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“Great View, Poor Service, Overpriced for what it is”

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Pura Vida Retreat & Spa
Ranked #12 of 27 Hotels in Alajuela
Certificate of Excellence
Squamish, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Great View, Poor Service, Overpriced for what it is”
Reviewed February 18, 2012

My girlfriend and myself stayed here our last night in C.R. due to the resorts proximity to the airport and promised city views. Upon checking in we were given a bungalow with a obstructed city view but a clear view of a pile of garbage on the side of a hillside. The gentlemen working the front desk mentioned there was a unoccupied a frame with a great view of San Jose so we moved into that one. We were warned that the bathroom needed to be cleaned first before we settled and soon after the cleaning lady and an angry man came by to clean the bathroom from the previous tenants and change the towels, after some convincing that’s what she did. Shortly after she left we realized that the bedding had not been changed from the previous guests either so we mentioned this to reception on our way to dinner. When we came back from dinner to our room about an hour and a half later the bedding had still not been changed and it never happened at all… Things good much worse the next morning when I made coffee in the room, I couldn’t understand why after brewing coffee for 10 minutes why there was barely anything in the pot, so I lifted the top of the coffee maker only to find a maggot invested coffee bag. We mentioned of this during check out and the only response was “we have comment cards to fill out”. We were not staying here for the yoga so I cannot comment on that experience, but for spending $190 for a room plus $75 for dinner and drinks this place is completely overpriced.

Good views, beautiful grounds, nice rooms, terrible service and cleanliness.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Kevin H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MgratPuraVidaSPa, General Manager at Pura Vida Retreat & Spa, responded to this review, March 1, 2012
Good morning dear friends

Thank you for stopping by and letting us know about your experience in Pura Vida.
We are are working with the community to help establish a recycling center, which is exactly what you saw. We are teaching people how and why to recycle, and I agree with you, it doesnt loook very good on a pile, but it looks a lot worse on the street, we still have a long way to go but the main thing is that the people around us are learning.
We apologize for the inconvenience with the room; there is a group of serious and professional people working here, very committed to obtain 100% costumer satisfaction with our clients.
Thanks for sharing and blessings, and if you are back to Costa Rica we would like to have the opportunity to change your mind!
Namaste,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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169 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (52)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Miami, Florida
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 13, 2012

I recently visited Pura Vida for a 7 day mind body spirit retreat, and from start to finish, it was an excellent, hassle free experience. The U.S. based reservations office was very helpful, and spent alot of time describing the various retreat and room options. The Pura Vida representative was waiting at the San Jose airport with a smile and friendly greeting. I arrived a couple of hours prior to the regular check in time and my room (Vista, great view) was ready for me. All of the various yoga instructors were professional and caring. The spa treatments/services were excellent and were above and beyond the typical spa offerings. The buffet style meals were great, healthy and varied. The excursions were fun and were led by Pura Vida's knowledgeable guide. The grounds are beautiful and well kept. All in all, a great experience, and I definitely plan on returning.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
3 Thank wanderlust5739
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MgratPuraVidaSPa, General Manager at Pura Vida Retreat & Spa, responded to this review, September 14, 2012
Good afternoon and thank you much for your positive comments, It makes us very happy to learn that you had a great experience and that you enjoyed yourself in Pura Vida. There is a group of people here in Costa Rica that work from their hearts sao that people like you can have a memorable experience. Hope to see you back soon, your friends,
Namaste
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
planetearth
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed February 11, 2012

My wife was attending a conference held at this Retreat Center and I tagged along for the fun. A week here went by so fast. The staff is so friendly and attentive to your needs; just ask. Beautiful grounds. The property is adjacent to a coffee plantation; take the free coffee tour. You'll learn a lot. Starbucks gets a lot of their coffee from this area.
The Spa offers lots of different treatments as well as a bunch of different types of yoga. Plus you can go on a number of different tours. 1/2 day and all day tours too. Check out LaPaz Gardens. They have an amazing butterfly aviary and plenty of other things to do. Be sure to go up to Poas Volcano. Most amazing place. Food was outstanding and they mixed it up a lot.

