Staying in Monteverde
When staying overnight in Monteverde, you’ll likely be sleeping under the trees, within the clouds, and surrounded by the sounds of the jungle. This region of Costa Rica is where you’ll find the famous cloud forests, hanging bridges, and coffee tours, all activities that continuously top travelers’ lists—and possibly yours, too. Additionally, Monteverde is one of the best places to spot wildlife in Costa Rica and the birthplace of ziplining, so although there’s no beach here, you get a little bit of everything else.
Our ultimate guide to Monteverde can be useful as you plan your trip, giving details about where to eat and helping you determine how many days to spend in Monteverde. But as you search for your accommodation, you may want to consider location and amenities. For boutique hotels, you’ll find a few options within walking distance to downtown Santa Elena and/or with easy access to some of the area activities.
But even if you’re not in the town center, what we love about Monteverde’s boutique hotels are the perks like private balconies overlooking the cloud forest, exceptional cuisine, and the quaint feeling of a small lodge.
Monteverde Lodge & Gardens
Although within walking distance to the downtown area, Monteverde Lodge & Gardens feels far away in the quiet jungle. Just 28 rooms dot the grounds, situated next door to the property’s own private cloud forest reserve. Bright and airy rooms and suites feature garden or forest views, all with private terraces or balconies, plus wooden floors, ceiling fans, and plush bedding. Like a few other properties on this list, it’s not uncommon to spot wildlife right from your balcony!
Monteverde Lodge & Gardens’ focus is on connecting guests to Costa Rica’s incredible nature, so you can fully enjoy the paradise vibe here with its pool, lovely garden area, and sustainability efforts. The hotel is part of the Boena Wilderness Lodges Group, a set of the country’s best ecolodges, and strives to preserve the land and environment the properties inhabit.
You’ll eat well at the lodge, as its El Jardín Restaurant uses local ingredients to elevate traditional Costa Rican cuisine, so you get a bit of fine-dining right in the jungle. As a bonus, the restaurant has a plant-based version of its menu for vegans and vegetarians. There’s indoor and outdoor seating, so you can enjoy the fresh air and sounds of wildlife or stay cozy next to the fire.
Farther away from downtown Monteverde is Hotel Belmar, but you’ll trade proximity to Santa Elena for a bit of luxury and a truly idyllic setting. Three wooden lodges with multiple rooms sit atop the region’s hills, looking out over the cloud forest, which guests can easily enjoy from private balconies. More than half of the property’s nine acres encompass protected rainforest, plus a stream and waterfall. Enjoy walking along a private trail to experience the grounds or relax at the sundeck at the property’s pond.
Other highlights of Hotel Belmar include yoga classes, massage services, and several eateries. Enjoy meals at the farm-to-table Restaurante Celajes, which sources ingredients from the property’s organic garden or the Belmar Family Farm. The restaurant can arrange private dining and picnic meals upon request and has an entire section of its menu devoted to vegan dishes. Sip drinks at the lounge bar, which features a daily happy hour with tapas, or hang out in the taproom and beer garden, juice bar, or tea room. Suffice to say, you’ll eat and drink well here!
As for the rooms, you can choose from standard units or upgrade to chalet rooms and suites for a bit more space. All come with locally handmade furniture and decor, including warm wood paneling, plus private balconies with hammocks and garden or forest views. Upgraded rooms add seating areas, soaking tubs, private Jacuzzis, large windows, and/or wraparound verandas.
Hotel & Spa Poco a Poco
Hotel & Spa Poco a Poco has grown “little by little,” hence the name. The property started with just five rooms in 2000 and now hosts 30 warm and simple lodgings near downtown Santa Elena. This is one of the few recommended properties in the town center, with plenty of restaurants, cafes, and even a grocery store within walking distance. The location is undoubtedly a highlight.
