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“Very poor service, so-so destination.” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hacienda Guachipelin

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Hacienda Guachipelin
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
41 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Very poor service, so-so destination.”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 February 2012

Now I need to make full disclosure before I pan the Hacienda Guachipelin. I am almost 70 years old and I am not into zip lines or going over waterfalls in an inner tube. The Hacienda Guachipelin is definitely for activities of this sort and so I am not in this hotel's demographic. That having been said, you need to be aware of some of this hotel's deficiencies before you book a trip here. First of all, Rincon de la Vieja is not Yellowstone. The mudpots and fumaroles in the park are not anywhere near the league of Yellowstone or even Mt Lassen National Park, for that matter. There is a hike to "Blue Lake" which is highly touted in Frommer's Guide and which we did not do, but the Las Pailas Loop, which we did do, was not special except for a nice waterfall midway in the hike. The reason for all this discussion of the park first before rating the hotel is that the only reason to stay at this hotel is to visit Rincon de la Vieja Park. The hotel is right at the entrance to the park and no other hotels are close by. In fact you must pass through hotel property to enter the park. Thus, if you want to visit Rincon de la Vieja Park, you almost must stay at Hacienda Guachipelin. The hotel itself has a great many activities, among them being zip lines, tubing down the rapids of a near-by river, a swimming pool (which can only be reached by traversing the hotel lobby), horse back riding (the stables are located midway between the guest rooms and the dining room so as to whet your appetite for dinner). I think that the zip lines at Monteverde look to be more exciting, but I am not a connoisseur of this activity. The room in which we stayed was rated a suite but it was only a single room although it was very spacious and it had a nice view. The majority of rooms seem to have limited views and no access to patios. When we arrived we had a wrist band placed on us which is something that I have never had happen to me at a hotel before. We were told that the wrist band gave us liberty to walk around the premises.
The hotel dining room served all meals by buffet. There were always hordes of people at the buffet and it required some maneuvering to get fed at all. The choice of food was very uninspiring. After we had finished eating our plates were whisked away before we had fully disengaged our fingers from our forks. Unfortunately this alacrity disappeared when it came time for the staff to present our bills. After waiting half an hour for my bill one night, I finally decided that the meal must have been charged to my room and I started to leave the restaurant. The headwaiter (or whatever he was) charged after me and accused me of trying to leave without paying. So I waited at the cash register for another 20 minutes or so while someone was found that could ring up my bill. Frommer's Guide says that sometimes this place has a "cattle car" feel. I'll say! After experiencing this place, I'm glad that they only put a wrist band on me and they didn't put a tag in my ear.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank EasyHiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jbatalla, Manager at Hacienda Guachipelin, responded to this review, 3 February 2012
Hello Easy Hiker, first of all thank you so much for the time to write your review, is with this opinions that we can improve our service.
We feel sorry you did not enjoyed our adventure activities, as you mention, they were not for you.
Regarding the National Park, it may be not similar to the ones you mention, but it offers hikes to beautiful waterfalls, and to the great crater, also while you hike you can observe a huge variety of tropical birds and mammals, inlcuding two species of monkeys,
We apologyse for your bad experience at our restaurant, we will take inmediate action on that respect.
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1,254 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (161)
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English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 January 2012

Do not come here if you are seeking a peaceful vacation and plan to lounge around -- even though they have a pool. Be prepared for the odor of stables next door and biting flies. But if you like a ranch experience, you will like it here. The lodge offers a number of adventures: horseback riding, river tubing, waterfall plunging, zip-lining, and of course hiking on the volcano. We came to bird-watch, and were disappointed there was not one feeding station to attract some of the beautiful birds of this place -- toucans, parrots, orioles, hummingbirds and others. They did offer free shuttles to the various attractions, from the trail heads to the mineral hot springs and spa. They also picked us up and dropped us off at the airport for a reasonable fee. While the price is all-inclusive (three decent meals), be aware that most activities are extra, even the hot springs. At least hiking on the trail was free - but you must be in good shape to hike four hours up the volcano and four hours down. Even the "easy" circuit trail was not so easy. The surroundings are lovely, and the weather in the dry season superb. The rooms are clean and nice, but don't expect luxury bedding! Our room door would not close and lock properly, so they had to replace the lock. Judging from the sound of slamming doors, I guessed we were not the only ones with troublesome locks. But to their credit, they fixed it pronto. It's an easy one-hour ride from the new international airport in Liberia. But if we were to do this again, I'd stay on the Pacific in a beach resort and rent a car to drive to the national parks and nature preserves.

