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“Tranquil getaway in the beautiful mountains of Costa Rica!”
Review of Tenorio Lodge

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Tenorio Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 15, 2010

My wife and I extended our Costa Rica trip in January 2010 so we could visit this lodge and hike the Rio Celeste trail. I don’t understand why more people aren’t reviewing this great place! We only had time to stay one night, but we are so glad we were able to visit Tenorio Lodge! The pictures, while pretty, do not do this place justice!! The lodge is only about 2-3 years old. The room had a spa-like smell and feel. The grounds (and the views) were absolutely gorgeous! The owners were very nice and made us feel like we were at home. We used the hot tub that evening (we wish we would have gone in the hot tubs while it was still light to enjoy the views). The weather was probably low 80’s during the day, and maybe high 60’s at night - which was perfect! The whole experience was so relaxing, I just wish we had the time to stay another night or two. The price was beyond reasonable for what you get!

The Lodge was about an hour and a half drive (or less) from Liberia Airport. However, it felt like we were a world away! We were able to get drinks and snacks in town (less than 5 minutes down the road). The drive to Rio Celeste was a little challenging since we did not have a 4WD vehicle (the last 11km is unpaved, and that section took us 45 minutes!). But the hike was well worth the challenge of getting there (and the drive was an experience in itself…we managed to escape with zero flat tires!). However, if you can, I would recommend a 4WD (again - not necessary, but it would cut your trip to Rio Celeste in half…at least), or perhaps book a guided tour with the Lodge and they will drive you there (note that you definitely do not need a 4WD to get to Tenorio Lodge - the entire route from Liberia is paved…you just need to watch out for potholes along the way).

I could not believe how blue the Rio Celeste water actually was. I thought some of the pictures online had to have been enhanced, but it looked even more amazing in person! Also keep in mind - even though we visited during Costa Rica’s dry season, it was raining a little during the rainforest hike (not too hard or too much - off and on followed by sun) - but bring appropriate clothing and shoes. The hike was very muddy, even in dry season. We didn’t get any rain at Tenorio Lodge, the clouds seemed to just linger over the volcanoes (which seems typical in Costa Rica).

I would without a doubt recommend Tenorio Lodge to anyone wanting to have a relaxing getaway with one of the most beautiful hikes nearby!

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank jddutk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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92 - 98 of 323 reviews

Reviewed July 21, 2009

This hotel is an underpriced luxury - sublime paradise.
My stay at Tenorio Lodge was perfect. My husband and I recently traveled to Costa Rica for two weeks on our honeymoon. One of the things we wanted to see was the Rio Celeste - volcanic gases change the water to a turquoise blue and there are natural hot springs you can bathe in.
The hotel is approximately 30 - 40 minutes away from the Tenorio Volcano. The drive through the countryside is magnificent. Completely different from the beach culture. Our lodge was a dream. Exotic would floors, inset stone entrance, open ceiling...the look, feel and even the smell of this place was perfect. The lodges are extremely private and the view of the mountain and park is magnificent. Two walls are complete windows - you fall asleep and wake up to nature - gardens, lush vegetation, the mountain and birds, birds, birds. You sleep to the sound of the wind and the howler monkies at night. The open concept of the lodge really works. It is the most romantic place I have ever stayed in. As well, the price was ridiculously reasonable. I thought they had made a mistake when we got our final bill for the room and the meals. I can not go on enough about how beautiful this lodge is.
There is no pool (which is not necessary where they are situated....the temperature is always cool) but they have amazing jacuzzis. When we went, we were the only couple. It was so romantic having a drink late in the evening while taking a dip in the jacuzzi.

