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“Surfin' Mama Made Possible” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat

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Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Playa Hermosa, Santa Teresa 154, Costa Rica   |  
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Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Special Price
30% off room rate
Ranked #12 of 25 hotels in Santa Teresa
Orlando, Florida
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Surfin' Mama Made Possible”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2011

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.

Room Tip: Call in advance, of course, and be courteous. :)
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  • Stayed March 2011, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pranamar, Manager at Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat, responded to this review, April 7, 2011
Thank you so much for letting us host your surf and yoga adventure! This is what we are here for, to make your dreams come true. And yes, we do work like a family and having guests like yourself always gives us the feeling that we are having friends over for a visit (of course friends we will serve and attend happily)!!! We would love to see you back here, what a beauty it is to meet new friends!
Be sure the Pranamar Family is honored by reading your review!!!!

Pura Vida!!!!
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196 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 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 (63)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
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English first
San Diego, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2011

My wife and I stayed in the beach villa and we had an incredible time! The beach villa was very nice and clean and the staff does a fantastic job and are extremely friendly. It's clear that the staff tries very hard to make sure that you're stay is nothing less than perfect. The food was very good (get the French toast for breakfast - it's phenomenal) and great drinks were served by a very talented bartender. My wife did the yoga classes and enjoyed them very much. The instructor is excellent at yoga and the classes were definitely challenging. I went surfing in front of the hotel and down the beach to Playa Hermosa and caught some really good waves early in the morning before the wind picked up. I would highly recommend Pranamar to anyone; the staff really does treat you like family!

  • Stayed March 2011, 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.
Yonkers, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2011

I cannot say enough wonderful things about Pranamar.

Villas & Property - We stayed in a 2 bedroom poolside villa. It was beautiful clean and very open. The photos really don't do the rooms and property justice. The pool was stunning and almost felt like a river running through the property.

Food & Drink - We travel often to slightly off the beat and path locations and have become used to "acceptable" food when traveling. Boy was I surprised, the food at Pranmar was fantastic. I live in NY and so I don't throw the word fantastic and food around in the same sentence unless I really mean it! The fresh fish and wonderful salads were a real treat after yoga. Everything was full of flavor and totally fresh. Don't miss out on the drinks there are delicious with surprising combination like fresh basil and ginger in lemon aid. The non-alcoholic menu was so delicious that we hardly had any "real" drinks.

The Staff - I don't know how they did it, but it feels like this place is all staffed by a family. Everyone is so gentle and kind. All of the staff was friendly and helpful. We wanted to take an ATV tour up to Montizuma and see the waterfalls. Dago at the front desk wasn't sure if he'd be able to us a tour guide in time and offered to take us on his day off. We had such a great time and by the end of the day we'd made a new friend!

The Yoga, Surfing & Activities - With our villa a yoga class a day was included. Nancy the morning instructor was great. The yoga was a bit more advanced than our skill level but she was really helpful and continued to remind all of us that yoga was not about pushing but about breathing and being present. The slow flow class at sunset was so relaxing and pleasant I wish it was offered every day. We also took a surfing lesson from the on site surf school, it was really fun and our instructor was very patient!

Location - The place is truly beautiful and right on the beach. During the day when the tide is out there are natural occurring wade pools in the ocean that are warm and just a treat. A few hundred feet to the right is some of the best surfing in Costa Rica!

If you're considering going to Santa Teresa this is the location you should stay!

  • Stayed March 2011, 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.
Encinitas, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2011

At Pranamar the title "staff" is replaced with "family" and they truly live up to it! Fresh exotic smoothies with every meal. Mouth watering gourmet dinners and desserts, my favorite was Susan's (owner by day, baker by night) famous flourless chocolate cake. The accommodations are very comfortable with beautiful Balinese accents! A truly amazing place to unwind and enjoy the pure life...Pura Vida!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
new york
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2011

Pranamar is a beautiful, laid-back respite from the hectic pace of everyday life. The Balinese design of the villas is soothing and while each guest has their own personal space, there is something of a community feel in the way the villas are mostly situated alongside the pool. A yoga / surfer sensibility (albeit a high end one) best describes the feeling that is carried through from the welcome received to the service provided. The food was better than anywhere we ate in CR. Each morning we had a fantastic yoga class with Nancy and headed off to a fantastic full breakfast. It goes far beyond the typical continental breakfast usually served when breakfast is included on most hotel stays. It is a full menu and it is delicious. The fresh juice drinks are spectacular. My husband and I arrived just before the Christmas holiday rush and we were lucky to be able to sit at the bar and get to know the restaurant staff a bit. It was here that we were able to experience the Pranamar 'family.' Such a delightful group of people - they were not only attentive to our needs and requests, but they were such a pleasure to speak with as we sipped our cocktails or dined at the bar.
There is no pretension here, and that is what is so great about the property. This is a great place to unplug, without foregoing the luxury of great design, service, food and location.
It is not a Four Seasons (which are great as well), and it doesn’t try to be. Pranamar is an understated luxury experience and the price point is spot-on. While the service is great, it isn’t the type of place to go to be waited on hand and foot. Again, what we loved about it was that it provides its own unique experience with a distinct ‘personality’ as opposed to what you have at typical resorts. The garden areas are a work in progress, however it is a new property and that didn’t hinder our enjoyment. There are no beach chairs or umbrellas lining the beach. It isn’t that kind of place. Grab a sarong, take a walk and enjoy one of the most pristine, natural places you will ever visit. And leave your ‘baggage’ at home.

