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“Wonderful Overall with one exception” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Blue River Resort & Hot Springs

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Blue River Resort & Hot Springs
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   600 metros Oeste del puente del Rio Azul, Rincon de La Vieja, Costa Rica   |  
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Hotel amenities
Littleton, Colorado
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Wonderful Overall with one exception”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2011

My family stayed at this resort for 2 nights in June. Overall it was wonderful and a great value for the price. We also stayed at Hacienda Guachipelin and Blue River was much nicer and less expensive.

The grounds were absolutely beautiful. We enjoyed the botanic gardens, butterflies, and the mud bath. When we were there the pools were never crowded, even when a tour came in for the day, the pools were still quite empty. My son had lots of fun on the water slide. They usually had one pool closed for cleaning, but this seemed to rotate so we got to try every one.

The restaurant was good and very reasonably priced, especially for being the only place in the area that you could get food. We used the refrigerator in the room for leftovers.

The rooms were large and had a lovely feel, although they were a little dark. There was even a large walk in closet to keep suitcases out of the way as well as an in room safe.

The only negative thing I have to say was regarding my spa experience. My only "extra" that I did during our entire trip to Costa Rica was a massage at the spa. It was supposed to be a 50 minute massage. I was shocked when the I was told the massage was over after 40 minutes (42 max). I really enjoyed the massage, but was very disappointed that it was cut so short. I did give a smaller tip than I would have, but I probably shouldn't have given one at all.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Blue_River_Video, Owner at Blue River Resort & Hot Springs, responded to this review, July 23, 2011
Thank you so much for this review. In response to your unfortunate experience with the massage, We are try to locate who you are. This is the first time, receiving this feedback and want you to know that another massage is awaiting you, on us.We sincerely hope you will return.
On another topic, please know that our location is on the south side of Rincon de la Vieja. We offer hikes to the top of the volcano and other tours based the natural environment.
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604 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2011

We stayed three nights with our 13 year old. This place is just gorgeous and worth the drive in. You will know you are in Costa Rica when you stay here. If you want the basic beach and buffet experience, stay in the beachy part of Guanacaste. If you want a pristine rainforest with a view of an active volcano and hummingbirds, parrots, and butterflies flying all over the place, and yes, I was told there are even jaguar lurking in the woods, this is your spot.

The cabin like rooms were spotlessly clean and comfortable. Do be prepared-the establishment is green, and you need to get used to the fact that you can't flush the TP. There is a hint of odor from the (possibly composting?) commode, but I think this is the price you have to pay to protect this precious environment and the toilet itself was very clean and new looking. The bathroom and shower were spacious as was the closet. If you need conditioner for your hair, I recommend you bring it, as the supply is combined shampoo/conditioner.

The pools were the prettiest I have ever seen-surrounded by plants instead of pavement and chairs, though chairs were nearby if you wanted them. Another person noted slime and bugs. You are in a rainforest. There are supposed to be bugs. We enjoyed seeing the leaf cutter ants carrying their leaves around and the frogs croaking loudly at night. As for slime, the staff were constantly cleaning the pools, and as the establishment noted, this is a real hot spring here. Wear beach shoes in the pool if you are worried about the slippery tile. We did not find it a problem.

The grounds are lovely-we enjoyed the various gardens. I never thought about wandering around independently beyond the paths, as the other reader mentioned they wanted to do. I think it would be important to have a guide, as this is genuine nature here and I think a protected area.

The tour guide Walter was fabulous-he even took us to the Cano Negro, which was a long day for him. The driver (Ronaldo?) stopped to show us monkeys and other things on the drive in. I felt like I was leaving friends behind when they dropped us at our next destination.

Sure, you will be a captive audience, but I loved the restaurant-my whole family thought every meal was better than the last. Jimmy the waiter was extremely gracious-I have never had better service anywhere. It is not cheap, but it is fair for what you get. We thought the food was practically gourmet quality.

