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“Comfortable Relaxed Oceanfront Luxury” 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 amenities
Ranked #12 of 25 hotels in Santa Teresa
Tipton, PA
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Comfortable Relaxed Oceanfront Luxury”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2011

My wife and I travel a couple times a year, typically to some place warm and by the ocean. We had visited Costa Rica about six years ago, really liked the country and the people and decided to return. As I compare Pranamar to all the places we have traveled to and stayed over the last 10 years, I have to say that there was only one place we have stayed that was nicer and it cost almost twice as much a night as our oceanfront villa at Pranamar.

We stayed in one of two story beachfront villas. It was spacious, elegant in design and rich feeling with all the natural wood trim and flooring. The decks were very comfortable and provided a great place to watch the sunset. The constant sound of surf just 50 yards away provided great background noise for sleeping.

Pranamar is not a large resort so it feels very intimate and private because there are not hundreds of guests running around but it has a nice pool, great location just outside of town away from teh hustle, bustle & dust, and has the best restaruant in the area. We ate in town at different places two nights and neither compared to the quality of experience and food of Pranamar.

Being an small resort with a limited number of employees you get to know everyone during your stay and they get to know you. They truly work as a family and make you feel like a member of their family after a very short time. The service is great and everyone to a person goes out of their way to help you any way they can.

Our stay was not without a hiccup or two. We arrived without our luggage and were greeted by an number of ants crawling in our villa when we first checked in. The staff not only took care of the ants pronto (in fairness these are open air villas built in the tropics and some bugs have to be expected) but, they also took our luggage tags, called the airline on our behalf and monitored our lost luggage situation until it was resolved. Pranamar is very recently opened so some of the things mentioned in other reviews are true....the walks are in the process of being permanently completed (they were working on them while we were there), they did not present any problems. They had just completed the bridges before we arrived and the landscaping pants are not mature yet, but should be nicely grown out after one rainy season.

One thing I feel needs mentioned is that neither my wife or I practice yoga or surf and we felt completely at home and really enjoyed our stay. I was somewhat concerned about this when I made the reservation but it was not an issue and we never felt out of place.

I like to fish and was unable to find much iunformation about chartering a boat prior to arriving. However with the help of the staff I was put in touch with a great captain and boat and enjoyed an excellent day of fishing.

We often look at each other at towards the end of a trip and ask each other if we would come back to the same place again. Seldom do we both answer yes.....we enjoy seeing new places and experiencing new things. At the end of our stay at Pranamar when we asked each other if we would come back, we both quickly said yes!

Many thanks to the entire staff of Pranamar for a memerable and relaxing stay!

  • Stayed February 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, February 10, 2011
As I write this response I can't help but smile... for the few months we have been opened we have been so lucky to meet such wonderful people like yourselves, you are the kind of guests for whom we cater... people that are looking for a small and intimate yet casual atmosphere. It is like you said, we like being a family and we like to be able to invite you all to our family, as our special guest, I am so glad you were able to feel this.
Thank you so much for your warm comments... I have printed out your review and put it up in our staff area so everybody can read it, it motivates us all!
We hope to see you back in the near future!!
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188 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 (58)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2011

I have never been treated with such genuine warmth, respect, and courtesy in all of my travels by the staff at Pranamar -- including a hug and kiss by the owner! The food was gourmet, oustanding, and healthy. Complimentary breakfast (fit for a king!) daily. Of the 11 days we spent in Costa Rica on our Honeymoon, staying at Pranamar for 4 nights was our best decision and fondest memory (and we stayed at other nice places, including Tabacon Resort). Great food, beautiful beaches, remote setting.

  • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Europe
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2011

Pramamar was our last stop in Costa Rica, we chose it to be a luxurious ending to an adventure filled trip with incredible highs. We were sweetly upgraded to a beach front villa which is a truly extravagant space. it was finished beautifully using stunning wood and every attention has been paid to the interior detail. The hotel as a whole experience is lovely and I WOULD recommend it. I do want to point out somethings which I hope come across as constructive criticism and that perhaps should be looked at.

