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“The perfect start to our honeymoon” 5 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
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“The perfect start to our honeymoon”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2013

Pura Vida was recommended to us by some friends. So glad we paid attention!
After a short taxi ride we were greeted at the front by Berni who not only took our bags but paid for our taxi and provided delicious juice drinks. After being led to The Volcano room we were in awe of the view of the valley and volcano. The rain was a great way to start our honeymoon from our private balcony. The grounds are beautiful and really get you excited for your adventure. Nhi made the most delicious dinner inspired by a trip they took to Spain. It was amazing! The next morning our rental car was literally brought to us while we ate breakfast. Please don't miss this experience!!!!

Room Tip: The volcano room has amazing views
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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?
1 Thank Klcasey
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
Minnesota
Level Contributor
205 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2013

The Pura Vida is a beautiful hotel just on the outskirts of Alajuela. It is a 10 min cab ride from the airport. We stayed in the Volcano Room which was spacious, nicely decorated with a huge bathroom, and wonderful views of the tropical gardens and Poas Volcano in the distance. We had a nice veranda overlooking all of this. It was quite a peaceful place. Berni was great. Very helpful and we enjoyed his quirky humor. Breakfast was delicious and very satisfying. It is a covered open air dining area also with views of the gardens and surrounding mountains. Make sure you are an animal lover as there are 3 German Shepherds who reside here and 1 in particular(I believe, Max) can be quite playful. No air conditioning but the room was quite comfortable with the windows open and the fan going. We used ear plugs so I couldn't hear any road noise but I suppose there can be some as there is a fairly busy road that runs near by. I only wish we could have stayed longer and hope to return some same.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
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    • 5 of 5 stars
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    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
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Helpful?
Thank Domer90mom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michigan
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2013

Pura Vida is a wonderful small hotel, once a small coffee farm, near the airport. The rooms are beautifully designed, I think I would say elegantly, and the gardens lovely. I was greeted with a fresh fruit drink and much consideration. I stayed here my first and last day in Costa Rica, and it was perfect. Bernie has lived here for many years and can give you helpful hints about places and ways to travel, delivered with wry British humor. Bernie's wife Nhi is a consummate fusion cook, mixing Vietnamese, French, and Costa Rican recipes or taking off on a imaginative dinner from one of these country. Don't miss the opportunity to eat here (on the lovely veranda). It will be your best dinner in Costa Rica, hands down. My last, and second night, I was the only guest since the high season was over. It was the night that they didn't serve dinner. But instead of giving me a snack dinner as was the custom in this situation, they asked be to dine with them. Nhi cooked a incredible Vietnamese dinner. Bernie selected the wine (his specialty), and I had such a lovely and relaxing time. Don't miss the opportunity to stay at Pura Vida. I'd return in a minute.

Room Tip: Loved Rain Forest gorgeous. I can't recall the name of the other, but it was also beautiful.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
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    • 5 of 5 stars
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    • 5 of 5 stars
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    • 5 of 5 stars
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    • 5 of 5 stars
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ginny B
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, October 25, 2013
Thanks Ginny, we do appreciate your review and particularly your comments on our dinner service. Nhi takes particular joy in finding the best ingredients that day and recipes for each night that match. I of course also enjoy my job as chief food taster and sommelier :-))

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts, we do appreciate them

Berni
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Morehead City, North Carolina
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2013

I found the Hotel Pura Vida in the Fodor's guide and was so happy I stayed there my first night in Costa Rica. I loved it! It is convenient to get to from the San Jose airport (about a 10 min. drive) As soon as I arrived from the airport, the staff had a late dinner ready for me-- the food was absolutely delicious. My room was clean, spacious, and charming, and the grounds are just beautiful (I also loved there three adorable german shepherds)! The staff is incredibly friendly and helpful in arranging tours and transportation. The next morning, after enjoying a delicious breakfast, which included an enormous assortment of fresh tropical fruit, homemade bread pudding, eggs and bacon, and the best coffee I have ever had, the owner of the hotel arranged for me to have a driver for half the day to see some of the sites in the area (the captive breeding facilities for the Ara Project and Zoo Ave ). They also arranged for a taxi to take me to a wonderful restaurant for lunch. There recommendations were excellent! That was one of my favorite days in Costa Rica. I highly recommend the Hotel Pura Vida!!! I would love to stay there again!

Room Tip: I stayed in the Tucan Room-- it was spacious and very quiet.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • 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 RachelNC2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2013

We spent the last night of our honeymoon at Pura Vida. Berni & Nih weren't planning on making dinner because no one else had requested it. However, Nih made us a delicious meal...our best in Costa Rica, and we were grateful not to have to get back on the road. We were up and out the next day, but not without enjoying a fresh breakfast of coffee, fruit, and bread pudding.
Our room (the volcano suite) was very comfortable--cozy and spacious at the same time. It was pretty hot in the room, even though we left the window and glass door open during dinner. The temperature wouldn't have been that big of an issue, but the neighborhood was pretty noisy (much noisier than anywhere else we had stayed), so sleeping with the windows open was not an ideal situation. However, we put in earplugs, so the cars, dogs and music didn't keep us up.

I would definitely stay at Pura Vida again if I needed to be close to the airport. It was comfortable, delicious and the service friendly and helpful.

Room Tip: The volcano suite is close to the dining area with a view of Poas and a table and chairs on the balc...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
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    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank BFabber
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, October 25, 2013
Thanks so much for taking the time to review us. We are very proud of our dinners here and in fact in the low season have launched a restaurant makeover program for other small hotels who want to offer great food experiences to their guests.

Thanks for the review, Berni
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Loveland, Colorado
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2013

We stayed in the Mariposa Casita at the Pura Vida Hotel the night before our flight out of Costa Rica in early August. It was a wonderful place - the casita was spacious and clean and the grounds are lovely. The staff gave us a dinner recommendation and arranged our taxi to dinner and back. They also arranged the airport taxis for the two different times our group needed to leave for the airport. I would definitely stay here again and only wish I had been able to stay more than just the one night. Bandit the dog kept us company in the evening as we played cards on the outside patio. The hotel is only about a 10 minute cab ride from the airport so it is the perfect place to stay coming into or leaving San Jose.

Room Tip: The Mariposa casita had two separate bedrooms which was great for the three of us that spent the nig...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
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    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank JLH_in_CO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2013

We stayed at Pura Vida our first and last day in Costa Rica. We loved the relaxing beautiful grounds. This B and B is close to the airport but once you are in Pura Vida you are in your own little paradise. Good service, good breakfasts, great hosts. Highly recommend !! Thank You so much.

  • Stayed July 2013, 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 Texashorns91
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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