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“not for everyone - know this before you book, and you might still love it” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Blue Osa Yoga Retreat and Spa

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Blue Osa Yoga Retreat and Spa
Ranked #1 of 15 Hotels in Puerto Jimenez
Certificate of Excellence
distant galaxy
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“not for everyone - know this before you book, and you might still love it”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 16, 2011

Like the previous poster said, it's all about expectations. Blue Osa was not what we expected, though for some people, it may be just right. But you definitely need to know a few things if you're going to book at this place, to avoid being surprised like we were.

This is not really a resort in the traditional sense. It's more like staying at a camp with outdoor cabins. The website photos might look like the rooms feel cool, but there is no air conditioning. So be prepared to feel sticky and hot from the humidity. It's no biggie, if you know that in advance, of course. But we did not. We adapted ok to that. The thing that really did surprise us, however, is that the rooms are not sealed. That means bugs fly in to your room unimpeded from outside and you must sleep with mosquito netting overhead, unless you don't mind being that up close and personal with the wildlife. And even with mosquito netting, the bugs would still crawl in on your pillow and say 'hi' sometimes in the middle of the night. And although I didn't mind a small reptilian creature saying 'hi' to me from the bathroom mirror in the morning, it just reminded me that it wouldn't be so hard for snakes to get in, either. Costa Rica is well known for all kinds of snakes. So, for me, it was not a comfy feeling knowing we were literally that exposed. I want to go out to see the wildlife. Not have it come find me in the room when I'm sleeping.

The biggest thing that bothered me is there is no real privacy and the doors are screen open-view so anyone walking by can see you sleeping in your bed, if they happen to walk by. That is the case even if you draw all the blinds. Also, since you can hear everyone around you walk by or talk, this is NOT the place for you if you are wanting privacy.

Be aware that the showers do not work reliably. Some people had no hot water, while others like us have to constantly adjust the water between scalding hot and cold. I understand eco-consciousness, but something about this felt unreasonable to me, in terms of what all the guests had to put up with. We had to literally be on our toes every moment of your shower, to avoid being scalded. Or, just take cold showers every day. That's no fun, after coming in from a day in the rain forest, tired and sweaty.

Also, be aware that not all the tours advertised on the Blue Osa website are actually available. For example, even though the site (still) says you can go sunset kayaking to see dolphins, that tour is not available. If there's a tour you want, your best bet is to confirm it is actually available before you book. Another icky surprise was that do actually do any tours that are promoted on the website, you will have to also pay a "shuttle transport fee " which can range from $20 - $50 per person per activity. This isn't indicated anywhere on the website. To me, it felt like an unreasonable amount, given most transports were less than 10 miles in actual distance. I would have been ok with a nominal fee, but so much every day?? So it's another expense that adds up quickly for a couple, if you want to do activities when you are there. Plan on this, or it will be a budget issue.

Finally, it surprised us that even though the website says "Blue Osa Yoga Retreat and Spa" all over it, yoga is not actually available, unless you ask for it. And if you do, it costs extra. We assumed yoga was part of the "Yoga and Spa" experience of Blue Osa Yoga and Spa, and I still think that is a reasonable assumption. We thought there would be lots of yoga going on every day, all day, and that is one reason why we chose Blue Osa. As newbies, we wanted to learn yoga and thought, "What better place to learn than at a yoga place on the beach in Costa Rica?". But that was not the case. The entire week we were there, there was only 1 yoga class offered, and you had to pay extra for it. When asked why this was, we were told apparently we were staying at a non-yoga non-retreat time of year. But then why is the site still billed as a yoga place? Just call it Blue Osa. It's like a store saying they have groceries, but when you get there, there is no food unless you ask for it, because it is not the grocery season.

There are several positive things worth mentioning. The view of the beach really is spectacular. Even when it rained, which was daily, it was so tranquil and juicy in the sounds of it all. Blue Osa is in a beautiful part of the peninsula. Nothing beats looking up from a canopy to see a scarlett mackaw looking down at you! And the food is absolutely FABULOUS!! The chef is splendid. We really enjoyed the cuisine. Healthy, and very tasty. That was probably the best part of what Blue Osa did, and I congratulate them for it. The kitchen staff were very nice folks. The guests that were there were all wonderful people, and it is a fabulous way to get to know some folks in a way you might not on a traditional resort. Blue Osa kitchen staff was very nice in helping people mingle and rotate dining with different folks every night, and that was really great. The beach is really wonderful. Hard to put into words how beautiful it is, how nice it is to be right on the beach. It felt so wonderfully private. And I did appreciate the eco-consciousness of everything.

