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Asclepios Wellness & Healing Retreat
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed June 26, 2012

Our daughter gave us a 4 nights stay at Asclepios for our 35th wedding anniversary.
We got there at about 4:00 Pm on June 19, 2012
We were driven there by a local friend who had a hard time to find the place.  The resort has a security guard at the entrance gate and the entire property is surrounded with a tall (about 10 feet high) barbed wire fenced that reminded me of a high security prison.  
We were warmly greeted at the reception desk with  a glass of a refreshing fruity shake. We were then guided to our room (wen chin). It is on the first floor, it has a large sliding glass door with a nice view to the forest, but with no tv, radio, clock or wi-fi connection.  Everything was fine and dandy until about 5:00 pm., that is when we noticed ants and other bugs ON THE BED.  We called the front desk and they came to inspect.  They tried to calm us down by telling us that the bugs were harmless.  We expressed our concern about so many bugs on the bed, and that we were worry about an ant or any other bug crawling into an ear.  Things got worse when we saw what appears to be a flying roach.  I told them that there was no way we could sleep in that room.  At that time I pulled my phone and started taking videos of the bed and all the bugs that were crawling and flying all over the room.  They asked us to see a different room.  After inspecting it,  we found there were a lot less bugs and we settled for that room for the night.  We're given a complimentary tea to help us calm down and relax.  We then went to the tv/computer area in order to use the Internet there, but at about 9:30 Pm they started to turn off all the lights at the property because they close at 9:30 pm. They told me that a lady would remain all night at the property.
We walked in the dark to our room only with the lights from our phones.
There were bugs flying around in the room, but thanks God, none on the bed. 
When we were ready to go to sleep, Another surprise.  The ceiling fan light did not turn off.  When we tried to turned it off, it started to flash like a disco ball.  The only way to turned it off was by turning off the fan.  Can you imagined it,  a room in Costa Rica with closed doors and no AC or a fan? My biggest surprised was when I called the reception extension 0 and no one answered. That is when I realized that we were the only guests at the resort, And that there was no a single soul besides us there.  A lot of things goes thru your head,  like what would happen in case of a medical emergency.  In order to sleep, We placed our pillows on top of our heads.  
The next morning, we spoke to the manager, Braulio, whom apologized and stated that he will switch us, free of charge to the best room they had, and he gave us  free hour on The jacuzzi.  Nothing big considering what we went thru on our anniversary night.
The breakfast is a plate of fruits and a fruit shake see picture http://i1258.photobucket.com/albums/ii527/Selectivehomes/Costa%20Rica/d782279f.jpg
Lunch and dinner was not included in our package, but and i found them To be priced high and the portions are small, for example a small piece of salmon with a small baked potato sliced in half and a single lettuce. $17.00 us. See picture 
<a href="http://s1258.photobucket.com/albums/ii527/Selectivehomes/?action=view&current=photo.jpg" 
after such a bad experience,we called our friend to get us out of there. We ended up staying at her home and had a wonderful time.
The costa rican c people are very friendly and the country is beautiful. We went to the Poas and Arenal volcanoes, the thermal waters of Baldi the hanging bridge, tha waterfalls of and others.  
Asclepios was not for us.
Is it for you?

Room Tip: If you really want to stay there and do not like bugs, ask for a room that is not on the ground floo...
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Jd1914
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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69 - 75 of 126 reviews

Reviewed June 18, 2012

Very nice and clean resort! Not a lot to do though. Make sure to book your tours/treatments a head of time or they might not be available. The food was incredible but the menu was limited. The soup and salads were the best! Carlos and Miguel were awesome waiters! Make sure you bring plenty of reading material (the local wal Mart does not have books/magizines in english0. The treatments were good with the exceptionof the body wrap/vinchy shower. Not worth the money and not up to par.I wish I would have got the contact information of the girls who were there at the same time as I was. Kim and Andrea I hope you enjoyed your extended stay in CR! Kris Le

Room Tip: Any of the rooms are awesome! Nicely decorated and a great view. Very sunny in the morning.
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled solo
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Thank krislebookbuyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 21, 2012

