The hotel is perfectly located to allow you to experience not only the 150 acre private reserve, but also Monteverde and Santa Elena Cloudforest reserves and the surrounds which are not to be missed.
Whilst it is on the large side with 155 rooms, the hotel is family owned and you will be made to feel welcome. The pleasant rooms are elevated, each with a balcony or veranda boasting outstanding views over the grounds. They are spacious, well decorated and have large bathrooms with separate bath and shower.
The main areas house two restaurants. Las Riendas provides a mixture of delicious Costa Rican and international cusine which you can enjoy in a casual atmosphere, while Laggus, located in a separate two storey building, is more about fine-dining. The lounge/bar is a welcoming spot to enjoy a pre or post dinner drink and perhaps chat with fellow travellers. Take a seat on the balcony and enjoy views of the on-site lake and the Gulf of Nicoya. After a day out exploring the reserve why not relax and enjoy the two heated swimming pools or wind down in the games room. Alternatively if you still have energy to spare then tennis and basketball courts are on-site so there’s plenty to do. If you are looking for a more sedate pace then try the spa where you can enjoy relaxing, pampering treatments.
The hotel has its own on-site canopy walking trail that you can enjoy with a qualified guide. It takes in the varying landscapes around the property and includes a tarzan swing, hanging bridge and some hiking trails – well worth the experience. You could opt for the night trail in the grounds where you might encounter some of the nocturnal animals that inhabit the forest. It is also easy to visit some of the local attractions from here such as the cheese factory, or take in a coffee farm tour. The orchid and butterfly gardens are beautiful and peaceful and well worth visiting either before or after you tackle the hanging walkways and suspension bridges of the Cloudforest reserves.
Open: El Establo is open all year round.
Location: This family run hotel is located within its own private cloudforest reserve between Santa Elena and Monteverde.
Rooms: There are 155 spacious rooms at El Establo. All well furnished with modern neutral decor. Rooms have large en-suite bathrooms, and a private balcony or veranda overlooking the grounds.
Activities: There are onsite guided walks that you can join through the reserve, both day walks and night walks. The trail even has its own Tarzan swing. It's easy to visit both Santa Elena and Monteverde cloudforest reserves from here. There are tours you can enjoy in the local town varying from butterfly and orchid gardens, a cheese factory and coffee farm tours. Horse riding can also be arranged.
Facilities: There are two restaurants catering for both relaxed Costa Rican and international cuisine and also one offering fine dining. The lounge and bar is a great place to end the day. There are two swimming pools and to enable you to relax further there is a small spa offering treatments. For the active there are tennis and basketball courts and also a games room.
Dining: Dining is at individual tables.
Health: Costa Rica has a low risk of malaria.
Communication: WiFi is available in reception and the common areas. All rooms have telephones.
"Spectacular setting (we think); unfortunately we had 48hrs of non-stop rain and high winds, so there were no views! The shuttle bus system worked very well, even with us being in the highest block (901). The room was disappointing - a superbly appointed bathroom, but a bedroom with 2 wooden rocker chairs (no cushions), coffee maker perched on what looked like an old packing case, with no adjacent plug, no source of heat in the very cold and damp conditions, so nowhere to dry soaked clothing. The lower restaurant and (sort of) bar were fine on the first night, but on the second night we were in effect forced out of the bar when a tour group arrived and started to have a group briefing and slide show. Then we found the restaurant was in buffet mode and swamped with loads of tour groups - not at all relaxing."