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“Exceptional Rainforest Hideaway”

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Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
London, UK
Level Contributor
302 reviews
140 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 131 helpful votes
“Exceptional Rainforest Hideaway”
Reviewed 11 February 2014

There are two ways of reaching this resort which have been well documented.

The journey from Guatuso in the East is about 22km and the terrain quite easily traversed - you do not need a 4 wheel drive. If you are coming via Bijagua in the West although the journey is much shorter the terrain is difficult and I would not like to have tackled it in an ordinary car!

Once reaching the Lodge you will be quite amazed at the level of luxury. The Forest Casita (ours was number 23) is magnificent. Large, luxurious and with a big terrace overlooking the forest and river. Lovely furnishings and a massive bathroom with a Jacuzzi bath (which does work but takes a long time to fill to a working level) and plenty of hot water. There is also an outside shower for those that like that type of thing. Sadly the weather was really poor when we were there in late December.

There is a large pool (quite cool) and several outside jacuzzis (much warmer) and nice paths both in the grounds and down to the river.

The food was terrific, a wide menu and very imaginative dishes. Really this is almost a luxury restaurant with rooms but sadly the wine list was as mediocre as we experienced in Costa Rica.

Staff were charming throughout our two night stay and it was a shame about the weather.

Although we thoroughly enjoyed the place it was a nuisance that nearly all the other guests were from a large "pre-wedding party". This is supposed to be a peaceful retreat and their prescence made it far from peaceful. Very loud music the first night when we were dining - we actually complained about it and the staff were very supportive and got it turned down.

A tip then is that if you do book, and we would recommend the lodge wholeheartedly, and want peace and quiet then check with them there is not a large wedding or similar party booked in at the same time.

Room Tip: All Forest Casitas similar and first rate. Beware of wedding parties!
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
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3 Thank mfranks911
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Fresno, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 29 January 2014

My husband and I LOVED our time at Rio Celeste Hideaway! We stayed there for our honeymoon, and it was the perfect place to relax. The grounds are gorgeous, the service was fantastic, and we just absolutely loved our casita. The staff knew us by name and went above and beyond to make us feel at home. This really is a gem of a place, and we'd highly recommend it to anyone who is looking to make a trip to Costa Rica. We hope to return someday!

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jaime S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cambridge, Ontario
Level Contributor
59 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 January 2014

We were so pleased with our room, which was a cottage to ourselves. Really large, with a patio and view of the forest. Best feature; the outdoor rain shower! And lots of hot water; water pressure was good too! The hotel is located in the rain forest area, so it is damp here. No smells, but there is damp. We did not think it was a problem. We found pros and cons with every hotel we stayed at in Costa Rica. Not a big problem. The power did go out a couple times for about 3 or 4 minutes. It must be hard to be running this high end property nowhere near anything. The onsite pool was large, but the water was chilly, as it was at every pool we went to in CR. The whirlpools worked and were hot, which was an amazing treat after hiking for 3 hours!
The staff are sooooo great. They really went above and beyond with friendliness and service.
The food was also really good!!! Pricing was standard resort pricing.
The river path is a nice walk, and the reward is the beautiful river. The sound of the water is so relaxing. Bring a towel down in case there are none there.
About the much talked about road: wow did people ever over exaggerate that! We were expecting boulders, not the small rocks we drove over!
The hotel is on a road that cuts through the park from west to east. We arrived through the east side (from La Fortuna, via Guatuso). It took us about 40 minutes to drive the gravel road when we turned off Guatuso. We were driving cautiously, the road was more or less even, but was gravel and had small rocks. Typical Costa Rican road. Any hilly areas were paved with 2 tire tracks. Can totally be done without 4x4.
When leaving, we took the road west to Bijagua. It was supposed to take 40 minutes, but we did it in about 30. By this time we had spent 7 days on gravel roads, and became de-sensitized to it. We drove 15-20 k per hour, and didn't hesitate. We kept waiting for the "borderline un-passible" areas but it never happened. Yes the rocks are larger on the west side, but certainly not boulders as reported by others. You can certainly drive over them, and most of the time 2 tracks have been carved out by other cars, so just follow that. The rocks are larger on the west, not small rocks like on the east side. You can totally do this drive.
And staying here makes for a great resting place after the Rio Celeste waterfall hike.
Speaking of which, there are 2 park entrances. The one east of the hotel (on the way to Guatuso) is the free entrance, but a much longer walk. The one west of the hotel (on the way to Bijagua) is $10 per person, but shorter. Only use the east side free entrance if you are prepared for a min 4 hour hike to the waterfall and back. The path is much muddier, more obstacles (uneven ground, tree roots, large rocks, and a river to cross in your bare feet or rented rubber boots). The west entrance gets you to the waterfall in 30 minutes, and if you go to the end to see the turquoise lagoon and water colour change, you are looking at a 3 hour hike. The hike is easier (less obstacles, but still be prepared for some uneven ground, tree roots and mud!).
Just wanted to spell that stuff out because we learned the hard way!!
Don't hesitate to drive here....it's a great base for seeing Rio Celeste waterfall.
Tip: on GPS make sure you choose "Rio Celeste Hideaway". There are many hotels using Rio Celeste for their name, in one way or another.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank OntarioCambridge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
75 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 January 2014

While the ride to this hidden oasis is undeniably brutal, it is definitely well-worth the adventure. We spent Easter here, and fell in love with this beautiful place. The staff was unbelievably friendly and attentive. The hotel grounds were exquisite, with lush greens and colorful flowers everywhere.