Room Tip: The A frames allow road noise to come in through the vented windows. Might do well to bring ear plu...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank kiawahcowboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MgratPuraVidaSPa, General Manager at Pura Vida Retreat & Spa, responded to this review, September 14, 2012
Thank you for letting us know about your Pura Vida experience. Been to Pura Vida, as a companion for someone attending a retreat, and having spent one week without feeling the time go bye, is rewarding for us as it means thAt you two had a good time, and this is what is it all about.
Namaste,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 6 Contributor
172 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
Reviewed January 27, 2012

Horrofic experience! Not only did they falsely charge my credit card multiple times, but the property is unclean (bugs & critters) and offers bad food (fried), weak yoga programs and no hot water. Don't go there!

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Zanotti-A-broad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MgratPuraVidaSPa, General Manager at Pura Vida Retreat & Spa, responded to this review, September 14, 2012
We apologize for any inconvenience caused during your visit to Pura Vida. We would have liked the opportunity to do something for you while you were still here.
Please if you come to Costa Rica again, give us a chance to make you change your mind.
Namaste,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2012

I thoroughly enjoyed a 5 day mind body spirit retreat at Pura Vida. The grounds are beautifully kept and it is a completely hassle free trip. They pick you up at the airport, have buffet style meals, great spa services and include yoga and excursions. It is completely a worry free trip. Their yoga instructors were fantastic and practicing twice a day felt like a reprieve. Of all the international spas I have traveled to, Pura Vida offered the best massages. I had a 90 minute ayurvedic massage where they pour tons of scented oil all over you. After a long day of white water rafting, this was such an amazing treat. The white water rafting is an absolute must as well. The rooms are clean and simple but with all the amenities you would need. This is not a beach vacation since the retreat is up in the mountains but they do have a lovely hot tub on the premises. The food is light and healthy but delicious with a lot of interesting local ingredients. You will leave this trip rejuvenated and healthy. I highly recommend Pura Vida.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank MK162
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2012

Pura Vida is a great spa hotel for people who like to stay healthy in mind and body. GREAT healthy food, staff, yoga, spa services and comfortable, nice rooms with great views. The hotel is up in the mountains and looks down on the city lights at night. In the morning, you can see a volcano erupting in the distance, and butterflies follow you as you make your way to breakfast or yoga or a spa treatment. It's such a peaceful, welcoming place and quite affordable. Highly recommended. Tell Alajandro Otoya Suzette sent you!

Room Tip: The room I stayed in was an A frame - really nice, and just fine for what I needed.
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank sdrouillard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palatine, Illinois
Level 6 Contributor
194 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 137 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2012

I visited this yoga spa in November of 2011. They had been closed for a week to refresh the place and had just re-opened. I was there during the last weeks of the rainy season so I received a special rate. It was the perfect time to go. The weather was warm - compared to home- but not meltingly hot, and we were rarely affected by rain. The rooms were spare but clean and lovely and mine was a generous size. There are lots of room options so really talk to your reservationist to choose the best option for you. I specifically asked for "quiet."

The staff was amazingly kind and knowledgeable. In addition to yoga, you can have all sorts of massages, ayurvedic work etc. I'm a bit skeptical about some of those things but I really enjoyed a Watsu water treatment. It's something I don't think I would have ever tried back home.

The food is also really, really good. More vegetables prepared each meal in more lovely ways than you can imagine. We were all early to pretty much every meal.

If you want to go to a relaxing pre-holiday retreat, Pura Vida Spa in November is perfect.

Room Tip: The back of the property is quieter. Some rooms have shared baths. You can also stay in a yurt. L...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Mmmidwesterner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MgratPuraVidaSPa, General Manager at Pura Vida Retreat & Spa, responded to this review, February 17, 2012
Thank you friends for your comments, we are very grateful that you took the time to let us know about your experience and how you enjoyed staying at Pura Vida.
We hope to see you again in the near future.
Blessings,
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 Retreat & Spa

Property: Pura Vida Retreat & Spa
Address: Mts SW From Minisuper Pavas 800 | Pavas, Carrizal, Alajuela 20103, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Alajuela
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Alajuela
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Pura Vida Retreat & Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 51
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
World-Class yoga instruction, acres of natural beauty, delicious healthy cuisine and spa services unrivaled in Costa Rica await inside the cloistered walls of this magical retreat. Tropical rain forest, active volcanoes, mountain cloud forests full of rainbows, breathtaking beaches and exhilarating white water rafting beckon the adventurer in you, all within a few hours drive of our eco-chic spa and wellness resort in the world's greenest country. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pura Vida Spa & Yoga Retreat Hotel Alajuela
Pura Vida Spa And Yoga Retreat
Pura Vida Wellness Retreat Spa
Pura Vida Retreat & Spa Costa Rica/Alajuela

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