Monteverde Lodge and Gardens, Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve, Monteverde $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
This secluded 27-room eco-lodge, a ten-minute uphill drive from the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve, is one of the finest hotels in the Monteverde region. A 2010 remodel retained the rustic charm of the hotel's public spaces (rough-hewn ceiling beams, a circular fireplace in the cozy lounge bar); the bright, airy guest rooms are more refined, featuring comfy beds with plump green duvets, blond wicker chairs, and slate bathrooms with solar-heated bathtubs. Book the renovated garden cabin for extra privacy. In keeping with the eco ethos, aspects of the architecture help bring the outside in: A 14-person hot tub off the lobby is situated within a glass atrium, and there are triangular bay windows in the 24 standard rooms for viewing tropical birds and wildlife. The lodge is run by Costa Rica Expeditions, a specialist in nature and birding tours, but you can simply stroll through the exceptional garden to spot many species of hummingbirds as well as agoutis, coatis, and other furry critters. If you tire of the tranquility, it's only a ten-minute walk to Santa Elena, the nearest town, for dinner. Although, there's really no need: If you're in the mood for international fusion cuisine (roasted leek quiche; beef tenderloin in red-wine reduction; almond chicken curry with coconut rice), the on-site Garden Restaurant is a fine choice.—Updated by Christopher P. Baker
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