Great place if you're in the right frame of mind for it. Blue Osa is a beautiful place to hang out for the day and relax, I just happen think there are other places just as beautiful but more comfortable.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
21 Thank GodIsIntheTV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
blueosa, Owner at Blue Osa Yoga Retreat and Spa, responded to this review, December 17, 2011
Thank you for taking the time to post a review for Blue Osa. The only way we get to improve ourselves is through hearing constructive and good feedback from our guests.

You are absolutely right that Blue Osa is not for everyone. We are an eco resort in the jungle. While we are only a short ride from the airport, we are in the jungle.

I remember upon check out you were not happy about having to pay for your yoga class. All of our services at Blue Osa are extra. If we had an all inclusive resort, our rates per night would be much higher than they are. Unless someone comes on a yoga retreat, our spa services and yoga classes are extra. Many people think that yoga is something to only be experienced on a yoga mat in a yoga studio, but that is far from the truth. Yoga is everywhere at Blue Osa and is offered in many different ways. Had I been approached, I would have loved to discussed yoga philosophy with you and invited you to experience the different ways you could have experienced yoga.

As for air conditioning, we do state in our FAQ that we do not offer air conditioning. We also let people know that we are solar powered. If we were offering solar power in each room, we would need about 1/2 of a foot ball stadium filled with solar panels, and that might not even be enough power. It is just not possible. We do offer bed fans and for most people, they tell us this is more than adequate. We are in the jungle.

Lastly, I wanted to thank you for letting us know about our online tour booklets. After your feedback to me, we went back to have a look at the information we posted on our website with regards to our tours. This information was two years old. We have now revised it. Some of the tours are seasonal and some are not. One of the reasons why one of the tours you had requested was not available was because there was so much rain and they could not open due to the amount of mud.

I wish you all the best.
Blessings
Aaron
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496 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (136)
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English first
austin
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 14, 2011

The key to enjoying your time at Blue Osa … or deciding whether or not Blue Osa is for you … is in really understanding what this resort offers and what to expect.
I'll start by summarizing the Good and the Bad.
First, the wonderful things about Blue Osa. It is a lovely resort situated in the middle of the rainforest right on the bay, staffed by wonderfully friendly and helpful people, offering delightful meals cooked with local ingredients, and exhibiting positive energy for a relaxing vacation for those who are duly prepared.
Next, the things you need to know about Blue Osa to see if it's right for you.
There is no consistent hot water for showers.
The rooms are not truly private – there are gaps in the walls that allow you to hear every intimate detail of the people who are in the room adjoining yours.
There are no snacks or meals between mealtime. The food they serve is outstanding, but there is a limited amount and if you get hungry between meals you're plumb out of luck unless you are satisfied by a smoothie or by something you were smart enough to pack with you.
Although they live in the jungle, they are not adequately prepared to address even minor medical issues. When one of the guests fell and injured her knee on a bike ride tour, they didn't have antiseptic medicine (what they had was 5 years expired) nor a bandage big enough to cover the cut.
Wireless internet availability was very spotty. It is only available in the dining area, and access to the internet was only possible about half of the time at best.
So those are the highlights. If you decide to head down to the resort, here are some pointers to keep in mind.
Traveling to and from Blue Osa. Your flight down to Puerto Jimenez will be in a single engine plane seating about 15 people. Our flights on Sansa Regional were fine, but many get canceled because of weather. Turbulence may be an issue. Be wary of what airport you're flying out of. The Santamaria terminal is part of the International airport and is a 5 minute walk away. Nature Air (and others?) fly out of the local airport which is a $40 hour-long taxi ride away if you're connecting to an international flight. Once you land in Puerto Jimenez you hop in the 4x4 for the 40 minute bumpiest ride of your life … the road to Blue Osa is rock and dirt and littered with potholes the size of termite nests (you'll understand soon enough). If you don't already have snacks, ask your driver to stop at the supermarket so you can load up.
The people at Blue Osa. Aside from the incredible views and location, the people are what make Blue Osa special. We shared our five days with 12 of the most incredible people from all parts of the US. There is a real sense of bonding at Blue Osa, with everyone introducing themselves by first name as soon as they see you have arrived. You share meals and excursions together. For us, it made the trip as good as it could be.
The other awesome aspect to the people are the staff. They are truly remarkable.
Marie is the head chef from France. She used to own the property and sold it to Aaron a few years ago. Now she just concentrates on making the most delightful dishes for the guests. You'll experience something new at every meal, and it'll always be delicious.
Fillo is the groundskeeper and will show you all of the flora and fauna of the jungle. He gives the hike and bike tour, which is a nice 3-hour introduction to the surrounding jungle. And he'll come grab you when he sees a three-toed sloth or scarlet macaw hanging out in a nearby tree.
Jesus and Marcela are the awesome masseuses. Jesus gave my wife a delightful (though painfully deep) massage, and Marcela provided me with both relaxation and worked through some nasty knots.
Aaron, the owner, proprietor, and singular force behind Blue Osa, is a bit of an enigma. On one hand, he was always kind and has built an incredible resort in the middle of the rainforest. He was very accommodating to me and my wife. He moved us to one of the dormitory-style rooms (above the kitchen) that had more hermetically sealed walls (although a community bathroom which luckily we didn't have to share) when we complained about the lack of privacy in the normal bungalow. He also changed our returning flight without charge when we decided we wanted to leave a day early.
On the other hand, he always seemed a bit incredulous whenever anyone would tell him anything less than 100% positive about Blue Osa. When we complained about the lack of privacy, he said, “Really? You're the first person who's ever mentioned it.” Hmmm. A bit hard to believe, since several people we talked to had complained of the same circumstance.
So the bottom line is, make sure your expectations are set if you want to travel here. This is NOT a luxury resort. It IS a nice oasis in the middle of the rainforest, with all of the good and bad that comes with.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
11 Thank bonterra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
blueosa, Owner at Blue Osa Yoga Retreat and Spa, responded to this review, December 17, 2011
Thank you for your very detailed description of your trip. I don't think we could have done better.

