Known for its cloud forests and wildlife—and as the birthplace of ziplining—Monteverde is one of the more popular regions in Costa Rica. Hilly, misty, and dense with rainforest, this area has no shortages of exciting and relaxing experiences to enjoy. And why not pair hiking across hanging bridges, touring coffee plantations, or searching for wildlife with a boutique accommodation?

Monteverde Lodge & Gardens

The Lodge & Gardens' gorgeous outdoor pool area (Photo Courtesy of 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, next door to the property's 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 common to spot wildlife 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 eco-lodges, 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.

Hotel Belmar

Sleek and luxurious lodgings at Belmar (Photo Courtesy of Hotel Belmar)

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, a stream, and a waterfall. Enjoy walking along a private trail to experience the grounds or relax on the sun deck 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.

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. 

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Hotel & Spa Poco a Poco

The outdoor pool area at Poco a Poco (Photo Courtesy of 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, cafés, 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 on-site 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

You'll get great views from your private balcony (Photo Courtesy of 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 accommodations and incredible views 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 on-site restaurants. Las Riendas restaurant serves a 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

Vintage vibes at Mar Inn B&B (Photo Courtesy of 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. This could be the place if you're looking for quaint and simple for a friendly price. The rooms are basic and feel a little outdated, but they provide all the necessary amenities, including a mini fridge, TV, and WiFi. 

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. Regarding food, 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

The Rustic Lodge's unique dining area (Photo Courtesy of 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. Still, 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 a three-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 with complimentary breakfast, free parking, and free WiFi. Learn more