The staff who we spoke to are are sweet and really helpful, we understood the team there work as a 'family'. One thing though, which was evident, was at meal times some of the waitresses (in particular) tuck into their breakfast, lunch or dinner and the same time as the guests, chatted away with their backs turned. I'm not sure now normal this is, at least where we are from it's not. But there is a laid back attitude in CR which does grow on you - perhaps this is an example of it.

The breakfasts you get within your rate are definitely very good but perhaps a smoothy or juice should be included rather than having to pay extra for it. This is one of those little money making extras that's quite irritating when paying quite such a high rate and considering fruit is one of Costa Rica's biggest exports, its not really right to charge for it, we thought anyway.

The hotel is on a lovely spot of beach completely out of the dusty reaches of Santa Teresa with great surfing for all levels as well as perfect tidal pools for swimming. I would say though at the time we visited it was a shame the garden of the hotel wasn't greener and the young plants haven't filled out, I know this is to do with the dry season and once the rain comes things will look a lot different. It was just a shame there wasn't more wildlife due to the lack of large plants, isn't there is a way of using recycled water to feed the plants?

My biggest gripe, which may seem trivial, was the outdoor pathways which really don't look finished, and every so often you might see a little pile of left over building materials hidden under a small plant, or maybe some left over slabs of paving tucked behind something. Also there is a distinct lack of bridges over the little rivers, so you need to jump over or walk through them, this was a bit odd but could be very easily solved.

Overall though I genuinely believe these points are the result of the hotel only being opened just six months, teething problem, things are being worked on, maybe you do need more help in the gardens, so the outside looks as good as the inside.
I do want to mention the owners are seriously experts in the luxury hotel trade and Pranamar clearly means everything to them. They are constantly on site and are very hands on. I do wish them all the best. As soon as the rainy season comes this hotel will blossom.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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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, January 28, 2011
Like a growing plant, we wish to flourish! We water ourselves and learn about our surroundings and the best way to grow! It is because of people like you that we learn ,thank you for your comments. We would like to let you and all travelers that come across this review, we did change thanks to your review, we have included a juice or smoothie in our breakfast, always fresh! And for our staff meals, since we just opened we hadn't finished our staff area, and being the family we are we thought it would be OK to have our staff sitting in the restaurant, but, we learn, and grow... we have finished our staff area, this way, when our staff is on the floor, the eyes are on our clients! We hope to see you back, when our gardens have grown! Thank you for visiting us!
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New Orleans, Louisiana
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2011

Pranamar Villas is a beautiful new resort, but run by an experienced team. The friendly staff was happy to help arrange activities from surf lessons to horseback riding. Daily yoga classes with in-house yoga teacher Nancy in Pranamar's open-air yoga studio were a major highlight, as were the delicious smoothies and cocktails made with fresh local fruit.

This area of the Nicoya Peninsula features gorgeous, uncrowded beaches with no buildings higher than 2 stories for miles around. In most places, the jungle runs right up to the edge of the beach. An amazing getaway, well worth the short flight from San Jose.

Only 4 stars for cleanliness because sometimes a few bugs made it into our room. Only 4 stars for service because while everyone was very helpful, sometimes food and drinks in the bar/restaurant were a long time coming - but worth the wait!

  • Stayed January 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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, January 14, 2011
We enjoyed your company sooo much! Thank you for making our work so worth it! Nancy's yoga is truly blissful and I am glad to know you enjoyed it! We will be here when you come back, please visit us!
Regarding the little ants, yes, you are right, sometimes its impossible to stop nature, although we do try, our daily maid service cleans your rooms from top to bottom!
Thank you for your warm comments, we will see you next time!
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Lexington, Kentucky
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2011

I am currently honeymooning at PRANAMAR-could not wait to write a review-I have traveled all over the world-and have stayed at some wonderful resorts-never have I experienced this type of service, our villa is perfect, and the food is incredible. . If you are planning a trip to CR-this is a MUST stop.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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.
Dusseldorf, Germany
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2011

Honestly, I have no idea how all the good reviews are coming from! We booked the Pranamar because of its excellent reviews but we were highly disappointed.
Having seen some great hotels in Costa Rica (Lapa Rios, for instance, is simply amazing) and around the world, I think we can judge pretty well what makes a great hotel.

