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Reviewed July 16, 2013

We loved our stay at Pura Vida! If you are looking for somewhere quiet, comfortable and peaceful to unwind after a day of experiencing the colourful and vibrant attractions in Pai, Pura Vida is the perfect place to stay.

The resort is situated about 5km outside of Pai. Noi collected us at the airport - we arranged in advance and she was spot on time! She is extremely helpful, got our rented scooter delivered to the resort and went out of her way to make us feel welcome and comfortable. Her recommendations regarding restaurants and interesting places to visit was very helpful.

The rooms are lovely, very clean, tastefully decorated and comfortable. The aircon is modern and very efficient (and much needed!). The cottages are surrounded by a magificent tropical garden, with a large Khoi pond. The lay-out of the garden is such that even though the cottages are close to each other, privacy is not compromised in the least. Breakfast is simple and lovely. Noi makes lovely scrambled eggs, and I can definitely recommend the muesli and fruit breakfast option!

Do not let the location out of town discourage you from staying at Pura Vida. The drive to and from Pai is lovely - the road runs through a small village, rice paddies, and lovely fields. It is especially beautiful if you happen to drive during sunset! Definitely rent a scooter or a car, it is the best way to explore Pai and surrounds. We will definitely stay at Pura Vida again!

Date of stay: July 2013
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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1  Thank erikaw560
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed October 3, 2012

While the owners are friendly, something I would expect anyhow of owners of a small resort, there are a couple of problems with Pura Vida. The owners claim on booking sites that the hotel is 3 km from Pai and that they offer a shuttle service. Both of these are incorrect. The resort is 5 km away from the town and the shuttle service only applies at arrival and departure. The resort offers no free bicycles, anyhow only the really fit would like to tackle the steep hills in between the resort and Pai. This means an additional 100 Baht a day for motorbike hire plus petrol costs as it is nearly impossible to walk the distance twice.
You have to tell Noi on arrival at what time you want to have breakfast, as she is "too busy to wait around for you". I found that very inconvenient, one day I would have like to eat at 8, as it was a brilliant sunny day, another day it rained and I would have preferred to stay in bed a little bit longer.
There was a problem with ants in the room and the air-conditioner was the noisiest we encountered in 7 month of travel in Asia. And certainly the rooms are not sound proofed as claimed.
We were also told "to take all our valuables with you when going out as there have been break ins." Surely, the resort should provide a safety deposit box if this is the case.
The library consist of a shelf of books, mostly in rather worn condition and credit cards are not accepted, again this was contrary to the information on the booking site.
A word of warning for Westerners: Pai can get very cold in winter, Pura Vida provides no heating.

Date of stay: October 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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5  Thank micaela v
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
aad1951, Owner at Pura Vida Pai Resort, responded to this reviewResponded October 5, 2012

Dear Tripadvisor,
From the moment this older couple checked in, the complaining started. We had prepared the most popular room at the lily pond with great mountain views.
Micaela said she had expected garden view so i offered her an alternative room with garden view. She walked over to take a look from that room and declined the offer.
We have a free pick up and drop off service from/to anywhere in Pai. Now whether you call that a shuttle service is a matter of interpretation.
The distance from Pai to Pura Vida resort is an estimate and depends on where you start your estimate and which route you choose to take.
We never offer free bicycles in our website so i don't know what that has to do with it.
When you come to Pai you need a motorbike if you want to explore the area anyway. They told us they'd been motorbiking all over Vietnam and Cambodia so i don't see the problem.
Ants: if you leave food in your room, outside the refrigerator, it's inviting ants in. Besides, they never told us anything about that nor did our staff that cleans the room every day.
We advise all our guests to bring their valuables with them when they go out. It's only sensible to do that and there have been some problems in resorts closer to town.
We like to make appointments about breakfast time with our guests so that they don't have to wait.
Books: most of the books have been there for 6 years, since the opening, so some are in good condition and some are not. This is probably why she filed this complaint: i would not let her take one of our books with her when they checked out.
They checked out after 4 days while they had booked for 7. They had found cheaper accommodation a couple of hundred meters down the road.
We did not charge them with cancellation costs so i feel we did everything to keep them happy except for not letting her have the book.
I feel i can mention her name because she is deliberately being vindictive.
Kind regards,
Aad de Graaf
Pura Vida Resort pai

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2012

Hosts Art and the lovely Noy, are the heart and soul of this small, but well proportioned resort. As a small resort owner myself, they are what I aspire to be. Nothing is too much trouble, they are nice people and good company. The location is great once you find it. If you do have trouble getting there, and you are not driving, give Art a call, he will always come and collect you from town around 3 kilometers away. The gardens and fish filled ponds are a delight, the rooms while it's fair to say cater more for budget travelers than luxury, are well furnished, clean and comfortable with a great balcony that sits right at the water's edge. Also full marks for the breakfast. it was excellent, Noy's scrambled eggs are a delight. I rate it 18/20.

The only slightly negative comment I have is that I wasn't keen on the stone floor in the shower room, the water didn't run away freely, but that's just being finicky.

All in all a thoroughly good few days. Hope to return to Pura Vida soon.

Room tip: For me the lower rooms on the pond is the place to be.
Date of stay: August 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
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3  Thank Nickthailand
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile
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Date of stay: January 2023
Trip type: Traveled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 2 weeks ago
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Date of stay: December 2022
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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