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“Perfect begining to Costa Rica Adventures” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Pura Vida Hotel

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Pura Vida Hotel
1500 meters north of the Fabrica Punto Rojo | at the crossroads of the village of Tuetal, Alajuela, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 55 Alajuela B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Quepos, Costa Rica
1 review
“Perfect begining to Costa Rica Adventures”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013

After nearly a decade of the Pura Vida always being my first and last stop in Costa Rica, I feel qualified to highly recommend your visiting as well. A finer host(Bernie) and superb chief(wife Nhi) you will not find anywhere!
I have hesitated sharing my enthusiasm for finding this instant transition from my urban home in the United States to the calming of the rainforest grounds of the Pura Vida because if It is too well known I will have a difficult time finding a place to stay at the Inn. The dinner must be planned in advance so Nhi can find the freshest foods in the market today and turn them into a memorable meal presented just to you.
I have started bringing tours to Costa Rica to share its rain forest wonders and we always start and end our adventures with a stay and meal at Pura Vida. Bernie has been a good friend and a wealth of solid information in making our tours very successful. Thanks for everything.
Pura Vida,
Everett

Room Tip: All rooms are unique and provide good views of the beautiful grounds and privacy. Bernie has discove...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
alajuelanorth, Manager at Pura Vida Hotel, responded to this review, March 7, 2013
Thanks for the review and your continued returns and now your new birding groups. We do appreciate the support of our myriad of returnees each year. This year your group taught me some new things about the big migrations and involvement of organizations I didn't know of.

Life is all about learning. Thanks for coming back again and sharing your good vibes with us all at the Pura Vida Hotel,

Berni
Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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557 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    458
    70
    18
    5
    6
See reviews for
156
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (86)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2013

Stayed here one night at the end of a 2 week trip around Costa Rica. Clean and well designed room with a view - Volcano Room. Was a little noisy in the morning when the traffic, dogs, and roosters started up in the neighborhood. Ate dinner at Jalapenos in Alajuela - excellent recommendation from Bernie, one of the owners of Pura Vida hotel. Bernie hooked us up with bag lunches for breakfast since the our flight was leaving early. He also had a reliable cab ready to go when we needed it! Thanks!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Duluth
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

The owners of this quaint yet sophisicated B&B are extremely cordial and accomodating to their guests. The rooms are lovely. The dogs will steal your heart. The grounds are stunning. The meals are second to none. Every time I stay at the Pura Vida I am served fabulous food prepared with the freshest ingredients. Pura Vida is the ONLY place I stay when I travel in and out of the country.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newton, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

Here's what we loved about the Pura Vida Hotel - it wasn't just a hotel. It was a hotel with pretty rooms, a garden, a wonderful restaurant (one of the best meals of our vacation), and Berni, who helped us with transportation, and made some quite excellent suggestions for things to round out a great vacation. Little things like being able to leave our rental car at the hotel rather than driving it to the office made a huge difference. Definitely recommended to others.

Room Tip: Just look on their web site - the descriptions were very accurate.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint John, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

An oasis tucked away in a drab neighbourhood near the airport. Grounds are amazing. Make sure to enjoy Bernie's quirky humour. Breakfasts are a treat and dinners are even better. Bernie's wife is an incredible chef. Excellent wine cellar too. If you want to take advantage of excursions or activities in the area Bernie will make it happen. If you can book Stirling as you driver go for it. He is very knowledgeable and an excellent tour guide.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

After a bad start, we really enjoyed our stay at Pura Vida.
Let's start with the good... Carlos! Carlos is fantastic! He greeted us the first morning with a huge smile, which never left his face. Whatever we needed or wanted, he was happy to provide. He made us feel like we were the most important customers he ever met. With 15 minutes notice, he arranged for a terrific tour with a very knowledgable local guide. When we returned, he seemed absolutely delighted that we had a delightful time. The day we left, he made us a great lunch-to-go and seemed genuinely sorry to see us go. Thank you, Carlos! :)

The breakfasts were delicious and dinner, prepared by the owner's wife Nhe, was superb! The hotel is very comfortable and quaint. The grounds are lovely with many artistic touches. The hotel is a relaxing and secure sanctuary inside of a busy city.

Now for the bad. This hotel is nearly impossible to find if you are not familiar with the area. We searched for over two hours with no luck. Bernie, the owner, said there was a map on the website, but we were unable to find it using an iPad. Our first call for help was answered by someone who did not speak English (and unfortunately, we do not understand Spanish). The second and third calls were futile because we did not know where we were, so they could not give us directions. Finally, after asking directions at another hotel (which got us closer) and flagging down a Red Cab (the driver didn't know of the Pura Vida), we were able to call again and tell the owner where we were -- which he said was very close. When we asked him to come to us and lead us to the hotel, he at first refused. After I pleaded with him, he reluctantly agreed to drive to our location. He arrived in a few minutes and led us to the Pura Vida. His brusque manner made us feel that we had really annoyed him and that we had somehow done something wrong. He made no attempt to help us with our luggage, but was more concerned with giving us instructions on how to treat his 'special-needs' dog which has behavioral issues. (We are all animal lovers, so it wasn't that we minded the instructions, but rather the rudeness and lack of normal courtesy to new customers.) I could go on and on with more details, but suffice it to say that we went to bed wishing we had gone to the Marriott Courtyard.

Fortunately, we were greeted in the morning by Carlos' smile and our trip ended on a very positive note. Perhaps we just caught Bernie on a bad day...

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Paul, Minnesota
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2013

Loved this place, tucked in an "oasis" on the edge of San Jose. The accommodations were spotless, lovely, and the food made you want to stay a long time and just enjoy the gourmet food and presentation. The owners were very accommodating and made us feel at home.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Rain Forest Cottage and it was great.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
alajuelanorth, Manager at Pura Vida Hotel, responded to this review, February 18, 2013
Thanks for the compliment! Indeed a compliment in a country essentially known for some of the best coffee in the world.

Berni
Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pura Vida Hotel

Address: 1500 meters north of the Fabrica Punto Rojo | at the crossroads of the village of Tuetal, Alajuela, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Alajuela
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 55 B&Bs / Inns in Alajuela
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Pura Vida Hotel is located 4km north of the SJO International airport - we provide a free taxi pickup for international arrivals. Breakfast is included and an excellent dinner is available with reservations (or late meals for late arrivals). Touring services include car rentals delivered here, private vans and as much touring advice as you wish - we are experts on Costa Rica. We have arrangements with Toyota Car Rental for deals on car rentals. Our idea is simply that this is a place we would like to stay at when we travel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pura Vida Alajuela
Hotel Pura Vida
Pura Vida Hotel Costa Rica/Alajuela

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