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“Total, delicious relaxation in a beautiful, special place” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Blue Osa Yoga Retreat and Spa

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Blue Osa Yoga Retreat and Spa
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Osa Peninsula, Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 15 Hotels in Puerto Jimenez
2 reviews
“Total, delicious relaxation in a beautiful, special place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

I spent a week at Blue Osa in early January. I'd originally signed up assuming I'd do a spa package, but Aaron let me know that there'd be a yoga retreat going on and put me in touch with the organizer (the amazing Juan Gamboa, who very easily persuaded me to join, despite my not being a yoga practitioner). Juan brought a great group of New Yorkers and the yoga experience was terrific.

But even without that program, Blue Osa is an amazing place to spend time. It's truly special - upon arrival, we were introduced not just to the office staff but also to the kitchen staff, volunteers, gardeners, etc. It's a big family, and I felt like a truly welcome guest among them. They even let me bake challah per Jewish tradition for Friday evening - and the kitchen staff couldn't have been more gracious and helpful. We hugged and kissed literally everyone goodbye - and how often does that happen? Aaron and Adam know how to create a warm, family-like environment - introducing dinner each night with remarks about their contributions to the local school and other projects going on. Then the kitchen staff describe each dish. It's a beautiful nightly ritual.

And did I mention the food? Delicious, healthy and a nice alternative to the lovely-yet-monotonous Gallo Pinto (rice and beans, a daily breakfast staple). Some of the food was truly exceptional, the rest was very good. Yummy smoothies as well.

The treatments were terrific as well. Both Marcela and Laura were phenomenal. Very caring and warm as well as great at what they do.

Michael and Jorge, the front office/guest liaisons, were wonderful as well. So friendly and helpful and gracious.

The only thing I wish Blue Osa had is a stable beach (it all but disappears when the tide is high) with lounge chairs and umbrellas. Truthfully it wouldn't really fit the "feel" of the place, which is very down to earth, but I would have loved to be able to relax for hours in comfort on the beach (which is otherwise stark and beautiful and nearly empty - great for contemplative walks/runs).

In short, GO! Thank you to everyone for a wonderful week. Wonderful memories to keep me warm and sunny. xoxoxox

P.S. Although I went with a friend I'm marking this review as solo, as I think anyone on their own (which I often am) should feel comfortable there.

Room Tip: They all seem to be lovely, and one can hear the ocean from any of them, I think. The front of the y...
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  • Stayed January 2015, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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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272 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (83)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
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English first
United States
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

I just got back from a week at Blue Osa as a solo traveler. Costa Rica was a trip I'd planned for many years and I had high expectations for my stay at Blue Osa after devouring their Web site and reading all the glowing reviews here. I was craving a soulful, peaceful, relaxing retreat where I could dive deep into some inner work, meditation, solitude, where I could recharge my batteries away from the demands of my life back home, and where I could have the privacy I'm not afforded with a family and three businesses with demanding clients.

Well ... I didn't exactly get the trip I desired. Don't get me wrong -- it was still amazing, life-changing, and relaxing. But Blue Osa is not set up to give the same level of priority to an individual traveler as it does to its yoga retreat groups.

So, if you're planning a solo trip to Blue Osa, and there happens to be a group retreat going on the same time you're there (and looking at the schedule on their Web site, it appears they are solidly booked with retreats for the foreseeable future), here are some things you should know.

1. You will be expected to socialize. It's the only way you will get fed.
As much as I really really really wanted solitude, I didn't get it. Because I had to eat. Blue Osa serves every meal "family style" which means everyone sits together and eats together at mealtimes. Everyone. Three times a day. You will be politely asked to join the group if you try to sit alone. Just give in. It's not worth resisting. Also, these folks will be going on the excursions. And sitting by the pool. And laying on the beach. It's a very small place, so there are not too many spots where you can expect full privacy. Except your room. Which gets VERY hot during the day. So if you're alone for a few minutes trying to read a book or meditate or just be away from the group, expect to be interrupted by someone in short order who wants to chat. Loudly. And for extended periods of time. Remember, you have to eat with these people, and you are outnumbered, so just go with it.

