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“a great place to relax and recharge”

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Pura Vida Retreat & Spa
Ranked #10 of 27 Hotels in Alajuela
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 12 June 2013

I just spent 5 nights at the Pura Vida Spa and loved it! The grounds are gorgeous, the food is delicious and it was so peaceful.
A friend and I stayed in a Vista room, room 201. It was very spacious, had a large balcony with an amazing view of the town below and mountains all around. The shower pressure was wonderful. There is no a/c but the temperature is moderate so the room stayed comfortable. There is no ceiling fan either and we made sure to leave windows open to keep the air circulating (there are screens on the windows so no bugs to worry about).
We were part of a group and many of our friends were staying in A-frame rooms so we saw some of those as well. They also had balconies but the room and balcony were not quite as big as the Vista rooms.
The food was amazing! All meals are included. Breakfast usually consisted of eggs, a wide variety of fresh fruit, several yogurts with various toppings, bread, homemade honey and peanut butter and so on. Lunch and dinner alternated between fish and chicken dishes (the mustard chicken was so good!) and soup, bread, salads, vegetables, grains and more. And each lunch and dinner included a light dessert as well. There was also a cash (or charge to your room) bar for wine, coconut water, wheat grass shots and more. Free coffee, tea, and filtered water was available at all times.
There are various tours available for a fee, all listed on the website. I went on the Waterfall Garden tour and the Skywalk tour. Both were incredible. The Waterfall Garden tour is a half a day through a park, nature center and along a path by the waterfalls. The path is a little bit steep on the way out but nothing too bad. Also in the park is a butterfly garden which was wonderful and a hummingbird garden which was amazing. I would recomend this tour to everyone. The Skywalk tour was a little more challenging but just as wonderful. It is an all day tour. From morning to lunch is a hike through the forest, over five different suspended bridges with the chance to spot all kinds of wildlife along the way. We saw a sloth, many birds and a few brightly colored tree frogs. After lunch is a ride on a pontoon boat down the Rio Tarcoles towards the mouth of the Pacific. Expect to see crocodiles, more birds and possibly an iguana sunning by the river. Our driver and our tour guide (who happened to be the same for both tours) were absolutely wonderful.
In addition to the organized tours a few friends and I arranged to go into town, to Alajuela, one day. Anyone working at the reception desk can help you organize a taxi and give you tips on where to go and how to get back. We visted the Alajuela Cathedral, Central Park and the main market. If you have a sense of adventure I would say to definitely go explore in town a little bit.
I did not participate in any of the yoga classes offered as I was part of a yoga group with our own instructor but I can say that the studio rooms were gorgeous. Large windows with great views, adjustable lighting and ceilings fans, all mats, blocks, etc available.
All in all this was a great place to get away from it all and relax with the opportunities available to explore the countryside a bit. The rooms are comfortable, the food delicious and best of all, the people of Costa Rica were all amazingly warm and friendly.

Room Tip: Vista room 201 has a great view.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank phoebefordreid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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106 - 112 of 174 reviews

Reviewed 2 June 2013

I went here on a week-long retreat for a massage class with Erik Dalton. It was my first time traveling alone internationally, and it was such a great experience. I didn't do much yoga but their big, open rooms overlooking the city below were gorgeous and would have been perfect for it. (Not a bad setting for learning massage techniques either.)

I stayed in one of the little A-Frame cabins, which was exactly what I wanted for an unplugged trip--simple and straightforward, no tvs or radios. It was very dark at night, so my little flashlight was helpful. The first night, no one showed me to my cabin, so I had to ask several people to figure out where it was as I stumbled there in the dark.

The therapists are amazing, and this coming from someone who is a massage therapist and is very picky about treatments. Olman, the blind massage therapist, was incredible, possibly the best massage I've ever had. I also tried the Watsu (very interesting) and one of the energy sessions (not really my thing, but relaxing, and I wanted to try something out of my comfort zone.)

The food was simple and tasty and they were very accommodating to my special dietary requests (lactose intolerant.) One night, they even made me a separate dish without being asked since I couldn't eat the main dish. It was all very healthy and refreshing, and despite always getting enough food at every meal, most of us noticed our clothes fitting noticeably looser at the end of the week. They also set out a bunch of tropical fruit at every meal, so we got to try a bunch of new things.

I would stay here again, although it would be hard to top my first visit! I'm sure it would be different going solo, but going there to work with a larger group for a week was very enjoyable.

