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“Met so many great people and left with new friends and memories” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Samasati Retreat & Rainforest Sanctuary

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Samasati Retreat & Rainforest Sanctuary
Certificate of Excellence
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Met so many great people and left with new friends and memories”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 13, 2012

The community meal time made for a lot of great meals and we met so many great people. Everybody was there on the Groupon deal and it was a great eleven days. We met so many people that it was sad to leave, but thanks to the internet we are still in touch with many of them.
Samasati is so relaxing. Some days were spent hiking around the property, some were spent biking around Puerto Viejo. The pace of life here is just right, not too fast and not to slow.
I did forget how loud a jungle can get at night, but thankfully my wife brought plenty of ear plugs. The howler monkeys are like an alarm clock and they rise with the sun. If you cannot get back to sleep walk down to the restaurant area and have a cup of coffee while watching the sunrise over the Caribbean. It is a great sight and then you can get ready for morning yoga practice.
Filtered water is a precious commodity in Costa Rica. Plan ahead and bring your water bottle and get a large 5 gallon tank for your bungalow. I think it ran about $9 US for one, compare that to $2.55 for 2L of water in a bottle. They do serve a jug of water at every meal, but you will be sweating buckets, so just get the big jug. They will deliver it to your bungalow. When you go into town you will pay for water there as well.
Everyday was started with a great breakfast and a pre-dinner yoga session. Max is a great yoga teacher and applies a very practical perspective on yoga practice by relating it to everyday movement.
Get a massage and facial. This is a must. The therapists are excellent. Plus you cannot beat the sound of the jungle in the background as you are kneaded and massaged into a coma (in a good way).
We would run into people from Samasati everywhere we went and we even went on excursions together. The staff is wonderful and fun to talk with. They have the best recommendations on where to go and what to avoid.
When you go into town, rent bikes. You can find some for as little as $4-5 a day and they do not ask for credit cards or passports. Then you are off and ready for the day. Playa Cocles is the local's spot and everybody is very welcoming. They don't tolerate any sort of the shady behavior that occurs at Punta Uvas. We were warned many times to be mindful of our things if we went there. Playa Cocles was the opposite. If you stay close to where everybody gathers near the main break and the surfboard rental people will keep an eye on your stuff. We made friends with some of the Samasati staff and ran into them at Playa Cocles while surfing and they made sure we were treated well. If you get thirsty at the beach, look for the guy walking around with a bag of coconuts and a machete. They ask $1/coconut and they will open it for you. It's a great deal and you can eat the coconut meat for a quick snack.
You can get surf lessons at the beach and they are probably worth the money. The wave here is thick and heavy. It is also an unpredictable shore break, so it get pretty shallow. I got caught in the kill zone my first day out during high tide and came out with some bruises and scrapes. The Caribbean owned me that day and made an example out of me. The next day was much better and I caught on a lot quicker. The break was a little smaller and I got out into the lineup and caught a lot of waves. The locals are quick to grab waves, but they are super friendly and welcoming, so make some friends.
Overall a great trip and I am ready to head back.

Room Tip: Get a house and share it with friends. All bungalows are on a hillside so you will be walking up dow...
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  • Stayed May 2012, 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?
3 Thank Shannendoah1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SilviaZani1, Owner at Samasati Retreat & Rainforest Sanctuary, responded to this review, September 14, 2012
Thank you for your review and the many good tips for other fellow travelers !
I am glad you enjoyed Samasati and the area ... yes, the pace of life is "just right" over there....
Hope to have you and your wife back soon for another visit.
Warm regards
Silvia
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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355 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (71)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
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English first
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 8, 2012

This place is perfect. Plus, the food was the best we ate in CR during our 12 day stay. We woke up with the howlers...magical.

One note. This is an early to bed. Early to rise place. It is dead quite after 8 which is perfect if you are looking for it. Which we were.

The rooms are spotless and the staff are delightful. Just perfect.