2. Expect to have your daily schedule dictated by the group.
The group leader(s) determine when the group eats, holds yoga class, goes on excursions, etc. The schedule is posted by the kitchen/dining area. But if you happen to go to bed before the group leaders get around to making the schedule for the next day, you're not going to know what's going on, when yoga class will be held, or when meals will be scheduled. Some days I was there breakfast was at 7:30, some days it wasn't until 9. I learned to wing it and have a banana until the full meal was served.

3. Expect to sometimes NOT get fed.
There was one day when the rest of the group went on an excursion that left at 6 am and didn't return until after lunch time. Since I was the only person left at the resort, the kitchen did not make breakfast. I had TWO bananas that day. (To their credit, the resort manager did come find me and offer to have the kitchen make me a fried egg or something ... about two hours later.)

4. Yoga class is tailored to the level of the retreat group's students. Not you.
I was hoping my trip to Blue Osa would help me jump start my yoga practice, which had languished for quite a while due to injury and life events. I was pretty much back to a beginner's state. For some reason, I got the impression from the Blue Osa Web site that at least some yoga classes would be held by the resort's teachers and would be appropriate for all levels. Not the case. All of the yoga classes were held by the group's leaders, for the group, and tailored to the intermediate-to-advanced levels of the students. After one particularly embarrassing class where I was unable to do most of the poses to one of the group leader's satisfaction (based on the number of times she made a point to come over and correct my form ... and once when she tried to force me into a pose I have never been able to master), I gave up. No more yoga for me that week. It was discomfiting to be singled out for constant correction that, while not mean or rude, was not very kind and gentle either. I just didn't feel like becoming this person's personal project for the week, so I bowed out of further classes and just did solo practice in my room.

5. You will be at the mercy of both the group's members and the resort's characteristics. This might make for some unpleasant experiences and/or sleepless nights.
I randomly scheduled my trip to Blue Osa at the same time as a group from a yoga studio in a different area of the US than where I live. Much different. Some of the people were wonderful, nice, kind, welcoming, and a joy to be around. Some showed a touch of ignorance and lack of class with the questions they asked me about where I lived, what I did, etc. One person outright sexually harassed me about what I was wearing. Again ... you're a lone person at the mercy of the personal makeup of the particular group you share the resort with.

Also, Blue Osa's rooms are completely open to the outside both at the roof level and via the windows (no glass, just screens). This makes for some pleasant air flow. However, my room was right next to the pool. On the last night of the trip, after the group got back from a night of partying/drinking at the local jungle bar, some of the group and at least one of the group's leaders (along with, I suspect, some of the resort's young volunteer staff) decided to continue the party at the pool until 3 am. I could hear every word, every laugh, every squeal, every splash, in full stereo. For hours. No one from the Blue Osa staff or security ever asked them to keep it down, or move to the beach (which is much further from the rooms), or to the dining area. To me that seems like an implicit statement that it's okay with the resort owners/staff that some guests are allowed to have a good time at the expense of other guests' well-being and peaceful rest. While this might be acceptable at a cheap Holiday Inn, I expected more from an exclusive resort so dedicated to a yogic way of life that they require meditative "quiet time" every morning ... especially given the amount of money I could have saved by skipping the resort in favor of a cheap motel.

So there you have it, solo travelers. Just ignore all of the blah blah on the "Individuals" section of the Blue Osa Web site. You'll have a much better time finding a yoga group in your area and persuading them to book a trip so you can tag along. Or just plan to go to Blue Osa to make a bunch of single-serving friends who you can party with.

That being said ... the grounds are gorgeous. The food is utterly fantastic (and has persuaded me to completely change the way I eat). The staff is amazing (at everything except the above). The rooms are beautiful. The nature is prolific (make sure you like snakes). The excursions are top notch. Costa Rica is a jewel, bursting with life and magic. If it weren't for the damn Americans, this would have been a trip of a lifetime. As it was, it was a trip of a decade. I'm sure my next visit will be better. At an actual retreat.

