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“A gem in the jungle” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel

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Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
28 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“A gem in the jungle”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 29, 2013

The Rio Celeste Hideaway is a real gem. If you are looking for a luxurious retreat in the middle of the jungle off the beaten tourist path- this is the place for you.

The twenty eight individual casitas are tastefully furnished with Balinese four poster beds and come with balconies, jacuzzis and outdoor showers(optional!) set in a mini walled garden. The rooms are well maintained, very private and quiet. The Nayara Hotel and Spa in Arenal has the same owners who have given the place the same attention to detail and service as in Arenal.
Rio Celeste Hideaway has its own access the to the Rio Celeste in the form of a 700m riverside footpath ending in a little rancho with towels, set up for those keen to take a dip in the blue river, which is not possible in the National Park. The main reason for coming to this area is to see the stunningly blue Rio Celeste river, which looks fake in photographs because of the of the minerals giving it a milky blue appearance- but photos do not do it justice.

Getting to the hotel is a challenge and would be dodgy in a 2wd or vehicle without high clearance as the 9km off pavement from Bijagua is muddy, stony and deeply rutted in places. There is a second access road from the other side of the Tenorio volcano which you would use coming from Arenal; this is reputedly better.

I would definitely recommend this hotel for couples wanting a special treat for two or three nights.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a forest view balcony. We liked #17.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Stewart79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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754 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (126)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
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English first
Ojochal, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
80 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 25, 2013

This is a beautiful hotel in a beautiful part of Costa Rica. I live in Costa Rica and this was my first trip to the area. It may not be that lush around this area, but when you get close to Rio Celeste it is. The hotel itself is positioned a short 700 km off the river and it is a stunner. The common area is large, comfortable and beautifully done. A large koi pond is in the center. Our room was incredible. One of my favorites and we have stayed in many hotels. In the front a veranda to the jungle with nice wooden chairs. Through French doors a sitting area with a Balinese style sofa and table and chairs. A desk sits behind the sofa and beyond a large poster bed with mosquito netting for the look. Comfortable bed, but standard pillows. I think king beds should have king pillows. Around a partisan wall, the bath. Large with a Jacuzzi tub and separate commode room. Very civilized. Through another set of French doors your private garden complete with an outdoor shower. Nice.

The pool is large with 3 hot tubs of varying degrees of heat. Although a nice area, it is time for maintenance. The hot tubs are rotting and the pool tile should be redone. The staff was attentive and efficient.

Unfortunately the low point was the food. Dinner was really underwhelming and some in our party didn’t care for their food at all. For breakfast the choices were American or Typical. At this level of hotel the menu should be much more creative. I order the typical and it was, well, typical.

Another nice thing about this hotel is a path to the river. Short walk and they have a nice platform for sitting and towels. Brilliant. The next morning we were contemplating a hike into the park for a swim in the river. It had been rainy, so we knew it would be a muddy one. Once we learned of this path, we skipped the park. Took a short walk, swam in the river and was back before lunch. And no mud.

I gave this hotel a 5 out of 5 because I really liked it, despite the shortcomings. The room itself pushed it to the top for me.

Room Tip: 3 and 4 are right off the pool deck, which is a good thing.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Scott D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, AZ
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 18, 2013

We just completed a ten-day tour of Costa Rica with our daughter who was finishing her semester of study abroad and Rio Celeste Hideaway was our first stop after arriving into San Jose and orienting for a day. We rented an SUV (almost a must if driving extensively in Costa Rica and especially grateful for it over the last 10 or 15 kilometers to this little resort, which as many have noted is a rough ride). We came from the La Fortuna side and Highway 4, and the roads up to that point from San Jose were just fine, although a lot of two-lane highway making frequent passing or immense patience a necessity.

