We finished here at the end of our honeymoon and pranamar is an amazing resort. This is really a yoga and surfing resort, which as that it what we wanted to do, it was great. The room we had was a bit disappointing, hence a 4 rather than a 5, but I would still love to go back and have recommended it to all my friends.
Yoga: The yoga teacher is the best I have been to, she focuses on different parts of the body each day so it is never boring and it is a hard work out, whilst leaving you relaxed and calm afterwards. Most people there clearly do a fair bit of yoga but my husband was still able to join in and she catered well for the different abilities.
Surfing: We had never been surfing before and this place is great for beginners. The teacher we had at the resort was professional, fun and a really good teacher. You can walk about 15 minutes down a stunning white sand beach to the breaks which are regular and at the end of January, not too crowded. The water is clear and warm, but bring a rash vest and strong sun screen because it's very very easy to burn (we are English and very white).
Food: The food and everything about the restaurant was amazing. We had the same waiter most days and his service was fantastic. The food was all healthy and tasty, the smoothies they do are amazing, we had one every day, the menu changes each day so you don't get bored and it always feels relaxed but efficient.
Other things to do: The pool is quite nice and the resort rents ATVs and bikes. Biking around the area isn't much fun though because the roads are really dusty and it was really too hot at any time but very early in the morning. ATVs are also really dusty of course, but they are really fun. Most people use ATVs to get around and you can get to most places on one (e.g. Montezuma waterfalls, Cabo Blanco national park, out for a meal), and it is more fun on the bumpy roads than hiring a car. We'd recommend Montezuma for the waterfalls and amazing beaches, and you can drive over using part of a route where there are no cars, and goes through a couple of streams which is fun. Cabo Blanco is also a great day trip, you can do shady walks through the forest to see monkeys etc. which is nice when it gets too hot everywhere else. Take plenty of water though as there isn't much there except the walks and the small car/ STV park. There are also loads of cafes, restaurants and chilled bars 5-20 minutes away by ATV- worth exploring (e.g. Papaya in Mal Pais has amazing views, cocktails and good food).
Service/ welcome: The service everywhere was perfect, from the moment you arrive, are handed a freshly blended smoothie and your bags are taken from you, to the moment you leave there is just nothign bad to say. Reception staff went out of their way to help us, even letting us use their computer to send some e-mails (there are no computers to use so if you haven't brought a laptop with you don't expect to check e-mails unless you want to trek a 15 min drive to an internet cafe- which is closed Sundays/ evenings etc). The whole resort is spotless!
Rooms: I have put this last as I want you to first read all the amazing things, but the room we were in was a bit disappointing. Admittedly, we were at the end of a honeymoon where we had stayed in lots of amazing places and been upgraded almost everywhere so we were a bit spoilt, but still, for £200 per night b&b we might have expected a bit more. We were staying in a Garden Bungalow so this was the lowest room class and I think the others might have been better. But let me summarise:
Pros: Lovely balcony with hammock, comfortable bed, large fridge, great ambience (wooden, very natural feeling), away from it all feel in keeping with the whole atmosphere.
* There are small holes between the wood which mean that the bungalow was constantly full of large ants, some red and not friendly looking. Yes, costa rica is full of wildlife, but there were more ants in our room than there had been in our lovely lodge in Monteverde. They didn't seem to bite us and after the first night, we just ignored them, but it seems very weird that they don't put mosquito nets on the beds. It would have made for a better nights sleep knowing they weren't crawling on us in bed. We had a net with us but there was no way to attach it, seems like could be a small improvement.
* Similar lines, the website says rooms have mosquito screens on the doors- oddly most other rooms seemed to, but ours didn't- we had a bit of room envy because of this as it meant we felt less comfortable opening the door at night.
* Storage- this is an odd one, but although the room was big there was no storage for clothes. the onyl storage was two largish shelves in the bathroom, where clothes get damp. Not even a small drawer for underwear- again, little thing, but was quite annoying as meant we lived out of suitcases. There was lots of room for drawers around the room so perhaps this is something they might add?
* Shower- The shower was a bit rustic- and by that I mean not that powerful and not always very hot. You're a 2 minute walk from the sea, a 1 minute walk from a pool and I suspect this may be part of the sustainable ethos (using less water- which is scarce- and less electricity), so it's not the end of the world, but don't go expecting a 5* bathroom with power shower or you'll be disappointed.
Finally, this isn't a pro or a con, just a feature, but the resort is built like a balinese village which means that houses tend to face eachother and balconies are open and next to walkways. It makes it feel like a little community which is really nice, but you don't get much privacy (i.e. draw your curtains when you're changing).
Overall, I would strongly recommend this place to groups of friends or couples wanting to surf, do yoga, chill out, have a retreat, get healthier. It is an absolutely perfect yoga retreat- probably a bit less of a perfect honeymoon destination- although if you're a sociable, active couple you will still probably love it- we did.
- 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