  • Stayed January 2015, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
blueosa, Owner at Blue Osa Yoga Retreat and Spa, responded to this review, 1 week ago
Dear Solo Traveler,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write a detailed response of your stay. We enjoyed getting to know you while you were here, as well as seeing your glowing face every morning, which was filled with joy.

We were a little surprised by your comments below as Blue Osa’s manager, Michael, as well as myself, made it a point on several occasions to check in with you to make sure you were taken care of, and if there was anything we could do for you.

We do our best to make it a point to check in daily with our yoga seekers at Blue Osa to ensure they are looked after and receive everything they need, or to at least try to offer everything they need. When a guest tells us everything is perfect and they are happy, we believe them.

Particularly the morning breakfast you referenced, Michael personally went up to you to ask if you were hungry, (which you replied you were not) and invited you to ask the guys in the kitchen to make you anything you would like to have. Please send us an email letting us know how we could have been more caring from you in that moment.

You are correct in that Blue Osa is very group oriented. We really encourage travelers to register with groups whenever possible.

Having said that we offer customized packages to individual travelers who do not want to be a part of a group. As a solo traveler myself, I really appreciate customized and individual attention.

As a yoga beginner who wished to visit Blue Osa as a new individual yoga student, I would encourage any traveler to take advantage of our Private Yoga Retreat Getaway Package. In this package you have a private yoga teacher with you the entire stay. You receive one-on-one attention the entire week for a personal, customized yoga retreat.

Had we been made aware of this need during your stay, we would have made this suggestion to you. You signed up for our Holistic Wellness Getaway, where upon arrival, said you did not want to do anything the entire week except relax.

We were startled to learn of the evening you received a sexual harassment comment about your outfit from someone, and we take this very seriously. Whether it was guest or not, it needs to be addressed immediately. Please take the time to email us with the information in order that we may address it. We ideally would have liked to know about the incident at the time to apply the appropriate recourse. Sexual harassment from anyone is not tolerated at Blue Osa, and we are sorry we could not address it while you were here.

To your point about the people in the group coming in late and making noise, the night watchman was under the impression you took part in the pool festivities, as you joined the group that went out to the local jungle bar. We apologize for the confusion. Having my room next to the pool as well, I was woken briefly by some of the noise, but since it shortly disappeared, I did not think anything of it. This may be another reason the guard did not step up to quiet them, as we do not allow noise on the property after 9:30 pm.

In regards to the expectation to socialize, I have to correct this because it is absolutely a false statement. In addition to our morning silence, there are many sitting areas in our dining area where you can sit by yourself if you choose. We specifically have a dining table with a sign that says, “This table is silent.” Our private beach is 3 miles long. No one is expected to make conversation with anyone, and we have intentionally created many private areas on the property. The group leaders expressed to me that their yoga group participants wanted to ensure you felt included. I'm sure they would also been happy to leave you in solitude if expressed this to the staff.

The group that was here during your visit was one of the most welcoming, authentic, generous groups of people one could ever have the privilege of knowing and being around. For example, they were they only group to ever have our staff come out to give them a standing ovation for their efforts during the week. They were full of gratitude and kindness. They would have been happy to allow you enjoy your stay in solace, had they known that was your request. I was really sad to see, that of all weeks, you were not able to either find your own solace, or connect with the vibration of the week.

Blessings
Yogi Aaron
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I came across Blue Osa while doing some destination wedding research. As soon as I was put in touch with the staff and saw their beautiful photos, I knew this was the place we'd choose to host our special day. We were never huge yoga enthusiasts so we didn't know if that would be an issue choosing a well known yoga retreat - it was not; Everyone was a pleasure to work with and so accommodating for our traditional Hindu wedding.

When we arrived I was blown away by the beauty and calm feeling of the place - it felt so unique and just special. The entire staff paid so much attention to our needs and guests' needs throughout the week we were there. They helped organize group travel and even gave us some group yoga lessons (many of us had never done it before, so their modified lessons were much appreciated).

