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Hotel Fonda Vela
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All reviewsjunior suitecloud forestpool areacosta ricahardwood floorsoverlooking the groundshotel groundslarge windowstwo nightshotel restaurantking bedcheese factorysanta elenatour companyno wifi in the roomsspread outstandard room
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Reviewed 15 April 2017

Hotel is a series of quadraplexes spread out over a beautiful hillside. Dining is in a building with soaring ceilings and huge glass windows (like to know how they got there unbroken over the gravel roads). Our room was a bit small but fine for our stay as we were on the go to sights most days. Highlight in my view is the large semi-enclosed pool and hot tubs, complete with changing rooms, lockers and showers. Food was generous and tasty morning and evenings. Dining room staff was short one night leading to delays, but otherwise fine. You can walk from here to town, but take a cab back, cost a flat $7. You will also need a ride to the main cloud forest park up the hill, but there is also a wonderful Children's Rain Forest a short walk below. My only suggested improvement here is some reclining chairs scattered about the lovely grounds so guests can relax and enjoy the views--maybe even a hammock or two.

Room Tip: Rooms with low numbers--1 through 10, are quieter.
  • Stayed: April 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank OCIronMike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2017

I will start by saying the front desk staff was very helpful. We were placed in a room where our neighbors passed our window and bed on their way to our room. Awkward for both of us. We asked to be moved and the hotel accommodated us immediately. Now for the review. The good - the rooms are clean and large - be careful not to get one of the rooms on the pathway to another room or you will always have to close your draperies to the view. I would recommend 2nd floor. There is a big pool with a bar that was never staffed. There are two jacuzzi hot tubs, slightly heated and can only be turned on if you hunt someone down to do so. The OK. While this a great location for Monte Verde National park, it is too far to walk to town. Taxis are $7 each way if you want to eat dinner away from the hotel. The Bad - The restaurant is severely understaffed. It is impossible to find someone at the bar, there was sometimes 1 waiter for all tables. If there was enough staff, they were busy talking and didn't seem interested in helping you. Not sure what the deal was as the rest of the hotel staff was great. One more thing, there is great cell service but awful Wifi. We brought Skyroam and connected to cell, then used that as our hotspot. It worked great.

Room Tip: Avoid the downstairs rooms that require another guest to pass your window to get to their room.
  • Stayed: April 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank MistressofthePark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2017

I stayed here in April with my girlfriend. The hotel was easy to find, felt pretty luxurious, and the staff was super friendly. The ground were well kept and the room was spotless. The breakfast buffet was good, though not the best I had in Costa Rica, just the basics of eggs, rice and black beans, white bread, pancakes, plantains, and large fruit plate. The pool was cool, but the fact that the pool isn't heated and is covered by an honing, so the water is pretty cold. The Jacuzzi were heated though, which was a bonus. The hotel's restaurant seemed overpriced and there are tons of options for great food in downtown Santa Elena.

Pro tip: If you are driving to Monteverde, definitely rent an SUV. I read about this in other reviews and ignored this, and ended up renting a Toyota Yaris. The yaris barely made it to Monteverde and resulted in my flooring it and going not even 5 MPH up the mountains. Do yourself a favor and rent a 4X4.

Room Tip: Ask for an upper level room, you'll have a better view and better breeze
  • Stayed: April 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Jason C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2017

Hotel is less than a click from the Preserve and is nestled in mountainsides overlooking the ocean -- at a great distance. Rooms would be more commodious with wood or tile flooring rather than carpeting. Our two bedroom unit (9) came with a highly functional fridge and bathroom that has seen better days. The pool is enormous but cold, and the hot tubs are luke warm. But this is not why you endured the roads to Monteverde. The staff is friendly and helpful and totally English speaking. Breakfast buffet very good, and dinner food offerings a little overpriced, but worth it for not having to get in your car again. A good value.

  • Stayed: April 2017, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Service
Thank TravelbeeSantaFe_NM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 April 2017 via mobile

We had booked a junior suite for our family and the room was very impressive. There was extensive woodwork in the spacious room giving it a nice luxurious feel. The beds were comfortable. Large windows allowed lots of natural light into the room. The hotel has a resort type feel to it with beautiful views of the forest and beyond. Our room was quiet, with no disruptions. The restaurant serves a buffet type breakfast that is good. And wholesome. We didn't eat lunch there, but had supper there a couple of evenings. Good food, but a warning that servings are huge. A good idea is to share a salad and a main, you'll still be full. There are a lot of birds on the the hotel property, if you are into birding/photography.

As much as I liked it, it may not be for everyone. You are a fair way from town, so if you like to explore the local scene, it's not a spontaneous thing you can do. However if you have tours planned, they pick you up at the hotel and take you to where you're booked to go anyways. The place is very peaceful and quiet, and that may be more important to you. In that case, this is the place to stay in my opinion. Wifi for all purposes, is only well connected at reception and around the restaurant. We had a weak signal in our room, but it was borderline. However we didn't come here to spend all our time on the internet so it didn't bother me.

I'd also like to make a comment about the staff, they were very friendly and the front desk personnel in particular, were very accommodating for us. My wife left a jacket in the room when we left, and they made sure that a driver dropped it off in Manuel Antonio where we went next. Many thanks to them!!

Stayed: March 2017, travelled with family
Thank GEOYYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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