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“Excellent”

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Celeste Mountain Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Metepec, Mexico
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Excellent”
Reviewed February 10, 2013

We absolutely loved this lodge and its business concept of responsible tourism. Joel and his team are great hosts, always very helpful and friendly. The food was delicious and creative with the option to take lunch for a picknick. The room are very comfortable and practical, with great views. Very recommandable is to visit Rio Celeste close by. I will definitely return to this place.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PetraK74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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642 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (62)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
74 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed January 31, 2013

European flavor in the middle of nowhere! We (10 of us) were traveling in a large van, and I agree, the road to the place is among the worst I've traveled on in my world travels. That said, once you get there, the owners are inviting and cordial and the food is fantastic! I would describe it as "Costa-Rican-French fusion." We were there for several nights and each meal was great. (If I'd have been there longer, I would surely have gained 5 pounds!) The take-out lunch bags were an adventure: Food, all delicious, was wrapped in banana leaves, burrito-style. I would gladly stay there again!

Room Tip: The suites at the end are huge with windows on three sides!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PeepleWatcher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 26, 2013

My wife and I have travelled world wide over many years and now extensively in Costa Rica and would like to pass on our experience of this establishment.

The hotel is located 4km up an extremely poor road (the worst we encountered in the whole country). It is very easy to get stranded at this location if you don't have your own very sturdy transport with a high suspension or are willing to pay a lot of money ($50 minimum round trip) for a taxi to come from the village up that same road to collect you. If you do get stranded there is a local nature trail but nothing else to do or even anywhere comfortable to sit and read as the furniture is either benches or vinyl bags stuffed with hard coconut fibre.

Our room was draughty (as was the whole louvered hotel) and spartan to say the least with no provision for hot water at the sink and plenty of fresh air in the poor shower.

There was no choice of food and although freshly cooked was of poor content and taste during our stay. Also if you don't take alcohol or like home made juices you are struggling.

The attitude of the owner / manager was difficult to enjoy. It varied between "take it or leave it" to using "responsible tourism" as a reason (or excuse) for inadequate facilities, service or quality.

In summary our stay at the Celeste Mountain Lodge was our only poor experience during a six centre vacation in a beautiful country occupied by lovely people. We would not go back to this hotel.

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Chris T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CelesteLodge, Propietario at Celeste Mountain Lodge, responded to this review, January 28, 2013
All readers will agree to a COPY / PASTE critic of the Lodge from the one posted on Jan. 13. These were 2 couples traveling together.
Having replied on the Jan. 13th comments, we invite all readers to check our reply to that first one. Without any further comments on our part.
Celeste Mountain Lodge management.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charleston, South Carolina
Level Contributor
43 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed January 13, 2013

My wife and I are seasoned travelers and we have learned over many years traveling many countries that if you have few expectations, you will seldom be disappointed. Having said that, be aware of the following details about Celeste Mountain Lodge:
1-You must have your own transportation. The lodge is not close to anything, and a taxi, assuming you can get one, is $25 to take you 3 Km to the park at the top of the mountain. And another $25 to get back! The road to the lodge is the worst road we were on in the country.
2-There are no guides that will pick you up at the lodge to take you anywhere.
3-The lodge has a super-Eco philosophy. There is no plastic anywhere. Food served on banana leaves (no wasting water washing those dishes!)
4-There is no comfortable place to sit. Furniture is vinyl (only exception to 3 above) stuffed with coconut hair.
5-If you are sick, as I noted two guests were, carbonitated drinks are not available to settle an upset stomach.
6-The bar serves wine and beer; but the selection as minimal at best.
7-Meals are at a specific time, and you don't get to choose what you can have for dinner. It's prepared ahead of time and waiting for you at 7:pm. The dining area is actually picnic tables lined end-to-end and benches (with coconut-hair coushions). This is nice in that it makes you get to know the other guests, assuming thats what you want.
8-The chel is very creative, and likes to combine favors into interesting presentations. However, it was just not good. The only thing we cared for was the fruit we had at breakfast.

