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“Hogar lejos del hogar en Costa Rica!!”
Review of Pura Vida Hotel

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Pura Vida Hotel
Ranked #1 of 67 Alajuela B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 18 January 2014

We cannot describe the love and warmth and pure frienship we found at Pura Vida. I was to spend one night here, before I met mi novio Monday am to leave for the beach.(we ended up spending 3 nights in total!!) I arrived alone for the first time in Costa Rica, was given great directions how to find the taxi that would take me to their hotel and was welcolmed with open arms. A single woman travelling to Central America, this was such a relief. After receiving the best room there (IMHO), the Volcano, I asked a million questions and Jose, whom was there for my welcome, was lovely, accomodating and very patient with me. The next morning, my lovely novio surprised me at the hotel and they set us both up with an amazing breakfast, before we left for the beach. Before we left, we booked the following night to stay there. Coming back, was even more lovely, with the best dinner we had had the whole trip!! After leaving again for the Coast, our plans changed quickly, and a call to Berni late night, asking to stay there an extra night, was welcomed with open arms!! Spending our last night in Costa here, was pure heaven there. Clean, friendly, welcoming, charming and "real". We will be back.. every time!! Thank you, Berni, Bandit and perros, Nhi, Carlos (WIIISSSCONSIN), Jose and all the staff!! You are living the Pura Vida indeed!! Muchas Gracias!!

Julie Baker and Seth Foreman
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Room Tip: Volcano room. Hands down!
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Julie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
alajuelanorth, Manager at Pura Vida Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 29 January 2014

Thanks Julie and Seth for the great review and the rays of sunshine you brought with you to the Pura Vida. We hope we may welcome you back soon, Berni

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316 - 322 of 802 reviews

Reviewed 24 December 2013

We ended up at Pura Vida Hotel when I accidentally booked our flight home one day later than my sister's flight. The potential nightmare was just another beautiful day discovering Costa Rica thanks to a wonderful staff and a relaxing stay at Pura Vida. We didn't have a lot of time due to our flight schedules and did not know the area (or Spanish) at all. Carlos was so nice and very reliable with information. He and the owner recommended a couple of local places to see like a coffee plantation and Zoo Ave which were very close. Carlos made all phone calls we needed for information and told us taxi prices to the places we wanted to see. The hotel restaurant was closed the night we were there so we were directed to a Mexican Restaurant that ended up being one of the best meals we've ever had.

Our room was clean, had nice amenities, and was a relaxing place to stay. The balconies or patios are what make the rooms extra special because the garden is unbelievable. For those of us who live in a temperate climate, it was so fun to walk through and see orchids being grown everywhere among lemon trees, coffee, sugar cane, and other tropical plants. As a wanna-be gardener, I was in awe. Our delicious breakfast was partially taken from fruits in the garden. Too bad we couldn't stay another night to try dinner.

One of the most wonderful things about Pura Vida and all of Costa Rica is the presence of dogs. There are 3 very large dogs (German Shepherds and a Belgian Shepherd, I believe). The young dog, Bandit, entertained us for hours bringing sticks and other items he wanted us to throw for games of fetch.

A wonderful spot that inspires Eco-friendly living and love of Costa Rica.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank kkewley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
alajuelanorth, Manager at Pura Vida Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 28 December 2013

Thank you so much for the nice review and we are happy you got stranded that day here. The "strange tree" is a Panadus . . . we have a couple of nice specimens in the garden . . . fast growers with very strange fruits which I understand are eaten by only a few creatures on the planet including elephants, komodo dragons and Bandit our Belgian :-))

We hope we may welcome you back on your next trip to Costa Rica.

Thanks again for coming, Berni

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Reviewed 21 December 2013

Pura Vida Hotel was exactly how I imagined based on all the wonderful reviews! Berni greeted us with the three German Shepherds (super friendly and playful) as soon as we pulled in! We had no problem locating the hotel with a GPS. The hotel is very secure behind walls and gates as it is right off the bustling city streets of San Jose. We decided to stay around the airport on our first night after a days travel and Pura Vida definitely set the standards for the beginning of a great vacation in Costa Rica. We stayed in the Toucan Casita and it was very comfortable and inviting. Based on reviews, I was extremely excited about the 3 course dinner and boy did it not disappoint! We ended up putting tables together so everyone staying at the hotel that night could eat together - it made for a really nice experience for everyone to chat and get to know each other. The dinner was really quite outstanding and should not be missed! At night, the reviews on the noisy streets were accurate but did not take away from my experience. Breakfast the next morning was very lovely and extremely fresh and Berni was so helpful in suggesting great options to drive to on are way up to Arenal! Thank you, Berni - we loved the off-the-beaten track way to go and made all your recommend stops!! I'd have to say we felt very welcome and comfortable at Pura Vida. It is obvious the care and attention Berni and his wife give to their property - it is just so well cared for and you feel as if you are getting that same attention, too. Thank you, Pura Vida Hotel!!

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank CourtneyB56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
alajuelanorth, Manager at Pura Vida Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 28 December 2013

Thanks for the review and your dinner comments. I sometimes like to think of ourselves as a private restaurant with a small hotel attached and are happy that this is essentially what you found here with our special dinners.