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank WonderAbouter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SilviaZani1, Owner at Samasati Retreat & Rainforest Sanctuary, responded to this review, September 10, 2012
Thank you for your review!! I hope you will come back and visit us again soon!
Warm regards
Silvia
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norfolk, Virginia, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 6, 2012

We absolutely loved our stay at Samasati last week. The food was amazing! We are vegan and the staff was wonderful about making vegan meals for us that were even more delicious than what we are accustomed to in the US. We loved the variety of soups. I was worried about bugs in our bungalow from reading the reviews but we only had some small lizards and ants, and we didn't even need our mosquito netting. We were woken up early by birds and howler monkeys each day which we loved, but I would recommend earplugs if you like to sleep in! Samasati is the perfect place for nature lovers, where you can be totally immersed in the jungle with beautiful scenery. We also enjoyed the cats and dogs though I do wish they could have some flea prevention as they did seem really itchy! For those who have been giving negative reviews, I think you just need to know in advance that this is a place for people who want to have a calm relaxing trip out in nature and be expected to really experience nature. I think the retreat really does take into consideration the suggestions people post here as I saw several things that I had read in reviews that the retreat seemed to have fixed because of the reviews, such as providing a big cooler at all times for drinking water and having an emergency radio for after-hours. Also, I highly recommend renting a 4x4 vehicle as it's the only way you can come and go from the retreat without relying on the daily shuttle at 10 am and 3 pm. We had a vehicle so we were able to take our own daily excursions to lots of different wildlife sanctuaries and beaches, but still come back to snuggle up in nature in the evenings! I love Samasati and hope I can come back again someday!!

Room Tip: Rent a 4x4 vehicle if you are interested in taking your own excursions around town!
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Laura W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SilviaZani1, Owner at Samasati Retreat & Rainforest Sanctuary, responded to this review, September 7, 2012
Thank you very much for the review; I am very glad you had good time and could enjoy Samasati, its food, its people and its surroundings. Come back and be with us soon again!!
Warm regards
Silvia
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tucson, Arizona
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 26, 2012

Spent 2 lovely weeks surrounded by the beauty of tropical Costa Rica. The views are stunning and the sounds of the birds fascinating. Close to good Caribbean swimming beaches and friendly towns with good restaurants

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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?
1 Thank mscinda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SilviaZani1, Owner at Samasati Retreat & Rainforest Sanctuary, responded to this review, September 7, 2012
Thank you for the review. I am glad you enjoyed your stay in Samasati.
Kind regards
Silvia
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 23, 2012

Samasati was a wonderful experience! The staff (shout outs to Melissa and Cecilia) was amazing and super accommodating, the food was delicious and the yoga was some of the best that I've experienced (Max helped me achieve my very first handstand!). The experience began before my husband and I stepped foot on the reserve. The pre-planning was very professional and any questions we had before we arrived were answered promptly and thoroughly. I have acid reflux and a sensitive stomach, so before I was even there, Liseth (reservations manager) let the staff know about this issue. There wasn't a time where I felt I couldn't eat anything, and seriously, the food was beyond our expectations. If you are a meat and potatoes kinda person, this may not be the best menu, but if you are willing to explore new vegetarian/vegan options, you will not be disappointed. Our bungalow was super clean and when we arrived they made a heart shape with towels and added fresh flowers! Super cute! The rooms are cleaned daily but they change sheets and towels every other day to conserve water, but if you would like it done daily, just leave everything on the floor. There was an issue with bugs the first night there, but we requested a mosquito net and problem solved. We are in the middle of the jungle so bugs and wildlife should be an expectation. When hiking it was pretty cool to see lizards, frogs, birds, and even sloths! The beauty of the reserve far exceeded our expectations! The flora/fauna was absolutely beautiful and there are several places to explore on the actual property. It was also nice to hear sounds of nature to fall asleep to and wake me up as opposed to the people/car traffic that we hear daily in NYC.
My husband and I signed up for the Living Yoga Retreat where we took two (sometimes 3) yoga classes a day with Max (who is an amazing instructor) and during the day went on a few adventures (hiking, waterfall treks, some days we went into town via the free shuttle). There were also several opportunities to take meditation classes with Max as well.
There is a free shuttle (truck) that takes you into town (Puerto Viejo), but you must sign up a day in advanced. You can also sign up for a "lunch" if this is a part of your package. Note, the lunch is not comparable to what you will receive at Samasati. It was a paper bag with rice cakes, cookies and an apple. You may just want to grab lunch while you are in Puerto Viejo. Cafe Zion and Veronica's Place are great places to eat. Ms. Veronica actually made a special tea to settle my stomach (worked like magic) from herbs she got from her garden! You can also just sit and use their wi-fi and they'll give you free fresh juice. Playa Negra is the closest beach, walking distance from the drop off point, but you can get a cab (for about $8-10) to take you to Playa Chiquita or Punta Uva (which was the best beach for us). Be sure to get a card or a number and you can have a nearby restaurant call them to pick you up.
Something to note, and I am a person who lives on my blackberry, you will not have internet/cell access while in your bungalows/homes, but you can get internet access at the bottom of the hill. All you have to do is ask for someone to take you down the hill to the welcome center. However, it was very refreshing to not live by our outlook and google calendar for a week. Something to also take into consideration is the travel time it will take to get to the property. Samasati is very close to Panama. If you are flying into San Jose, it will be a 4.5 hour drive to get the Samasati. We made a reservation for a private car to come and pick us up from the airport with the help of Liseth, but we talked to a few folks who took the public bus in ($2) or Interbus with a group ($90).
When reading some of the reviews before leaving, my husband and I were a little nervous but when actually staying at Samasati we realized that its more a matter of personal preference. We preferred to be secluded and surrounded by nature while experiencing yoga and we received this and so much more! We will definitely be returning to Samasati in the future!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank SRap1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SilviaZani1, Owner at Samasati Retreat & Rainforest Sanctuary, responded to this review, August 28, 2012
Thank you for the review! Very glad you liked your week at Samasati ..and congratulations on your first head stand!! We look forward to have you back!
Silvia
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 22, 2012