First of all I would like to bring to everyone's attention that Asclepios is a healing and wellness retreat. It's not a resort with everything you can eat and drink under the sun so please do your research before you complain. This is a retreat caters to specific clienteles who are looking for a very healthy, relaxing spa-like experience. I travelled alone and stayed at Asclepios for 8 nights drowning in luxury. The food was amazing, being that it was organic and full of natural flavours. The view from my room was spectacularly overlooking the rainforest. My room and the whole facility is European inspired and was clean crisp and beautiful. Did I mention that the view of the entire facility was spectacular as well? My yoga classes, massages and sauna sessions were wonderful as well and it really added to the full Asclepios experience. To keep myself entertained, I bought magazines and a novel, word search/crossword puzzles, playing cards, a portable dvd player and music. I've also had the privilege to speak to and know a lot of the staff there, who happen to be one of the most genuinely nice and professional group of people I've met. I also went on several day trips to the Poas Volcano, the Waterfall garden and into the city of San Jose. I have come to appreciate the beauty of this country and the people's eco-conscious lifestyle along with their simple attitude towards life. I will definitely go back again!

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank Angel L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 15, 2012

After a year full of of getting married, getting my masters degree and exhaustive job hunting my mother and I took advantage of a quick get away to Costa Rica thanks to a Groupon for Ascleopois. Overall, we had a lovely time and I very quickly fell in love with Costa Rica as a whole, but the resort left something to be desired.

The grounds and spa itself, it was quite nice and treatments were expensive but great. I liked that there were some services that were not readily available here in the states. However, when we signed up for classes/services almost everything I wanted was "not available at this time." I was so upset that they did bring in a Pilates teacher (fabulous) and a life coach, but I had to forgo several others. I really was expecting to be able to get up every day and participate in some sort of class-yoga, Pilates, meditation etc. but nothing was offered because there weren't enough people staying. And things that were offered we could not get the "Group Rate" as anticipated. On top of that there was no beginner or advanced classes. My poor mother took the her first yoga class with me, and while I am an avid yogi, even I found the 2 hour(!) yoga class to be exhausting. Another woman in the class had been taking yoga for 15 years and said she had never been in such a rigorous class in her life. The nutrition service was a joke. If you can't produce your blood type she cant tell you anything. Having never given blood or been hospitalized I have no record of my blood type. I wish she could have given me a *little* advice on nutrition even without my blood type. Instead she tried counseling me on how to be happier. Whatever. It was fine, it came with the Groupon but I wouldn't spend money on it otherwise. Massages, Vichey and Hamman = AWESOME.

Rooms were spartan but nice. Pretty much what it seems in the pictures. Nothing fabulous but comfy and clean. Maid service was amazing. I only wish that there was a better curtain for the large glass doors that line the back wall. There was only a sheer curtain so you HAD to dress in the bathroom which I found annoying. Also, walls are thin-you can hear everything, just as an FYI. I have no idea why they don't leave the wonderful waterfall they have flowing during the day on all night. It would not only drown out sounds but is a very relaxing and peaceful sound to sleep to. No deal breakers but again, annoyances.

The grounds are impeccable and stunning though a bit sterile feeling at times-but to each their own. The pool and views are wonderful. However, with only 6 or so lounges by the pool, I would hate to see what it would be like if it were more crowded. Other than by the pool there is no where else you can really go to enjoy the scenery. Even outside your room there is a cute patio area with a lovely view but no chairs etc., so you really can't hang out there at all.

Some of the staff was phenomenal, others not so much. Some would bend over backwards and others would see you needing something, like a lounge cushion, and walk right by you several times before someone else helped you. Overall, they did not seem happy and I felt badly for them. You can tell the owner runs a tight ship but perhaps to an extreme. Also, many of them had very limited English. I am not one who expects everyone in a foreign country to learn English, we are visiting them after all, but it makes it far less relaxing when you are hesitant to ask questions or for anything when you know it will be an ordeal to communicate. This is particularly hard with food and especially hard if you have an allergy.