I thought this was a really great review. As I was reading, it sounded like you had a great week "with the most incredible people from all parts of the U.S." You said, "There is a real sense of bonding at Blue Osa, with everyone introducing themselves by first name as soon as they see you have arrived. You share meals and excursions together. For us, it made the trip as good as it could be. The other awesome aspect to the people are the staff. They are truly remarkable."

Clearly the Osa Peninsula is not for everyone. We are in the jungle, and while it is fairly easy to come here (depending on which part of the USA you are flying from) the Osa Peninsula has no hotel offerings similar to the Marriott or the Hilton as all the Hotels here focus on environmental awareness and are eco friendly. With that in mind, I believe we do a great job of caring for people's needs.

Regarding your comment: "When we complained about the lack of privacy, he said, “Really? You're the first person who's ever mentioned it.” Hmmm. A bit hard to believe, since several people we talked to had complained of the same circumstance." I was telling the truth. To date, we have never had a complaint about the lack of privacy until you brought it to my attention. The community of people who tend to come to Blue Osa are here on yoga retreats and tend to be introspective. We often don't know about what guests experiences are until they let us know.

Regarding medical attention, our first aid kit is very simple and was put together by the local pharmacist which had been replenished the week before you arrived. As stated in our frequently asked questions available through our website: There is a 24-hour medical clinic located in Puerto Jimenez, only 20 minutes away from Blue Osa. We always have a vehicle on property in case emergency transport is necessary. Additionally, Puerto Jimenez has a 24-hour flight service that transports patients to the nearby hospital in Golfito (an eight minute flight) or to San Jose (a fifty minute flight). And, in case of an extreme emergency, a helicopter can be ordered from San Jose and land in a nearby field.

While many of our guests have been very satisfied with Blue Osa and what we offer, we are not a luxury resort and do try to be.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dominical, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 14, 2011

Our first ever Balanced Life Yoga Retreat at Blue Osa was a roaring success thanks in large part to the AMAZING people, food and surround of Blue Osa. Aaron and his team offer loving, heartfelt service and assistance to make your stay or group retreat a fantastic experience. Chef Marie offers body and soul nourishing food, the accommodation is lovely and the natural beauty stunning. I highly recommend Blue Osa as an accommodation stop and certainly to hold a Yoga Retreat. They know the Yoga retreat business and help make it easeful and fun for us organizers. Mucho gracias! I can't wait to get back. I feel I have a family and a home away from home.

Room Tip: Under the Yoga deck facing the ocean to catch those amazing sunrises while sipping coffee in your ni...
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  • Stayed December 2011, 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?
Thank Shasta T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ontario
Level Contributor
22 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 11, 2011

I am just returning from Blue Osa as part of a yoga retreat. BLUE OSA is a sanctuary where one will find serene, blissful and harmonious energy encompassed in the environment, the owner, and the entire staff!
Aaron- truly cares that you enjoy your stay there and will go out of his way to make it perfect.
Paul- has such an uplifting, fun, happy spirit--his cocktails are out of this world..but be careful, they don't skimp on the ingredients!
Marie- cooks meals for you with such love, you are her family for the week! the ingredients are so ALIVE and fresh and wholesome.
The rooms are cozy, comfortable, warm, serene and so inviting. I am so grateful this is an eco-friendly hotel. Being right on the ocean is incredible.
There are not enough words to describe my experience at BLUE OSA and I will certainly be back!

