We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“The magic of Monte Azul”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Monte Azul

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 2 more sites!
Monte Azul
Boston
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“The magic of Monte Azul”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 17, 2013

My wife and I spent two nights at Monte Azul after an amazing, but very rustic visit to the, Lookout Inn in Carate on the Osa Peninsula. The ride up the mountain from Dominical was windy and the quick ascent gaining elevation at an amazing rate. We stopped along the way giving gifts we had brought from home to the children along the way stopped in the village of Rivas (last stop before Monte Azul) and met many of the kids… great gift to us, anyway back to Monte Azul. As we drove over the bridge there was a solid gate on the left with a phone, from there you call and the gate ‘magically’ opens to ‘wonderland’, the beauty on so many levels is immediately felt. Never before have we found ourselves in an environment with such a variety of beauty stimulating all of our senses. The lodging is set close to the river with the constant sounds of the rushing waters and at night mixed with the sounds of the frogs. The flowers… have I talked about the flowers, both volume and variety that I have never seen… colors and textures in every direction. Wildlife… hummingbirds, butterflies, monkeys, oh my!!

Now for the art and the food; there are only 4 Casitas, so full occupancy means 8 people. The thought and consciousness expressed through the writings and descriptions in the binders in the beautifully designed rooms (really good reading) explain the thought, design features and activities available while at Monte Azul. A main and unique feature of Monte Azul is that you are surrounded by gorgeous art; they often have visiting artists and their work (for sale) is displayed everywhere on the property, in the casitas, café Blue and particularly in the art gallery… make sure you visit the art gallery. We hiked to the waterfall on a very steep but pretty trail by the coffee plantation.

Café Blue… if I walked by this Café/Bar in Soho or San Francisco it would capture my attention due to the; colors, lighting and general cool, but come on we are in the middle of the jungle. Randy and Carlos (the proprietors and our hosts) are designers and artists and their creativity and imagination is on display everywhere. Café Blue features a coolly lit blue bar, a circular fire pit area with beautiful colored and textured pillows and a large (given there are only 8 people) dining room. Food was very tasty and artfully arranged on our plates. Sitting at breakfast watching the hummingbirds frolicking on the overhanging flowers surrounding the dining room and the monkeys swinging in the trees, while sipping some dark, black organic coffee from the beans just up the way…

Monte Azul was a feast for our senses creating a full opportunity for relaxation. A honeymooning couple that was there while we were staying received special treatment that will last their lifetime, witnessing the way Carlos set up a very special evening for them created romance for everyone. The one area we wrestled with is the cost of the meals. Everything was very well prepared, our preferences considered and beautifully plated, but we did question the value of the lunch and dinner… after some discussion with my wife and with Carlos it became clear the conundrum that properties like Monte Azul face; their commitment to fresh and local foods, mostly organically grown along with their commitment to pay a fair wage to their help and the issues of supply along with inflated costs in this region for foods preparing for only a few people and supporting the property that is so nurturing, they have had to strike a balance of costs and charge so that they cover those costs. We very much understand their need to charge what they charge, but by ‘everyday’ standards it may seem like; not a great value. I have no negative judgment about the costs of our meals and fully understand why they need to charge what they do. Just want to give our perspective. Enough about that, we had an amazing visit to Monte Azul and feel like overall with the understanding of where it is located and the inherent challenges of running a resort with only four Casitas we have NO complaint at all about the value… the memories and relaxation and have I mentioned the flowers… I am sure if you choose to visit Monte Azul you will have a truly unique and magical time.

Room Tip: Casa Verde was in a prime location
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank zippidydo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CarlosRojasMonteAzul, Owner at Monte Azul, responded to this review, February 2, 2013
Dear zippidydo,

“…Hummingbirds, butterflies, monkeys, oh my!!” We loved your review! Thanks for the glowing recommendations about the property --yep, it’s pretty spectacular, so thank you Mother Nature! There was nothing we could do to improve on what nature dealt us, so we tried to create a special destination that would complement the setting instead of trying to upstage it.

We loved spending a little time chatting with your during your stay. We always comment on what lovely people Monte Azul tends to attract, it’s just another positive feature about staying here. Your insights on the art and design, the food, which we place an extra emphasis on doing well, were very welcome!

At Monte Azul we offer a very generous breakfast, which is complementary. In fact, we notice many guests are skipping lunch as a result, and by dinner everyone has worked up an appetite. For $34 guests are treated to 4 or 5 courses, depending on the menu, including different baked breads each night. It also includes a fabulous dessert, worthy of the most critical sugar-tooth’s tastes. The efforts you mention are well worth the results, seeing all the happy faces each night on our dining room. Guests can also opt to jsut have a partial menu, if they wish.

In my conversation with you, I came to realize that perhaps lunch was too much and as a result, we now offer a light meal that can also be delivered to your Casita, or set up picnic style on the grounds, by the river or in your private garden. People can also use their own kitchenette (each Casita has one) or venture out in the surrounding areas for local fair.

It was a delight having you here and we thank you for picking Monte Azul!

Pura vida!

