This is one of three places we stayed at in Costa Rica. We chose this hotel based on phenomenal reviews and because it resembled Nayara Resort and Spa in La Fortuna, but it fell well short of our expectations. We stayed 3 nights in March 2013.
The pros were:
- Delicious food (everything we ate was delicious, hot, and tasty although the service was not always the greatest, such as forgetting to give us bread or charging us wrong).
- Complimentary breakfast (toast, eggs, bacon, fruit, muffins, yogurt, beans and rice)
- Full bar with good juices and tropical drinks
- Relaxing spa - great couples massage...one of the best I have ever had and much needed after the Rio Celeste hike.
- Nice outdoor shower
- Very close proximity to Rio Celeste hiking
The cons were:
- The grounds could be beautiful but they need maintenance. There are fine details that this hotel has missed...gardening (raking leaves and cleaning roof/eavestrough of leaves (may prevent leaks), pool area maintenance, etc. They could learn from Nayara.
- The rooms look beautiful however they are insufferably humid and had a damp/foul smell which took away from the beauty that could have been. The sheets and pillows felt damp and had a foul odor. A slightly damp swimsuit did not dry in the 3 nights we were there.
- No wifi in individual rooms; wifi in lobby rarely worked. It worked best in the restaurant.
- The tours were mostly based out of La Fortuna, which is a 2 hour drive. Because we had come from La Fortuna, we did not want to go back that way for tours. The drive is incredible rough and bumpy. The tours are great tours, but are very expensive because they need the compensate for the cost of transportation.
- Location is very remote and is not well suited for any activities other than hiking to Rio Celeste. Be prepared for a VERY rocky and steep route to the hotel. I am glad we were not driving.
- We loved the Rio Celeste hike but it is long and the hike is difficult. Older people or those with young children should reconsider this. Alex, The tour guide was great; good english, knowledgeable, had fruit and water for us, however i would suggest you take an extra bottle of water as he did not have enough water for me, and take bug spray!! I got a lot of fly bites.
- We felt the pool area needed maintenance, particularly the hot tubs. The hot tubs were made of wood, which appeared to be rotting. There are suppose to be towels at the pool area, but we had to ask twice for them and waited quite a while before we got one.
- Bring bug spray - lots of bugs inside and out. Room is not sealed to keep bugs out. We had some interesting (by interesting i mean big and gross) bugs on the canopy of our bed, as well as lizards in our room. The first room we had, there were a lot of ants.
- The shower/jazuzzi appeared dirty (grouting) and did not look inviting.
- Evidence of leaks (could see the spots on the ceiling and walls).
- They advertise a bar at the pool area, however there is no bartender there and you have to go inside the hotel for a drink (or wait for them to come out to take your order).
Upon arrival we were taken to our room, which was not what we were promised. We had ordered a package that included a king bed, fruit basket, ipod docking station, safety deposit box, DVD player, etc. First thing we noticed was the 2 double beds (not the king), foul smell, the spots from the leaks, and all of the ants (mostly in the bathroom). Reception was not at all helpful when i expressed my concern over these matters, and didn;t seem to care much. I emailed Oscar, who I had been in touch with while booking. Oscar is an amazing guy and probably the friendliest person at this resort! He upgraded us to the bigger suite and moved us to a better room on Day 2. While we did get the King bed, fruit basket, safety deposit box, DVD player, there was never an IPOD docking station and the foul/mildewy smell was still present, as were the bugs. When i opened our bar fridge, the previous guests left over foods (which stunk) were left in the fridge; I guess housekeeping doesn't clean the fridges.
In summary, the Rio Celeste Hideaway might be suitable for a 1 night stay if you want to hike Rio Celeste and Tenorio Volcano National Park, but no longer than that. I considered checking out earlier. This place is trying to copy Nayara Spa and Resort in La Fortuna, which is beautifully amazing, but Rio Celeste Hiedaway has a lot to learn from Nayara. I was surprised to learn that this place is only 2-3 years old; seems older. There are a lot of other places in the area that may be cheaper; this place is not worth the price.
Costa Rica is a beautiful country and lots of fun. I highly recommend Nayara, plus it is La Fortuna where all the tours are.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Rio Celeste Hideaway is a boutique, gourmet and ecologically orientated hotel. It provides a world of comfort and style surrounded by an untouched natural paradise. This hidden hotel is located in the middle of the Rainforest adjacent to the Tenorio Volcano National Park where the amazing Rio Celeste lies. Surrounded by lush tropical rainforest, each one of its 26 spacious casitas (bungalows) provides an exclusive retreat in which guests can relax amidst the breathtaking rainforest. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel Costa Rica/Tenorio Volcano National Park