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“this is a magical place!”

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Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat
Ranked #15 of 26 Hotels in Santa Teresa
Certificate of Excellence
philadelphia
Level Contributor
24 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“this is a magical place!”
Reviewed 21 December 2013

I don't know where to start with how wonderful and special this place is. First, the location. Right on the beach, with some of the most fun, gentle surfing waves you can imagine. Walk out of your bungalow, take a few steps, and you are on a miles long beach that you are sharing with maybe, on a weekend, 20 other people, all spread out. You largely have the beach to yourself -- paradise!! The beach in front of Pranamar is a little rocky for swimming, but fine for wading and meditating among the tidepools. And OMG the sunsets over the water. We watched every night and it filled us with wonder. A 5-6 minute walk gets you to a gorgeous beach with great swimming and surfing. Second, the people. Owners were on site when we visited, and the staff were so friendly, that after only a week we came to think of them as friends. My husband celebrated his birthday here, and the staff asked if we wanted to have a special dinner brought to our cottage. With all honesty, we said, no, we want to be with our new friends. I think the staff genuinely like working there and it shows. Third, the yoga. We had three instructors during our week, all excellent. The yoga is a pretty standard vinyasa practice, nothing too too strenuous (I am used to a Baptiste practice, so keep that in mind -- this isn't Hatha), with a few Bikram and ashtanga poses thrown in. There was also a Yin class. Fourth, the accommodations. We stayed 5 days in Bungalow 2 and then 3 days at one of the White House cottages. Both were lovely, but we preferred the Bungalow at Pranamar. Bungalow 2 was great, an amazing outdoor shower and comfy bed, plenty of space and clean. I honestly don't know where the bad reviews about bugs and cleanliness come from (??). I guess I agree with VascoDG -- if you are into super-lux hotel chain type resorts in touristy areas, I guess this isn't for you. Actually, don't come here -- you might mess up the Zen of this place. But if you want a chill, restful vibe, in peaceful, friendly surroundings, Buddha and other yoga inspired furnishings around you, and not a lot of people, this is for you. The White House is a little more posh, with a full kitchen, and more secluded. Pranamar has the feel of a community and the paths are almost like meditation mazes. The pool at Pranamar was built to look like a river (it meanders, has a green bottom, and is surrounded by a lush tropical garden) and we loved swimming and lolling around in it. I actually thought Bungalow 2 was kind of a deal -- we got breakfast and yoga classes for both of us included, and given that the room was a good value. Oh -- and the food at the restaurant is delicious. Which is good, b/c there's not a lot within walking distance here (there's one tapas place 5 mins walk away which is yummy, but cash only!).
The only thing I'd say is I wish there were screens on the windows and doors -- we love fresh air and don't love a/c, but it is probably not a good idea to throw open the windows without screens, because this is the jungle and yes there are bugs here. But in all honesty they didn't bother us at all. We didn't even use our bug repellent that I anxiously brought after reading the reviews (I'm usually the girl covered in mosquito bites after the camping trip). In any event, I wish I could have slept with fresh air, but I was too chicken to do so without screens.
Basically, one of the nicest places we've ever stayed. A pain to get here (if you are from the NorthEast US) but utterly worth it. A great feeling about the place and so restful and gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. Thank you Pranamar for a great vacation!!

Room Tip: Bungalow 2 was great. Small fridge, open air shower, little sitting area and bedroom. Comfy, feng sh...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank hikergirl11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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290 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (94)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Branson, Missouri, United States
Level Contributor
21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 November 2013 via mobile

Pranamar Villas was an oasis where you can come to play, rest, relax, and enjoy the beauty of Costa Rica. The grounds were beautiful, the villas were nice and it was great having pool access right of my porch. The food and restaurant staff was amazing. So friendly, helpful, and served the most delicious fresh food! Yoga with Nancy is a must and I don't know that I have ever had a better massage then the one that I got there from Gaia! Great place to stay. Can't wait to visit again.

Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Jennifer E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
pranamar, Owner at Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat, responded to this review, 28 November 2013
Dear Amazing Place reviewers!!
Wow, what a wonderful and amazing review! Thank you for taking the time to write. Nothing pleases me more than to have a happy guests.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving; I am filled with Grace because of the wonderful guests and friends that I have the incredible experience of meeting at Pranamar! Really, at age 65, what matters most in life is to be surrounded by loving folks.
Thanks thanks thanks. Hope you have a wonderful holiday!
Namaste
Susan Money, Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Malmo, Sweden
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 November 2013

Bugs, bumpy roads, undeveloped area, no shopping malls and noisy animals. That pretty much sums it up.....for someone who should better stay at home.

If you are a person who prefer to steer clear of mass tourism and like to get off the beaten track, if you think that the regular 5* hotel chains lack personality , if you value eco-thinking, if you like the staff of a hotel to have big hearts & an excellent service level, if you like exquisite cuisine, if you like yoga, long walks on the beach, surfing, horseback riding, trekking, interacting with the locals etc....and oh, if you don't mind if a flock of parrots happen to make a close flyby - then you will probably find Santa Teresa in general and Pranamar in particular to be Heaven on Earth!

