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“Lovely setting, good value and nice place to chill”

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Hotel Rio Perlas Spa & Resort
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Cartago
San Jose, Costa Rica
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Lovely setting, good value and nice place to chill”
Reviewed February 24, 2012

Have been visiting Rio Perlas for over a year to use hot spring pool but always put off staying by reviews on Tripadviser. However, due to Orosi lodge being full just spent lovey two nights here with my wife, 4 year old daughter and friend visiting from England. Our rooms were spacious, nicely maintained, came with coffe makers and freebies such as shoe shine,sowing kit etc.Setting is lovely and you can go for a fairly extensive hike in the grounds, followed by a lovely swim in hot spring. Breakfast was a buffet with good selection of eggs, Gallo pinto, fruits, pastries and toast. We ate in the restaurant one night and food was alright and by costa rican standards good value. Overall a lovely place to stay and if you are there do check out the many splendours of the lovely Orosi valley.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kieran B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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216 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (27)
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English first
nebraska
Level 6 Contributor
68 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed July 22, 2011

To be fair, this is the Green Season and they were working on several projects. The grounds are beautiful and there are trails leading up into the mountain. The mineral pool was an ungodly murky green when we arrived. We've stayed at hot springs spas/ resorts and the water ususally has a green tinge but with this pool you expected the Loc Ness Monster to surface. The swimming pool was cloudy and they were doing some kind of construction. So, 1 day to use the pools and we couldn't. The next morning the mineral pool was unbelievably clear! We saw several workers around the pool the previous afternoon and they worked a miracle! We had to leave before using the pools so I can't report on them.
Our room, while large was spartan. The bed was comfortable and the bathroom was clean. The floors had been mopped but were not clean and this is the first time I have ever put my sandals on just to walk across the floor. To the defense of the housekeepers, there are no rugs and the asphalt drive tracks in to the room.
I think this is probably the best accomodation in the Orosi area but it the rooms are outdated. Everything has an old and not cared for look. Like a lot of places, the first glance looks good but it is only surface. The porticos have a warm feeling but no chairs on which to sit.
The restaurant is "upscale" but our meals were only so-so. there is a complimentry breakfast which was meager. They have breakfast on the menu but it caused a major confusion when we wanted to order off the menu so we gave up and ate the buffet.
There is free WIFI near the gate house.
Because of the season, our room was $111 including tax and they said the room in High Season would be $136. I only mention this so you can compare.
Since this is Costa Rica and not in a metro area, we didn't expect English to be spoken and other than at the reception, it wasn't. However, all the staff needs more training to provide a better vacation experience for the guests.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank joyceh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Utrecht, The Netherlands
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 28, 2011

This must have been a good hotel about 30 years ago. Unfortunately, nothing appears to have been done to keep it up to standard. The location is beautiful and the thermal bath is very comfortable but the rooms are in desparate need of maintenance (old and broken toilets and showers e.g.). The hotel does not provide any of the services it claims: the restaurant is terrible, there are no coffee making facilities in the rooms, there is no wifi (also not in the reception area - I was told for three days every day that the connection was experiencing temporary difficulties), the staff is incompetent, etc. Expect a two star hotel and you won't be disappointed, but five stars (as they claim for themselves - when did anyone from the Costa Rican tourism board last check this hotel? - is ridiculous!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank 188616Michael
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Cartago hotels

Leeds
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed July 5, 2010

This is in no way a 5 star resort or even close to it. We arrived at night and it took them over 40 minutes to check us in, we were taken to the room – it needs total renovation and is aged. The bathroom has broken tiles and the hot water did not work, I called reception but they told me they had no maintenance staff until the morning. The television had a list of cable channels but none worked neither did the remote control. The bed was uncomfortable and the mattress had springs that lodged in your back, the bed sheets and covers were humid and smelled of mould. There were cockroaches in the bathroom, we would have gone but had pre-paid for two nights and it was late.

