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“Bed Bugs and poor treatment from Freddy and Juanita”

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Hotel La Puesta del Sol
Ranked #14 of 14 Santa Elena B&B and Inns
Reviewed 10 August 2015

Unfortunately, my friend and I had a horrible experience. After finding average sorts of bugs (cockroaches, spiders, beetles) which we can handle, we started to see Bed Bugs within the bed itself, and around the bed frame. These we couldn't handle, because they are incredibly hard to get rid of if you carry one home.
We immediately left the room (around 11pm), and found another hotel to stay at.
When we came back the next day we talked with Juanita. Instead of hearing us out and checking the room for bed bugs, she called us liars. We were shocked. We gave her a chance to look at the pictures we took, and she said it was a cockroach. We compared what a cockroach looks like and a bed bug looks like, and they are very different. She walked away saying there was nothing she could do (we requested the $30 back, and told her it was serious, and she needed to properly treat the room to get rid of them).
We pushed some more and she got her husband to come talk to us. We spoke with him and although he seemed more reasonable at first, he still maintained that we were liars.
Eventually a group of european backpackers showed up that he had set rooms up for, and we told him they should inform their next customers. If even for them to check the room.
He didn't.
We waited until after the guests had settled and told him we'd tell them if he didn't. Instead he said he'd give us our money back, but we needed to go with him to an ATM. We decided not to go into a car with him (we are 2 girls), so we followed him in our rental car.
When he left, he sped so fast we couldn't keep up with him, and we noticed he flew by a legitimate ATM.
We realized he might be trying to lose us, and may not want us to go back to tell the guests the situation. We decided to go back and tell the next guests, as we had given him his chance to tell them on his own and he'd failed to do so.
We told the guests what had happened to us, and said they might want to check their beds before settling in, as bed bugs are quite serious.
Also a side note: When we said we'd write a bad review on TripAdvisor so people could know their bad business, he said that he was not on TripAdvisor, despite having a sticker on their office door, and a permanent section of their road-side sign saying they were on TripAdvisor.

  • Stayed: August 2015, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Robyn R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3 - 7 of 30 reviews

Reviewed 23 May 2015

The hamlet of Monteverde is conveniently located to go hiking in the Cordillera de Tilarán from where one can overlook the Arenal Volcano and lake, and/or, to participate in nearby adrenaline pumping activities such as crossing hanging bridges at tree canopy level or even more sensational: zooming through the cloud forest, attached to zip-lines. Moreover, Monteverde is a quiet place, only a ten minutes' walk away from the more vibrant Santa Elena, a small sympathetic town that offers all the usual facilities including a major bank, large supermarket and bookstore, but, also features a very interesting herpetarium where one can observe and learn more about Costa Rican snakes, frogs, turtles, and, tarantulas.

On the other hand, if you are a bird lover, there is probably no better place to stay than at the Hotel La Puesta Del Sol, owned by Freddy Mejias, a notorious local bird spotter thanks to whom we discovered a Quetzal, a couple of toucans and several other small beautiful birds whose names I do not recall anymore. Unfortunately, Freddy's natural warm tenderness is not reflected in his hotel (which in fact is a B&B) because in my opinion his place is far too pragmatically designed. The building itself is unattractive and pretty naked, even brought the word prefab to my mind when heavy winds rattled the roof to really upsetting volumes which made it hard to fall asleep. Aside from a few plants in pots, nature is pretty absent on the premises and even the entrance is bare soil. The very spic and span rooms are of decent size (our room contained 3 double beds) but are almost bare shells lacking every bit of cosiness. The beds (the only furniture aside from a bedside table) are large and comfortable (with clean smelling sheets!), and, the shower produced hot water be it with some difficulty, probably not just in our room since the next day I spotted Freddy bringing in 2 new boilers. Finally, the only shared space where guests can socialize and have breakfast is unfortunately set in the garage... And, there is also an in-house laundry service, which seems to be of good quality since a couple of our fellow travellers had some garments washed and were happy with the result.

In short, if you are looking for a spic and span place just to spend the night, the Puesta Del Sol is OK, but you will have a very hard time finding the building's soul. On the Puesta Del Sol's website one can read: "New and thrifty hotel. With homely environment. Owned and managed by a local family committed to bring you truly Costa Rican experience so you can feel and taste the real local culture". Maybe it is high time for Freddy and his charming wife to live up to that statement and to spice their B&B with some real Costa Rican ingredients and flavours, not at least to pump a great part of their natural warmness into the bricks and mortar.

Room Tip: First floor.
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  • Stayed: March 2015, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
19  Thank BobVandenLangenbergh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 April 2015 via mobile

We stayed here for 6 nights over Easter.

Pros: the view of the sunsets from the top floor is amazing every night. Short walk into town but away from the noise of the main road. Most comfortable bed we've had through South and Central America so far. Daily servicing of your room. Very clean. Juanita cooks a great breakfast (and it was different every morning). There are two gas hobs and some cutlery and crockery you can use in their laundry to prepare food (no fridge though). Good WiFi.

Cons: overall, we felt like a bit of an inconvenience. I think guests would feel more comfortable at a table in a common area for breakfast instead of at the kitchen counter in the family home. Hot water goes cold every time there's a gust of wind (which is 24/7) so you have to turn off the hot tap and turn it back on every time this happens. This breaks any regular shower into about 5 parts. Freddy was very quick with two repairs we needed in the shower (although this didn't impact the hot water situation).

To follow others comments, yes Freddy does prefer cash payment, however after telling him our card didn't work into 2 atms in town he let us pay by card. Juanita would not accept card for a tour we wanted to pay for so we paid the tour place directly (on card when we arrived).

Stayed: April 2015, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Kirsty B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2015 via mobile

We loved our stay at Puesta del Sol mostly because of Freddy, the owner. He will give you good information about the tours that matches your interest. Also he is a birdwatching-guide himself. We've had a great trip with him showing us a lot of different birds.
Also, the beds are perfect for a good night rest and it's very clean and a bunch of loveble pets.

Stayed: January 2015, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Stan030
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2014

We chose the place after checking appx. 15 other options in Santa Elena and nearby. We looked for something calm, clean with open view but for price max to 30$. However, that was a mission impossible and after 2hrs we got to La Puesta del Sol and took it for slightly higher price - big, bright and clean private room in upper floor view OK view from shared terrace and private bathroom. The room itself is very simple, but if you are backpacker and used to discomfort, you will find it very good. Wifi works, not water in waves - but again, take it as a bonus and do not expect lodge for 60$.

This hotel is option for those who want to enjoy the calm neighborhood out of the town center and crowds, do not need TV and nice furniture and can effort to pay few dollars more. The price is still a bit higher then cheap hostels, but the standard is much higher.

Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Zdekal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel La Puesta del Sol

Address: 0.5 Km from Santa Elena downown, Santa Elena 5655-60109, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Monteverde > Santa Elena
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 14 B&Bs / Inns in Santa Elena
Price Range: $34 - $41 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are a Costa Rican family-owned lodge. We, Freddy and Juanita (owners) offer personal service to all our guests. The lodge has great view to Monteverde's mountains and spectacular sunsets. Located near Santa Elena in a highly peaceful place. We offer: rooms with private bathroom and hot water- Wi-Fi internet- Breakfast- Laundry Service- Private parking area- World Famous Bird Watching Freddy's Tour- Tours and activities information. ... more   less 

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