The simple idea is that we also do like to eat well (no brainer) :-)) - next trip perhaps you can join us on one of our farmers market tours (most Fridays).

Thanks for mentioning "the roads less traveled" - we usually get out in the country visiting every few weeks to experience the possibilities. There are many ways to get around Costa Rica so why not turn your day of travel into a tour of those possibilities. We hope to see you back here on your next trip, Berni

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Reviewed 19 December 2013

We just returned from a 12 day trip to Costa Rica. It was my first time, so I wasn't sure what to expect. We were planning on renting a car and driving to the Nicoya Peninsula for surfing. Before I even planned the trip, I was recommended to Berni at the Pura Vida hotel very close to the airport for the first and last nights. Once I spoke to Berni, everything changed. He had answers and ideas for everything! We rented our car through him (Toyota car rental) and it couldn't have been easier. We simply took a taxi to the hotel when we arrived at night, (which Berni paid for), and our car was delivered to us the next morning at the hotel.

Once inside the gates and tropical gardens, you are in a private beautiful oasis and would never know that you are 15 minutes from the airport in a busy area.
Our room was the Volcano Suite and I was simply delighted at first sight. Very Costa Rican feel, and every modern convenience. Awesome view from the balcony.

We also stayed at the end of our trip in the Rainforest room. A bit bigger with an outdoor patio. Also very Costa Rican and lovely.

They have amazing plants and grow orchids which are displayed in outdoor 'frames'. Beautiful gardens, lovely rooms, the best greeting by the 3 German shepherd dogs Yagi, Max, and Bandit, and the most informative, hospitable, and friendly proprietors. And the food! Berni's wife Nhi is an amazing and creative chef.

The whole experience was simply the best. I can't imagine what our trip would have been like if we hadn't found Pura Vida for the beginning of our trip!

Room Tip: All the rooms are great and have their own character..
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank sailgirle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 December 2013

My wife and I took my mom to Costa Rica for her birthday. Berni and Pura Vida Hotel were her first impression of Costa Rica... and it couldn't have been better. The hotel grounds are beautifully landscaped... and we were immediately welcomed with fresh juice smoothies. The accommodations are clean and modern. The staff is super friendly and have a great sense of humor. I would highly recommend this B&B to anyone!

Room Tip: We stayed in the Mariposa... and it was very nice (2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms). We didn't see an...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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Thank KenMertes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 December 2013

our first visit to Costa Rica started here arriving late at night. From the street at first sight, it's deceiving, but once Berni swings open the front gates with a smile and a hearty welcome, everything changes. You enter a homey, comfortable compound filled with information and handicrafts from Costa Rica. Berni, and his three very friendly dogs, will escort you to your villa situated in the lush, beautiful back gardens. Here you will enjoy your own private retreat. We stayed at the Mariposa Villa which has it's own outdoor patio and kitchen. It's nicely furnished- comfy bedding, lots of hot water, very relaxing. The breakfast is healthy and delicious. Here, Carlos was available to answer all our questions and get us organized for our visit throughout Costa Rica. We returned on our last night as well, staying at the Katydid villa which is a spacious 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom cottage with a screened-in eating area off the kitchen. I loved our visit at Pura Vida and I definitely plan to return on our next visit to this incredible country!

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Leslie f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 December 2013

We go to Costa Rica at least a couple of times a year and for several years have been staying at the Pura Vida Hotel in Tetual, near the San Jose airport. The casitas, as well as the rooms in the main building, are nicely appointed, kept clean and set in beautifully maintained tropical gardens that attract an array of birds and butterflies. The breakfast, included in the price, is first rate and it is served in a dining room in which orchids are often in bloom. But for a really special culinary experience, we recommend making arrangements to have a dinner prepared by Nhi, the co-owner of Pura Vida. She is a chef of unbelievable creativity who mingles her Asian background with traditional French cuisine and Costa Rican ingredients. Bernie, her husband, is a fountain of information on what to do in Costa Rica as well as anything to do with Costa Rica. They also provide excellent concierge services to make arrangements for tourist services in the country. The hotel staff, many of whom have been with Pura Vida for many years, are friendly and helpful.

Room Tip: Each casita is somewhat unique, so discussing that with Bernie is worth while via email.
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Rita R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Pura Vida Hotel

Address: Tuetal Sur | 4km North of SJO International Airport, Alajuela 20101, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Alajuela
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 67 B&Bs / Inns in Alajuela
Price Range: £71 - £133 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Pura Vida Hotel is located 4km north of the SJO International airport - we provide a free taxi pickup for international arrivals. Breakfast is included and an excellent dinner is available with reservations (or late meals for late arrivals). Touring services include car rentals delivered here, private vans and as much touring advice as you wish - we are experts on Costa Rica. We have arrangements with Toyota Car Rental for deals on car rentals. Our idea is simply that this is a place we would like to stay at when we travel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pura Vida Alajuela
Hotel Pura Vida
Pura Vida Hotel Costa Rica/Alajuela

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