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“perfection” 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
20% off room rate
Ranked #9 of 25 Hotels in Santa Teresa
Brooklyn, New York
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“perfection”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2013

i just got back from a weeklong yoga/surf retreat at Pranamar and miss it so much already.

-the accomodations: so gorgeous. the landscaping is fantastic, loved seeing all the fruit plants and flowers. my friend and i chose the cheaper option of sharing a poolside villa and i was shocked when i discovered we each had our own floor in that beautiful villa, can't even imagine how amazing the more expensive options are. the layout was great; i loved the outdoor shower and door that led straight to the pool. at first i was a little put off by the bugs (since i was coming from my glass box of an apt in NY), but embraced that it came with being in nature and having these outdoorsy accommodations; it was totally neat seeing them do their thing, never bothered us at all. the most ginormous butterfly hung out with us for a few days. lived in and loved my Pranamar-provided sarong.

-the beach: so nice to look up/out and see the water right there and very convenient to have surfing lessons a short walk away. wonderful to have all those hammocks right on the beach for afternoon naps. and my favorite thing, that tide pool to the left of the property's beach, HEAVENLY. saw so many tropical fish in it, beautiful.

-the restaurant: delicious and fresh, we were all always looking forward to our next meal and excited about the food (love the amuse bouches at dinner)! normally when i travel, i get sick of going out to eat b/c it's always so unhealthy, but i felt so good about everything i ate here. love that there were different specials every day. ADORED the fresh fish and gorgeous plating. smoothies and nonalcoholic drinks were amazing, i wanted to drink them all day every day. portion sizes were VERY generous. as for dessert, there was something different about their ice cream i couldn't put my finger on, but it was delicious. that flourless chocolate cake and banana toffee pie and keylime passionfruit pie with the coconut crust...oh boy, maybe it was better i left before i came home with cavities and diabetes.

-the staff: i've never loved a staff somewhere as much as i've loved everyone at Pranamar. front desk was always pleasant and helpful. i wanted to be friends with all the waitstaff, we were always greeted with a smile and loved chatting with them (ismael, alvaro, ana, klara, EVERYONE). got a massage from Gaia and it was perfect. even the people we met through the staff like our driver Jose and our hiking guide Miguel were such lovely people. and i can't forget the pups, Pinky and Dorita, you were adorable and so well-behaved!

well, this was a lengthy review and made me sad i'm not there anymore. overall, everything was wonderful and perfect, and i can't wait to come back again in the future.

  • Stayed June 2013, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pranamar, Owner at Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat, responded to this review, June 18, 2013
Dear Happy Yoga Retreat Folks,
Well you titled this review as Perfection, and I have to tell you… I must title my response as "the Perfect Review". Wow, wow. Your enthusiasm jumps off the page. I must tell you, that even though you said you were sad to leave your Pranamar friends, I beg to differ. Happy, smiling, loving folks like you never leave us: you reside in our memories for life!
Please come back. You make us feel as good as we made you feel: Perfect!
Susan Money, Owner
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223 reviews from our community

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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
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (77)
Date | Rating
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  • Spanish first
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English first
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2013 via mobile

My husband and I just enjoyed a wonderful eight days at Pranamar at the end of our honeymoon. From the beautifully designed and decorated villas, to the friendly and helpful staff, to the fresh and delicious food, this was one of the most enjoyable places I've ever stayed.

We stayed in one of the beachfront villas, which we thought was worth the slightly higher price as you could watch the waves crash from the comfort of the villa's upstairs balcony. We also particularly liked the outdoor shower, the hammock, and the 'airiness' of the villa. Unlike some others who have reviewed Pranamar, we didn't have any issue with insects or bats in our villa. I think this was in large part thanks to the housekeeping staff who do a remarkably thorough clean of the entire villa daily. We did see lizards, crabs, birds and squirrels outside in the garden though, which I loved!

What really made Pranamar stand out from other beautiful resorts, however, was the staff, and the food and drinks at Buddha Eyes (Pranamar's restaurant). All the staff, and particularly the restaurant staff, were very friendly, happy, helpful and attentive. They really made us feel very welcome and were only too happy to help - including with surfing tips and practising our Spanish, all while maintaining efficient service. And the food was fantastic! The meals were fresh and tasty, and the drinks were equally delicious - make sure you try a Shiva's Nectar!

We also enjoyed the smaller size of the resort. Even though I think most of the villas and bungalows were occupied, the resort was never noisy or crowded, and we nearly always had the pool to ourselves.

I would highly recommend Pranamar, and look forward to returning, hopefully in the not too distant future!

Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pranamar, Owner at Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat, responded to this review, June 18, 2013
Dear Happy Honeymooners!
I’m sitting in the airport in Guatemala - as I was shopping for the hotel gift store - when I read your review! You have just cheered me up no end, even waiting for a late flight isn’t bothering me after reading your glowing account! You said so many kind and wonderful things. But I must tell you, what really makes my heart race was your love of staff and restaurant. It’s always hard to please all the different kind of diets and food likes, so I’m so happy you were impressed! And I agree about Shiva’s Nectar. I think it is the favorite drink. So thank you for making this day perfect! And come back and revisit us and share your lovely energy again!
So much appreciation,
Susan Money, Owner
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Denver, Colorado
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2013

We received the best service, beautiful accomodations, and fabulous food. Pranamar is such a special place. The staff are above and beyond helpful and friendly. The food at Buddha Eyes is delicious and healthy. The grounds are heavenly. We stayed at one of the ocean front villas. I can't recommend this highly enough!

  • Stayed May 2013, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pranamar, Owner at Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat, responded to this review, June 17, 2013
Dear Happy Guests!
Oh Boy! I am sitting in a cafe and I am so happy to receive your loving review! Made my day! So please accept my sincere thanks for taking the time to write and for letting others know that our Pranamar family is loving and our food is good and you loved your villa! Thank you! When people are happy and things go well, we must all remember to have gratitude. I have tremendous gratitude for your enthusiasm and for taking the time to let future readers know of your great vacation at Pranamar! Come back... We will welcome you with open arms!
Much love,
Susan Money (owner)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2013 via mobile

It is a very nice hotel and a great location. The staff was always friendly and very helpful, but the real treat was the restraunt! When we arrived the hotel was not full so they gave us a free upgrade to the ocean front villa.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
pranamar, Owner at Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat, responded to this review, June 17, 2013
Dear guests,
So glad you enjoyed the upgrade and that you really loved our food. Honestly, it has taken us some time to really get the restaurant consistently good....the first year was hard. But we have 3 chefs: one is from Venezuela, one is from Argentina and one is from Italy. They all bring some fun ideas to the menu and the result has been great. But more importantly, thank you for writing to Trip Advisor and sharing your thoughts. It means more to all of us at Pranamar than you can ever realize!
Cheers and thanks,
Susan Money, Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2013

We chose this location after many hours on trip advisor and google looking at all our options of where to go for our honeymoon. Other hotels in Santa Teresa didn't look anywhere as nice, I even visited some of the villa's that were rated higher on trip advisor out of curiosity - I still don't understand why Pranamar isn't higher on the list! We wanted something private, but a completely private villa doesn't have a restaurant on property and I knew we would want to treat ourself to a few dinners where we could just walk home after a few drinks.

The RESTAURANT is a stunning structure and is never too over crowded with customers. I enjoy culinary experiences in Toronto, and frequent new and exciting restaurants often. This restaurant could compete with some great restaurants in Toronto, and the service and cocktails were the cherry on top. Every night we ate there we went home with ear to hear smiles and happy tummies. I really like how the menu is fresh & new depending on what the kitchen has that day, but also covers the vegans, meat or fish lovers. Oh and the desserts!!
We had complimentary BREAKFAST with our package, and we weren't expecting much, but the menu was great. We tried a new dish every day - our favourite was the banana pancakes and breakfast burrito. I'm going to be craving those pancakes for a long long time.

We stayed in two types of accommodations during our stay. The garden bungalows are wonderful because its all one large, very romantic room with white curtains, fantastic ceiling, and cool bathroom.
We then moved to the beach front villa, very different from the bungalow, the villa had a different charm, it was really nice to have the upstairs patio - a stunning oasis.
The SURF spot - a 10 minute walk down the beach is great for learning, complimented with waves for the stronger surfers. The yoga studio is gorgeous, I do enjoy my YOGA once a week in Toronto, and this was challenging if you wanted it to be, it was a great sweat, fantastic class! I urned my pancakes that morning, whoa.

All in all - A great place for Yoga retreats, honeymoons or anniversaries. Not a place to party, or go with Teenagers - head to Tamarindo if you are looking for that. The atmosphere here is perfect for relaxation, fantastic conversation, and loads of romance. I hope we will go back one day!

  • Stayed May 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pranamar, Owner at Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat, responded to this review, June 17, 2013
Dear Guests!
What an incredible, lengthy and well discussed review! What wonderful compliments you sent our way. And honestly, thank you for taking the time to be so detailed. Where do I start? There really is no way I can ever fully let guests know how much I appreciate it when they are happy and when they take time out of their busy lives to write Trip Advisor.
And I must say, you are not the first person to say that they earned their breakfast by attending yoga. The teacher is my daughter and I’m normally at the hotel and always take her class. And then I curse her the rest of the day! Just kidding but at age 65, it’s challenging!
So do come back and stay with us and send all your friends and family, because if they are anything like you folks, we want them!
Much love and gratitude,
Susan Money (Owner)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Morro Bay, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2013

My husband and I spent 3 glorious nights here on our anniversary. We had a 2 bedroom villa all to ourselves on the plunge pool. The yoga was the best ever (and I'm just a recreational yoga person) and the food was incredible. Healthy, clean and served by the most wonderful staff. We loved this place and were sorry to move down the road to another hotel-that wasn't near as fantastic!

