Hotel Fonda Vela

Costa Rica

They seem to have all the right ethos but fail to deliver or maybe they are basking in past glory! Enormous room; two huge beds which they need lessons in making-up (had to remake the bed each day); sheets so worn the stripes have disappeared. Provided bathrobes first day (very worn out) which were not left nor replaced! Shower in bath with fully enclosed doors put in the wrong way round. Hair dryer did not work and the sink plug mechanism missing. Had to ask for a new hairdryer twice before it appeared and then it could not be fitted to the wall (wonder if they have done it now). Light fittings very dim - lack of decent bulbs. Food was fine but seemed like a ghost restaurant most of the time. Again Wifi only available in the reception and restaurant. Grounds were nice and apart from the roads seemed to be well maintained. They need to sort out the main roadways in the complex as they are just rough gravel roads and probably the reason for requesting shoes off in the rooms! Staff were nice enough but not properly managed. The pool was very cold but there were two nice jacuzzis instead.

Name: Sara and Peter

Date of trip: 24/02/2021

Number of people: 2

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I liked this quirky place - great bird life in the grounds. The rooms we were allocated were tired and musty ( I guess had not been used for a while). Their chef was superb

Name: Doctor John Watkins

Date of trip: 24/02/2021

Number of people: 2

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A room with a view over the large and beautiful gardens. Saw lots of animals and birds in the grounds of the hotel. The hotel is located close to the National Park, so we just walked up there on our own. The food and drink in the hotel was very good and the staff friendly and helpful. We enjoyed the atmosphere in the small restaurant. The nearest town was Santa Elena so we asked to be dropped off there on return from tours and took a taxi back.

Name: Mr. Allan Thomson

Date of trip: 24/02/2021

Number of people: 2

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Bit tired could do with a refresh/refurb. Our room was described as a junior suite but this was just two double beds rather than a proper seating area. We did have a small balcony but the view was rather spoiled by the dirty plastic covering over the pool area. Breakfast was good. Lunch and dinner options were good but rather overpriced for what they were. No teabags in the room so a good idea to take your own if you want tea. When we asked for some teabags, the hotel tried to charge us $3 for each one, but something might have got lost in translation!

Name: Mr. Andrew Robertson

Date of trip: 24/02/2021

Number of people: 2

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Pros: helpfulness of reception staff. Pretty grounds. Cons: room tired and rather gloomy - windows at one end only. Pool under polytunnel, with few loungers! Breakfast staff bit lackadaisical, didn't keep trays, jugs etc topped up after early rush General: we concluded that the hotel is geared for those who are going to be leaving early/out for most of the day. There's nowhere much to "chill out" especially if the weather is inclement - we had a strong gale for the whole time.

Name: Bridget B

Date of trip: 24/02/2021

Number of people: 2

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Nice hotel, room much larger than necessary, with furniture that no one on holiday is ever going to use. A little dated and the floor was extremely slippery. Couldn't wear socks and too cold in bare feet. Made to take shoes off at the door, which is fair enough but maybe they could provide some kind of slipper. Just an idea. Grounds were beautiful, loved the freedom to walk the trails in the woods. My highlight was an armadillo encounter. Pool and Jacuzzis looked great, didn't really have time to use these facilities. Staff were really accommodating when we didn't want a second evening in the cosy, romantic restaurant and wanted to eat in the less formal dining/breakfast hall.

Name: Ms. Alison Jarvis

Date of trip: 24/02/2021

Number of people: 2

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Wonderful grounds, lovely room, outside space would be nice but not a problem. Breakfast was poor selection. We loved the quirks of this place and staff very friendly - wouldn't be for anyone who liked Arenal springs. Hot tub good, unheated pool not for the faint hearted! We walked into the village and eat there on nights, can recommend Taco Taco, good cheap food. Hotel restaurant , OK and staff lovely but over priced. Their chimney badly needs sweeping, the restaurant was v smokey (my husband is a chimney sweep!) Cloud Forrest guide - Oscar- good We enjoyed the tour but were expecting more of a hike, this is bird watching walk, lots of stopping and waiting at nests, another couple left half way through as not what they were expecting.

Name: Mrs Jane Bennett

Date of trip: 24/02/2021

Number of people: 2

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Good sized room and great location near 2 National Parks. Restaurant was a little expensive, but the town was local enough for us to find other good options. Staff very friendly and helpful, especially as our car needed replacing here.

Name: Mrs. Nicola Tallett

Date of trip: 24/02/2021

Number of people: 2

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Fabulous location. Armadillos in the garden! Pool was a little cool but the hot tub made up for it.

Name: Mrs. Deborah Passey

Date of trip: 24/02/2021

Number of people: 2

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We liked to colonial style and location, again staff very friendly and helpful. Great location and a welcome break from the higher temperatures elsewhere. Meals very good. Roads in this area were very poor. gravel roads were fine but the poor state of the tarmac roads was a bit of a surprise. The Suzuki 4*4 coped well though

Name: Mr. Martin Salter

Date of trip: 24/02/2021

Number of people: 2

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Located close to Monteverde reserve, but you needed to get taxi to town (St Elena) which was $10 each way.

Name: Ross

Date of trip: 24/02/2021

Number of people: 2

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The room we were given was not surprisingly a bit of a come down after Arenal, especially as it was tucked away in a corner with no view or anywhere to sit outside our room. That being said the room was adequate and comfortable with a very nice shower. The staff were very friendly especially the waiters in the restaurant but we got the impression that the hotel did not have many guests when we stayed. The one evening we were the only couple in the restaurant and the waiter admitted that they were all going home for the evening after we had finished our meal, which was still relatively early.

Name: Mr. Christopher Ellsum

Date of trip: 24/02/2021

Number of people: 2

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Very pleasant area near the Cloud Forest. Felt a bit out of season and the pool and jacuzzi was cold. There were a group of teenage girls that I assume were on a summer camp staying close to our room, proving to be a bit annoying. I think we had been spoilt by the previous peaceful lodges, making it a bit of a shock to be surrounded by a group of teenage girls.

Name: Mrs. Karen Blake

Date of trip: 24/02/2021

Number of people: 2

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Good location for exploring the Cloud Forrest and Curi-Cancha Park. Our room was huge and airy.

Name: Mrs. Mills

Date of trip: 24/02/2021

Number of people: 2

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Client Rating for Costa Rica 5/5 from 216 reviews

I liked this quirky place - great bird life in the grounds. The rooms we were allocated were tired and musty ( I guess had not been used for a while). Their chef was superb

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