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“Highly recommend!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Samasati Nature Retreat

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Samasati Nature Retreat
3.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Carbon 1, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica   |  
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Yoga for Solo Traveler !
UK
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Highly recommend!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2009

Wasn't too sure what to expect after reading the reviews, but I have to say my stay at Samasati was completely relaxing. The cabin was basic but clean- I always had hot water, the staff - incredibly accomodating, all the excursions I did were fantastic (waterfall, the shaman tour and the canopy tour (highly recommend!). I heard positive feedback on all the excursions. Endless activities.

As for insects, (my major fear), there were hardly any moquitos. Yes I encountered bugs but they do not bug you. I grew tolerant and remembered I was a mere visitor in their beautiful habitat, but they were not an issue.

Meals were sociable, the food was delightful with array of different meals were served, the breakfasts were unforgettable with fresh fruit juices typical tico dishes.

The one draw back is the distance from Puerto Veijo, but its a small price to pay for the tranquil surroundings and stunning views that the retreat offers. Definately a place where one can switch off or down a gear (or 3)!

Will hopefully return.

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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nyc
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2009

Though dubious at my own whimsical, last-minute decision to fly off to Costa Rica to go to a secluded nature and yoga retreat center, especially considering that:

a) I don’t speak Spanish
b) I don’t do yoga
c) I have a broken leg

…I can say I knew from the moment I arrived on Samasati grounds everything was going to be ok…and by the time my head hit the pillow that night, I felt I had struck gold.

Here are my thoughts on a few key travel and comfort points – general perspective and high-maintenance perspective for added bonus:

Transportation: was great to be picked up from the airport (the driver just a few minutes late) and driven through three national parks as we made our way southeast through Costa Rica. The driver both directions was amicable, but not too friendly if you know what I mean, and was very safe on the offensive and moderately safe on the defensive – the roads were mostly smooth and well-marked, and most of the drivers non-threatening.
High maintenance: the big trucks did raise a hair on the neck or two or perhaps the drivers could have been more sensitive to a foreigner’s sense of road safety – even a foreigner who has traveled all over the world.

On-site Transportation: the ride from the town up to the rainforest canopied seclusion of Samasati is a pleasant adventure each time – and all of the Samasati drivers were courteous and careful. The daily shuttle to and from the town/beach was useful…
High maintenance: the timing of the shuttle only allows for a few hours of enjoyment in town. the bummer was getting a late start in the day (10am) and then coming home early (by 3)…but finagling a taxi was not very easy since one needs a 4x4 vehicle to return to the retreat, or needs to wait for a Samasati driver to have the time and vehicle to come down and fetch you at the bottom of the climb. One could walk up the path or down if one wanted – with a good headlamp and walking stick…

Food, glorious food! I chose Samasati for its promise and premise of three vegetarian meals a day, what they don’t tell you is how dangerously delicious not only the nightly desserts are, but the healthy helpings themselves! My palate and belly were quite happy – well-rounded meals, scrumptious and yet simple.
High maintenance: The packed lunches could have packed more of a punch, but I could always make up for loss calories and protein at dinner.

Accommodations: I had reserved a spot in the cheapest accommodation option, but upon arrival was bumped up to the most luxurious of options, a private bungalow. Staff told me this is a standard procedure when the retreat is not fully booked. With clean linens, simple and tasteful décor, adequate bug netting, a view of the Caribbean and a personal hammock, how could I ever go back now from the private bungalow option – they have me hooked!
High maintenance: I didn’t consistently have hot water, and that was a bummer after long, hard days on the beach.

Social life at Samasati: the staff were very helpful and friendly enough, with a few of them being more than willing to kick back and join in on meals and laughs as invited – the international staffers there were particularly great! other guests can be quite social as well – but the best thing about Samasati is that one can choose to be socialite or hermit…

$$ & Logistics: while ticked off at a certain traveler’s checks hitch (the local bank likes to be difficult), one of the owner’s agreed to swallow the charges and commission a few of us ended up paying in order to exchange our checks in person. I highly recommend NOT using traveler’s checks. Samasati should tell you this on their website. also, I personally found the entire “package” to be well-worth my buck and there were no hidden costs or anything I really needed in addition to what Samasati offers.

Yogalicous: having nothing to base this on (except loads of other physical movement types of instruction and 12 years of bodywork), the yoga instruction was instructive, creative, enjoyable, custom-tailored and outrageously productive and soothing just in its twice-daily offering and setting in the rainforest canopy. how could I not be a goddess there?

