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Hotel Heliconia

Hotel Heliconia

Destination: Arenal

At a Glance

    • Best sunset views of Santa Elena
    • Friendly and helpful staff
    • Spacious rooms
    • Good pizza
    • Central location between Santa Elena and the Monteverde Cloud Reserve

The sunset suites at Hotel Heliconia have some of the best views of anywhere in Monteverde. Guests can look on as the sun cascades behind the hills illuminating Santa Elena in a soft maroon glow. Heliconia's cabin-style hotel is built on an old dairy farm settled by one of the first Costa Rican families in Monteverde. From its original 6 rooms, Heliconia has expanded across the hillside overlooking Santa Elena to include 46 rooms, a restaurant and outdoor Jacuzzis.

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Cement pathways wind up the mountain slope past Heliconia and manicured gardens leading to the 36 suites and 10 standard rooms at Hotel Heliconia; with views of the garden or downtown Santa Elena. The sunset suites match a rustic cottage feel with spacious rooms and contemporary amenities like the big flat screen TVs, mini fridges and coffee makers. They're space for two plush, king size beds, a fan, desk, dresser, lock box, bedside lamps, massive showers, an alarm clock and a phone. The sunset suites, $170, face west with some of the best sunset views in Santa Elena enjoyed from the patio or from inside relaxing on one of the beds.


Hotel Heliconia's Cabin-in-the-woods presence draws you in from the main street. Inside, you expect to find the warm glow of a large wooden fireplace and instead are greeted with a fire burning inside the restaurant's dedicated pizza oven. The restaurant and reception are dimly lit with glossy wood paneling. The dining room is set meticulously with white linens and cutlery. The waiting staff is accommodating and friendly, trying their best to learn the guests' names, preferences and habits. That said, you're at the mercy of the staff's music choice for the evening, meaning that one night you'll be eating while listening to Michael Jackson's extended version of Thriller, while on another night you'll dine to the steady rhythms of Latin trance music (though they'd change the music if you ask).

The restaurant, known for its pizza, has chefs come out of the kitchen to toss the dough and add the ingredients on a counter top in the dining room. The pizzas are then placed in the wood oven where guests can look on as the dough rises and the cheese begins to bubble. About 12 inches in size, the pizzas are enough to feed two and come with a choice of toppings. Beside the pizza, the restaurant serves pasta, seafood, steak, chicken and all the regular Costa Rican specialties including casado (rice and beans, salad and a choice of vegetables).

Breakfast is included in the room rate and the chefs will prepare either a Costa Rican style breakfast with scrambled eggs and cheese or an American style breakfast with eggs and bacon. The small buffet has fresh fruit, sweet breads, juice, coffee, thick, fresh bread, jam and a toaster.

Services & Amenities

The hotel features a handful of outdoor Jacuzzis settled among some trees behind the restaurant. They're available most the day, but you'll have to call reception two hours in advance to fill up and heat the tubs.

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Hotel Heliconia in Pictures

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