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Reviewed 23 December 2011

I had requested in the reservation that we get a room as far back from the noisy road as possible, and the one they gave us was literally ON the parking lot. And when I opened the door...it was a cold place, kind of a dump. I went back and the woman gave me another room for a bit more money, which was a very nice 2-level superior room. Out of the 3 low-key places we stayed in Costa Rica, this was the least impressive, by far. The location was handy for dinners, but the touted breakfast buffet was a real let-down. In an effort to make a buffet for the guests, the freshness of the food suffered a lot. I much prefered the fewer options, fresher (and clearly made with pride) breakfasts at the other hotels (Villa Nicolas and Silencio del Campo). The service was only fair, and then sent us on 2 tours in the pouring rain, ASSURING us that it did not affect the animal/bird sightings, when of course, it did. Overeall, just eh. And very noisy from the street.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank JELW212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 December 2011

This was our second visit to Arco Iris. The town of Santa Elena is pretty dirty and rundown, but it is the closest town to the great park, Monteverde. At the edge of the town is a driveway that goes up to Arco Iris. It is truly a little oasis. It is green with landscaped grounds, European cabins with lots of wood and a German Innkeeper. Susan is accommodating and kind. She welcomed us when we arrived and led us up the pathway to our cabins. We stayed in #11 and were pleased. It is an uphill climb and not all cabins have this. We enjoyed our cabin as it gave us a window to the birds that frequent the hills above the cabins. At dusk, the branches were alive with many birds. We appreciated the little touches Arco has. There was a faucet with pure water to fill bottles, etc (you can drink the water out of all the faucets, but many want purified water), the ample breakfast was delicious and offered fruit, potatoes, eggs, homemade jellies/jams, tropical fruits and breads, there was a book where guest wrote down their reviews of restaurants in the area, a lobby with books, friendly staff that helps you get oriented with maps and tours, they arranged transportation, etc. Our room was so clean, simple but our beds and sheets were very comfortable. One morning we saw monkeys traipsing through the trees as they like a fruit tree near the office. We loved our shower and it had been recently renovated and was wonderful. The house above us was rented to 3 couples and we enjoyed them as well, talking on our porches and sharing pictures of the day's travels. We could walk to town and enjoyed not using a taxi each time. The frog museum, grocery store, restaurants and the frog museum were easy walks. There were some noises from town like the high school band and some music from a nearby hostel with music at night, but we were so tired it did not make a difference to our sleeping. The office has a computer with free internet to use. There are gardeners around all the time manicuring the gardens. There were fruit trees and the owner told us to pick any fruit we desired to eat. There were white horses in a corral nearby. It was relaxing and comfortable. The staff gave us ideas on where to eat and we enjoyed Trios and Johnnys. We had really liked Morphos before but did not find it to our liking this trip. Dawn lights up the room and you really feel like getting up, which is good if you choose tours to Monteverde. Taxi's were $6 each time we used them. Highly recommend this property.

Room Tip: Loved the cabins up the hill, but avoid if you don't like some heart pumping exercise.
  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank LaurieSusan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 November 2011

This review is for the rental house and not for the lodge in town.

The owner began to rent out the home when she decided to move into a smaller place. The house is located about 2km north of town. Taxis are readily available but I found having my own car easier to deal with. The hotel staff is just a phone call away to take care of any of your needs, and there is a caretaker on the grounds who seems to be constantly working. There is an excellent local bakery an easy walk up the road.

The house is very beautiful and functional; including a fully furnished kitchen, washer and dryer, a small library in English and German, some toys in the children's room, and games & cards. We made use of everything as, it being October, our afternoons were "washouts". Our group of 4 adults and 2 kids spent 5 days there and were very comfortable. It is a 3 bedroom 2 bath residence with a great room and kitchen. 2 rooms can sleep 3, and one can sleep 4, making this a great landing place for a larger group. One bath and bedroom can be isolated, which was ideal for my in-laws.

If you are sensitive to light or noise when you sleep, bring a mask and earplugs. Every room has skylights and dawn comes early. There are turkeys and a pair of roosters on the grounds. Did I mention dawn comes early (crowing at 4:30AM)? We found ourselves keeping "farmers hours" to bed at dark (a late night was 9pm), and up with the sun (everyone out of bed by 6:30 or 7 am) - which actually worked quite well as the best weather was in the morning.

Even during the strongest storm the wi-fi was solid and fast enough (don't stream video).

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank CalTico
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2011

We stayed here in the rainy season (October) and it did rain every day for most of the day. Our cabin at Arco Iris was a welcome refuge with truly hot water in the bathroom and nice warm blankets. The staff was very helpful from arranging tours to doing our laundry in a few hours. The hotel is in a very convenient location to walk to most things in town.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Susan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 September 2011

This property has basic but wonderfully kept cabinas with lots of special and unique touches showing the special care the owners (Germans who apparently came to visit 15 years back and ended up staying) put into the lodgings and the land around it. My fiance said its the place she slept the best in 2 months in Costa Rica, due to the nice ambience and the great mattresses. We loved the breakfast which includes lots of produce from the sustainably run farm belonging to the lodging.
The only downside to our stay here was that we got like many others onto an early schedule while in CR, going to bed by 10pm and getting up by 6am, and that a nearby hostel had on both nights very loud disco type music playing way past 10pm and I could hear it (quieter) till past midnight.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank AndRecht
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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