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“Dreamy!”

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Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 9, 2013 via mobile

Discovered a hidden treasure way off the beaten path (actually literally on a beaten road). The whole experience was inspiring. 5 stars hotel - rooms, views, comfort, staff, food and the rio celeste is like a dream!!!

  • Stayed: May 2013
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Thank Chandani B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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379 - 385 of 808 reviews

Reviewed May 9, 2013

it has been a wile since (jUne 2012) that I vacationed at this wonderful and peaceful resort. I have to say its the most rejunivating and relaxing vacation i ever had. The surroundings are gourges, the suites well equeipt and decorated and the staff just wonderful and very friendly and service minded, such a diffeent that other places where the mass turism is overshadowing the personal attentions. Me and my family where trated like royalty, and oscar made sure that all went well after having been in contact over emails with him. I hope they are able to mantain it in itr tranquility and high quality, I am looking foreward to my next visit.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Kurt H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 24, 2013

Rio Celeste is in the middle of Nowhere - a fact no doubt troubling to those in the neighborhood that have lived in the area all their lives - and those who may have moved in to get away from Somewhere. Depending upon your approach to the hotel, the vehicle will bump over many kilometers of (I am glad I went to the baño before we started) unpaved, ungraded - in this century - road. It would be possible to get to the hotel in a non-SUV, but at a pace that might make you miss your check-out date. If you are in a relationship that you value, do not drive this stretch at night.

Arriving at Rio Celeste Hideaway is pleasant. The staff is unfailingly polite and has been trained to say "con mucho gusto" at the the flutter of a eyelash. We were given a towel, refreshing drink and a quick tour around the central lobby, restaurant, bar, pool and lounge area. Thereafter, we were whisked to our rooms in an electric car. We had a "forest" suite. The architect has done a superb job. Each room is physically separated. The pictures on the website fairly portray the layout. We have been fortunate to stay in some of the world's best hotels. The Hideaway rooms are not in that class, but are amazingly good for the midst of Nowhere - and that is why I have given it 4 stars.

The less flattering part:

The Hideaway furniture looked familiar. Really familiar. Much of our home's furniture was purchased in Ubud, Bali. Our first night was nearly sleepless. The bed was really uncomfortable and noisy. My dearest pointed out that it was identical to our own bed! The difference is that we replaced the noisy slats with solid plywood base and put a Tempur-Pedic mattress on top. Our Hideaway bed was the evil doppelganger of our own comfortable cozy love nest!

Much of the Ubudian furniture was undoubtedly purchase for style rather than comfort. If you did not come full equipped (as I did) with a back problem, the chaises on the deck will get you there. There are lots of day beds in the rooms and the lobby. These are great inventions of another millenium - during the night it is a family's bed and the pig can sleep below. During the day, it can store stuff and be sat on by those erect sitters whose backs have not been yet ruined by the chaises. I have no doubt that they would come in handy during a natural disaster, but they are a daily disaster for any guest waiting for a tour, etc.

The Restaurant - Personally revealing facts: I like to eat. I like to cook. Mother was a bad cook. Mother always insisted that we eat everything the plate. I ate a lot of Mother's bad food and cannot break that habit - even when the chef may have trained under my mother. Fact about Hideaway - you are stuck with the food. Driving or walking to an alternative is not an option - and you might be eaten by one of the night feeding tree caimans.

If you are a vegetarian, you are in for a pleasant surprise. My beloved and I ordered appetizer (forgotten the name of mine), but hers was the Hideaway version of a palmito salad. It was by far the best heart of palm salad that I have tasted - in the world. My nameless appetizer was equally good. I gazed into my honey's eyes, "Forget that Chaine des Rotisseurs dinner next week, this is better!" I whispered.

Our gustatorian reverie came up short as our entree arrived. We had both opted for the pork. The swirls of veggies were perfectly cooked, but the pork (as my son decades ago named it) was dead pig. Maybe the loin had been water-boarded, but it had not been brined. It was then tortured on a grill so long that even the best forensics would find any clue that this poor victim had happily snuggled and snorted under a daybed while mommy and daddy made whoopee above.

