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“Beautiful, Secluded, Relaxing” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Celaje

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Hotel Celaje
| Peninsula de Nicoya, Cabuya, Montezuma, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Cabuya
Patchogue, New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Beautiful, Secluded, Relaxing”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2014

This past April, 3 of my girl friends and I traveled to Costa Rica for the first time.
Being that none of us had ever been, we researched extensively, and we finally decided on Hotel Celaje. We chose this Hotel for a few reasons. We wanted to stay in a more secluded area, something that felt like we were actually in the Costa Rican jungle and not in a modern luxury resort, or in a conformed touristy area. We wanted more of a bungalow feel than a hotel feel. We wanted to make sure we were in a safe area, being 4 females traveling in an unfamiliar place. Hotel Celaje was all of those things and more.
We had arrived just after sunset and we were greeted by Santino (the afternoon/night manager), Kardoes and Lucky (the hotel dogs - a black & tan jack russell and a Shar Pei - very sweet and friendly). Santino helped us with our bags and took us to our room. He carried our bags up the stairs for us and told us about the restaurant and what time the breakfast buffet (included) was open.
Santino remained to be a huge help our entire trip. We spent many days relaxing at the pool (playing fetch with Kardoes), exploring the beach, walking to the restaurants in Cabuya (maybe 3 restaurants in town and a grocery store - about a 15 minute walk down the dirt road). He made sure we had everything we needed, he answered all of our questions on where to go, how to get there, and had many recommendations that we learned were exceptional. He is extremely friendly and makes you feel at home.
We met Marco (Hotel Owner) the following morning during breakfast. Marco also proved to be extremely helpful. Since we had not rented a car (thank goodness, because the roads were scary), he provided us with rides to and from Montezuma, to and from Santa Teresa, for very affordable prices. While driving us around, he would stop to show us monkeys in trees, cows, all different wild life. He would also give us a little history about the area we were staying in.
Our bungalow was just enough. We weren't planning on spending time in a room except for a shower and for sleep. The over sized ceiling fan in our bungalow kept us cool at night along with the beautiful ocean breeze. Some nights were hotter than others and sometimes more difficult to fall asleep, but it definitely cooled down and we all slept very well to our surprise. The beds were comfortable enough for us to sleep in for seven nights without feeling sore. The shower was a challenge at first, only because we couldn't figure out how to switch on the hot water. After asking Santino, we were able to figure it out and the shower was fine. Everything was clean. I will admit, I was nervous about bugs. Each bed had a mosquito net hanging from the ceiling, which was comforting. With the exception of a spider or two downstairs near the front door (Santino and Marco took care of them for us), we saw no other insects in the bungalow at all. There were NO mosquitos at all, but during the time we stayed it was VERY dry. We were told it hadn't rained since November, and we were there in April. I don't know how the mosquitos would be in the rainy season.
The restaurant had great food. The breakfast buffet was delicious and more than satisfying, with eggs (fried or scrambled), rice & beans, fruit, pancakes (not a traditional american pancake - maybe more like a crepe), fresh fruit, toast, cereal, and delicious coffee. We had dinner and lunch there a few times and all of us thoroughly enjoyed all of our meals.
A few things that kept this rating at "Very Good" instead of "Excellent" - The restaurant/bar area closed relatively early (around 9pm - depending on if people were there or not). There were two nights or so where we didn't have anything to eat or drink in our Bungalow and had to wait until morning, so always make sure you have some snacks and water (and cervezas) on hand in your bungalow. They also turned off all of the lights except for one dim light in the restaurant, so you couldn't even utilize the tables or the chairs surrounding the pool. You could go night swimming, but there was no pool light either. All the bungalows have tables, chairs, and a hammock with good lighting. So we did end up hanging out there for a bit.
Over all, we had an amazing stay, and I would definitely recommend this place. If you aren't a high maintenance, bougie snob about hotels, and you enjoy staying in the simpler hidden places off the beaten path, Hotel Celaje is for you.

Room Tip: Rooms closer to the water are quieter, the dirt bikes, quads and trucks going by on the road could w...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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109 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Sandy, Oregon
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2014

My husband and I stayed in this amazing hidden paradise. The romantic evening dinners with great staff to get you whatever you need so happily. You have a private bungalow with a hammock and chairs to chill out on. The beach is in eye view. I sat in their provided chairs and sat under shade reading a great book and enjoying the view! SO relaxing! I would take walks down the beach picking up the most beautiful sea shells. The pool was nice to cool off in also. It was the best food ate in Costa Rica by far! I say,don't miss this hidden paradise.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Tapa, Estonia
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2014

My wife and I spent there 2 nights in March. Arrived by car ferry from Puntarenas. We didn`t have any hotel bookings. First wanted to stay in Montezuma, but it was too noisy and overcrowded. We were given advice to move on, to the next, Cabuya village. That was the way we found this hotel. We liked the location of this property, right on the beach, though it was stoney. On high tide we swam a lot in warm ocean, it needed to be careful in entering water. Cottage was clean and spacious, Noize fron street kept us awake, but later we could sleep quite well. Breakfast was as usual in CR. About the other meals I cannot tell nothing, we ate and drunk what we brought with us by our rented car. The surrounding forest was real jungle with tallest coconut palm trees I ever have seen. One of coconuts was about to kill me, falling down in 2 meters behind my skull, when I sat on chair on ocean shore. We liked this hotel. If you like to find quiet place to relax and swim, go there.