We booked the Casita Suite and absolutely loved the outdoor shower. The in-room Jacuzzi tub was a disappointment, taking forever to fill and then not working, but that is our only room complaint. We enjoyed our morning coffee each day relaxed on the wooden chairs tucked privately behind the gorgeous greens.

We hiked the path to the nearby blue river (Rio Celeste) and swam in the enchanting water several times. The three hot tubs were comfortably warm and hot while the pool was refreshingly cool. Unfortunately, the pool bar was closed and the waiter took a rather long time delivering drinks.

Although the pool service was slow, the restaurant’s wait staff was excellent. I’ve never had waiters who were so kind and responsive; it was certainly top-notch service. The complimentary breakfast was delicious. In addition to a breakfast bar featuring fresh tropical fruits, muffins, yogurt, and cereal, we were able to order a traditional Costa Rican breakfast or a choice of eggs and sausage. We almost always ordered the traditional breakfast, which came with rice and beans, fried plantain, sausage, and yogurt or tortilla shells. We enjoyed dinner here a few times, but found it rather expensive compared to the local establishments, where we always prefer to dine.

We indulged in a relaxing couple’s massage at the spa and loved every second of it. The masseuse and masseur were extremely professional and strong.

The drive to the hotel, however, is ridiculously bumpy. We read the reviews before booking and arriving, but still could not believe how terrible the climb up the hill could be. It actually deterred us from going on many of the adventures we had hoped to embark on while in Costa Rica. It took at least 45 minutes to get up and down the mountain, and it was dangerously dark and foggy at night. If you plan on staying here, don’t plan on venturing out too often. This is a place to literally hideaway. Once you get here, you won’t want to leave.

Room Tip: Bring the provided umbrellas with you on the hike to the Rio Celeste.
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Palmtreetheory
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
56 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 January 2014

For those willing to take a brief trek out of the way, you will be rewarded. For those not willing, it is your loss. It is hidden, isolated and a completely self contained spot of paradise. For those not physically able to hike the national park trails (can be grueling and muddy) there is a perfectly groomed trail to enjoy the blue river (not the falls) right on property. The gourmet meals were the best we've had in many travels to CR. The bartender was excellent and the drink prices were very agreeable for hand made libations. The ambiance is a mix of Java and CR but none the less, unique, attractive and luxurious. The grounds are impeccable. We found the staff to be welcoming, engaging and friendly.

But quite simply, it is on the road to the national park (which is also hidden). Quite reachable from the west side of the mountain pass on a very nice dirt road. The worst stretch of road i recall was from the hotel to the NP parking area. My only suggestion is to correct their location on GPS like google maps and Waze to take confusion from finding it.

Room Tip: We had jungle off of our balcony, perhaps there are different views to be offered. Don't hesita...
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank CostaRicaGuest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oneida, New York
Level Contributor
126 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 157 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 January 2014

After a 3-hour drive from the San Jose airport, we turned onto what our GPS called an unpaved road for the final 10 km to our destination. Fortunately we had a 4-wheel drive vehicle, for this "road" was full of rocks (boulders), ruts, no shoulders, fallen trees (with a space cut out for 1 vehicle to get through). We thought that maybe the GPS was wrong but kept going because there was an occasional sign for our destination. After 40 - 45 minutes, we rounded a bend
and thought we were in Shangri-La! The Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel was just an amazing sight for our family of 4 very weary travelers. Hidden in the rainforest, this beautiful, spacious, luxurious hotel was beyond our wildest dreams. Although it was late and we were 2 hours late for our dinner reservations, the staff gladly seated us in an open-air restaurant for dinner before we went to our rooms - we were starving! The menu was extensive, prices reasonable, and the food very tasty. Off to our rooms, there was a short walk through beautiful (even at night) grounds and we finally were able to rest in a simply gorgeous suite. Unbelievable! The rooms were spacious, especially the bathrooms, and we even had an outdoor (private) shower, which was a special treat. After a good night's sleep we had a delicious hotel breakfast (free) and then went to Tenorio Volcano National Park one mile away. After a challenging hike to the river and waterfalls, and soaked by the humidity and a rain shower (what would one expect in a rain forest), we decided to relax at the hotel for the afternoon. The pool was so relaxing, covered in warm sunlight, with a swim-up bar and a hot tub. The bartender was friendly and efficient, as well as talented, and we lounged away the afternoon sipping our drinks in the hot tub, a very relaxing Christmas eve.
The wait staff was always friendly and helpful, making this hotel a perfect place to "hide away" from the real world and just quietly relax in a perfect venue. We stayed 2 nights, and other than the treacherous final 10 km to get there, had no complaints. It was truly a wonderful place to stay!

Room Tip: get a suite, they are huge and very comfortable, with an added outdoor shower!
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank joe c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 December 2013 via mobile

Hotel suppose to be a small luxury hotel. Room full of mold smell. Front desk not being helpful at all. Planed to stay for 2 days. The mold smell scared us away. Nice environment. But the smell kill everything. They build a trail hike all the way to the river and build a deck also suppose provide towel for guest.But nobody change the towel. Full of used dirty towel.

I won't come back again.

Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Lin J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel

Property: Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel
Address: La Paz de Rio Celeste | 1 kilometer southeast of the Tenorio Volcano National Park., Tenorio Volcano National Park 21304, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Tenorio Volcano National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Tenorio Volcano National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 26
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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