I can not recommend Pranamar and the area of Santa Seresa high enough, go and you will create a spectacular memory that will be with you forever (and this comes from someone who has tasted everything from Las Vegas to the Maldives)

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank VascoDG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
pranamar, Owner at Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat, responded to this review, 19 December 2013
Dear Guests of Heaven on Earth,
Its the Christmas Season and I can not think of a better gift to receive than the gift of your kind and loving words! Thank you so much for sharing your experience with other readers and for taking the time to really write a detailed report.
I have noticed in life, that people always take the time to gossip or report bad news, so it is especially wonderful to have folks like you sit down and report good news.
May you have a wonderful Holiday season and may 2014 find you on our doorstep again.
Much love
Susan Money, Owner
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Juneau, Alaska
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 November 2013

so i stayed there in january of 2012, the grounds were astonishing as were the staff, i ended up renting an entire villa(oops) so it was mostly quiet other than the pool rats (noisy children) my villa was poolside. the yoga was a fe wlevels above my abilities and gave me good cause to try harder to level up, perfect!!! i needed the challenge the room was clean and tidy i couldn't have asked for more, the massage was one of the best I've experienced, the wifi was iffy in most places other than my villa

Room Tip: if you like your sleep don't get a poolside villa
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sean s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
pranamar, Owner at Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat, responded to this review, 3 December 2013
Dear Friend
I read your review three times, trying to figure out when you were here. Seems it was january almost one year ago. Im delighted you had such a good time and it was so nice of you to send the review, My two grandchildren live next door to the hotel. Yeek!, I hope it wasnt me playing with them in the pool one day. I'm usually very tuned into any guests that might be around, but I have gotten caught "up in the moment " on occasion!
But sounds like we found you a front villa, and I know that had to have worked well!
Future visitors, do not worry, our pool closes early to kids and we rarely have kids. The ones who do come are usually surfing, doing zip lines, on the beach, just not hanging much in the pool.
Most important thing is you had a good time and I sure thank you for your comments and for your appreciation for Pranamar!
May our paths cross again one day...
Susan Money, Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 November 2013 via mobile

We came just at the end of the wet season and the weather was amazing. We got the lovely fortune of being able to book our 8-day stay at the off-peak season price of $305 per night which is DRASTICALLY less expensive than peak season at $620 per night and it still felt like an expensive vacation.

Pros:
Neat, clean and spacious with modern amenities.
Very easy access to beach.
Amazing views and sunsets.
Amazing spa and massage treatment.
Included daily yoga.
Warm water and good waves.
Wonderful villas (ours was beach-facing).
Very friendly staff.
Pretty quiet and secluded.
Loved Suntrails canopy zip-lining in Montezuma.

Cons:
Cannot really walk to much.

SUPER EXPENSIVE TAXI service that the hotel organizes for you and you must use it to go to and from airport as well as to go anywhere or do any excursions. Examples:
$30 round trip to go into Santa Teresa which is a couple miles away.
$60 one way to airport which is 40ish mins away.
$100 round trip to Montezuma which is 30ish mins away (where the good canopy zip-lining is located).

Food and drink is expensive with the 13% tax and 10% service added on the back end of every meal.

Beach directly in front of villas is rocky and you must walk down the beach a ways to swim...something to note but not a big deal.

Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank Garrick S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
pranamar, Owner at Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat, responded to this review, 25 November 2013
Dear Friends
So glad you liked our villas and found the spa and grounds wonderful! Thank you for all the nice comments.
On the other hand, I'm a little surprised you thought that you couldnt walk much. I walk four hours a day on the beach, I'm training for the El Camino de Santiago de Compostela and if you start at low tide, you can walk at least two hours or more north and then return. So I find the walking spectacular! The beach where we all swim takes about 5 minutes to walk so im sorry you found that not very convenient!
As for the expense of the taxis, I am sorry, they are not cheap. But I must let the reader know, we do not own any taxi service, we use all the local guys and yes, their fees are high. I agree! But, do you remember the condition of the roads? They are dreadful on cars, dreadful and even after living here 26 years, I am staggered at the amount of money we all have to pour into our cars to keep them running. I suspect that is why the taxis cost so much. But I would like all readers to know that these prices are set by all the drivers and we do not own the cars or the service. Also cars in Costa Rica are heavily taxed so cars and parts here are around 70% more expensive than they are in the U.S.
The taxes in the restaurant are mandatory taxes and again, are set by the government and out of our control. But we make every effort to serve you good size portions, fresh organic produce, fish only caught that morning and using only local foods. I am glad you liked the quality of the meals and the food, but again, the taxes are not revenues we create nor particularly enjoy!

