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“Loved Pura Vida”
Review of Pura Vida Hotel

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Pura Vida Hotel
Ranked #1 of 63 Alajuela B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 20, 2006

We are inn-keepers/owners of a B & B in Albuquerque, NM and as a result tend to be more observant and perhaps more critical than the average guest. We were pleased with the ambiance, courtesy and convenience of Pura Vida. It is a lovely, small hotel with absolutely beautiful grounds. Berni was most helpful with directions, suggestions about day trips and super local knowledge advice. We had planned a two night stay but after arriving decided to spend 6 of our 7 nights in Costa Rica at Pura Vida. Our last night we were treated to a dinner that was truly exceptional; prepared by Nhi and served by Berni. What a wonderful finish! We are awaiting a recipe from Nhi that we would like to serve at our B & B; a delectable banana/cocoanut bread that is a true treat. We are happy to give Pura Vida and the inn-keepers a great review.

  • Stayed: January 2006
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2  Thank Sueperslick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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749 - 755 of 783 reviews

Reviewed January 5, 2006

This hotel is a very short taxi/drive from the airport and yet was like a sancutary after a long and hectic journey. We stayed for three separate nights over a 10-day period in 'Katydid' and 'Toucan' (the hotel kindly kept some of our luggage while we toured). The patio and gardens were a joy and so fragrant. The casitas were spotless, delightfully decorated and comfortable. The continental breakfasts were wonderful; flavorful local coffee (also in your casita), home-baked goodies (e.g. choc. banana loaf, bread-and-butter pudding, etc) and freshly-picked fruit. Eggs and bacon or omelette was $3 extra. We had the set dinner (3-courses) two nights and while the quality was very good and well-presented, the quantity was small and it was pricey for Costa Rica ($20 each, before drinks, tax & tip). Bernie was extremely helpful, knew the area well, gave lots of advice and recommended a driver/guide for our first day (Sterling) with whom we were extremely pleased. His staff were polite, friendly and discreet. We would definitely stay in Pura Vida again.
Please be aware that there is some traffic noise (Ticos love to honk!) and 3 German Shepherds on the property (friendly).

  • Stayed: December 2005
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4  Thank countercast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2006

What an amazing place! My Mom, sister, brother and I stayed in the Katydid Casita our first two and last nights in Costa Rica. The casita was spacious and included 2 large bedrooms and bathrooms.

The owners, Berni and Nhi, are very friendly and are quite the story tellers. They serve dinner most nights and only use only what is fresh at the local market that day. Be sure to tell them ahead of time if you'd like dinner so they can prepare accordingly.

Three of us had early flights on departure day but that didn't prevent Berni from packing breakfast "to go" for us.

We had such a good time in Costa Rica and felt right at home at Pura Vida. Berni and Nhi made us feel so welcome and we couldn't have been in a more comfortable setting. They are quite the hosts! We will definitely return to Pura Vida but not soon enuf!

  • Stayed: December 2005
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4  Thank Linda R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Vancouver, BC CANADA
222
Reviewed November 25, 2005

Pura Vida Hotel is a wonderful starting (and end) point to a visit to Costa Rica. Hosts Berni and Nhi take great care to make your visit to Costa Rica a good one. Each room or casita has its own character - they are spotless, charming and romantic. The breakfast and dinners are exceptional. It was a treat eating breakfast with hummingbirds zipping by and Poas Volcano peeking thru the clouds.

Bern and Nhi can recommmend tours that suit your interests and timeframes. Do go on a tour or better yet ask for your own guide - you will learn so much more and get a chance to chat with the lovely Ticos and learn about their culture.

Highly Recommended!

5  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 20, 2005

Our group of 6 stayed in the Katydid Casita our first night in Costa Rica. We arrived late (10pm) with specific instructions from Berni regarding getting a taxi to the hotel. He met us upon arrival and paid the driver.

Our casita was adorable. Great local art and wonderful views. Breakfast (included) on the veranda was delightful. Berni had also arranged for our rental cars to be delivered during breakfast. Everything went smoothly.

I just wish we had been able to book our final night there a week later but Pura Vida was all full.

  • Stayed: November 2005
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5  Thank lhigginbottom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 30, 2005

Beautiful gardens, nice rooms, helpful staff (breakfast-to-go at 5 am!) excellent directions wherever we wanted to go, including which bank has the shortest lines. We stayed at the Pura Vida at the beginning and end of our trip, and plan to do so again.

  • Stayed: May 2005
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2  Thank RoamingRocks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2005

We were fortunate enough to spend 6 days and nights in the Katydid
Casita having to return to USA on August 3, 2005. Berni and Nhi have a
5-star B & B. Berni and Nhi are more than owners; they are master
concierges and Cordon Bleu level chefs. The Pura Vida is the only
centrally located B & B in Costa Rica and we used it as a base camp for
easy day trips in all directions. We can't wait to come back next year.

Berni recommended the overnight trip to the Tortuguero National Park to
see the sea turtles nesting. Truly, a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Berni made sure we had a van pick the 8 of us up from the airport despite our late arrival time (10:00 p.m.); stayed up to greet us and get us settled; even spent the time to get us some well-deserved beverages upon arrival. The breakfasts were refreshing and got us into the daily activities. He even prepared a breakfast-to-go for us due to our early departure from San Juan Santamaria airport. Our surprise banquet on the last night featured radichio salad; home-style french fries (so we could avoid withdrawals); talapia cioppino (yummy); and, a sinful chocolate dessert. The banquet does require reservations to enjoy Nhi's culinary expertise.

  • Stayed: August 2005
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Thank JimandDot
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

Address: Tuetal Sur | 4km North of SJO 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 63 B&Bs / Inns in Alajuela
Price Range: $99 - $192 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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