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“The best birthday so far” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Amatierra Retreat and Wellness Center

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Amatierra Retreat and Wellness Center
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San Pablo De Turrubares, San Pablo, Costa Rica   |  
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Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in San Pablo
Miramar, Florida
1 review
“The best birthday so far”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2010

My girl friend of many years and I decided we needed to do something special for our 70th year of life. My luck we came across Ama Tierra on the internet. What a wonderful blunder that was. Bob and Jill, (soon to be grandparents) treated us like family. Since is was actually my birthday on the day we arrived, we celebrated with a special dinner and wine. Needless to say all of the meals were excellent. We picked fresh herbs once for meals yet to be cooked. Bob is an encyclopedia for music, especially jazz and Jill knows her herbs. We were invited to go through her organic garden while she pointed out the different herb and fruits growning there. The daily Yoga class was the best, especially in the early morning overlooking the greenery and the magnificant mountains. It was rainy season so every thing was a lush green and streams flowed through the property. I had a wonderful massage done by Socorra, a foot treatment, and a facial exfolliation with chocolate mask. ( not all at the same time) Also try the Bio mat. Just lie there on crystals with a pleasant aroma therapy, over looking the green mountain. It rained while I enjoyed this treatment and it sort of completed a perfect day for me. We also attended church on Sunday. Neither of us speak Spanish but can understand some, so the homily wasn't especially meaningful, but the church was quaint and pleasing also well attended. Causal is the word of the day. We were decidedly overdressed with our highheels and "sunday clothes". I would not have had it any other way.
If you are looking for nightlife and continuous entertainment this is not the place. We listen to music from Bob's massive collection. Jill played the piano and my friend sang show tunes with her. On our last night we did the electric slide.
This was perfect for us because we needed to slow down, eat well and catch up on each others lives since we live in different states and don't see each other much. I am recommending this facility to all of my yoga instructors and classmates at home. I hope I will be able to go again, sometime before my 80th birthday:)

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 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

Traveler rating
    228
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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
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (32)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2010

Four of us stayed here for three nights and it was not a relaxing experience at all. All four of us had separate rooms and out of the 4 separate rooms, 2 of us had a scorpion encounter. My encounter was the first night and the scorpion was underneath my sheets. I tried to call up to the main desk several times and come to find out the next morning, they conveniently forgot to forward the phones to their rooms that night so I ended up staying in my friend's room but got very little sleep. On the third night, my friend had a smaller scorpion on her floor which she was able to kill. This doesn't include the numerous spiders and other insects we killed in our rooms. I would say this is normal but I stayed in an eco-lodge after this place and only experienced the occasional moth or gnat in the room. Needless to say, starting the vacation with a scorpion in your bed leads to sleepless and restless nights. The management did not apologize for the scare or offer a new room or try to make up for this, they were unsympathetic to say the least.

I found the owners to be unprofessional as well. There were less than 10 people staying here and they continually confused us and our dietary preferences. There were two instances where one of the owners yelled at the staff in my presence and didn't seem to care that guests were in hearing distance. And just as a side note, they advertise jacuzzi tubs but the first thing they told us when we got there was that the tubs were not operational and it appeared as if the tubs had not been operational for some time- seemed like false advertisement to me. My friend described it as feeling as if we were guests in their home instead of paying customers at a "relaxing" yoga retreat.

POSITIVES:
The few positive things I can say about this place include: the food is fresh and very good if you enjoy fish and cilantro, the yoga studio is peaceful and well maintained, they have a great selection of DVDs for the rainy afternoons/sleepless nights, and the massages were fantastic.

Stayed July 2010, 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, September 3, 2010
I would like to formerly apologize for you inconvenience and would like asure you we have taken measures to resolve the issues that disturbed you. We are very proud of the way we conduct our business and one can see for our past reviews we take pride in making our guests fell cared for and care free. I hope that you would re consider another visit back to Amatierra and i am certain you will see that the issue has been 100% resolved...
thanks management at Amatierra .
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2010

Let’s start on a positive note. Here are 5 great things about Amatierra:

1. Daily yoga in a gorgeous, second floor, open air studio with a majestic view of the emerald mountains of Costa Rica.

2. The yoga style is very gentle, making it suitable for daily practice. You won’t feel overstretched, but wonderfully relaxed each morning.

3. Massage therapist is skilled and spends a full hour easing your muscles while soothing New Age music drifts through the air.

4. You won’t gain weight on this vacation. Think fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains, and plenty of water. Here are some foods I enjoyed while there: seared ahi tuna, breaded mahi mahi, goat cheese salad, and a few light desserts. After dinner, they might serve you some guava and vanilla ice cream, or perhaps a sweet coconut treat. The kitchen staff is incredibly gracious and prompt.

5. Grounds are safe and tended by friendly, respectful staff. A woman traveling alone can feel secure here.

Now, here are 5 important things that the website won’t tell you:

1. Amatierra is a grueling 90 minute drive from San Jose International (SJO) Airport. All the roads are winding and treacherous. If you’re prone to car sickness, as I am, you might get ill on this scary ride.

2. After you make your final payment, the owners will send you a list of “Things to Know.” How convenient! Now you tell me that there are bugs everywhere. On my first night, I killed about 10 insects in my room including a spider the size of my hand. After a rainstorm one day, somehow a huge earthworm made it into the bathroom.

