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“Fabulous adventure, off the beaten track. Don't miss it!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Blue River Resort & Hot Springs

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Blue River Resort & Hot Springs
Certificate of Excellence
Geneva, Switzerland
Level Contributor
32 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Fabulous adventure, off the beaten track. Don't miss it!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 12, 2011

We left Manuel Antonio and after 5 hours on the road hit the gravel track that takes you to Blue River. It was another hour, at least, before our driver finally made it to the resort. Not for the faint-hearted and, if you're self-driving, make sure you have a 4x4.
Reading an earlier review, 1st impressions do not count here. Seeing the Reception, my wife nearly made us turn around and head back. But, once you get inside the resort it changes. It's the perfect hideaway from the hustle & bustle, in the middle of nowhere with some of the most friendly staff you could ever wish to meet.
We fell in love with the toucans, watched butterflies hatching and sat covered in the hot volcanic mud for as long as we wanted. One word of warning, the water running under the mud bath is VERY HOT, don't let you or your children step in it as I did and nearly burned my foot badly. Blue River - PLEASE put a WARNING SIGN here!
Our two young children (10 & 6) loved the pools and the water slide.
If you've not got your own car, be careful as there is nowhere to go outside of the resort to eat. Make the most of breakfast and dinner would be my recommendation.
Go on the horseride to the waterfalls, it is great. The Blue river itself is beautiful. It poured with rain during our 3-hour ride, we got soaked, but that just made it more unique. We were 4 plus 3 guides, what more could you ask for and they got as wet as we did!
I must mention Jimmy at the restaurant who catered for our every need in terms of food & drinks.
This is a jewel of a hotel and is well worth the detour to see something typical of this lovely country and its people. The rooms are large, clean, modern and comfortable and the staff are very helpful, knowledgeable and friendly.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank acid_slug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Blue_River_Video, Owner at Blue River Resort & Hot Springs, responded to this review, August 16, 2011
We very much appreciate this review. Many of our clientele are commenting on the final 20 km, which is a dirt road. Though it is regularly fixed, heavy rain occurs often and it is hard to keep up. A 4x4 is not necessary but larger a car will obviously better cushion the bumps. This is the price we pay for being a true nature get-away.

Another comment that requires forewarning is the property entrance. Please don’t pre-judge us by what you see upon entering through the gates. With only 18 rooms the hotel and amenities are situated further inside the grounds.

Also – yes, the natural hot springs creek that is used to heat the natural sauna and the mud for mud bathes is 60 degree Celsius! So thanks so much for your suggestion about signage which is now in place.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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956 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 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 (194)
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English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 11, 2011

My husband and 16-month old daughter were planning on staying for 3 nights, but we left after just one.

The Pros: The cabin was great: the room was huge with 2 queen beds, the bathroom was massive, and the closets had tons of shelves and hangers. There's a rocking chair and a hammock on the front porch as well. Also, the management had purchased a brand new pack-n-play to accommodate our child. The botanical gardens were spectacular and the butterfly house and hummingbird garden were awesome. The pools looked great, but we didn't get in because we arrived late afternoon, ate, walked the grounds and turned in for the evening. None of the pools seemed like they had a very shallow area where we could play with our little girl, but since I didn't get in I'm not 100% sure. The other big pro for me was that the management didn't give us a hard time at all about leaving several days early. They were gracious and kind and asked if there was anything they could do to make our stay better. We were ready to leave, so it wasn't for lack of effort on their part, we just weren't feeling it.

