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“beautiful location. inflexible and precious staff.” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Pura Vida

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Hotel Pura Vida
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270 m south of bus stop, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Mexico
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“beautiful location. inflexible and precious staff.”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2010

Myself and 2 friends were travelling through Costa Rica and staying in Puerto Viejo for Christmas. I decided to book this hotel for the days we were there as it looked like the perfect place to kick back and enjoy our christmas. Although beautiful, I was slightly concerned when we arrived quite late in the evening, and had the 'rules' of the hotel explained to us - we weren't allowed to wear shoes in public areas of the hotel (?), and we were not allowed to hang wet beach clothes out on the balcony of our room (amougst other things). There were 3 of us, but only 2 sets of keys. We went out on Christmas eve and got seperated. I had to return home with no key and ring the bell. The owner was not pleased and told me wew would 'speak about this in the morning'! The next morning, on CHRISTMAS DAY, the owner knocked on our door at 9am and told us we had a hour to leave. I tried to reason with him but he refused to talk about it. Surely a hotel is prepared for people sometimes going out, coming in late, loosing keys - I understand that it isn't ideal - but these things do happen. I was not at all impressed with my stay here or with the treatment we received, and I found the attitude of the owners rude and precious.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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167 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2010

If you want to stay right in the town of Puerto Viejo, this hotel is probably your best bet. It's very clean, feels very safe, and we found the owners to be totally helpful and accommodating. The vibe here is different than the rest of the town, but we were glad that it felt so clean and safe and that the showers were hot.
The owners made all of the arrangements for us on our canopy tour, which was nice (and a crazy way to spend a morning - surprisingly worthwhile), but we were just as happy on our rented bikes and snorkel gear exploring the area. The ride to Manzanillo is incredible and is absolutely manageable on a bike.
The hotel is walking distance to all of the bars and restaurants and their breakfast is really terrific. In the afternoon, after returning from a day of adventures, we had the best tea service I've ever had. I don't know why it was so memorable, but it seems worth mentioning.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Panama
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2010

My husband and I were recommended this hotel from our friends who stayed there in Nov. They had a pleasant stay, but our experience was very different.

Here are our complaints:
1. The owners have a long list of rules, some of which they didn't tell us until after we had broken them -- and they made us feel like children reprimanding us. For example, we had hung our beach towel on the railing outside our room to dry. The owner swiftly came and removed our towel without any word to us. The rooms are just screened in, and as we were in our room, we could see him gathering our things. My husband went to ask him what he was doing, and he said that he was going to hang them on the clothes line.
2. The owners speak German, Spanish, and English. Assuming that I didn't speak any German, they made fun of other guests right in front of us, and then they even talked about us like we weren't there! Totally rude!
3. The mattress was very uncomfortable -- both my husband and I have very sore backs after spending 4 nights here.

The hotel does have a nice setting. The owners are very organized, and give a lot of information about what to do in the area. The dog is very cute. The rooms are very clean. If you don't mind a long list of rules, and value these other things then you should stay here -- if not, please avoid it!

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Baltimore
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2010

Spent only one night here, but left mine and girlfriend's pack here for 2 additional nights while we traveled to Bocas del Tora. We didn't want to take our huge packs with us and didn't want to leave in rental car while in Panama. Owner allowed us to lock the packs in a laundry room and everything was found exactly like we left it when we returned. Very safe location, with locked entrance ways to hotel area. Also had locked parking lot. Owner was very helpful with providing accurate information to do border crossing into Panama at Sixola. I thought everyone here were very nice, but they run a "tight ship." Which shows by being a very, very clean and safe hotel. For example no shoes upstairs. I actually liked this policy, but if that is not your style, this place may not be for you.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Alameda, CA
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2009

We decided to extend our stay in Puerto Viejo and found this hotel just by walking around town. It's super clean, well maintained and very safe. We stayed in a room with private bath and it was affordable and worth the price. The bathroom was very rustic and just a warning to the ladies - room #2 has a bathroom with screened windows and no curtains or window coverings. This works fine except for in the shower, where the window is low enough to feel uncomfortable if you're on the tall side. This room is on the first floor and people walk by the bathroom all day long so it can be a little uncomfortable. The mosquito nets worked fine for us and the fan brought relief from the heat. There is no alarm clock here so be sure to bring your own. Be careful about plugging things in though; I was shocked by the outlet when I attempted to plug in my camera battery charger.

Now regarding the owners, the wife was pleasant and overall helpful. Every time we saw that she was working the front desk, we felt relieved. The husband, however, was just plain rude. The first night we stayed here, we bought dinner at the grocery store right around the corner, and ate in the hotel's courtyard. Halfway though our dinner, the male owner came over and told us that we were not welcome to have "picnics" at the hotel because they "sell snacks here." We were so uncomfortable we threw away the remaining food and just went to our room. This hotel does sell beer, snacks and breakfast but not dinner. Plus, there are no signs saying that outside food is not allowed. Very strange. He never once smiled, said hello or did anything at all to make us feel welcome.

The location of the hotel is average, it's two blocks to the main road and four blocks to the nearest beach. We did love that the main grocery store is right around the corner. I would recommend that if you go out at night, bring a small flashlight if possible. Out of the four days we spent in Puerto Viejo, the power went out at night twice, for several hours. And the entire town is pitch black when the power goes out.

There are so many other hotels in this area, I'd recommend finding another one if you really want to experience pura vida in Costa Rica.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
San Francisco, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2009

We stayed here a few months ago for a few nights with two young boys (under 5).

The owners are really great and helpful. You can tell they take pride in their hotel. The covered common area is quite lovely and relaxing. Several sitting areas with magazines for you to peruse. There are tables and chairs for breakfast or snacks. We loved the guacamole served here. Colorful hammocks all over (which the boys loved). Bananas hanging from the celing for your snacking pleasure. On rainy days, it was nice to sit out in the common area and watch the rain. Bring bug spray...they are everywhere in Costa Rica...especially on the beach here. You need a key to get into the hotel, so you feel safe hanging out. Within walking distance to everything. Bread and Chocolate (great place for lunch or breakfast) is around the corner.

The rooms are basic. There is mosquito netting over the beds (I noticed small holes in them, probably need replacing). The beds are okay. We had a good sized room. The bathroom is basic, nothing fancy. No refrigerator or a/c. There was a celing fan, and that seemed to be fine. We are not the types that like a really cool/cold room.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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St Albans, UK
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2009

We stopped in a private double room with bathroom.
Good points:
- Large clean room
- Hot water shower with decent power
- Relaxing communal area with hammocks and sofas
- Drinking water bottle fill-ups available at a cost
- Laundry service
- Friendly staff helpful with tours and knowledge of local area
- Snacks and drinks sold
- Quiet, secluded and secure
- Friendly dog called Duche

Bad points
- Breakfast extra
- Mossie nets have a few holes (and you need a net here, the mosquitoes are abundant!)
- No internet

Its a few blocks from the beach but that means its much quieter than other places. Its not really targetted at the 'party' scene so bear that in mind if that's what you're after.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Hotel Pura Vida

Address: 270 m south of bus stop, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Hotel Style:
Ranked #15 of 38 B&Bs / Inns in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 10
Also Known As:
Hotel Pura Vida Costa Rica/Limon

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