As well, the food (most food, right down to the breakfast jelly and bread, is home made from local produce) was amazing and the dining area has again the perfect view. The owners really know how to create the perfect atmosphere, paying close attention to the little details around the meal. The owners, Christine and Franck, are extremely responsible, informed and very eco-friendly. They are involved in conserving the surroundings and wildlife that exists. They have an electric source; however, they try to heat the water with solar panels as much as possible. I felt like, in the middle of nowhere, I found a hidden paradise. I hated to leave and I plan to return one day but then next time with friends.
Thank you again Franck and Christine. It was a great pleasure to meet you. Good luck and see you soon. Keep on doing your great work. Your business works well !!
Audrey and Gino

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank AudreyMontreal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2009

We had an outstanding experience at the Tenorio Lodge! Due to the earthquake in January our wedding plans were rearranged at the last minute. In many ways we found ourselves fortunate to experience this region of Costa Rica for our wedding. Franck and Christine (the owners) stepped right up and helped us out with everything we needed from arranging our transportation to and from their lodge to preparing a romantic candlelight dinner in our room complete with champagne.

The driver from Tenorio Lodge, Max, and his wife were ready and waiting for us at the airport with a big sign so we would not miss them. Though they did not speak much English and we do not speak much Spanish it seemed as if we were all talking and getting to know each other the entire way there (a good 4 hour ride from SJO). Max graciously offered to stop the car for whatever reason - bathroom break, food, photo op, or just to stretch. Max assisted us with carrying our luggage to the room upon arrival. Overall a pleasant and easy ride to the lodge from SJO airport.

Franck and Christine had our room ready and waiting for us and quickly invited us back to the main lobby area for a drink or dinner. They are warm, inviting, and always ready to answer whatever question you might have. They allowed us to make a local phone call free of charge from their phone in the lobby. A computer with high speed internet is also set up in the lobby for guests to use at their convenience.

Our room exceeded our expectations. The windows facing the three dormant volcanoes almost make you feel as if you are sleeping outside with all of the comforts of being indoors. We could even stargaze a bit while lying in bed! It was wonderful! There was plenty of room inside to hang up garments and store luggage. The spacious bathroom had all of the necessities (hairdryer, soap, shampoo, etc.) and plenty of room for everybody to get ready in the morning.

Finally, the evening of our wedding Franck and Christine set up a romantic candlelight dinner in our room for us. We were so excited to walk into our room with the candle aglow and find a delicious appetizer and champagne waiting for us. They brought down the main course and dessert shortly thereafter and everything tasted INCREDIBLE!! The meal was more delicious than we could have imagined, especially the chocolate mousse at the end. When it comes to the food here, you will not be disappointed! The breakfast, included in the price of the room, was equally as good - homemade bread, homemade jams, fruits, freshly squeezed juice, and coffee.

I would definitely stay here again and appreciated everything that we were able to do with the help of Franck and Christine.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank lmm2119
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 1, 2008

We just happened upon the Tenorio Lodge and could not have gotten luckier. Our time in Monteverde had come to an end and we needed a place to stay, preferably near the beautifully blue rio celeste. We did some reserach (thanks trip advisor) and found that the Tenorio/Miravalle area had all the same attractions as Arenal, except without the lake and smoking volcano. Since we weren't guaranteed a good view of Arenal in action, we decided to stay by rio celeste. The tenorio lodge was the best place we stayed at on our trip as far as natural beauty and beauty of the property are concerned. Just look at the pictures. They also helped book us a great rafting tour on the tenorio river and sent us to a great hot spring place. We also saw one of those sweet costa rica frogs you see on all the tour books. Ohh and their dinners are great! And they're flexible if you have an dietary restrictions (we had no milk or wheat.) For $20 a plate you get a quality meal steps from your room. It's about a third the price of Tabacon and you get a similar experience (I think it was better). It's not well known and in an odd location, so you might be the only people there during your stay. Stop reading this and make a reservation.