  • Stayed July 2012, 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.
pranamar, Owner at Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat, responded to this review, June 12, 2013
Hello My friends,

Thank you! I just had two bad reviews, and that is so upsetting, but part of real life in this industry. So, when I woke up this morning and saw your lovely review and how happy you were, my faith in mankind was restored! I have the most amazing staff (and thank you for saying so) and we all enjoy meeting our guests and really doing all we can to insure they have a great vacation. I have owned hotels in Costa Rica now for over 25 years, built 3 different hotels and each one becomes part of my heart and soul!
Thanks for the uplifting review. Really, in the service industry, every voice matters! But with your review I can celebrate the happy folks that share their beautiful energy! Thank you with all my heart!

Susan Money, Owner
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Buenos Aires, Argentina
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2013

Let's start with the good: The place is very pretty, with particular emphasis on the way the villas are built by the side of the pool. This is very eye catching and definitely enjoyable.

The key fundamental flaw is value for money. This has been my most expensive lodging in Costa Rica up to date (having stayed in equivalent 4 and 5 stars in Arenal and Manuel Antonio). Even though we're in green season, the price tag is steep given the service.

3 big issues:

1) NOISE: First night staff partied in the restaurant until 12am - and stopped only after we had to go to complain in person. Bear in mind that this place markets itself as a "peaceful" retreat which focuses in "bodywelness and rest". Also claims to curfew the restaurant activity between 9-10pm so as not to disturb the piece. Staff was extremely loud, and started playing music at 12am. (Nightfall is around 6pm at this time of the year).

2) BATS: 2 out of 3 nights we had bats in the villa (bedroom and main room). This in itself is understandable given you're in a more natural environment - but then again you're paying a lot vs. other lodgings. On top of that, when we asked the staff, housekeeping said "You shouldn't leave doors open" - when the day before we had been without a door for half the day given it was disfunctional. And on top of that, then left our windows open. We also asked reception about it and failed to give us a lot of answer - not that we were expecting magical solves but at least some interest and commitment.

3) BEACH: The beachfront is totally rocky. Need to walk 10 min north for a clear beach where you can bath.

SUMMARY: Definitely expecting better service for the price tag.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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, Owner at Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat, responded to this review, June 12, 2013
Dear Unhappy Guests,

I bet you were not half as unhappy as I was when I read your review! I would like to address all 3 issues with you, but first and most important, I apologize for the night of noise. That is totally unacceptable to me. We are a very quiet hotel and I was shocked when I heard about this incident.
Not that it matters, but the bartender had 2 old friends stop by and rather than close the bar at 9pm, they kept the bar open. I love young people and years ago I was young, but they "forgot" the rules and allowed this to happen. They have been reprimanded and put on probation. There were actually only 5 people in the bar, 3 out of which were staff, so there was absolutely no excuse. I was not told about it and so I had to find out through your report. When I discovered what happened, I asked my manager to contact you and reimburse you for that night. It is with all sincerity that I humbly apologize. We are a Yoga Center and we are very health centered. But I guess in a perfect world... this never would have happened!

Bats... I must tell you, bats are nocturnal. They do not enter your house during the day. Most people all over the world leave their windows and doors open in the heat of the summer. There would be no reason not to. Our villas do have screen doors and we do have AC So one can sleep entirely bug free. You just have to close the windows at night. I was the one who found out from housekeeping that your door was not closing well and I immediately ordered my woodworker to repair it. We pride ourselves on keeping a well maintained place, so I would rather we repair the door than have you report "the door was broken and no one cared". We do care! I am sorry to say, but when hotels are full, you sometimes have to repair things even when guests are present. I did make the woodworker remove the door so this way he could work on it in the wood atelier rather than invade your privacy. I regret you had to have this happen, but I do hope you can respect that we need to repair things immediately.

The beach is rocky. It is. Well, if you were here 60 days ago, it was sandy. I have lived on the beach now in Costa Rica for over 25 years.
Mother Nature changes things all the time. Sometimes we are sandy, sometimes rocky. But the wonderful thing is, the beach just 5 minutes up from us, a beautiful walk, is always sandy. This is due to the configuration of the reef. So I sort of like that we sometimes experience wonderful tide pools, and other times sandy. But always we have a glorious swimming beach within an easy walking distance.

To my future guests - I hope you can see how serious I take these reviews. I love your feedback, and I also ask that you can see that things do not always go well. This is real life! But we do care and we do fix what we can. Part of life is the unexpected, and certainly that is true with travel. But our commitment is to make your experience wonderful and when we do something which does not contribute to that, I am most saddened. On the other hand, I cannot control Mother Nature and I think that the best we can do is celebrate her glory!

You can be sure that the 3 employees involved in the noise in the bar will never do that again! Have a great summer!

Susan Money, Owner
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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:
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Teresa
#9 Romantic Hotel in Santa Teresa
#12 Family Hotel in Santa Teresa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat 4*
Number of rooms: 10
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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