The Pura Vida Hotel was recommended to us by Debbie from Leaves & Lizards Resort at La Fortuna and I cannot think of a more perfect pairing. Both expat couples at each of the hotels have such a deep and contagious love for Costa Rica and are very involved in supporting the local communities. If you want to feel really good about spending your money, do it at those two places and you know that it will be reinvested where it is needed the most - be it in strengthening neighborhoods and helping children through educational resources or very effective reforestation efforts. Both hotels are are extremely generous with providing all the information you need and then some to make your trip wonderful and special and what they really want is for you to catch a glimpse of the authentic Costa Rica. This was our first trip to Costa Rica and I can honestly say if it wasn't for Bernie and Debbie, we may not have had the wonderful experiences that we did.
When you make a reservation at Pura Vida Hotel you don't just get a room for the night. You will be getting an introduction to the country, the people, life in the community and all the tools you need to get around. We reserved a car through Bernie and the transaction could have not been easier (we should have returned the car at his hotel too instead of trying to find the airport rental office which was the only truly anxiety inducing experience of the trip because it was not at all easy to find). We stayed at the Mariposa House at Pura Vida and very much liked the rooms and surrounding gardens. Unfortunately, Nhi was not there during our stay and we had to eat outside the hotel but Bernie's recommendation of the Princessa Restaurant was good albeit quite a first night experience for us with the nightly drive past barb-wired residences, crowds of people wandering on the street in the dark, noticeable police presence and with the strict instructions to not go exploring on our own after dark.
Breakfast the next morning was a true treat. The fresh fruit baskets were wonderful and the smoothies made for a delicious start of the day. Had we more time, I would have loved to experience the partnership program with the local schools and I am sad that we didn't build time into our trip to do that - hopefully another time...
What made Bernie a life saver though and where he went out of his way way beyond expectation was when I asked him about the last part of our trip which was to lead us to Jaco. I just wanted to make sure that the driving distance was not too much to make our departure flight on our last day. Bernie insisted that we cancel our reservation in Jaco because "during Holy Week all the crazies from San Jose were going to party in Jaco and you don't want to expose kids to that type of atmosphere". Boy, am I glad that we listened to him. He spent a long time on the phone to find a reasonable hotel for us at the beach during the busiest travel time in Costa Rica and in the end he booked us a room at the Gilded Iguana in Nosara Beach. It was the best experience, as authentic Costa Rican as you can get at the beach and we loved every minute spent there as well as at Pura Vida Hotel. Thank you, Bernie!!
As a gateway into Costa Rica we can highly, highly recommend this hotel and the wonderful host.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Pura Vida Alajuela
- Hotel Pura Vida
- Pura Vida Hotel Costa Rica/Alajuela