The rooms:
We stayed at the ocean front villa. The interior was ok but really not worth the 500$/night. The toilets were blocked; there was no mosquito net, which was really uncomfortable because the outside doors and the windows could not be properly shut (almost an inch wide gap) and mosquitos were coming through very easily.
And honestly, how can you call yourself a "green" hotel, when you have got air conditioning but non-closing windows and doors!

The surroundings / "garden" and pool:
There just is no garden or green - just some single plants... We also stayed at the Le Chameleon in Puerto Viejo, which has a really nice jungle garden, where you always saw gardeners around. We never saw a single gardener in Pranamar. The whole appearance of Pranamar, from the gateway to the "lobby" through the hotel, is just poor.
There are also no sun lounges at or near the beach. And only four sun lounges at the pool, which is also very small.

Yoga:
This is actually the best part at the hotel. We had a Yoga lesson with Andy, which was really great.

Service/Food:
Whow! I have read reviews stating that the food is excellent. Forget it. The food is below average. And I don't want to talk about the service... They got our breakfast order (yes, there is no buffet and the breakfast choices are just ridiculous) wrong 5 times out of six. They should really go and visit other Costa Rican Hotels, where the service is excellent and friendly.

Summary:
This hotel is simply a rip-off. Completely overpriced, no flair, no charm, bad food and service. The best thing about it are the Yoga classes and its proximity to sandy beautiful beaches, also good for swimming and surfing. Next time we will go to the sister hotel of Lapa Rios, the Latitude 10 Resort.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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, January 14, 2011
Dear friends from Germany,
You can probably imagine our surprise when we read this review, as you can see from all of our other reviews this is not the way we work of like things to be. I wish you would have told us of your unhappiness and discomfort!!! It is our job to make sure all of our guests are happy, and clearly we did not sense this with you guys! I would like to review your points…
Our villas – these spacious units have two bedrooms and two bathrooms, the oceanfront, like the one you stayed have a fully equipped kitchen, living room and two big porches… the price for this villa is not near $500, I hope you can verify this. If there is an error, please feel free to email us and let us know. All our bedrooms and living areas in the villas have screens to avoid mosquitoes and other tropical bugs to wonder into your room. We have revised the small openings in these that you mention and fixed them, we could have done this right away for you, had we known.. This way, our guests can enjoy of the ocean breeze and our fans, without worries of bugs or having to use the A/C. The idea behind these screens is to reduce the use of air conditioning.
Our gardens – Pranamar first opened this past July 2010. Our gardens have no more than 6 months, they are still babies! It is impressive what heavy rains can do for our plants, the difference from now and 6 months ago is amazing. Nature works with time though, and we are all being patient.
Our restaurant – Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I respect yours, I am just surprised I didn’t know you felt this way… our breakfast menu has options from a healthy fruit parfait, to our big Surfer’s Arepa, to a simple eggs and toast.. we have home baked muffins, fresh fruit juices… are these options truly ridiculous? Breakfast seems to be a favorite amongst all of our guests..
Our team has worked together in various hotels before, growing and learning how to provide the best and most friendly service. We will work even harder to assure our guests an amazing service, always given with a smile and friendliness.
It seems that overall you were quite unhappy; I hope you understand that our door is always open. I feel most of what made you feel bad we could have helped, had we known. I also understand that this place might not be for everyone and we cannot make absolutely everyone happy… although we will always try!
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New York City, New York
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2011

I went alone with my son and this was our first trip out of the country alone...so my nerves were at me. When we got to Pranamar I instantly felt at ease. The staff are so welcoming and kind and the owners are wonderful. My favorite part was around 530 sunset time when the bright orange light would start to creep into this tranquil community and it's almost your duty to follow it...it's almost like it's calling you. On your way to the beach you hear the sound of Om. As the the sun is going down so are the yogis in the yoga shala taught by Nancy the owners daughter. It is a family owned business which is what I love and they also have children which made me feel better when my son was acting up...I knew that they got it. Anyway...amazing place, great food, beautiful villas and great energy and all the yoga you can get.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
    • 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.

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Additional Information about Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat

Also Known As:
Pranamar Villas And Yoga Retreat Hotel Santa Teresa
Pranamar Villas And Yoga Retreat Hotel
Pranamar Villas And Yoga Retreat Costa Rica/Santa Teresa
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:
#5 Romantic Hotel in Santa Teresa
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Teresa
#14 Family 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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