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank caribbeangal6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 1, 2011

Aaron and his staff are wonderful. You really take the trip at your own pace, doing as little or as much as you want. My wife and I had the pleasure of being there during a teacher training month at Blue Osa. We took yoga classes each day with the teachers and thoroughly enjoyed the additional instruction offered as a result. That helped the 2 hours of yoga fly by and be that much more meaningful.

And let's not forget about the food. Everything is freshly prepared for each meal using local ingredients from a few cooks that are undoubtedly the best I've ever had.

When you walk on the beach you have the option of drinking coconut water right from the coconuts you find or take your beverages with you. This is highly recommended as a trip if you need to get away from the business of life and really get away. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed October 2011, 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?
1 Thank jasheldo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sleepy Hollow, New York, United States
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 1, 2011

I stay in there a lot of times with my month and the expirience to be there is awesome a beautiful nice waves to make surf and enjoy the nature

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • 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?
Thank End M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 28, 2011

My friends and I had a great trip. We went to Costa Rica for a general vacation and stayed at Blue Osa using a groupon, rather than for a yoga retreat. I would probably try Blue Osa again for a yoga retreat, but perhaps not for a general vacation. Marie, the chef, and kitchen staff filled our tummies with excellent meals. The staff is very nice. Both of which made our stay very pleasant and relaxing. The older rooms could use some cheering up with better lighting. Although the room seemed generally clean, my bed's mosquito net and room drapes definitely needed to be washed. Several drapes had large brown stains and my mosquito net had remnants of previous bug swattings. The landscape, grounds, and common areas are beautiful. The beach, while also beautiful, is very rocky sometimes making entry and exit tricky as waves hurled rocks at our bodies. Also, transportation to guided tours and activities was much more costly than when we stayed at a resort farther north on playa platanares.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ophyllia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
blueosa, Owner at Blue Osa Yoga Retreat and Spa, responded to this review, December 1, 2011
Thank you so much for your review. I hope the rest of your stay on the Osa was great. I know the team really enjoyed your visit to us.

I am sorry to hear that your bug nets were not clean. We clean them all the time and preform full scale cleanings of the rooms once or twice a week, as well as clean the rooms daily. We encourage our guests as much as possible to let us know if further cleaning or maintenance needs to be done on the rooms as Blue Osa takes great pride and meticulous care in cleanliness and in the care of our rooms.

Please kindly remember we are in the jungle. I often joke with the guests that if we do not clean for two days, it will almost seem that Blue Osa is falling apart. If we were to abandon Blue Osa for two weeks, the jungle would (literally) start to move in.

We hope to see you back at Blue Osa, perhaps for one of our yoga retreats, or with a group that comes here.

Blessings,
Aaron
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Blue Osa Yoga Retreat and Spa

Property: Blue Osa Yoga Retreat and Spa
Address: Osa Peninsula, Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Puerto Jimenez
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Jimenez
#2 Family Hotel in Puerto Jimenez
#5 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Jimenez
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Blue Osa Yoga Retreat and Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
At Blue Osa Yoga Retreat & Spa our mission is simple: To provide you with an unforgettable experience –– nourishing body, mind and spirit.Let your focal point be the ocean. Imagine a cool ocean breeze across your face. Our yoga deck was designed to facilitate an immersive yoga experience: farm-to-table meals, first-class pampering, and beautiful eco-friendly accommodations. Our secluded beachfront property is located on Costa Rica’s biologically diverse Osa Peninsula. Here you will find coconut trees, colorful wildlife and crashing waves –– all guaranteed to provide a tranquil setting for letting go and living the pure life. Whether you’re looking for a tropical paradise to relax & renew, to delve deeper into your yoga practice, OR an exotic locale to embark on Travel-Channel-worthy adventures, we’ve got you covered. We offer tailor-made experiences for individuals, groups and retreat leaders. Our packages include yoga, eco-spa therapies and various nearby tropical adventures. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Blue Osa Hotel Puerto Jimenez
Blue Osa Yoga Retreat And Spa Costa Rica/Puerto Jimenez

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