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.
- 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
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- Also Known As:
- Monte Azul Hotel San Isidro De El General
- Monte Azul Costa Rica/San Isidro De El General