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“Almost Perfect” 4 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 #13 of 25 hotels in Santa Teresa
New York
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Almost Perfect”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2014

We planned our trip to focus on Yoga and Surfing. Both of these endeavors were met and our expectations were exceeded. The Yoga studio is immaculate and open, facing the ocean. The regular instructor, Nancy, is knowledgeable, spiritual, and approachable. Her classes were relaxing and challenging for both novices and advanced students. Our surfing instructor, Geronimo ("Gero" for short), was awesome. He told us everything we needed to know and both of us were riding waves confidently after just one lesson. He is also one of the best surfers in the area (although he would never admit it, we heard this from more than one person outside of his company). Playa Hermosa is a great place to learn how to surf and to get a great workout in the process.

The staff was very amenable and especially so when we were booking. The trip to Santa Teresa is tricky but they helped us book a charter flight which made everything a lot easier. There were a couple of hiccups with transportation from the hotel to the airport when we checked out but nothing major. All in all, the staff is awesome and eager to please.

The restaurant is more expensive than the other places in town but it is convenient and delicious. We were very happy with the juice options at breakfast which got us started on the right foot everyday. The waiters/waitresses are all super friendly and eager to please.

We didn't give Pranamar a perfect score because of little things which could be improved: the grounds could be a little cleaner, the paths to and from the villas could have been manicured a little better (our front door path was actually obscured by a few large plants almost completely), the path from the beach to the hotel could have been cleared better, and some of the screens in our villa were ill-fitted which caused us some little bug issues, but nothing we couldn't handle.

Our experience was wonderful despite the small areas which can be improved. When those small things get addressed, I think this would become a five star resort. We would go back in a heartbeat either way.

Room Tip: the closer to the beach, the better. who doesn't want a beachfront lanai? our beachfront villa w...
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  • Stayed May 2014, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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, May 20, 2014
Dear guest
Now that was an awesome review! Thank you for taking the time!
I would like you to know that the trimming of the plants has to coincide with the rains. Sometimes things start to grow a little beyond the walkways but it is important when we trim. Once the serious rains start we really cut everything way down. I personally don't like it like that because I prefer things to err on the side of overgrown but my husband is the Gardner and I have learned that he really does know what's best for the longevity of the gardens. So I must admit it depends when you visit whether or not you will have the plants too thick and tall or too sparse.
Of course there is also a window of time when things are darn close to perfect
As for the screens we will take notes and work on it right away ! Thanks for being so adaptable
But we will fine tune everything again.
We truly appreciate your honesty!
Glad you had a great time!!
Warmly
Susan Money Owner
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (66)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
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English first
New York City, New York
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2014

The Pranamar Villas are stunning. I was at the Pramamar Villas as part of VajraSol Yoga Adventures retreat, and WOW, the retreat and villas make a great combination. The grounds are lush and fully of color, all while leaving the path ways clear and well lit at night. Every villa is completely screened in to protect against bugs and critters and also provided air conditioning in the bed rooms if you wanted it Although i slept well with the screen doors open and ceiling fans going, it was nice have the option. Every villa, the restaurant, public bathrooms, yoga shala and beachfront were very clean and well maintained. Aside from usual pieces of nature that might float in and out everything was spotless. EVERYONE on staff was super helpful, accommodating, and very kind to tend to any question or need that i had. I would recommend Pramamar Villas in a heart beat.

  • Stayed April 2014, 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.
pranamar, Owner at Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat, responded to this review, April 19, 2014
Hello Stunning,,
As always, I thank you for taking the time to write such a stunning review! I really appreciate that you acknowledge how hard we try to keep the hotel and grounds clean, despite the big winds we have this time of the year. (meaning we clean the pool and 30 min. later there are leaves etc in it) I'm just delighted you felt cared about and that you loved our gardens. In the dry season, it is really tricky to keep things green so thanks for noticing!
Hopefully you will join us again for another wonderful yoga session!
Namaste
Susan Money, Owner
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Brooklyn, New York
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2014

My husband and I were looking for somewhere special to stay on our honeymoon and Pranamar was nothing short of perfect. The hotel is made up of a series of villas and bungalows reached by walkways lined with lush plants and trees. Owners Susan and Greg are always around and their warmth definitely translates into their hotel. All this gives the feeling that you have become a resident of a small, picturesque village.

We booked an oceanfront bungalow and it was our own private slice of paradise. The room was spacious and beautifully designed. We had a super-comfy king sized bed, a sitting area, a bathroom with an outdoor shower and a large front porch with our own hammock and view of the ocean. The beach was literally 15 steps away.

The pool at Pranamar is SUBLIME. (See photo)

My husband and I both enjoyed the morning yoga class with Nancy in what must be one of the most beautiful and serene yoga spaces ever.

Aside from yoga, Pranamar also offers surf lessons. These can easily be booked, and take place right on their stretch of beach. Giro, my instructor, was fantastic. It's clear he really loves what he does. Giro was patient, gave great instruction, and was lots of fun. I was a total surfing newbie and he had me up on the board my first lesson.

All this yoga and surfing lead us to Pranamar's bodywork center. Wow. My husband and I each got a massage and both felt like it was the best one we had ever had.

The hotel restaurant, Buddha Eyes, was some of the best food we had in Costa Rica. Everything is very fresh and delicious. Several other reviewers mentioned the smoothies and juices, and I will also add that they are not to be missed. The staff at Buddha Eyes was fantastic: Carla, Alphonso, Ivania, Maria Jose were all super attentive and nice.

Before we even left we were trying to figure out when we could come back.

