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“two thumbs up for Pura Vida” 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   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 54 Alajuela B&B and Inns
Montreal, QC
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“two thumbs up for Pura Vida”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2008

All of the positive reviews here on trip advisor are on the money. Pura Vida was our first and last stop as well as a midway stop on our Costa Rica honeymoon. It was the perfect place for a "home base." We didn't have to deal with downtown San Jose as the hotel is in the suburb of Alajuela, a close ride from the airport. We left some of our luggage while we went rafting for 3 days which was perfect. Although Berni and Nhi were away while we were there, their other employees (esp. Rebecca) were more than accommodating, giving us room upgrades when available, helping us with dinner suggestions, and serving us that delicious Pura Vida breakfast we heard so much about. The rooms were very nice, EXTREMELY clean- no AC but totally not needed. The gardens are, as others have said, like a little oasis in the city. Read the positive reviews- they say it all. Pura Vida is wonderful.

YES they have dogs- they are big but harmless and we love dogs so we had no problem with them. They wander free on the grounds so if you are deathly afraid of dogs, they could deter you. However, they are not jumping licking dogs and are very sweet.

NO Pura Vida is NOT the Hilton. You can hear street traffic, neighborhood dogs, and roosters. It got pretty cool at night so shutting the window with the ceiling fan on was just fine for us. Pura Vida IS the real Costa Rican experience, with the food, the staff, the artwork, the casitas, and the people. (yes, there are modern amenities- hair dryer, fridge, internet in the lobby, alarm clocks, etc) I travel to experience a country, not to stay in a carbon copy hotel room that I could find anywhere. So, in conclusion, if you want AC, TV, and ugly carpet, stay at a chain hotel. If you want to experience Costa Rica at its best, stay at Pura Vida.

  • Liked — loved all of it
  • Disliked — for us, not a destination location, but a great place near the airport
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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533 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    435
    69
    18
    5
    6
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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 (74)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
NJ
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2008

Our flight to Costa Rica arrived late so we stayed at the Pura Vida overnight before driving to our final destination the next day. Then we also stayed at the Pura Vida on our last day in Costa Rica before our early morning flight. We originally picked the Pura Vida because of its proximity to the airport. However, we discovered many more reasons why it is a good base for a Costa Rica trip. The setting is beautiful with wonderful gardens and a spectaular view of a volcano. The rooms were very comforable and spacious. Best of all was the food, We ate breakfast on our first day there and dinner on our last. Both meals were a wonderful treat - a feast for both the eyes and the palate. We also went on the tour provided by the owners of the local farmers market. This was tremenodous fun with a chance to sample some delicious tropical fruits that I had never seen before. Last, but not least, the oweners of the Pura Vida were a complete delight. They were very welcoming and gave us a tremendous amount of helpful information. I would definately stay there on my next trip.

Stayed October 2008
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
st06
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2008

We only stayed at Pura Vida for one night, but were impressed with the service. Berni accommodated a (near) last minute change in travel plans with no penalties or hassle.

The hotel was clean and the management was extremely helpful in arranging tours, suggesting places to eat, and offering advice on visiting the country.

We only had two disappointments:
First, the timing of our trip coincided with the owner's own travel and dinner was not available. Second, we were beset by a neighbors' rooster at an extremely early hour! Obviously, this is beyond the hotel's control.

All in all, we would recommend Pura Vida as a great place to stay. The grounds are beautiful, the service was very good, the price was reasonable, and the location is extremely convenient to the airport.

  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SHARBOT LAKE
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2008

A wonderful garden setting yet close to everything. The minute you arrive you are made to feel right at home. We stayed here twice this trip. Our Rain Forest bungalow is highly recomended for it's space,unique design and beautiful views.

Berni and Nhi are wonderful hosts and the entire staff is DEDICATED. Nhi prepared a wonderful gourmet dinner and the recomended wines were perfect. On the morning of our departure Rebecca arose at 5:30 AM to prepare us a box breakfast....now, that's dedication.

With only a few bungalows and rooms Pura Vida offers wonderful intimacy. Berni is a great source of information and quickly accomadated our needs.

We will definitely stay here again.

Mel & Tina Henderson

  • Liked — unique accomadations, meals and terrific staff
  • Disliked — pathway to bungalow can be a bit tricky with my bad knee
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Idaho Falls, ID
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2008

We stayed at the Pura Vida on our last night because it was close to the airport. We enjoyed the beautiful garden; the staff was friendly and helpful, the rooms clean, and the dinner excellent. The bathroom is small but adequate. The car park is locked and safe. They help a local school by donating books and invite guests to bring a few books in their luggage, but this is entirely optional. We did so and left them for the staff to deliver. The web site says they will change up to $50 for guests, but they were unable to do that for us; out of cash that day, I guess. We had a very early flight and the staff arranged a taxi and boxed our breakfast. There was a gecko in our room-not surprising since this is the tropics. We found it charming rather than annoying and left it alone. All-in-all we would stay there again.

  • Liked — Garden, Location
  • Disliked — Small bathroom
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 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.
San Diego
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2008

We stayed here during our last few nights of our honeymoon before heading home. It's a beautiful compound, you can just sit all day long on the patio, reading and watching the birds. Everything was obviously decorated with love and care of attention. We were upgraded to the newly-renovated Rain Forest Casita, just beautiful. Unfortunately we left just as Burni and Nhi were returning from their travel, but Rebecca took good care of us during our visit. Great breakfast, the hotel arranged a nice tour of the countryside for us by Esterling. We are definitely coming back.

  • Liked — Beautiful setting
  • Disliked — A little ways away from the town, have to take a taxi everywhere
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cheyenne, Wyoming
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2008

Staying at the Pura Vida Hotel was a true pleasure with understated luxury as my over all impression. I was very happy with my one night stay, and I could have stayed longer. Should I return to Costa Rica, it will be on my list of places to stay.

  • Liked — The style and decor of the room.
  • Disliked — N/A
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 54 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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