Room Tip: Avoid the rooms by the stables.
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank We2love2eat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jbatalla, Manager at Hacienda Guachipelin, responded to this review, 3 February 2012
Dear friend, thank you very much for your review, Hacienda Guachipelin as the name states was at the begginin a Cattle Hacienda or cattle ranch, we kept basically the infrastructure, stables and everything, it smells like an Hacienda, with horses and cattle, and yes some people like it or enjoy it, some people don´t. Regarding feeding stations for birds, we don´t support them, they interfere in a way with their natural behaivor, there are many beautiful birds, as you say, but they need to be traced on their natural habits.Hot Springs should be included for all our guests, not charged extra, I apologyse if it went different.
We will take a look to all locks to see whats wrong with them. I am glad you had a good time with us.
Hope to see you soon again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 January 2012

My friends and I stayed here 3 nights. The rooms were nice and comfortable. The restaurant food was average. Drinks were good. The hotel staff was very friendly and helpful. The activities here can't be beat. My friends and I did the all day adventure tour which was amazing and the price can't be beat. We also enjoyed the hot springs nearby the hotel. Yes, you do have to take a shuttle to and from these different activities but it really isn't that difficult to get in between each place.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Mander426
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jbatalla, Manager at Hacienda Guachipelin, responded to this review, 3 February 2012
Hello dear friends, thank you very much for the time taken to write tour review, we feel very happy that you had such a great time, now we have a courtesy shutlle at different times to take our guests to the National Park Rincon de la Vieja, great you had a nice time with our adventure activities. Hope to see you back again soon.
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Fayetteville, North Carolina, United States
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 January 2012

Hacienda Guachipelin is the perfect place for nature lovers. Our family had an awesome experience, four days was the perfect time in order to enjoyed all the tours and adventures. The people there were very nice. In one of the tours we could not take my three years old daughter with us, one of the ladies there very kindly offer to take care of her, that give me a chance to enjoy that time with my husband in this amazing adventure through the river, it was crazy! but very beautiful. We want to go back! This place is definitely a great destination for a family vacation.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Arthur Anabelle W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jbatalla, Manager at Hacienda Guachipelin, responded to this review, 27 January 2012
Dear friend , thank you very much for all your nice comments, we feel very happy that you had a good time with us, as you say the Hacienda is perfect for families, so much to do.We hope to see you again some time.
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Takoma Park, Maryland
Level Contributor
17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 January 2012

My boyfriend and I stayed here the nights of 7 and 8 January. I loved our visit and was sad to leave. It was awesome having such quick and easy access to the Rincon park. Our room was really nice and I especially loved the gigantic shower! The TV gets a ton of channels; you don't come to a place like Costa Rica to laze around and watch TV, but I will say it was nice to have at bedtime after wearing ourselves out running around all day. The food was mostly average and overpriced, with the exception of the pizza, which was really tasty.

