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“Highly overpriced, and service quality and quality of food need serious improvement!”
Review of Monte Azul

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Monte Azul
Reviewed December 23, 2012 via mobile

The service quality of this hotel needs a lot of improvement, especially with respect to meals and the way of how guests are approached, in order to justify the high prices for the cabin stay and meals.

We have unfortunately experienced many issues with the quality of the breakfasts and the dinners we had at this hotel (very limited breakfast, lack of taste of ghr prepared meals, carbonized toast, and undercooked meat, and even refreshments in the minibar from which the expiry date was already 6 weeks overdue).

Also be advised that the Internet connection for the cabins is very bad and only accessible in certain areas of the cabin! Actually they would need to improve their router for the guests internet connection, as I found out at the last day when I connected by surprise to their office wifi at the parking lot with full connection speed!

I am very sorry, but I wouldn't recommend this hotel to anyone.

  • Stayed: December 2012
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Thank Travel-Frans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CarlosRojasMonteAzul, Owner at Monte Azul, responded to this reviewResponded January 2, 2013

“My mother said there would be days like this…” And now look what we got for Christmas! :-/

Well amigo, we certainly tried to make you happy. The previous 84 Excellent reviews are better testimony than anything I could ever say. Nonetheless, you did follow through on your threat to write a bad review becasue we would not change our breakfast format into a self-serve buffet (weird, we all thought). I guarantee with a certain amount of pride to anyone reading this, that Monte Azul will never reduce our service to that level.

Upon arrival you made it clear that we were your first stop in Costa Rica and the first time across the Atlantic. You insisted that we Americans/Ticos do not understand quality service and food. We weren’t so much offended as we were perplexed, but I must say that we are honored to have 100% local staff from our little village working here. Your noticeable disdain and criticisms were managed with grace, respect and dignity by every single staff member.

So, adios Señor Travel-Frans, we wish you well and hope you can take a moment to reflect upon your own animosity towards people whose job it is to serve you.

People everywhere respond to kindness. A sense of appreciation, humor and joy in the little things go a long way in making oneself a happier person, as well as the world a nicer place for all.

Pura Vida!

Carlos Rojas

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49 - 55 of 138 reviews

Reviewed October 2, 2012

Monte Azul is such a unique place. The attention to detail at this place is absolutely incredible. My husband and I spent part of our honeymoon at Monte Azul and were blown away. I do have to say that MA is very isolated. We were the only ones staying at the hotel and it did become very lonely for us. That being said, it was still an amazing place with amazing people. The entire staff was so, so lovely. They gave us tips on what to do and made us feel so welcomed. The food was out of this world! It really was amazing and we looked forward to each meal to see what creative ideas came out of the kitchen.

One of our favorite activities was the cheesemaking "trip" across the river. The experience was so much more than just making cheese. The story behind the cheese was so inspiring and the cheese was delicious. We also hiked around the property which was lots of fun and a bit of a challenge. The soap making class was also fun and it was great to bring back souvenirs! A special thank you to Carlos and Randy who sent us off with a lovely gift of soap!

Monte Azul is truly a special place that we were fortunate enough to enjoy. Although we were probably the youngest people to ever stay there, we definitely appreciated the natural beauty and the incredible attention to detail. Thank you so much to all of the staff for making us feel so special and taking such good care of us!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank SL0721
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CarlosRojasMonteAzul, Owner at Monte Azul, responded to this reviewResponded October 6, 2012

Dear Slo721,
We appreciate the kind words! It is an honor that you selected Monte Azul as part of your honeymoon itinerary and we are glad you enjoyed the experience.
In the off season, because we are well off the beaten path, it is not unlikely that couples might be the onlyv guests on certain days. In your case you did indeed have the entire 100 acres to yourselves, which most honeymoon couples appreciate, so I'm gls it worked out.
And yes, Randy and I are not exactly spring chickens, but we do get a good number of young honeymooners and try our best to give them a world class rainforest experience. Glad you were able to appreciate the slower pace of life in the highlands of our lovely area.
Kindest regards,
Pura Vida!
Carlos

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Reviewed September 25, 2012

What an absolute treat this place is. Beautiful attention to design and detail. Impeccable taste in the food and wine selection. Peaceful grounds to stroll around or hike through – including access to one of the best swimming holes I’ve jumped in. Carlos and Randy are great hosts. We hung out late into the night chatting and swapping stories. The staff, especially Adrian and Rogert, take excellent care of the guests. One of the best aspects of Monte Azul is its size; there are only 4 (if memory serves me) cottages/bungalows. We were there midweek, in the offseason, and we had the entire place to our selves! Talk about escape! Biggest regret is that we only stayed two nights! Other regret is that we took so long to post this review. We tell everyone going to Costa Rica to take the time to visit this gem. Do yourself a favor and go to the cheese making day trip. Very interesting!