3. Excursions are difficult to plan and take place quite far from Amatierra. (There are two exceptions: a) Turubari Park: a 20-minute drive b) Waterfall hike: a 10-minute drive). If you are staying there when the place is at low occupancy, good luck trying to plan all those enticing excursions the website mentions. I wanted to do the catamaran cruise and snorkeling on Tortuga Island, but was informed that I couldn’t because there was no one to take me there. How is that my problem? If I am willing to pay an additional $120 plus transportation, then there should be a way to arrange it. False advertising. Speaking of false advertising, the website also boasts Jacuzzi tubs in every room. Well, when you check in, they’ll warn you not to push the Jacuzzi button because not a single one of them works in any of the rooms. Hmm…time for a repair perhaps? Or at least update the website to accurately reflect what the bathrooms contain: a shower and regular bathtub.

4. There is NOTHING to do at night. The town has 800 people living in it, and there is no nightlife whatsoever. They are wonderful, warm people in the town, but their way of life is extremely rural. All I did every night was get a DVD movie and then fall asleep. Oh, and there’s not much to do during the day either because the town is not walkable. It’s all very steep hills with no sidewalks and crazy drivers who pass each other on a two-lane road. You will be stuck all day and night at Amatierra unless you can get them to set up an excursion for you.

5. I bought a wellness package, but did not receive everything advertised. The website promises a night of salsa dance lessons and another night of meditation with quartz singing bowls. Neither of these activities happened. See #4: NOTHING to do at night.

Overall, if you have been stressed at home and just want to “get away from it all” this might be the place for you. You’ll wake up to singing birds, screeching monkeys, and the sound of mangoes falling onto your roof from the tree outside your door. But if you’re looking for a jam-packed activity schedule, or resort-style luxury, then you should definitely go elsewhere.

Stayed April 2010, traveled solo
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Golden, Colorado
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2010

Jill, Bob and their staff went to great lengths to ensure our group's stay was perfect. They provided space for our meetings, yoga instruction at times that accommodated our schedule of events and even brought in an esthetician because our group wanted facials. They arranged our excursions to Turubari Park. It was a blast and quite the adrenalin rush zip lining through the rain forest. We went to a horse farm and worked with horses which provided a therapy that can only be described as spiritual and extremely healing. The horses were magnificent. Of course the retail therapy in Jaco Beach was fun too. Jill is especially wonderful at taking into consideration any special dietary needs or needs in general. I forgot a medication that I have to take daily. After coming back from an excursion, Jill literally drove me to 4 pharmacies. Jill determined to find the medication called her local pharmacy when we arrived back at Ama Tierra. It was delivered that evening. I do not know of any other place that I have visited and I have been to many places around the world that would have gone to such great lengths.
Our visit to Ama Tierra was everything we had hoped for and more. Oh did I mention the wonderful daily massages and other body treatments provided by Jill and her staff...I am still in a Zen like state of mind after being back in reality for a 9 days. LOL.

  • Stayed May 2010
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2010

I took my mum for 5 days R & R and lots of yoga. This is quiet clean and very friendly off the beaten path place. Food is excellent healthy organic. Mum is a veggie and was so happy to eat so well. Everything was made fresh. Bob's wine collection really good and reasonable priced.The yoga center has a 270 degree view of the rain forest. What a great experience. massages are offered for a very reasonable price especially compared to USA. I had to chuckle at some of the other reviews about no air ,one food serving...no TV.... um guys it is central america , an organic health center, and the rain forest. Stay in the USA if you want your usual 5 star service. A lack of TV meant all the guests actually talked to each other, while we listened to JIll on the piano!

Stayed June 2010
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester, New York
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2010

My wife and I went to Amatierra for our Honeymoon. All in all, a great decision. We bought the seven day package and they took care of everything - Transit from the airport, all of our meals, and gave us a couple options for day trips (we went to the beach and on a rain forest tour, both amazing). This was a great help as we were pretty busy with the wedding at the time. Mostly, we just hung out on the beautiful property, did yoga every day, read books, swam in the pool, and watched a few movies at night. We also went to San Pablo, a small village within walking distance, met some locals who were very nice, and bought some fruit. It was a wonderful place to relax, the staff was excellent and helpful, the food was great, and I have no regrets.

I've read some of the other reviews, and it seems like a few people go there with unrealistic expectations. Keep in mind that it is a retreat. If you're looking for tons of adventure, live music/theater, nightlife, lavish accommodations, even cable television, Amatierra might not be what you're looking for. But if you just want to hang out and relax in Costa Rica, it's perfect.

  • Stayed May 2010, 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.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2010

I traveled with my sister & we did a adventure/wellness 5 day stay. The trip was amazing! Bob, Jill & Kenny are very gracious hosts. There is not a ton of things to do at AmaTierra besides laying by the pooling, practicing yoga, and hiking so Bob has many excursions to offer. He does an excellent of job of presenting opportunities for fun/adventure but not being pushy. My sister & I went horseback riding, took a trip to Jaco Beach, and went ziplining. We also took advantage of the wonderful spa services. The yoga studio is absolutely gorgeous & the classes are great for yogis at all levels. My sister & I had the most amazing, relaxing, fun time at AmaTierra. We literally cried when we left! I have never taken a trip that made me feel so relaxed, rejuvinated, clear headed, and healthy when I came back home. This is the PERFECT place for someone seeking relaxation & healthy living. AmaTierra is so beautiful, and Bob & Jill are such fantastic, welcoming people.
~~the Reidt sisters

  • Stayed February 2010
    • 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.
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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): $$
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 
Also Known As:
Amatierra Hotel Province Of Puntarenas
Amatierra Retreat And Wellness Center Costa Rica/San Pablo

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