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Budget hotels & hostels
Guesthouses and B&Bs
Celeste Mountain Lodge
One of the most innovative and sustainable hotels we’ve ever seen, Celeste Mountain Lodge is proof that one can be ecofriendly without giving up comfort or style...
Monteverde Lodge & Gardens
A progressive recycling strategy, a solar-energy system and a huge solar-powered – but nice and hot – Jacuzzi are among this nonsmoking hotel’s noteworthy environmentally sound practices...
Hotel De Montaña Monteverde
Opened in 1978 as the first top-end accommodations in Monteverde, this hotel has had a recent renovation to show off its expansive lobby views to better advantage; though the rooms didn’t benefit from any added character, they’re still perfectly comfo...
Hotel Lomas Del Volcan
Although Lomas del Volcán is one of the original resorts lining this stretch of road, it’s recommended because of its quiet location (you can hear monkeys in the trees) and stunning volcano views (especially when you’re soaking in the outdoor hot tub)...
Hotel Monte Real
Next to the Río Burío with a pool in the middle of the landscaped grounds, this comfortable hotel is run by an attentive Tico couple named Francisco and Nury...
Casa Luna Hotel & Spa
The snazziest joint on this road, this terracotta floored, adobe-style lodge has sex appeal. Wooden doors open into elegant split-level duplexes with tiny private patios...
On the road to Cerro Chato is this reader-recommended, family-friendly hotel comprising six clean and spacious cabins with private hot-water bathroom, coffee-maker and fridge. The villa sleeps six and has a kitchenette and cable TV...
Hotel Arenal Lodge
El Castillo de La Fortuna
If you want to stay in the area, Arenal Lodge is 400m west of the Laguna de Arenal, at the top of a steep 2.5km ascent, though the entire lodge is awash with views of Arenal and the surrounding cloud forest...
El Castillo de La Fortuna
Perched on a 100-acre hilltop with incredible volcano and lake views, this ‘boutique hostel’ is the best cheap sleep in the Arenal region. The basic but clean rooms have orthopedic mattresses and hypo-allergenic pillows...
In Cerro Plano, this attractive, wooden, family-run hotel consists of the main lodge and several bungalows that are spread out across a mountainside...
Hotel El Viandante
Perched on a small but steep hill with views of the gulf, this small B&B is a great choice for families...
Hotel Quetzal Inn
Up a quiet alley is this lovely little lodge...
Hotel Don Taco
A rambling, dare we say almost craftsman-style, hotel on a hill above town. Older standard rooms are comfy enough but you can also opt for private cabañas with a Golfo de Nicoya view...
Hotel San Bosco
The most established hotel in town is one of the priciest, though the perks include free wi-fi in all the spotless rooms, free coffee and tea all day, a guarded parking lot, lovely pool and superfriendly staff.
In the village of Chachagua, these immaculate, simple wooden cabins with volcano views are surrounded by private rainforest trails that penetrate the Bosque Eterno de Los Niños...
Hotel Las Flores
This is a great budget option. Attractive, wood-paneled cabinas 2.5km west of town (near Lomas del Volcán) have hot-water bathroom, cable TV and fridge. There’s a nice soda onsite too.
Hotel El Silencio Del Campo
This lovely resort 4km west of town has cabins that are luxurious without being showy, and have attractive tiling, plush bedding and soft lighting. Unfortunately, a hideously ugly and huge hotel has rudely put up its walls right next to the property.
Hotel Finca Valverde
Just outside Santa Elena, this working coffee farm is a great choice if you’re looking for something a bit different...
Sueño Dorado Hotel
It’s nothing fancy, but this family-run motel with good volcano views is a good deal in low season...
Hotel Fonda Vela
With a convenient location near the Monteverde reserve, unique architectural styling, 14 hectares of trail-laced grounds and a private stable, this classy retreat is a sophisticated base for enjoying nature...
Catarata Eco Lodge
Well, they do recycle and don’t automatically throw your linens in the wash every day; apart from that, the ‘eco’ of this lodge extends to simply caring about the environment...
Trapp Family Lodge
The closest lodge to the reserve entrance (just under 1km away) has 20 spacious rooms with high wooden ceilings, big bathrooms and fabulous views from picture windows (which overlook either gardens or cloud forest)...