We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“An ecolodge where food is the star!”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 7 more sites!
Celeste Mountain Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Florida
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“An ecolodge where food is the star!”
Reviewed June 10, 2012

I had the pleasure of staying at this lodge for 3 nights. The lodge bills itself as being a Responsible Tourism project. Recycled materials were used in the construction of the lodge. Hot water is provided by solar panels. Biodegradable soaps are used. Minimum lighting is used at light to minimize the impact on the surrounding forest and lights are turned off in the public areas at 10pm.

The rooms are basic and pleasant. The bed was very comfortable and I slept like a rock! Another reviewer mentioned that noise can carry because the windows are screened with shutters. Also, one person in our group had trouble sleeping because of the Common Pauraques vocalizing most of the night. This is a nocturnal bird whose sounds I found soothing, somewhat reminding me of the sounds of Whip-poor-wills as a kid. If you're sensitive to sounds, just pack some ear plugs.

While the accommodations are fine, the food is the star here. They bill the food as Tropical Costa Rican Fusion using local produce as much as possible. They offer one fixed menu for each meal, but can accommodate special diets with advance notice (one in our group was vegetarian). Every meal was exceptional. I'm a bit of a fussy eater, but found myself being a member of the clean plate club here!

The only minor annoyance was some tiny ants trailing from the bathroom to the shelving in the bedroom. They got into our toiletry bags. After sifting through our things outside, we wiped the shelves with insect repellant and had no further problems.

The grounds are beautifully maintained and you'll want to take time to explore the area. It's also a great place for birding and wildlife! Don't know what you're seeing? No problem since they have various books available so you can easily figure out if you're seeing a Keel-billed Toucan or Black-mandibled Toucan...or if you don't care, you can just call them Flying Bananas!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank anyuserid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

651 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    524
    105
    13
    6
    3
See reviews for
194
295
19
3
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (62)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Geneva, Switzerland
Level 6 Contributor
60 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed May 17, 2012

My husband and I stayed at Celeste Mountain Lodge in the end of March. If you land in San Jose in the morning, you could easily get to the lodge by car in about 3hrs. The lodge is positioned on a road about 2-3km up from the village of Bijagua, and before the entrance to the Rio Celeste/Tenorio Park. There really is no better place to stay if you plan to see these main attractions.

The property itself is only few years old, and has rooms on 2 levels, plenty of parking space and one of the best kitchen in town! The package includes 3 delicious meals per day with organic ingredients (fusion meaning a bit of French mix with local cuisine). The ambiance of the dining area is superb with everything clean and well-maintained. This is not a posh 5 stars hotel, so don't come with your high-heels and ties, and prepare to meet plenty of interesting fellow travelers when you dine together in the open and airy space. While we were there, we saw people of all ages, retirees, college kids, couples and families, and from all over the world. Besides the great meals, the services from the owners, manager and other staff were all second to none. If you need anything, just ask and they will do their best to answer.

The rooms themselves all seem quite large, and we were very lucky to have the corner room on the second floor. The concept of having mosquitoes nets and wooden blinds to replace glass windows is brilliant, as they keep the bugs away and the room fresh at all times. The bed was huge and comfortable, and the bathroom was spacious with hot shower (yes, the water was cool in the beginning but got hot after a couple minutes). There was not a lot of space to hang clothes in our room but who needs a big closet when you are in your T-Shirts and shorts most of the times! The Howler Monkeys made noises at dawn, and every morning we could hear different kinds of birds singing outside our room. Frankly, we rather enjoyed hearing these noises and would be quite disappointed if we didn't have this experience. During our stay, we hiked the trails to Rio Celeste and the private trail (made by the owners) near the lodge, did Cano Negro (highly recommend if you want to see caimans and water-birds), and the hot-springs/thermal baths near La Fortuna. The owners and manager have very good knowledges on the local attractions and are not pushy to sell tours. They have leaflets and guide books to lend you, and it was just too bad we ran out of time to do more.

Overall, we had a terrific experience at Celeste Mountain Lodge and would not hesitate to recommend this place to anyone. Everyone working here is genuine (not commercialized), and we felt that they really want to make their guests feel good and welcome.