Speaking of food, perhaps my biggest complaint would be the food. I am pretty in touch with eating well and eating organic, fresh etc. So I thought I was well prepared for the meals here. Not so much. Firstly, breakfast was a joke. It's a piece of fruit, a roll, honey with some granola type stuff and a smoothie. Nothing substantial and little/no protein (which doesn't have to be meat! hello soy!?) to keep you full. From my understanding this is NOT healthy. You need a good breakfast to rev up your metabolism and keep you from over eating later in the day. This is especially a problem if you plan any excursions because you have no idea when you will get to eat next. Also there is NO coffee. I have heard that the owner does not deem it healthy. I disagree as do most medical professionals and medical studies! Coffee actually can have it's advantages in moderation and you are in Costa Rica THE COFFEE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD! Highly disappointing. I felt so badly for a woman arriving the morning we left who was more or less reliant on coffee and was about to pay my mother for her Tylenol with caffeine to kill her headache. Another problem is the lack of variability- as others have mentioned, the menu hardly changes between lunch and dinner and is mostly the same every night. We stayed for 4 nights and I cannot imagine staying longer since i was already bored of the options. Also the meals are small. I'm not a big eater- I dont expect my portions to be huge, but i have to say that I never felt satisfied or really full. And for the price you were paying I felt that was not acceptable. All I know is that I am pretty happy we stopped at the grocery store on the way to the resort. And I felt so deprived that I headed straight for the Burger King at the airport for my first take out meal in YEARS.

I also must mention that we went during November, which is the 'rainy' season. It was great insofar that it's cheap to travel, not crowded at the attractions and it only really rains in the late afternoons. However, the Spa was a ghost town with only myself and my mother, 2 girlfriends and one solo traveler there during our stay. It was a little weird and I would have enjoyed meeting others especially since there is no TV, limited internet etc. I was fine with shutting off from the world, but there was literally NOTHING to do if you weren't getting a spa treatment or taking part in their ONE class a day (if that was even offered). During the day this was ok because I could sit in the wonderful sunshine overlooking the sugar plantations but once it was night time, you were left to eat dinner and then sit in your room. Literally the place closes down at 9pm and does not start operating again until 730 the next morning. Hope you don't feel like anything to eat or drink other than the water they gave you in between those times. And forget trying to get back in after 9 if you left the grounds-she locks up the place so you have to make previous arrangements (which they are not inclined to do). In fact, it doesn't seem like they are very inclined to allow you to leave at all. Excursions they offer are limited and not full day. I'm so thankful that we did our ziplining before we got to there. We did do a trip to the Poas Volcano and Waterfall Gardens and it was more than we could have imagined. Our guide Fransisco was AMAZING and truly made our trip. That day was the best day of the entire vacation. He is SO knowledgeable and nice and genuinely in love with his country and his work. I would not hesitate to use him again if/when I return to C.R. If I were to do the spa/health experience again, I would go elsewhere. For the money this place costs at yo begin with nothing is included- no meals (other than the fruit and smoothies they call "breakfast"), treatments, classes, transportation---and nothing is particularly special about this place. So while we mostly enjoyed our time there and nothing horrific happened, there is nothing that would bring me back.

If you take anything away from this (long) review, it's this:
-Meals are monotonous and small
-No real breakfast and NO coffee
-Not much to do and NOTHING goes on at night
-Minimal classes if there are minimal guests
-Expect to nearly double what you spent to stay there in food, transport, services an any excursions you take once you just can't stand to sit there any longer

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with friends
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6  Thank 8Pawprints479
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2012

From the moment we walked into the wellness center, we felt calm & tranquility. We did yoga every day, sometimes 2x per day and enjoyed the Hammam/plunge pool immensely. We had our stars read, did a nutrition counseling & had a very interesting Chi Kung class. We laid by the pool and read, with an attentive staff (Carlos) who happily brought us smoothies and chatted with us. The food was good, a little bland but very in-line with healthy spa food. We loved the Hummus, Almond Miso Chicken and all the fresh baked breads. We drank the tea (no coffee is offered, which is disappointing since it is Costa Rica) and drank the organic wine, it was good. The views from our rooms were amazing and we watched the sunset every night, with all the windows wide open.

We stayed 3 nights, 4 days - the perfect amount of time. Had we stayed day longer, we would have done one of the excursions. This is not a place to go to meet people, but to enjoy the ones you are with! I would definitely recommend if you are looking for a weekend to detox (kind of), relax and reconnect with your friends or family.

