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Escape to Rio Celeste Hideaway: The ultimate secluded experience

No wonder it’s called the jewel of Northern Costa Rica.  The Rio Celeste Hideaway is just the perfect escape surrounded by lush rainforest vegetation.  This boutique hotel really makes you feel special with its unique sophisticated style.

We chose this hotel in particular due to its close proximity location of the Rio Celeste National Park.  This hotel is located about 1km from the entrance to the park.  There is no easy way in to the resort from the main highway, but they are certainly working on building better roads.  A great idea and desperately needed as we suggest renting a 4×4.  The roads are quite hilly with large rocks not an easy drive for cars or tourist vans.  Don’t despair it’s breathtaking once you are there.


the front entrance

When you arrive at the entrance you will be greeted at the gate with someone to direct you for parking & the reception desk to check in.  Check in is 3pm but if you arrive early you can have lunch in the restaurant, relax in the lounge, catch up on your emails with free wifi, or have a game of pool as we did.  Apparently my game is a little rusty.


the parking area

I did a surprise sight tour as I wanted to have an honest opinion of the resort from a tourist’s perspective.  I hadn’t really planned ahead not knowing if we’d have time to see all the property or if it would be dark when we arrived.  Lucky for me our timing was good with a few hours of daylight left to spare.


The Reception

The lady at the reception desk was very friendly and could speak English which is great for someone like me still learning the language .  We were served a refreshing fruit drink & handed a towel to refresh after a long drive.  I filled out our form and then proceeded to tour the grounds trying to take in as much as possible while we still had great lighting.  The main entrance is very plain but comfortable and has basic necessities like washrooms and a display of colorful koi fish swimming around in a small pond at the edge of the restaurant.  My first impression was “I love all the tropical plants & how they framed the walkways”.  It’s all about visual appearances as well as practical use for my clients having that cultural experience.


our room

The Rooms

In total the hotel has 26 casitas.  We stayed in casita #9.  The main room is very spacious an inviting with a king size bed setting the stage.  They had a flat screen tv & a bench to curl up to enjoy the view from the balcony or read a great book.  There are two opinions for rooms a casita standard or a casita suite at this boutique hotel.

Behind the main area was quite impressive with a large wardrobe closet with nice fresh white robes, shelves or hangers for your clothes, and a safe to store your valuables.  To the right was a small bar area with wine & beer glasses, a bottle of red wine and coffee to make yourself a fresh cup in the morning.   Underneath the counter was a small bar frig stocked with water bottles, pop, beer, an assortment of juices, and white wine.  If you needed a quick snack they had a few granola bars.  Keep in mind that only the coffee is free.  A menu of the items with prices was displayed on the counter for your convenience.




The basic essentials such as towels, soap, shampoos & conditioners were found in a nice display between the double sinks.  The room also had a jetted bath tub, a great opportunity to use after a long hike to relax those tired muscles.


outdoor shower

Through the doors was an outside shower, a romantic touch to have this as your backyard oasis.

We maybe a little old or just not use to new invention but turning on the fan, lights or air conditioner took us a few minutes to figure this one out.  The trick is to put your room key in the slot on the wall next to the door.  Wow, instant hydro.  We’ll have to remember this for next time.  This is actually a great invention to save on electricity which is something Costa Rica always promotes.  Eco-tourism is very important in this country.  Keeping it clean & green sure shows at this resort.  I’m happy to say, no litter and ample garbage cans are provided.  Our room had a nice ceiling fan above the bed and an air conditioning unit on the wall.  The air is fresh here so we really didn’t need the air conditioner on at all.  The linens on the bed were excellent quality and felt comfy to snuggle into.



Pool area

I wish we had more than a day to enjoy the beautiful pool area.  A few jazucci’s were set in around the main pool with lounge chairs and a bar at the end to enjoy a cocktail with your friends.

All the walkways to the casitas sit behind the pool were lush with tropical plants.  We came upon a little lizard who almost fooled us thinking he was a leaf.  His brown coloring just like the leaves turn in North America in the fall.  We picked him up for a minute and he just stood in the palm of my friend’s hand long enough to get a picture.  He then placed him under the shrubs not to get stepped on by others.