Room Tip: Corner room on second floor has the best view, but all of them seem large and airy.
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Fabysuzy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester, New York
1 review
Reviewed May 14, 2012

We rolled into Bijagua around 6pm looking for an economical place to stay for the night. Frommer's guidebook mentions Celeste Mountain Lodge, so we stopped in to check things out. The owner, Joel, gave us a great deal for a Quad room, which included dinner, breakfast, and a bag lunch. The food was absolutely delicious - and probably worth more than we paid for the room. The lodge was beautiful! The rooms were stunning - with views of the mountains and lush landscape. The architecture of the building was incredibly interesting, with all of the decorations made from reclaimed supplies. There is no internet here, which we loved! You don't come to Costa Rica to spend your time on Facebook! The entire eco-friendly concept of this lodge was fantastic. We had an AMAZING night's stay and it was one of the highlights of our trip. All four of us were blown away by the hospitality and told everyone we met on our trip. Love, love, LOVED it!

Room Tip: There is no A/C, so some rooms might be cooler than others. We had a room on the second floor and t...
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sara L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed May 3, 2012

We loved Celeste. We were looking for a convenient base for Tenorio and its perfect for that. Its a couple of miles off the main road, so quiet. The road that the hotel is on is also the road to the Tenorio. We were the only guests there for three nights. The manager was French and said he used to be a French chef. The food at all meals was fantastic. We had no complaints and were comfortable even though it was just the three of us most of the time. They'll even make a to-go lunch for your Tenorio hike. We thought was hospitable and answered any questions we had and made suggestions for activities.

If you can, ask for the corner room on the top floor for the most air. There is no air conditioning and although it is somewhat cool at night, It was still a bit moist. The rooms are basic, but sufficient. Most of the time we slept fine. But, one night the howler monkeys made a lot of noise and made sleep a bit difficult.

When its clear, the view are amazing. The gardens in the hotel are nice. The spa was not in service when we were there. The hotels' own trail across the street is really nice. We went through at dusk. This is well worth doing if you have the time. The grounds are beautiful and we saw frogs, toucans and other birds on the property.

The hotel arranged a trip to Cano Negro for us and this is recommended if you are in the area for more than one day and have a car. There really is not a place that is much better for access to Cano Negro and Tenorio.

If you are interested, have the hotel set up a visit to the local Finca (I can't remember the name)(although its right outside the main part of Bijagua and there are signs on the road). Its a guy's house who has tons of plants and animals. He and his wife don't speak much English, but they will give you a tour and you'll be amazed of what they have on their property. We saw orchids, owls, toucans, sloths, butterflies and all different kinds of trees and plants. It was an hour or so for the tour.

If you like to keep completely to yourself, this may not be for you. The meals are served on long tables and it helps to be social. We didn't mind and had plenty of time to learn about the animals/birds of Costa Rica and other information.

Room Tip: If available, ask for the corner room on the top floor.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank PaigeCK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Collins, Colorado
Level 6 Contributor
105 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed April 30, 2012

This property is fairly remote, but well worth the drive. The owners (Joel and Selma) are very hospitable and willing to tell you all about the hotel and their philosophy on sustainable eco-tourism. I was fascinated by the building decor, lush garden on the property...I couldn't stop taking pictures! It was all so was beautiful.

The room is well decorated. If you can get a corner room, they provide the best views and sounds of the property. The windows are floor to ceiling on 2 sides, but contain screens to keep out the bugs, and shutters for warmth and privacy. The number of birds we heard in the morning was amazing, so we wanted to keep them open. The bed was super comfy too.
Since the rooms have screens as walls, sounds could travel. But when we were there the guests were very conscious of others and kept noise down, so we didn't have any problems sleeping. And I was a little worried about no a/c, but the temp at night was actually cool (50's or low 60's) since the hotel is in the mountains...so a/c is not needed!


And the food....oh the food was delicious (even the pack lunch)! It was the best food we had during our entire week in Costa Rica! All 3 meals are gourmet and served to you at the common area. Dinner is served at 7pm, and that is the only meal that you must arrive at a specific start time. Breakfast and lunch you may come and go within the meal time-frame. I took a pack-lunch and it was wrapped in banana leaves to be more eco-friendly. It was very filling and also delicious.

