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“Didn't Love It”

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Pura Vida Retreat & Spa
Ranked #11 of 29 Hotels in Alajuela
Certificate of Excellence
new york, ny
Level Contributor
32 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“Didn't Love It”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 November 2005

NOTE: This review should be for the Retreat, not the Hotel. It is misplaced under the Hotel.

I just got back from Costa Rica, and spent a few days at Pura Vida. I signed up for the 5 day Mind Body Spirit Program, and came to PV after 4 days at another yoga retreat on the Caribbean side (Samasati). Maybe because Samasati was set in a rain forest, I was disappointed when I arrived at PV. Although you can't really get a sense of the size of the space from the website, PV is on the smaller side, and it's hard to find the nooks and crannies (other than my room which had paper thin walls) for the natural relaxation you would expect at a yoga retreat. A bench is tucked in there, or a hammock over there, but I felt like I was on top of people, with nowhere to roam. And if you're coming to Costa Rica, a country known for its interesting outdoor spaces, this predominantly indoor place seems like a waste. The food was fabulous, and my yoga instructor was quite nice. The staff and massage people were great. But after the 2.5 hours of yoga, I was left with 21.5 hours in a cramped space, with a beautiful view of San Jose. But again, the purpose of coming to Costa Rica is to look at the ocean, or the rain forest. Nature. Eating the cost, I left after 3 days, and if you have any travel imagination at all, I would not recommend coming here. If you want to feel like you're in a condo in Florida, you will enjoy the place.

  • Stayed November 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
15 Thank lynnegold
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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165 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (50)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Rockford, IL
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 September 2005

I really enjoyed my stay at Pura Vida. They picked me up at the airport and I had a standard room which was very basic with a bathroom and showers around the corner. The food was great. Lots of fruits, vegtables, soups, chicken dishes and tofu dishes. Lots of juice and very good coffee. They had a hot tub on a new patio overlooking the city, and thier was another one over by the meeting hall. It was very beautiful at night to watch the lights. No tv, newspapers or phones, very quite and beautiful grounds and flowers and paths to walk around. They had a payphone in the office and internet access, but my cell phone also worked for $5 a minute which is At&T or cingular. I went on three excursions:Waterfalls with the hummingbird and butterfly conservatory. I enjoyed it even though it poured the entire time we were there. The second was the beach day trip, which was a nice ride to get out and see Costa Rica and the private beach was beautiful but the first beach at the hotel where we ate lunch was dirty. The third trip was to the volcanoe but it was to foggy so we went to a small zoo in town. That was okay, too. I got a little bus sick so bring dranamine because the little bus goes around and around on the mountains and the windows fog up so you can't really see where you are going. Seemed like it takes a couple of hours to get to any of the sights.

If I were to go again I would stay in a deluxe room with private bath/shower and a deck because I really enjoyed looking out at the city lights. The staff was very kind and personable. I was part of a very large retreat, so they were stretched for space but I never felt crowded or rushed. It was well organized and alot of planning was involved. If you have any questions feel free to email me and I'll try to answer them the best that I can.

  • Stayed November 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank worldtraveler1000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, England
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 June 2004

I found the spa didn't resemble at all the image portrayed on the website (the pool isn't next to the hot tub - it is under the window of the office and was small and didn't look clean) and my general impression was that the place was run for the benefit and comfort of the owner and the small number of staff who all live there and eat in the restaurent. It is on a flight path (I kept thinking a volcano was exploding) and surrounded by a big fence with wire looking out over City lights (just like home). It is really designed for groups with their yoga teacher rather than individuals travelling in Costa Rica and is incredibly expensive for what it is - $140/night for a tent with a dirty old carpet, 2 yoga classes and a shared bathroom - but the food, which is also included, was delicious and the cook was charming and the gardens were well tended.

Helpful?
23 Thank VanessaK63
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

Property: 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:3.5 star — Pura Vida Retreat & Spa 3.5*
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 & Yoga Retreat Hotel Alajuela
Pura Vida Spa And Yoga Retreat
Pura Vida Wellness Retreat Spa
Pura Vida Retreat & Spa Costa Rica/Alajuela

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