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“Great place, wonderful people, could not have gone better...” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Pura Vida House

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Pura Vida House
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Paso Hondo, Veintisiete de Abril 00000, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Panama City, Panama
1 review
“Great place, wonderful people, could not have gone better...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2012

I spent four days with some friends in the vicinity of Tamarindo beach, where the hosts from Sports for Nature Trips catered to our every whim: sandy beaches with unbelievable waves, horseback riding, tennis, barbecue under the stars, local cuisine, you name it... Whatever yo feel like doing, they have a way of making it happen. The accommodations were excellent, the scenery breathtaking, and the people in Costa Rica are among the friendliest I've encountered.
Highly recommended!

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67 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    64
    3
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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
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Arlington, Virginia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2012

My wife, three year old son and I arrived to Costa Rica with very high expectations for a relaxing holiday and a bit of tennis. The experience exceeded those expectations. The resort is beautiful and its staff will at all times go to every length to serve. Should you, for example, want a snack at 3am, you need only to call the reception and a staff member will deliver it to your room within 30 minutes. In addition, the staff offers an hourly activity schedule (I played ping-pong and water basketball) as well as a fun and surprising professional dance performance each evening. The all-inclusive package means guests can eat and drink as much alcohol as they wish at the resort's expense and with absolutely no pressure to tip.

Probably due to the high price/night, I would not characterize the Weston as a "party" resort. (To appreciate the stunning value this package offers, compare nightly rate this site quotes with the total price Jorge requests). The typical guest was middle-aged, upper-incomed and with a spouse. During our stay there were almost no teenaged/college-aged guests and only a few (like us) younger couples with children. While available, nightlife options after 11pm are consequently under-utilized and fairly subdued. In sum, the feel of this resort clearly encourages relaxation above debauchery, which suited my family perfectly.

Jorge was once a world class (former Davis Cup) level tennis player with years of teaching experience. He makes utterly clear from the outset that he is available at all times to play as much tennis his guests desire (upon arrival, he passed along his cell number. Had I wished to hit under the lighted courts at midnight, for example, Jorge would meet me in 15 minutes.) We opted for two daily sessions late in the afternoon: one for my wife (a near beginner) and a following hitting session for me. Appropriate for her beginning level, the well conceived drills Jorge tailored for my wife prioritized fun and encouragement above stroke mechanics. Each of my roughly 45 minute hitting sessions with Jorge were satisfying, physically exhausting and helpful to my game.

In sum, a simply great experience at a very reasonable cost. I would recommend this holiday to wide range of tennis players with enthusiasm and without reservation.

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Brasil, Natal
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2012

I travel a lot, and love to take my racquets with me and play or take lessons whenever possible. I can safely say that this trip with Sports for Nature was the best I have ever taken by far! Jorge and his staff were very professional from start to finish. They managed every detail to perfection, right from when we registered to the moment we got on our plane to go back home (very sad moment). They were so much fun on the courts it felt like I was playing with a long-time friend, and I learned a lot from the drills at the same time. My husband and I basically got to receive unlimited tennis lessons throughout the trip - I normally have to pay by the hour! The other participants that came with us that week were very fun and group chemistry was terrific. We would play in the morning, then hang out at the beach, and ate together as well. The Westin Resort is fabulous and the food was amazing, their restaurants had a good variety of foods, and service was exceptional. The rooms there are amazing as well, and we saw many different species of animals such as monkeys, pizotes, iguanas, and armadillos on the property. We also took day trips to Arenal Volcano, did the zip lines and went snorkeling, I would definitely recommend all three!
Jorge, thank you for taking such good care of us, we are definitely coming back next year!

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Jorge M, Owner at Pura Vida House, responded to this review, March 26, 2012
Simone, thank you for taking the time to post a review, greatly appreciated. I am glad you enjoyed your week with us in Costa Rica! I enjoyed meeting you and your family, what a fun week it was. Remember that you now have a new group of friends here in Costa Rica. Pura vida to you and your family! Jorge
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2012

I've traveled twice to Costa Rica with Jorge and can't imagine seeing Costa Rica any other way. We explored a different beach every day, ate terrific food, saw amazing wildlife and were able to choose from a wide range of activities each day. Wouldn't change a thing!