I was amazed that Joel could remember the guests' names and spoke to each one in their native language. It goes to show you what good customer service and attention to detail can get you. But the price for the hotel and food was a bargain compared to what we got in other hotels we stayed at in Costa Rica!

There is no pool, but there was a cute hot tub warmed by a wood stove. During our one night stay, it was breezy and cool enough, I don't know if a pool would have been comfortable anyway.

If we had more time, we would definitely come back to stay here....our favorite for sure!

Room Tip: If you can get a corner room, they provide the best views and sounds of the property. The windows a...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Melinda S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berkhamsted, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed April 30, 2012

Wonderful owner, true eco-lodge with spa pool, lovely gardens, all-inclusive top class meals on long tables to mingle guests, great location for Rio Celeste National Park.

We stayed just 1 night, but it was wonderful. The rooms are gorgeous with mighty views - there is so much wood around, it feels like you are in an enormous tree-house. Stay here if you can.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PatFromPottenEnd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leavenworth
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed April 22, 2012

We stayed here 3 nights and I think I gained 3 pounds. All of the meals were delicious and cleverly served on wooden "plates" covered with a compostable banana leaf. Dinner was always 3 courses, and breakfast was 2. For our sack lunch one day, the chef made a very yummy fish and rice salad. All of our lunch items were wrapped burrito style in banana leaves. There's a great trail just across the road from the property where Howler Monkeys were heard every morning and night. Plus we saw a sloth, white-face capuchin monkeys, a very small snake, plus heard lots of birds. We were without a car, so getting to and from was difficult. We had to hire a local taxi to drive us the 5 km to the Rio Celeste trailhead which was an expensive bummer. But the river is truly amazing, and you really have to go see it if you're in the area.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Angie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Bijagua de Upala
3.2 mi away
Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel
Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel
#1 of 1 in Tenorio Volcano National Park
786 reviews
1.1 mi away
Heliconias Lodge
Heliconias Lodge
#4 of 5 in Bijagua de Upala
92 reviews
3.2 mi away
Tenorio Lodge
Tenorio Lodge
#3 of 5 in Bijagua de Upala
310 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
24.2 mi away
Hacienda Guachipelin
Hacienda Guachipelin
#3 of 7 in Rincon de La Vieja
1,310 reviews
14.8 mi away
Rio Perdido
Rio Perdido
#1 of 1 in Bagaces
735 reviews
1.2 mi away
Casitas Tenorio B&B
Casitas Tenorio B&B
#1 of 8 in Bijagua de Upala
520 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Celeste Mountain Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Celeste Mountain Lodge

Property: Celeste Mountain Lodge
Address: Access Road To Nat'l Park Tenorio / Rio Celeste | 4 kms east of Bijagua, Bijagua de Upala 21301, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Bijagua de Upala
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Bijagua de Upala
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Celeste Mountain Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Celeste Mountain Lodge is a responsible tourism establishment, located in Bijagua de Upala, the door to the Volcano Tenorio National Park and its amazing Rio Celeste (Blue River). An authentic rural area, of great natural beauty, with lots of forest and lots to do, yet so accessible! Celeste Mountain Lodge is unique for its concept and profound sustainable philosophy, its innovations, its details and original decoration, comtemporary architecture in minimalist style integrated in the environment. Surrounded by primary rainforest and hosting its own trail, you will be impressed by its fauna and flora, excellent birdwatching, impressive views onto 2 volcanoes, own own Cuisine fusion and our friendly service, casual, warm and efficient. Share a vision of the world and tourism with ethics, refined simplicity, personality, peace and nature in an unforgettable place... ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Travelocity, Expedia, Orbitz, Hotels.com, Hotwire, Cheap Tickets, getaroom.com and HotelQuickly so you can book your Celeste Mountain Lodge reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Celeste Mountain Hotel Bijagua De Upala
Celeste Mountain Lodge Costa Rica/Bijagua De Upala

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing