We stayed 2 nights and 3 days in December. It was our bad luck to have pouring rain during most of our stay so the main attraction, the Rio Celeste, was a muddy brown. On the morning of our departure, the rain held off for 5 hours and we were able to hike to the river. The river was a dark turquoise, rather like the pacific ocean. I guess if it stayed clear for a few more hours, then the river might turn more blue. The hike itself was beautiful and the soak in the natural hot spring in the river was really a special experience.
As another review has noted, there is absolutely nothing else to do other than the Rio Celeste hike. If it rains, that hike is dangerous and then you are stuck at the hotel. The hotel itself is lovely, very much like Thailand in feel. However, the hotel is still under construction and the gym is not yet complete and the spa only offered massages. The locals tell me that the region is rainy most of the year, with March/April being the dryest. Given the lack of activities to do and the climate coupled with the beauty of the hotel and its surroundings, it seems that adding yoga and meditation classes and other holistic and spiritual activities and spa treatments would be highly desirable. Also, when it rains, the rooms get VERY DAMP. The floor is sticky with condensation and the bedding is cold and damp to the touch. We put the A/C on dry mode to get comfortable. That didn't seem to help much and the place was so cold (around 60 degrees at night). The dampness and the cold made for rather uncomfortable sleep. So, perhaps adding a dehumidifier or a heating element to the rooms for the really damp and cold days would help with making the rooms more enjoyable. Lastly, the food is poor in both preparation and in presentation. It is expensive yet everything tastes the same. The meats were uniformly overcooked. All the salads had the same italian dressing. The hotel has huge potential. I hope management improves the cuisine and expand its services because I really love the location and the ambiance.
Lastly, I agree with prior reviews that the staff is wonderful. I think they are the most friendly, cheerful, and joyful people of all the hotels we've stayed in Costa Rica so that is a big plus! If the rooms were dryer/more comfortable, I'd give this place a 4 star even if sighting the blue river is a chancy thing!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Rio Celeste Hideaway is a boutique, gourmet and ecologically orientated hotel. It provides a world of comfort and style surrounded by an untouched natural paradise. This hidden hotel is located in the middle of the Rainforest adjacent to the Tenorio Volcano National Park where the amazing Rio Celeste lies. Surrounded by lush tropical rainforest, each one of its 26 spacious casitas (bungalows) provides an exclusive retreat in which guests can relax amidst the breathtaking rainforest. ... more less
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