Between casitas 15 and 16 you can follow a trail that leads to the river.  According to someone we spoke with it was beautiful to hike.  No time for us to explore this trail, but if we come again will definitely try hiking on it.


If you like spas they have a small building set for massages or reflexology.  Prices start at $50 USD up to $120 USD for a 90- minute massage.




We had dinner in this not too crowded restaurant.  There is only one restaurant in the secluded hideaway.  It is still rainy season here so I was thinking that the resort might only have a few people here, but all the casitas were actually reserved.  The waiter was very friendly and let us take our time.  We ordered the typical dish for Costa Rica as well as a pasta dish.  Prices started at $9 to over $24 USD for an entrée.  My pasta was tasty but I have to say if I was ordering the typical dish I would want a salad and not French fries.  French fries to me is North America and not something I want to eat in Costa Rica.

Listening to the sounds

As we drifted off to sleep we could hear the sounds of frogs.  I haven’t heard that since my living in the country days.The morning starts early here in Costa Rica.  Our power was out at the resort so no wifi.  As I listened closely I could hear the sounds of toucans very close to our casita.  Love hearing the toucans they have a very distinct sound.  I quickly reached for my phone to record the beautiful sounds they make.  We soon packed our bags so we could hike the trails at Tenorio National Park before the rain.  Off to breakfast which was included in the price of our room.  I enjoyed the hot coffee and a buffet breakfast which consisted of pancakes, french toast, eggs, fresh fruit, toast, a few other hot dishes as well as fresh juice.  Not just a continental breakfast served here and very tasty.


There are 17 different tours you can take from this hotel location from rafting, volcanoes to hiking or horseback riding.  Prices range from $35 USD to $175 USD.  If you need more information about the tours that are offered from this hotel?  Click Here> Tours

The ambiance

The ambiance at this resort was so inviting with a relaxing tropical feel set in the rainforest.  The air is fresh up here in the mountains.  Everything I found was very clean at this resort with comfy linens on the beds.  I love listening to the sounds of the rainforest and not having loud music pounding away from poolside entertainment like at many larger resorts.  This small resort is perfect for romance and enjoying each others company.

Due to the power outage the shower was a little cold, but we are used to this in Costa Rica.  The food at the buffet was kept hot with burner devices.  A great idea especially with no power.

Check out

Our check out experience was just as friendly as our greeting from the staff upon check in.  I finally confessed I was a travel agent to the staff.  The lady had to do everything manually on paper with no power to process our check out.  I signed the form for our restaurant bill which she promised to send a copy to my email with the receipts.  The next thing I knew I was greeted by the managers.  Very pleasant, which I was happy to exchange information with.  Sure enough the next day I received those emails.

My overall thoughts of this resort

I loved it here, the resort was so relaxing and tranquil.  The staff were very friendly and helpful.  This would be the perfect spot for a romantic getaway, honeymoon or a small wedding.

The things I didn’t like here was the roads of course.  I hope the next time we come they will have greatly improved.  This I can see might affect the  amount of people who could actually maneuver over those rocks & hills to enjoy this beautiful resort.  My other thought is possibly a generator to help with power outages.  I loved our stay here and will definitely return again sometime.

Hours of Hotel

Check in 3pm

Check out 12pm

Restaurant hours:     breakfast 6:30am-10am      lunch from 11am     dinner 6:30pm-10pm

Complimentary safe in rooms, smoke free rooms, high speed internet, hot breakfast


4 day/3 night packages are available if you’d like to spend more time in this lush surroundings.

If you’d like to stay at this amazing resort you can always contact us to book your next vacation.

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As always my opinions are my own and we did not receive a complimentary stay at this resort or was asked to write a review.

Read more about other resorts in Costa Rica!

About the Author:

Laurie Johnson is travel writer, agent, and founder of Pura Vida Vacations. She finds her inspirations from travelling of the beaten path, meeting the locals, and sharing her travel stories, reviews, and tips with her readers.

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