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“Wow. And I'm not that easily impressed.”

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Pura Vida Retreat & Spa
Ranked #10 of 27 Hotels in Alajuela
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 17, 2012

This place is special. It is organized largely as a yoga retreat. I came for a conference (not yoga) and left relaxed and rejuvenated. I think that is their mission in life. It would be a disservice to try to capture all the little touches they have, but let me try to hit on a few. One- the staff is dedicated to ensuring you have a good experience. They try to honor all requests, and seem generally disappointed when they have to say "no". The food was excellent, and generally prepared along 'healthy' lines. Lots of fruits and vegetables, chicken and fish. I don't recall any beef being served during my seven days there. There are all types of accommodations. From 'regular' hotel rooms to tents. The tents however are more like hotel rooms with canvas walls than something you might see at your old Boy Scout camp. No TV's on property, no phones in the rooms. It took a day to get used to no TV, but I fell right in the groove. If you like gardens, you are about to fall in love. An amazing display and a very knowledgable staff that is anxious to share. I can go on, but won't. Just go. You will see for yourself . A note: there is a hotel in-town with the same name. Don't confuse the two. I'm sure it is a fine hotel, but you are looking for the Spa & Resort.

Room Tip: Research the room types. Ask questions. See above regarding tents, etc. Ask about proximity to th...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank Kegan36604
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 reviewResponded September 13, 2012

Its our mission in life that you leave this place healed, relaxed and seeing the world in a different way, so we can say mission accomplished!!
It makes us very happy that you had a great stay and that you apreciate the work of a whole group of people dedicated to their jobs with their hearts!
Thank you for letting us know about your experience,
Namaste,

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122 - 128 of 171 reviews

Reviewed June 28, 2012

We stayed in Pura Vida Resort for a week in June 2012, our room was the Lila Suite, excellent location within the resort, excellent view, very spacious with a nice "clear-roof" porch. The same owners have a similar facility in Tulum, Mexico, we have also stayed there and are very comparable, just that Pura Vida is located in the mountains of Alajuela near San Jose and Maya-Tulum is on the mexican caribbean riviera. Massages offered are simply outstanding, the Yoga facilities are breathtaking and service is very good all-around.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank AJSC3636
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 reviewResponded September 13, 2012

Dear friends, Greetings from Pura Vida,

We thank you very much for letting everyone know about your experience in Pura Vida.
We hope to see you again soon so that you can enjoy one more day in Paradise!!
Your friends from Pura Vida.

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Reviewed May 24, 2012

I was in Pura Vida Costa Rica resort from May 12-19 on the 7 day retreat, travelling solo and desperate for a reprieve from my life situation. I got just that 100 fold! First off, all the staff is kind, relaxed, gentle, compassionate, generous, positive, human and caring. The wellness centre offers a wealth of treatments to mend a tired soul, all wonderful but most impactful to me given my state was the Watsu massage with Natalia, and the Omchu work with Olman. Both brought me to tears in a wonderful postiive way and I can't help but thank these gifted healers. Also Karina did miracles for my skin but I also sensed she operated from some innate wisdom as well. Having gone on the 7 day retreat, I thoroughly enjoyed the various excursions. Our tour guide Alejandro was delighted to share his extensive knowledge of the wilderness and made each excursion all the more exciting and interesting. I learned so much. I know what a Posion Dart Frog is and also how an army of ants create their home. Bewildering!!!
All in all I would HIGHLY recommend this resort if your tired spirit needs some attention. Our group was smaller that week but I loved my fellow travellers who I now consider to be friends. I feel like we arrived gray with hunched up shoulders and left full of colour laughing and filled with energy and perspective.
I guess the only thing that was a tiny negative was that I am used to very very intense yoga. The yoga here is much more gentle. It could be too that that was indeed a positive in the end. The energy received from doing yoga with the teachers at that location was amazing.
I do hope to visit again. Huge love to all the staff and keep up the amazing work!!!!
Nancy from Toronto

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled solo
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6  Thank Nancy L
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 reviewResponded May 27, 2012

Warm greetings from Pura VIda!!

Muchas gracias!!! Thats all we can say, Thank You!! Namaste!
We hope to see you again soon, and THANK YOU for letting us know how we are doing our job. This is what motivates us every day, knowing that you will leave happy, transformed, lighter, etc!
A big hug from your friends!!

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Reviewed March 27, 2012

I was there on a seminar. It was a nice resort, with great food. The staff was very friendly and helpful. Be aware, as I was shocked and not warned......You cannot put toilet paper in the toilet. It has to be put in the trash cans. This grossed me out, but I got used to it. It was the same way in the restaurants in San Jose. They do not have good plumbing. There is nothing to do around the resort. If you like a nice quiet place and some yoga, this is a great place.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled on business
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3  Thank Sherry E
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 reviewResponded March 30, 2012

Thank you for your review, we very much appreciate your feedback. We are glad you had a good time and that you liked the food.
Concerns likes yours, about the toilet paper, are explained on every Orientation meeting every Sunday, and its one thing we make sure people knows about since this is an important issue. Actions are taken so that one day we can operate like you would like, for the moment we rather tell our clients than cause an environmental problem.
Lots of blessings and hope to see you back !!

