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“Yoga Nature Retreat- Exactly that!”

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Samasati Retreat & Rainforest Sanctuary
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 18, 2013

Thanks to Groupon, we found ourselves at this Yoga retreat resort. The trip included a 5 night stay, all meals and two yoga classes at a very reasonable price. When I went on the website I actually found that I didn't necessarily need the Groupon to get the deal as they regularly run specials. The resort is very secluded in the rainforest at the top of a hill. The bungalows are open with mesh netting all around so you can see and hear your surroundings. You feel one with nature and it was very clean and comfortable. The first thing we saw was a big group of people who were there for Yoga Instructor Training. At first we were very intimidated and thought "what did we get ourselves into?". While we are active people who like to take the occasional yoga class or hike, we are by no means yoga experts. However, we were quickly put at ease by all the welcoming and friendly staff. We were assured that the group had their own program and would not be in the regularly offered yoga classes...phew! The yoga classes were great and the instructor is also the message therapist on staff.
The staff assisted us with setting up excursions and transportation to town, etc. We went ziplining (awesome), on a boat, snorkeled and had a tour of the National park (also recommended). But one of the highlights of the entire trip was a day when we took the shuttle to town, rented bikes (for $4 for the day!) and biked to the Jaguar Rescue Center in Playa Chiquita. There was an entry fee of $15 if I recall correctly. The knowledgable volunteers took you on a tour of the sanctuary and told you all about the animal residents. There was also a monkey area where you can go in and mingle with the monkeys, priceless experience. I would highly recommend that on your trip!! If you miss the shuttle back it's only about $10 to get a cab back.
Back at the resort, there are also many trials to explore on your own.
THE FOOD IS AMAZING!!! I wanted the recipe of just about every meal! We are vegetarians and were happy to go to a resort that served only vegetarian food, but you do not have to be vegetarian to enjoy these amazing meals! We looked forward to going to every meal to see what would be served!
You have to realize, you will be in the rainforest, so it will be DAMP! After a few days we found that all of our clothes felt a little damp and if you went swimming, forget it, that's going to stay wet for the entire trip so bring plastic bags to keep them separate from other clothes. Or bring a hair dryer to dry them. Wifi was available at the bottom of the hill so you would just have to ask the staff for a ride down and back. I think it's about a mile or so.
Overall, we had a wonderful time and would recommend it but you have to know what to expect- yoga, nature, relaxation or adventure and great food...not your hot, sunny all-inclusive party vacation. If you want that, stay in town (or on the other side of the country). We probably wouldn't have gone if it wasn't for Groupon but I'm happy we had this experience.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank MBK915
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 reviewResponded May 24, 2013

Dear,
thank you for your detailed review as it will help many other guests! I am very glad you enjoyed Samasati and the surrounding area!!
I look forward having you back
Kind regards
Silvia

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181 - 187 of 375 reviews

Reviewed February 16, 2013

First let me say that I had a wonderful time. The weather was cool & breezy, wildlife was abundant. The house we stayed in was adorable, well ventilated, neat and clean. The staff helpful and friendly. If you're really into yoga, it's probably the perfect place.
Now let me tell you what the cons were. The meals were bland. I read everyone's comments about the great food before I booked. What do you people usually eat that you could call the food at Samasati good! Come on Samasati. You are in a country with some of the best produce I've ever seen and catering to vegetarians. Give us something more exciting. More vegys in the gallo pinto. Tomatoes and avocados with breakfast. Some pipas, yucas, platanos maduras. We're in a tropical country at a yoga/nature retreat. Obviously we're at least a little bit adventurous. Put some adventure in the food, some tropical fruits that we won't see back home. Some spice. Some fresh salsa. The best meal was the evening when the ladies in the kitchen cooked their own style of food. Coconut rice, patacones and such.
If you're in the area for the beach, Samasati is not the right place for you. Too far from the beach.
There are other places to stay that are far less expensive, have air conditioning in case you don't get the perfect weather that I got and are easier to get to. And you'll save enough money to get some real Caribbean food and take some excursions.
But if you're really into yoga it may be worth the price.

Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
3  Thank mrspeabody
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

My friend and I had a wonderful time at this nature retreat. All the staff were extremely friendly and accommodating. We especially appreciated Barbara's help in planning excursions, transportation, etc. The vegetarian meals were very good. The bungalow we stayed in was spotless. Had housekeeping service daily. Very safe. Beautiful jungle experience with lots of hiking on site. Had a great massage the day I left. We did one yoga class which was very good (people who are "in" to yoga said the yoga is excellent!)

Used a Groupon for this vacation, but would come back and pay full price. It is worth it!

