I just got back from a week long retreat at Blue Spirit. Overall i really enjoyed my stay here. Here's more of the details:
1. The facilities are great. Everything is relatively new, including the main building. i was in a mountain view room with ac. The balcony outside actually looked into the middle of trees, did not have an over the mountain view. But the room itself is very nice, with a very large and comfy bed. We are here in end of April, and mid day is really hot - so thats when you really appreciate the ac. The mornings and evenings were quite nice, esp since the rooms have fans. Also can i just say the infinity pool with saltwater is not only gorgeous but feels AMAZING!! Since it is saltwater and not chlorinated, it feels so good against the skin, and somehow its at the perfect temperature. Its also squeaky clean and beautifully maintained.
2. Food is very good and very healthy. Its all vegetarian and super healthy. Desserts are served 3 times a week at dinner. They serve fish 2-3 times at night also. Otherwise its all vegetarian, and lot of it is delicious. The cafe has smoothies, coconut drinks and other snacks and sweets, and those are also delicious. Before coming here, i was reading Dr. Fuhrman's book on focusing on eating food that's nutritionally intense - the food at this place would make him proud!
The only place i can compare this food to is the Pura Vida yoga resort in Alajuela, Costa Rica, and i would say the food here is quite comparable to there. I would say Pura Vida's food is marginally better, and they serve fish or chicken and dessert every night, but both places are excellent. Overall your body will thank you for giving it so much delicious and heathy food every day that you stay here.
3. Service was good - we met and talked to quite a few of the staff, and they were all very friendly and helpful.
4. The location is great. You can hear the howling monkeys quite a bit during the day. Whether you hear them early in the morning depends on what type of room you signed up for - i never heard them from my room in the mornings, but i saw a few of the howling monkeys in the trees outside my balcony on one of the evenings. . Also the monkeys move in packs and do move around, so just because you hear them one morning does not mean they will be there again the next morning.
5. The beach is barely a 10 min walk downhill. But the path downhill and parts of the beach are rocky, so bring water sandals. The water is warm and wonderful. Since the beach is a designated turtle preservation, no commercial development is allowed there. so it is very much in its natural state - and often when you go for a walk, there is barely anyone else around. Its like having a private beach. But remember, this is not like a typical caribbean beach - no pure white sands or turquoise waters, no restaurants etc, but still very nice nonetheless. Playa pelada nearby is a little nicer - sandier, less rocks, and you can eat at la luna and see the beautiful sunset - but you will need a cab to get there.
6. We were there as part of a yoga/pilates retreat, and had a great time. We used all 3 yoga studios, and skyhall was always our favorite - its definitely the most spectacular yoga studio i have ever seen. The ocean view as you do the yoga poses is just hard to beat.
7. I had a massage with Chantal, which was very relaxing. I was surprised that lymphatic drainage massage was not an option at the spa, but they did have all kinds of other holistic treatments and massages available.
8. Our retreat group was very active - i spent 4-6 hours in yoga and pilates classes every day, and really lucked out because instructors in our group were amazing, and the group itself was very open and quickly came together as a small community. But the schedule really depends on what particular retreat you sign up for ( e.g. one of the other retreats there at the same time had a really small grup, and only one yoga class in the mornings). So beyond the classes, the pool and the beach, i did not have too much energy for doing the excursions or tours - and it was not my first trip to costa rica. But yes, to get around, you definitely need a car or a taxi. Two people in our group rented their own car, and were planning to drive around to other parts in costa rica after the retreat. The resort is a bit isolated - you can't just walk out of it and into hustle and bustle of a beach town - getting to guiones town is a 45 minute walk on the beach, or a 15 minute cab ride.
9. Airport pickup when i arrived was quite confusing. The person from blue spirit was not standing there with a sign. After a while, one of the other gentlemen from a local car company asked who i was looking for, and then told me the blue spirit group was hanging out at the airport cafe. so i stepped out to where the taxis are and the cafe was 2 doors down. That's where i found the others also waiting for the blue spirit shuttle. So if you see no one with a sign upon arrival, feel free to ask one of the other people at the airport waiting with signs - they are very helpful.
As for areas of improvement, i really had 2 in mind:
1. I was concerned about how often the yoga mats are cleaned. The yoga mats avl for use in the studios are actually quite nice. But we saw a small spray bottle with cleaning solution only on one day for us to use in the entire week - on other days, there was nothing around for the students to wipe down the yoga mats after use. Since there are lots of studies out there on how germs spread very easily from shared yoga mats, i was very surprised by that. I heard they do clean the mats, but I am pretty sure that does not happen after every class - because sometimes classes in the same studio can be almost back to back from one group to another. Those studios can get quite hot, so some people in our class, esp the men, were sweating profusely - its like they were leaving mini puddles on top of those mats, so i would not want to be someone who uses the same mat afterwards! There is room for improvement there - and i was really glad i brought my mat with me.
2. it would be nice if they offered some kind of basic laundry service by the pound. Every body is coming for at least a week, so having some basic laundry service would be a big plus.
By the end of the week, all of us were leaner, more toned, and clothes were getting a little looser. I ran into two people who had been there for 2 weeks, and some of their shorts were almost falling off them. This is a great place to come and revive and get into healthy eating and fitness. Overall i had a great time, and would certainly consider coming back in the future. This is a place to rejuvenate and relax and tends to attract people interested in wellness - but if you are looking for a typical four or five star hotel and the usual amenities, this is not really for you.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Blue Spirit Costa Rica provides an extraordinary setting to all who are dedicated to spiritual transformation, personal development, and environmental sustainability. Perched on a hilltop that overlooks the Pacific Ocean and a three-mile long white sand beach that is protected as a turtle refuge – Blue Spirit offers an extraordinarily beautiful and natural setting on one of Costa Rica’s renowned beaches, supporting your retreats, workshops, and trainings to be a deeply nurturing and unforgettable experience.Blue Spirit is located in one of the world’s Blue Zones© which inspired the name Blue Spirit. According to author Dan Buettner, the Nicoya Peninsula is one of five Blue Zone’s in the world: a Blue Zone is an area where people live the longest and report the highest levels of well-being. While visiting Blue Spirit, you will feel the resonance of a vibrant, inspiring, and healing energy, because of the rich subtropical environment, and the cultural lifestyle.Your stay at Blue Spirit offers you a comfortable and elegant accommodation of your choice, delicious gourmet vegetarian cuisine, a salt-water infinity pool, koi pond, café, gift shop, spa and longevity services, outdoor excursions, and complimentary wireless service.Blue Spirit was founded by Stephan Rechtschaffen who also co-founded the renowned Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY. He is a nationally recognized holistic physician who lectures on health, wellness, nutrition, longevity, and time. These interests have drawn him to living and working in the more mindful and slower paced environment of Blue Spirit in Costa Rica. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Blue Spirit Hotel Nosara
- Blue Spirit Costa Rica/Nosara