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“A great place to start your trip.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Pura Vida Hotel

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Pura Vida Hotel
Ranked #1 of 57 Alajuela B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
San Francisco
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“A great place to start your trip.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2012

We visited Pura Vida in June 2011 and loved our stay there. The casitas are charming and tastefully appointed. We loved the patio, complete with fridge and coffee machine. The breakfasts were amazing. We took an early tour one day and loved having the "to go" breakfast. The location is perfect for day trips in the area. We had our eight year old with us and he didn't want to leave. He loved the dogs and exploring the beautiful gardens on the property. We felt very safe and secure. We loved the convenience of booking the rental car right from the hotel. We were embarking on a three week trip to both Nicaragua and Costa Rica and planned to leave the car near the border. Bernie and the rental car agency helped us to prepare and arrange for this experience (...and yes, Bernie, you described Penas Blancas well! It is the Wild Wild West). Our arrival was delayed by an almost 24 hour layover in Dallas (due to mechanical and human error) and we were pleased not to have to pay for the night we missed (though sad to have lost one night at this lovely place). We loved the airport taxi voucher. Our only challenge at Pura Vida was that the restaurant was closed. We requested a dinner one night when we knew that we would return late and were provided with a simple, but very tasty meal, but generally we didn't care for the local restaurants and none of them are within walking distance. We would have liked to have dined at the hotel. If that had been possible we would have given an excellent review. We loved this place and hope to return soon!

  • Stayed June 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
Helpful?
Thank DidiSF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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663 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (113)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
USA
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2012

Our room was very spacious with a big bathroom. We had a view of the Poas volcano. The grounds were lush and beautiful with flowers and trees. The owner (Berni) was very helpful with advice on restaurants and finding us a guide to tour for a day. We did not have a car so the only disadvantage was that we had to take a taxi to go out to eat for dinners. The breakfast was great with lots of fresh fruit and served in an open air dining room. It is a very good location with close proximity to the airport.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sandy070
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, IL
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2012

Pura Vida is the perfect place to begin and end your travels in Costa Rica. It would also be the perfect home base as you travel around. Berni is a wealth of information and always available to answer questions. We rented our car through Berni which turned out to be not only easy but stress free. Toyota brought the car to Berni's our first breakfast and we signed the papers and everything while we enjoyed one of the best breakfasts of our trip.

Pura Vida is beautiful! The grounds are a wonderful place to escape -- you would never know all of this lies inside the gate. We stayed in two locations -- one the night we arrived and then in Katydid the night we left Costa Rica. Both places were extremely clean and beautifully decorated.

The next time we travel to Costa Rica, we will definitely stay at Pura Vida. We will probably spend more time there and work with Berni in advance to plan our trip. He is a wealth of information. Pura Vida is a must, especially if this is your first time to Costa Rica.

  • Stayed January 2012, 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
Helpful?
Thank DMS15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
162 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2012

The hotel lived up to its billing on previous Trip Advisor reviews. Accommodation was modern and clean. Breakfasts were excellent. Berni and staff were very helpful in connecting us with taxis, guides and tour operators.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank advoctae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2012

The Pura Vida Hotel is a quiet little place just 10 minutes from San Jose International in Costa Rica (SJO). From the moment we arrived, the owner made us comfortable in this beautiful little place. Orchids abound and there are over 8 different varieties of banana and plantain plants around (amongst other plants). Each casita is nicely done and very comfortable. It was a wonderful first and last night in Costa Rica. If you arrive internationally take a RED taxi and the hotel will pay for your ride. They can even arrange to have a bite to eat for you if you let them know ahead of time.

Breakfast is Costa Rica coffee, fresh fruit (a large amount), yogurt with granola, and homemade bread/muffin. They will also prepare a full breakfast for a nominal fee.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 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
Helpful?
Thank David C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2012

We stayed here for 2 nights to spend some time in Alajuela and close proximity to hotel. Staff is friendly and helpful. The locked compound makes me feel safe and somebody was always there to let us in or out.

Best beds & pillows in CR! Slept great! A little loud from traffic - but the ear plugs work wonders (I'm also hard of hearing so without my hearing aids in I can still hear the low tones of the cars/bikes on the roads) loved that they gave us ear plugs. Slept great! Comfortable fluffy bed.

Berni is quirky but funny and personable. My family liked his personality. I was sad not to meet his wife but she is busy opening a new restaurant.

Our driver from Monteverde to Pura Vida and again our guide for the day for volcano poas and la Paz was awesome, named Leo, and berni hooked us up with him. Loved Leo - be sure to ask for him.

Breakfast was delicious, fresh, albeit a little carby and lacking in protein & fats. I would have liked some avocado with our beautiful and plentiful fresh fruit plates. Eggs & bacon are NOT included and extra charge for that so it is what it is. Shockingly breakfast kept me full and energized for hours yesterday exploring the volcano and la Paz. Berni's wife's rum raisin bread pudding is to die for. My dad LOVED it and ate the entire thing both mornings.

Our room, Katydid was perfect for my parents and me and hubby. Spacious bathrooms! Mini kitchenette to keep our vodka cold ;). Some bugs but NO BIG DEAL bc it's costa rica!

Have berni show u the golden orb spider. It's beautiful.

Great time here. Close to airport. Hopefully hubby and I can come back sometime soon :-p

  • Stayed January 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sarawithanh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Paul Island, AK, United States
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2012

Everything about Pura Vida was excellent. We stayed one night at the beginning of the trip and one at the end and enjoyed both. The grounds are beautiful, the food was delicious, Bernie had recommendations for dining out and other places to visit that turned out to be fantastic as well. I would recommend Pura Vida to anyone traveling to Costa Rica.

  • Stayed December 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
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank April A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pura Vida Hotel

Property: Pura Vida Hotel
Address: | Just 4km North of the International Airport, Alajuela 20101, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Alajuela
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 57 B&Bs / Inns in Alajuela
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Pura Vida Hotel is located 4km north of the SJO International airport - we provide a free taxi pickup for international arrivals. Breakfast is included and an excellent dinner is available with reservations (or late meals for late arrivals). Touring services include car rentals delivered here, private vans and as much touring advice as you wish - we are experts on Costa Rica. We have arrangements with Toyota Car Rental for deals on car rentals. Our idea is simply that this is a place we would like to stay at when we travel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pura Vida Alajuela
Hotel Pura Vida
Pura Vida Hotel Costa Rica/Alajuela

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