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“French cuisine in the rainforest”

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Celeste Mountain Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed February 18, 2014

It rained all three days we stayed here, but it was wonderful nonetheless. That is our room in the photo for the lodge. It was airy and the view was spectacular. The food and service were delightful and the hosts were considerate and solicitous. It was an old-world experience revved up for the new world. It's a rough road to get there and a rougher road to get into the park to Rio Celeste, but this is the place to stay if you are going. We particularly enjoyed hiking on the private trail on the property. The best part of the visit was the food. It was excellent and it was all included. We ate steak one night and it was cooked rare for me. Other nights we had pork and fish. The soups and side dishes were interesting; they use local ingredients and treat them with a French fusion.

Room Tip: The best room was the one on the end upstairs.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Kurt_in_CLE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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190 - 196 of 714 reviews

Reviewed February 4, 2014

Family run operation on the side of a volcano and rain forest. Complex built from recycled materials. Unique. Three meals a day with take out lunch. Panoramic views. Healthy, fresh, gourmet meals served in communal setting by extremely friendly staff. Owners are genuinely concerned about your day trips and daily experiences. They live on the property and are there everyday to welcome you home. A wonderful experience.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Ellen G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2014

This is a MUST visit if you will be in the area and/or visiting Rio Celeste! We visited with my family to ring in 2014!! All locals except for myself!! We will always remember this stay! We were ALL treated with respect and the most hospitable attitude imaginable! You can tell that everyone that works there is happy and proud to be there! This is the owners passion and it shows! The staff is all friendly and you just feel connected there, for some reason, with the staff and other visitors!

The food is AMAZING! The packed lunch for the Rio Celeste hike was WONDERFUL!! At Rio Celeste while eating lunch, everyone that passed us noticed our leaf wrapped lunch and asked us about it, we were beyond proud to say "Celeste Mountain Lodge! GO THERE!"

The hiking trail across the street is a MUST! Very well kept with a lined pathway to keep you from slipping in the wet terrain! Like the owner warned us, and turned out to be true, that path is a "highway" compared to the one at Rio Celeste!

Thoroughly enjoyed our stay and we will be back to see more of the area! Wouldn't dream of staying any where else!!!!

So, what are you waiting for?

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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Thank Allison C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2014

I stayed here with my boyfriend and 6 friends. I must say that this is the best place to stay and rest after a 4 hours ride (from San Jose) and a 3-4 hours walk in Rio Celeste's National Park. The owner and his crew were courteous, the living areas had a casual and chilling' atmosphere... the place is very serene and Eco-friendly (If you want to relax and get away from the noise of the city, this is the perfect hotel for you, it is very "green" so come prepare to get away from the TV). The fare includes the 3 meals (gourmet delicious food and the best Crepes I've tasted -so far). I will definitely come back!
******
Nos hospedamos en el hotel, mi novio, 6 amigos y yo. He de decir que éste lugar es ideal para descansar luego de manejar 4 horas desde San José y luego caminar por otras 3-4 horas en el Parque Nacional Río Celeste. El dueño y sus colegas fueron bastante amables, las áreas comunes tenían una atmósfera bastante relajada y casual. El lugar, en general es bastante Sereno y eco-amigable (Si usted esta buscando un sitio de descanso fuera del ruido de la cuidad, este hotel es perfecto para usted, mas sin embargo, la experiencia que ellos ofrecen es bastante “verde”, así que venga preparado para alejarse del televisor!). La estadía incluye las 3 comidas (estilo gourmet, deliciosa y bien proporcionada, hasta el momento, las mejores crepas q he probado acá en CR!). Definitivamente regresaremos!

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Mauna28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2014

I arrived with my family at lunch time at the hotel. It was obvious that the owner did not liked us because we were a big family (with kids). The hotel has a series of very absurd rules (including no whistling, no running around, and basically not making "any unnecessary sounds") which made it very uncomfortable to be there. The treatment of the owner was rude, very unfriendly and irrespecutful. I would never recommend this hotel. There is actually one 3.5 kilometers away, closer to the national park, that for the same price you get so much of a better deal.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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2  Thank JuanCarlosSanchez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CelesteLodge, Propietario at Celeste Mountain Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded January 18, 2014

The terrible experience was ours!
In 6 years of operation we never had to expell guests! However we had to take this action with the well-being of our 35 other guests in mind, having a full house that day..

This Costa Rican family arrived already drunk (!!) and indeed very noisy, apparently not caring at all about other people on premises. When the owner did ask to refrain from whistling across the building to call other members, I received a very xenophobic answer.

Celeste Mountain Lodge is a heaven of peace and quiet, nature, conviviality, of respect between people, whether nationals of foreigners. It is also a vision of a better world, more humane, more humanist. Please see our philosophy on our web page.

Actually, we did admit to this group that they didn't choose their hotel properly, there are hotels in the country more appropriate to people that want to break loose with no preoccupation about others. But not in Celeste Mountain Lodge.

This comment from these guests mentions a poor quality of sleep, but knowing they didn't stay, it doesn't mean much.
They also posted their opinion in several languages, we are responding to all.

We let you readers make your own mind about our Lodge, based on the many comments listed here below. Thank you.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2014

The Celeste Mountain Lodge is a unique property for Costa Rica. It's very eco-friendly with wonderful cross ventilation in the rooms (no air or ceiling fans), solar water heaters and recycled products used for lighting, tables, bathroom counter tops and more. Joel and Selma, the owners, were wonderful and helped us select the best things to do in the area. All meals are included here along with fresh juices and if you go out for the day they are happy to pack you a lunch to go (wrapped in banana leaves!). We did not go hungry; the portions were a good size and there was plenty of variety. If you need a special diet, just let them know in advance. The oatmeal was the best! We were there for Christmas and this time of year is damp there due to the rains and you are on the edge of what seems like a rain forest/cloud forest. It's drier after the end of May. They had a wonderful trail just across the road which was well maintained where we saw various species of birds and lots of interesting insects. Take the night tour for other critters you won't see during the day. This lodge is not for everyone but if you want a real "green" hotel in an interesting area then this is the spot for you!

Room Tip: All the rooms I saw are the same except #10 which had a very large bathroom and shower (compared to...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank tvlgypsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2014 via mobile

The celeste mountain lodge is a phenomenal place. The service is outstanding - the owners are problem solvers and extremely interested in making sure all the guests are having a good time. Probably the highlight of the lodge is the amazing food - breakfast, lunch, dinner - get it all. It is the best food in Costa Rica, and quite honestly one of the best food experiences I have ever had. What makes the lodge so fun is that guests sit in a large room at long tables together, making for a very comfortable and welcoming atmosphere. It is impossible not to chat with someone interesting here!! The casual social atmosphere does not take away from the gourmet food and excellent (excellent) service. The combination is purely delightful. We stayed here for New Years and there was a festive yet relaxed feeling the entire evening. The lodge really is a mountain lodge (coming from an Alaskan living in Norway) so be prepared for a mountain climate with variable weather which adds to the mystique of this place. Thanks for a great experience - would highly recommend this to others looking for a culinary, sustainable, and natural experience.

Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
Thank atb85
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

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: $129 - $200 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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