The grounds were truly gorgeous. This is a place where you can get away and unwind, and to be able to say that during the usually hectic time leading up to a wedding really shows how tranquil this place is. We also really loved the spa which offered all sorts of contemporary packages. It was tucked away on the grounds surrounded by plants and trees, and even had a private outdoor shower which added to the tropical paradise feel...I felt like I was on a movie set.

I had read reviews about the food being good, but to say just that would be an understatement. The food was amazing! It was so fresh and distinctive. It was the best food we had on our entire 3 week trip in all of Costa Rica. I looked forward to every meal and was touched that they made our wedding dinner so special. Half of us were vegetarians so they customized our meal to cater to all needs. We chose a Coconut-encrusted Mahi Mahi with Mango Salsa as well as an Eggplant Lasagna. For dessert we had Sorbet followed by Guanabana Coconut Milk Flan with Coconut Cookies. I am still thinking about the food!

Overall, this was the best time of our life thanks to the enchanting Blue Osa and everyone that helped plan our wedding. I can't wait to go back and visit those who now feel to be our extended family.

Room Tip: There are a few rooms that have wifi access.
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  • Stayed November 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Malibu, California, United States
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

My experience at Blue Osa went way beyond my expectations. The grounds are gorgeous, where the jungle meets the sea. It's a quiet oasis in the middle of nowhere, when you enter it truly feels like you have found Shangrila. The staff are incredibly kind and helpful, the food is fantastic and healthy, the accommodations comfortable and spacious. The open air yoga space is wonderful, you can see the ocean, amazing birds and monkeys, hear and see the rain as you melt into deep relaxation. The heat and the pace slow you down, your heart and mind will get still. The staff make you feel a part of their family and you feel so lucky to have to found this secret treasure of a place. Blue Osa is the most healing and peaceful haven, I will definitely be going back next year.

Room Tip: Some rooms have an opening in the roof, recommend a room with a closed roof to cut down on the bug...
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  • Stayed November 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Bakersfield, California, United States
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Yoga has provided an excellent opportunity for me to travel the US and abroad. With that in mind, this place is a truly a dream. Whether you are leading a yoga retreat, studying the practice, or seeking a healthy hideout, Blue Osa will deliver you the ultimate kiss of bliss.

I arrived weary from travel, and was kindly greeted by the staff and Yogi Aaron's echoing laugh. (Really, it echoes through the entire place.) Surrounded on three sides by thick, Costa Rican jungle and an isolated beach on the east, the rhythm of the waves rock you to sleep with accompaniment from the crickets and soft cooing of jungle life. Every morning, I took advantage of the most breathtaking sunrises while sitting in my pajamas with journal in hand and toes in sand. Greeting the sun each morning became a daily treasure, watching the light burst open the day above the clouds and mountains then pierce across the ocean waves and dance onto my face. What a beautiful way to begin the day!

How could it get better? Well it does. To continue, yoga practices are held in a beautiful beachfront location overlooking the courtyard with a gorgeous ocean view. The perfect place to center and quiet the mind, create space for healing, and connect to the greater good and abundance that seems to pour out of this special place. All you have to do is breathe in the bliss. Oh, and eat! Which brings me to the next delicious part of Blue Osa...the FOOD.

Attending and hosting yoga events can be challenging for any location and caterer, much less a place isolated on a peninsula in the Costa Rican jungle. I was prepared for a limited menu and minimal options. You could say I brought my "positive vibe" and "just eat to survive" attitude. I was literally (and I don't use that word often) bliss blown away with the food and menu at Blue Osa. Fresh, delicious, original, simple, flavorful and almost completely farm to table! They grow a majority of what was prepared for us in their own gardens. Yogi Aaron even invited me into the kitchen to co-create a few smoothie options. As a self proclaimed traveling "foodie," I took this opportunity to peek into the pantries, refrigerators, freezers, spice inventories and food prep areas. This place has a kitchen organized similar to 4 star restaurants in New York City. Their recipes are conveniently documented in their cookbook called "Viola." I highly recommend taking a copy home with you.

