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Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel
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All reviewsoutdoor showerrio celeste hideawaythe rivernational parkswim up barrainy seasonour honeymoonprivate trailhidden gemoff the beaten pathdown the roadbeautiful placesan joseremote locationcevichehotel groundstrip to costa rica
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Reviewed February 8, 2012

We went on our honeymoon at the end of June, and while it rained a little bit, it was absolutely spectacular. We loved how quiet it was. We took a day trip to Arenal to zipline and the frantic chaos of Arenal made us so happy that we were back in our secluded paradise. It was the perfect place to honeymoon.

The Staff - AMAZING. They were the friendliest and most helpful staff we'd ever met. It was like leaving family after we left. They truly care about you.

The rooms - Our room was beautiful and comfortable. The bed was divine, and the outdoor shower just topped off the amazing casita. It was humid, but it's humid everywhere and you have to remember you are in a rain forest, not on the beach.

Activities - We did some day trips and we hiked to the park and saw the amazing Rio Celeste waterfall. We also swam in the rapids and the hots springs and it was amazing. How lucky to have that in your back yard? We did the trip on foot by ourselves. Most of the time we wanted to relax after the craziness that is a wedding. It was perfect for that.

The food was very good. They switched chefs part way through our stay and I found it not as good the second time, but they were in the middle of the change over, so that probably effected it. However, in terms of hotel food, it was amazing. If that restaurant were local to us, we'd be return customers.

To sum it up, it is highly recommended by us.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Kaitlyn H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2012

I have nothing but great things to say about the Rio Celeste Hideaway resort! The location is magical- you'll feel like you've dropped off the map and into a hidden world, where the densest forests are teeming with life and color and the fluorescent river draws you in. I could go on and on about this, but what made our experience even better was the beautiful hotel! Secluded, subtle and luxurious, the casitas become your home-away-from-home after a long and adventurous day. The outdoor shower and porch create the indoor-outdoor living that all Costa Ricans revel in. The pool deck, main house/dining area, spa and vibrant landscaping, along with the friendliest and most accommodating staff I have ever met, create a genuine luxury that upscale, pretentious hotels can't touch. The tours run by the hotel are amazing, too. They run the gamut in terms of preferences- environmental, adventurous, educational, cultural... Whatever you're looking for, you'll find something eye-opening. I plan to come back to Costa Rica, and when I do, I will be sure to visit my friends at Rio Celeste.

Room Tip: Some rooms have porches facing the forest and others have porches facing the main path. Ours faced the path, but was surrounded by lush plants so still felt private.
  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Erica S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2012

We had a wonderful stay at the Rio Celeste Hideaway at the beginning of Jan 2012 using the recent Groupon. The rooms and amenities were lovely, the staff outstanding (particularly Carlos, Gustavo and Wilson) and activities offered a wonderful showcase of the area. We thoroughly enjoyed the hike to the waterfall, the trip to Arenal and the hot springs and the hanging bridges tour. Our guides on these activities (especially Michael on the tour of Arenal) truly knew the area and spotted numerous animals and plants that we otherwise would not have noticed. They also tried to teach us the Spanish words for the things we were seeing and doing, which was fun.

The rooms were beautifully decorated, and appointed. The room had a humid smell, which should be expected due to the location - it is in the rainforest after all. This only added to the charm in our opinion.

The pool area was typically quiet, clean and relaxing. Servers were readily available to bring drinks or pick up empty glasses or plates.

The food choices with the American plan included a fruit/bread/beverage breakfast and either lunch or dinner each day. As we were typically out on an activity during the day we only ever ate at the hotel for the dinner. It was not the complete menu, but more than enough choices to not have the same thing each night we were there. My husband particularly enjoyed the sea bass, and the salads. Their fruit juice mixers were awesome. By the end of our second day the staff already knew our preferences, and names, which was impressive.

We truly enjoyed our time at this hotel and would recommend it to anyone wanting to experience the rainforest area of Costa Rica.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank TwinsPlayground
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2012

First -You must drive through Upala to get to Rio Celeste Hideaway. You will find a most enchanting place and it is WORTH it. The bridge is not available for cars. We were very lucky to ask a local for directions and he called the hotel. The staff came and got us-we had to leave the car in the hills, in the dark, in the fog all with in the first 24 hours of our trip. The Front Desk people waited while a crew of 4 men carried our luggage, helped with our kids and drove us to the Hideaway. The service is focused on the customer, the food was fresh and tastey and the land was incredible. You can walk out your bungalow-no tour- and find the blue river. The animals or birds may wake you in the morning and it might rain but it is still beautiful. The next day we asked an employee to escort us to find our car. He was helpful, knowledgable and a great person. Everything was clean even the outdoor shower. Remember this is IN THE RAINFOREST expect the weather and you will be delighted by the beautiful land and gracious people.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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Thank micham_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 25, 2011

We stayed 2 nights and 3 days in December. It was our bad luck to have pouring rain during most of our stay so the main attraction, the Rio Celeste, was a muddy brown. On the morning of our departure, the rain held off for 5 hours and we were able to hike to the river. The river was a dark turquoise, rather like the pacific ocean. I guess if it stayed clear for a few more hours, then the river might turn more blue. The hike itself was beautiful and the soak in the natural hot spring in the river was really a special experience.

As another review has noted, there is absolutely nothing else to do other than the Rio Celeste hike. If it rains, that hike is dangerous and then you are stuck at the hotel. The hotel itself is lovely, very much like Thailand in feel. However, the hotel is still under construction and the gym is not yet complete and the spa only offered massages. The locals tell me that the region is rainy most of the year, with March/April being the dryest. Given the lack of activities to do and the climate coupled with the beauty of the hotel and its surroundings, it seems that adding yoga and meditation classes and other holistic and spiritual activities and spa treatments would be highly desirable. Also, when it rains, the rooms get VERY DAMP. The floor is sticky with condensation and the bedding is cold and damp to the touch. We put the A/C on dry mode to get comfortable. That didn't seem to help much and the place was so cold (around 60 degrees at night). The dampness and the cold made for rather uncomfortable sleep. So, perhaps adding a dehumidifier or a heating element to the rooms for the really damp and cold days would help with making the rooms more enjoyable. Lastly, the food is poor in both preparation and in presentation. It is expensive yet everything tastes the same. The meats were uniformly overcooked. All the salads had the same italian dressing. The hotel has huge potential. I hope management improves the cuisine and expand its services because I really love the location and the ambiance.

Lastly, I agree with prior reviews that the staff is wonderful. I think they are the most friendly, cheerful, and joyful people of all the hotels we've stayed in Costa Rica so that is a big plus! If the rooms were dryer/more comfortable, I'd give this place a 4 star even if sighting the blue river is a chancy thing!

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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9  Thank XHTravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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