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Monteverde Lodge for 2 nights and then El Sapo Dorado for 1 night....is this too CRAZY?

Monteverde Lodge for 2 nights and then El Sapo Dorado for 1 night....is this too CRAZY?

May 15th, 2005, 04:58 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Dec 2004
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Monteverde Lodge for 2 nights and then El Sapo Dorado for 1 night....is this too CRAZY?

Please help! I planned 3 nights in Monteverde for first family trip to Costa Rica June 2005. Hubby is a biologist and needs enough time for night hikes, etc.

Problem: Due to complications, only 2 nights are available for us at the Monteverde Lodge. In order to get a 3rd night in Monteverde we have to change hotels just for one night...really annoying with a family of 5. (2 nights Monteverde Lodge, 1 night El Sapo Dorado)

I only have 2 choices...2 nights at Monteverde Lodge, then 2 nights somewhere down the mountain towards San Jose...(Peace Lodge? Vista del Valle? Orchideas?)

The other choice is 3 nights in Monteverde but with a change of hotels for the 3rd night, and then 1 night near the airport in San Jose before we fly home. (early morning flight)

Especially would love to hear from folks who have stayed in Monteverde and can judge whether the drive up there is worth only a 2 night stay...

We cannot skip Monteverde because it's for hubby! My only choice is whether we spend 2 nights there or 3.

Thanks! Gotta decide fast.
Melissa5 is offline  
May 15th, 2005, 05:58 PM
  #2  
 
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I LOVED Monteverde and especially loved the night walks. The drive to and from Monteverde is tedious. The roads are pretty bad.
dariow is offline  
May 16th, 2005, 12:59 AM
  #3  
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dariow, so from what you're saying about the tedious drive to and from Monteverde, it might be better to stay 3 nights in Monteverde, even though it means that we will have to change hotels...2 nights at Monteverde Lodge, 1 night at El Sapo Dorado....

Sigh. I have too many changes of hotels on this trip, but there doesn't seem to be any way to avoid it. I don't know about you, but I find 1-night hotel stays to be stressful because it takes me more than 24 hours to feel at-home in a new hotel! Plus there's the packing and unpacking process for the whole family...

Okay, stop complaining. We get to see beautiful Costa Rica, right?
Melissa5 is offline  
May 16th, 2005, 09:08 AM
  #4  
bd
 
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My hubby(also a biologist) and I had the same problem - we stayed 2 nights at El Sapo and 1 at Monterverde Lodge. It was really no problem at all. Granted we are only 2 and packed really lightly, but we checked out, hopped in a cab and were in our new room in about 10 minutes. The other lodges you mention - Vista del Valle and Peace Lodge have gotten great reviews and won't exactly be lacking in nature either, but because of the drive, I'd recommend 3 nights in Monteverde so you don't feel rushed.
bd is offline  
May 16th, 2005, 09:57 AM
  #5  
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bd, thanks! I told myself that when I woke up this morning, one of the e-mails or posts I read would contain the answer to my dilemma, and that I would accept that answer! I told myself that someone from somewhere would just make things clear to me.

Is your hubby really a biologist? You aren't just pulling my leg? Because that would just be too much...serendipity.
Melissa5 is offline  
May 16th, 2005, 11:28 AM
  #6  
bd
 
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Glad I could help, but keep in mind that packing and unpacking a family of 5 may be a very different experience. The closest I came to unpacking was moving the ziploc bag of toiletries into the bathroom. Since we moved around a lot, we each had a duffle bag that we lived out of.

And yes, he really is a biologist.


Have a great trip, and don't forget to post a trip report when you return.
bd is offline  
May 16th, 2005, 05:52 PM
  #7  
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bd, I look forward to posting a trip report when we return from our first trip to beautiful Costa Rica!

My "kids" are 18, 19, and 23, so at least they can repack their own luggage and carry it out. It's just the hassle of getting 5 people and luggage moved from one place to another, the arguing over seats in the car, the choosing of beds in the new hotel, etc. But we will have a car, which should help.

One of my problems is I prefer to stay at a new hotel for at least 2 nights, because it takes me 1 day to get comfortable with my new "home". But the nature of our first adventure to costa rica (bumpy roads, travel time, flight arrival times) has caused more 1-night stays to be advisable than I would normally plan.

But a wise person told me to consider the hotel changes as part of the adventure!

Melissa5 is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 09:02 AM
  #8  
 
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avoid Monteverde Lodge. This hotel stole my money. I reserved 2 nights for $70 through monteverdeinfo.com. They charged my credit card $292 two weeks in advance(125+tax for 2nights). I asked for standard room, the least expensive $70. They call the least expensive room as "garden room" and standard room as the larger room $125. I was given a $70. Croaches and bugs were in the room.
I checked out after the first night, they refused to credit the second night and the price difference. They stole $211 from me.
notMV is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 09:14 AM
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very confusing the way they categorize their rooms.
They call standard room $125 w/ 2 beds, garden room $70, one bed. I reserved the one-bed room without realizing that their standard room is the bigger one, $125. At check in, I was given a garden room $70. It was a night mare to contact their office in SanJose, they said "too bad, your credit card has been charged $292, nothing we can do." I am disputing with my credit card. I suggest to avoid this hotel, owned by www.costaricaexpeditions.com
notMV is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 10:14 AM
  #10  
 
