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“What a great place!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Pura Vida Hotel

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Pura Vida Hotel
Ranked #1 of 56 Alajuela B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Sunnyvale, California
2 reviews
“What a great place!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 14, 2013

We stayed at Pura Vida for 3 nights on our first visit to Costa Rica. Bernie was very helpful and responsive to all my many inquires before we arrived, and when we did, he had someone to meet us at the airport and drive us to the front of the hotel. But this place is so much nicer than a 'hotel'. The huge gardens are like an arboretum filled with tropical plants and birds. We were very pleased with our casita and the food is divine.
I would recommend to anyone who needs to stay near the airport in San Jose, but stay longer if you can because there's lots to see in the area. Bernie can help you with transportation.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank GenieLogical
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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682 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    574
    76
    20
    5
    7
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (117)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Costa Rica
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 11, 2013

I have stayed at Pura Vida quite a few times since I travel to San Jose fairly often. I always find Berni and Nhi wonderful hosts. The gardens are incredible. I love having my own separate space where I can sit outside and enjoy the gardens with a class of wine. If you have an opportunity to have dinner there, by all means do! Nhi is an excellent chef. Great starting point for discovering Costa Rica and staying the night before leaving as well. Pura Vida!

Room Tip: Really not a bad room there. Most are separate cabins. I really like the room above the dining area.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank joancr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bonita springs,
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 11, 2013

My daughter, grandson & I stayed here for several nights on a recent visit. We loved it! We stayed in the Mariposa, which was perfect. We especially enjoyed sitting on our little patio early in the morning, drinking coffee & watching the birds. The afternoon of our arrival, we went to the farmers market with owners Bernie & Nhi, which was very special. Nhi's cooking was an unexpected pleasure! They are also very knowledgable about the country and where to go and what to do. They recommended Leaves & Lizards, for which I will be forever grateful. I will stay there from now on whenever I visit that beautiful country.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Shelley A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 11, 2013

Although we ended our trip to Costa Rica by staying here, we wish we could've stayed longer because of this place. The friendly and knowledgeable staff were so welcoming and helpful. Because of the low season, they even upgraded us for our room. All their suggestions for restaurants and places to visit nearby were spot on. Breakfast was fantastic and a cut above any other breakfast we've had in Costa Rica. All the other guests staying there were outgoing and sociable. We spent some time before our morning flight just chatting with Berni, one of the owners. The compound of the old coffee plantation turned B&B felt safe and welcoming with the beautiful gardens. We would definitely stay here again and hope to in the future.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ak352
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 11, 2013

We first discovered Pura Vida hotel six years ago when looking for somewhere to stay close to the airport after a late night arrival. We've revisited many times since both as a place to rest to/from the airport but also a destination in and of itself.

Berni and Nhi are terrific hosts. Berni with his adorable, quirky sense of humor and Nhi's amazing culinary talents - I highly recommend spending a Friday at Pura Vida - visit the local markets with Nhi in the morning and then enjoy dinner by Nhi in the evening. Bliss!

The gardens at Pura vida are lush, and tropical, as you'd expect. I'd love to spend a day there with a good book but confess there's so many day trips throughout the central valley within easy access of the hotel, that it's a luxury I've yet to indulge in.

On our last visit, some (all?) of the rooms had been upgraded. They were fine before but even more homely now. The rooms/cabins are laid out throughout the garden, giving an extra element of privacy.

I cannot recommend Pura Vida highly enough.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Derek D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
19 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 6, 2013

Our flight into San Juan was over 3 hours late due to storms. Add to that the extra 2+ hours through a backed-up customs terminal, and we were a couple of tired, grumpy travelers when we arrived after dark to our destination. Right off the bat, our host Berni welcomed us and with his cheery disposition, one couldn't stay cross. We originally had the 'ORCHID' casita booked, but were upgraded to the 'RAINFOREST'. I must say that the room, the layout, the bed; were all top notch. The treat however would take place in the morning.
Up early for coffee and birding, my wife was in heaven with the grounds inside the compound that made up the hotel. From the urban/suburb street settings outside the gate, we found ourselves in a riot of colors of plants, butterflies, flowers. It was a relaxing way to spend an hour prior to breakfast. At breakfast, we were given some basic tips about the country from Berni & a couple of other guests. After the blah of the previous days travel, it was a good way to start our driving tour of Costa Rica.

Room Tip: The hotel is about a 15 minute drive WEST of the airport (which itself is west of San Jose). Since w...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank snurb55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
alajuelanorth, Manager at Pura Vida Hotel, responded to this review, August 7, 2013
Thanks for coming!
Yes actually Alajuela is closer to the airport - 5 minutes to Alajuela central but 25 to 35 mins to San Jose central if no traffic. And yes we are a bit closer to Arenal - there is no need to go into San Jose itself if you are heading for Arenal the next morning as many of our guests are.

Thanks again for spending the time to review us,

Berni
Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marlborough, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 5, 2013

In July it was our umpteeth visit to Pura Vida. It is conveniently situated near our Dad’s house, so it’s a great place to stay. From the very first visit, it felt like home away from home; and now many years later, it still continues with that homey feeling.

The owners Berni and Nhi are always welcoming and very gracious with all our requests. Best thing of our visit to Pura Vida is enjoying Nhi’s wonderful cuisine. It’s as good as any four star restaurant in the States and always guaranteed to be the very best meal we have while in Costa Rica. Her creativity always amazes and makes staying at Pura Vida extra special.

Room Tip: The Volcano room provides the best view any time of day or night.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank MariaKittyMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
alajuelanorth, Manager at Pura Vida Hotel, responded to this review, August 7, 2013
Thanks guys for another nice visit, and best wishes to Dad. See you next trip, Berni & Nhi
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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 56 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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