The Cons: The food is really just so-so and a little pricey for Costa Rica, plus you are pretty far from any other town or options, so this was the major issue for us. We had come from a beach hotel with amazing food, so we weren't ready to downgrade our culinary experience for more than one day. Also, the breakfast that was included was terrible. Everywhere else we stayed with breakfast included, we at least had eggs or omelets available. This was just gallo pinto (CR beans and rice - usually delicious but this version was dry and flavorless), fried plantains that seemed like they were from the day before, and pineapple or watermelon. Nothing hearty or tasty. You cannot fuel yourself all day on this breakfast, so the only other option is to purchase a "real" breakfast (omelets, pancakes, etc). After the meal we had the day we arrived, it didn't seem worth it. I only mention this much about the food because we LOVE to eat and I figure a lot of travelers feel the same way about food.
Another Con for us was the vibe of the place. It was in every way, exactly as it had been described on the website (except the food), but in all my research, I hadn't vibed that it would feel like it was for old folks. The walkways and common buildings had this weird pre-fab design to them that didn't fit the gorgeous natural surroundings - like a Disney fake feeling. There were no other small children around at that time, so it felt more like somewhere you go as a couple or a retiree. My fault for not getting that, but I feel it's important to mention for anyone else trying to decide to take a small child here. The activities that are available in the area are not appropriate for kids under 3 or so - the hiking is hard core and all the tours are 3+ hours. If my husband and I had been alone, we probably would have enjoyed doing the awesome volcano tours and adventure stuff, then returning to the resort for a good massage and a soak in the hot spring pools.

Basically, I think it's the kind of place you stay for a few days tops and only if you plan on doing all the cool jungle adventure stuff. Since we didn't do any of it, I can't review it on that.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank bigcitybug g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Blue_River_Video, Owner at Blue River Resort & Hot Springs, responded to this review, August 16, 2011
Thank you for this review. When reading the “cons” there are some points we are compelled to address. First off we are very sorry about some of the things that this couple experienced. As best we recollect, they told us their child had a sore tooth and wanted to be closer to medical assistance. Whatever their situation was, we would do our best to assist them. Regarding the food, this is the first time we have received such comments. The prices and quality are something we pride ourselves. On the day of the breakfast we did not know about their dissatisfaction. In fact, a full American breakfast is one of the breakfast options included (eggs and/or pancakes) and had we known, we would have done something to make up for it. It is possible that this was the day we ran out of eggs and the truck got delayed, having arrived at 10 that morning. (?)
With respect to the best age to bring kids here, we think that the young children enjoy their experience immensely. The pools,the gardens, the butterflies and the birds are all highlights. My own kids (2, 4 and 7) loved their 2 week stay. Venturing outside the resort was also a highlight –for a horseback ride, to experience the many facets of nature and to meet and see the homes of the local people. It is particularly special to know the surroundings are secure and to have all the creature comforts.
Again, we can only apologize and say that if you return and are able to stay, that we look forward to making it up to you.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Breda, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 6, 2011

A very nice lodge with 5 very nice hotspring pools and a beautiful garden. The rooms are very luxurious and nicely decorated.You even have hammock on the front porch. They have there own butterfly garden and hummingbirds. The restaurant serves good food for a reasonable price.
The surrounding area is beautiful with the blue volcanic rivers and the nature and wildlife.
A nice trip is to the waterfall and the natural slides. The hike to the top of the Rincon de la Vieja volcano is very hard to do but nice if the weather is clear.
The road to get to the hotel is very bumpy.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank laulau1985
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Knoxville, Illinois
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 4, 2011

We recently stayed three nights at the Blue River Resort. What an amazing and beautiful place! Even though it is somewhat remote and a little bit of a driving challenge to get to, it is definitley worth the effort. The rooms are comfortable and spacious with all of the amenties you would ever need and beautifully landscaped.
The Botanical Gardens are amazing with the diversity of plants, flowers, birds, flowing streams and nice trails to go through. Tons of hummingbirds throughout the garden as well as the butterfly house was a nice feature also with lots of Blue Morphos.
The four different hot mineral water pools were also nice to soak in and the freshwater pool with the bullet slide was the favorite of our 14 year old -especially to cool down. Unfortunately we did not have a chance to use the spa, but it looked very nice.
The restaurant was very good with a nice variety of food to choose from and reasonable prices. The service of the staff was exceptional as well as with all of the other employees at the resort.
We took the tour to see the waterfalls and blue river which shouldn't be missed and the tour to Rincon de la Vieja National Park which was great also, but be prepared for a fairly strenuous hike. In both cases, the guides were very informative and really helped us to enjoy the tours.
I would definitely recomment this to anyone that wants to see the real 'nature' side of Costa Rica and the many beautiful things this country has to offer. Hated to leave!!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank yarbroughs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 31, 2011

This great place has amazing comfaortable and spacious rooms, beautiful gardens, the staff is friendly and the food is delicious. This is the perfect place to relax in a little paradise with a lot to do. We enjoyed everything, the hot spings, the spa, the garden with so many tropical flowers and orchids, the hummingbirds and we even saw the blue river. We just wished we had more time, 2 days were not enough !!!