Room Tip: If you are going for a bungalow it's worth splurging for the oceanfront one.
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  • Stayed April 2014, 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, Owner at Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat, responded to this review, April 22, 2014
Dear Bliss,
This week in our little village we witnessed the passing of one of our fellow friends. There was so much sadness and I was feeling that when I came to work today...and then, like an angel descended, I received your email. Thank you for reminding me of all the happiness and joy there is in life and thank you for our profound appreciation.
I often tell people that the degree to which they feel loved and welcomed at Pranamar, is the degree to which they put love and caring out to us. So really, how do I thank you??
Words are not enough.
So much love
Susan Money, Owner and the whole gang
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Houston, Texas
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2014

We moved to Pranamar after having a mix up with our original accommodations. We wish we had found Pranamar sooner! They were so helpful and made our transition easy and exciting. Our mouths dropped open when we got there. It was so beautiful and inviting. Everyone on staff was friendly and helpful, the housekeeping was impeccable, the yoga was restorative and challenging, the service at the restaurant was friendly (but a little slow, a good reminder we were on vacation) the front desk helped us with absolutely everything. And the body work! Oh my goodness! If you come to Pranamar there are a few things you MUST do: 1. Take advantage of the beachside massage 2. have a smoothie at the restaurant (or to go) 3. …and a latte… 4. do as much yoga as possible their instructors are wonderful 5. Sunset on the beach. You will not want to go home after coming to Pranamar!

  • Stayed April 2014, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2014

I selected Pranamar based on the reviews I read here (thank you everyone!) and my expectations were met, if not exceeded. I went with a good friend and we LOVE this place! Just the right combination of rustic and chic, with a Balinese style decor, right on the water. The food was amazing and super fresh and healthy, the people/staff were lovely and knew us all by name, and the location right on the beach was beyond superb. (The beach is massive, serene and empty.) And of course, one of the highlights at Pranamar is the yoga shala, which is a huge, airy space so you are literally practicing yoga in in the middle of nature.

A few tips: if you want to see things outside the villa/want to do other things, definitely rent a car before you get there. The nearest town (Saint Teresa) is nothing special but a few restaurants are within walking distance or you can take a taxi. Also - there is hardly any wildlife here, which was disappointing, but we didn't go there for the wildlife. We heard monkeys on the roof in the morning and saw a few birds but that was it. I want to return before it changes too much!

Room Tip: My friend and I stayed in a garden bungalow and we felt it was fine: it's simple and rustic but...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • 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, Owner at Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat, responded to this review, April 9, 2014
Dear Happy Campers!

As always, I really thank you for writing such a comprehensive review. I know it takes time and doesn't serve you personally, so it means a lot to us that you share your thoughts!!
I'm just delighted you were so happy, and especially that you appreciated our continued efforts to serve, healthy, clean local food. We dont always get it right, but we definitely try.
Come back and send your friends! Any friend of yours, is sure to be a friend of ours!
Pura Vida
Susan Money, Owner
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Eastern Canada
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2014

We just finished up our second yoga retreat at Pranamar (attending one in April 2012 and now in March 2014) and continue to believe that Pranamar is a little piece of heaven. The grounds are absolutely stunning and so well cared for by Greg. On our arrival we were greeted by the friendly Larissa and felt immediately as if we were in good hands.

The rooms are lovely and all different so it's important to read about the different types and look at pictures before making a decision as to what suits you best. My only complaint was that it would have been nice to have a light blanket on the bed for sleeping in the night time with AC (when you are coming from the cold North Atlantic you get used to sleeping with a blanket!)

The yoga shala is magnificent and if you are lucky to take class with Nancy or Sandra you will certainty be delighted. The restaurant on site serves the most delicious and healthy meals made with care. Susan the owner even made us three different delicious desserts during the most recent retreat.

While the resort is beautiful, it's the people that really make you feel like you are home. Each and every Pranamar employee (including the owner) made us feel like we were very special guests. It was truly a blessing to spend two weeks at Pranamar. On departure Greg told us "it's not goodbye just farewell until next time"... I agree. We will be back.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 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
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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, March 24, 2014
Dear Yogi,
What a wonderful review! Thank you so much for taking the time. I know that you know me well enough to realize how much this means to me and so I thank you profusely for your thoughts.
I would like the readers to know that we do have blankets available in our laundry department. We just don't put them out because no one really uses them. Hence, we took them off, and store them where they are kept clean until someone requests a blanket. But I apologize that you did not have one brought to you and I hope that it is simply because you did not ask. I sure hope that was the case.
I sure look forward to your returning; Pranamar loves your group. We await your return!
Namaste
Susan Money, Owner
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UK
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2014

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.

Cons:
* 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.

Room Tip: Expect the rooms to be a bit rustic with the garden bungalows (although still immaculately clean and...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
pranamar, Owner at Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat, responded to this review, March 19, 2014
Dear Honeymooners,
I must say, you wrote a very complete and thorough and warm and loving review! Thank you for taking so much time to be so informative.
I do want the readers to know that we have two types of housing here. We have our bungalow, which are our lower end, more rustic houses and we have our villas, which are much more upscale and pricey! So I wish you had seen one of our villas, I don't think you would have been disappointed in any way, and they are always full, so we didn't have the option of upgrading you for this special time in your life. Please go to our website and you will see the difference in accommodations. That said, I think you were still very kind and complimentary and honest and I thank you with all my heart for the time you took on our behalf.
Perhaps we will be fortunate enough to see you again for an anniversary celebration. If so, be sure and book a villa, I would love to see your face.
Happy life to you both, you were both a joy to have here with us at Pranamar!
Much love
Susan Money, Owner
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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 ( Wi-Fi ) 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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