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i think the best hotel in Monteverde is El Sapo Dorado!

http://monteverde.typepad.com/montev...ome/index.html
guanacaste is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 10:34 AM
  #11  
 
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Buck up and do it for Hubby.
2 nights will be rushed for a biologist.
Earthtraveler is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 11:02 AM
  #12  
 
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Maybe you should complain to monteverdeinfo.com.
Suzie2 is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 01:54 PM
  #13  
 
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Why can't you do all three nights at Sapo Dorado or some other hotel that has three nights in a row available?
karenlf is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 02:06 PM
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That trip has already been taken. The person that is complaining pulled it up to vent on.
Suzie2 is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 10:13 PM
  #15  
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Suzie2 is right, I am the original poster and my trip has already been completed!

We stayed at El Sapo Dorado since they had the 3 nights available which we needed.

However I would like to compliment the Monteverde Lodge as they were extremely nice and fair towards me in the way they handled my reservation process. Originally I was going to stay there, but the airline cancelled my son's flight, causing him to have to get a flight on a different day. It is a long and complicated story, but this effected our reservation at Monteverde Lodge...we had to change our dates and they didn't have 3 nights available...they were so nice and profesional about the cancellation process! We communicated by e-mail. Also they clearly communicated all of their rules. In the end they were MORE than fair to me, very generous in fact. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them, although we didn't get to stay there.

Melissa5 is offline  
Jan 24th, 2007, 05:59 AM
  #16  
 
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Melissa5,
I was wondering what you could tell me about your stay at El Sapo Dorado. We have reservations there in May and I keep hearing such mixed reviews. It is our 2nd time to Monteverde, having stayed at El Establo last time. We just wanted to try something different this time. Any tips or comments would be helpful and much appreciated.
connette is offline  
Jan 24th, 2007, 06:20 PM
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Melissa, I'm sure, will get right back at you--she's currently enjoying sunny, balmy weather while some of us are struggling with ice and snow!

I can remember her experience there, and she can tell you about it.

Our experience was a good one--enjoyed the hiking trails (fairly extensive) and thought the restaurant was good. Overall a good experience.

My favorite memory there is so typical Costa Rican warmth and fondness for children. That summer our granddaughter was 6 months old--her first time to CR. One evening at dinner, our waiter (after he had served us) took her and walked her all over the room until she went to sleep. The restaurant wasn't particularly busy, and it was just the sweetest thing. He was smiling the biggest smile, and she was snoozing away. The other waiters got a big kick out of it, and so did we.
shillmac is offline  
Jan 25th, 2007, 01:58 AM
  #18  
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Connette, my review for El Sapo dorado is mixed. We had our family of 4 in the mountain cabin, including my husband and I and 2 young adult daughters. TOO MUCH TOGETHERNESS! It's a 1-room cabin with a small bathroom...our bathroom did not have any counter space at all, just a sink and shower, which is a problem with 3 women and 1 man. I would say it would have been more comfortable for just 2 people.

Also, I would have preferred NOT to have a cabin with a fireplace. the mountain view cabins have a fire place. The reason we didn't like the fireplace? previous occupants had apparently lighted the fires improperly, and the whole cabin was so smoky-smelling that I was getting wheezy. The walls were smoky, the bedding was smoky.

Also, one of my daughters and I tried the easier trails on the grounds and found them disappointing. We took a look at the more difficult trails and they looked VERY steep and slippery (it had rained while we were there.) The trail at the Monteverde cloud forest was easier than the harder trail we saw at the El Sapo Dorado grounds.

Also, the staff were friendly but not to helpful. They couldn't seem to direct us clearly to their trails. The front office staff charged our bill to our credit card wrong twice while we were standing there...but someone else helped her finally get it right in the end.

On the positive side, when I explained to the front office staff that I am allergic to smoke and it was making me sick (try explaining that with my limited Spanish and her limited English...but I managed to get the idea across!)...Anyway they gave us new sheets AND clean bedding, blankets, the works, which really helped me sleep at night without wheezing. We obviously didn't dare to light the fireplace due to my reaction to the room.

The other positive point...the restaurant is wonderful! We enjoyed a breakfast, a lunch, and a dinner there...Good food and good service in the restaurant!

Also, the cabin walls are thin...they are duplex cabins so you will hear your neighbors. Fortunately our neighbors tended to go to bed close to the time we did...

Our cabin was very basic. The price is reasonable, though, so you have to take that into consideration.
Melissa5 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2007, 02:04 AM
  #19  
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Shillmac, what a nice memory about the waiter walking your grand-baby to sleep! She just probably has her grandmother's genes...we all know you are a sweetie! You helped so much with my trip, I couldn't have gone without you! \/
Melissa5 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2007, 02:45 AM
  #20  
 
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Well, not so sure about the sweet part--others would question that!

How are things with you? Been anywhere exciting lately?
shillmac is offline  

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