We intend to come back.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quepos, Costa Rica
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2011

My husband and I wanted a 2 night getaway on our motorcycle to a unique and beautiful place. We have lived in Costa Rica for 8 years and have ventured to many parts of the country, and this is one that I will treasure and return to many times. The Hot Springs are an unbeleivable added bonus, but this is not the only reason to go there. The cabins are large and well equipped with everything you could possibly need. Im only calling them cabins because they are made of wood and have such a homey feel to them. The restaurant has great food, staff and service, fabulous spa with wonderful treatments, the grounds, gardens and wildlife are amazing. In 2 days we did not have time to take in all the other great tours they provide, but we will be back. The blue river is spectacular to see, I have never seen that in my life and it was very unique. I would like to thank Daniel, Elli, and Jeanette for making our stay so memorable. Your staff really does make the experience enjoyable. See you again soon.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Georgia
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2011

We stayed one night at the lodge and thought it was average.
Rooms:
The rooms were large with a/c and very large TV and refrigerator . The beds were comfortable and the room also had a outdoor deck with a nice hammock. They provide basic soap and shampoo packets.
Hot Springs:
We were disappointed in the hot springs…the pools were full of dead bugs and the bottom of the pools were slimy. The cold pool was very small and crowded.
Tours:
This resort is not for the independent traveler. To hike to the waterfalls you have to go on a tour b/c you will be going on private property. We asked the front desk if there was any where we could go on our own and they said you have to go w/a tour guide. We did walk down to the river and went swimming and that was about all you can do on your own. They do have a garden and butterfly farm along with a mud and sauna.
Food:
The food was good and waiter was very nice . The prices were average . Breakfast was good and came with the price of the room.

Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Blue_River_Video, Owner at Blue River Resort & Hot Springs, responded to this review, July 4, 2011
For us, this review is upsetting. However we appreciate this guest’s honest appraisal and are looking into all his points. We are also compelled to answer and provides clarity for readers. The resort is rated four stars, has some five star amenities and comes with much to experience included in the price. I'd like to answer a couple of the points.

The pools: I’m sorry to disagree, but the pictures are an accurate representation of the pools, which are a spectacle, in and of themselves - and rarely are the full. Also, the hot springs pools are cleaned hourly and emptied weekly for a major cleaning. The pools are fed from natural mineral “green” hot springs, that literally bubbles up out of the ground nearby. The water is pumped through two pool filters before flowing into the waterfalls that empty into each pool. Keep in mind that most hot springs in Costa Rica are not natural. Most operations run water though through the ground for heat or have very weak mineral properties. On our website, we proudly post an article that describes the mineral content and hot spring characteristics that give it, its healing properties. The water does feels different from fresh water. And being in the rainforest amongst foliage, bugs will be attracted to lights at night.

For the Independent Traveler: Besides all the activities at the resort, across the road from the resort is a path that leads to the blue volcanic river, Rio Celeste, providing for a walk and a swim. Also to see how the people live, simply by walking along the street is a great experience. However, to visit the nearby blue volcanic river Penjamos and the many gorgeous waterfalls, costs $35 on horseback and less by car. This unique sight is on private property and we think the tour is well worth it. Many other unique nearby tours are also offered, but our region is not so tame so using a guide is suggested.
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Chicago, Illinois
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2011

We just completed a two night stay at the Blue River Resort and had a wonderful time. We were looking for something a little different after a couple of visits to Arenal and definitely found what we were looking for at Blue River.

The drive in wasn't bad at all. It is a 20 km drive on an unpaved road. Judging by some comments I guess it wasn't quite long enough warn off the faint of heart. The road is well marked and is not the worst road we have ever driven.

The rooms were very big, very clean and very comfortable. No complaints.

The grounds are beautiful- loads of flowers, literally everywhere you look. My wife almost filled a memory card with pictures of flowers. Lots of birds- especially humminbirds- we counted at least four different species. We also saw wood peckers, sap suckers and toucans. The maiposario was great- lots of Blue Morphos butterflies.

My wife enjoyed the access to volcanic mud and sauna. Our kids loved the different thermal pools and the cold water pool with the slide. If you wear contacts you might want to be careful with the volcanic water- my eyes were really irritated later.

We walked down to the Poza in the Blue River and hung out for a couple of hours and saw howler monkeys. The kids picked bananas off a tree by the road.

Food and service in the restaurant was fine. Dinner might be a little pricey compared to a budget hotel or soda but this is a nice resort and the chef does a great job. The presentation of the whole fried tilapia is dramatic! Breakfast was cooked to order.