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank fongoli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CarlosRojasMonteAzul, Owner at Monte Azul, responded to this reviewResponded October 6, 2012

Dear Fongoli,
Thanks for the good words about our little bit of paradise! We really enjoyed having you here and are happy that you liked iit so much.
Being off the beaten track in the off season does mean you may end up with the entire place to yourselves, which most people love, so I'm glad it worked out for you. As a honeymoon destination we do get lots of young couples, even though Randy and I aren't exactly spring chickens,
which is why you might have gotten the opposite impression, LOL...
Again, we appreciate the excellent review and hope to see you again!
Pura Vida!
Carlos

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Reviewed August 28, 2012

The environment at Monte Azul is unique and mesmerizing; the land itself and the multitude of concepts that are in full bloom here are inspiring. Very few people in this world could create all the goodness that is to be found at Monte Azul. This is the place to come and be inspired by art and refresh your mind, body, and spirit. I was impressed with everything from the art gallery, art studio, food, accommodations, trails, classes, and wildlife!

Monte Azul is like no other place. It is obvious that attention is given to every detail here. The hotel property is a wild, luxurious jungle. Both the owners and staff were delightful and willing to go out of their way to make us feel at home. Monte Azul is not to be missed!!!

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank AJ23_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CarlosRojasMonteAzul, Owner at Monte Azul, responded to this reviewResponded August 30, 2012

Dear AJ23_9,
Thanks for taking note of all the special qualities of Monte Azul! I am glad we were able to live up to your expectations and even surprise you with a few things. We look forward to seeing you here again on your next visit to lovely Costa Rica!
Saludos,
Carlos

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Reviewed August 18, 2012

I visited Monte Azul in July 2012 for 6 nights. I've been to many places in the world and I can't say there's been any place similar to Monte Azul. Carlos and Randy are great hosts. The grounds are beautiful and the casita is very comfortable. I don't eat meat and they created meals for me that were very well thought out and always interesting. I decided to try my hand at fishing and Adrian got me a fishing rod and some worms. Now that's 5 star service! I caught 2 fish and they prepared the fish for me. I also travelled alone and found no problems with finding a balance between relaxation and interesting activities to fill my 7 days. You have to try the open air light aircraft tour!

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled solo
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Thank rush99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CarlosRojasMonteAzul, Owner at Monte Azul, responded to this reviewResponded August 20, 2012

Dear rush99,

We're glad you enjoyed your stay at Monte Azul! It was great to have you here for that week; people are still talking about the big fishes you caught, well done!

After hearing about all the interesting and exotic places you've been in the world, we especially appreciate your taking note of the unique concept Monte Azul offers. We look forward to seeing you again!

Cheers,

Carlos

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Reviewed August 15, 2012

We stayed for three day at Monte Azul in March 2012.

If you are going to be in the vicinity of San Isidro and want a really special experience, Monte Azul delivers. There is nothing but 5 star reviews on Trip Advisor, which is not an accident: it is the result of a wonderfully well-planned and perfectly executed mini-resort that is designed to take advantage in every way of its beautiful setting on the road up to Chirripo National Park. Randy and Carlos are unfailingly friendly, mellow, helpful and charming - the perfect hosts. Like many other reviewers, we instantly felt like we were visiting favourite relatives who were pulling out all the stops to make our stay memorable. All of the staff are all wonderful, friendly and helpful - particularly Adrian, the general manager. From the moment you arrive, the service is always attentive and understated, and never obsequious. Time slows down at Monte Azul - that's how it should be on vacation.

The rooms: just magical. The winding path to our suite, the secluded patio and gardens, the comfortable furniture, the tiny but functional kitchen, the original art on the walls, the river chuckling away in the background: it all just worked and the overall effect was to create a powerful sense of calm and well-being. This is prime reading and napping territory.