I hope you find this review helpful. When we arrived, we had no expectations, and i tried to be as objective and factual as possible in this review. We will not go back.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SlomoRootlinger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CelesteLodge, Propietario at Celeste Mountain Lodge, responded to this review, January 17, 2013
We thank anyone who writes a comment on their experience at Celeste Mountain Lodge.
We are sorry our Lodge did not meet the expectation of this writer. Please find here our answers.
Indeed our Lodge is quite remote, at 4 km from the village and 5 km from the entrance of the National Park. These 9 km are indeed in need of renovation, we have been after the mayor for 5 months without sucess.
Transportation is expensive in Costa Rica, we had explained this fact to the client, $25 to take people to the park and same for coming back, but not for 3 km as the client explains, but because the taxi will be coming from the village, fact taken in account in the fare (on bad roads, right.. that costs also).
We remember the client beeing upset because the Lodge owner could not entertain the client's request to take the guests to the park, himself and in his own vehicle as the client wanted !
We take this opportunity to mention that in Costa Rica and our region in particular, it is much better to drive his/her own rented vehicle: easier, cheaper, more freedom...
Regarding being sick: It is true that we do not offer any carbonated drinks, this is our own little battle (futile? maybe) against the world's big-time polluters of this planet, based on environment issues. Instead fresh natural fruit juices are available free of charge at any time. Also we do not believe carbonated drinks are any medicine.
Our "Meals included" formula has proven to please all our guests even under our "Fixed Menu" system and all would see in other comments that our innovative Cuisine is a strong feature of the Lodge. We do though entertain special requests and diets. Sorry this client found our cuisine "no good" but we rest assured of the quality meals we deliver, actually most clients claim our food to be "the best meals they had in the country". If we may also mention that the food is not "prepared ahead of time and waiting for you". We are profesionals and our food is prepared as it should, to be served at 7PM (only fixed time for meal is dinner, in respect to our employees who have to get home after a regular shift).
We encourage all readers to review the many comments we have received, compare it to this one and make their own mind and opinion.
The best being, of course, to come and check in person our Concept and our Cuisine.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed January 11, 2013

If you are going to the Rio Celeste, this place is a GREAT place to stay. Food is amazing, staff is very helpful and friendly, grounds are amazing and hotel/rooms are very nice. Owner/staff speaks really good english. I traveled by myself (female, early 30s - drove from San Jose) without any problems and felt totally safe.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank soyasaucy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buffalo, New York
Level Contributor
17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed January 10, 2013

My wife and I started our honeymoon at the mountain lodge and had a great experience. Joel and his family and staff were great, the lodge was beautiful, the food was incredible, and the location couldn't have been cooler. They even threw a New Years party for their guests with a four course meal and champagne! I'd stayed in jungle ecolodges in Belize, but it didn't compare to this. During our stay we felt like we were a part of the jungle, but we were never uncomfortable. We especially appreciated their progressive approach to tourism and their commitment to both the local community and environment. We'd highly recommend this place to anyone looking for a responsible and unique experience in Costa Rica.

Room Tip: Get a room on the second floor facing the jungle! The view was awesome!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BeagleOn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 28, 2012

We had an amazing time here from the start. We did not book this stop. We stopped here on a whim after a long day of driving. We drove in and found the place almost entirely empty. The owner met us at the door and was very welcoming. We made arrangements for the night which included dinner and breakfast both. He and his wife usually close the place in October due to the rainy season as it turns out but had made accommodations for another couple that had booked through a booking agent.
Thank you to them.
I had to give an average rating on the sleep quality just because the beds were too hard for both my wife and I which kept us tossing all night.
The food was excellent and elegantly presented, the rooms have a European flair which is clean and neat, the grounds were beautiful and expertly maintained and the conversations with the owners were intiment and fascinating.

Room Tip: Ask Joel he knows.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Joel H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 
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Also Known As:
Celeste Mountain Hotel Bijagua De Upala
Celeste Mountain Lodge Costa Rica/Bijagua De Upala

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