Room Tip: Take the 2nd floor, views are better.
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank LCJ2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2012

My sister and I just returned from a 7 day program Asclepios. Can't wait to go back. Everything was perfect. I can't think of anything I didn't love. The rooms are tastefully decorated and the grounds are beautiful. I was able to run or walk every morning at the sugar cane/coffee plantation next door. The food was unbelievably good. There is not a thing I didn't absolutely love. The chef, Dayanna, is very nice. We had two cooking classes with her and I already made one of the dishes at home. Can't wait to try out some of the other recipes. The service was impeccable. Our waiters, Augustine and Carlos were great. We never wanted for a thing. They really helped make our stay at Asclepios special. The spa was fantastic as well. I especially loved the hot stone massage with Melissa and the Thai massage with Ramon. We had different classes every morning, yoga, stretching, etc. The view from the pool was great. It was very relaxing to sit there during our limited free time. We also went on a tour to Poas Volcano and La Paz Waterfall Gardens. Francisco, our guide was very knowledgeable and I highly recommend this excursion. We are already planning our return trip next year!

Room Tip: I prefer the second floor rooms with balcony as the view is better but all the rooms are very nice.
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  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank mauibabe7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2012

Randy and I had a wonderful time of healing here. We have been in marriage counseling with Imago Therapy with http://www.rickbrown.org/ which works! Then we decided to take a healing vacation here to Costa Rica. I can not say enough about the healing atmosphere of this special place. It is magical. Thanks to all staff and to Marisia Jiménez's vision. Your are a blessing.

We had wonderful wines from Central America each night with dinner on the terrace. They were excellent and reasonably priced. I took the cooking class and enjoyed it very much. The food is minimalist here but I felt so much better eating so lightly and healthy after our week here. It was fresh and well prepared. The salads are amazing. Although they did not have arugula as the menu stated. I think it must be hard to plan for so few people. This is an intimate place.

I really got into the whole healing process while here especially my emotions reading "Memory Palace" by Mira Bartok. The resting room is to be used properly. It would help to read up on healing modalities as this is a true healing place that seems ageless. Having studied Greek mythology helped too as this place oozes with it.

Ready to face the world and make life changes after our visit. Muchas gracias ,

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Vivian F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Asclepios Wellness & Healing Retreat

Address: El Cacao | 750 mts Norte del Hotel Las Orquídeas, camino a San Pedro de Poas, Alajuela, Alajuela, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Alajuela
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 46 Specialty Lodging in Alajuela
Price Range: $208 - $254 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Asclepios Wellness & Healing Retreat 4*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Asclepios (honoring the Greek God of Health) is located in Alajuela, Costa Rica and offers its guests 12 rooms which evoke the most important medical traditions of the world, together with a regulated ionized swimming pool, amphitheatre, fitness center, exercise pavilion, sauna, hammam, nature paths, 6 treatment lodges, a relaxation room and a Conference room.We are located on the edge of a tropical forest with views of the surrounding sugar cane and coffee plantations, mountains and volcanoes.We work with a team of selected holistic practitioners and highly skilled spa therapists. We have put together a great understanding and passion for physical, emotional and spiritual health resulting in great wellbeing.Asclepios also seeks to educate in environmental appreciation and conservation. It is built in siding and brick, two sustainable materials. We use thermal solar collectors and take advantage of natural ventilation and natural lighting. Wild life has been preserved and our primary and secondary forests have been untouched. Our quest is to restore the person’s whole being to its natural state of balance, by correcting such diverse factors as improper diet, sedentary lifestyle, lack of a correct oxygenation, negative thought patterns and their emotional impact, and the lack of rest or restorative sleep, among others.We do this by five Special Wellness Programs that include Detoxification and Revitalization Programs, Stress and Weight Management and the Spa Experience Program.A la carte: Naturopathy, Meditation, Pranayamas, Acupuntura, Floral Therapy, Vichy and Scottish Showers; Kneipp, Shiatsu, Shirodhara, Yoga, Reiki, Tai chi…And, as health also includes your palate: bioenergetic gastronomy, where you can rediscover the original flavors of vegetables, fruits and fish. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Asclepios Wellness & Healing Retreat Hotel Alajuela
Asclepios Wellness And Healing Retreat
Asclepios Wellness & Healing Retreat Costa Rica/Alajuela

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