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“Paradise”
Review of Farm of Life

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Farm of Life
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed January 24, 2014

I went to Finca de Vida for healing and I came away healed.
It is a setting of outstanding natural beauty, the air is delicious, the sun blesses everyone and everything on the mountain, the food is everything we need to flourish and the atmosphere is like bathing in an ocean of unconditional love.

I slept literally like a baby, out cold for 12 hours plus, the dogs gave their own beautiful brand of doggy love in between asking for watermelon run and bananas.

I couldn't possibly bend and shape this clumsy language into sufficient praise for Brian, Jodi and the brilliant staff - Susan, Lorna, Amanda and Jack. Nothing was too much, everybody was accepted and loved

Of course I will be going back and the sooner the better but I will always carry Finca de Vida in my heart

Room Tip: All the rooms are great
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank Jane G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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63 - 69 of 161 reviews

Reviewed January 23, 2014

I am a woman travelling alone and was initially looking for a place that would give me a safe feeling. This was so much more. It was a truly changing life experience. A little piece of heaven. A garden of Eden, which is - with the stunning background of Costa Rica's nature - not hard, BUT what truly makes the difference is the people. They make the place.
I learned so much. From yoga (twist and sprout) to great raw food (twist and sprout and Amanda Froelich) to the best massage (Topher) to reiki (Bryan and Jody) to having inspiring conversations with the owners, other guests - like minded people…
If you feel the need to be by yourself you can perfectly do that in your cabin. If you want someone to talk to you go to the communal area. I haven't felt so energised in years and I left with a very good and warm feeling and a lot more knowledge. I am so grateful that I have found this place and it's people. I have tremendous respect for all the people who make the place, you can feel the passion. As soon as the taxi came to pick me up and bring me back to San José…I knew I was going back.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled solo
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1  Thank Vanessa D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2014

Beautiful views at this very remote raw food retreat but not a 5 star experience for the 5 star prices.
I came to Costa Rica for its beauty, solitude and peace and what I got was music blaring from 6am to 9pm, disrupting my enjoyment of the natural sounds of dawn and sunset, raw food meals that I was required to prepare for breakfast and lunch or else unimaginative dinners (with one notable exception) and constant proselytizing about food and spirituality without ever considering where my own beliefs lay. My room was filthy and stayed that way until it was cleaned my 4th day there and general sanitation in the communal kitchen was non-existent,that is, no hot water or third sink sanitary rinse ,even though there was a regulation 3 bay sink.
Despite all the fervored talk about being one with nature and the commonality of mankind, my own personal space and meditation was constantly violated and there was no respect for my beliefs and spiritual practices. I realise this is an odd tone for a hotel review but given the nature of this place and that is still a for profit,consumer driven ,service for money operation, I still expect the same service,attentiveness,respect, and hospitality that any establishment calling itself a hotel, resort,or retreat that is not a volunteer situation ,would provide . When a book hotel or resort, I do not expect my experience to be based solely on the owner's personal agenda.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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13  Thank moquijo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
farmoflife, Owner at Farm of Life, responded to this reviewResponded February 22, 2014

Thank you very much for taking time to provide feedback.

We do not claim to be a 5 star hotel and we do not charge 5 star prices ($70-$100 per night). We keep our prices as affordable as possible, so that persons of any income can have a place to rest their heart and soul and heal. The 5-star reviews that we’ve received from 100’s of Tripadvisor reviewers is a reflection of the extraordinary experiences and transformation received at Farm of Life, delivered with loving service in the context of a barefoot-luxury healing center in rural Costa Rica.

It is terribly unfortunate that this reviewer didn’t experience the same transformation as others, and quite opposite felt her own spiritual beliefs were “violated”. We certainly take this to heart. Had we known it was happening, had the guest spoken to us on site, we would have graciously obliged this guest.

As for the specific complaints, we’ve established new music guidelines, playing soft music only in the dining hall from 8-am to 8-pm, if at all. The kitchen staff have been informed too and sinks are rinsed daily with boiled water.

