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“Owners very rude, treat you like children”
Review of Hotel Pura Vida

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Hotel Pura Vida
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 4 January 2010

My husband and I were recommended this hotel from our friends who stayed there in Nov. They had a pleasant stay, but our experience was very different.

Here are our complaints:
1. The owners have a long list of rules, some of which they didn't tell us until after we had broken them -- and they made us feel like children reprimanding us. For example, we had hung our beach towel on the railing outside our room to dry. The owner swiftly came and removed our towel without any word to us. The rooms are just screened in, and as we were in our room, we could see him gathering our things. My husband went to ask him what he was doing, and he said that he was going to hang them on the clothes line.
2. The owners speak German, Spanish, and English. Assuming that I didn't speak any German, they made fun of other guests right in front of us, and then they even talked about us like we weren't there! Totally rude!
3. The mattress was very uncomfortable -- both my husband and I have very sore backs after spending 4 nights here.

The hotel does have a nice setting. The owners are very organized, and give a lot of information about what to do in the area. The dog is very cute. The rooms are very clean. If you don't mind a long list of rules, and value these other things then you should stay here -- if not, please avoid it!

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank mn2panama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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143 - 149 of 257 reviews

Reviewed 4 January 2010

Spent only one night here, but left mine and girlfriend's pack here for 2 additional nights while we traveled to Bocas del Tora. We didn't want to take our huge packs with us and didn't want to leave in rental car while in Panama. Owner allowed us to lock the packs in a laundry room and everything was found exactly like we left it when we returned. Very safe location, with locked entrance ways to hotel area. Also had locked parking lot. Owner was very helpful with providing accurate information to do border crossing into Panama at Sixola. I thought everyone here were very nice, but they run a "tight ship." Which shows by being a very, very clean and safe hotel. For example no shoes upstairs. I actually liked this policy, but if that is not your style, this place may not be for you.

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank Ginsengsullivan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 December 2009

We decided to extend our stay in Puerto Viejo and found this hotel just by walking around town. It's super clean, well maintained and very safe. We stayed in a room with private bath and it was affordable and worth the price. The bathroom was very rustic and just a warning to the ladies - room #2 has a bathroom with screened windows and no curtains or window coverings. This works fine except for in the shower, where the window is low enough to feel uncomfortable if you're on the tall side. This room is on the first floor and people walk by the bathroom all day long so it can be a little uncomfortable. The mosquito nets worked fine for us and the fan brought relief from the heat. There is no alarm clock here so be sure to bring your own. Be careful about plugging things in though; I was shocked by the outlet when I attempted to plug in my camera battery charger.

Now regarding the owners, the wife was pleasant and overall helpful. Every time we saw that she was working the front desk, we felt relieved. The husband, however, was just plain rude. The first night we stayed here, we bought dinner at the grocery store right around the corner, and ate in the hotel's courtyard. Halfway though our dinner, the male owner came over and told us that we were not welcome to have "picnics" at the hotel because they "sell snacks here." We were so uncomfortable we threw away the remaining food and just went to our room. This hotel does sell beer, snacks and breakfast but not dinner. Plus, there are no signs saying that outside food is not allowed. Very strange. He never once smiled, said hello or did anything at all to make us feel welcome.

The location of the hotel is average, it's two blocks to the main road and four blocks to the nearest beach. We did love that the main grocery store is right around the corner. I would recommend that if you go out at night, bring a small flashlight if possible. Out of the four days we spent in Puerto Viejo, the power went out at night twice, for several hours. And the entire town is pitch black when the power goes out.

There are so many other hotels in this area, I'd recommend finding another one if you really want to experience pura vida in Costa Rica.

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank JodyM_2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 September 2009

We stayed here a few months ago for a few nights with two young boys (under 5).

The owners are really great and helpful. You can tell they take pride in their hotel. The covered common area is quite lovely and relaxing. Several sitting areas with magazines for you to peruse. There are tables and chairs for breakfast or snacks. We loved the guacamole served here. Colorful hammocks all over (which the boys loved). Bananas hanging from the celing for your snacking pleasure. On rainy days, it was nice to sit out in the common area and watch the rain. Bring bug spray...they are everywhere in Costa Rica...especially on the beach here. You need a key to get into the hotel, so you feel safe hanging out. Within walking distance to everything. Bread and Chocolate (great place for lunch or breakfast) is around the corner.

The rooms are basic. There is mosquito netting over the beds (I noticed small holes in them, probably need replacing). The beds are okay. We had a good sized room. The bathroom is basic, nothing fancy. No refrigerator or a/c. There was a celing fan, and that seemed to be fine. We are not the types that like a really cool/cold room.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with family
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Thank dk0504
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 June 2009

We stopped in a private double room with bathroom.
Good points:
- Large clean room
- Hot water shower with decent power
- Relaxing communal area with hammocks and sofas
- Drinking water bottle fill-ups available at a cost
- Laundry service
- Friendly staff helpful with tours and knowledge of local area
- Snacks and drinks sold
- Quiet, secluded and secure
- Friendly dog called Duche

Bad points
- Breakfast extra
- Mossie nets have a few holes (and you need a net here, the mosquitoes are abundant!)
- No internet

Its a few blocks from the beach but that means its much quieter than other places. Its not really targetted at the 'party' scene so bear that in mind if that's what you're after.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank LardSardine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 April 2009

We stayed in Hotel Pura Vida in March 2009 for 4 nights, we stayed in a room on the second floor with a shared bathroom for $30/night - the shared bathroom is a great deal because there are only 2 rooms on the second floor that share it. The room also has a sink which is very helpful.

We arrived later at night (9pm) and had both of the owners waiting for us (I cannot remember their names). The man was very very helpful, he provided us with a map of the city and some good restaurants for dinner. He also offered some sights and tours of the region, but he was not pushy just helpful. We ended up staying another night just to do one of his recommended activities - an animal sanctuary - if you ever stay at this hotel please ask them about this activity, it has been a highlight of our 6 months of travelling. They allow you to play with a hold the baby monkeys and sloths and we were the only ones there when we went. An absolutely amazing experience all thanks to the owners of Hotel Pura Vida.

The hotel itself is very nice and clean, they have hammocks hanging everywhere to relax in, which we used to the fullest as it rained the entire time we were there.

I would recommend this hotel as one of the best values in Puerto Viejo.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank LK14Toronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 November 2008

I had chosen Hotel Pura Vida based on the pictures on its website and the reasonable price.

Upon arrival, my partner and I were initially very impressed by the beautiful courtyard area and the peaceful ambience of the place. It has potential

The room itself was ok but very basic. The mosquito nets had holes in them and the bed was extremely uncomfortable. Please also be aware that this place hasn't got any windows - the noise from outside kept us awake all night long.

However, what really got me was the attitude of the owners. They are control freaks to say the least.
I don't mind taking my shoes off every time I enter the property, but I do not appreciate being treated like a child. Instead of a warm welcome they give you the lowdown on the 'house rules'! My fiance and I are both in our 30s and felt as if we were back at school.

Not the kind of hospitality you expect from a hotel called "Pura Vida"!

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank shoegazer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Pura Vida

Address: Avenida 67 | South Of Bus Stop 270 m, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca 70403, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 54 B&Bs / Inns in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Price Range: £30 - £48 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 10
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Also Known As:
Hotel Pura Vida Costa Rica/Limon

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