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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5  Thank cpet
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 reviewResponded January 24, 2013

Thank you for the review, I am very glad you enjoyed your stay there.
... Yes! Come back soon to stay with us again.
Warm regards
Silvia

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2013

Going to Samasati Nature Retreat was one of the best things i've done for myself. I stayed there over New Years 2013 with my best friend and we both can't stop thinking about it. If you want to feel Paradise with a view to die for and unforgettable sounds of the jungle this is the place for you. I recorded on my iphone the sounds that we were hearing, and now that I am back in NY I will play the sounds and automatically relax thinking about Samasati. The staff is so nice and helpful and Max teacher is the best. We met the nicest people just hanging out at breakfast who were also staying there. Great hiking, great views, massages, smells, sounds and the feel of absolute paradise. Oh, and the food is so healthy and delicious. I can't wait to go back! Oh and every bungalow has a hammock that you can lie in while listening to the sounds of the jungle. Samasati rocks!!

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Nicole G
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 reviewResponded January 24, 2013

Thank you for the review! I am really happy you enjoyed Samasati and its magic ... good idea the recording of the sounds. I wish you the best for this year in new York and I hope you can come back soon. Best to you,
Silvia

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Reviewed January 17, 2013

My husband and I stayed here for 2 nights on our honeymoon. What a beautiful serene peace of Costa Rican heaven. The staff here is incredibly kind and friendly. There was a mix up with our booking and they took the extra step needed to fix it and make our stay incredible. We were so appreciative of that. We ended up Staying in the Tempest Pearl house. Which I highly recommend for a couple. My husband and I sat on the wrap around deck starring into the jungle and ocean view for hours. Listening and watching all that was around us. We couldn't find the outside switch for the lights so we ended up sitting in the dark. Which was a blessing in disguise. So cool to realise and be apart of a whole other world in the jungle at night The food was out of this world. Then menu is vegetarian only, which we didn't know before arriving which didn't bother us at all. We were both looking forward to trying out the different dishes. Puerto Viejo, which is a cool caribbean surf town a 20 minute drive away is a must see. The beaches are beautiful and the town is super cute. However, you need to be careful when your diving only because people walk all over the sides of the road like its theirs. It's quite funny actually. Enjoy... Pura Vida!

Room Tip: Tempest Pearl house. The entire upstairs is the master bedroom. Beautiful jungle and ocean views. Yo...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Caarly
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 reviewResponded January 24, 2013

Thank you for the review! I hope you will soon be back!
Warm regards and Pura Vida
Silvia

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2013

I stayed there for the last four nights of 2012, and my experience was amazing.

I stayed in the Namaste house, and it had amazing views of the Caribbean. My room was very clean, i loved the asthetic, and the bed was very comfortable. The decks with hammocks were a very nice touch. I enjoyed many hours swinging on the hammock, reading a book or just enjoying the view.

The staff were very friendly and accommodating. Cecilia in particular was very kind, always with a great attitude. She was very nice in helping me figure out the bus schedules for my ongoing travels.

I took my very first yoga class here, and their instructor Max was extremely kind and welcoming. I am normally a pretty shy person when doing something new (especially in public), but I felt very comfortable in that environment. Samasati has made a yoga fan out of me.

The food they offered was simply delicious. I have had a bad stomach for many years, but their food made me feel better than i have in a long time. I sincerely miss their cooking.

One thing to note is that there is no Internet at the main part of the resort. Think of it as a good thing, because it is. Get off the computer for a few days, trust me, you'll enjoy it. If you really need Internet, you can go to the enterance at the bottom of the hill.

If you want to get away from it all, enjoy nature, specatular views, awesome cooking, yoga, and great massages, come to Samasati. You will be rejuvenated.

Stayed: December 2012, traveled solo
2  Thank Jade R
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 reviewResponded January 11, 2013

Thank you for the review!! Great that you had good time. I wish you the best for this year and we hope to have you soon back at Samasati again!
Warm regards
Silvia

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 27, 2012

So it appears that we were unique visitors to Samasati in that we actually rented a car which was not advised by some other travelers. This is partly because the drivers in CR are a little more 'care free' vs the US, but with the insurance and a little caution there is NO Problem. Our car had no license plate because it was a bran new Nissan Tilde, and it handled the drive from SJO to Purto Viejo and back to Baldi Hot Springs (near Arenal Volcano in the mountains) just fine. It was NOT 4 Wheel drive - so we still had to get a ride to the top of the hill from the base of the resort. That was fine by me.

I choose the car because we are more.... independent travelers and NEED flexibility. We're also more frugal - and after crunching the numbers, a car was much cheaper than paying for a cab from SJO and back ($100something) and cabs to and from Samasati and your other coastal destinations each day ($10-$40 each way, per trip). We went straight from SJO at 1 PM to Samasati, which Google/Garmin said would be 3.5 hours - turned out to be 5.5 or more, but no biggie. You get used to the 'Trust Bridges' and the families walking with their kids in total darkness on the road. FYI 'Dollar Car Rental Costa Rica' was about $260 out the door for 6 nights, with only the mandatory insurance (Im a risk taker, don't do this if you're not prepared to pay $ for damages.)

We got to Samasati right at dinner time, and right as the 4x4 was going back up the hill (perfect timing!) It IS a little tricky to locate - and FYI, research your GPS options if you ARE renting a car - as it WILL take longer than Google/GPS says in EVERY instance. Upon entering the 'resort' part of Samasati, we were greeted by a lovely host who was very helpful and informative, and took our bags to our room.