Other specific complaints, we feel, relate more to the Raw Food Culinary Retreat that this guest choose to attend. Farm of Life was simply the host. The retreat facilitator chose the educational (“proselytizing”) discourse and the layout of the meal program too. The culinary experience that was offered at this retreat was atypical for Farm of Life because our Chef’s did not design the menu and only made a few of the meals. [Along these lines, outside of retreats, Farm of Life does have a communal kitchen that guests use to prepare their own meals, salads, smoothies, juices, etc. This is an important feature of our hotel that is clearly described on our website.]

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2014

There are few words to describe the immense peace, beauty and serenity of this Eden-like farm. I accidentally stumbled across Finca de Vida listing online and was fortunate enough to book a last minute room with my boyfriend just a couple of weeks ago. I can only say that this paradise not only has the most delicious fruit, but also the most glorious massage therapist (Topher), the finest gourmet raw and cooked vegan chef's (thank you Lorna crawford and Amanda Froelich!) and the most attentive, skilled yoga instructor (Susan Reynolds from Twist and Sprout) I have ever had the pleasure of practicing with. The grounds are pristine and immaculate, the guests were unbelievable and the hosts (Brian and Jody) are very kind and accommodating! In my 1 week stay, I have learned a wealth of invaluable information and feel truly that I am blessed to have had this experience. The rooms are very nice and quite affordable. If they had not been fully booked with retreats, I would have stayed months! I urge everyone to experience this first-hand for yourself, you will be forever changed for the better. Thank you farm of Life and everyone there who made this such a distinctly memorable vacation for me.

Room Tip: The Coco rooms have an amazing view!
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Brittany A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 17, 2013

We stayed here during Christmas 2012/2013. We had a great cabin with view over the green fantastic forest. I got up early every morning to enjoy sunrise in the hammock on the porch. We traveled with two kids at the age of 9 and 12 which worked out great with the dogs and the local trips. The food was fresh and nutritious! We even had a few raw-food demo's by their chef at the time! Big hugs to both of the owners and the volunteers for making our stay so nice. Good discussion with real people about real issues! If you are going to Costa Rica and like to try eating only fruit and vegetables for a while, then this is a must!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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6  Thank ThommyB12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 5, 2013

My husband and I needed a week's break but wanted to continue with our new plant based whole foods lifestyle and found The Farm of Life by chance on google. We were smitten by the website and booked immediately. We will be back next year for sure and here is why:-
1. The farm itself is beautiful and peaceful, with perfect little cabins - we chose one with an outdoor shower that we really enjoyed.
2. Jody and Brian meet and treat you like house guests, making you feel instantly comfortable. We were introduced to the other guests and at the end of the week, made some great new friends.
3. It is a healing centre and although we are on a journey to improve ourselves we didn't necessarily have to heal. However Brian taught us about his holistic approach that includes; mind, body and soul. We were fascinated by his talks with us about overall health and we learned much from him about how to make further improvements in our lives.
4. Food - what fun we had trying out new recipes. Amanda the chef made us some delicious gourmet raw food meals and the day we returned we bought a juicer to try and replicate the delicious nutrient rich green juices we drank each morning.
5. Lots to see and do - we relaxed a lot but in one week we also got massages, did reiki, went on a hike to the Peace waterfalls and swam in the pool, had a spa day, went to the market, did yoga and spent a day at the national park. However it was relaxed and non rushed.

In summary we came home both 3 lbs lighter - excited about everything we had learned about the lifestyle promoted by Jody and Brian, with some fabulous new friends and already looking forward to going back next year.

We were moved by Brian's passion and commitment to ensure that the services and support that they offer at the Farm of Life is maintained at it's currently incredibly affordable level so that everyone can take advantage of the services of the healing centre. We love you Brian and Jody!

Room Tip: There is no bad room. The cabins in the orchard that we stayed in are the nearest to the main dini...
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank naircott
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2013

I wasn't looking for a vacation or a wellness retreat when I found Finca de Vida on an herbalist's website online, but it kept calling to me! I had reached a plateau in my wellness journey (read losing weight!) and thought this would be a great way to revitalize my determination to live better and feel better. After finding out there was WiFi and I could stay in touch with clients, I decided to take advantage of the 30 day, Green/Rainy season discount and just hang, eat healthy from their green house, work 4 hours a day and enjoy being in Costa Rica, alone (on purpose!), and away from the Texas summer heat. I have to admit I am not a committed raw vegan, but was willing to give it a go, armed with pounds of raw nuts (which I learned later aren't truly raw in the US, something about requiring them to be toasted), packets of raw, vegan protein powder drinks and raw, vegan energy bars so I wouldn't starve. Fortunately for me, I signed up for health coaching, learned a lot and lost enough weight to leave all of my jeans behind! And, I pretty much gave away all of the stuff I brought with me, didn't need it!