  • Stayed December 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pranamar, Manager at Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat, responded to this review, April 1, 2011
Dear Friends,

Thank you so much for your wonderful comments! Everyday we are growing, everyday we find new details to improve, and everyday, we are thankful to have guests like yourselves. Our idea behind the word "family" works best when we encounter people with whom we can connect, just like family! Thank you for being that person and for letting others know! We wish to have you back soon, our gardens will have grown even more and more!

Warm regards and Namaste!!!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2011

We visit this area often and over the years, have become familiar with most of the hotels.
We have been seeking a luxurious, secure and private oceanfront location that is also a good value. Thank you Pranamar for being all that. We had a wonderful, relaxing, romantic time.
The notion that the staff is a family is real: between meals in the dining room, I came across the owner and several staff having fun "levitating" a waiter (see picture).
We can't wait to come back.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Walnut Creek, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2011

I want to LIVE at Pranamar!! This place is truly amazing and special. During the decision-making process of choosing a place to stay, Marianne was so extremely friendly, personable, and eager to help, during my numerous emails full of questions...I thought, if everyone at Pranamar is like Marianne, then this is the place...and I was right! Marianne and every single person who we came into contact with at Pranamar is what makes this place so special. Their warmth, positive energy, and charm are so strong and abundant that the entire place is just enveloped in it. As soon as we arrived, we felt completely happy, mellow, and euphoric. This feeling remained throughout our entire stay. Here's more....!

Restauarant: The menus offered various choices that all sounded too good to miss, and every meal was delicious! The entire restaurant staff made it a pleasure just being there...all very accommodating, genuine, and friendly. What a lovely group!

Room: We LOVED our beach villa! It was so spacious and perfect....housekeeping kept out place extraordinarily clean. The decor was very zen-like and soothing....absolutely wonderful!

Yoga: I had the pleasure of learning from 3 different instructors, while at Pranamar. The first was an amazing guest instructor who offered an exhilarating challenge. All other classes were taught by Andy or Nancy--both regulars at Pranamar--and both extremely inspirational and outstanding instructors! I never had the same experience twice...I felt challenged, yet totally comfortable and peaceful, in every class. This is the best yoga that I've ever experienced! I left feeling motivated to expand my practice and was fortunate to have been a part of their classes.

Surfing: My first time on a board and could not have had a better instructor or a better time!! LOVED surfing! Ismael was motivating, patient, and FUN! The ocean at Pranamar is like a luxury bath --warm water, sandy bottom--no rocks or seaweed in the surfing area---just perfect.

I simply cannot end this review without adding that everyone at the front desk was so helpful and always smiling and friendly :-) They were such a pleasure to talk to! Also, after such an abundance of surfing and yoga, the much needed massage that I received from Stefano was THE BEST! Susan, one of the owners, was a joy and a pleasure to chat with. Through getting to know her, it became easy to see why Pranamar is so special. It is the love, the people, and the positive energy that she has focused on..and it has worked! I will look forward to returning to Pranamar to stay in paradise once more --but to also see my new friends again!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with friends
    • 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.

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Additional Information about Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat

Address: Playa Hermosa, Santa Teresa 154, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Santa Teresa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Teresa
#11 Romantic Hotel in Santa Teresa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Costa Rica’s Premier Ocean Front HotelPranamar Ocean Front Villas and Yoga Retreat, an intimate, consciously designed oceanfront hotel recently built on the spectacular beach of Playa Santa Teresa, offers guests tropical beauty and nature in an exotic and friendly ambience. Along with world-class surfing and our top-quality Yoga classes, numerous activities and adventures await you.Immerse yourself in the beauty and ease into nature’s rhythm as Pranamar’s experienced and caring staff take care of all the details, making sure your vacation is perfect.Our hotel offers a variety of accommodations to fit your needs and desires: our luxurious two-storey villas built around a free-form saltwater pool have private lounging areas, tropical gardens and boast spectacular views, while the ecologically-constructed bungalows offer tropical simplicity with sea breezes, spacious decks and views of the ocean.Pranamar’s beautifully designed open-air restaurant and tea lounge specializes in healthy, delicious cuisine using organic fruits and vegetables, local fresh fish, seafood and organic meats.We invite you to step into the rhythm of nature, breath in the energy of the sea and discover... PRANAMAR!!! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pranamar Villas And Yoga Retreat Hotel Santa Teresa
Pranamar Villas And Yoga Retreat Costa Rica/Santa Teresa

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