The immediate feel of the place is like nothing else, and I've been all over the globe. You have a breath-taking view of the rain forests/ocean, and you really feel like you're in a remote nature resort which was therapeutic for me. Its a good place to replace your laptop/cell with a book/headphones. The Bungalow we got was facing the ocean and closest to the dining hall. It had a shower and a nice bed plus a balcony with a hammock, which was unfathomably relaxing as you look out at the sunset. EVERY day we saw some new unique animals - tucans, monkeys, sloths, tree frogs, snakes... and it just felt great being IN the woods, which surround you everywhere. Do NOT leave coconut water or any sugar out, as it will attract ants. Also, there WILL be Bugs in your room, and maybe a lizard (but they were cool) - and there is a mosquito net if desired. Surprisingly we didnt get bit up at all. There's a yellow bug light that attracts them to one corner of the room which helped a lot.

The Resort had great food, and I am a hardcore carnivore. They had amazing cheese & rice lasagne with cilantro that was amazing, delicious friend vegetables every day, some decent soups, and always some kind of dessert or salad. The Drinks were 'real' - orange juice that was not orange, and lemonade that was not yellow (and had real ginger in it.) Awesome. I regret that we only got the Caribbean Bass on the last day - as it was amazing, and fed both of us well (in addition to all the other sides you can get from the buffet.) They also had beer and wine every day- the beer 'Bavaria' was reasonably priced and refreshing.

We did the Zip Line tour through Samasati's front desk, which i highly recommend. It didnt take as long as they said, but it was well worth the $50 or whatever it cost...You get 200 feet up in the rain forest canopy, and looking down you can't even see the ground. The lines move fast, and its invigorating, and the views are spectacular. Guides were great too.

We had the luxury of having a car, so we hit up the Cacao Plantation which was close by and got a VERY Personalized tour of the Park and Plantation, plus got to help 2 local kids catch crawfish using tree sap that temporarily blinds the sea life. That was rad, and the tour itself was fun and informative. Its IN the Forest again, so wear boots/Vibrams (not open toe.) At the end we made some AMAZING REAL chocolate, with ground up beans and fresh ingredients that we got to take home - AMAZING again. Top that off with some free samples of the cocao Rum Fernando provided us with and that was one of my favorite experiences.

We also visited the nearby 'Tree of Life Animal Sanctuary' which ill review later - but its well worth the $12. At the front gate, a nice lady let us play with the Baby Chimp and Sloth that was ON HER person and answered every question i could think of about animals in costa rica. She also gave us better directions to Cahiuta Park / Beach, which we passed up originally because we didnt know if we had parked in the right spot. You can basically park wherever, and its relatively safe - my rental never got messed with in CR, and I think any crime stuff you hear is overblown. That being said, hide your valuables =)

The Park/beach there was nice, the hike was great and covers miles of 'near the beach' trails that often show off leaf cutter ants, sloths, monkeys, and that kinda thing. The beach is nice but not gorgeous, but one that the locals use a lot. Good stuff, and all free. The restaurant next to it we patronized (Vista Del Mare I think) was good, but not amazing, as the service was 'European Slow' albeit friendly. I heard Soda Shops (mini restaurants) were the way to go, as they are cheaper and faster and independently run.

Puerto Viejo is the largest Beach nearby (I think) and has a whole community near it. Getting there was a breeze, and there's a parking lot next to the shore, along side MANy shops and dining places. HIGHLY recommend. Bought the same hammock in our bungalow for cheap as a souvenir. Very relaxing while having lots to see/do as well, and its only 12 min away.

The next day we visited Punta Uva beach, which is supposedly on of the most beautiful in CR / the Carribean. I liked it, but it wasnt AMAZING - just very secluded, with a very cool winding shoreline we followed almost all the way to Panama. Getting there was more difficult - I felt like we were parking in someone's back yard after traveling down the gravel roads. However, if you want a chance to have an expansive beach with a great view all to yourself - this is the place. It blew my mind how there were so many little homes (barely more than shacks in some cases) with backyards on the Carribean shoreline. In the US those would be expensive homes - here, its just 'where they live.'

Samasati also had a few trails we traversed. The best one of course being a waterfall path, which was beautiful. The hikes arent TOO hard, and we were fortunate enough to see some cool wildlife on our way there... A fist-sized spider about to devour a tree frog.

I thought the staff was very friendly and helpful. We never had an issue with the up/down the hill, as the shuttle seemed to run on demand, especially if you give them a heads up. The music they played at Samasati was enjoyable, and if you rent a car bring an Aux cable/CDs or USB (our car had a USB stereo with all that!) As you will not get radio in the mountains.

If you enjoy nature, relaxation, and want to 'get away from it all' this is the place for you. I felt more connected to the Earth and 'real' than I ever have before, and I'm not a tree-hugger type. Highly Recommend this place!

Room Tip: Ask in advance about the view - Or Bungalow 3 has a great view....but they all seemed to. Their pre...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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12  Thank ProverbialFunk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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 #10 of 114 Specialty Lodging in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Price Range: $85 - $208 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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