Of all the places we stayed in Costa Rica, El Viandante was the best! First of all, Monteverde is situated on a mountain, so plan on the drive there being very rough! (Unpaved roads, unmarked addresses, etc.) We stayed in this hotel for two glorious nights, and missed the town and the hotel every day following! Monteverde is as close to a European town as will come in Costa Rica. It is situated like a Swiss chalet town, high on hills, clean streets, and fantastic restaurants! The main attraction here is the zip lining in the famous cloud forest (a must do!), which we did with Extremo Adventures (recommended to us by Renzo, the hotel manager). Extremo was also the best tour group we had in Costa Rica - lively, responsible, and memorable staff and experience! But that's another review :-)
While we stayed here, we enjoyed some of the best mountain views from the dining area, where we enjoyed different and delightful breakfasts each morning, and reconvened periodically to play cards, enjoy outside food, and generally have a nice time. Breakfast was served to us by the manager/owner Renzo himself! Upon arrival, Renzo escorted us to our beautiful room, and showed us his extremely clear print out map of the town and neighboring towns, excursions and timetables of what to consider during our stay, and well demarcated locations of grocery stores and affordable restaurants! All the commercial comforts of this small town (grocery store, restaurants, other hotels) is about a 10 to 15 minute walk north (on very steep walkways) or a $2.00 cab drive. The rooms, and bathroom particularly, were immaculate and spacious, and the value was unbeatable. That said, here are the few cons...
CONS: The wind noise of the mountain air can be distractingly loud at night, but I suppose that's all part of the experience! Definitely bring ear plugs. Also, the driveway to the hotel is VERY VERY steep. If you use a GPS, be sure to park at the foot of the hill of the hotel, walk to the top, and have Renzo tell you how to get to the side street to take to park your car near the hotel.
Hope you enjoy your stay as much as we did! Renzo is THE nicest and most helpful hotel manager/owner you can ever hope to meet. Pura vida!
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