In the morning we got woken up by a very noisy construction with sounds of banging and metal cutting, nobody had told us about this. Tried to take a shower but the water was freezing! I went to complain at reception but the people initially ignored me and told me to fill in a complaint slip. When I said that I either wanted a refund or switched to a decent room or I will block the charge on the credit card they told me the manager will come and talk to me. There was a man sitting in a office behind the reception and took him over 10 minutes to get up to talk to me – maybe he thought I would get board and go back to my room??? Anyway, after putting things very clear he agreed as a great favour to move us to different rooms away from the construction. These rooms were far and we had to wait for their car to come and pick us up as they did not allow us to drive to the cabin, this took over 30 min.

The new cabin was better but still very aged and smelly, but at least it had hot water and away from the construction so we thought we would sleep well – how wrong were we!!! Finally showered went to have breakfast, on arriving to the restaurant the waitress seemed to be in a very intimate moment with the waiter and looked very annoyed and irritated that we disturbed. The service was awful, rude and the food was horrible – any time we asked for something like salt or more coffee the waitress seemed very annoyed… The next morning at 600am on the spot again we got woken up, this time not by construction but by maintenance staff using a petrol mower in front of the cabin and cutting tree branches that overhung the cabin, that once cut hit the metal roof that resounded like an explosion in the room. That was the last straw… The pool looked dirty and the whole place looked as if it needed total and serious renovations. On the plus side the locations is beautiful and Orosi is precious, we moved to Sanchiri Lodge and couldn’t be happier!

On checkout we waited over 40 minutes to have our luggage taken to our car by their car, and on complaining to the manager about the stay he apologised and told me to write a review and they will contact me with some form of compensation – never heard from them again. I know my complaint went straight to the trash can. Save yourself from the dirt, incompetence, noise and do not stay at Rio Perlas! There are many other lodges that are far superior and have better views and prices.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank rlarson1976
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Candiac, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
152 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed May 6, 2009

Beware; we were stolen in the restaurant….

Regarding our trip to Costa Rica, and Hotel Rio Perlas, we have to say it is definitely not a 5 stars.
The location was splendid, but we were disappointed with the food (canned vegetables), difficulties to have hot water in both rooms we tried, moisture in the shower and on the tiles around the bath….none of the pools were open, what else…

We went late for dinner, because we had problems finding the hotel at night… So we decided to go for a quick snack at the resto. There was 2 waitress and ourselves inside the restaurant. We had a wine glass both and a, to say the least, cafeteria dinner. Very ordinary food for a 5 stars, even some small canteens in San Jose served better food. Anyway, as soon as we finished dinner, we left the restaurant, and as we were outside the dining room, my spouse told me: Honey, I forgot my red purse on the chair.

Quickly went back where we were seated, and pouf, magic, the purse was gone.. 30 seconds, that’s it, that’s all. 200$ dollars, credit card, bank card, driver licence and some medicine… vanished.
She quickly explained to the waitresses inside the dinning room in English if they had seen any small bag with who we came in and they both declined. We went to look in the kitchen of the restaurant, garbage cans and all around, but both declined seeing the bag.. One even said to us: A bolsita rojo? (Red bag).. Proof that we came in with the bag… Strange isn’t it?


We decide to file a complaint to the front desk, no phone or public phone to call collect to Canada to VISA to deactivate the cards. Phoned with my own credit card . Total: 65$ US for 10 minutes. What a rip off from a private telephone company.

