We stayed at the Pura Vida our first night in Costa Rica. We couldn’t have asked for a better place to stay, or, more attentive host! Our plane arrived at 8:30 p.m. and we followed Berni’s instructions to catch a cab (which he paid for) to take us to his wonderful B&B, just 10 minutes from the airport. It made our nighttime arrival into Costa Rica safe, convenient and easy. Once at the hotel, we enjoyed a bottle of wine on the open air terrace with Berni. He showed us to our lovely Casita which was clean, spacious and comfortable set amongst the beautiful garden grounds. The Pura Vida is truly an oasis in the midst of Alajuela. The breakfast was outstanding – we regret we didn’t have the opportunity to enjoy a dinner there. In fact, my one major regret is not spending one more night at the Pura Vida. I thought it was going to be just an overnight close to the airport but with Berni’s knowledge and love of the country and Alajuela, we experienced a more “authentic” CR and we could have enjoyed much more given another night.
After I booked the room, Berni sent a confirmation email in which he mentioned if we were interested to bring books for the local elementary school. We brought books and were so fortunate to have Berni transport us and 2 other couples to the school to deliver the books and tour the school. It was truly one the highlights of our trip to CR. It is amazing the way that Berni has virtually built the library at this school with the help of his guests. If you opt to bring books, I would suggest bringing Spanish language books because although the children are taught English, Spanish is their language and it seemed to me most of the books people bring are English and they need more Spanish for the kids to read and enjoy.
Prior to arriving in CR, I had not planned out all our arrangements, specifically, how we were going to get from Alajuela to our next destination; The Arenal Volcano Observatory Lodge. In that we had read a lot about lousy roads and poor signage in CR, we weren’t sure if we wanted to rent a car or take public transport. Berni and trusted staff assistant (I wish I could remember his name because he was extremely hospitable and helpful) arranged a private transport for us which I know was difficult because it was the last minute and everything including car rentals were booked.
Be sure to check out the Pura Vida website – it is filled with clever quips, helpful information about the hotel, Costa Rica and travel ideas to make your trip more informed and enjoyable.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Pura Vida Alajuela
- Hotel Pura Vida
- Pura Vida Hotel Costa Rica/Alajuela