Samasati is a lovely place, that allows you to rest, hike, meet wonderful people and enjoy the Caribbean coast. The staff really take care of you and want your experience to be a good one. Everyone was so friendly and helpful. The meals are delicious and healthy. My "must eat meat with every meal" husband loved the vegeterian meals and never went hungry. The trails are just enough adventure to let you experience the forest and we spent many hours sitting on the porch watching sloths and tucans. Woke every morning to the howler monkeys and bird calls. Daily shuttles and affordable cabs make trips to the beach doable on even tight budgets. Take headlamps and be sure to pre-arrange 4x4 taxis if you arrive after 9pm. We ended up walking up the mountain for about a mile at midnight. We were accompanied by 2 wonderful canine residents however, who litteraly walked us to the door of our home. Be open to a little adventure and you will have the time of your life. Thank you to everyone at Samasati for a wonderful retreat. We definitely plan to return as soon as possible!

  • Stayed August 2012, 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?
2 Thank Anna S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SilviaZani1, Owner at Samasati Retreat & Rainforest Sanctuary, responded to this review, August 24, 2012
Thank you for writing the review! I am very glad that you have had good time and enjoyed Samasati! YES ... come back and stay with us soon again!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 17, 2012

Samasati was wonderful!! Samasati is a great place to vacation if you would like to try something out of the ordinary. The resorts in town are nice, but only Samasati allows guests to stay in the heart of the rainforest. Standing on the porch looking through the forest and catching a glimpse of the Caribbean was beautiful and refreshing. Samasati has great vegetarian cuisine and offers a daily shuttle into Puerto Viejo, where you can easily spend the day exploring. Samasait allows you to relax while bringing out an adventurous side of yourself you may not have known you had before coming.

Room Tip: Bungalow 6 was fantastic! Great view with lots of privacy.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Alecia B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SilviaZani1, Owner at Samasati Retreat & Rainforest Sanctuary, responded to this review, August 20, 2012
Thank you for your review! Happy you enjoyed your stay at Samasati ...!
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 Samasati Retreat & Rainforest Sanctuary

Property: Samasati Retreat & Rainforest Sanctuary
Address: Carbon 1, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica (Formerly Samasati Nature Retreat)
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 101 Specialty Lodging in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Samasati Retreat & Rainforest Sanctuary 3*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Samasati Retreat & Rainforest Sanctuary Perched on a magical mountain ridge overlooking the Caribbean Sea, Samasati offers guest house bungalow and casita accommodations just minutes away from the beaches of Puerto Viejo. For over 20 years we have hosted world class retreats, workshops, guest artists and travelers like you! Your stay includes delicious gourmet vegetarian buffet served in our renovated open air restaurant with breathtaking views. Also available on site are healing massage treatments, jacuzzi spa, nature trails, waterfall with natural pool, daily yoga classes and a meditation hall. Tours, excursions and beach shuttles to local attractions are arranged daily. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Samasati Nature Retreat Hotel Puerto Viejo
Samasati Retreat & Rainforest Sanctuary Costa Rica/Limon

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