A sole case of porcine abuse might be overlooked, but it is clear that the chef has no sympathy for protein or those that might consume it. Our second night was a consistent with the first. She was again in rapture with the palmito salad and ordered the chicken entree. I was content with the seafood soup. Madame's entree veggies were perfect. Her chicken breast was free from salmonella, moisture content and was closer to carbon than most briquettes. My soup was creamy, subtly spiced and filled with tasteless rubbery bits that I came to understand was "seafood".

Tico friends thought the Rio Celeste to be the most beautiful place in Costa Rica. In a country of so many natural riches, that is quite the complement. For me watching the confluence of the rivers and "instant" blueness, made it worth the 4 hour hike. The falls are beautiful (and blue), but there are a lot of water falls.

Thus my recommendation: If your interest is in a wonder of nature in a beautiful setting, go and stay at the Hideaway. If you are interested in critters, you may be disappointed. Rio Celeste after all is Mother Nature's own little toxic river. If you are interest in a good night sleep with your sweetie read the reviews more recent than this. Finally if you are a non-vegetarian, read the recent reviews or practice your heavy sighing.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Peter P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gerencia de Rio... ., Gerente at Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded April 30, 2013

Dear Valued Guests, Thank you very much for choosing Rio Celeste Hideaway for your honeymoon adventure. We are very pleased you enjoyed so much of the beautiful Costa Rican rain forest around Rio Celeste Hideaway. We always appreciate any and all feedback as we continually strive to provide the best guest experience possible and we regret that our menu did not meet that expectation. Improving our menu selections in order to satisfy the tastes of people who come to visit us from all over the world is always a top priority, and we would like to encourage our guests who have any concerns during their stay to immediately bring it to our attention as we will make every effort to satisfy your needs.

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Reviewed April 22, 2013

...the food is terrible.

I can't believe all the reviews raving about how good the food is. I think we must've stayed at a different place or maybe the chef has recently changed?

Anyway, I'll start with the good stuff. The hotel is beautiful and the staff are mostly lovely. We especially liked Oscar, Grelvin and Mauricio. Very well mannered and helpful and Grelvin went to a lot of trouble making us a honeymoon pudding and giving us coffees on the house etc. What a nice chap! On arrival we found we had a bottle of wine in our room, and there were red rose petals on our bed in the shape of a heart, plus flowers around the room. Very nice for a honeymoon treat!

The rabbit who lives on the property, who we nicknamed Celeste, is gorgeous and loves to be stroked!

Rooms are generally nice. Large and clean and beautifully furnished and the balconies overlooking the rainforest are lovely. There is plenty of hot water, and a fridge and coffee maker.

The hotel is in a good location for hiking the Rio Celeste - the entrance for the National Park is a 5 minute drive away or a short walk. This hotel is also driving distance for a day trip to Volcano Arenal which we did and thoroughly enjoyed it. (The drive took about 1.5 hours each way) Also drove to Monteverde for another day trip (drive about 2 hours each way). We also did the Don Juan coffee tour which is just down the road and we thoroughly enjoyed it!

The road leading to the hotel isn't great from the Liberia side especially, but it isn't as bad as other reviewers have made out and you're not on it for long after leaving the main highway. Certainly, we drove on many worse roads while in Costa Rica!! Remember that 80% of the country's roads are unpaved, so if you are planning to drive, a 4x4 is essential even in dry season as the roads are extremely bumpy and you need to ford rivers in some areas (although not to get to this hotel). We drove from San Jose and it took just over 3 hours, no big deal.

There isn't a lot of wildlife around the hotel. During our week's stay we only saw a sloth, an agouti, a stick insect plus loads of frogs, snakes and pretty birds.

The hotel has a wonderful trail leading to a section of the river where you can swim...thoroughly enjoyed this! Saw lots of frogs on the trail and the river was cool and refreshing to swim, and never saw anyone down there, but bring your own towel as each time we got there, the towels provided had been used and were dirty and it's a fair walk back up quite a few steps to fetch one from your room once you're down there.