Thank you for sharing your vacation with us and your thoughts. Sounds like you had a good time and I'm delighted to hear from you!
Many thanks
Susan Money, owner Pranamar
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Whistler, Canada
Level Contributor
50 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 November 2013

Get ready! I cannot say enough about this place!!
Susan Money has created not simply a Yoga Retreat and Surfing Resort at Pranamar but a unique and fabulous total vacation experience!
Accommodation – beautifully decorated & designed – the website pics are good but the reality is even better! A great deal of care and attention has been paid to every detail from the goddess who watched us shower in the outdoor shower to the absolutely beautiful hardwood tables and unique “designer” décor items. Villa 1 had everything you could possibly need and more.
Yoga – Nancy is a skilled and attentive yoga teacher. She watches over her students carefully to keep them safe through all asanas. Even “over 60” year olds like us, fairly new to yoga, felt supported and comfortable for 5 straight days of classes, even alongside very fit “young un’s” and surfer dudes! Says a lot when “locals” are in every class. And oh what a Yoga Shala!!
Food – Buddha Eyes restaurant – what a chef!! We couldn’t believe that we would never tire of the menu and exciting, unique daily specials for a whole week! Still missing the coconut coated French toast as one of many a la carte complimentary breakfast items. We found the prices very reasonable for the caliber of food served. Service was just precious – Carley even ensured my husband had the “chocolate chip cookie” dessert he loved by saving an order for him!; Johan & Carlos behind the bar were delightful and sincerely interested in caring for their clients. I should have noted all the names as all servers were fantastic.
Massage – folk here say all the masseuses’ are great but omg!! As a person used to massages, Sophia’s massages for both of us were the best ever. She even seemed to understand exactly what needed working on from all our yoga.
Sincerest thanks and compliments to owner Susan. Her skill, care and concern for her visitors shine through in everything that is Pranamar. You are gently invited to be “part of her Pranamar family” or simply enjoy all in privacy. She is a master at reading just what her clients need, taking every little comment or perceived situation in hand deftly and quickly to guarantee that anyone who crosses her path is as happy and content as possible in this absolutely exquisite Costa Rican resort. It’s that energy that floats through the whole resort and which is reflected in all her staff that will ensure Pranamar’s success in many years to come.

Room Tip: Villa 1, while it could be shared with at least another couple - is fabulous but I'd guess every...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BevinHA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
pranamar, Owner at Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat, responded to this review, 9 November 2013
Dear Happy Guests,
Well, you know how to make a persons day! What a raving review and it warms my heart. Thank you for taking the time to give such detail, and the warmth and love you exude is the frosting on the cake for all of us.
I personally thank you for adding so much to my life! I enjoyed doing yoga with you, sharing stories with you, you were simply a gift to me, and to the entire Pranamar Family.
Love,Susan
Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hyde Park, Vermont
Level Contributor
26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 September 2013

Villa was perfect, two steps from the pool, comfortable and relaxing.
Food was uniformly excellent (except one lunch pizza). Breakfasts excellent, lunches great,
Dinners just perfect, and the bar was our favorite. Staff always had time to chat.
Stayed ten days, could have been much longer.
Staff was first class. Everything we asked for was "no problem".

Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Bob W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
pranamar, Owner at Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat, responded to this review, 9 November 2013
Dear "would be returner"
So glad your vacation was everything you hoped it would be! Sounds like we met your expectations and more and thank you for taking the time to send us such an honest report.
With any luck, we will have the good fortune of having you back in our little "nest of Pranamar Family"
Many thanks and may your holidays be filled with peace and love! (and good food)
Susan Money, Owner
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat

Property: Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat
Address: Playa Hermosa, Santa Teresa 154, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Santa Teresa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#9 Romantic Hotel in Santa Teresa
#10 Family Hotel in Santa Teresa
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Teresa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat 4*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Costa Rica’s Premier Ocean Front HotelPranamar Ocean Front Villas and Yoga Retreat, an intimate, consciously designed oceanfront hotel recently built on the spectacular beach of Playa Santa Teresa, offers guests tropical beauty and nature in an exotic and friendly ambience. Along with world-class surfing and our top-quality Yoga classes, numerous activities and adventures await you.Immerse yourself in the beauty and ease into nature’s rhythm as Pranamar’s experienced and caring staff take care of all the details, making sure your vacation is perfect.Our hotel offers a variety of accommodations to fit your needs and desires: our luxurious two-storey villas built around a free-form saltwater pool have private lounging areas, tropical gardens and boast spectacular views, while the ecologically-constructed bungalows offer tropical simplicity with sea breezes, spacious decks and views of the ocean.Pranamar’s beautifully designed open-air restaurant and tea lounge specializes in healthy, delicious cuisine using organic fruits and vegetables, local fresh fish, seafood and organic meats.We invite you to step into the rhythm of nature, breath in the energy of the sea and discover... PRANAMAR!!! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pranamar Villas And Yoga Retreat Hotel Santa Teresa
Pranamar Villas And Yoga Retreat Costa Rica/Santa Teresa

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