If you read other reviewers, you'll see lots of praise for how non-judgmental Brian and Jody are, and I'll join that chorus. I had one of those "What am I thinking, I'm going to spend 1 month with people I don't know, what if they are crazy raw zealots???" pre-trip jittery moments. Not to worry, Brian and Jody are both interested in being of service, meeting people where they are, and letting each of us take our own journey. They are not the raw police by any means! Just good examples.

Read Lindsay's review to see why I didn't give 5 stars....no where to grow, but I've already recommended this to friends, so recommend it to you, too! Don't bother stocking up on nuts and stuff from home, seeds to sprout maybe, but leave the energy bars that mix fruit and nuts at home! They go to market every week to supplement their green house. The fruit is so much sweeter and better than what we see in the store, you can't go wrong!
I noticed that a common comment was that people wished they had stayed longer, I'll join that chorus too! I do wish that I had spent the week BEFORE my month at FdV touring Costa Rica with a friend, rather than the week after, as it was a tough change. I actually chose a cabin in Puerto Viejo because it had a blender (not a juicer or a Vitamix, a plain old blender) so that I could make as close to a green juice as possible!

Farm of Life is not for everybody, but if you want a great introduction to the raw vegan life in a beautiful setting, give it a go! I think the August-September time is great. The nights are cool (and can even be cold!), days are cool to warm, not hot. Fruits are on the tree, flowers abound, the rainy afternoon makes you slow down, read, nap, or try new things in the kitchen. So, here are the reasons NOT to go to Finca de Vida:
1. To work on your Spanish --except for coming and going, and to talk to the family that lives at the trail head to Peace Falls.
2. If you don't want to make new friends and feel like part of the family, a family that includes 4 very special dogs (who want to eat your watermelon and papaya rinds, quite entertaining!) and an offbeat cat.
3. If you have no interest in learning anything new
4. If you don't like the idea of living outside and being entertained by the wildlife...if you are afraid of insects, you won't enjoy the communal kitchen or kicking back in the dining area, we had some awesome butterflies, moths, grasshoppers, katydids and beetles come through!
5. If you want an all inclusive resort experience. Brian and Jody are committed to making FdV affordable, and they know the temptations some of us may have 'off-campus'. With the beautiful grounds, trails, vitality (cool) pools, birds and plentiful food, it could be an all inclusive, on-site experience. There are lots of great excursions offered, and each one has a very reasonable fee, as does asking the chef to prepare dinner. Warning, do not let Amanda cook for you everyday if you want to lose weight! She makes KILLER desserts! That's probably the reason I would have stayed longer, to do more trips!

Okay, message me if you have any questions, or are looking for someone to take there with you to help you make the transit from San Jose, and want someone to caretake your stay there! My next career move, that's how much I loved this life-changing place and people!

Room Tip: I loved the Butterfly Suite in the mornings, great deck for sunbathing, and it was easy to check the...
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled solo
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5  Thank SandySandraSM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Farm of Life

Address: 3 km East of San Salvador | Diamante Valley, Dominical 10101, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Dominical
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 27 Specialty Lodging in Dominical
Price Range: $60 - $70 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Costa Rica Vacation for the Healthy Lifestyle. Thrive on delicious raw food, vegan and vegetarian food. Prepare your meals in our beautiful communal kitchen, using fresh, organic food and the harvest from our organic farm. Or, opt for Chef-prepared meals. Revive your body and spirit with detox, health coaching, yoga, spa services and eco-tours. Enjoy waterfalls, wildlife, beaches, jungle & mountain hikes. Affordable accommodations with modern amenities. A serene setting atop a lush green valley with spectacular views, pleasant temperatures and stunning Pacific sunsets. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Farm Of Life (Finca De Vida) Hotel Dominical
Farm Of Life Costa Rica/Dominical

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