  • Stayed: June 2008
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Thank Linsk21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 21, 2007

When researching for our trip to Costa Rica, we found that high on the list of the places we wanted to see was Rio Celeste. The pictures of the aqua blue river were enticing. By luck, in surfing the net, we came across the mention of Tenorio Lodge, a new hotel in Bijagua, which is located between Volcan Tenorio and Volcan Miravailles. Their web page looked lovely, and we e-mailed them. Their response was quick, and very informative. A few more e-mails later, again with very quick responses, we had transportation from Monteverde, a trip to Cano Negro, a trip to Rio Celeste, and our transportation to Playa Conchal arranged. This was all done by Christine Dziubak. She and her husband, Franck, (both well known wildlife photographers) have relocated from France, and built their lovely Tenorio Lodge. The rooms are much nicer than shown on the web page. The pictures do not do the place justice. Each chalet style room has a view of the valley, where flocks of birds can be seen migrating. Fruit trees dot the gardens, and birds abound. The spacious chalets have a glass prow front, and the king bed with mosquito netting is the centerpiece of the room. The bathroom is very modern, and well appointed. The restaurant at the hotel is very good, and not expensive, for the three course meal you get. It was a set menu, and absolutely delicious! Shrimp provencal one night, and filet mignon the next. Breakfast was included in the room rate, and was very good with fresh baked bread, fruit salad, eggs if you wish, coffee, etc. Service is very friendly, and it is evident they are out to please.

Other than the beauty of the hotel and property, what really stands out in my mind is the personal attention we received from Franck and Christine. The day trips they arranged for us were fantastic.

The first day, Sr.Oscar, the driver, collected us, and took us to Cano Negro, where we met with the captain of the boat which would take us on our Cano Negro excursion. The captain was an older gentleman with super sharp eyes. He knew his river! We saw nesting herons, nests with baby birds, a crocodile, turtles, a tree with more than 100 hundred cormorant nests, iguanas, various lizards, and much more. The trip on the river was over too quickly; we could have stayed for ages, there was so much to see. Part of our package included lunch at the Soda Rio Celeste. The food was delicious, and our driver, Oscar, ate with us, and told us more of the region.

The second day trip was to Rio Celeste. Oscar collected us early, and at Rio Celeste Park entrance, we met Alex, our guide. Our 7 km. hike was rewarded with sights of capuchin monkeys, an agouti, various birds, the fabulous blue river, fumaroles, a waterfall, and more. This took approximately four hours, and Alex was very informative all the way. Lunch at the end of the hike was at Soda Rio Celeste, which is run by Alex's family. Excellent food, and a very friendly place. On our way back to Tenorio Lodge, we happened upon a parade in Bijagua. It was independence day, and a parade made up on oxen and decorated carts was a bonus to our day.

We were sad to leave Tenorio Lodge, and wished we could have stayed another couple of days. The natural beauty, along with nice amenities, and great personal service were much appreciated.

Stayed: October 2007
3  Thank Tuna1956
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2017 via mobile
Google Translation

Stayed: September 2017, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Chantal S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2017
Google Translation

  • Stayed: August 2017, traveled with family
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Thank 629quentinb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tenorio Lodge

Address: Camino del retiro, Bijagua de Upala 21301, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Bijagua de Upala
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Bijagua de Upala
Price Range: $133 - $185 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Tenorio Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located between the Tenorio and Miravalles volcanoes at an altitude of 1,640 ft, each one of our 12 bungalows has an exceptional view towards the Tenorio volcano. Rooms are spacious, elegant, and perfectly set out for your greatest comfort. Built on our 17 acres property, in the middle of Heliconias gardens, of fruit trees and tropical vegetation surrounding two natural ponds, the Lodge was designed to offer its guests quietness, relaxation, and serenity. In this peaceful environment, along our trails, you will observe hundreds of birds, learn about native trees or take a dip in one of our two red cedar hot tubs. Among the activities we suggest, you should visit the heart of the Tenorio Volcano's National Park, the "Rio Celeste", well known for its astonishing and enchanting turquoise-blue colour. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tenorio Lodge Costa Rica/Bijagua De Upala

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