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Pura Vida Retreat & Spa
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Reviews (176)
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162 - 167 of 176 reviews
Reviewed 23 July 2008

I am not good at writing reviews but I think this place deserves my best efforts. I lead a busy/stressful life in Manhattan so I am always looking for a sanctuary where I can find beauty and peace in nature while still enjoying all the convenience and pampering a luxury hotel can offer. I was delighted to find out a perfect combination of both in Pura Vida. First of all - you can't beat the price. Compared to other spa resort this place is a true bargain. I have my own cabin (the "A Frame") with a panoramic mountain view. The spa menu is 10-20 percent cheaper than just a OK spa inn in upstate New York (20-40 percent cheaper than Manhatten). The facilities - the whole resort is like a botanical garden with all kinds of plants, birds, flowers, and fruit trees happening all at one time. If you do yoga or are interested in learning it, there are top of the notch yoga halls with impeccable views you can ever dream of. I am not a yogi but I found it incredibly fulfilling to practice basic yoga with a visiting instructor and his group from Tampa, Florida. I have to mention the jacuzzi which is on the mountain side with a view to the city of San Jose - I went there everyday to relax after a yoga class or a day trip (canopy, volcano, white water rafting, beach....the staff did an amazing job to guarantee that we were not bored). Last but not least, the food (included in the hotel stay)!!! I am not a big fan of rice and bean and alike but until I stayed at Pura Vida I realized I just never went to the right place in New York. To sum it up -- I woud love to go back again.

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Lanchill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 May 2008

My husband and I just returned from Pura Vida and we had a fantastic and very unique experience. Although, I would not recommend it to everybody, we were both very pleased with our experience and would certainly do it again. Here are some of my thoughts:

- You have to be interested in the pratice of Yoga to enjoy this place; otherwise, you will be bored and will not enjoy the setting & the organization of your stay. Meaning, you will have lots of time in your hands to to practice yoga, meditate, do spa treatments, read, swim, eat, and sleep. But, you will not be on a full schedule and entertained like you are on a cruise, sightseing vacation, etc. You can do some excursions if you want, but this is not the place for that kind of vacation. This is a place to remove yourself from a hectic and busy - day to day- life.
Note: You don't have to be an advanced yoga student, because the classes are very flexible and effective for all levels. Its a great place to learn yoga as well as advance it.

- Food was absolutely exquisite and perfect for those who want to have a balanced and healthy diet. If you are not concerned about that, then you are not going to like it, and may complain about variety, quantieties, etc. But, healthy eaters will be very pleased. Lots of vegatables, fruits, fish and/or chicken everyday - no red meats.

- The service is absolutely the best. Everyone in this place will provide great service and attention to guests needs. From the housekeeper, cooks, therapists, tour guides, yoga teachers (Nicole, Mariela, Ana, Lisa were all fab!) to the hotel manager (Jorge) are the absolute best!

- The location is not traditional. This place is in a developing country - meaning, you are going to see poverty, trash, bad roads and lots of noise every where. If you don't like seing any of that outside of your hotel, then stay in the developed world. Note: None of this applies to the inside of the property, which is absolutely spotless, tranquil, and beautiful.

- There will be LOTS of women in this place. So, if you are going as a family or couple, make sure you and your husband are okay with this. Again, this is not a cruise, so your interactions with other people will be limited, but you should know it.

- The only reason, I don' t give a five start to our overall experience is because the accomodations are in need of some refurbishing. They are basic, clean, and generally comfortable, but are certainly not new and probably have not had an update in the last 5-10 years. Note: Some rooms - not all - have an outdoor bathroom (our did) and while it is a unique and kind of nice experience to see and feel the nature around you, some bugs do get inside the shower and that can be a bit disturbing. If you stay at any traditional room, you will not have that experience.

Hope this helps.

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Mariela115
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2008

The location, on a hill above a coffee plantation was lovely. The yoga classes were suitable for all levels of skill and ages. There were folks there from the 20s to the 60s. The rooms are comfortable, many with great views (I'd ask to overlook the town and the mountains). The food, with many vegetarian options as well as fish and chicken, was very good. The spa services were routinely excellent (There are about 8 different body workers with all different types of training who offered styles of massage I had never before experienced). But they are expensive - I went with a group organized by the Arlington Yoga Center which didn't include day trips or spa services. Next time, I'll go on one of the spa's in house packages which include free daytrips and a spa treatment. By the way, the daytrips, expecially one to the cloud forest where you travel through the canopy, were, for the most part, superb. I'd skip the jungle walk and boat trip - even if you haven't been in a rain forest before. You move too fast to really see anything.

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled with friends
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1  Thank fenmen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 September 2007

As a tourist in CR I would suggest that Pura Vida be more a stop than a tourist destination. We loved it because we had already spent over two weeks out on the dense Nicoya Peninsula and we came to Pura Vida on our last three days before departing. It was a great break from the jungle and the food, staff and spa services are awesome. We where really happy to just chill in our lovely room (by Costa Rican standards) and relax. As well as take long hot showers and clean up after the bugs and rain on the cost. As some of the other reviews have said it isn't picture perfect as I had imagined it would be. And it is pricey. But overall we felt cared for and relaxed here. They also welcomed our 7-year-old with no hesitation and I also saw babies. Something I appreciate after dealing with "no kids" hotels. If you go there you MUST have a Shamanic Treatment with Rebecca Singer. Incredible.

  • Stayed: August 2007, travelled with family
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1  Thank anahata
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 August 2007

This is a very nice place to go if you want to do yoga and relax. The spa part of it needs some work. I thought the place should be renamed Pura Vida Yoga Camp. The massages were really nice although pricey but the pedicure I got for $50 did not compare to the one I get at home for $25 -- at home I get a nice leg massage and hot towels with nice lotions. I did get some nice lotion and peppermint oil which made my feet very cold but it really should not have cost $50 plus a tip! The food is very good here although they did burn the bread and cookies several days in a row but that's really my only complaint and not really a complaint, just a mention. There were some spiders in the rooms which bothered some people so much that they stayed somewhere else at night and came back to eat and do yoga. The staff is very nice and helpful, the two times I asked for something, it was done immediately. There are no tvs or newspapers around so I loved that. I really slept well myself and was able to get up for the 6:30 a.m. yoga class every morning.

  • Stayed: August 2007, travelled solo
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Thank lbyh2os
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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