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Reviewed March 1, 2012

Pura Vida is Heaven on Earth. I recently returned from a Yoga Retreat with a lovely group(There were more than 20 of us). This was my second time to this breathtaking place nestled in the hills of Alajuela-and I look forward to the next. Personally, I am not one for visting the same place twice, however, Pura Vida is definately that one exception. The rooms were simple, always clean and tidied for us. The view from our balcony was spectacular, especially when the day came to a close and you could take in the citys glow below. If an upgrade is what you are searching for, I would definately recommend the "Pagoda". This upgrade Is larger, houses an inside and outside fireplace. And if you fancy showering underneath the stars, this accomodation allows you to do so privately, outside surrounded by rocks and native plantings and your universe above. As for Pura Vidas staff-again-more than willing to make your stay pleasing and comfortable. The food and service were exceptional. If you are looking to enjoy ALot of delicious food and not gain an ounce(possibly even loose some)-this is your place. As for the Spa treatments-nothing like you have experienced or will ever experience anywhere else. Once you visit the Wellness Board of "Spa Opportunities" the first day and have your first treatment, you will return every day if not every hour to see what you can book next. All providers are exceptionally warm and unique in their own way. This particular Pura Vida location seems to carry its own Healing Aura. The tours have much to offer when experiencing Costa Ricas countryside and there is an obvious passion and respect the people carry for their home. Wether you have come here for the yoga or just to relax, the possibility is there for you to experience more. Pura Vida will surpass your expections and you will be left coming home looking at your family, your friends, your life in a whole new loving perspective!!! During this trip I am reminded by two words I cannot seem to forget. At one point I said "thank you" when I received assistance in purchasing an item and the response was simply "Your Welcoming"- for me, this describes Pura Vida perfectly.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank sskingley
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 reviewResponded May 27, 2012

Dear friend,

Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by Trip Advisor and leave us your feedback. Definitely, its like Heaven on Earth. We, who work here, know it and do our best everyday to share it with you, so that you can take a little piece of paradise back home, yours to keep.
Thanks again for your honest comments and we look forward to seeing you again soon!
Namaste,

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Reviewed February 18, 2012

Pura Vida is a lovely sanctuary for birds, flowers, animals and people. I attended a psychotherapy workshop there recently and wasn't sure exactly what to expect. I knew that it was called a spa and yoga retreat but I didn't expect that it was such a healing place for the heart, body, mind and soul. This is not an fancy spa, but even better, it is a place to smile, relax, experience the beauty of the land and enjoy being cared for so completely.

The entire staff was genuinely kind and helpful. They embody the spirit of Costa Rica and "pura vida." The food, service, and treatments were all exceptional. More importantly, my experiences there will always be remembered and cherished.

Don't miss the treatments or rather the therapies with these incredible healers. My first treatment was Watsu or Aquatic Bodywork with Natalia. This is not just being twirled around in the water by a massage therapist. This was a profoundly healing experience for me (and I've had lots of treatments!). Thank you, Natalia, for your presence and compassion.

My next treatment was Bali-Thai with Karina, a woman with great enthusiasm and intuition. She develops a treatment designed to address your unique and specific needs. I had acupuncture, acupressure, massage, and cupping, followed by a steam bath of rosemary, mint and cinnamon. I left feeling completely relaxed yet very alert and enlivened. Thank you, Karina for your energy and wisdom.

Sign up early for the treatments because they get booked up quickly during the week.

The Sky Walk and Wildlife Boat excursion was fun and very interesting. Alejandro is an excellent tour guide with lots of knowledge and a great sense of humor. I learned a lot about Costa Rican governing policies and culture, the indigenous peoples, animals and birds, food & drink and religion (estoy bromeando). On the wildlife boat we saw scarlet macaws, capuchin monkeys, "respectable" crocodiles, stilts (one of my favorite birds) and rosette spoonbills (so beautiful). I wish I could have done more excursions but my workshop took up a lot of my time. Thank you Alejandro for everything.

I wish I could remember everyone's name to also thank you personally. Many blessings to all the staff and I hope to visit your wonderful home again someday. Heart to heart!!

Room Tip: We stayed in the A-frame which was nice and had a beautiful view of San Jose. The high ceiling gave...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled on business
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5  Thank QueenOfHearts33
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 reviewResponded February 24, 2012

We thank you for your kind comments, you make us feel motivated and willing to do things better everyday!!!
We are glad that you had a great experience here and that you enjoyed the tours, the food and the place, we all do our jobs with all of our love!
Hope to see you again soon!!

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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
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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 reviewResponded 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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Additional Information about 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 star — Pura Vida Retreat & Spa 3*
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 And Yoga Retreat
Pura Vida Spa & Yoga Retreat Hotel Alajuela
Pura Vida Wellness Retreat Spa
Pura Vida Retreat & Spa Costa Rica/Alajuela

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