Room Tip: Cottages no 1-3, if it`s possible.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Dayton, Ohio
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2014

If you are interested in blending an authentic Costa Rican experience with some modern/western luxuries, Hotel Celaje in Cabuya is for you. The hotel is far enough removed from the tourist town of Montezuma that you get to experience the "real" Costa Rica, yet close enough that you can easily get into to town for the activities offered in Montezuma. The hotel sits on gorgeous grounds - palm trees everywhere, meticulously maintained tropical gardens - and offers an amazing pool to provide relaxation. The restaurant offers a wide variety of food and some of the best local dish, Pinto Gallo, you'll find in the area.
I noticed some reviews mentioned displeasure with the staff. During our stay there has been a turn over in staffing and the newly hired people are fantastic and professional. Any concerns folks had should now be dispelled. Santino, the afternoon/night manager, is a gem and will make you the BEST french fries and an absolutely killer Pina Colada. And of course the two best members of the staff - Lookie and Kardoes - are still there to provide companionship and certainly entertainment (They're the resident pups and cannot be overlooked!)
Something that is available that I didn't see a lot of people taking advantage of is an excellent sea kayak. Taking the kayak out to Cabuya Island a high tide is an experience you will not forget. Kayaking with sea turtles and small manta ray while pelicans, rigates, sea gulls and pipers fly over is a truly incredible journey.
All in all - between the ambience, the restaurant, the pool, the girls (Lookie and Kardoes :) ) the staff and most of all the location - I would highly recommend you put Hotel Celaje on your "must visit" list for the Nicoya Peninsula.

Room Tip: My husband and I rented the Cabina. If you are looking to stay in Cabuya for two weeks or more, I wo...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brussels, Belgium
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2014 via mobile

I stayed in this hotel for 14 days. The first time was 3 years ago on a roundtrip trough costa rica. But i went back to this hotel for the beautiful walks trough cabo blanco natural parc. The hotel is a great place to relax. The food they serve is very good. And they sell the best hamburger of cabuya at hotel celaje. My personal favourite. I had no problems with the staff. Santino was very nice to me. Great guy and he was good on the job. My room was in perfect working order. And a great shower which we europeans and gringo,s will fit under. Had other experiences in costa rica. The room was perfect great hammock and good fridge for chilled drinks. The beachview at hightide is awesome. And i took a tour for watching whales. I can say wooooooow awesome to see a whale and so close. So great place to stay. And enough to do and see on the nicoya peninsula. Montezuma is a small town close around but really touristic. If you love nature and want to see nice animals like whales, monkeys, butterflys, birds, and a perfect place for fishing. I did some good fishing at cemetary island. And a nice island to visit. You can go by foot with lowtide. Great people in cabuya also at little chico the supermarket. On bad remark watch out for tourists on quads and the road just outside the hotel. The tourists on quads drive like lunatics. So drive your car slowly from the parkinglot. And about the setting of the restaurant. Really great you will feel like you entered a setting of pirates of the pacific. To all the staff thank you very much for giving me a great holiday with excellent service. Great job! A very happy tourist who has to save up for the next holiday. And i might considering comming back. Because great to experience this hotel. Much better then a hotel booked by a big touroperator where you get nothing what they promise you. At hotel celaje i got more then i could dream of. So it made it the best holiday in years.

  • Stayed February 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2014

Ok, I think this place is overpriced and a bit overrated. If would rate this place much higher if it prices were to fit the quality you get.

I agree with some of the more negative comments such as the burnt lamp shades, noise, small bathrooms and sketchy restaurant ambiance (human skulls and animal bones everywhere). Oh and the lamps and power outlets in our cabin didn't work. Also, I went through some of the comments that the manager has written here on TripAdvisor...wow! Had I read these rude comments before and I would have avoided this hotel.

On the bright side. Cabins are OK, the food is good and some of the staff is very friendly. Beachfront location is nice at high tide.

Make sure you visit Isla Cabuya (cemetery island) on low tide. Also, there is a good soda (small restaurant) right next to Chiko Supermarket in downtown Cabuya, the lady there serves good food at incredibly low prices...this is why you see the locals eating there.

Room Tip: the farthest you can from the road!
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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mandreamer, Manager at Hotel Celaje, responded to this review, March 16, 2014
Thanks for your review. Its all abouth money, discounts and cancelations that people dont want to pay.
How can people be that mean.
You did not want to pay for the nights you booked. And than had the complain that the bathroom was dirthy.
As i asked to show me there was nothing wrong and the only complain you had to invent was that you didnt like the bathtowel. Only 2 weeks old.
Than you blackmailed us you would post a bad review and you did.
Sorry you don,t belong in Costa Rica at least not in our hotel.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Connecticut
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2014

My husband and I stayed at Hotel Celaje for 3 nights. The cabin was clean and rustic. It had a small refrigerator which was sufficient. The hot shower works if you run the water on low because it has little electric heater and how it is designed. We enjoyed relaxing on the patio in the hammock. The swimming pool was large and clean with views of the ocean. The breakfast buffet was great with lots to choose from. This hotel is on a rocky beach so you can't swim in it but great views with tons of hermit crabs crawling in the night. Howler monkeys came to visit a few times as well. This place is gated and they lock the gate every night. The road is little bit noisy with ATVs driving by but we slept OK, bed was comfortable. I recommend this place.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mandreamer, Manager at Hotel Celaje, responded to this review, March 4, 2014
Thank you for your review.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Celaje

Address: | Peninsula de Nicoya, Cabuya, Montezuma, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Montezuma > Cabuya
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Cabuya
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 7
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Celaje Hotel Cabuya
Hotel Celaje Costa Rica/Cabuya

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