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.
- 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