5.0
Excellent 139 Reviews
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This Hotel meets our standards
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What We Love

  • The rate includes full breakfast, welcome cocktail, chef's platter, three-course lunch and four-course dinner – for two
  • The back-to-nature location on a 125-acre reserve in southern Costa Rica
  • Handmade cheese — the owner taught himself to make goat and cow’s milk brie, feta, mozzarella and more
  • The friendly, family feeling extended by the owners and staff, all of whom are local
  • The understated eco-consciousness aims to safeguard the earth without being preachy
  • Homemade ginger beer, fruit-infused liquors and creative cocktails in the Café Blue bar
  • All the artwork is for sale
  • Staff will arrange a secluded candlelit dinner at your casita upon request

What To Know

  • Children 17 and under are not permitted unless all four casitas are rented at the same time
  • The “gym” is more of an open-air passageway with a few pieces of exercise equipment; hiking the resort’s groomed jungle trails is a far superior option
  • You’ll need a car to get to any local restaurant or nearby town
  • There is no pool, but you can easily cool off in the Chirripo River, a short walk from any casita
  • Lunches and dinners are not included in the rate, but dishes are the mostly organic dishes are very tasty
  • There is no spa, but in-room treatments can be arranged with advance notice
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Overview

The Review

After bouncing down yet another dusty road, getting what locals refer to as a “Costa Rican massage,” you’ll finally arrive at Monte Azul, an art-centric jungle oasis that owner/artists Carlos Rojas and Randy Langendorfer opened on a private 125-acre nature reserve in 2009. While your bags are whisked to your villa, retreat under the banana trees for a glass of chilled Sauvignon Blanc and a fruit plate with homemade crackers and goat’s milk brie.

Monte Azul is part-hotel, part–art project, with just four casitas spread across beautiful gardens that grow by one tree every time a new guest arrives.{“type”:”img-inline”,”src”:”/static/images/product/properties/3085/prop-68522-1345067682-full.jpg”,”width”:”275″,”caption”:”In a magical rural location, Monte Azul overlooks the Chirripo River.”} Each of the four villas has the same mod look, with a terraced entrance that leads into checkerboard-floored rooms adorned with mixed media pieces from visiting artists.

The Shaker-meets-Japanese furniture was built on-site from reclaimed and certified wood, but the look is far from DIY. Queen beds are dressed in 300-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets and splashy bed coverings in olive, saffron, wheat and orange. Snow-white bathrooms have Kohler fixtures and handcrafted soaps, and while there are no televisions or phones, all rooms have free WiFi.

Use the small kitchenettes for preparing the property’s own organic Quick Monkey coffee (best enjoyed on your private patio), but head to the indoor/outdoor Cafe Blue for seasonal, local and mostly organic meals. Costa Rican country specialties are served at breakfast, and fresh ceviche, cheese plates, local beef and baked fish dishes define the hearty lunch and dinner options.

But art in myriad forms is really the undercurrent at this resort, which offers printing, painting and etching workshops taught in the studio by resident or visiting artists. You can also take lessons in cooking, soapmaking and even mixology — the latter promising to tap into your deepest creative talents by way of bartender Roger’s sweet passion fruit martini.

How to Get There

Monte Azul Boutique Hotel
Contiguo al puente de Chucuyo
Chimirol de Rivas, 00000 Costa Rica

Reviews

5.0 Excellent 139 Reviews
Amazing Hotel in rain forest
Reviewed 2 years ago

We had an amazing time at Monte Azul. The villas are large and beautiful and the Hotel is located right in the rainforest. Apes are climbing the trees by the restaurant and outside the villas. The Hotel also offer several different art workshops - which I also recommend! Lovely place!!!

