We just recently returned from a week at the villa and it was over the top. As other reviewers have mentioned, the home is better in person than even the pictures show. Incredible artwork and beautiful woodwork. Beautiful views no matter where you are in the house. It has loads of room for group gatherings or personal alone time, and as such perfect for everyone.
Bring binoculars, you will see the scarlet macaws every morning by the Gaia Hotel & Reserve down the hill. Over the week we saw numerous birds, a sloth, iquanas, and a visit from some capuchin monkeys on the morning we left.
The staff is top notch - Tatiana cheerfully looked after us everyday keeping the home and our rooms spotless. Johan was very responsive, ordering cabs and making dinner reservations. He even came to check on us at the restaurant in town after CR experienced an earthquake. Thankfully there was no damage anywhere in Manuel Antonio, but the power was out for a while and if you aren't used to earthquakes it can be disconcerting even if all is well. We definitely felt like we were in good hands the entire week.
I highly recommend hiring the chef for at least a few days. Mikey and Jose prepared delicious meals and it was such a treat to be pampered in this way. We gave them some guidelines and let them set the menu based on what was in season and available. Trust them - they know what they are doing. We also made use of the poolside BBQ and cooked up a couple of meals of our own - the chefs let the group know where to go to get the best ingredients in town. It was great having the kitchen for breakfast every morning - I really miss the ripe tropical fruit (pineapple, mango, papaya) that never tastes that good at home.
We were out and about everyday but it was great to get back to the pool to cool off and relax with a beer or a rum punch, which we made at the bar. We also made great use of the balconies for a morning coffee before heading out for the day. We did a lot of tours - including the Quepos Canyoning and Pro Rafting, both recommended by Johan. We visited Manual Antonio Park on our own, arranging a guide once we got there, as well as a boat cruise and horseback riding on the beach. I will review all those activities separately. Some of the members of our group also made use of the nearby spa.
We were hesitent to book during "Green Season" but we lucked out enjoying mostly sunny or at least rain-free times. By the time we started our activities for the day the weather always seemed to clear up. (Bring sunblock everywhere, even if it's foggy when you leave the house!). There were some wicked evening storms when the day was done but instead of being a negative we were able to witness an incredible "light show" over the Pacific during and after dinner.
Villa Celaje was definitely hard to leave and played a great role in making my 50th birthday vacation something I'll never forget!
We spent a long weekend here to celebrate our 50th birthdays. It was a magical experience. Johan set everything up to perfection. The rooms were amazing with breathtaking views. The excursions companies provided our guests with top notch care. Chef Marlon and crew prepared some spectacular dinners and were thoughtful to all of our dietary needs. The ladies and guards that kept the house were kind. We wanted to give back to the community and Johan arranged an afternoon to visit a local school. That visit with the children made my birthday perfect! Thank you to all that made this celebration possible. I would love to return to the place again.
what a great time we had at this property. incredible accommodations, beautiful views and an absolutely Great staff. we were fortunate to witness some beautiful sunsets and with binoculars could see whales breaching from the balcony.
the staff at the home (run by johan) set us up with a few tours and they were great. The catamaran cruise was beautiful with a great "home" cooked meal, great staff. The river rafting trip was just Awesome: exhilarating and beautiful. the rafting staff was very educated in the wonders of this country and loved teaching. We also went on a tour of Manuel Antonio. we had a great guide (Saul) that was very knowledgeable and passionate.
can not say enough about this great property and the staff!!
The house was amazing, country amazing, the staff was top notch. There is no better way to spend time in this beautiful country.
We had our 50th birthday celebration with many of our close friends and family. From the moment we arrived at the property, everyone was in awe of the facility!! We rented all three villas and utilized the private chef service for 3 of the evenings. Words cant describe how well the weekend (4 days ) was. The food was like a 5 star resturant, with differents courses each day. The vistas were breathtaking and the excursions were second to none!! What made this trip complete was the wonderful staff that made this trip all possible. Many thanks to Johan and the crew, and cheers to Chef Marlon and staff. Do yourselves a favor and book this place!!
I can't say enough about our stay. The home was amazing: modern, immaculate, stunning views and all the amenities we could ask for. We had 17 people in our group and the house still felt spacious and quiet. Mikey and Jorge's food was better than most I've had in the States; delicious and beautifully presented. Katherine kept the house pristine and Johan was beyond helpful with arranging every aspect of our stay. He responded quickly and didn't forget a single request. I can't say enough about our luxury stay -- start to finish it was perfection.
We went for our cousin's wedding. The villa is gorgeous and has spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and overlooks a bird sanctuary. We woke to toucans and macaws every day. The infinity pool is lovely here with a bar area and balcony for lounging. Hands down the best thing about the villa is the staff! We were treated like royalty. Mikey and Jorge were our cooks, and they truly get a five star rating. It was so nice not to have to worry about where to go for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I'm sure we had the best food in the area at our villa!
The villa has an apartment like area on the lower level. The 5 boys that were with us stayed in that area and loved it! Johan, the concierge, was so helpful. Anything that we wanted to do, he could arrange it and get us transportation. I really can't say enough about Johan. He had great suggestions about tours or adventurous outings. Katherine, the housekeeper, was exceptional. Our room was perfection every single day! The grounds at the villa were so lush, neat, and colorful. The wedding was so beautiful with the views of the ocean and the rainforest in the background. Ingrid, the wedding planner, did a fabulous job with the organization of the wedding time, the flowers and decorations, and the band that played was great. It was all Pura Vida! We can't wait to go back for the couple's anniversary!