Room Tip: All the rooms are beautiful, with air conditioning, flat screens, nice bedding and hot water.
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank travelersjo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakland, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 31, 2011

We had a great stay at Blue River. The hot springs were fantastic, the food was good (and Jimmy the waiter/bartender made us custom drinks and kept us entertained), and we loved our room. We also did a hike with Walter, who was an excellent guide.

One word of caution: we were reluctant to spend the money to get picked up at Liberia airport, and weren't renting a car, so we attempted to get to the resort by public bus. We ended up getting dropped off 5km from the hotel with all our luggage, and after hiking about a third of the way, gratefully accepted a ride in a passing jeep. Not anxious to repeat that experience, we shelled out $180 for a ride to our next destination, Arenal. Blue River might be a better choice for people with a rental car or a higher travel budget than we had!

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Jessie_510
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burke, Virginia
Level Contributor
58 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 28, 2011

Upon arriving at the resort after a bumpy last 20km on a very difficult road (use 4x4 when possible) one is a little surprised to see the reception area. One guest commented that his wie was going to kill him, but after she saw the resort he was off the hook. The resort which is about 300m from the gate boasts unbelievably beautiful gardens, spacious cabana style accomodations, a spa and a restaurant.
The cabanas are beautiful. Made mostly of wwod thy combine old with new including a large flat screen TV. The bathroom area is spacious and there is a walk in closet. The beds are very comfortable and the room includes a fridge, which is very handy as only breakfast is included.
This is not an all inclusive resort so you have to be a little creative with the meals to save a buck. We averaged around $35 per dinner for two adults and two children. We brought food along and ate sandwiches for lunch. The food is good and there is a wide selection.
The RESORT - first of all you will need to leave your stress and worries of your busy hectic life at the front gate and RELAX. The thermal pools are great. The offer 6-7 different temperatures and they have a cool slide for kids as well. The gardens are awesome...ask for a guided tour of the garden, butterfly farm and to see the rescued Toucans if they are still there. The gardens are diverse with many different plant species and hundreds of birds flying overhead and all around. The gardens also sport other cool attractions like a natural sauna and mud bath. Sit in the sauna for 10 minutes, apply mud, wait and then sit in a delicious hot water spring to clean off. Other attractions include a fish pond and several little areas to just hang out and read in the gardens so bugs are no worries.
So there are few days activites right there. Other options are a horseback ride to waterfalls - totally worth it to see the blue river! There is a long hike to the volcano and of course the spa.
If you are a person who likes to relax in natural beauty and who is not in a hurry.. this place is for you!!!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Grossen76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Blue River Resort & Hot Springs

Property: Blue River Resort & Hot Springs
Address: | 600 m West of la Puente and Rio Azul, Rincon de La Vieja 21306, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Rincon de La Vieja
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Rincon de La Vieja
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Blue River Resort & Hot Springs 3.5*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Blue River Resort and Hot Springs is an authentic Costa Rica experience in the rainforests of Rincon de la Vieja. Our jewel is the spectacular natural mineral "green" hot spring pools – but that’s just the beginning. There is a large fresh water pool & bullet slide, the spa, botanical gardens, butterfly farm, iguana and frog pond and much more. Set out on several authentic eco Costa Rica adventure tours, all nearby. Eco-tours include visits to gorgeous blue volcanic rivers and waterfalls by horseback, nature walks, volcano hike, zip-lining across waterfalls and much more. The breadth of eco-nature tours will amaze you. Blue River Resort & Hot Springs offers luxury accommodation in new, spacious 720 square foot cabanas. Book your dream Costa Rica vacation! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Blue River Resort And Hot Springs
Blue River Resort & Hot Springs Hotel Rincon De La Vieja
Blue River Resort & Hot Springs Costa Rica/Rincon De La Vieja

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