Carlos
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

138 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    134
    3
    1
    0
    0
See reviews for
14
86
14
3
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (39)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Dallas, Texas, United States
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 12, 2013

My wife and I spent 5 nights in December at Monte Azul for our honeymoon and couldn't have left more satisfied. After spending the week prior to our wedding on the beach up in the Nicoya Peninsula, we decided to change the scenery for the honeymoon and head into the mountains. There are several aspects of the stay that I want to praise: service, food, scenery, comfort and adventure!
The service was fantastic from everyone. Adrien, the hotel manager, was particularly great. He constantly worked to cater our stay and activities to our own preferences. Even going so far as to provide us with house slippers (at no cost to us) because my wife mentioned wanting to get a pair while we were on our way back from zip lining. Carlos and Randy (the owners) and the restaurant staff were also very friendly and helpful.
We were thankful that we opted for a tour of the Monte Azul property with Adrien as one of our activities. The surrounding rain forest is beautiful and it was interesting getting to hear about the history of the land that the resort is on. Cheese making with a local farmer was another highlight of our trip.
I see that it has been a negative aspect of the last couple of reviews, but the restaurant, the wait staff and the food they served us was all fantastic. In the 5 or 6 days worth of meals, we didn't leave that restaurant unsatisfied once. Both my wife and I are adventurous eaters so getting to try what the chef prepared for us each meal was a pleasure every time. We put in a couple specific requests on certain days and they were always catered to. You can taste the freshness in the food and to me, nothing ever tasted over seasoned. If you are a picky eater then I would let them know in advance and my guess is that they would be able to cater to whatever it is that you are adverse to. For my wife and I, the food was perfect and that was an aspect of the overall trip to Costa Rica that was hard to leave. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it...and so I'll leave this review with that and go eat something far less tasty than what Monte Azul would serve me for breakfast.
We hope to return and see our new friends at Monte Azul again soon. Anniversary getaway maybe...

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Daniel L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CarlosRojasMonteAzul, Owner at Monte Azul, responded to this review, January 18, 2013
Dear Daniel L,

We appreciate the wonderful review! It was great having you here, such a charming and delightful couple.

Thanks for addressing the food at Monte Azul. After a couple of knocks we had to go and re-evaluate our offering, and even though there is always room for improvement, we could not understand where we could have gone wrong. Our dedication to personal service allows plenty of freedom for guests to guide us in their menu design. In fact, we love a challenge!

Our usual guests are mostly well-traveled and/or tend to know good food and appreciate our amazing local products, the effort and skill required to offer the level of service we do at such a small scale, and the remarkable variety that keeps their interest peaked, even for stays of 10 days or longer.

So, we send an especially warm and heartfelt thanks to you both, from all of us at Monte Azul, and particularly Esteban the Chef, for recommending our little place in the rainforest!

Hope to see you for your anniversary!

Best to you both,

Carlos & Randy
Owners
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jacó, Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
35 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 30, 2012

We had a wonderful stay at the Monte Azul. The staff was very attentive to all our needs, we cannot say enough about that. We had mentioned that we wanted to fish in the river and they personally supplied us with handmade fishing poles and worms for our fishing. The rooms were very clean and the maid staff attended to them twice a day. We thoroughly enjoyed the Swiss Cheese making workshop and left with 3 delicious wheels of cheese. Randy and Carlos, the owners were wonderful hosts and Adrian, the concierge is great.

Our only disappointment were the meals. Although they were prepared according to our submitted restrictions, we felt we should have been given a few choices to pick from based on preferences. The food was fresh, but highly over seasoned for our tastes. It felt like simple food was being over seasoned to try to give it flavor. In their defense, we were asked when we were dissatisfied, if they could prepare something else for us, but at that point the meal had already been served

We definitely would return to Monte Azul, but would reconsider some of our meal choices. Maybe make sure we knew what was being served and ask for alternatives up front.

The beauty of the property and the accommodations met all our expectations.

Thank you.

Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Charlene C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CarlosRojasMonteAzul, Owner at Monte Azul, responded to this review, January 2, 2013
Dear Charlene C,

Thank you for your kind review. We certainly enjoyed meeting you and having you visit with us.

Glad you liked our service, we all work hard to make sure guests have everything they need to enjoy their stay, even if it means drumming up fishing tackle and bait at a moment's notice! :-)

We try our best to offer meals based on your dietary needs, restrictions and tastes and we make an effort to be thorough in asking you in advance without being too intrusive. Based on that information we plan a menu designed specifically for your tastes and requirements. We will see how we can improve our pre-arrival questionnaire and train our staff to also accommodate a sensitive palate.

Thank you for your constructive criticism!

Kindest regards,

Carlos Rojas
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Malaga, Spain
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near San Isidro de El General
7.7 mi away
Hacienda AltaGracia, Auberge Resorts Collection
Hacienda AltaGracia, Auberge Res...
#1 of 7 in San Isidro de El General
5.0 of 5 bubbles 142 reviews
3.2 mi away
Talari Mountain Lodge
Talari Mountain Lodge
#2 of 7 in San Isidro de El General
4.0 of 5 bubbles 48 reviews
14.3 mi away
Savegre Hotel, Natural Reserve & Spa
Savegre Hotel, Natural Reserve &...
#2 of 4 in San Gerardo de Dota
4.5 of 5 bubbles 706 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
2.7 mi away
Hotel de Montana El Pelicano
Hotel de Montana El Pelicano
#1 of 1 in San Gerardo
4.0 of 5 bubbles 74 reviews
6.2 mi away
Bosque del Tolomuco
Bosque del Tolomuco
#1 of 14 in San Isidro de El General
5.0 of 5 bubbles 113 reviews
0.0 mi away
La Princesa Hotel
La Princesa Hotel
#3 of 14 in San Isidro de El General
4.5 of 5 bubbles 30 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Monte Azul? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Monte Azul

Property: Monte Azul
Address: Chimirol de Rivas, San Isidro de El General, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of San Jose > San Isidro de El General
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 14 B&Bs / Inns in San Isidro de El General
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Monte Azul 3.5*
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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Orbitz, Travelocity, Hotels.com and Expedia so you can book your Monte Azul reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Monte Azul Hotel San Isidro De El General
Monte Azul Costa Rica/San Isidro De El General

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing