodating responses. For example, instead of being offered any apology or helpful suggestion, we were told ”you should have asked for the key to the safe when you checked in”.
    § We called the front desk to inquire about getting some ice (which my wife needs daily to treat a medical condition) it took more than 45 minutes before it arrived. We later found that ice was available from a machine located on the same floor, a few doors from our room. And, there was no guide or brochure listing the hotel services or features provided in our room, and nothing was mentioned when checked in.
    § No room service menu was available in the room, although the hotel’s brochure claims room service is available.
    § The staff was consistently ill informed or ignorant of the hotels features. They were uniformly reluctant to help or apologize or offer to help when challenged. The desk staff seemed poorly trained for such a large facility. The only consistency in their behavior was their defensive pose, and the implication that whatever the issue was, it was somehow our fault.
    § We asked numerous times to speak to the manager or some responsible individual about our issues with the poor service and were repeatedly told by the staff that we could not talk to him or her, that we could only write a letter to the hotel address.

    by Traveler_G, 8/24/08

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