Very unusual and private retreat
Reviewed 2 years ago

My husband and I, with a visiting artist, were the only guests at Monte Azul, a small, 100 or so acre retreat in the rain forest of southern Costa Rica, just bordering a national park. There are four "casitas," which are still attracting tourists but mostly artists who are looking for a peaceful place to practice their art, with a well-appointed studio and sometimes instructors, who are also looking for a retreat. Though being the only guests was a surprise, the attentiveness of the staff and the one artist, as well as fun and interesting activities, made Monte Azul a lovely, unique, experience -- well recommended. Our accommodations were charming, the maid service morning and evening so good we never even saw our maid during our four-night stay. We could choose what time we wanted to eat our three delightful meals per day, though we were served our meals without thought of a menu. (Before we arrived, the staff definitely requested food likes and dislikes.) The covered, outdoor dining room and bar were charming, and full of art given by the many visiting artists -- all for sale, too. Monte Azul is about a 4-5 hour drive south of San Jose -- be sure to use a recommended transfer company -- do not rent your own car. We went on a white-water rafting trip -- check that off our bucket list! So much fun but not for the faint of heart or body. Closer to the hotel, we visited a small dairy, milked a cow and learned how to make cheese. One of the hotel owners opened his kitchen to us and gave us a lesson in making organic soap. There are several walking paths on the property, a waterfall and the continuous sound of rushing water from a river on the property. The owners are now also beginning to sell 20 kinds of goat cheese from their own dairy around Costa Rica. Fascinating.

Jungle Bliss, Private & Luxury
Reviewed 2 years ago

Carlos & Randy's Monte Azul hotel is perfect. Totally beautiful landscaped. Bungalow design and layout is super private. River sound is tranquilo. Service is excellent. And the many thoughtful touches exquisite. Their handmade cheeses are fantastic. We spent 10 days and loved it. We travel all over and this was a great experience!

Lovely Small, Peaceful Hotel
Reviewed 3 years ago

We stopped at Monte Azul as a stepping stone on our way down south during our recent Costa Rica trip. It is somewhat off the beaten path, near the Chirripo park and mountain. It is a small place, but very peaceful and beautifully situated near the side of a flowing river in a mountainous and forested part of the country. The hotel has its own nature preserve and trails, so you can hike and see wildlife without venturing out, or else choose from any number of excursions, including the nearby goat and cheese farm. The owners, Carlos and Randy, were very gracious and welcoming, and Carlos supervises the preparation of great meals--amazingly good food for such a small place. The casitas are roomy and comfortable and tastefully appointed (as is the main lodge) with beautiful art work. This is an unusual place, kind of a hybrid between boutique hotel and nature lodge, but a lovely, relaxing place to stay if you are passing through the area.

Beauty, tranquility, classy luxury, gracious hospitality
Reviewed 3 years ago

Our stay at Monte Azul has set a new high standard for the most beautiful, lovely, and gracious accommodations we've ever experienced. Randy & Carlos have such impeccable taste, and have thought of EVERthing one needs for a relaxing, peaceful retreat into the Costa Rican cloud forrest. The perfectly appointed and private casitas, the hiking trails and waterfalls on the grounds, the incredible fresh, inventive and local food expertly prepared by Esteban. I've never stayed at a place that I never even see a menu. The staff is so attuned to your tastes, the most delicious food arrives at your table meal after meal. It feels like you're staying with friends, but with the privacy and luxury of an exclusive resort.

The grounds are gorgeous, the monkeys and hummingbirds and butterflies and the goats on the property amaze. And the options to make cheese, or soap, or go bird watching... so many well-curated options to do nearby. Alas, the grounds are so beautiful and relaxing, it's also easy to just lounge on the property. I've never slept so well on the comfortable sheets and bedding and to the incredible sound of the rushing river nearby.

In addition to the wonderful food, grounds and surroundings, the extensive original art collection throughout the property is a unique touch. All the work is available for sale, which means if you have art that you LOVE in your room, or that you see in the restaurant, you can buy it and have it shipped home to yourself! Talk about an amazing moment from an unbelievable trip!

My husband and I travel extensively, and with our first trip to Costa Rica, Monte Azul is now forever intertwined in our opinion that Costa Rica is one of the most charming, beautiful places we've ever visited. We stayed there over our Thanksgiving, and I dare say it's one of the best holidays we've ever had. We can't wait to go back!