Eco-conscious: while branded as being sustainable, Samasati has a long, innovative way to go compared to some of the other places I had checked out. they do ask to conserve water and recycle plastic, and to forego cleaning linens and only use biodegradable products – they are not mindful of packing lunches in plastics, supplementing fruit with packaged store (non-local) goods and providing more reasonable transportation to and from the airport (I had a 12-person van to myself). they could also work towards more innovative apparatus such as composting toilets, solar heating/energy, etc. that other smaller, more sustainable lodgings offer. Overall, though, I felt fairly light in my impact.

Nature: dendrobates kamikazed me, howlers howled me awake, butterflies shimmered me sunlight and birds of all sorts chippered and chirped the day (and sometimes night) through. the flora should not go unnoticed as well. it was my first time in a tropical rainforest – and it took me 2 days to digest the fact that I was not actually just walking around a really, really well-done living museum exhibit. having a broken leg and lean wallet, I couldn’t manage going on any of the excursions or getting myself to any of the national parks, canopy tours, snorkeling, etc. but honestly, you could never leave Samasati and have a full rainforest immersion… there are several trails right on site – and let me mention again the howlers…while I loved being screamed awake…they may startle you and certainly interrupt your sleep. as for smaller critters, the bungalow was so well netted that nary a lizard or spider made it in…though I got to study them hanging out on the eaves, chairs, plants, etc. note: there is a pack of resident guard dogs (with teddy bear hearts) and one lovely huntress feline…so best that you’re into domestic animals as well.

  • Liked — its ambience, both indoors and outdoors, humans and non-humans
  • Disliked — it's hard to get a full day on the beach since transportation is tricky getting up the mountain
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarasota
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2009

Hi
This was my second trip to Samasati. I am planning for a 3rd. Sure there are little things that could be improved but overall Samasati is above average in beauty, staff, and yoga.
Vicky

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grand Rapids
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2008

samasati's website is very misleading. This place is rustic. Cabins, dirty linens, intermittant hot water. The staff are treated very badly and it shows on their face,and in their behaviour. The management is useless and the yoga is just embarassing. These teachers have no experience at all. I definitely don't recommend this place. Try Montezeum instead. You'll be glad you did

  • Stayed October 2008
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SilviaZcostarica, Marketing and reservation director at Samasati Nature Retreat, responded to this review, December 26, 2008
Dear,

I am sorry you have had such a bad experience at Samasati.
It seems like you went to a different place as right now the Hotel is fully booked and everybody is happy.
Having good service is the first and most important priority we have.
Having our employees happy about what they do, is as important as priority as the first one. We believe happy employees give good service. You are the first client who says (in 11 years) that our web site is misleading as all the others have always told us that the web site does not really represent the beauty of the location, buildings and the project itself... hope you find what you look for in a vacation.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, North Carolina
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2008

I recently had a short visit to the Samasati Nature Retreat with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. We all had a wonderful time. You really can't beat the scenery/follage that surrounds the retreat - the setting is incredibly beautiful. We stayed in a private bungalow (Number 5) which overlooked the forest and had a great view out to the ocean. The bungalow itself was spacious enough for the 3 of us (it had 3 beds). We had a few critters in our place, but you are in a forest, afterall. The entire front wall was a screen that opened to a deck with rocking chairs and a hammock. It was a great place to relax and take in the beauty of your surroundings (I could have spent several days just reading on the deck). The room was cleaned everyday and fresh towels were provided. Just a note to those used to hotel settings, there are no toiletries provided (actually they did have hand soap there). The accommodations are "rustic" - so if you prefer a four/five star hotel setting, this probably isn't the place for you. The food was very good. A typical breakfast included fresh fruit, beans/rice, scrambled eggs, bread with jam, yogurt with granola and fresh juice/water. We attended a couple of yoga classes and really enjoyed them - definitely a great class for any skill level from beginner to advanced. One highlight was the hike to the waterfall - it is a gorgous route and the waterfall was very refreshing (we stood under it to rinse the sweat off!). The flowers/trees and animals on the grounds at Samasati were incredible. We saw lots of birds, lizards, frogs, butterflies, a sloth and although I heard the monkeys every morning, I did not see them. We made friends with many of the other guests at Samasati and ended up going into town with a big group one night. It was a wonderful, relaxing experience and I would definitely return.

