My mother and I are Southern girls who have only ever waded in the white water of the sea. But at Pranamar we were able to make our surfing dreams come true.
We stayed in Villa 5, which is conveniently located right between the pool and the restaurant and bar area.
The villa itself is one of the smaller accommodations (I was told) but it was amazingly spacious, well air conditioned (when we chose), and had a gorgeous front room and bath. The staff did an amazing job at keeping it clean every day and stocked with items we needed. Any wish was their command.
From the moment we checked in, a smiling waiter greeted us with welcome drinks I would later learn are called "Shiva's Nectar" and are served with ginger, almond milk, and various fruits. The recipes are all Pranamar originals and are concocted from the minds of some of the most excellent chefs I've ever been honored to experience.
The restaurant and bar, I must take a moment to pause and give a standing ovation. They were phenomenal with their servers, bar tenders, host/ess, and chefs. The food is out of this world, gorgeous, and makes you feel healthy even when you eat the whole plate. The decor is fitting for the cool resort and the entire staff feels more like a family than employees--yet professionalism is their middle name.
And speaking of names, I knew each of the staff members, but not because of their name tags. They are so friendly and inviting, and learn your face as soon as they can. They will do anything to make your stay more comfortable, if you only allow it.
The pool, grounds, hammocks, and rooms (including yoga shalah) were spotless and beautiful on a daily basis for the week I spent there. If you visit and don't try the hammocks... you're missing out!
The yoga shalah is where Nancy, one of the sweetest women I've ever met, instructs in yoga. The week was spent leading my group through challenging (but not impossible) element-themed yoga lessons. Though I missed water, fire was my favorite. It energized as well as calmed me so that I could take the board for a ride instead of letting it bash and bruise me.
And this leads me to surfing: Bennie and Al, a cute and quirky couple who will become your best friends while teaching you the "zen of the art of surfing." She (Bennie) lifts your heart with her disarming and charming nature and encourages you to believe in your inner surfista, while Al keeps you laughing and fascinates you with the science (and the spiritual) of surfing. Truly a blessing that I got to experience their wonderful addition to my stay!
For shopping, the staff helped us find local places in Santa Teresa. I brought back unique hand-made jewelry, ceramics, and original design clothing made right there in the community. I ate casados (typical Costa Rican dinner plate) at adorable shops right in town and even chatted some with the locals (good to know Spanish).
(Side note: The bank does require you enter one at a time, passport required, and you might want to know some Spanish or take a guide or phrase book. This is only in town tho; no one in Pranamar gives you problems.)
Pranamar also helped us with finding things to do outside of the resort, other than surfing. We went to Mal País, a nearby town, and did a 2-hour zipline canopy tour, conveniently located down the road. All I can say is wow! Wow! WOW! It was very new to me, but I took to it like one of Costa Rica's famous tree-top monkeys! I also got a chance to experience the ATV rides on the beach. As bumpy as the roads are, do not get discouraged because they take you to the beach. If I had more time, I would have gone to Montezuma's zipline too, as well as horseback beach rides and nature rehabilitation center.
We also went to Vista de Olas, which had a gorgeous view, but paled majorly in comparison to Pranamar's pampering. And, to be fair, that's all I'll say.
Pranamar is my one-stop hang out forevermore when I'm in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica. I wouldn't dream of going anywhere else.