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Alexandria, Virginia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2012

I wanted to improve my tennis game while also having a relaxing vacation and Jorge delivered on both. I must say I was a little hesitant because I didn't know anyone else who had done one of these trips, and I went by myself, but Jorge was so enthusiastic and made learning tennis even more fun and easy than I had envisioned. I got to play tennis twice a day, which was perfect. In between I relaxed at the beach and pool. The Westin Playa Conchal is a beautiful resort and the amenities, food and staff are wonderful. I even did a trip to the Arenal volcano, which was well worth the drive. I highly recommend zip lining in the rainforest. One of the best experiences of my life. You definitely can't go wrong with this trip.

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Jorge M, Owner at Pura Vida House, responded to this review, March 16, 2012
Hi Kim, thank you for posting a review. I am glad that you liked the trip as much as I enjoyed teaching you on the court. Your forehands, backhands and serves improved quite a bit! You are very consistent and definitely ready to start playing more sets when you get back to Alexandria. I wish you a fun summer full of tennis and sunshine in DC! Jorge
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Fairfax, Virginia
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2012

I had never gone to a tennis camp, but this one sounded particularly attractive both for the place and the bubbly personality of Jorge, an excellent tennis player whom I knew from Virginia. I would say that the trip exceeded all my expectations, which were for "unlimited" tennis, limited if anything by how much the body would be able to afford in a day of intense running under the local equatorial sun.
Jorge was an exceptional host, always ready to accomodate our schedules, with many suggestions on possible adventure trips to the sorrounding area of forests and volcanoes, a very pleasant companion who stayed with us sometime the whole day. I am amazed at his stamina for playing 4 or 5 or 6 hours of tennis in a day !
This is a vacation for people who love nature and sports. The accomodation I stayed was in a luxury resort, the Westin, very beautiful and with excellent service plus all other frills that come with this type of all inclusive arrangement. But the real difference for me was in the great time spent on the tennis courts.
A great, great week in a lovely place, surely worth the long journey to reach the Liberia airport and the drive up to the resosrt with the car Jorge sent to pick us up. Very nice service, easy to arrive and easy to depart.
By the way, the local airport is brand new, just a few months old, very efficient and with an excellent italian restaurant inside ! And the local people could not be more pleasant, giving really the true meaning to their living motto "puravida" roughly translated as "learn how to enjoy life !"
Thanks Jorge for a very good time !

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Jorge M, Owner at Pura Vida House, responded to this review, March 16, 2012
Gian Franco, thank you for posting a review of the trip. Your worldly stories were unique and exciting and your energy on the court contagious. You and Kim made my week a pleasure and I miss you guys! Hope to see you both in VA very soon. Pura vida amigo! Jorge
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Washington, District of Columbia, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2012

Each couple has their own beautiful suite with a balcony. There are about eight great restaurants to select from, including an international buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and Latin, Asian Fusion, Italian, and French restaurants for dinner. The service is terrific, from the food servers to the people who clean the rooms. We took a golf cart tour of the resort and saw a Great Egret, Great Blue Heron, Roseate Spoonbill, Orange-chinned parakeet, and huge iguanas among others. We also hiked in a park with a live volcano and spent the afternoon and dinner at a fabulous hot springs spa overlooking the volcano. There are only four tennis courts but our group of four had the courts to ourselves. We played every day for about two hours, except for the day when we took the volcano trip. We could have played as much as we wanted and the instruction was excellent and geared to each individual's needs.

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Jorge M, Owner at Pura Vida House, responded to this review, March 15, 2012
Carole, thank you for the review. It was a pleasure having you and David down here in Costa Rica for a week. Keep on playing lots of tennis and enjoy the upcoming ATP tournament in Miami!
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Additional Information about Pura Vida House

Address: Paso Hondo, Veintisiete de Abril 00000, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Veintisiete de Abril
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Veintisiete de Abril
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tamarindo Costa Rica Area. All-inclusive B&B vacation; rate includes meals, all transportation, two guides, tours, wi-fi, calls to US/Can, laundry & maid. We are building a unique experience–become part of the community, & do it with all the comforts & better experiences than a resort can offer. This is not a pre-packaged experience, but something special for whose who don’t want a cookie cutter vacation. ... more   less 

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