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“Perfect family vacation!” 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
Columbus, Ohio
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Perfect family vacation!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2013

My family and I had a great time at Pura Vida House. We were looking to stay near Tamarindo, but wanted something different than just a hotel on the beach. Jorge and Stephanie were very accommodating with everything we did and didn’t want to do while we were there. We went to the beach at Tamarindo nearly every day so our daughter could play in the water, and my husband took a few surf lessons there. A couple of days we went a bit up the coast to Conchal for snorkeling and massages, it was just breathtaking. Tamarindo beach and Langosta were definitely our favorites though! The food was healthy and tasted great, and we had such a great time meeting all of their neighbors. We have been to Costa Rica before but had not felt like we got to know the country as well.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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67 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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
Vienna, Virginia
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2013

We were skeptical. Could this vacation truly be as wonderful as everyone says? Not to worry - it was practically perfect in every way. Definitely one of our favorite vacations. My husband and I went there to celebrate our 50th birthdays. We had always wanted to go to Costa Rica. Usually we travel around a destination, but for the first time we decided to stay in one spot. Jorge Morera was an incredible guide and more - we now consider him a friend. He spent much of the time with us, not only driving us and interpreting, but also enjoying life - pura vida! Our first full day gave us a taste of what lay ahead - out the door at 7 am for a three hour hike of the mountain just outside, breakfast on the porch, doubles tennis with another guest and Jorge, the incredibly beautiful Langosta Beach, ziplining at El Roble's ten stage zip lines, stopping to watch monkeys, dinner of empanadas at a roadside take-away, and viewing turtles from the Galapagos Islands come on the beach and lay their eggs. A magical day. Every day was like that. Rising at 6:30 am without an alarm (who, me?), breakfast on the porch, out the door by 8:00 am, tennis clinic with Jorge, one of Costa Rica's best tennis players and a great coach, one of four or five spectacular Guanacaste beaches, lunch, sightseeing in the afternoon, back to the house for dinner, and crashing by 9:30 pm most nights. Activities included sunbathing, paddleboarding, a boat tour in a national marine park, horseback riding, visiting Rincon de la VIeja Volcano National Park, massages on the beach, dinner of lobster and steak on the beach, and visiting a waterfall you can swim up to and behind. All in just one week. And several of the most spectacular sunsets we had ever seen - we went to the Pacitic nightly to view them. Jorge asks you what you want to do before you go and tailors your itinerary to your interests. He makes all arrangements for you. He introduces you to the neighbors and townspeople. It is a truly authentic vacation in a magnificently beautiful spot. You feel part of the Pura Vida family, not just a tourist. Meals are locally sourced, organic, healthy and made by Pastora, who also cleans your room daily and does your laundry whenever you desire. Jorge and I have emailed several times since - his friendship with you does not stop once you leave the house. I truly feel blessed to have found this vacation. Don't consider it a moment later, just book it. You will have the time of your life. Pura vida!

  • Stayed November 2013, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jorge M, Owner at Pura Vida House, responded to this review, November 25, 2013
David, Donna and Larissa, thank you all so so much for the very kind words, and for taking the time to post a review about your trip to Pura Vida House on our TripAdvisor page, I know how busy you all are, so it’s greatly appreciated! The pleasure was all mine. We spent a week together here in Costa Rica (well a bit longer with you, Larissa!), but it seems like I have known you for much longer than that. You are very kind, fun people, and I want you to know that from now on you all have a new “family” in the great town of Paso Hondo, Guanacaste :-) Let’s keep in touch, I hope that your tennis games continue to grow exponentially (David and Larissa, don’t forget to play! Donna - I’m not worried about you, I know that you’ll be out on the court quite a bit, he he), and hope you see you all very soon! Pura vida, warmest regards, Jorge Morera
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2013

I love to travel and frequently choose my destinations in a spur of a moment, when feeling inspired. It adds a lot of fun, adventure, and spontaneity to my life. I felt as if Pura Vida House came into my life by work of a magic wand - everything was orchestrated in the easiest and the best possible way, thanks to Jorge Morera. My intention for the trip was to spend some time on the beach, improve my Spanish, improve my tennis, and experience local culture and cuisine as an insider, rather than as a tourist, and, if possible, avoid mass-tourism - check, check, check, and check! If I can use "boutique travel" as a term for my vacation in Costa Rica - that was it. It was totally customized to my likes and has exceeded ALL my expectations thanks to Jorge Morera and his family. I was treated with Costa Rican warmth, generosity, and care and felt really privileged to get to know these people and be part of their life for 10 days. We truly became friends. I felt like a kid on a Christmas Day - rising without an alarm before dawn every day to start a new adventure. There was so much to do and so little time! Before heading to Guanacaste, I spent some time in Central Valley, practicing tennis with tennis pro Jorge and his very nice friends every day, visiting local attractions in San Jose and Alajuela, exposition of orchids, coffee plantation, volcano Poas. The trip to Guanacaste was a beautiful journey through the country with a rest break and a refreshing dip at the waterfalls Cortes - the best kept secret in the area, which my guide Jorge, of course, knew. Guanacaste is very different from Central Valley geographically as well as in its lifestyle. I loved its rich flora and fauna and its sweet local people, who really touched my heart. Having private tennis lessons at Hacienda Pinillia and then relaxing on the quiet and gorgeous Langosta beach was a treat. It is wide and safe, for children as well. I was lucky to see one of the most beautiful sunsets on the Pacific, rivaled, probably, only by the Santorini sunsets. The icing on the cake of fun and adventure was zip-lining and watching turtles hatching eggs on the beach at night. It was a long wait for the turtles under the stars but so much worth it! The pictures from my trip remind me a National Geographic photo reportage that I love to see again and again.
All in all it was a fantastic trip! The service, accommodations, and food were superb. I would recommend it to everyone who is craving unforgettable moments. I hope I will do it again, because I've been told that I have seen only about 5 percent of the country :).