Definitely sign up for the adventure day pass -- it's a ton of fun and a great deal compared to paying for individual activities. I was hesitant about the tubing portion, and it ended up not just being my favorite part of the day, but one of my favorite parts of our whole trip as well. They have lots of guides out on the river with you to help you out if you get stuck...which I did...a few times. I almost don't even want to share this, but if you go to the hot springs, follow the signs for "thermals #1 & #2." They are a lot more isolated and peaceful than the ones across the bridge. We also took a nice short hike to one of the waterfalls on the Hacienda property, which was free to hotel guests. I would definitely recommend having a car (4x4 only!) here. It was nice to have the freedom to drive to the park or the hot springs as we pleased.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank kizzy85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jbatalla, General Manager at Hacienda Guachipelin, responded to this review, 23 January 2012
Hello Kizzy85, thanks a lot for your comments, we are glad you had such a great time with us, we area also glad you discovered our famous pizza, we receive very good comments about them.
Thanks for all the good tips you are giving to future guests.
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Vancouver, Washington
Level Contributor
66 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 January 2012

The rocky road to Rincon from Playa Grande was an adventure in itself. On arrival, we were greeted by friendly and competent staff. The room was a little small, but adequate and clean. The restaurant buffet was predictable, (OK but no cigar!) The staff could use better training in describing travel for the tours offered, but tried their best to help. The horseback trip to the waterfall was great, and the staff recommendation that we take the "shorter" tour was right on! Longer would have been painful for my 73 year old bones. The "luxury spa" wasn't working due to a loss of hot spring water caused by a local gas company, but we were not advised of that and were sent to a small cabin. When we protested, the staff made a special effort to help, and we ended up getting a good experience. Too bad they didn't explain before we booked the spa trip. But, all was well that ended well!

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank BuggsScruggs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jbatalla, Manager at Hacienda Guachipelin, responded to this review, 19 January 2012
Dear BuggsScruggs, thank you for the time in writing this review, we are glad that in all you had a good time in Hacienda Guachipelin, regarding not so good explanations I just want to explain that the hotel makes a big effort in hiring a big percentage of local people in order to help the communities around, some of this people don´t speak very good english even though they try and do their best, that is why sometimes there is a gap in this matter. Sorry for the inconvenience of the SPA , sometimes it goes out of our control. I hope you can come back and visit us.
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Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 January 2012

we stayed here for 3 nights towards the end of 2011. This was one of the most enjoyable vacation experiences we'd had. For our family, including our kids 11 & 13 this vacation was a lot of fun. The canopy with tarzan ropes, the tubing down the Rio Negro river, the horseback riding to La Cangreja waterfarll, the hot springs & mud bath, milking the cows...everything was fantastic. On our own we went to Rincon de la Vieja volcano national park and did the 3hr circuit which included another fantastic waterfall and the very educational tour about the volcanic activity and the pailas. On top of everything, the hotel is 60min away from El Coco Beach and 40 min from Liberia airport. I highly recommend this place to anyone who is seeking for a fun family adventure. -

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank EileenCincinnati
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jbatalla, General Manager at Hacienda Guachipelin, responded to this review, 13 January 2012
Dear Eileen , thank you very much for all your nice comments , the Hacienda Guachipelin staff is happy to hear you had a lot of fun, we are glad you liked the experience. As you say, Hacienda Guachipelin and Rincon de la Vieja National Park is great for families, they surely enjoy, like you did. Happy new year and we hope to see you back soon.
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Additional Information about Hacienda Guachipelin

Property: Hacienda Guachipelin
Address: Parque Nacional Rincon de la Vieja, Rincon de La Vieja 208-5010, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Rincon de La Vieja
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in Rincon de La Vieja
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Hacienda Guachipelin 3*
Number of rooms: 54
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hacienda Guachipelin is a comfortable hotel with 54 rooms, each with private bathroom and hot water. The best Costa Rican ecotourism lodge for adventure travel and nature lovers, located at the entrance of Rincon de la Vieja Volcano National Park. This is the most visited National Park in Guanacaste. For the adventurer, there are many activities like horseback riding, the Canyon canopy tour, Rio Negro Tubing, canyoneering, bird watching, as well as trekking to the crater of Rincon de la Vieja Volcano. Free transportation to the National Park and the hot springs. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hacienda Guachipelin Hotel Rincon De La Vieja
Hacienda Guachipelin Costa Rica/Rincon De La Vieja

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