Finally, all this bliss and relaxation might leave you a bit anxious for outside activities or a deeper investigation into Self. Take the time to experience at least one activity on the Blue Osa menu of fun. If you are feeling extra adventurous, hit the trail on horseback through the jungle and rappel down a beautiful waterfall. Or, dive deeper into your own personal Self with a Reiki session or massage. All worth the extra indulgence.

Yogi Aaron, Adam, and the staff at Blue Osa have created an amazing, healthy hideout I hope to retreat and return to again and again. It is beautifully designed and equipped with such respect, appreciation, and attention to detail. Thank you for this unforgettable dose of bliss. Namaste.


**And as my last note, it was also wonderful knowing Blue Osa really does give back to the community they operate in by supporting it's school's through funding and program creation. Well done.

  • Stayed December 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Vancouver, Canada
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Opulent and perfectly presented in every way.

As soon as you enter the retreat the dust and the noise of the gravel road you travelled along to get to the resort seem to dissipate into insignificance.

The staff are what makes the Blue Osa so special. From the meticulous grounds keepers, to the immaculate house keepers, to the passionate chefs, every one of the staff at the retreat adds something that makes life that little bit easier when you stay here. The gardens are luscious and pristine, with attention to detail paid at every turn. The rooms are kept spotless and clean, with minimal interruption to your day. The meals are exceptionally created to provide fulfilling, wholesome tasty nourishment.

The volunteer gardeners at the retreat added an extra dimension to the experience that I never expected, and clearly are passionate about the work they do, and this shows in the food that is provided for the chefs to cook and serve.

Facilities at the retreat are amazing. The lap pool is outstanding, the spa a rare gem, but the yoga studio is the jewel in the crown. A truly well thought out and well presented space that encourages meditation, fuels energy and provides tranquillity for a positive practice. We were there as guests via an independently organised yoga retreat, but felt welcomed and as part of the family.

Be warned; getting off the site in order to explore the Osa region is expensive. You are a captive audience within the retreat and using resort arranged transportation can become prohibitive. If you are content with the paradise offered this isn't an issue of course.

Additional thanks need to be passed onto Adam and Aaron (the retreat owners) for having the foresight and passion to take a dream and to make it into reality.

Thanks guys!!!! See you next time!!!

Room Tip: The rooms under the yoga studio suffer from practice noise above. If you aren't here to practic...
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  • Stayed December 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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 3 weeks ago

As yoga teacher I have brought groups to retreat centers the world over but none come close to Blue Osa. The food, accommodations, friendly staff, glorious yoga room and beach front location create the perfect atmosphere in which to heal the body, quiet the mind and open the heart.

Yoga Teachers: Bring a group to Blue Osa. Your students will love you for the experience!
Darren

  • Stayed December 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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 Blue Osa Yoga Retreat and Spa

Address: Osa Peninsula, Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Puerto Jimenez
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Jimenez
#5 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Jimenez
#6 Family Hotel in Puerto Jimenez
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
At Blue Osa Yoga Retreat & Spa our mission is simple: To provide you with an unforgettable experience –– nourishing body, mind and spirit.Let your focal point be the ocean. Imagine a cool ocean breeze across your face. Our yoga deck was designed to facilitate an immersive yoga experience: farm-to-table meals, first-class pampering, and beautiful eco-friendly accommodations. Our secluded beachfront property is located on Costa Rica’s biologically diverse Osa Peninsula. Here you will find coconut trees, colorful wildlife and crashing waves –– all guaranteed to provide a tranquil setting for letting go and living the pure life. Whether you’re looking for a tropical paradise to relax & renew, to delve deeper into your yoga practice, OR an exotic locale to embark on Travel-Channel-worthy adventures, we’ve got you covered. We offer tailor-made experiences for individuals, groups and retreat leaders. Our packages include yoga, eco-spa therapies and various nearby tropical adventures. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Blue Osa Hotel Puerto Jimenez
Blue Osa Yoga Retreat And Spa Costa Rica/Puerto Jimenez

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