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“healthy lifestyle at Ama Tierra!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Amatierra Retreat and Wellness Center

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Amatierra Retreat and Wellness Center
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   San Pablo De Turrubares, San Pablo, Costa Rica   |  
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Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in San Pablo
Certificate of Excellence
Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States
2 reviews
“healthy lifestyle at Ama Tierra!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2012

I found this lovely and peaceful yoga retreat center to be a place where I could come and get "filled up" in order to "go out" and reflect a much needed calm and gentle spirit. The food was fantastic...whole foods, fresh ingredients, a wonderful culinary delight at each and every meal.(new chef from Italy) Bob and Jill's pleasant company as our hosts added to the pleasures of this garden of Eden! As an instructor, I plan to bring back several of my students from Colorado to share in the joys of Ama Tierra. I will never forget the full and glorious rainbow arching over the yoga center on our departing afternoon....I think Bob must have "ordered" that especially for us! thanks again. lynn from Colorado Springs

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
amatierra, Owner at Amatierra Retreat and Wellness Center, responded to this review, November 30, 2012
Thanks for your kind words and we do try serve the freshest foods and take great care in our choices of food to appeal to all of our guests different dietary restrictions.
We pride ourselves on the way we treat our guests here and find it our number 1 priority
to make them all feel like this is a home away from home here.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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286 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    2
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 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
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (34)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

My friend and I came here expecting to relax a little, do some yoga, eat well and explore beautiful Costa Rica. The food was good. That's it. Bob and Jill who run the place have strict and unwritten expectations as to how you should be spending your time while staying at their resort. Think of it like you're visiting their home and they have very strict rules you need to abide by. It was SO WEIRD! For being in another country, they do everything in their power to keep the Costa Rican culture away from you. One day we wanted to take a taxi to see a waterfall and visit an animal sanctuary. Bob threw a fit saying there was no way he could get us a car for the next day and it would take at least two days before he could get a cab. He really wanted us to just stay there by the pool, reading all day. If that's how I wanted to spend my vacation, I would have stayed in America. Isn't the whole point of vising a new country is to actually explore it and learn about it's beauty and cultura!? I would NEVER go back to this resort. Like I said, Bob and Jill have their own agenda for you and you better do as they want or they'll get weird on you.

Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
amatierra, Owner at Amatierra Retreat and Wellness Center, responded to this review, November 29, 2012
The management at AmaTierra is very surprised and disturbed by these comments. We do everything we can to please our guests and we wish the guest had spoken to us about his/her discontent at that time. All we can think of is that we always put safety first with our guests, and it could be that our own drivers were not available to safely transport the guests to the waterfall. As far as having strict unwritten rules? We're not at all sure what this means. We do have scheduled times for meals and yoga classes, but we do our best to help our guests have a wonderful vacation and do what they want with their own time. Keeping the Costa Rica culture away from the guests? Many of our guests have enjoyed parades, walks into the local town, fiestas and even the local bar, so this is a strange allegation. Our CST (Certificate in Sustainable Tourism) rating requires us to introduce our guests to the cultural activities and customs of the Costa Rican people. We are very sorry this guest did not enjoy their experience at AmaTierra, as the majority of our guests love it here.
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Newington, Connecticut
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2012

When I booked my trip to Ama Tierra I hoped that I would find the peace and strength I so desperately needed. My stay was way beyond my expectations!
Bob & Jill make you feel like family from the minute you arrive. Jill is an amazingly gifted and intuitive woman who can provide insights and suggestions that can be life changing.
And the food is out of this world! Everything is so fresh, and the recipes are just fantastic!
The beautiful setting is magnificent! Mountains, wildlfe, vivid colors everywhere. However the trip would not have been all that i expected and more had it not been for Bob & Jill, the most wonderful hosts I have ever encountered on a vacation. I am hopeful that I will be able to return soon!
C Kelly CT

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
amatierra, Owner at Amatierra Retreat and Wellness Center, responded to this review, November 24, 2012
Caroline. It was such a pleasure having you stay with us and that you were able to connect as a single woman coming for a week and meet some other single woman travelers that you can connect with that were here for the 7 days you were with us. We really try and make our guests feel like they are at a home away from home, with things like having a piano in our living/dining area for entertainment and incorporate music in your experience while you are with us.
Also i am grateful that this experience was life changing for you as that is one of our goals we try and meet for all of our guests.at Amatierra Retreat and Wellness Center..
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New York City, New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2012

Staying at AmaTierra is one of those experiences you won't soon forget. I was looking to disconnect from my hectic NYC life and find some quiet, good food, and yoga, so I signed on for the 7-day retreat. I got much, much more. The little resort was tucked in the middle of a beautiful rainforest. Yoga every morning was set to the backdrop of vivid green jungle and rolling hills -- and set to the music of tropical birds. It was simple, stretching yoga... so if you're not used to doing it, you'll still enjoy this experience. The wellness spa was really good. As a New Yorker I've had many a good -- and bad massage. I was not disappointed by the services. Jill is a true healer. Bob is an absolute sweetheart. I went in the end of July, which is the "rainy" season. But it was wonderful!! It rained maybe once a day for an hour or two and the rest of the time it was sunny, beautiful, and not too hot. I highly recommend AmaTierra and will certainly be back.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Phoenix, Arizona
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2012

We just returned from a 5 day stay at Amatierra. Bob and Jill were terrific hosts. They were helpful, cordial, and easy to talk to. The food was very good - very fresh, healthy (i.e. rice noodles, lots of fruit and veggies, and incredible salad dressing - we got the recipe!). It is nice that the breakfasts and dinners were included in our stay. The grounds of Amatierra are magnificent. We hiked around the grounds of Amatierra several times around the creek, the pond, and the tropical forrest microclimate of Amatierra. This was my second time at Amatierra, and I would definitely return again for a third. The first time I took my girlfriend; this time I took my family. Everyone liked it a bunch, and I would recommend it to anyone looking to get away, unplug, relax, and enjoy the scenery.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Austin
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2012

Our stay at Ama Tierra, surpassed all of our expectations. The food was outstanding, the rooms very comfortable, the massages were the best we have ever had, the staff goes above and beyond to to make sure you are happy. There is a sense of peace, tranquility and joy that surrounds you every minute of your stay. We will definitely come back.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2012

Hello all. I was not thoroughly impressed with my stay at Ama Tierra, but I will begin with the positives.

