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“Perfect to be around nature” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Catarata Rio Celeste Hotel

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Catarata Rio Celeste Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
Cartago, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
25 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Perfect to be around nature”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 24, 2012

Stay in this cozy hotel, is Costa Rican family own, the rooms are really nice and with great gardens. The food is delicious, and the staff is very friendly. Take the excursions to the Rio Celeste.

Room Tip: The rooms from the back are perfect
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank betomolina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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90 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    42
    33
    10
    3
    2
See reviews for
17
47
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 10, 2012

My girlfriend and I spent an adventurous night at the Catarata Rio Celeste Lodge during Easter weekend. This has been my fourth visit to Costa Rica and we both wanted to try something new at an affordable price. So we made preparations to make the trip from San Jose.

As my girlfriend is a native to Costa Rica the communication for the set up was simple. The initial set up was over the phone and the remaining correspondence was done over email. The staff is bilingual, so even if you aren't going with someone who speaks Spanish as a first language don't be discouraged.

We set off from San Jose driving a Toyota Corolla. The trip took us about 4 hours to arrive due to some minor pitfalls. The drive was extremely beautiful and the day was nice an clear. We were emailed directions that were fairly accurate. We did however, get lost a few times due to poor street markings and inaccurate road signs. The staff was more than understanding when we called several times to confirm we were on the correct path. They cheerfully guided us to our desired destination.

When we did get lost it was frustrating when they didn't answer the phone. There was an instance when we called several time and no one answered. Also, the road leading up to the lodge was made up of large loose stones. This was very hard on the corolla we were driving, but fun for any vehicle with 4 wheel drive.

When we arrived to the lodge the staff was very friendly in guiding us to ample parking. Our room wasn't available yet, but we had the option to take the waterfall tour with a personal guide as part of our package. Julio was our guide and was very pleasant and even though he can only speak Spaniah he was great! I was very impressed by his eagerness to take pictures at the request of my girlfriend. The tour took about 3 hours of Vigorous walking and climbing.

When we got back to the lodge grounds our room was ready for check in and we could go for our lunch in the restaurant as part of a 3 meal package. There were a variety of food items included in the package.

We checked into our room and it was exactly how the website portrayed it. The room was clean and cozy with a huge bathroom with whirlpool style tub. I was very satisfied. However, the only drawbacks to the room was the lack of a fan. After the long hike we were extremely uncomfortable. We had the choice of either opening all the windows and doors to cool the house down or taking a cold shower. We chose the latter of the two because we didn't want to be eaten alive by bugs during the night.

The bathroom was lacking curtains. It wasn't too much of a problem for a liberal for me, but something you may want to know about. Also, there was an abundance of ants in a variety of places. So word to the wise don't encourage it by leaving any food items out.

All and all I enjoyed my time there. The friendly family staff and tranquility of it all made up for the small inconveniences we experienced on our trip. 4 stars. Pura Vida.

Room Tip: Ask for the newer cabins of the lodge. The new where we stayed were only 2 years old.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank HoustonHeadliner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albany, NY
Level Contributor
29 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 18, 2012

My husband and I stayed for 1 night at this hotel. Originally we planned on staying for 3 nights, but when we realized that they do not accept credit cards, we reduced our stay to 1 night and paid them in cash ($55 per night based on double occupancy). This place was not easy for us to find. Their website is in Spanish and English, except for the directions page – which is only in Spanish. I asked a bilingual Costa Rican to translate it for me and even when we tried to follow the directions, we ended up taking the wrong road from Bijagua and going very far out of our way. The hotel is located at a trail head to the Tenorio Volcano National Park. They also collect the entrance fees to the park ($10 per person). Luckily we arrived there with enough time to hike into the reserve and see the Rio Celeste and the accompanying waterfall. So after check-in (which was difficult because nobody there knew English very well), we began our hike around 1 PM and were back to the hotel by 4:30 PM. Because the hotel is located in a very remote area, the electricity was temporarily out. Unfortunately that was the time when we both needed warm showers to clean up from our afternoon. I took a cold shower in the outdoor shower instead. Then my husband and I went to the restaurant there for dinner (which did have power). We both ordered typical Costa Rican meals and they were fine. The only other tourists there were a Spanish couple who pitched a tent for camping and a small bus of French tourists. We seemed to be the only English speaking people there. We sat in the restaurant for a while after dinner and had a few beers each. When we returned to our room at bedtime, the electricity had been restored. In the morning my husband attempted to take a warm shower, but even with the electricity back on, the water never got warm. We went to the restaurant again for our breakfast, which was included in the price of our room. Our breakfast was sufficient, but not as large as some of the other places we stayed at. There was no fruit and they never refilled our coffee cups. Oh well, it was time to leave anyway since we were moving on to the next location. I would recommend this hotel as a place to stay the night either before or after exploring the Rio Celeste area. It’s not centrally located or easy to go to, so I wouldn’t recommend it as a base to visit other areas. Our room seemed new and was very clean. The restaurant was convenient and the staff was friendly, although communication was difficult. The grounds were well-kept and pretty. Just remember to bring enough cash with you if you go to this area.

Room Tip: Bring cash. Credit cards not accepted.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank CC5krunner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portsmouth, Virginia
Level Contributor
102 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 13, 2011

Rio Celeste had been on my checklist of must see places in Costa Rica for some time.
Checked it off after our trip in May 2011.
After viewing options listed in our Lonely Planet guidebook, we agreed that Rio Celeste Lodge was our first choice given the convenient location and affordable(low) rate.
As we drove from Nicoya to Guatuso, my Tico friend played phone tag with the hotel, finally speking to them about 45 minutes before we arrived. Yes they had room for four at $10 per person, yes they had a restaurant, and yes they would stay open for us as we were arriving just before sunset. Perfect!
On arrival we came upon the little streamside soda the family operates. My friend made arrangements with the Doña, got the keys for our rooms---we were able to choose between using one or two rooms for the same rate of $10 per person, we chose two rooms. We drove up the hill to the cabinas--quite rustic--checked the rooms, freshened up from the road and drove back down to the soda for dinner just as night fell. They were so nice to stay open, and a few local men were there enjoying one more cervesa which gave us some folks to coverse with as our meals were prepared. We thoroughly enjoyed our well cooked tipico dinners. As we paid for our dinners and rooms the Doña asked if and what time we would like to have breakfast in the morning. Just like staying with family-----
The rooms (while being as spartan as one would expect for the rate) were squeaky clean, the beds very humble but comfortable, and the showers (with the electrical shower head water heaters) were both warm and refreshing.
We woke at dawn, spent a bit of time just enjoying the surroundings then packed and drove down to wait for breakfast. We went into the tour office the family operates adjacent to the soda, spent a time speaking to the Doña's son who spoke very good English, learning all about the area we would soon enjoy.
Breakfast was hearty, well prepared and right on time.
We left with pleasant memories of our time at Rio Celeste Lodge. It was just what we expected.
These folks made our Rio Celeste experience much richer.
¡Pura Vida!

Room Tip: They are what they are, humble and squeaky clean.
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank ed4_vida_rica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Catarata Rio Celeste Hotel

Property: Catarata Rio Celeste Hotel
Address: La Paz de Rio Celeste de Guatuso, Alajuela 20101, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Alajuela
Amenities:
Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 39 Specialty Lodging in Alajuela
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Catarata Rio Celeste Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 11
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Catarata Rio Celeste Hotel Alajuela
Catarata Rio Celeste Hotel Costa Rica/Alajuela

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