The grounds of Rio Celeste Hideaway are beautiful, they are kept up constantly. Our forest casita was very spacious and had two queen beds, a jacuzzi tub and shower as well as an outdoor shower that was beautiful--we didn't even use the indoor one. There was also a nice furniture piece that was a combination desk/TV stand/settee. As some have noted, we found the beds to be firm to the point of being hard, and one of them was very noisy with any movement of the occupant--to the point that it could wake the other people sleeping in the room. The veranda off of the casita was also beautiful and was right up against a piece of jungle, although we didn't catch much in the way of animal life in the immediate vicinity of the resort, other than some Toucans.

The main attraction of staying at Rio Celeste Hideaway is the beautiful natural setting and the junction of the three rivers forming the amazing bright turquoise Rio Celeste and the waterfall a few kilometers hike away from the resort. The total hike is 7km, and we had the hotel arrange a guide for us, which was well worth the $40. Our guide was a very knowlegeable and likeable young man who grew up in the area, named Elias who spoke great English and could actually call birds to return his calls. The hike is moderately strenuous, so takers should be at least in passing physical condition. There are 253 steps down to the waterfall, which is the final stop of three main points along the hike, and that means that when you are ready to hike back you have to climb those 253 steps. Take your time and you'll be fine. If you come here the hike is almost a must-do.

The swimming pool has a small swim up bar, several earlier reviews had noted there was never anyone attending the bar while they were there, but during our stay there was always a bartender there during the day. The pool is quite nice but not large, and there are three separate hot-tubs supposedly each with different water temperature. To us, they all felt pretty much the same and not real hot. The pool was not very busy during our stay and contributed to a feeling of not much going on at this little resort.

Finally, the restaurant/bar was ok and had a lounge room with wifi, which we used to catch up on emails, speed was slow and required some patience. The food in the restaurant was buffet, and was not particularly good in our opinion. Breakfast was probably the most acceptable, actually what one might expect at this type of resort. Prices were not inexpensive and this is the area the resort should focus its attention to improve upon. The bar was ok and the bartenders were both nice and easy to have conversation with. Staff in general at Rio Celeste Hideaway were very courteous, warm and helpful.

In summary, a good place to spend a couple of days/nights to explore Rio Celeste and the Tenorio Volcano national park, or to make a side trip to Aranal from.

Room Tip: The rooms are all casitas, very spacious and equipped with air conditioning. We were in #30, which...
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Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank bgtrax
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Level Contributor
73 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 14, 2013

We couldn't bear to leave, so we changed our plans and stayed a second night!

The room: Beautiful. The best we've ever stayed in, and I'm pretty particular. Every room is very private because of all the beautiful greenery planted around the property.

The staff: Five-star service. Everyone was genuinely kind and accommodating. By our first morning we were already greeting each other like friends.

The restaurant: We thoroughly enjoyed everything we ordered. It's only pricey by Costa Rican standards; it's comparable to any average restaurant in the US.

The grounds: So quiet and lush, surrounded by rain forest, and landscaped like a resort.

Getting there: It's a rough, long ride, and I hope it stays that way. It just makes this gem that much more amazing to come upon after the long trek over dusty, bumpy rodes.

Rio Celeste will always stick in my mind as a cherished memory. It's a beautiful, peaceful place.

Room Tip: Rooms 24, 25, and 26 are in the center of the property, while all the other rooms are in a circle fa...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank potatopants
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 10, 2013 via mobile

Briefly? It's amazing! Attention to costumer is just great (cold face towel and welcoming cocktail), staff is always smiling and asking you if everything is fine?
Food and cocktails were very good (try Lomito kantala!)
The pool? Very beautiful with 3 different temperature regulated jacuzzis and bar next to the pool,
Decoration and rooms are just breathtaking! We loved our Casita forest with shower and jacuzzi and external shower... Perfect place to celebrate honeymoons, anniversary (as we did ;)) or just get relaxed! We hope to come back again and stay longer...
It's 1km away from the national park.
En general hacen mejores predios para nacionales, lo cual nos encantó xq fomentan el turismo nacional a un lugar precioso a un muy buen precio.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank marta V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pachamama, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Chandani B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aruba
Level Contributor
22 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Kurt H
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

Property: 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
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 (Based on Average Rates): $$
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 
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel Costa Rica/Tenorio Volcano National Park

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