The Positives - The food is excellent. The cooking staff is very friendly. Most of the other staff would kind of keep to themselves, which was fine. There is an assistant named Davis who was very funny and helpful. The view is stunning. Ama Tierra is located in the Costa Rican dry forest. Luckily, as I came to the retreat, a lot of other people in my age group were also coming so I had a lot of people to talk to and learned a lot from them. The yoga studio is beyond beautiful. The trip to the rainforest had a guide named Victor who was very knowledgable and funny.

The Negatives - Bob and Jill..They seemed very pushy to get us to buy the products or services they were offering. I'm not sure if it was because business was slow or if that's how they come across year round. Jill will spend some time with you in the beginning explaining all the services she offers. Each service was at least 50$ and usually around 100$. And if you mention any type of interest in the service, she keeps bringing it up to try to get you to sign up for the service. For example, she called me on the house phone and asked me if I wanted to do a nutritional consult when I originally told her I would get back to her if I wanted to do it. Whenever you enter the main area, where people come to eat and also the front desk. Bob or Jill try to pitch either a yoga shirt or a yoga bag that are hand made by her daughter. I'm glad they are supporting her art but I can see the rack myself and decide whether or not I would like to purchase something. Jill actually even told me that the "Yoga bags are hand-painted and $35 now, but I'm sure the price will go up." It all seemed like some marketing pitch.

My package mentions "daily yoga classes" but there's only really two classes a day. And some days only one class a day, depending if Jill wants to hold both. Sometimes it is one yoga class and one meditation class. The yoga classes were at 730 and 1715. If you went to an extra yoga class you were charged $12 USD. I was expecting more of a yoga experience.

Jill and Bob both seemed to forget my name. I remember telling Bob that I would like to pay my balance on my fourth day there, and he had to look me up by name. And he paused for a little while and then said "Oh yeah...[my name]." And Jill while in the yoga studio came up behind me and said "Can you move over?" It would've been nice if she used my name. They only had a handful of people there at the time so...I thought remembering one of the 6 guests names would be natural and necessary for their line of business.

They only serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And any snacks or bottles of water are extra (Surprise). Although there is usually tap water and tea available for free. The reason I mention this is that breakfast is the same two options everyday (Eggs or yogurt with granola) and the lunch is usually very light. And there is 6 hours between lunch and dinner. Lunch is served at 1pm and dinner at 7pm. I often found myself hungry in between meals. And sometimes the meals weren't all too filling, this is coming from a 125lb female. I would often feel my blood sugar dropping and would think about when is the next meal instead of relaxing. Also it is in a rural area, so it's not like you can walk down to the store and buy something.

The food part 2 - A friend I met on the trip and I only eat fish. We are what you call pescatarian. There was a dish that had both a fish and chicken option and was basked in a white sauce. Bob and Jill were notified of our eating preferences and we had hoped would alert the staff. There weren't that many people staying at Ama tierra at the time (I think at that point it was up to eight) and for the price we paid to go you would think they would have it all figured out. My friend found a piece of chicken in her plate, but wasn't sure because the whole dish was white. Bob assured her it wasn't chicken. But a fellow guest tried it and told us it was chicken. So hearing this going on I thoroughly checked my plate and found a little piece of chicken in my plate as well, and put it to the side. Thankfully, my friend brought it up otherwise I wouldn't have even checked my plate.

There are spiders, and yes the website mentions this. There was a reasonably sized one in my shower and I can't bring myself to kill things so I had to live with it.

If you want to do any type of excursion they are usually far away (2+ hr driving on hilly roads) and sometimes you have to pay for transportation. If you want to visit more of Costa Rica besides Ama Tierra (which I highly suggest you do), it is usually more convenient to stay in San Jose. Most excursions leave from San Jose and hostels can be had for 10/night which is cheaper than Amatierra.

I picked the 5 night package. And you slowly began to realize that there is not that much to do. Yes I came to get away from it all but I also came to have a good time. I think for the almost 2 grand I paid for the package and the airfare that I would have had a better time. With my wellness package, I expected too much I think. I was expecting more yoga and I was expecting some insight into wellness. I was hoping to learn more about what I could do and changes I could make to feel well when I got back to my country. But anything that is not outlined in the package was considered extra and something they can make a buck on. All I wanted was some dialogue. I learned much more from the guests.

For the money I guess I expected a lot more. There are other yoga retreats in Costa Rica and other countries where I have heard you can get a life changing experience. This was more of a nuisance than a enjoyable trip, let alone life changing. Save your money and look for other places.

And the Jacuzzi still does not work.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Amatierra Retreat and Wellness Center

Address: San Pablo De Turrubares, San Pablo, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of San Jose > San Pablo
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in San Pablo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Amatierra Retreat and Wellness Center 3*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A 10 room Eco Mountain Retreat Center 50 minutes from the San Jose Airport who specializes in healthy foods, Yoga Retreats, meditation, and many other wellness services. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Amatierra Hotel Province Of Puntarenas
Amatierra Retreat And Wellness Center Costa Rica/San Pablo

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