Now I'll get to the bad stuff. Firstly the food. I am vegetarian but my husband isn't. We both hated the food for different reasons. For me, there was very little choice at lunchtime and nothing in the evening. And I mean nothing. Not even something which could be adapted to suit me. It was all steak or chicken or pork and no vegetables offered. And it's expensive. Expect to pay $25 for a basic main course. And i mean basic. The few times I did try to adapt something it was a disaster. I was just given bread and bread and more bread. The hummus is just a massive bowl of it with yet more BREAD. The same bread they bring you at the start of the meal. My husband didn't enjoy his meals either and each one gave him indigestion. The breakfast was ok if you avoid the eggs, as our fried and scrambled eggs continually had massive chunks of SHELL in them. Really gross and it put us off eating the eggs after it happened twice. One night the chef made me a dish which was supposed to be spaghetti with tomato sauce on...you know, the basic cop out dish they make when they can't think of anything else to make for a vegetarian. Anyway it came. OMG it was more like a noodle soup with boiled to death broccolli. Dear God it wasn't good. I will attach a photo! Not appetising. I asked for it to be taken away. We resorted to driving 1.5 hours each way for a meal at La Fortuna one night! I emailed Oscar and he promised the chef would try to make something else for me, but by then we were nearing the end of our stay and just tried to avoid the restaurant as much as possible. Gabrielle was kind enough to come and speak to me about this, and admitted that they are still learning. Perhaps I will email them some basic recipes the chef can use?

The pillows absolutely reek of mould. Now I know it's the rainforest, but we stayed at other places in Costa Rica in more remote locations that this, and they managed to keep the bedding smelling fresh. Both my husband and myself got sore throats and we're sure it was from having our heads on mouldy pillows for a week.

The shower pressure is very weak and I found it hard to wash my hair properly because of this.

Overall, I would recommend Rio Celeste for a few days (A week was too much) as long as you are aware that the food is very basic. If you have any special dietary requirements at all, email the hotel in advance, preferably with some recipes.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank TravellingOrange
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gerencia de Rio... ., Gerente at Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded April 30, 2013

Dear Valued Guests, Thank you very much for having chosen Rio Celeste Hideaway. We take very seriously any and all feedback as it is very important to us to continually strive to provide the best guest experience possible. We regret that we did not completely meet that expectation. We are continually striving to improve our menu choices and selections in order to satisfy the tastes of people who come to visit us from all over the world so we apologize your menu choices were not satisfying to your pallet. Part of the allure and charm of our hotel is the rustic adventure it provides to people who truly want to "hideaway". That journey begins on the rustic roads to the hotel, to the sophisticated, yet rustic and charming ambiance the decor and surrounding area provides. We would like to encourage our guests who have any discomfort during their stay to immediately bring it to our attention as we will make every effort to satisfy your needs in order to provide you with the most enjoyable experience possible.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2013

Hermoso Lugar. Gorgeous Hideaway indeed! most amazing staff ever! Felt at home. Romantic rooms. paradisiac scenario. Can't wait to go back! Rooms were delightful, the weather, the staff was great, good food,

  • Stayed: April 2013
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Thank Dcastrohine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 16, 2013

What a great find. This place has everything you could ask for and more. It is quiet, it is small, it is stunningly beautiful. The food was by far the best in all of costa rica over three weeks! Right in the middle of nowhere, this place is awesome. I would recommend this place to any couple. It is really not that far from la fortuna nor liberia nor san jose.... the location can take an 2 hours to get to and isn't really near anything but the rio celeste, but well worth a couple nights!

Room Tip: Any room is simply amazing here!
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank SPGplatinumTenYears
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 15, 2013

A beautiful looking hotel, the bedrooms are fantastic in design and decoration. We had an out door shower which was a lot of fun to be at one with nature whilst in your birthday suit! All the trimming of a top quality hotel and perfect for exploring the Rio Celeste of course. They have a nice selection of DVD's for quiet night in. Awesome hot tubs to soak in after your hike (although Rio Hideaway... time to give those rotting hots tubs a make over!)... The restaurant served a lovely dinner selection and breakfast was fine... although after two days the selection would get boring... but I don't think most people would stay any longer than 2 nights as there is not much to do there other than the hike. The only thing that let the place down was the smell of mildew... the only way that your swimming drunks will dry is to blast the AC, but the pillows smelt of mildew enough to make me put a town over one.
Would I recommend this place to you.... yes of course, but just remember you are in the rain forest! Things are damp! PS: Listen out for the howler monkeys...so cool!

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Smudge1976
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel

Address: La Paz de Rio Celeste | 1 kilometer southeast of the Tenorio Volcano National Park., Tenorio Volcano National Park 21304, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Tenorio Volcano National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Tenorio Volcano National Park
Price Range: $78 - $314 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 26
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

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