The one drawback is that the drive to the Rincon de la Vieja national park is kind of long- about an hour. I would suggest stopping by Las Pailas on your way there or way out rather than doing it as a day trip during your stay (live and learn).

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Blue_River_Video, Owner at Blue River Resort & Hot Springs, responded to this review, July 4, 2011
We very much appreciate this family’s review of Blue River Resort. We read them all. It provides us the opportunity to improve and clarify. In this case I need to clarify a couple of the points.

Visiting Rincon De La Vieja Volcano National Park: Rincon de la Vieja can be visited from two sides. We are located along the base of the north side and this family decided to visit the park from the south side - quite a drive away and there are striking differences. The south side has the unique mud pots, is hot and dry and is 20 min closer to Liberia. The north side uniquely has the blue volcanic rivers, many waterfalls, dry volcanic river beds, mineral hot springs rivers, more wildlife and the cool, lush rainforest. Our website offers in-depth articles on Rincon de la Vieja.

The Restaurant Prices: Please know that we are keenly aware that most guests will dine at the hotel because there isn’t much else around. Keep in mind that many of our guests stay 7 to 14 days. We have done our best to strike the best balance. There is plenty of variety, high quality and reasonable prices. Restaurants elsewhere in Costa Rica, rarely offer the same value. We are very proud that TripAdvisor reviews highlight the food as part of their positive experience.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2011

We stayed here only 2 nights at the end of May, and it was magnificent! Rooms were beautiful, spacious, and fabulously air-conditioned. Restaurant served delicious meals that met the needs of seafood-loving Mom, and burgers/chicken teenagers and Dad. Prices were appropriate, and you could get beers/drinks for the room fridges. Service was awesome, and our lovely waitress was more than helpful with my rudimentary Spanish.
The grounds were gorgeous, and we loved meeting the rescue Toucan, as well as just sitting in the hummingbird garden. Enjoyed the warm natural water pools, and swam both nights in the cool pool, while the teenagers loved the slide! The place seemed almost deserted, but we did see people on occasion in the restaurant and pools.
Did the horseback ride to the Blue River and waterfalls with Walter - best $35/person we spent the entire vacation - fun, interesting, lovely, and refreshing with the swim!
Despite the electricity going off a couple of times (hey, you're in a bit of a remote area), it just seemed to add to the charm.
And lastly, when I left our passports and all of our money on the bed in the room, the staff immediately retrieved it, and kept it safe until our courier picked it up the next day - excellent customer service!
I'm staying longer next time....!

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2011

This place was everything and more than we'd expected. The people were so kind and went beyond to make our stay incredible. If you want to experience true Costa Rica, this is it. One week in this area was not long enough to do all there was to do, so we will be back. Ask for Walter as your guide on outings, he is one of the most knowledgable and curtious guides we have ever encountered. We learned alot about the nature and plants surrounding this region. There is not enough we can say about this trip. It truely was the trip of a lifetime.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Blue River Resort & Hot Springs

Address: 600 metros Oeste del puente del Rio Azul, Rincon de La Vieja, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Rincon de La Vieja
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Rincon de La Vieja
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Blue River Resort & Hot Springs 3.5*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Blue River Resort and Hot Springs is an authentic Costa Rica experience in the rainforests of Rincon de la Vieja. Our jewel is the spectacular natural mineral "green" hot spring pools – but that’s just the beginning. There is a large fresh water pool & bullet slide, the spa, botanical gardens, butterfly farm, iguana and frog pond and much more. Set out on several authentic eco Costa Rica adventure tours, all nearby. Eco-tours include visits to gorgeous blue volcanic rivers and waterfalls by horseback, nature walks, volcano hike, zip-lining across waterfalls and much more. The breadth of eco-nature tours will amaze you. Blue River Resort & Hot Springs offers luxury accommodation in new, spacious 720 square foot cabanas. Book your dream Costa Rica vacation! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Blue River Resort & Hot Springs Hotel Rincon De La Vieja
Blue River Resort And Hot Springs
Blue River Resort & Hot Springs Costa Rica/Rincon De La Vieja

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