Meet Your Hosts
Your hosts at Monteverde Lodge & Gardens understand that your Vacation Time is Precious.
They understand their role in making everything right so that you and your traveling companions can live this lifetime experience to the fullest. They understand that while on vacation you hope to reconnect with yourself and especially with your loved ones, that you expect to be met with an open armed welcome and a delicious meal cooked and served with love, that you will experience the luxury of knowledge and a deeper understanding of our planet and its intricate relationships and perhaps the most important of all to make new friends.
Meet your hosts at Monteverde Lodge and Gardens, their purpose is to delight you, our guest.
Bar & Restaurant Staff
Milagros Vallejo Ruiz
Born in Leon, Nicaragua, Milagros came to Costa Rica with her sister, Nubia, when she was 17 years old. They crossed the Costa Rica – Nicaragua border illegally at night, in dense forest, they were assaulted by three men who stole their money and their belongings. They were left with what they were wearing and 5000 colons.
They walked from the border to Las Juntas and then from Las Juntas to San Rafael. The town of San Rafael is 40 minutes from Monteverde. Here they found work picking coffee.
Her sister Nubia decided to go back to Nicaragua, but Milagros stayed in Monteverde. When she first came to Monteverde Lodge 4 years ago she worked as an assistant in the kitchen. When the position of Head Cook became available, she asked what it would take to get the position and made a pledge to learn everything she needed to learn to do the job. She didn't let us down, she has turned out dish after fabulous dish and she makes up for her extremely shy nature in her interaction in general by being creative, curious and bold with her food.
Her message to people considering a visit to Monteverde Lodge & Gardens: "The staff at Monteverde Lodge is friendly and looking forward to your visit, in addition to that, this is a place where you will relax and enjoy nature, Monteverde a place you should not miss."
Jonathan Soto Zeledon
Jonathan is in charge of the El Jardin Bar and Restaurant at Monteverde Lodge. This is a big responsibility because so much of our guest delight comes from surprise romantic dinners by the pond, picnic baskets with bottles of wine, Monteverde cheeses and fresh fruit or hot toddy's served by the open fireplace.
Although not originally from the Monteverde region, Jonathan has decided that this is where he wants to settle, buy a home and raise his family with this wife, Gabriela.
Jonathan especially remembers, a gentleman that spent a lot of time at the bar exchanging conversation about life, living in a remote region like Monteverde, values and family. The next day, Jonathan and his family met him in the town of Santa Elena for coffee, "I like that our bond transcended the walls of the hotel and that we were able to share a bit of our town with my friend."
His message to people considering a visit to Monteverde Lodge & Gardens: "Monteverde is one of the good places that are left in the world. It's a place to buy a home, raise children, visit neighbors and take a walk safely at any time day or night. When you come to Monteverde you will feel this peace".
Oscar Perez Arguedas
Bar & Restaurant
Oscar was born and raised in the town of La Florida, 30 minutes from Monteverde. His parents have a cattle farm there.
After graduating from High School, Oscar worked in bars and restaurants in the Monteverde region. He has worked at Monteverde lodge since early 2010 and says that what he likes about working here is that he has time to get to know the guests.
"At Monteverde Lodge I am able to learn a little bit about our guests lives and share something about my own. It makes what I do a lot more interesting." I like that guest know me by name and are not shy about letting me know how they like their drinks or ask me for a special dish.
His message to people considering a visit to Monteverde Lodge & Gardens "Visit Monteverde to relax and experience Mother Nature"
Marco Vinicio "Vinni" Marin
Vinni was born in San Jose but raised in Monteverde. He has been working at Monteverde Lodge since Valentine's Day of 2011.
He first came to the lodge to reinforce the staff in the restaurant for a few days. He liked working for us so much that he left word that when an opening was available he'd love to come back and work full time. He did such a good job and has such an open and engaging way of interacting with guests that when an opening became available we called him right away.
One of Vinni's fondest memories of working with guests in Monteverde Lodge is helping a guest plan his wedding proposal to his girlfriend. He helped set up a candlelight dinner in the garden by the pond and personally dropped the engagement ring in the champagne glass which he says he nervously served. He happened to be close to their table when she found the ring and was very touched by their tears.
His message to people considering a visit to Monteverde Lodge & Gardens: "Monteverde is all about gorgeous forests, birds and animals that you may not have ever seen before, meals that are served and prepared with love and new friends".
Jeffrey Jimenez Alfaro
Bar & Restaurant
Jeffrey has worked at Monnteverde Lodge & Gardens for a year. He has worked in the region in the Food & Beverage industry since 2000 and he had always dreamed of working at Monteverde Lodge. "It's such a classy place," he says.
"I like what I do because it gives me the opportunity to have conversations with all different kinds of people. Without being too forward, I always try to get guests to open up and interact with me and my co-workers."
He has fond memories of a birthday celebration barbecue in the Gardens where he and his guests were visited by a Coatimundi that the staff has named Poncho. He says that he will never forget that celebration because when Poncho came ambling up, he decided to introduce him to the guests as one of the Staff. Our guest promptly incorporated the Coati in the conversation. Poncho sat in the amphitheater for the entire celebration and truly seemed to enjoy the festivities.
His message to people considering a visit to Monteverde Lodge & Gardens: "Monteverde is a place to open up to nature, slow down, relax and enjoy the forest and the tranquility of the region."
Alex Mariano Suarez Rojas
Bar & Restaurant
Alex has worked for Monteverde Lodge & Gardens for since April of 2010. When we called him to offer him an interview he was unsure if he should accept or not. He had been working at a different restaurant and art gallery for 5 years and highly valued his stability. Although he was afraid to change jobs, he talked with several employees of the lodge, they all told him what a great place it is to work. He says he made the right decision.
Before working in the Food & Beverage industry, Alex played Division 1 soccer with the city of Puntarenas, his position, Center Forward. Today, he still plays soccer with a Monteverde team.
One of the things that stand out for Alex about his work at Monteverde Lodge is the bonds that are quickly formed with guests. He remembers an elderly couple that was here for 3 nights. The day before leaving they looked for him and gave him a real bear hug saying that they didn't want to leave Monteverde Lodge and wished they had planned to stay here for their entire time in Costa Rica.
"It still surprises me how we can be moved to tears by people that we've just met. I like it that this happens, it's meaningful to our guests and to me".
His message to people considering a visit to Monteverde Lodge & Gardens: "When you are a guest at Monteverde Lodge, we won't treat you like a formal customer, we'll treat you like family and you will see that we thrive on making our mission, Legendary Service…Unforgettable Memories, come true."