We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Lovely hotel and great food” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Pura Vida Hotel

Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 1 more site!
Save
You added Pura Vida Hotel to your Saves list
Pura Vida Hotel
1500 meters north of the Fabrica Punto Rojo | at the crossroads of the village of Tuetal, Alajuela, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel website
  |  
  |  
  |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 54 Alajuela B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Edmonton, Canada
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Lovely hotel and great food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

I was lucky enough to stay twice at Pura Vida Hotel during my stay in Costa Rica in February. My sister, brother-in-law, nephew and I stayed in the Mariposa Casita the first time. It is at the bottom of Bernie's lovely garden. On our last day in Costa Rica, Bernie upgraded us to the Toucan Casita (much appreciated).

On our first stay, we were able to book the dinner. Without a doubt it was one of the best gourmet dinner I have had in a long time. Not only delicious but also a beautiful presentation (as they do with the included breakfast). Our last night was Sunday and dinner wasn't served that night but Bernie recommended Jalapeno Central which proved to be a delicious choice (TexMex by a Columbian American from NYC!)

I enjoyed a tour of Bernie's Burnka mask collection. It is only a $4 - 5 minute taxi ride to the airport so it is perfect for a first day, last night stay in Costa Rica,

Room Tip: There is a bit of noise from the street and the neighbourhood dogs. But the hotel supplies ear plugs...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2015, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Write a Review

547 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    448
    70
    18
    5
    6
See reviews for
152
249
20
11
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 (82)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Middlebury, Vermont
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

We have just returned from Costa Rica and, as always, it was delightful. We love the people, the climate and the small hotels, but most of all we love returning to Pura Vida Hotel. It is the perfect beginning and end to our visits. In addition to being close to the airport for first night/last night stops, it is a great destination on it's own.
Berni is a helpful host with a wonderful sense of humor and Nhi's incredible dinners are bursting with flavor. The close by Poas area is one of the loveliest of Costa Rica and you can do some nice day trips from here.
In short, we are looking forward to our next visit to the Pura Vida!

Room Tip: Each room has its own personality
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

So, here I am in Connecticut up to my waist in snow. My friend Jeff is on an airplane heading to coaster Rica for several months of teaching work. He arrives at SJO at 10 PM and I find out he's not set up with a place to stay. Yikes! I get online and after searching and calling places that have no vacancies, I run across the website Pura Vida Hotel, just Minutes from the International Airport in Alajuela, Costa Rica. Long story short, Berni at the front desk hooks me up with a great room at a great price along with a free ride from the airport. Then, in the morning he helps Jeff arrange transportation to the West Coast. Big thanks for the help!! PS he absolutely loved the room, lap of luxury - he said.

  • Stayed February 2015
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Iowa City, Iowa
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Pura Vida Hotel was the perfect place to start and end our trip. We loved the location- like staying inside a botanical garden- an oasis of calm in a sea of chaos. Berni was so helpful in all matters, Nhi's cooking was amazing, the whole staff was so fabulous, and it was fun meeting the other guests as well. It set the tone for a great adventure. We highly recommend this unique place, and will come back again for sure!

Room Tip: lower casitas have less street noise. all are very private and comfortable. great beds and pillows...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 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.
Dallas, Oregon
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This place was an instant hit with me and my sister. We were welcomed and had much fun with Bernie and Nhi and Vincent. The breakfasts were always ready whenever we were including a 5:30 AM trip to the airport. The fabulous dinner by gormet chef Nhi is not to ge missed. We had toucan cabina. Large bedroom with queen and two single beds. Perfect for family of four. The very nice bathroom large shower and separate toilet seat room were great. The living room area had two tables with kitchettte with fridge. We loved the vegetation. You can't beat this place for arriving and departing Costa Rica. But it would also be a nice place to stay a few more nights as we did. The wisecracking doesn't stop.. Also did I mention the price is right. Less than 160 a night for two people. Get in line 15 minutes from the airport also.

Room Tip: Any of the casitas would be a wonderful choice.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2015, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We spent a night here before an early morning flight back to the U.S.----after a long trip through the rain (rainy!) forest. It was such a joy to get inside the gates where everything is pretty and comfortable, sunny and inviting. The rooms are *very nice*.

We were given great, uncomplicated advice on restaurants (ate at C-Vechitos y Mas---one of the best meals ever!) and they called cabs for us and even came out to give the cab drivers instructions about where to deliver us, so we felt well cared-for and protected. The owner might be someone who rubs some people the wrong way, depending on the issue or personalities, but he certainly makes a strong and successful effort to ensure that guests are comfortable there and have what they need.

We had to leave in the morning before breakfast. We were pleasantly surprised to find they had prepared bags with healthy breakfast foods to accompany us on our trips to the airport. While waiting for the cab we actually scarfed down most of the food so that took care of breakfast!

I rate Pura Vida excellent, giving "good vibes". About the noises of the city outside: we tuned the noise out, probably within minutes, not a problem. We felt safe & secure there, very much. Pura Vida was a good choice and if we return to San Jose we would try to stay there again.

The owners contribute to the area with their book donation program---something I didn't know about 'til I got there (or I'd have brought books). They also support a healthy lifestyle with the food choices and recommendations.

Room Tip: Think about how much walking you are up for because some of the rooms are at lower levels and its a...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2015, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Santa Fe, NM
Top Contributor
155 reviews 155 reviews
48 hotel reviews
Reviews in 59 cities Reviews in 59 cities
182 helpful votes 182 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

My husband and I have stayed at Pura Vida many times in the past 10 years and kicked off our latest visit to Costa Rica with 2 nights as guests of Berni and Nhi, the charming owners of Pura Vida. About a year ago, we contacted them to inquire about hosting a two night stay for us and 14 of our friends and family members who were joining us to celebrate a special occasion. We asked if Nhi could prepare one of her special dinners one evening, and Berni agreed they would be happy to accommodate all our requests. It turned out to be such great fun to fill all 6 rooms and share the beauty of Pura Vida with our adult children and close friends. Berni and Nhi were fabulous hosts; nothing was too much for them to insure our guests would be warmly welcomed and well cared for......and Nhi's dinner was superb as usual......our guests are still raving about it. (her flourless chocolate cake is a "don't miss") Pura Vida is a lovely way to be introduced to Costa Rica; it's close to the airport, there are fun day trips nearby that Berni is happy to arrange, and the hotel is a perfect place to relax and enjoy the beautiful grounds. All in all, my husband and I highly recommend Pura Vida; it's a winner!

  • Stayed January 2015, traveled with friends
    • 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.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to Pura Vida Hotel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Priceline, Booking.com and Odigeo so you can book your Pura Vida Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Pura Vida Alajuela
Hotel Pura Vida
Pura Vida Hotel Costa Rica/Alajuela

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Pura Vida Hotel, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.