Upon arrival, Hotel & Spa Poco a Poco might not look like much, but once you explore the grounds, you may feel like you’re in a secret oasis. Wooden patios, tropical gardens, a small nature path, and outdoor pools create a relaxing environment that perfectly matches the vibe of Monteverde. You can enjoy your meals at the onsite bar/restaurant, relax in the open-air (but covered) pool area, or treat yourself to spa services using regional botanicals from the Monteverde jungle.
You have your choice of several room options, but we recommend upgrading to a suite if you want a private terrace. Although it’s a splurge for some, the Honeymoon Suite has its own Jacuzzi. One thing to keep in mind is the quirky storage within the rooms; wardrobes are more like short dressers with only a few places to store and hang clothing. Learn more
El Establo Mountain Hotel
For a unique option that feels like you’re on top of the cloud forest, go for El Establo Mountain Hotel. This hotel is a bit larger than other boutique options in Monteverde, but the expansive hillside grounds keep it feeling tranquil. Rooms come in four categories, standard units, junior suites, family suites, and honeymoon suites. All have private terraces or balconies with mountain views, but overall feel dated, especially the bathrooms. Still, you’ll get spacious and very clean accommodation, plus truly incredible views right from your room.
Other ways to enjoy the property include relaxing at the outdoor covered pool area, pampering yourself at the spa, or walking on the private forest trails, where you might be able to spot local wildlife. The spa features open-air treatments using products sourced from the forest, so you get a truly unique and authentic experience.
When hungry, you can dine at the two onsite restaurants. Las Riendas restaurant serves buffet and a la carte meals and has a large dining area with vaulted ceilings. If you prefer fine dining, check out Restaurant Laggus, a two-story eatery complete with open-air balcony seating overlooking the property’s pond. This restaurant also includes a bar, lounge, and extensive wine menu.
Mar Inn B&B
Mar Inn B&B is nestled near the very center of Santa Elena, so it has an ideal location for enjoying the town and the surrounding area. If you’re looking for quaint and simple for a friendly price, this could be the place. Rooms are basic and feel a little outdated, but they provide all the necessary amenities, including a minifridge, TV, and Wi-Fi.
Because of the retro wood paneling and low ceilings, rooms can feel a bit dark. However, Mar Inn recently absorbed its next-door neighbor and did a little remodeling, so some of the newer rooms are fresher, brighter, and a little comfier. Some rooms have balconies with hammocks, and all units have access to the garden area where you can relax.
Of course, the perk of any B&B is the complimentary breakfast, which you’ll enjoy in a simple dining area. Although it appears a little plain, the big windows let in lots of light and views of the property’s colorful garden. As far as food goes, you’ll have your choice of gallo pinto (traditional Costa Rican breakfast) and more international dishes, like eggs and toast or pancakes with fruit.
Monteverde Rustic Lodge
About one mile north of Santa Elena is Monteverde Rustic Lodge, a unique property with rural accents that blend into the area’s environment. Simple by nature, this is an excellent option for smaller budgets; though, you’ll still get very comfortable and squeaky-clean accommodation. Guests of Monteverde Rustic Lodge are welcome to use the pool and spa facilities at the downtown Hotel & Spa Poco a Poco, a sister property about a half-mile away.
Although a 15-minute walk or 3-minute drive to downtown Santa Elena, this lodge is closer to some of the area’s highlights, like the Cloud Forest and Don Juan and El Traipe coffee tours. Before heading out for the day, enjoy a daily breakfast of fresh local fruit and other traditional foods (like eggs and gallo pinto), plus some of the region’s beloved coffee in a quaint wood-clad dining area.
Although the outside looks rustic in a stylish way, the interior can feel a little dated. Wood paneling, basic bathrooms, tile floors, and outdated bedding don’t quite mesh with the beautiful gardens and trendy terraces. Nevertheless, the rooms are super clean and comfortable. Choose from single/double, triple, and family rooms—all include complimentary breakfast, free parking, and free Wi-Fi. Learn more