  • Liked — The view and surroundings
  • Disliked — The hill you take to get to Samasati is very rough - you need a 4WD vehicle.
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 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.
Nashville, Tennessee
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2008

I don't use the word "awesome" often, but it certainly applies to Samasati. It is a delightful retreat! The buildings are all constructed of beautiful local hardwoods. The meals were delicious. The staff was very helpful and accommodating. The yoga/meditation classes were a real treat. You are made to feel comfortable regardless of your level of practice. If you’re into nature, the trails on the property are great. Be sure to pack a good pair of boots if you plan to do a lot of hiking and a pair of binoculars which make jungle treks a lot more interesting. It’s amazing to observe the howler monkeys, sloths, toucans and parrots in the treetops. The waterfall trail on the road past the yoga studio was a favorite. If you find yourself in Puerto Viejo, stop in Chile Rojo’s for a great meal and the best pina colada in town (note: they don’t take credit cards) and a trip to the beach at Punta Uva is a must. Overall, it was a wonderful experience. I hope to do it again!

Stayed June 2008
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, TX
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2008

Oh my goodness!! My husband (I love that I can say that!)and I had the BEST honeymoon ever at Samasati Nature Retreat! I have to be honest I was a little nervous just because I was going out on a limb never traveling to Costa Rica before..... However EVERYTHING from the transportation, food, bungalow, service was amazing!! We were picked up from the airport on time and the van was really nice!! Our driver (Martin) was very friendly and extremely accomodating.... The service at Samasati is impecable!!! Every single employee did everything that they could to accomodate us!! The food was extremely good AND healthy!! I was suprised about this because my honey and I are not vegetarians.. (We did go to the local towns though and had some meat.. THE BEST SUSHI RESAURANT is called Sushimi in Puerto Viejo (only 10 minutes away) You MUST go by this place if you like sushi.. The husband and wife (Jason and I dont know how to spell his wifes name...) that own the restaurant make the best sushi that I have ever had... They are extremely creative everything from the atmosphere to the different rolls that incorporate the fresh fruits in Costa Rica was just amazing I could talk forever about my experience just trust me and go!!! FYI if you plan on being out past 9:00 pm you must make other arrangements to get up the mountain because the mountain is so steep the vehicle must be a 4x4 It really is not that big of a deal though because there are ppl in the area that are willing to do this (we used fred.. he was really good and the front desk can set this up for you!!! We were very active on our honeymoon I highly recommend the tours..wedid the white water rafting (that was amazing I felt so adventurous) canapy tour (zip lining through the rain forest) kayaking tour down the Punta Uva river (the river was low but it was still good!! BEST BEACH was Punta Uva very secluded and very clean! The bungalow that we stayed in was Namaste and it was AWESOME we had the top room (there are 3 stories)we shared a bathroom on the second floor and that was the only bad thing about it but it really was not that bad... I never had a problem with having to use the bathroom it worked out perfectly =) The facility was very clean and neat. We did not have any bugs either I am very happy to report that.. because going to the rainforest you have to expect that but we did not have any encounters.. We did however come into some sloths howler monkeys frogs spider monkeys and that was awesome I had never seen any in nature like that before!! Very cool!! Oh and the howler monkeys do wake up at around 5:30 but it was not that bad and if worst comes to worst the front desk can get you ear plugs! The manager Lucy (FANTASTIC manager!!) was sooo accomodating we requested a fan for our room and ear plugs on the first day and at dinner that night she informed us that the fan was in our room and handed our ear plugs to us.. she did say though just try to sleep without them for one night and we did and did not have to use them the entire time we were there... Cant say that was true for everyone but it was for us!! We did the exotic honeymoon package and I highly recommend this for any nature lovers!! =) I can not wait to go back!! When I do you can bet your bottom dollar I will be getting another message.... (John was outstanding!!) We plan on going back for our one year anniversary!!

  • Liked — The service
  • Disliked — sharing bathroom
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 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 Samasati Nature Retreat

Address: Carbon 1, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #17 of 64 Specialty lodging in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Samasati Nature Retreat 3*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Samasati Nature Retreat is Nature Retreat and Yoga Center on the South Caribbean of Costa Rica. Nestled in 270 acres of primary forest, Samasati Nature Retreat is blessed with spectacular views of the Caribbean sea and of the surrounding tropical rainforest. It is the perfect and romantic getaway for nature lovers, adventure fans, yoga practitioners and groups. We will help you reserving transportation to Samasati and organizing your visit in all its details! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Samasati Nature Retreat Hotel Puerto Viejo
Samasati Nature Retreat Costa Rica/Limon

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