Stayed: November 2012, travelled on business
1  Thank AimlessErwin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 May 2013

My fiance and I vacationed here for a 5 day Mind Body Spirit package in April 2013. Upon conducting research on Pura Vida, I was a bit hesitant of booking reservations due to the fact that there was no air condition, tv, or radio in the room, but decided to try something different from the norm. I was able to adjust from day one! We stayed in a Tri-Level which had nice air flow. The atmosphere of Pura Vida is the epitome of peaceful and tranquility. We also went on a tour to Paos Volcano--an awesome experience in itself! The property at Pura Vida Spa was immaculately kept and the most rewarding experience was the food! We really enjoyed the various Costa Rican dishes and for that reason alone, would definitely return soon!

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank kiki h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 May 2013

Lovely place with gorgeous facilities. Beautiful grounds. Our room was actually a small villa with a lovely view from its small balcony. At first I was concerned because it wasn't air conditioned.... but found that I could leave the windows open all night and have blissful breezes, fresh air at just the right temperature-- delightful. The meals provided in the restaurant are healthy and delicious. it makes you feel that you are taking good care of yourself. Took one pleasant yoga class in a beautiful studio looking out over the valley. Had a fantastic spa experience -- the watsu pool massage, unlike anything else, and in a wonderful setting.
Staff assisted us in planning two terrific outings which met our expectations.
This place is very convenient from the San Jose airport ( they will pick you up), and once you are there, you are in your own world.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank KimBocaRaton_Florida
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 May 2013

I visited Pura Vida for education in my field of bodywork in April of 2013. I found the experience positive- the staff friendly and devoted to supporting visitors a lovely experience.I was prepared with a flashlight for night walks to and from. My room, a deluxe,
with night views of the valley and the Mts. by day. Emmaculate at every level. Foods delicious and healthy most gluten and dairy free and posted. I found everyone more than helpful and pleasent. My spa treatments were excellent - thank you Alex- some of the other therapists did not have their hearts in it. But not the end of the world. Outings were quality and guides excellent. I would return in a heartbeat and hope the quality remains the same. xoxo Pura Vida.

Room Tip: Room 206. Rooms right below the yoga hall .
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled solo
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3  Thank Traveler292929
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 March 2013

I had the pleasure of staying at Pura Vida Resort for the 7 day Mind Body Spirt Package..Being my first trip to Costa Rica and also my first 'yoga vacation' I had great expectations and they were met 100%. The resort is wonderful in beautiful surroundings; the yoga classes were exceptional; the food was amazing. The value of the package was great. The accommodations were comfortable and the excursions out and about the country really allowed one to see the sights and enjoy the beauty this amazing country offers. That was in 2012. I had the opportunity to return to Costa Rica and spent my layover night back at Pura Vida.. The staff was wonderful in setting up our reservations and transfers to and from the airport for just the one night. I stayed in a Tent-a-low which was very comfortable and would recommend it to anyone..I hope to return the Pura Vida in the future.

Room Tip: stayed in the A-frame..very comfortable nice views stayed in the Tent-a-low...would do it again...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Maria Mc M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 March 2013

As a Yoga Instructor, this was my first retreat that I had hosted. From when I started planning in the Summer of 2012 to when I left on 8 March 2013, the service was first class. The Admin staff were very quick to respond and were flexible and met all my/my clients needs.
Arriving there, everyone was very friendly, we had an orientation and then decided how to work the class times for my clients. The Spa were happy to change things for us at short notice. The room I had was an A-Frame and my clients had a Deluxe Vista, with beautiful views overlooking San Jose and surrounding areas. The rooms were cleaned every day and the food was amazing! I looked forward to meal times. We used Shanti Hall and Lila Hall where we had all the props and the rooms were impeccable. The Mountain air was beautiful, the flora and fauna bright and green....I loved it and so did my clients....I have already booked for next year, there is nowhere I would rather be!

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled on business
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Thank dawnbalfour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Pura Vida Retreat & Spa

Address: Mts SW From Minisuper Pavas 800 | Pavas, Carrizal, Alajuela 20103, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Alajuela
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Alajuela
Hotel Class:3 star — Pura Vida Retreat & Spa 3*
Number of rooms: 51
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
World-Class yoga instruction, acres of natural beauty, delicious healthy cuisine and spa services unrivaled in Costa Rica await inside the cloistered walls of this magical retreat. Tropical rain forest, active volcanoes, mountain cloud forests full of rainbows, breathtaking beaches and exhilarating white water rafting beckon the adventurer in you, all within a few hours drive of our eco-chic spa and wellness resort in the world's greenest country. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pura Vida Spa And Yoga Retreat
Pura Vida Spa & Yoga Retreat Hotel Alajuela
Pura Vida Wellness Retreat Spa
Pura Vida Retreat & Spa Costa Rica/Alajuela

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