The restaurant was equally amazing. Every meal was superb, and Randy's home-made breads, crackers and cheese never failed to impress. The open-air, sumptuous setting is really something to see - it's incredibly romantic. One morning we spent about two hours over our coffee, watching an entertaining performance by a succession of birds with showy plumage, mink eating the bananas put out each morning for the wildlife, and territorial spider monkeys (2 with tiny, tiny babies on their backs!) chasing away the mink. Better than Cirque du Soleil!

The reason we ended up at Monte Azul in the first place was that I wanted to hike Mount Chirripo, the highest peak in Costa Rica. If you are a keen hiker or trail runner, I can highly recommend this hike. You can do it in two days (about 40km round trip) and stay at a rustic but surprisingly huge lodge at about 11,000 feet near the summit (12,522 feet). I tried to go up and down in one day, but was stopped just a few hundred feet short of the summit by severe altitude sickness, so I had to turn around and didn't quite make it... but the trail itself is just superb and presents a great excuse to visit the region and sneak in a stay at Monte Azul.

Monte Azul was one of the most memorable places my wife and I have ever stayed. It's not a cheap stay, but take it from all of the reviewers on this page: it is worth every penny and then some. If you are normally a budget traveller like we are, sometimes you've just got to splurge, and this is one of the places where you come away with zero buyer's remorse! Bravo Randy, Carlos, and the whole Monte Azul family (that includes the spider monkeys!)

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Vergroovy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CarlosRojasMonteAzul, Owner at Monte Azul, responded to this reviewResponded August 16, 2012

Dear Vergroovy,

We are humbled by your wonderful review and thank you for expressing your experience with such inspiring words!

Our policy is to treat each and every guest as a VIP and I am glad to know that your experience confirmed that is the case. We appreciate your selecting Monte Azul for your visit to Costa Rica and hope we have the pleasure of seeing you here again!

Saludos!

Carlos

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Reviewed July 17, 2012

Staying in Monte Azul is like havng the opportunity to experience paradaise. Everything from the magnificent suite, the magic sound of the river and the singing of the birds, to the wonderful gourmet dinners, makes you feel as if you were dreaming. It is the perfect place to relax and disconnect from the everyday noise and stress. We found ourselves feeling as if we were in the middle of nowhere, yet enjoying more than 5 star, personalised service, and lacking nothing. We were only disappointed by one thing, we only went for two nights! We left feeling like we only had given ourselves time to enjoy a small percentage of the wonders offered by Monte Azul. Therefore, needeless to say, we will be back!

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank BellaLeonaCR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CarlosRojasMonteAzul, Owner at Monte Azul, responded to this reviewResponded July 19, 2012

Dear BellaLeonaCR,
Thank you for such beautiful words about our little slice of heaven!
With angels as clients, we also feel like we have a little bit of heaven here.
We loved having you both here and look forward to seeing you again soon!
Carlos

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Additional Information about Monte Azul

Address: Chimirol de Rivas, San Isidro del General, San Isidro del General District, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of San Jose > Perez Zeledon > San Isidro del General District > San Isidro del General
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 15 B&Bs / Inns in San Isidro del General
Price Range: $190 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Monte Azul Boutique Hotel is located on a private reserve in the Talamanca region of Costa Rica near the country’s highest point, Chirripó National Park. Equipped with four luxury riverside "casitas" and amenities and activities tailored to any type of traveler, Monte Azul provides an authentic experience for those looking to explore the nature and culture that Costa Rica is renowned for. In its short time, Monte Azul has achieved recognition from organizations like Condé Nast and TripAdvisor for elevating the standard for sustainability and style. About Monte Azul Center for Art and Design: The Monte Azul Center for Art and Design was established in 2005 with the vision of creating a haven where artists could come and express their creative nature while being inspired by the extraordinary beauty and peace of the Costa Rica highlands. The facility hosts select pieces from early and mid-career artists who produce some of the best work in Costa Rica and abroad. In addition to being a unique destination for art lovers and collectors, Monte Azul also offers travelers the opportunity to learn artistic skills like etching, monotyping and more. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Monte Azul Hotel San Isidro De El General
Monte Azul Costa Rica/San Isidro Del General

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