  • Stayed October 2013, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jorge M, Owner at Pura Vida House, responded to this review, November 25, 2013
David, Donna and Larissa, thank you all so so much for the very kind words, and for taking the time to post a review about your trip to Pura Vida House on our TripAdvisor page, I know how busy you all are, so it’s greatly appreciated! The pleasure was all mine. We spent a week together here in Costa Rica (well a bit longer with you, Larissa!), but it seems like I have known you for much longer than that. You are very kind, fun people, and I want you to know that from now on you all have a new “family” in the great town of Paso Hondo, Guanacaste :-) Let’s keep in touch, I hope that your tennis games continue to grow exponentially (David and Larissa, don’t forget to play! Donna - I’m not worried about you, I know that you’ll be out on the court quite a bit, he he), and hope you see you all very soon! Pura vida, warmest regards, Jorge Morera
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Columbus, Ohio, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2013

Let me just say that Jorge and Stephanie were amazing guides in a beautiful country. I took my employees along for a relaxing get away and a chance to become a closer team. We got much more than expected. We enjoyed the beautiful scenery, wonderful cuisine, and time spent relaxing on the beach but what we valued most was the team building exercises put together by Jorge and Stephanie. There was never a dull moment whether it be riding the zipline, horseback riding, rappelling, or the riding on the ATV's. We even took a pottery class! There was also plenty for us to see. Costa Rica must be where all of nature decided to get together to display itself in full glory. We saw mountains, went hiking, went to several beaches and enjoyed the local festivals. The only complaint I have about this place is we had to leave eventually. I would highly recommend Pura Vida and Jorge and Stephanie to any one who is looking to take a business trip or who is planning a family get away. I will certainly be returning as soon as possible.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2013

We had a great time on our trip to the Pura Vida house. As someone who likes to play a lot of golf, I was very happy with the entire trip. We played the Hacienda Pinilla Resort Ocean course which was in great shape and was very fun to play. It was a nice mix of fun and challenging holes, and helped make this a great vacation. Jorge and Stephanie were the icing on the cake, they are truly great hosts with great energy!

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, Ohio
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

Spent a very fun week with my wife and friends of ours at the Pura Vida House with Jorge and Stephanie Morera as our hosts and guides. They were great, very friendly, and know Guanacaste well; they took us to all the popular spots, but also the places and beaches that are off the beaten path. The whole town knows them so you feel like a local. This is truly an authentic vacation, we have never experienced this before, being part of the community and being welcomed by everyone the way we were, fantastic.

Highly recommend this vacation for anyone who wishes to be immersed in the Costa Rican culture, while experiencing a bunch of fun ecotourism activities/adventures.

Thanks Jorge and Stephanie for a truly unique and unforgettable week, we all hope to come back again soon!

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, Ohio
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2013

The most authentic vacation destination we've encountered yet--not your typical, touristy trip. Jorge and Stephanie's love for the Costa-Rican landscape as well as their zest for life and extra-friendly disposition definitely made for an incomparable experience. My husband and I stayed with 2 other couples, each had our own private bedroom and bath, and shared meals together daily. We did various activities together as a group, but also had time to spend on our own if we had different interests for the day. Activities we enjoyed included hiking and mountain biking the beautiful hill-sides of the local Paso Hondo village, horseback riding with the guide of a local neighbor, enjoying local Costa Rican cuisine, soaking up the sun on several different postcard beaches, boating, jet-skiing, zip-lining (a definite MUST!), and even sharing libations at the local cantinas. We also ended our stay by taking in a local rodeo which really made our trip extra special. Jorge and Stephanie acted as our hosts and personal guides the entire trip (which made us feel extra comfortable and safe--especially if you don't speak the native language). Overall, the trip was amazing, one that we will cherish our memories of forever. And we are happy to call Jorge and Stephanie our new friends for life.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jorge M, Owner at Pura Vida House, responded to this review, April 23, 2013
Thanks for the very kind words Meg! We both had a wonderful time with you all, it really was our pleasure having you here. We will definitely look you up when we're back to Ohio this summer.

- Jorge and Stephanie
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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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