After a very bad night of sleep, the morning after we were invited to have a small chit-chat with the hotel manager who told us he had a lot if trust in his employees, many tourists from all over the world were coming to Costa Rica and his hotel, and he told us to have freebies to compensate for disappearance of the purse…

We decided otherwise and instead went in Orosi for all our other meals…

So eventually, even if the Orosi valley is magic and has a lot of scenery, or do not go to that hotels, you have some other choices you can make for a lot less. And do not do the same mistake we did, leave all your valuables in the safe in your hotel room…Be very careful…Even if you feel secure.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank GUYGEO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Costa Rica
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed November 26, 2008

We stayed at Rio Perlas in July hoping to have a romantic gateaway at the “hot spring”. I really hope they have cleaned up their act by now. I live in Costa Rica and have travelled extensively throughout the country, staying in many of the top and not-so-top hotels so I am very familiar with the scene around here. When we paid $100 for our room, I had no illusion that despite their 5 star claim, it wasn’t going to be 5 star. However, even with lower expectations I was badly disappointed.

The location of the hotel is a nice one, at one point this could have been a good place, but it has not been maintained at all.

There are 3 pools at the hotel which is what they define as “hot springs”. Only 1 was working and the other 2 looked pretty beat up. Unfortunately the one working pool was the family pool, so no swim up bar, just a ton of kids. There are also a number of Jacuzzis located throughout the property - I saw at least 6 and NONE were working- all empty. They had 2 restaurants- only one was open.

Now for our room. Again paying $100 bucks I didn’t expect much. It was a good size but very old and plain. When I went to have a bath, I discovered there was no hot water.

We also had a terrace out front of our room but it no chairs so we could not even sit outside.

On the bright side, the staff was super friendly and the food was pretty good (not outstanding, but pretty good).

Rio Perlas could be a decent place, but when you get there to find that nearly none of the facilities work, it is depressing at best. I would neither recommend Rio Perlas or think of staying there again unless I knew it had undergone major renovations.

WARNING: before booking here, call and find out exactly in what shape the resort is in (ie. if anything is working or not).

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — facilities out of order
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank CR-Nic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed May 26, 2008

We have been there for a romantic gateway. Landscape was great. Staff was nice. Breakfast and meals were Ok. We loved the pool however it was raining all day long and water was not hot enough. Rooms were ok, not luxury as they advertise. We rent the special condo but we did not know each condo was separated in 2 little condos. The walls were so thin that we could hear our noisy neighbours....We expected to hear environment noises, not other people´s TV!!!
Anyway, the worst part was the SPA services. We asked for 2 hours beauty treatments for both of us. We had the turkish bath and a cold shower , and the therapist never showed up!!!!! She said "wait for me and I will be back" ....We waited for her during an hour and then we left. when we went to the reception for check out, the receptionist said she was doing another massage and that they were understaffed!!! They cannot do that!!! Another thing, the waiter who served us dinner was the same one who served us breakfast. Aren´t they working so much? I mean, when an employee works at graveyard then isnot suppose to return early in the morning...

  • Liked — Location and views. Landscape
  • Disliked — Spa services
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank mumucienta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Rio Perlas Spa & Resort

Property: Hotel Rio Perlas Spa & Resort
Address: Valle de Orosi, Cartago 95-7100, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Cartago > Cartago
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Cartago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Rio Perlas Spa & Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 65
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This 65 rooms ravishing property, Among the finest five star hotels in Costa Rica is set in the beautiful and legendary Orosi Valley 39 Km./ 24 Mls. from San José represents the only Mountain & Spa destination in the area. the exclusive Hotel Río Perlas Spa & Resort is surrounded by tropical gardens of the rain and cloud forest with many natural attractions as: Tapantí National Park (15 Km./ 9 Mls.), the Irazú Volcano (57 Km./ 35 Mls.), the Turrialba Volcano (30 Km./ 19 Mls.), the Arqueological Reserve of Guayabo ( 30Km. / 19 Mls.), the Pacuare and Reventazón Rivers normally used for white water rafting, the Lankaster Gardens (9 Km./ 6 Mls.), the Ujarrás Valley and also the Cathedral of Nuestra Señora de los Angeles located in the center of the old Costa Rica metropole: Cartago. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Rio Perlas Cartago
Hotel Rio Perlas Spa & Resort Costa Rica/Cartago

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